April 20 is Youth Homelessness Matters Day.

Did you know that LGBTIQA+ young people are much more likely to experience homelessness than their straight and cisgender peers? In a recent study, Writing Themselves In 4, 23.6% of those surveyed (LGBTIQA+ people aged 14-21 from across Australia) had experienced at least one form of homelessness. This was most common among trans and gender diverse young people.

All this week we will be highlighting the voices and experiences of young LGBTIQA+ people who told Twenty10 about what home means for them. We will update this post with links to the videos when they’re available!

Twenty10 works to combat homelessness among LGBTIQA+ young people through our transitional housing program, which provides a safe place for young people to stay. We also provide early intervention services through counselling and groups.

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Home is where I…

Transcript:

Home is where I…

Relax and process everything I’ve done. Sol (they/them), 20.
Can relax and be safe. Ari (he/him), 22.
Can be comfortable and safe. Sharkie (they/them), 24.
[am] able to plan and build my future. Anonymous (they/them).
Can rest. Anonymous.
Feel safe, feel my own. Casper (she/they).

Having a home means…

 

Transcript:

Having a home means…

Having a safe space to sleep and relax. Sharkie (they/them), 24.
Good mental health. It [is] a safe place to be away from the storms of life. Anonymous (they/them).
Having somewhere to come home to that feels safe and comforting. Sol (they/them), 20.
Having somewhere to feel safe and cared for, as well as material needs, and a place to express yourself. Casper (she/they).

Home to me is…

Home to me is…

Comfort, safety, privacy. Ari (he/him), 22.
Where my family is, either alone or with flat mates. Anonymous (they/them).
A warm bed and a cozy youtube video. Sol (they/them), 20.
A safe place. Anonymous.
Very important, and a place to be able to relax. Casper (she/they).
The most important place in the world. Sharkie (they/them), 24.

Home is my…

Transcript:

Safe haven. — Sharkie (they/them), 24.
Happy place. — Sol (they/them), 20.
Safe heaven. — Anonymous (they/them).
Getaway. — Casper (she/they).

Home is…

Transcript:

Home is…

Not just a physical place- it is important to feel comfortable in yourself and people that you love as well. — Ari (he/him), 22.
A way of life. Charity begins at home. — Anonymous (they/them).
Vital to living a happy life. — Sol (they/them), 20.
Imperative. — Casper (she/they).
Where I can be free to be exactly me. — Sharkie (they/them), 24.

My experiences with homelessness

Transcript:

It’s a struggle. — Anonymous.

Statistically, LGBTQIA+ people are one of the most likely groups to experience homelessness. Unfortunately, I am one of this group; I found out the hard way that my own safety was at risk when staying in the homes of my biological family. I still count myself incredibly lucky though- there are organizations (including Twenty10!!) that gave me a plan and hope that a future is possible. I also have to recognize my own privilege in the help I received- I am white and came from a middle class family with no history of drug use or anything which would have affected my eligibility. I want to fight for all of my LGBTQIA+ siblings who experience similar crises to me- housing is a human right. — Ari (he/him), 22.

As a lesbian refugee, i have experience homelessness. I had no idea that organization eg Twenty10 existed. I was introduced to a LGBTIQA family and community. I no longer live in fear to express who I am or being [discriminated] against. I lived in a car for several months before I became aware of Twenty10. — Anonymous (they/them).

Homeless LGBTQ youth are some of the most vulnerable people in society, and more work needs to be done to ensure our safety. — Sol (they/them), 20.

The hypermasculine culture of Australia, as well as endless conservative governments lead to a homophobic population among older generations, leading them to abandon their kids due to bigotry, its disgusting and needs to be fixed. — Casper (she/they).

Having a home is a human right that all LGBTQIA+ folks more than deserve. — Sharkie (they/them), 24.

A drawing of a young person with a determined look on their face, carrying a duffel bag. A yellow halo is around their head with text reading Make your own life.

Drawing by Ari

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