28 July 2015

LGBT Foster Kids

When I was co-facilitating an LGBT youth group, I couldn't help but to notice how many of those young people had lived, or were living, on the streets or in shelters.  The reasons for that were, of course, that they were kicked out of their homes upon "coming out" or they faced abuse from family members (and, too often, bullying in school) and ran away.

Those phenomena have since received attention in the mainstream media as well as in LGBT policy circles.  However, there is another phenomenon I noticed--nearly a decade ago--about which I've still heard or read very little:  LGBT kids who spend time in foster care.  It's more common than people realize, essentially for the same reasons why too many queer kids end up on the streets or in shelters.  Worse yet, they sometimes face the same problems in their foster homes to which they were subjected when they were living with their biological families.  And, of course, they get bullied in school or in their neighborhoods.

With those things in mind, Shaun Osburn of Equality California created this infographic to bring some of the cold, hard numbers to life: