Netherland: A Reporter at Large: Homeless in New York, a young gay woman learns to survive
Seventeen-year old Samantha was smoking a joint in her parent's garage when she decided to run away. She had just graduated from high school, where she had few friends and felt invisible. She went to class stoned and wrote suicidal poems about the shame of being molested by a family friend. Samantha had gotten good grades in high school and planned to go to college, until she realized she couldn't afford it. She decided that her only option was to flee to Manhattan. She had never been there before, but it seemed like a good place to meet other lesbians. Throughout the summer of 2009, Samantha worked out the logistics of being homeless in Manhattan. She planned to live on the street for several weeks, until she turned 18, so the social workers wouldn't contact her family. Then she would begin the rest of her life - getting a job, finding an apartment, and saving for college. This article tells the stories of Samantha and other gay young people who are homeless and struggling to make things OK for themselves.