Last week, a CBS local affiliate in Miami drew attention to the lives of homeless LGBT youth in South Florida. Reporter Michele Gillen interviewed a young man who was kicked out of his home at 17-years-old after telling his mother he is gay. Reflecting on his experience, the young man said, “I have a light in me that I can share with the world. I cannot let this hold me down.” Gillen also spoke with a number of advocates, including Executive Director of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, Barbara Poppe, and Executive Director of Miami Bridge Emergency Shelter, Mary Andrews. Poppe noted the national rise in LGBT homeless youth, with studies showing roughly 20 to 40 percent of the approximately two million homeless youth are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. At Miami Bridge, Andrews says she has seen young people turned out of their homes, some having suffered physical abuse, all because they are LGBT-identified. You can watch the news report below.
It is important that the media continues to elevate both the stories of homeless LGBT youth and any support options available to them. GLAAD applauds CBS Miami and Michele Gillen for covering this issue and urges them to keep reporting on matters pertaining to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, especially youth.