New York City’s Ali Forney Center will host a rally at 6PM tonight in Union Square.
As LGBT youth come out at younger ages, thousands face homophobia in their homes. Many are rejected by their families and driven from their homes. In New York City an LGBT teen is eight times more likely to experience homelessness than is a straight teen. LGBT youths suffering homelessness on the streets face terrible risk of HIV infection, physical and sexual assault, and suicide.
In 2008, a census of homeless youth in NYC found that every night almost 4000 youth are without stable housing. However, New York City and New York State combine funds to support fewer than 200 youth shelter beds. In 2011 Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature cut funds for homeless youth by 50%, and Mayor Bloomberg sought to cut funds for homeless youth by 60%.
On October 24th the LGBT community will come together and rally to support our most vulnerable youth and demand that every homeless youth in NYC be provided safe shelter. We will come together to affirm the basic human value of our youth and to assert that they should not be thrown out of their homes, nor should they be left on the streets without shelter. We want our elected officials to hear loud and clear that we are a community that will seek to protect our teens.
I will attend and look forward to seeing you there.