There is a new and heartbreaking new study out in the American Journal of Public Health. While the data were collected in Massachusetts, it is a representative sample. According to the authors:
Approximately 25% of lesbian/gay, 15% of bisexual, and 3% of exclusively heterosexual Massachusetts public high school students were homeless. Sexual-minority males and females had an odds of reporting current homelessness that was between 4 and 13 times that of their exclusively heterosexual peers. Sexual-minority youths’ greater likelihood of being homeless was driven by their increased risk of living separately from their parents or guardians.
Now, Massachusetts is arguably a more queer friendly state then say, oh, South Carolina. So these numbers are really disturbing. One might infer that in other states, the situation for queer youth could be far worse. That said, CLEARLY, we are NOT doing enough to protect and nurture our queer youth. That some politicians have the chutzpah to claim that ensuring public schools are for all kids is somehow “immoral” is beyond despicable.
As the lead author, Heather Corliss, noted:
“The high risk of homelessness among sexual minority teens is a serious problem requiring immediate attention,” says Corliss. “These teens face enormous risks and all types of obstacles to succeeding in school and are in need of a great deal of assistance.”
I wonder if this study will be “good enough” for AERA?? (*SNARK*) To play a variation on the theme, just how many homeless kids will it take for AERA to give a damn?