Every year, thousands of LGBT youth are kicked out of their homes because of their sexuality. This video documents their struggle to find home.
Nearly 40 percent of the nation’s homeless youth identify as LGBT, and their numbers are growing. As more and more youth come out earlier and earlier, some families, unprepared for their transition, are simply evicting their own children. So the website Vocativ decided to take action and made a short documentary, available above, documenting some of the struggles that homeless LGBT youth face. Their stories are painful and difficult and important, and well worth watching.
The video focuses on how LGBT youth find community through the Internet—mostly for better, sometimes for worse. As Spencer, a transgender man, tells viewers: “If I hadn’t had the Internet, I probably would not have come out … I probably would not have considered myself transgender. I would have just been this masculine female.” Spencer came from a conservative family, and was kicked out. He later posted a YouTube series, documenting his transition for the world to see.
But just as some homeless youth find community in the internet, others find danger. As Rick Westbrook, the director of Lost-n-Found, a nonprofit organization serving homeless LGBT youth, says: “The technology is wonderful, but it also is a gateway for a lot of the people who prey on our youth … we have a lot of creeps out there who will offer a sofa to sleep on.”
The video explores how some nonprofits are trying to adapt to the needs of homeless youth by posting ads for shelters and services on online dating apps. While there’s a nationwide shortage of beds for homeless youth, demands for services are growing. Make sure to check out the video above, or learn more about how you can help homeless LGBT youth here.
Image via YouTube
(Via: The Advocate)