Transgender individuals are disproportionately affected by homelessness, one in four trans+ people (25%) have experienced homelessness in their lives (Stonewall, 2018).
This Pride month, we have comissioned a blog from akt, one of our Frontline Fund grantees, to explore the challenges that LGBTQ+ people, in particular trans+ people face when it comes to homelessness.
By Matthew Waites (GM Service Manager) & Delphi Macpherson (Trans Pathway Floating Support Worker)
Pride month is a time to celebrate how far we’ve come in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights and justice – it’s a place to celebrate being our authentic selves. Parades will take place up and down the country this month. They will act as an outward display of our amazing community and allies and is a representation of the continued fight for equality.
Despite how far we’ve come, there is still work to be done, particularly around trans+ rights. We continue to see extraordinary levels of youth homelessness which grows year on year. At akt, our goal is to support young people who present at our services as homeless following family rejection and abuse, amongst other issues, due to their sexuality and gender identity.
This year, young people are facing unprecedented challenges due to the impact of COVID, the cost-of-living crisis, lack of affordable housing. Many young people are also having to navigate the impact of familial and domestic abuse, bereavement, rejection, and discrimination alongside this.
Whilst pride month is a celebration, it is also a time to reflect and take action to support some of our most vulnerable community members. Right now, trans and non-binary young people are facing significant hardships. This includes having to face barriers when accessing crucial support services due to a lack of societal understanding about trans+ issues. The media backlash that the gender diverse community are currently facing is whipping up a hostile environment in which fear is controlling the narrative. The reality is, our trans and non-binary community need us now more than ever – we must stand with them in solidarity, and fight for equality and justice.
Pride Month is often seen as a time of celebration, advocacy, and unity for the LGBTQ+ community and its allies. But as the vibrant rainbow flags adorn our streets, it’s important to remember that the fight for equality extends beyond parades and festivals. This Pride Month, let’s focus on creating meaningful change by supporting LGBTQ+ homelessness charities in the UK and fostering a more inclusive society. Have a look at our recommendations for actionable steps to make a difference:
Understanding the Challenges
Transgender individuals are disproportionately affected by homelessness, one in four trans+ people (25%) have experienced homelessness in their lives (Stonewall, 2018). Trans+ people often face higher levels of discrimination, violence, and limited access to supportive resources. By raising awareness of these challenges, we can drive empathy and understanding among the wider community. Let’s educate ourselves about the unique struggles faced by trans individuals experiencing homelessness, including the importance of gender-affirming housing and support services. Check out our expert guidance on supporting trans young people within the housing sector.
Becoming Active Allies
Pride Month goes beyond mere symbolism. It calls for active allyship, where individuals and organisations stand up for LGBTQ+ rights, inclusivity, and equality throughout the year. As allies, we must listen, learn, and act. Engage with LGBTQ+ organisations and charities, attend educational workshops, and amplify the voices of transgender individuals to ensure their experiences and needs are acknowledged.
Inclusive Organisational Practices
Companies and institutions play a pivotal role in creating inclusive environments. It’s not enough to display a rainbow logo during Pride Month; genuine change happens when organisations commit to tangible actions. Encourage employers to review their policies, foster a diverse and welcoming workplace culture, and provide support systems for LGBTQ+ employees. Consider implementing gender-neutral bathrooms, preferred name and pronoun policies, and inclusive healthcare coverage.
Partnering with LGBTQ+ Charities
Supporting LGBTQ+ charities can be essential step towards creating change. Research and collaborate with organisations specifically focused on addressing LGBTQ+ issues.
By contributing time, resources, or your expertise, you can directly positively impact the lives of LGBTQ+ individuals experiencing homelessness. These charities provide essential services such as housing, refuges, counselling, and community-building opportunities:
Charities to support
LGBT Foundation – advice and support for LGBTQ+ people
Volunteering and Outreach
Get involved in local community initiatives that aim to support homeless individuals. Volunteer at akt or in outreach programs that provide essential services to the LGBTQ+ community. Engage in conversations, listen to stories, and work together to identify sustainable solutions that address the unique challenges faced by LGBTQ+ young people.
Pride Month serves as a powerful reminder that our actions can create positive change. Let’s go beyond performative gestures and cultivate inclusive services that support LGBTQ+ people facing homelessness. By becoming active allies, advocating for policy changes, and partnering with LGBTQ+ charities, we can influence positive and meaningful change.