Reports & Research

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth: An epidemic of homelessness

Report Type: 
January 30, 2007

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Ivan Diaz and Angelika Santiago at the Ali Forney Center

Iván Díaz and Angelika Torres seek services at the Ali Forney Center, which provides shelter, housing and social services to homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.

Of the estimated 1.6 million homeless American youth, between 20 and 40 percent identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT).

Why do LGBT youth become homeless? In one study, 26 percent of gay teens who came out to their parents/guardians were told they must leave home; LGBT youth also leave home due to physical, sexual and emotional abuse. Homeless LGBT youth are more likely to: use drugs, participate in sex work, and attempt suicide. Also, LGBT youth report they are threatened, belittled and abused at shelters by staff as well as other residents.

Read the executive summary of the report.