Alarming figures show that LGBTQI children are being forced into homelessness by their own parents
BY SOPHIE GRIFFITHS, IMAGE VIA BROADLY’S GENDER SPECTRUM COLLECTION
The thought of growing up in a household where your own parents feel uncomfortable with your sexuality at a time when LGBTQI rights have come so far, still feels shocking.
Your home should be the place where you feel safe. The idea of being queer should never be repulsive to parents. However, young LGBTQI people still live in fear of persecution in their own homes.
There are still problems such as forced marriage, conversion therapy and exorcisms being faced by LGBT youth. Many members of the LGBT youth have been forced into homelessness due to such hostile environments.
LGBT youth homelessness charity, akt, have launched their latest polling with YouGov, revealing worrying views still held by the public. The polling was undertaken by YouGov across adults in the UK. They asked the public how they’d respond in certain scenarios if they were to have a child that came out as LGBT.
Over one in 10 UK adults would feel uncomfortable living at home with their child under 18 if they came out as LGBT and one in five claim that they would worry about how family members would respond to them having an LGBT child.
The polling also asked whether respondents would be willing to change the pronouns they used for their child if they came out as transgender, and 28% said they wouldn’t.
akt’s CEO, Tim Sigsworth, said: “These figures barely capture the heart-breaking realities we hear every day from the young people that akt is here to support.”
“Up to a quarter of young homeless people living in the UK identify as LGBT, and 77% of those find themselves in their predicament because of a hostile or unsafe environment at home. People often talk about the ‘unconditional love’ that parents have for their children, however we know first-hand that in many cases, the act of coming out can result in parental rejection and abuse for many young people.
“akt is here to support LGBTQ+ young people into safe homes and better futures, and work toward a world where no young person has to choose between having a roof over their head and being who they are.
“We hope that shedding a light on some of these issues with our polling will help raise awareness and spark something in people to do what they can to help end LGBTQ+ youth homelessness here in the UK.”
Find out how you can support LGBTQI+ young people facing homelessness this winter by visiting www.akt.org.uk/winter.
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