Working paper on LGBTQ youth and homelessness in NS
LGBTQ+ youth are not only over-represented among youth experiencing homelessness, but they are at a higher risk of attempting suicide, engaging in survival sex work, and experiencing homophobic and transphobic violence compared to their cisgender and heterosexual counterparts.
LGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness find themselves in the double bind of being unsafe both as home and in the shelter system. While more shelters are adopting trans-inclusion policies, this work is not going far enough. Our current shelter system continues to exclude and marginalize LGBTQ+ youth through homophobic and transphobic violence, gender-segregated spaces, and lack of supports and programming specifically for LGBTQ+ youth.
It is time to address the needs of this often overlooked and forgotten population. We need to do more to support LGBTQ+ experiencing homelessness and we hope that this study will be a call to action for both our government and our communities.