My top three:
LGBTQ Youth Homelessness
- Depending on which resources you reference it is estimated that gender and sexual minority youth make up 40 percent of homeless youth in the United States.
- At the intersection of race and gender and sexuality diverse young people the fact that the Congressional Research Center shows double the proportion of black homeless youth makes this and the following issues even more troubling.
Law & “Order”
- LGBTQ youth on the street often face harsher penalties for petty crimes.
- In some states running away from home (which an intolerant home environment may have precipitated) is considered a criminal offense if the individual is a minor.
- Survival sex, detailed a bit in this article, becomes a last resource but police may use condom possession in general as evidence of prostitution for transgender women.
- An inequitable percentage of queer and transgender youth, especially youth of color, are detained or imprisoned.
Safety and Violence
- In addition to facing heightened police attention for prostitution and other crimes transgender women face the danger of physical violence. With at least twelve trans women of color’s deaths under investigation as hate crimes it is especially frightening.
- The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs report (2013) indicates that LGBT people of color experience physical violence almost twice as often compared to white LGBT people.
- Issues of domestic violence in same-sex partnerships do not have adequate resources allocated.
- According to GLSEN’s 2013 School Climate Survey, while things are improving, there are still large gaps in LGBTQ student safety and support at school.
There are tons of other issues that remain important. The prior three are just the ones that stand out to me within the United States. Conversion therapy, marriage equality, representation in media, employment discrimination, and the struggles faced by LGBTQ senior citizens are among the big areas of concern. I suppose as an educator and youth advocate I am more aware of safety, homelessness, and police interactions than the others. Outside the United States there are much more intense struggles. The international LGBTQ advocacy scene really interests and frightens me. Even suspicions result in treatment that is beyond anything I could have imagined even in totalitarian societies. Those folks remind us that, as a global society, we have a long way to go.