One of the issues I’ve been working hard on for the past year is LGBTQ youth homelessness. Over forty percent of all young people living on the street or in temporary shelters identify as LGBTQ. Over half of those are living that way due to family and community rejection justified by religiously-based homophobia.

Given that only 5 to 7 percent of the general youth population is LGBTQ, that forty percent number is fairly well staggering.

Without identifying at-risk young people as LGBTQ, we couldn’t even talk about the problem, let alone work to fix it.

That’s only one example of many.

People who suggest that we need to stop talking about people’s identities when those identities pose life-altering problems are delusional.

The people working to fix this problem are people like me who are raising awareness, raising money to support young people in regions were religious rejection puts them at risk, acknowledging that identity matters.

Because it does.

Try telling a trans girl living in a shelter because her Baptist mother kicked her out of the house that her gender alignment identity doesn’t matter. She probably wouldn’t even have the energy to laugh in your face.

Identity does matter and those of us who working to effect positive change know that very, very much.

Today. In 2018.

Pull your head out of the sand.

Written by

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com

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