Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Facing Homelessness

Homelessness is  a critical issue for trans people, with one in five having experienced homelessness at some time in their lives because of discrimination and family rejection. As a result, an estimated 20-40% of the more than 1.6 million homeless youth in the United States are LGBT

Unfortunately, transgender people facing homelessness also face discrimination from agencies that should be helping them, with nearly one in three (29%) reporting being turned away from a shelter due to their transgender status. While leading experts on homelessness recommend providing emergency housing consistent with a person’s gender identity, 42% of trans people facing homelessness have been forced to stay in a shelter living as the wrong gender.

In the 20 years I've been transtioned, while I've dealt with unemployment, I've always managed on one level or another to keep a roof over my head and avoid being part of that trans homeless narrative.

Until now. 

Due to a confluence of events, I'm about to get bounced from the place I've called home for the last four years, and one of the relocation options I was counting on fell through.  

So I'm staring at the prospect of being part of the transgender homeless stats after having a triumphant moment last week in H-town of being honored with three local Readers Choice awards. 

One of the most basic parts of life is to have a roof over your head that is yours.  I've been the person that has been when I had my own apartment in the 90's offered my couch for someone in the community to stay on and get back on their feet.    

>Now I'm the one in that position, and it's a depressing circumstance to be in, especially when you're aware that many of the shelters here are transphobic and not an option, and because I was a caretaker for my  grandmother and the housing was part of the deal, I'm not rolling in cash to put a deposit down on an apartment .

And I can only imagine what it's like for a transgender kid who suddenly gets thrown out of their home because of family disapproval.

Yeah, it sucks to be in this situation.   And what hurts is I've always been the type of person that wants to  solve my problems on my own before calling for help.   It has to be something major for me to do that. 

Well, I'd say facing being out on the street qualifies as a major problem..

All I'm really looking for is a place for about four to six weeks until I can get a more permanent solution to my personal housing bubble. 

And I'm running out of time to find it

No comments: