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Left Behind: LGBT Homeless Youth Struggle to Survive on the Streets

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posted on Aug, 8 2014 @ 09:30 PM
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Left Behind: LGBT Homeless Youth Struggle to Survive on the Streets


NEW YORK – A yellow cab creeps along a desolate Manhattan street, following Aludein Marks and a friend on a cold spring night.

Marks, a teen who identifies as a transgender female, knew what the driver wanted—sex—but she wasn’t doing that work anymore. The cabbie trailed her for several minutes before finally driving off.

“This life, it gets depressing,” said Marks, a soft-spoken 19-year-old who goes by the name Diamond. In the last year, she had experienced periods of homelessness, sleeping at a park, friends’ places and shelters after fighting with her mother over a number of issues, including her romantic interest in men and her gender identity. (Diamond’s mother declined comment).

Despite the gains made for gay rights in recent years, homeless LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) youth have benefited little. Instead, their numbers on the streets have swelled, representing up to an estimated 40 percent of the nation’s young adult homeless population, data shows. In many cases, LGBT youth choose or are forced to leave home because their families don’t accept them. Once homeless, they are exposed to the perils of street life: violence, survival sex, and, in some cases, HIV.

Reliable research in this area has been limited, but a survey of shelters nationwide from 2011 to 2012 found that up to 40 percent of homeless young adults were LGBT, according to the study conducted by three human rights groups. Overall, the National Alliance to End Homelessness roughly estimates that 550,000 people up to 24 years old are homeless over the course of a year.


((Was going to upload two videos from the article but I couldn't figure out how to do so))


I hate it when parents think they failed as parents when they find out their child is LGBTQ+ but they actually fail by abandoning their child.

It is sad how many people have to suffer because of ignorance & refusal to accept their child for who they are.

When someone comes out as LGBTQ+ people think there is a sudden change in who that person is but that's false. They've always been the that way so they are staying the same. They might no longer feel ashamed to hide who they are so that might make it seem like there is a change, especially if the LGBTQ+ person is now acting more natural but that's a good thing.

Hopefully they can get more beds for homeless youth in shelters or even open up special LGBTQ+ youth shelters.
edit on 8-8-2014 by knoledgeispower because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 8 2014 @ 09:51 PM
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It is sad how many people have to suffer because of ignorance & refusal to accept their child for who they are.


How do you know they are ignorant of what their child is? Maybe that is why they don't accept them.

I don't condone the actions of the parents, but assuming someone else is ignorant just because they don't care for someone else's behavior or lifestyle is, in itself, ignorant.

It is ironic that you judge others for judging others.

edit on 2014/8/8 by Metallicus because: ETA



posted on Aug, 8 2014 @ 10:09 PM
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a reply to: Metallicus

Don't you understand? If you do not understand or agree with my way of thinking then you are ignorant. So much for the tolerance of the left.

You must accept my lifestyle, but I do not have to accept how you think. It's quite alright to condemn you for your thinking (never mind common courtesy, never mind tolerance, never mind freedom and liberty), but you better not condemn my lifestyle.

I will, however, agree that parenting these days seems to be something most, or many parents are totally clueless, or uninterested in doing well. They are more interested in what their smartphone is doing than what their kids are doing.

Children are born innocent. It is up to the parents, family and society to totally screw them up.
edit on 8-8-2014 by bbracken677 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 8 2014 @ 11:00 PM
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If I had a kid and they turned out LGBT i wouldn't care. Jesus said who are we to judge.



posted on Aug, 8 2014 @ 11:07 PM
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a reply to: knoledgeispower

The tragedy of these young people's lives is heartbreaking, because they are outcasts through no fault of their own. All that it would take to improve their situation is a lessening of others' hostility, bigotry and condemnation, but that is the last thing that will happen.

