6 ways to be a better ally to young LGBTQ+ people facing homelessness | EveryYouth ®

1. Educate Yourself

Take the time to learn about the unique challenges and struggles faced by young LGBTQ+ people experiencing homelessness. For example, did you know that:  

    • One in five LGBTQ+ people have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives. [Stonewall 2018]
    • 25% of trans people have experienced homelessness [Stonewall 2018]
    • Over half (59%) of LGBTQ+ young people have faced some form of discrimination or harassment while accessing services. [akt 2021]
    • Half of LGBTQ+ young people (50%) said they feared that expressing their LGBTQ+ identity to family members would lead to them being evicted. [akt 2021

    2. Listen and Validate

    If you work with young people, it’s important to practice active listening and validate the experiences of young LGBTQ+ people without judgment. Creating a safe and supportive space for them to express themselves authentically is paramount. 

    3. Amplify Their Voices

    It’s important to use your platform to amplify the voices and stories of young LGBTQ+ experiencing homelessness. You can share their experiences and perspectives to help create change.  

    Adam’s story.

    Adam grew up in the care system, but after they came out as LGBTQ+, they faced discrimination from their foster placement. Read about their journey here.  

    Andrew’s story. 

    After Andrew came out as LGBTQ+ to his family, they asked him to leave. For years he lived in insecure housing, sofa-surfed and stayed in emergency accommodation. As a result, his mental health deteriorated. Read his story here. 

    4. Provide Supportive Resources

    Connect young LGBTQ+ people with resources and services tailored to their needs, such as LGBTQ+ affirming accommodation and mental health support. We have a list of our favourite resources below: 

    • AKT: Support for LGBTQ+ 16-25 year olds facing homelessness
    • The Mix: Online support and advice for under 25s
    • LGBT Foundation: Advice, support and information for LGBTQ+ people
    • London Friend: Support services for LBGTQ+ people in London and online.
    • Gendered Intelligence: Support services for young trans people and their families 

    5. Respect Their Identities

    Respect and affirm young LGBTQ+ people’s gender identities and sexual orientations. Remember to use the correct names and pronouns, and advocate for their right to self-identify without discrimination. 

    6. Understand the Intersectionality of Identities

    We know that young LGBTQ+ people disproportionately experience homelessness. But when we factor in race and ethnicity, the disparities become even more glaring.  
    Systemic racism, homophobia, and transphobia intersect to create a web of discrimination and marginalisation. These young people often confront multiple layers of stigma, which can exacerbate their vulnerability to homelessness. Familial rejection, discriminatory accommodation providers and economic disparities compounds their risk of homelessness. 
    By fostering inclusive and affirming environments, dismantling systemic barriers, and promoting equity and justice, we can create a future where all young LGBTQ+ people, regardless of race or identity, have the opportunity to thrive.  

    Remember that everyone can play a meaningful role in being allies to young LGBTQ+ people experiencing homelessness and contribute to creating a more inclusive and equitable society. 

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