Hundreds of thousands of homeless gay youth

The Indypendent sheds light on a horrible situation happening across the United States.

Thousands of kids are kicked out of their homes each year for being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Some cases include homophobic parents. In other situations, kids run away in fear of retribution – or as a result of ridicule.

They have nowhere to go. And the problem grows worse as American youth are “coming out” at increasingly early ages.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 575,000 to 1.6 million homeless and runaway youth are living on the streets from New York City to Los Angeles. Of these, between 20 and 40 percent are LGBT, according to the 2007 seminal study, “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Youth: An Epidemic of Homelessness” by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF).

The study highlights a particularly dismal fact: 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 hugely disproportionate rate. LGBT youth homelessness is a hidden reality of 21st-century America. The stories of despair, high HIV rates and street murders continue to be under-reported and unaddressed.

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