When we were asked to choose a research topic on an issue relating to gender and welfare in Canada, I was immediately drawn to the issue of LGBT homelessness, especially after leading a seminar on homelessness that included literature on LGBT youth homelessness. The more I read about the issue the more I wanted to understand what it means for LGBT youth to be homeless and how their status as LGBT individuals affects their experiences with homelessness and housing insecurity. One of the major things that has struck me over the course of my research is the fact that many of the people being discussed in the literature are LGBT youth who are around the same age as me and my friends and as a queer identified individual it really strikes me how lucky I am. In the states it is estimated that 320,000-400,000 LGBT youth are homeless, I am one of the lucky ones. As someone who comes from a very liberally minded family who accepted me from the very moment I came out, I can never even begin to imagine what it means trying to address homophobia within the shelter system as well as within your own family and community. The fact that I have had an extremely difficult time finding local resources available for LGBT youth experiencing homelessness only increases my drive to learn more about the topic and what we can do to make life better for queer homeless youth. I am eager to learn about the experiences of other queer youth and what we can do to improve the situation for homeless youth who are gay and trans.
April 18, 2013