You will find little sympathy for them here on ATS, I fear. This is a conspiracy site; it attracts paranoiacs, people who for psychological reasons attach themselves to the extreme fringes of the political right. They are full of hate and fear; and I'm afraid that many of them will use this thread simply as a means to express it.

edit on 9/8/14 by Astyanax because: of hate and fear.



posted on Aug, 8 2014 @ 11:31 PM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
a reply to: knoledgeispower

The tragedy of these young people's lives is heartbreaking, because they are outcasts through no fault of their own. All that it would take to improve their situation is a lessening of others' hostility, bigotry and condemnation, but that is the last thing that will happen.

You will find little sympathy for them here on ATS, I fear. This is a conspiracy site; it attracts paranoiacs, people who for psychological reasons attach themselves to the extreme fringes of the political right. They are full of hate and fear; and I'm afraid that many of them will use this thread simply as a means to express it.

It is a heartbreaking situation.
You are correct in assessing the fact that there are many paranoiacs and extreme right-wingers haunting the forums.
That's just the law of averages when you're dealing with a large number of people.
Based on my experience here, the statistics are tilted towards a generally intelligent and compassionate group of participants.
Most of the characters I have crossed here are good people.
edit on 8-8-2014 by skunkape23 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 8 2014 @ 11:36 PM
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a reply to: Metallicus

Sorry but to me there is 0 reason why you should disown your own child so yes I will judge those who do so.



posted on Aug, 8 2014 @ 11:36 PM
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While the main spotlight here is on the basis of what sexual preference these troubled youth choose, i feel there should be emphasis just in general of the struggle many of us go through, young or old. The issue isn't whether or not the persons gay or straight. It's about the social and economic issues that create disorder in the minds of many families and individuals. We learn how to survive in this straight line of expectation when we grew up in environmental waves, breaking free of the narrow mindedness. We suffer in complacency. Even though there is the solution all around us when we gaze at the nature surrounding us. This struggle is never ending in a system that was only to be upheld by ignorant contentedness of distraction. No need to pity anyone, support them with a helping hand to let them and others know that mutual understanding outside of the cyclical fast paced race to death is there.



posted on Aug, 8 2014 @ 11:39 PM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
a reply to: knoledgeispower

The tragedy of these young people's lives is heartbreaking, because they are outcasts through no fault of their own. All that it would take to improve their situation is a lessening of others' hostility, bigotry and condemnation, but that is the last thing that will happen.

You will find little sympathy for them here on ATS, I fear. This is a conspiracy site; it attracts paranoiacs, people who for psychological reasons attach themselves to the extreme fringes of the political right. They are full of hate and fear; and I'm afraid that many of them will use this thread simply as a means to express it.


I know it's risky & people may come to dump their hate here but it's a risk I'm willing to take. If it helps spread the word, even to a very small percentage then I've done my job.



posted on Aug, 8 2014 @ 11:52 PM
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It's sickening that in 2014 there are still people who are so selfish and offended by something that doesn't affect them directly in any way other than " what will people think of me" that they would cast their own children to the streets.



posted on Aug, 8 2014 @ 11:53 PM
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Gzjee, I knew it wasn`t as good as over here (Netherlands), but those numbers are really shocking.

I can only hope a lot more Americans grow a heart in these matters quickly, this is really sad.

We have shows over here so teens have the courage to come out, never seen parents turn their backs on them (and they check up later with them, so it`s not only in front of the camera at first). Maybe it happens every now and then, but not much.

Personally I can`t think of why you would do such a thing...

...only reason I can come up with is Christianity doesn`t play a huge role over here anymore.



posted on Aug, 8 2014 @ 11:56 PM
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Boohoo get over yourself and get a job.



posted on Aug, 9 2014 @ 12:40 AM
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a reply to: Fargoth

You can have a job & still be homeless. Some people can't afford a place to live even though they are working & others can't find a place to live.



posted on Aug, 9 2014 @ 12:43 AM
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originally posted by: BornAgainAlien
Gzjee, I knew it wasn`t as good as over here (Netherlands), but those numbers are really shocking.

I can only hope a lot more Americans grow a heart in these matters quickly, this is really sad.

We have shows over here so teens have the courage to come out, never seen parents turn their backs on them (and they check up later with them, so it`s not only in front of the camera at first). Maybe it happens every now and then, but not much.

