Homeless Youth

December 28, 2010
By , Highlands Ranch, CO
Imagine having no home to go to. In a study of 194 gay and lesbian youth, 25% were verbally abused by parents, and nearly 10% dealt with threatened or actual violence. Being rejected because of your sexual orientation by your family. 50% of all gay and lesbian youth report that their parents reject them due to their sexual orientation. 26% of gay and lesbian youth are forced to leave home because of conflicts over their sexual orientation. Approximately 40% of homeless youth are identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual. In a study of male teenagers self-described as gay or bisexual, 27% moved away from home because of conflict with family members over sexual orientation. Almost half had run away from home at least once. You're committing a sin and to stay who you are makes you “meant to go to hell”. What would you think if your parents told you this? What would you think if you were physically harmed or verbally abused because of your sexual orientation?
Teenage students (gay AND straight) say the worst harassment in school is being called ‘gay’.
In a national survey, youth (gay AND straight) described being called “lesbian” or “gay” as the most deeply upsetting form of sexual harassment they experienced. Gay students hear anti-gay slurs as often as 26 times each day; faculty intervention occurs in only about 3% of those cases. Think before you speak please! Try to spread the word and give justice!
In Seattle, 34% of students who described themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual reported being the target of anti-gay harassment or violence at school or on the way to or from school, compared to 6% of heterosexual students. Gay and lesbian youth live, work and attempt to learn in constant fear of physical harm at school. 27% of gay and lesbian youth have been physically hurt by another student.
In 53 schools in Washington State, 77 incidents of anti-gay harassment and violence have been reported in the past 3 years, with 34 of these incidents (44%) serious enough to warrant possible criminal allegations. Over 50% of national youth servicing organizations report that they do not have services or resources in place to educate youth on sexual orientation or to support gay and lesbian youth.
At least 75% of crimes against gays and lesbians are not reported to anyone. How would you feel knowing that teachers and other faculty members are most likely unable to help hate based on sexual orientation?

How can you help those with these problems or similar problems?

If you have run away, or have considered running away please call 1-800-Runaway for help or someone to talk to. There are other options besides running away.

Join the Discussion

This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

Bethani said...
Jan. 26, 2011 at 10:07 am
Thank you for commenting!
thedegraded This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 15, 2011 at 3:29 pm
It's horrible that these problems exist, but I'm definetly going to try my best to help the LGBT community, as should others. Thank you for the statistics!
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