40 percent of homeless youth are LGBT kids


the study: williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/Durso-Gates-LGBT-Homeless-Youth-Survey-July-2012.pdf

williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/research/safe-schools-and-youth/serving-our-youth-july-2012/ -

In collaboration with The Palette Fund and True Colors Fund

Over the past ten years, the percentage of homeless youth providers serving LGBT clients has increased from 82% to 94%. A majority of LGBT youth are receiving services that are available to all young people, with 24% of agency youth-oriented programs specifically being designed for LGBT youth. Nearly seven in ten (68%) respondents indicated that family rejection was a major factor contributing to LGBT youth homelessness, making it the most cited factor. More than half (54%) of respondents indicated that abuse in their family was another important factor contributing to LGBT homelessness. Additionally, more than 75% of responding agencies worked with transgender youth in the past year.

Data are based on the LGBT Homeless Youth Provider Survey, a web-based survey conducted from October 2011 through March 2012. Based on data from 381 respondents, representing 354 agencies providing youth with homeless-related services, the report outlines key statistics on what LGBT youth populations are served by these agencies, who is most at risk, and why these populations are most at risk.

I’m not sure how accurate the study is, let alone if the methodology is even sound, but it’s still compelling. Does anyone have experience with dealing with homeless teenagers & young adults who are homosexuals, and where indeed ‘shunned’ by their families, therefore forcing them to leave their homes?


I don’t know, and I don’t know how anybody truly could. A friend of mine works a lot with the Juvenile Office, and most “runaways” (homeless) aren’t LGBT. It’s quite rare, in fact. Most of those run away because of seeming incorrigibility or to take up with a paramour of the opposite sex. All the same, my friend is obliged to take “LGBT sensitivity training” to be able to work in the field.

My own experience is limited to having worked in a boys’ home many years ago. Some few of them engaged in sexual contact with adult homosexuals for money. Some might have been homosexual themselves, but some definitely were not.

So, one has to wonder whether the homosexual youth are “homosexual”, or so regarded because of that kind of activity. Apparently there’s a strong demand for it.

Regardless, this organization has the appearance of an advocacy group, so one doesn’t know what to believe.


I don’t know exactly how accurate the study is but
from my time (20 years ago) homelessness of lesbian/gay juveniles
was quite the problem and we did see fewer transgender
I believe than now. Many times transgender would
be in foster care as they were undergoing psychiatric or
medical treatment and we saw more gay youth in
group home settings and lesbian was the smallest
percentage. Many times the kids had been thrown out
of the house but not necessarily for reasons pertaining
to homosexuality. It was usually a home that would
have been abusive regardless. The majority of kids
were runaways though and supported themselves
through prostitution which you can imagine is most
dangerous to the transgender population.
I believe parental rejection does occur but I do
not believe it accounts for the majority of homeless
gay youth.


Studies like this are building the case for acquiring taxpayer money to fund their organizations. I would take it with a grain of salt. I do not believe it.


Seriously people?

My main physician, on the side, does volunteer work providing food and clothing to the LGBT population. Gays and transgender individuals (not counting bisexuals, who are less apt to come out to hyperreligious parents) only make up less than 2% of the country, yet they make up 40% of homeless. And yes, this is real. Gay youth are massively persecuted by super-conservative parents in this country.


and what constitutes persecution ?


I just want to pray for them because it isn’t easy growing up in a society that is so messed up from the inside out. We all need to turn back to God and quit trying to have a world without Him. Teens and young adults are immersed in this kind of lifestyle. It’s all over the TV, in the music on YOUtube. They think it is a real choice, at a time in their development when they are deciding what they will be in life. It is sad, to me, that home life isn’t more nurturing for them. Anyway, let’s pray for all of them.

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women
And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be world without end. Amen.


@ mary: I wonder, out of all those that participated in the survey actually know that the reason they were beaten was because of their sexuality. I’m always skeptical of those who claim victimhood without the actual proof.

@SMG: The 40% is real, or the reality that there are homeless LGBT kids? I won’t deny the reality of the latter, but I’m skeptical of the former’s given %.


Enduring physical/verbal/mental abuse as a result of being gay, being insulted to your face by your own parents, being thrown out of their house, etc. It’s significantly more common than you’d think.

Well I have no way of knowing the precise %, but it is definitely lopsided in favor of LGBT youth. Even being in the LGBT community for like 6 years, I rarely met many transgender individuals, yet they make up an extraordinary % of the homeless youth relative to their population. Gay youth aren’t at quite as absurd a risk of being thrown out of their homes as transgender youth are, but the % of homeless youth that are gay is still way, way more than 2% (the % of the total population that solely has SSAs).


This is very sad, and a legitimate avenue for gay rights organizations to pursue.


Quoting from the study:

LGBT youth comprise approximately 40%of the clientele served by agencies represented in the sample:

But are the agencies in the sample representative of all agencies which serve homeless youth? This question is important because the information was gathered via a web-based questionnaire. While 354 agencies participated in the survey, how many agencies were notified of the survey but declined to participate? How large is the self-selection bias in this study? Is it any more reliable than an online poll?

It is reasonable to assume that the homeless agencies most likely to respond are the agencies which consider the topic most important. I think those agencies would be the ones who serve the highest percentage of LGBT youth. As such, the numbers may not accurately represent youth homelessness.

