In January 2003 my mom and I were forced to move out of our apartment. We ended up moving in with my godmother who then turns around and kicked us out too. After living in a shelter for 5 months we managed to get an apartment. I know what is like to not have a place to live and worry about what is going to happen next. Never knowing if the next day was the day that we were going to have to leave made it hard to want to go back to the shelter after school. I just believe that if people were as “god-fearing” as they say they are they would realize that nothing should get in the way of family and love. Love is love no matter who or what your sexual orientation is! I have to many new friends in this town that are either lesbian, gay, or bi that I can’t imagine not knowing a single one of them. I love each one of them because they all know who they are and don’t let anyone tell them differently! I am so glad to have found this site. I hope that people out there know that it don’t matter what others think of you. All that matters is who you love and are loved in return. It is amazing that with all the religious freedom that we have people that love the same sex are now the ones being persecuted! I give a damn and I hope that others do too!
My life growing up was as far from simple as simple could be. At a very young age, I knew something was “different” about me from other boys my age but I could never figure out what. To make matters more complex, I was a troubled child, often in and out of foster homes and placement facilities for troubled children like me. It wasn’t until I looked at myself in the mirror wearing a princess Halloween dress in my dorm room that I knew I was very different from other boys. Looking at myself in the mirror, it felt like I was looking at “the real me.”
I began to grow my hair out despite staff members telling me that I should get it cut when it got to a certain length. They told me that it made me look “girlish” but I what I didn’t tell them was that I wanted to look “girlish.” Eventually I was released into my mother’s care where she forced me to cut it to a “boyish-looking” length. Fast forward through my teen years and into adulthood and I was barely 18 when I was forced out on the streets.
Still unaware of what was actually “different” about me, I attempted to stay at a local homeless shelter ran by a church. Because I insisted on looking feminine, rumors soon spread about me being potentially gay. Despite the fact I was still sorting out my orientation at the time, the pastor would have none of a “gay man” staying in a place meant for those who “follow the word of god” as he put it when he asked me in the most polite manner to find another place to say. But a “deaf man” could see the prejudice in his facial features and a “blind man” could hear it in his voice despite his valiant attempt at sounding polite. Complete with bogus reasons why he was kicking me out.
I struggled on the streets for months. Thankfully I was still allowed to attend the public meals the church offered on a daily basis, but looking back I think he simply allowed me in for the sake of “public appearances” as the entire time he would glare at me if he attended any of them. Roughly five months later, a friend directed me to a website that answered every possible question about why I was “so different.” That’s right, it wasn’t until I was close to being 19 that I realized I suffered from gender dysphoria.
However, knowing the cause of my issues was just the beginning of a long road. With help from my friend, I was able to finally get on my feet and get a place to live. I live there to this day but I have yet to be able to afford any type of therapy to treat my gender dysphoria. But ever since that day I learned those facts about myself, I was filled with a sense of hope that one day I will be able to walk out of my front door, not as a man…
but as a woman.
My name is Shianne. I am a nineteen year old girl and I am deeply in love with my partner. For the past month we have been homeless and living in her 2004 explorer. My mother kicked me out because she did not agree with who I loved. She always repeated the same phrase “You just need to find the right man.” And when I tried to explain that that would never happen she would just preach to me. When my girlfriend got out of the hospital her mother banned her from seeing me. Of course we would sneak into town and see each other in the park or go out to dinner. The night she found out she was still seeing me she told her not to come home and that she was not allowed in her house again. For a little while we lived in the house my mom had moved out of but when my mom decided she had “had enough of my crap” she told us to get out. We packed everything we had left into our car and went to the nearest walmart. Our days were spent at the local 24 hour mcdonalds where we bought a drink and used her laptop to search for a job. at night we picked a spot in the walmart parking lot and lay in what little space we had in the back to sleep. We had a few friends take us in but in the end their landlords would throw a fit. So we always ended up back at the walmart parking lot. Food was not something we had everyday. We got used to being hungry and when your partner is already close to underweight that is not a good thing. I had to beg my dad for money and that was usually spent on gas and food quickly. When it got cold outside we would stay at mcdonalds all night until the sun came up then we would got to a spot that no one would pay attention to and get the sleep we needed. Finding a job is still hard. I had one for three days until they found out I was homeless and with a girl. I don’t know why but one day I posted on facebook what was going on. Friends that I didn’t know I had suddenly started helping. The night crew at the mcdonalds even helped us out a little. Now we are currently staying in my former Algebra teacher’s home. He has helped us so much and even doesn’t mind that we are together.We are still having a hard time finding a job but at least now we have some support and a warm bed to sleep.
When I was 14, I made the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. I knew I had to come out to my family and friends. I developed the courage one night during dinner to tell my Grandparents (they were my guardians at the time) and I thought they would accept me or at least come around. But, after they heard the words – “I’m Gay” – our dinner immediately turned into a fight and they ultimately kicked me out.
I had to go to a children’s shelter, where I stayed for 5 months, until I got sent to a place that only took you if you had done something wrong. I hadn’t done anything wrong. I was doing the right thing by being honest about who I am. Now, I’m 20 years old and life couldn’t be better. I have made so many friends and I recently reunited with my mother who loves me and accepts me for who I am. My life was so hard and there were so many nights that I thought about killing myself but now I’m an adult who has learned so much from my experiences.
I care about equality, but the reason I joined this site today was Ms. Lauper’s essay on Huffington Post today about homeless youth and the prevalence of LGBTQ youth in the homeless population.
