By Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)
Can things be the same in the Gainesville area? Homelessness among the LGBTQ youth population is disproportionate compared to its heterosexual counterparts.
Statistics in urban areas of the United States report that about 10 percent of the youth population identifies as LGBTQ; however, up to 40 percent of the homeless youth identify as LGBTQ. Why is there such a disparity?
Many families will not accept an LGBTQ youth, and the youths find themselves kicked out of the family home. Studies also report that LGBTQ youth are more likely to experience sexual, physical, and emotional abuse.
Many LGBTQ youth consider themselves “throw-a-ways.” They face humiliation and discrimination from the places that most youth find the most support: families and schools. Agencies that provide services to homeless youth in Gainesville report that they serve approximately 700 youths between the ages of 13 to 18 per year.
What can be done to help this population?
Well, this is a question that PFLAG Gainesville (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) will be discussing at the first Summer Summit.
PFLAG Gainesville began its chapter in January 2012. The Board of Directors saw a need in the LGBTQ youth populatiop in the Gainesville area and began planning the Summer Summit. It will be held Aug. 17 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Straughn IFAS Extension Professional Development Center in Gainesville.
The event is free to interested parties and registration can be completed through the website www.pflaggainesville.org.