Around 40% of young homeless people in the U.S. are LGBT, even though people with these identities only constitute around 8% of American youth.
Hearing that 40% of homeless people are LGBT is upsetting enough, but the statistics become even more shocking when you look at how many LGBT people are homeless. At least 320,000-400,000 gay and transgender youth are homeless every year.
A large part of the reason so many LGBT people end up homeless is that their families kick them out. Tragically, this happens to over a quarter of LGBT teens when they come out, and over half face disapproval from family members.
Other alarming facts about LGBT homeless youth are:
- They commit suicide at higher rates (62%) than heterosexual homeless youth (29%)
- They are roughly 7.4 times more likely to experience acts of sexual violence than heterosexual homeless youth
- While homeless youth typically experience severe family conflict as the primary reason for their homelessness, LGBT youth are twice as likely to experience sexual abuse before the age of 12.
- LGBT youth, once homeless, are at higher risk for victimization, mental health problems, and unsafe sexual practices.
- 58.7% of LGBT homeless youth have been sexually victimized compared to 33.4% of heterosexual homeless youth.