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I have been looking at some of the statistics of homeless LGBT youth in the United States and I must admit that I find them astonishing.
Of the 1.6 million homeless youth in America, 40% identify as LGBT. LGBT homeless youth commit suicide at 62% compared to heterosexual homeless youth at 29%.
Not everyone who has been rejected by their family may eventually become homeless however, some of us may be lucky enough to find a friend or family member who we can trust and who is willing to accept us.
But the reality of leaving home without a place to stay is still a hard one.
For me, that’s how I started out…
One of the toughest questions, I have had to ask myself is, ‘Where am I going to sleep tonight?’
First there is the shame, then the guilt, then depression, then confusion, then loneliness and then the suicidal thoughts kick in.
Dealing with family rejection can be really frustrating and the thought of starting over can be overwhelming.
Nonetheless, I think that everyone deals with rejection in a different way.
Like I deal with every other problem, I write about it.
I write about the distance that has been created between me and my mother
… And the things I may never be able to do with my brother again.
But I also encourage myself. I choose to think that things will eventually change and I will be able to confront my fears and acknowledge that it is not my fault.
Often times however, many people will not be able to easily adopt my coping skills… situations vary; and one may opt for options like doing drugs or even committing suicide.
There are my times in my past when I thought ‘enough is enough’ and I just want do the things that will make it better but without a second thought I would probably not be here today.
Sometimes it requires that we forgive the people who hurt us and develop the ambition needed to make our lives better. That way we can prove to the people who rejected us, that despite it all, our lives have value and that way, we can also help to reduce the number of homeless youth and not be a statistic.
“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not.
Make it your strength, for then it can never be your weakness.
Armor yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.”
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