I just finished reading an article by Colin Walmsley in the Huffington Post about the LGBT Marriage Bill passing and how this doesn't help Queer Youth of Color who are homeless and struggling in any way, shape or form. And how the Queer Community - mostly White, Gay, Cisgendered Males - are doing everything they can do to eject the queer youth from traditionally queer spaces - like Christopher Street and Greenwich Village. Saying that there's no longer a need for Safe Spaces for Queer Youth. (Link to his article at the bottom.)
Yeah, sure, if you're a 15 year old White Twink, you MIGHT be getting along ok. MIGHT. But chances are you're getting picked on at school and you're not safe at home. Maybe if you're a White Twink, you're safe in spaces in NYC that you wouldn't have been 10 years ago.
But what if you're a Black or Latino, homeless, queer youth? Or a trans-girl who's homeless? What are you supposed to do then? You certainly can't get safety at the local Starbucks, never mind that you can't afford the drinks there. And apparently, according to Walmsley, there's a plethora of high end coffee shops, and dog salons etc in Greenwich Village which used to house much more affordable fare and spaces for youth to hang out.
And where's the The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Center in all this? This is a list of their youth programming: leadership, performing arts, social groups. Didn't see anything specifically focused on homeless queer youth.
Walmsley focuses on some facts that are particularly disturbing. Here:
But the problem is, it hadn't. Over 20 percent of all LGBT youth are homeless, and 40 percent of all homeless youth are LGBT. 58 percent of queer homeless youth have been sexually assaulted. 64 percent of transgender people make less than $25,000 per year. 41 percent of transgender people and 62 percent of queer homeless youth have attempted suicide. And 10 transgender women have been murdered in the U.S. so far this year.
And yet, as middle and upper class gays poured time and money into the fight for gay marriage, these and other less marketable LGBT issues were largely forgotten. The number of queer youths on the streets rose. Violence against transgender people increased
I think it's great that we now have the right to marry. But how about now taking care of the most vulnerable of our Community. If we're going to continue to call ourselves a Community, we best take care of those who are must in jeopardy. Otherwise, we're not a Community, we're a Minority, like any other Minority that doesn't have a whit of responsibility for the other members in the group.
So what are we? A Minority? Or a Community?
Colin's article can be found here: CLICK HERE