Takeaways

  • To respond to the needs of LGBTQ young people of color, we must create solutions at multiple levels, including individual, family, community, and institutional systems.
  • LGBTQ youth of color are particularly at risk of homelessness and make up a disproportionate number of LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness.
  • Create safe spaces for LGBTQ young people of color through open, destigmatized conversations about race, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
  • Train staff to be anti-racist and LGBTQ-affirming, not simply competent.
  • Use strengths-based approaches that recognize and celebrate young people’s resilience.
  • Establish structures that promote youth leadership, advocacy, and peer connections.
  • Provide help for biological/legal families to be supportive and involved in the lives of young LGBTQ people of color when requested by the youth. When young people do not feel safe with these family members, honor the young person’s chosen family.
  • Ensure that the demographics of program staff reflect the demographics of the population served (i.e., LGBTQ people of color) and they are cognizant of the issues that LGBT youth who are surviving homelessness face

Data

Percentage of LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness by race, as reported by providers [7]
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