Youth should be a time for discoveries, growth and dreams of future adventures. But it’s hard to dream about and strive for a bright future without the safety of a place to call home. Not having a home is a devastating experience with serious negative effects on the physical, mental and emotional well-being and the overall life-trajectory of a young person. And it is the grim reality of far too many young lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) people.
LGBTIQ+ youth are much more likely to experience not having a home than their peers. The cause is often rejection and abuse by their own families and communities. Given their age and dependence on family and community networks, leaving home starts a vicious circle that makes them vulnerable to yet more discrimination and violence. Similarly, discrimination and violence they experience in schools and other institutions can be both drivers of homelessness and barriers to finding a new home. Living without a home can lead to poverty, physical and mental health issues, sexual abuse and physical violence, all of which make it even harder to find a new home.
All young people have the right to a safe and stable home, LGBTIQ+ youth included. Together we can build a world where all young people feel welcome – no matter who they are or whom they love!
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