Troye Sivan has met LGBTI youth in New York, to discuss the issue of LGBTI youth homelessness, with the aim of turning their lives around.
While visiting the Ali Forney Centre in New York City, Sivan meet with Skye, Maddox and Lala, three LGBTI youth who all had their different reasons for being homeless.
“As a community, we’ve come so far,”
“But we clearly have a very, very, very long way to go. Now it’s my job, and our job, to keep pushing that forward and keep moving things in the right direction,” Sivan said to the trio who are part of the centre’s youth ambassador program looking to, and working on, turning the lives of LGBTI homeless around.
Lala who was driven into homelessness as a result of domestic violence after she lost her mother, says, that her mother keeps her strong.
“She’s the reason why I am the person that I am today. And my father, then he raised me to be weak. Like, I’ve always been a fighter.”
Skye explained how being a gay Jamaican man has made his life into a rollercoaster ride, and how grateful he is for youth centres like the Ali Forney Centre.
The trio who say that one of the biggest struggles with being homeless is finding a place which is also safe for LGBTI people, with access to services being limited.
In desperation, many homeless youth turn to sex work in an effort to make what little living they can.
“You try to get a job but you can’t, because of your identity. That unfortunately pushes you to have to use whatever resource you have,” Maddox explains.
“A lot of times, that’s your body. And a lot of times people feel so disconnected from their body that they’re like ‘it’s okay for me to do this at this point.’”
Offering transitional housing to homeless LGBTI youth the Ali Forney Center is the United States’ largest LGBTI community centre helping homeless youth and offers 24-hour support to the in need.
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