ONTD Political

LGBTQ youth and the foster care system

11:00 pm - 11/08/2012

There are approximately 400,000 youth in foster care in the United States. A disproportionate number of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) children end up in the system, though an exact count is unknown.

This month on IN THE LIFE, seven LGBTQ youth from the foster care system share their stories. Failed by their families, these young people go on to face rejection from foster families, invisibility within the system and incredible obstacles to healthy development.

source: In The Life Media
poetic_pixie_13 9th-Nov-2012 02:28 pm (UTC)
Trigger warning for... a lot of different shit that queer and trans street kids have to deal with.

So many of these kids end up forced into sex work to feed themselves and become hooked on drugs to numb the pain of dealing with societal homophobia and transphobia, rejection from their family and friends, and what you have to do on the streets to survive. It's heartbreaking. These kids don't get any support from the system where they're forced to recloset themselves if they go to places like shelters, especially if the only available help are run by churches and other religious groups.

It's incredibly rare for shelters to respect trans folks' gender id, instead these kids who've just gone through hell are forced to live in gender segregated shelters that force them to stay in rooms based on the gender they were assigned at birth, not their actual gender. Which is not only incredibly traumatizing and disgusting but often leads to harassment, abuse, violence sexual assault... So these kids go back on the street. And are often forced into sex work because that's their only way to earn money, especially when they don't have any kind of resources to get things like proper ID.

And of course a lot of these kids are of colour because resources for homeless youth of colour are already so scarce and people suck.

Past that, surviving on the streets and staying in once piece, physically and mentally, is not possible. Some kids build up their armour, they bury their pain and sadness and use their anger to keep out everything and everyone else. And because of this they aren't always sympathetic when other folks can't do the same. If they just sucked it up why can't everyone else? Then there are those who numb the pain with drugs and sex/sex work, and so have a high risk of contracting STIs and HIV/AIDS. There are kids who have undiagnosed mental illnesses (that are often exacerbated by the shit they deal with) and/or don't have access to the meds they need. ANd all these kids are susceptible to pimps and dealers and predators and bangers who know exactly how to manipulate angry kids with hungry bellies and no roof. These kids are forced into sex work and dealing and using, often raped and physical and mentally abused by the adults who claim to be taking care of them.

But marriage equality is the biggest issue in the queer community. (Especially since trans folks don't exist...) Cause our kids, especially if they're of colour or trans or make the wrong 'choices' or involve getting our hands dirty, don't matter.
crossfire 9th-Nov-2012 05:41 pm (UTC)
But marriage equality is the biggest issue in the queer community.

Someone said this to me yesterday. I was...~discussing~ Prop 35 and this very topic of queer and trans homeless youth being forced into prostitution came up and they said that. I was stunned. And I'm not given to being speechless, let me tell you.
dearmisterecho 9th-Nov-2012 03:04 pm (UTC)
well that was just heartbreaking :( thanks for posting, though!
sunoftheskye 9th-Nov-2012 06:42 pm (UTC)
I'm only 5 minutes in and I'm already crying.

I can't.
sunoftheskye 9th-Nov-2012 07:23 pm (UTC)
God bless that Mary woman.
pamelalillian 10th-Nov-2012 11:24 pm (UTC)
just watched this with my friend

idk why ppl would deny anyone love, especially a child
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