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Some Facts and Figures February 1, 2009

Posted by aufderhr in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , ,

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that the number of homeless and runaway youth ranges from 575,000 to 1.6 million per year.  Our analysis of the available research suggests that between 20 percent and 40 percent of all homeless youth identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). Given that between 3 percent and 5 percent of the U.S. population identifies as lesbian, gay or bisexual, it is clear that LGBT youth experience homelessness at a disproportionate rate.

Family conflict is the primary cause of homelessness for all youth, LGBT or straight. Specifically, familial conflict over a youth’s sexual orientation or gender identity is a significant factor that leads to homelessness or the need for out-of-home care.  According to one study, 50 percent of gay teens experienced a negative reaction from their parents when they came out and 26 percent were kicked out of their homes.  Another study found that more than one-third of youth who are homeless or in the care of social services experienced a violent physical assault when they came out, which can lead to youth leaving a shelter or foster home because they actually feel safer on the streets.

(You can access the pdf full document through this website “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Youth: An Epidemic of Homelessness”)

Of course the facts continue.  LGBT youth are more likely to consider and attempt suicide (about 5 times more likely than heterosexual youth), to suffer from depression, to engage in dangerous sexual activities, to use illicit substances, and to have been sexually victimized (58.7% of LGBT homeless youth vs. 33.4% of heterosexual homeless youth).  Some of these figures are a bit older but the trends remain the same, and of course you find the same trends if you keep comparing other facts.  It’s a huge problem that very few are paying attention to.




1. kyoungpsyd - March 23, 2009

Thank you for helping to raise awareness of this crucial issue.

Those in Chicago might be interested in this event addressing suicide in LGBT communities: http://drkathleenyoung.wordpress.com/2009/03/23/suicide-in-the-lgbt-community/

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