Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Homeless Gay and Lesbian Teens

From coast to coast, there are approximately one-half million to one-and-a-half million homeless children and young adults living by whatever means necessary in the Unites States. According to The National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, approximately 40% of that number represents gay teens. For those left to fend for themselves on the streets, prostitution is the only way to find food and shelter. “Survival sex,” as it is called on the streets, is realistically what many homeless gay teens face today when abandoned by their families. Clearly there is a disconnect between the young gays and lesbians who live among the human race, and the extreme rejection they face from the parents who raised them.

At first, when learning that their child is gay, some parents lose all sense of responsibility as a parent and cast their child to live on the streets. Unless the child can crash at a friend’s place, they have no choice but to live, eat, sleep, and make money by any means possible on the street. On the streets they run the risk of falling victim to hate crimes, where they may be mugged, raped, abducted, or even murdered. Another danger is survival sex, which is the act of selling your body in order to have a roof over your head at night, and to earn money for bare necessities. Sexually transmitted diseases run high in gay and lesbian communities, and are a common plight for these abandoned children. Due to the lack of unconditional parental love, many gay and lesbian teens have no choice but to live a life of degradation, disease, and poverty.

The truth is, however, that young gays and lesbians do exist and they are equal human beings. They are high school valedictorians, they are Speech and Debate National Champions, and they are Presidents of the Student Council. And yet American society brands gays as the main contributor to the downfall of American values. Yes, it is also true that gays are arguably preached against in the Christian Bible, and it is true in some religions, that being homosexual is one of the seven deadly, “unforgivable” sins. It is altogether inconvenient for parents to have a homosexual child; perhaps the family name can no longer be continued, or perhaps the family is embarrassed of their child due to an affluent background. Whatever the reason, no one is there to shed light on the helpless kids growing up on the street.

Where does the disconnect lie between parent and homosexual child, and how can it break through the forces of unconditional love? Even when a child is born with a deformity in this country, he has every opportunity to be taken care of. So why would being gay affect a parent’s love? Why would a parent rather see their child live on the streets, helpless, disease-ridden, and forced into prostitution, than to accept their child for who they are? Where is the disconnect, and why aren’t we as Americans over it? Why?


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