1 Timothy 5:8
“Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
According to recent surveys from Child Trends.org., approximately 1.6 million kids in the U.S. experience homelessness for at least one night each year. Additionally, 550,000 unaccompanied youth under the age of 24 are homeless for a week or longer; about 380,000 of these youth are younger than 18. These numbers demonstrate a great need for responses to short- and long-term homelessness among youth.
With that being said, one group that is particularly at risk for homelessness is lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth. LGBT youth are often homeless because they were rejected by their families, schools, and communities for their sexual orientation or gender identity. In a national survey of homeless centers and agencies that serve youth, it was reported that LGBT youth comprise 40 percent of the clientele served. In fact, 1 in 5 transgender people in their 30s report having been homeless at some point in their lives. These numbers show that homelessness among youth who are LGBT is much more than a niche problem; understanding and reducing homelessness among these youth is a crucial part of understanding and reducing homelessness, period.
Now the root cause of LGBT homelessness is not that the child may be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender — the causes include ignorance based on myth and negative stereotyping, intolerance, inflexible religious-based hatred that leads to rejection, and fear that somehow the parents or surrounding family members have somehow failed in raising and supporting a “normal” child. The truth is, homosexuality and gender-variance and gender fluidity has always been in existence within the human species– this is not a new trend or new phenomena. Being LGBT is not a curse or a disease or a mental disorder that needs to be corrected or fixed. It is a natural occurrence affecting a relatively small percentage of the human population. There is no inherent harm in being LGBT.
There is harm however if one does not educate themselves on how to have safe sex– heterosexual or homosexual sex, period. There is harm when we do not act like mature people in our relationships and treat our loved ones and partners as sex objects. When lust and sex substitute love and compassion– then we are doing ourselves and those we should love harm.
But most importantly, when we toss our own family members out on the street because of who they are– gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender– we are doing the greatest harm possible, we are destroying families and putting kids at great risk. What you’re saying is– the love of a mother or father and family is conditional upon your ability to conform to what we want for you– not what God has given us. You are insulting the child and insulting God’s gifts.