Thursday, March 5, 2015

Homeless LGBTQ youth - Lost In America

What I assume you know about me is that I am queer. I have been out since 1997 - which for some of you is a VERY long time - longer than you have been alive. I came out when I was almost finished university and there was a  mixed reaction to my coming out within my family, BUT, I had already moved away from home and I was living and looking after myself - and so I never even faced the possibility of being kicked out of my house and of being homeless.
Having said that - my partner and I, when we were renting homes together in Utah , felt that we needed to present ourselves to home owners as sisters or roommates because it WAS legal to discriminate against us based on our sexuality and renters could chose not to rent to us based on this fact. We did what we needed to do to live together.
The fact is that there is a disproportionate amount of LGBTQ youth represented in the homeless population in the USA and in Canada. Homelessness is a problem which I think is an important social issue. The fact that LGBTQ youth are homeless because they are not accepted by their families and kicked out for coming out - is in my opinion, reprehensible. I STRONGLY believe in this cause.
So what am I doing about it? I don't know yet. I certainly think about it a lot. My partner and I are considering starting an organization in our community for LGBTQ youth - there currently is not one here - and we have discussed creating a homeless shelter for youth - all youth but specifically queer youth. While we still consider our options and look to the future to see how we can be a part of solving this problem I am supporting the fundraising for the movie "LOST IN AMERICA" right here on my blog.
What is it you ask?
 Check it out - and if you can - give some money to the organization.
What is Lost in America?
LOST IN AMERICA is a feature documentary that follows formerly homeless director Rotimi Rainwater’s journey to shine a light on the issue of homeless youth. The film looks at the many issues that surround homeless youth from sex trafficking to the failure of the foster care system to the lack of acceptance of LGBTQ kids.  Over the past year we have met so many amazing youth who are all fighting for the same thing, the American Dream. They are all looking for a shelter from the pain they've experienced and a way to get back the future that was taken away from them. The journey so far has been inspiring and has touched every member of our team.  So far, we have met with youth, organizations and politicians in 11 states and are fundraising to go on one final trip and finish shooting this important documentary.
It is estimated upwards of 1.6 million children and teenagers are homeless in the U.S. and nearly 40% of them consider themselves part of the LGBTQ community. One of the goals of LOST IN AMERICA is to understand our faults as a country that is forcing these youth onto the street. The film also looks at the failures and successes of the foster care system and the risk of sex slavery homeless youth often face. People walk by these kids day after day and do nothing to help, LOST IN AMERICA aims to change this. We would like to finish the film before next year’s film festival season begins; The film can’t help if it isn’t seen. In order to meet this goal, we need help. We need to raise 35K to wrap shooting and begin editing.
How to Help?
Keep updated with the film:
Share your support online
Tweet/Facebook/Email anyone you know who may be interested

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