LGBTQ in The Streets
Did you know that 26% of the LGBTQ youth have trouble coming out to their parents? (Human Rights Campaign). Where do they go when they need support? Oakland does not have enough support centers for the LGBTQ community therefore youth are turning to the streets and tragedies are occurring.
When a member of the LGBTQ community comes out to their family, and they are not accepted they go straight to the streets. To begin, in an article by ED-Sources I learned that many LGBTQ teens are living in the streets because they don’t have support from there families and there are support centers in the community. ED-Sources published “ Forty-three percent were forced out by their parents because of their sexual orientation or gender identity” (ED-Sources). This is important to know because almost half of the LGBTQ youth were in a nonsupportive community. It matters because where are they supposed to go? We should be asking ourselves where these teens are going if there are not enough support centers. Another example that shows what would happen if a teen is scared of coming out is an interview with Xavier Rodriguez, a receptionist at La Clinica De La Raza. He has a transgender sister and one of the questions I asked him was “Why did it take her 2-3 years after she knew to come out to your family?” he answered “She said because she was ready to move out if they didn’t accept her”(Rodriguez). I immediately thought, wow, no one should hide being themselves for two to three years after finding out who they are because they have a fear of getting kicked out. This is valuable because she had to wait 2-3 years in a body they are not comfortable in. For a transgender person, it is more complicated because they are not able to see what they want, and are forced to live up to peoples expectations. If there were more support centers in Oakland that fear of getting kicked out wouldn’t be as scary and more people would come out.
Also, some tragedies that may occur if there is no support would be suicide, teasing, homelessness, and harassment.For example, in an article by CNN, it explains how the chances of a member of the LGBTQ community thinking about suicide are very high. CNN states, “Looking at answers in the 2015 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey in the US, researchers found that 40% of high school students who are considered sexual minorities — who identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual or questioning, meaning they are unsure of their orientation — were seriously considering suicide” (CNN). This supports my claim because these people are humans and they are young teenagers who could have a very bright future if they had the support they need. There are many items that could lead to attempting or thinking about suicide but coming out and being true to oneself shouldn’t be one of them. This is why we need more support centers in our community because it is not simply dealing with so much stress and not have anyone to talk to, that will lead to suicides. Another example is an interview I had with Evelyn Navarro, an Oakland teen with friends who are part of the LGBTQ community. Evelyn considers herself an LGBTQ ally. Evelyn and I talked about the community I asked her, “Do you think people are disrespectful to the LGBTQ community?” she answered, “Hell yes, last time I saw this guy on BART and there were people talking about him only because he had rainbow socks on and I just felt bad for him” (Evelyn). This matters because there are many situations where we could do something and we decide not to. It is not fair for the LGBTQ community because they don’t deserve hate from the cisgender community.
Yes, it is true, Oakland has some support centers, but we still need more. The current support situation is three support centers in Oakland (Google Maps) Even though there is support there are not many that offer homes and food. The support centers focus on different plans. Some are to help come out to parents and some are just so the young people do not fall through depression. Also, some LGBTQ support centers in Oakland have a certain time they are closed.For example, the Pacific Center for Human Growth opens at 10 am and closes at 9 pm every day except Sunday; Sunday it is closed. The Genders and Sexualities Alliance Network is open 24 hours except for Saturday and Sunday, those days are closed.
In conclusion, the LGBTQ community needs more support centers that provide the LGBTQ youth shelters. Not having support centers for the LGBTQ community is pushing many youths to the streets. The support that is being given now is very helpful but we can do so much more for those who are scared of coming out.
A campaign, Human Rights. “Growing Up LGBT in America: View and Share Statistics.” Human Rights Campaign, www.hrc.org/youth-report/view-and-share-statistics.
The Human Rights Campaign is an organization used to show statistics about the world. This organization is trustworthy because the information is based on a survey answered by the LGBTQ community ages 13-17.
EdSource. “Young, gay and living on the street: LGBT youth face increased odds of homelessness.” Daily Bulletin, Daily Bulletin, 6 Jan. 2018, www.dailybulletin.com/2018/01/06/young-gay-and-living-on-the-street-lgbt-youth-face-increased-odds-of-homelessness/.
Many teens who decide to come out to their families end up in the streets because they may not be accepted and have nowhere to go. An LGBTQ center would come in handy but another issue that we have is that there is not enough in Oakland. This is a believable source because it is an independent journalism organization that works to engage Californians education.
Not enough LGBTQ support centers, literally only one in Oakland and one closes at 10. This proves that if a member of the LGBTQ community gets kicked out of there home they won’t be able to go somewhere safe because there are not enough support groups. They also need to advertise them so people know where it is. Google Maps are trustworthy because they show accurate data and they allow people to give reviews.
Christensen, Jen. “LGBQ teens face serious suicide risk, research finds.” CNN, Cable News Network, 19 Dec. 2017,www.cnn.com/2017/12/19/health/lgbq-teens-suicide-risk-study/index.html.
The suicide statistics show that the year 2015, a lot of the LGBTQ attempted suicide. Almost half of the bisexual community attempted suicide. This Is prove we need more help centers and we need to do something so that 2018 is not as hard as 2015. We should take this as a warning and do everything in our power to stop suicide because everyone matters. This is believable because CNN is a well-known organization.
Navarro, Evelyn. “LGBTQ Hate.” 4 Jan. 2018.Evelyn is a member of the community and considers herself to be an ally of the LGBTQ community.
Evelyn is a very social person and I wondered if she has an encounter with a member of the LGBTQ. She knows what LGBTQ stands for, she is a very loud person sow when she told me that she was on BART and she saw a guy getting weird looks because he had rainbow socks. And she told me she didn’t do anything about it shocked me, she was in a situation where she could have said something and that would’ve been the beginning of improving our community. This is just one example she talked about but we both knew it was not the only one because there is a lot of hate towards the LGBTQ community.
Rodriguez, Xavier. “LGBTQ and Families.” 30 Dec. 2017.
Xavier is a receptionist at La Clinica De La Raza, the conversation I had with him was very interesting. He talked about his own sister and he challenges through life because of it. His sister is transgender and he talked about the struggle of coming out to their family. Culture also has a big impact, his family is Columbian and he said that his parents always made fun of a guy with another guy. Xavier’s sister knew she wanted to switch from a boy to a female since she was in elementary but didn’t tell anyone other than her family. The reason she held that secret for that long was that she wanted to be sure she would be able to move out if her parents didn’t accept her. This is a believable source because it was personal and it could be challenging for someone to come out and not having parental support.
LGBTQ in The Streets by Liz is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.