Personally I can`t think of why you would do such a thing...

...only reason I can come up with is Christianity doesn`t play a huge role over here anymore.


I think it isn't just about Christianity, my Dad is a Catholic & my Mom is a Christian. Neither of them have a problem with me being bisexual, my Mom even told me she knew I was gay since I was a young child. I think it's more about ignorance about LGBTQ+ & feeling like other people will think less of you if you have a LGBTQ+ child. "Let's not hang out with Mr & Mrs Smith because their son Bobby is gay. They obviously are terrible parents" & god knows what other terrible things people think.



posted on Aug, 9 2014 @ 12:54 AM
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originally posted by: knoledgeispower

originally posted by: BornAgainAlien
Gzjee, I knew it wasn`t as good as over here (Netherlands), but those numbers are really shocking.

I can only hope a lot more Americans grow a heart in these matters quickly, this is really sad.

We have shows over here so teens have the courage to come out, never seen parents turn their backs on them (and they check up later with them, so it`s not only in front of the camera at first). Maybe it happens every now and then, but not much.

Personally I can`t think of why you would do such a thing...

...only reason I can come up with is Christianity doesn`t play a huge role over here anymore.


I think it isn't just about Christianity, my Dad is a Catholic & my Mom is a Christian. Neither of them have a problem with me being bisexual, my Mom even told me she knew I was gay since I was a young child. I think it's more about ignorance about LGBTQ+ & feeling like other people will think less of you if you have a LGBTQ+ child. "Let's not hang out with Mr & Mrs Smith because their son Bobby is gay. They obviously are terrible parents" & god knows what other terrible things people think.


Yeah, but that`s actual a typical thing you see way more with Christians over here (we still have them here, just in small numbers), not all of them are so, but a reasonable part of them are.



posted on Aug, 9 2014 @ 01:12 AM
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a reply to: BornAgainAlien

It isn't Christianity that makes people intolerant and fearful. It's just that fearful, intolerant, angry people tend to gravitate towards religion. These people would be bigots anyway; Christianity doesn't make them better or worse, though of course some sects and individual churches are sympathetic, enabling environments for bigotry.



posted on Aug, 9 2014 @ 01:41 AM
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I could care less if they are homosexual.

They are no worse off than every other homeless person out there.

Why even single them out in a story? Unless we are going to break down the homeless in categories. Black, White, Asian, homo, straight, latino and so on.



posted on Aug, 9 2014 @ 02:25 AM
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All I am going to say on this is. Any parent should be ashamed of themselves for abandoning a child for being gay or bisexual or transgendered. Unless that child stabbed or shot you or murders little old ladies for fun. You should never abandon your child. So I agree there.

i am pro gay rights. Who you want to sleep with and be in love with does not bother me in the slightest. But what does being LGBT have to do with being homeless. It sucks being homeless for anyone. There are homeless shelters out there. They let LGBT people in. They don't screen for that. The OP says there should be additional housing for LGBT homeless. There should be more programs and temporary housing to help all homeless get on their feet. Are you saying LGBT people can not live with straight people. That is setting yourself apart. And only makes the problem worse. IMHO.



edit on 9-8-2014 by karmicecstasy because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 9 2014 @ 04:30 AM
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a reply to: knoledgeispower

The person in your source is 19 years old.. In my country that is an adult... Don't go blaming the parents, this person is old enough to fend for his/her self. No point moping around the streets and signing up for news reports, get a job, do what everyone else should be doing at that age.



posted on Aug, 9 2014 @ 05:45 AM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.


The article doesn't say why Mark is homeless or why he doesn't have a 'regular' job. I wish it went into more detail. It would tell us more.

That being said, life on the street is hard for anyone no matter their sexual orientation. Our government is so busy helping out people on the other side of the planet with their 'issues', and yet they forget about Americans hurting right here at home. DC has some of the worst homeless rates in the country. You'd think that the DC politicians would open their eyes to what is around them.

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.






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