The Forsaken

“For LGBT kids who remain homeless, the stakes are clearly life and death. They are seven times more likely than their straight counterparts to be the victims of a crime, often a violent one. Studies have shown they are more than three times more likely to engage in survival sex – for which shelter is the payment more often than cash. They are more likely to lack access to medical care, more likely to attempt suicide, more likely to use hard drugs and more likely to be arrested for survival crimes. According to the Equity Project, leaving home because of family­ rejection is the single greatest predictor of involvement with the juvenile-justice system for LGBT youth. And for so many of these outcomes, the clock starts ticking the moment a kid hits the streets. “We know we have 24 to 48 hours to get to them before they do anything illegal – whether it’s selling drugs, stealing or prostitution,” says Westbrook. “It’s a survival thing. In America, we lose six queer kids a day to the street. That’s every four hours a queer kid dies, whether it be from freezing to death or getting the shit beat out of them or a drug overdose. This is our next real plague.”

Read the full article on Rolling Stone