Saturday, 22 January 2011


1.6 million to 2.8 million:
The estimated number of homeless youth in the United States.

20 to 40 percent:
The portion of the homeless youth population who are gay or transgender, compared to only 5 to 10 percent of the overall youth population.

320,000 to 400,000:
A conservative estimate of the number of gay and transgender youth facing homelessness each year.

The average age that lesbian and gay youth in New York become homeless.

The average age that transgender youth in New York become homeless.

58 percent:
The portion of homeless gay and transgender youth who have been sexually assaulted, compared to 33 percent of homeless heterosexual youth.

44 percent:
The portion of homeless gay and transgender youth who reported being asked by someone on the street to exchange sex for money, food, drugs, shelter, or clothes, compared to 26 percent of straight homeless youth.

The average age gay and lesbian youth now come out after self-identifying as gay or lesbian as young as ages 5 to 7.

62 percent:
The portion of homeless gay and transgender youth who experience discrimination from their families, compared to 30 percent of their heterosexual peers.

42 percent:
The portion of homeless gay and transgender youth who abuse alcohol, compared to 27 percent of heterosexual youth.

62 percent:
The portion of homeless gay and transgender youth who attempt suicide, compared to 29 percent of their heterosexual homeless peers.

8.4 times:
How much more likely gay and transgender youth are to attempt suicide if they are rejected by their families in adolescence compared to if they are not rejected by their family.

They are also 5.9 times as likely to have experienced depression, 3.4 times as likely to have used illicit drugs, and 3.4 times as likely to have had unprotected sex.



Anonymous Woman said...

Your source has no source. Just the post of some guy who says so.

Discrimination sickens me. Intellectual dishonesty equally so.

Zoe Brain said...

I checked the NY homeless figures - they're correct. A few others too, they all check out.
NOT all of them have been checked yet, there's still a few I'm working on locating the primary sources for.

See this web site and this PDF for numbers and methodology for most of them (perhaps all - still checking).

Lloyd Flack said...

5-10% of youth as homosexual, bisexual or transsexual? That sounds rather high. And if that figure is doubtful than the credibilty of the rest is put in doubt too.

I don't doubt that these dangers disproprtionately affect homosexual and transsexual youth but you need figures from some source that cannot be impeached.

Zimbel said...

Lloyd Flack:

National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior:

While about 7% of adult women and 8% of men identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual, the proportion of individuals in the U.S. who have had same-gender sexual interactions at some point in their lives is higher.

From one of the collected papers accessible from the above site:

Sexual behavior in the United States: Results from a National Probability Sample of Men and Women ages 14-94:

Male Adolescents:
96.1% heterosexual
1.8% Gay or Lesbian
1.5% Bisexual
0.1% Other

Female Adolescents:
90.5% heterosexual
0.2% Gay or Lesbian
8.4% Bisexual
0.9% Other

Which would be 4.9%-9.5% for Gay/Lesbian/Other - so 5-10% for Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Trans doesn't sound too far off the mark to me.

Zimbel said...


Which would be 3.9%-9.5% for Gay/Lesbian/Other - so 5-10% for Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Trans doesn't sound too far off the mark to me.

Lloyd Flack said...


The figures that you give are, averaged over both sexes, 1.5% homosexual and other and 5% bisexual. Zoe said homosexual and transsexual which should come to something under 1.5% since other presumably includes differences other than transsexuality. In fact transsexuality will be less than 0.1% so homosexual and transsexual will come to about 1%.

Loking at the figures you gave the male figures do not surprise me at all. The female figures do somewhat though they are not unbelievable. The bisexual number is surprisingly high and the homosexual number even more surpisingly low.

Zimbel said...

@Lloyd Flack-
As far as the numbers I quote, while there was some effort to statistically correct them, I'd assume that the standard deviation is non-trivial - in the later detailed information, there's fairly high (divergent) ranges for their 95% confidence intervals, and about 820 adolescents are included in their study.

The term all over the AmericanProgress paper is "Gay and Transgender" - it appears that the author or editor chose that term instead of LGBT in virtually every case, even when clearly discussing LGBT.

From the AmericanProgress paper (which gives 9-39% of homeless are gay/transgender but they think that 5-7% of the overall population is gay/transgender), though, it's apparent that they're looking at a number of studies, most of which show very high numbers - some with what seems to be unusual variance - for example, the Seattle studies, published over 3 years, show 7, then 39, then 22% "gay and transgender".

Again in the AmericanProgress paper, the 20% number seems to come from the Alliance to End Homelessness - they have a fact sheet that gives 1 in 5, and 1 in 10 for occurrence in the general population.
The 40% number seems to come from the National Network for Youth, but is mis-attributed to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (which merely quotes the National Network for Youth source).

After checking some of the quotations from the AmericanProgress paper, I think that they are repeatedly deceptive, and use inaccurate language. I'd tend to go more with The Task Force's paper - it's fairly well-sourced, and it uses terminology in a fairly standard way.

Zimbel said...

(it looks like my comment was filtered again)

@Lloyd Flack- It looks like the American Progress paper uses the term "Gay and Transexual" as if it were a synonym for LGBT.

It looks like the 20% number comes from a fact sheet that uses the term 1 in 5, and that the 40% number is mis-attributed.

Considering the poor language and citing, I'd be cautious about using the AmericanProgress paper. The Task Force's paper appears to be much better cited, and uses standard language.

Finally, the numbers I quote in my prior post likely have high standard deviations - it includes about 800 adolescents, and some of the detailed 95% confidence intervals they give are large.

Supreme_Martian_Overlord said...

Well the Australian figures i've seen are:
* 4% of live births are Intersex (Peter Koopman)
* 6% of primary school age children are already aware they are same-sex attracted (Writing Themselves In 3, LaTrobe University)
* 10% of highschool age youth are Same-Sex Attacted (Writing Themselves In 3, LaTrobe University)
* 20% of Australian adults are Same Sex Attracted though only 2-3% identify as gay or lesbian$=activity
* 3% of youth surveyed were classed as Gender Questioning (Writing Themselves In 3, LaTrobe University)

Now getting good broad-spectrum trans figures is tough, the APA site says that 2-3% of males are crossdressers and i've seen figures that go over 10%, the principal of the thai school that set aside a bathroom just for transgender students said 10%-20% of male students each year were transgender.