Gay and transgender youth make up 40% of the homeless youth population in America. But what happens when they grow up?
In a special Pride month series from The Advocate, our friend Sassafras Lowrey and our very own Forty to None Project Director Jama Shelton explore this question by interviewing leaders in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender movement who once experienced homelessness themselves. As many formerly homeless young people will tell you, sharing one’s experiences with homelessness is a kind of coming out in itself. Jama put it this way in the inaugural article:
“I had spent so much time trying to make part of my past not matter that I had not considered the potential impact, or how my experiences could actually matter to someone else. Part of the hiding, for me, was about the minimization and denial of my experiences of being kicked out, part of it was about social work training related to boundaries and self-disclosure, and much of it was about shame. What would other people think?”
The goal of this series is not only to give individuals a platform to share their stories, but also to challenge whatever assumptions people may have of gay and transgender youth experiencing homelessness.