The Ali Forney Center, the nation’s largest organization working on behalf of homeless LGBT youth, released a compelling new video in support of the Campaign for Youth Shelter. The video, outlining the stark facts of the plight of homeless gay youth, was released to promote an October 24 rally in Union Square, at which, the center says, New York’s LGBT community will demand shelter for all underage youth in the city.
According to the center, an LGBT youth is eight times more likely to experience homelessness than a straight youth. And LGBT youth who are homeless face a significantly higher risk of HIV infection, suicide and physical and sexual assault than their homeless straight counterparts. In New York alone, as many as 40 percent of all homeless youth are LGBT, according to a 2008 census conducted by the Empire State Coalition.
“We hope that this video will promote awareness of the terrible peril that LGBT youth face when left homeless in the streets,” says Carl Siciliano, founder and executive director of the Ali Forney Center. “With the recent spectacle of elected officials taking budgetary actions to endanger and abandon homeless youth in New York City, we hope the rally on October 24th will send a loud and clear message that the LGBT community demands that they be protected. No youth should be left in the streets without shelter.”
The statistics and video both speak volumes about LGBT homeless – not just in New York – but also in our own backyard. If you know someone in Philadelphia who needs help, please contact the Attic Youth Center or the Ambassadors of the Trevor Project.
Check out the video here: