Photo vis Huffington Post
The US Interagency Council on Homelessness’s page specifically for dealing with homelessness of LGBT+ youth has been deleted. The page, previously found here, is now a dead link, reading 404 page does not exist. The page for youth homelessness is still active, found here, but it does not mention anything to do with LGBT+ homelessness issues. While there is a page listed for ending “all homelessness” there is absolutely no mention of LGBT+ people on it.
With the new US government rampantly deleting other pages off government websites, it’s not a surprise that the page was taken down, however it’s an unpleasant foresight about what’s going to come. While right wing Republican supporters have been claiming that Trump is the most “pro LGBT+” president yet, because he held the gay flag up upside down that one time, in that totally not staged event, he’s made it very clear that LGBT+ youth are not on his, or his governments radar at all. As if Mike Pence wasn’t a big enough hint about that.
The rates of LGBT+ youth homelessness is dire. The City of Toronto did a study profiling it’s homeless youth, and found that over 20% of the youth in the shelter system were LGBT+. There have been wider studies done, and they have suggested that 25-40% of homeless youth are LGBT+.
Discrimination, homophobia and transphobia inside the shelter system itself, lead researchers to wonder if more of the homeless youth are LGBT+ but don’t want to identify in case of harassment or discrimination. They have cited that the shelter staff aren’t usually trained in providing care or services for the LGBT+ youth, and there aren’t very many accessible services for the teens.
In the US alone, they estimate that 1.6 million youth are homeless each year, and with 40% of them being LGBT+.
Statistics also suggest that LGBT+ youth make up 7% of the total population, so that’s a drastic jump for homeless youth. LGBT+ youth face transphobia, homophobia and abuse at home, and then have to face it again, when they’re at the shelter, or simply trying to live.
Homeless LGBT+ youth have a high chance of being sexually abused, being victimized, and being assaulted. Studies suggest that gay men are up to 15 times more likely to be sexually abused during their life, as opposed to heterosexual men, and lesbian and bisexual women are 3 times more likely than heterosexual women to be assaulted. The study does not even include figures for sexual assault rates of trans people, or non binary people, and they are at even greater risk of abuse than cis gay people.
Trump has one again proved he doesn’t care, even for a split second, about any member of society that’s at a greater chance for abuse, and, as everyone has been saying, is anti-LGBT+ and LGBT protections. Taking this page away will hurt LGBT+ youth. It shows that the government has no interest in supporting LGBT+ youth, and maybe they don’t even think that the issue is serious enough to have it’s own page. Which is a disgustingly wrong, dangerous fallacy, that will end with people’s lives lost.