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Why are there so many LGBTQ+ homeless youth?


What is LGBTQ+ youth homelessness?

1 in 4 teens are forced to leave home after they come out. Despite significant progress for the LGBTQ+ community in recent years, coming out can still be a traumatic experience. Once homeless, young LGBTQ+ people are at high risk of facing violence, discrimination, sexual exploitation, and substance abuse. We spoke to Lucy Bowyer, Director of Services at akt, to find out more.

How you can make sure your friends are safe when they come out?

Go deeper than a “you okay?” text
Spend time with your friend after they come out, checking in to make sure they feel valid, secure, and supported.

Be proactive
Don’t say “I’m here if you need me”, as that places the responsibility on them to reach out to you for support. Be proactively communicative.

Continue to show up
Be visible as a friend in the weeks and months after they come out – not just in the immediate aftermath.

Be aware of their living situation
Pay attention to the people they live with. Be mindful of how they’ve spoken about their feelings about coming out, but also how the people they live with feel about it.

Ensure they have somewhere to stay
If you know they’re in bad situation, don’t just offer a place to stay – insist they can come and stay with you. If you don’t have a place to offer them, refer them to a charity that works with homeless LGBTQ+ people, like akt.

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How can akt help?

akt supports lgbtq+ young people aged 16-25 in the uk who are facing or experiencing homelessness or living in a hostile environment. They help young people into safe homes, employment, education, or training, by providing supports like emergency accommodation, advice, mentorship, life skills training and peer support networks.

Learn more about akt here.

image with artdirection

 

image with artdirection

 

Additional LGBTQ+ charities to support

Metro Charity
Equality and diversity charity working with anyone experiencing issues around sexuality, gender, equality, diversity or identity.

Trans Lifeline
Non-profit organisation offering direct emotional and financial support to trans people in crisis.

Micro Rainbow
Charity addressing homelessness of LGBTQ+ asylum seekers and refugees.

MindOut
UK-based mental health service for LGBTQ+ people.

The Trevor Project
Organisation that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ+ young people under 25.

UK Black Pride
Europe's largest pride celebration for LGBTQ+ people of African, Asian, Caribbean, Latin American and Middle Eastern-descent.

Rainbow Youth
Provides education, information, support and advocacy for LGBtQ+ youth in New Zealand.

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