I work as a case manager for a program in NYC called HASA. It’s a city agency that provides case management and financial assistance, among other things, to low income adults and children with HIV. On my caseload there are men and women from 19 to 70 who are struggling to live their lives with HIV. Some of my younger clients have spent time on the streets and there are many who left home at a young age because of discrimination and abuse directly related to their gender or their sexuality.
So I am for equality wholeheartedly. I joined today because I completely agree with Cyndi that people need to know that there are children who need a lot of help. I believe that parents of children who are dealing with issues of gender and sexuality also need help to better address the needs of their LGBTQ children.
When I was 15, My parents got a divorce. It happened right before holiday season. My mother accepted me, and my father seemed like he disapproved of me being gay. My father throughout my life had been physically and verbally abusive to me from when I first started remembering, to about 13 or so. Which is when I finally got up the courage to tell him to deal with his own issues or I would call the police.
My mother started dating again. After a week or two of dating a guy, she brought him home to meet me, and my 18 year old brother. We got along alright, but then my mother told him that I was gay. This changed his attitude towards me, instead of welcoming me into his life he began to isolate me from my mother. At this point my father had moved 600 miles away to live with his brother, taking my brother with him. I didn’t want to live with him because he was so abusive earlier in my life that I was afraid of what he would/could do to me without my mother there to stop him. So I decided to live with my stepfather’s negligence.
I never used to talk about my experience as a young, gay kid in Colorado Springs, CO. It was just too painful, too personal for me to want to talk about. As I’ve grown up, I’ve realized that telling my story sheds light on the truth, and illustrates–vividly–why issues that affect the LGBT Community are so damn important.
I was a good kid growing up in a middle class family in Colorado Springs. I attended private Christian schools, I loved my family, and I had amazing parents. My parents were so devoted to their children, always showering us with love and attention. My mother used to make my lunch every day with a little note telling me how much I meant to her. Each day my parents would drive us to and from school, and once a week we had a family movie night–our’s was the American family ideal, and I was truly blessed.
Unfortunately, one day that changed. When I was 13 years old, my parents found my journal in which I had admitted to myself that I was gay. In the space of 5 minutes my life changed drastically, and permanently.
Being raised in a conservative Christian family certainly isn’t a bad thing, but being taught that homosexuality is pretty much the worst thing under the sun and also happening to be gay don’t work well together. From the moment my parents discovered I was gay, till I legally separated myself from them (at the age of 16) my life was a living hell. My parents became verbally and emotionally abusive–telling me that they would have rather had an abortion than a gay son, or that it would have been better had I been born mentally retarded or with Downs Syndrome. Pretty bad, huh? Oh it gets worse. Thanks to the folks at Focus on the Family, my parents were referred to a “conversion therapy” organization known as NARTH–the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality. These are the people who think that being gay is something that can be “cured”.
When I was a teenager in the 1990s, I realized I needed to come out, but I had no one to talk too. I confided in a friend of mine, who betrayed my trust and told kids at my school. I was verbally abused, physically hurt, and taunted by classmates, so I told my mother. Instead of being supportive, I was told to change my mind about being bisexual. When I didn’t change my mind (because I couldn’t…) she sent me to my grandmother’s home up north where she would “straighten me out.”
Feeling isolated, I found a school support group (called GLOBE) and went to it where I was accepted and welcome. Unfortunately, the guidance counselor, a friend of my grandmother, found out I was in GLOBE and called my grandmother and told her, and I was kicked out of her home and sent back to my mom’s who didn’t want me there so she put me in a behavioral hospital for no other reason than I was “bi”– and to my mother– she rationalized there must be some sort of psychosis causing it.
I hope ALL people, gay or straight, support this cause because NO ONE should have to face homelessness or be harassed, or abused physically and/or verbally, like I was, because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
I have to say that from a young age I have wanted to try and help out with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. I grew up with a lesbian mother most of my life and I knew from a young age that I was bi-sexual. At the age of 16, I knew I wanted to start a LGBT teen group home for displaced teens, but I also knew I had to have a plan, that I had to be older before I could try to run my own group home.
So, I started planning with my moms. We started thinking what kind of house we would want and how we would want to run it. As I got older, I found out that LGBT teens and LGBT people in general have the highest suicide rates in the country. I found out that so many kids get put into the system when their parents find out about their sexual orientation. That so many of these kids get put into the foster care system, bounced around because no one wants them for the same reasons, and then they end up running away or getting into drugs and a lot of them eventually commit suicide.
I am a 57 year old male that has found love in a relationship of 20 years. I did not find it until later in life, as I had to find recovery to find my partner. We have a great life together, not perfect but more than I ever expected. I also found with sobriety that I had to find a larger purpose, so I went to college and got myself a new career as a substance abuse counselor. I was led to this by a force much larger than me. I have now worked in the field of addictions and social service for over 20 years.
I am currently working for an amazing program in Downtown Phoenix with homeless youth ages 18 to 21 who are transitioning to adulthood and need support to do this. Many of the youth that I work with have been disposed of or had to run from violence due to their being gay, lesbian, transgendered or just different. I love the work I get to do and love that I can be an out and proud gay man as an example to these youth. That is taking what some would call an ISSUE and turning it into a real positive. We need more role models. SO?
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Today is National Coming Out Day! It is a time for all of us - straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender - to speak up about why ...Author:
According to TIME: "In the largest study of its kind, government health officials report that gay, lesbian and bisexual teenagers are ...Author:
Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth make up an estimated 3% to 5% of the general U.S. population, but make up more than 20%—and possibly up to 40%—of the homeless youth population overall.