I don’t doubt that the percentage of LGBT youth is higher than the national percentage of LGBT persons. While the number may not be 40%, surely it is large.

(BTW, this study is 1.5 years old and isn’t current news.)


It really depends on the area. They seem to flock to big cities such as San Francisco, Seattle and New York City

Physical abuse, minors being kicked out, constant verbal abuse.

It isn’t general youth, it is homeless youth. Although the percent of homeless youth that is LGBT has very likely gone down, not because there are fewer homeless LGBT youth, but because there are simply so many more homeless youth today as a result of so many foreclosures in the past couple of years; youth homelessness is now at an all time high. Youth homelessness has increased 72% in the US since 2007.


Not a news article; seems to be an opinion piece by an advocacy group.


You are correct, and I goofed by omitting the word “homeless.” My statement should have read: “I don’t doubt that the percentage of homeless LGBT youth is higher than the national percentage of LGBT persons.”

What I disagree with is the accuracy of the 40% figure. Whether the actual percentage was diluted by a recent nflux of non-LGBT, or not, doesn’t matter. The problem is the way in which that 40% figure was reached. The methodology of the survey seems highly suspect, which makes its percentages rather sketchy.


I may not understand your question and my experience
may be obsolete seeing it was so long ago. But the kids
we saw in the group homes who had been thrown
out of their homes were not coming necessarily from
“hyper religious parents” but were coming from homes
that would have been considered abusive in any case.
In other words ALL the children in the home were abused
one way or another and the homosexual child was
simply another peg for the abusive parent to hang their
hat on. So maybe one sister would be berated for
her looks or obesity, another berated for sneakiness,
and the gay kid for being gay. In other words normally
the gay kid was not singled out. And as can be imagined
there were other issues in the home as well such as
alcoholism and drugs.

Maybe today it is different.

As far as the transgender kids go- even in the absence
of psychiatric/medical treatments ongoing, they generally
needed a more secure environment. We found them
to be at higher risk of being assaulted than the simply
homosexual kids.


I had a friend who was kicked out of her house when she was a teen because she came out to her parents. My mom allowed her to stay with us for a 3 or 4 months.


I can definitely believe the numbers. My transgendered friend is not only in a support group online to hear about it (Laura’s playground I think she said it was), but is homeless herself. Granted, she’s not a youth anymore, she’s closer to my age, but she can definitely relate. Even without being a ‘youth’, she’s got some real relationship issues with her mom, and because of all the issues she’s told me about with other people in her life, it’s very hard for her to interact with people in general.
She tells me that it’s not very likely unbiased of a result. She told me how frequently homeless kids still try to find a way (either at school libraries or local libraries) to get on to the same support site as her to help cope or vent, and several who aren’t being helped by agencies but by compassionate friends. So even if there’s a possibility of skewing on the agency’s side, there’s possible skewing because of some of them avoiding such agencies for fear of reactions by peers in the agency.
I hope that at some point parents and people as a whole will realize that they’re all still just people and require the same love and attention as anyone else:)


I don’t even think a kid needs to come out to feel unwelcome in your own home. Imagine being gay and hearing your parents talk disparingingly about gay people constantly. I’d imagine they won’t feel welcome and will act out.


I was an acquaintance of a gay man in our parish that had a conversion experience that led to his living a celibate life. In discussions with him, he mentioned that he was thrown out of his home when he was a teenager. But when he had his conversion, he reflected on that time in his youth and realized that he wasn’t told anything like “We don’t want a gay person living here. Move out.” But rather it was his refusal to live by his parents’ rules. He admitted that his parents required him to remain single and celibate if he wanted to live under their roof. He ignored those rules and continued to date and was sexually active. When his parents found condoms in his room and learned he was dating a 20 year old man (he was 17 at the time), they gave him an ultimatum: stop dating the man and remain celibate or move out. He chose the latter.

Now, I suspect many would consider this a case of being thrown out of the home. But as a parent this is a very difficult situation. I think most parents love their children deeply and don’t want them to move out. But really, how does a parent deal with an obstinate child? I’m not saying I would give such an ultimatum, but I don’t know how I’d deal with such a situation.

Anyway, the point here is that we need to be careful when discussing whether children/young adults are thrown out of their parents’ home. It may not be a simple “We don’t want gay people here.” In fact, I suspect most are not that simple.

As an aside, the guy in the story above reconciled with his parents (also devout Catholics). He had refused to talk with them after leaving. After nearly a decade, he described a tearful, highly emotional reunion with his parents. When he moved out, his parents were devastated, and his mother struggled with very deep depression to the point that she quit her job. He feared that his refusal to engage his parents (despite his mother’s attempts) had driven a permanent wedge between them, and described his own anger and depression during the time. Thanks to a friend he had made at the parish he was attending at the time (also a celibate gay man), he got up the courage to contact them. He was overwhelmed at the love his parents had for him. He had convinced himself that his parents hated him for being gay. He was surprised and thankful that he was wrong.


I tend to agree.

I wonder how many times it comes down to, “You are gay, get out.” Rather than, “You refuse to live by my reasonable rules. I’m sorry, but I can’t have you living here.”

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