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National Clearinghouse on Homeless Youth and Families

Queer homelessness: the distinct experiences of sexuality and trans-gender diverse youth, Journal of LGBT Youth.

Hail-Jares, K., Vichta-Ohlsen, R., Butler, T.M. & Byrne, J.
Type new
Journal Article
Year published new

Queer young people, or young people who are sexuality diverse and/or trans and gender diverse, face a higher lifetime likelihood of homelessness than their cis-heterosexual peers. However, queer young people are often treated as a homogenous group within research, a methodological decision that obscures differences on the basis of gender identity. Drawing upon 2,159 intake records from a youth housing program in Australia, the authors compare the experiences of (i) cis-heterosexual; (ii) sexuality diverse; and (iii) trans and gender diverse young people across a number of domains related to vulnerability, including victimization and violence, health, substance use, and support systems. Eighteen percent of young people in the sample identified as queer, and five percent identified as trans or gender diverse. Queer young people were more likely to report family and intimate partner violence, poor mental health, and recent substance use than cis-hetero youth. Trans and gender non-conforming respondents were more likely than sexuality diverse peers to be experiencing current, rather than past, family violence, and less likely to report intimate partner violence and substance use. We conclude by discussing these issues within the context of past research and their implication for future research and practice within the homelessness sector.