Nov 24, 2014

Thanksgiving Approaches: Do not forget the Poor LGBT Youth

Cajun fried turkey, cornbread dressing, garlic mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, baked macaroni and cheese, sweet potato pie, red velvet cake… hungry yet? Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and in households across America families will gather for an annual feast. But unfortunately for many LGBT teens Thanksgiving will come and go as just another day.

Each year numerous LGBT youth are pushed out of their homes. According to a recent Williams Institute study, most of these young people turn to shelters and/or the streets because of family rejection. The study cites the top five reasons LGBT youth are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless as: 

The National Coalition for the Homeless says 40% of all homeless youth identify as LGBT. That statistic is particularly alarming when only 7% of the general youth population label themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. The numbers are overwhelming disproportionate.

This tragedy seldom garners the national attention it deserves. Even within the LGBT community the topic isn't discussed as it should be. And while there are organizations dedicated to assisting homeless LGBT youth, the work remains plentiful. This Thanksgiving Edugaytion would like to encourage supporters to reach out to the homeless LGBT youth in their local city. Here are some ways you can help:
  • share a meal 
  • give a jacket/coat
  • create and distribute homeless “survival kits” (toiletries, blankets, snacks, socks, books, etc.)
  • volunteer at a shelter
  • organize an event for a shelter (board game/movie night, musical performance, holiday party, etc.)
* For a local listing of shelters and organizations committed to LGBT youth homelessness, see the following link:

Remember that no single kind act is too small. And if we all do whatever we can, our collective effort will make a great impact. So take some time, and resources, next week to brighten the holiday season for those who need it most. Happy Thanksgiving!!!