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In: English and Literature

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Unwanted: LGBT Teen Homelessness
Keli Beall
Kaplan University
Unwanted: LGBT Teen Homelessness "We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty." - Mother Teresa
Jenny closed her eyes and pictured last year’s Christmas. Her family was all gathered around the tree, everyone wearing smiles and speaking with laughter. It was warm and she was excited not only about the holiday season, but also because she had planned to finally tell her parents about Maggie, her girlfriend of five months. She was a bit worried about how her parents would react but they loved her and would want her to be who she was and to be happy. She couldn’t wait to stop hiding, to stop pretending she was something else. She never thought that would be her last Christmas with her family. She never imagined that a year later she would be living on the streets, cold, scared and hungry watching all the happy families go in and out of the stores and shops.
Her parents kicked her out when she broke the news about Maggie. For a while she stayed with friends until there were no more offers of a place to lay her head for the night. She tried shelters until she got beat up one night when someone let it slip she was gay. For a bit she was staying at a home for LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender) youth, but they ran out of funding and shut down. Now, she has nowhere to turn and wishes that someone would help her.
LGBT youth homelessness is rising at an alarming rate and without specific measures in place to combat the problems these kids face, the U.S. will continue to see that number rise. Steps can be taken to counter this problem through awareness programs, changing of state and federal laws and a national program that would...

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