In the LGBT community and movement, the conversation often goes to the freedom to marry and to live our lives free of discrimination. Often, the conversation doesn’t go beyond that to address the very real effects of the discrimination in employment, housing, education, etc. that are experienced by so many in our community. This is the part of the conversation that Louisiana Progress, one of our coalition members, is highlighting with their blog post, “The Invisible Poor: LGBT People and Poverty.”
This month Louisiana Progress is bringing the issue of poverty to the forefront through their social media messaging, emails, blog posts and forums around the state. To learn more about what they are doing and how you can help, like them on Facebook and sign up to receive updates via email.
The Invisible Poor: LGBT People and Poverty
When we think of LGBT people’s rights in this country, we often immediately have conjured images of wedding cakes and rainbow flags. These more glamorous symbols of the LGBT rights movement in our country have meant that extreme issues of poverty have taken a backseat priority-wise. As Laura A. Hughes puts it in her article for the Huffington Post, “But for all the scrutiny, marriage has been the beginning and end of most discussions of either [political] party’s stance on LGBT issues. What has been overlooked…[is] that throughout the country, and particularly my own city of Detroit, poverty is very much an LGBT issue itself. The high numbers of LGBT homeless youth are one of the harshest consequences.” LGBT youth are at extreme risk for homelessness, due to the at times unstable nature of their family life. Kids who come out to their families may be kicked out of their homes with nowhere else to go. They may be allowed to stay in their homes, but face extreme emotional or physical abuse, and ultimately flee for their safety. This pushes these children into exceedingly dangerous circumstances, including being forced into sex work just to survive.