Meet the LGBT youth who chose homelessness over staying in the closet

Voices from the Street: Crosscut talks with LGBT youth who chose to leave home to avoid conflict.
Crosscut archive image.

Homeless in the University District

Voices from the Street: Crosscut talks with LGBT youth who chose to leave home to avoid conflict.

Crosscut archive image.
Homeless in the University District

Young people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender are far more likely to become homeless than their straight peers. In the 2014 Count Un In survey (of some 800 homeless or unstably housed young people in King County), 22 percent identified as LGBT. While there are no hard numbers for comparison, that 22 percent figure is at least twice as high as the percentage of LGBT youth and young adults in the general population.*

It’s not difficult to guess why so many homeless youth are also LGBT.

In this installment of Voices From the Street, Matthew, Tyler and Alder sat down with Crosscut at the ROOTS Young Adult Shelter in Seattle's University District to talk about coming out, conflict with their parents and life on the streets. Forced to choose between their identity and their family, all three still struggle over whether coming out was worth the hardship they’ve endured as a result.

*Surveys in Massachusetts, New York and California estimate that 4-10 percent of youth and young adults identify as LGBT. 

Go here for more of Crosscut's Kids@Risk coverage

University District photo by Allyce Andrew. 

  

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