Just read an article about a Virginia Beach woman who helped a trans man who was about to be homeless. He’d moved here from Florida and had no place to stay, so she opened her home and her life to him. It’s a great story and I encourage you to check it out.
More than the story caught my eye. The article included some sobering statistics about being transgender in Virginia.
According to the U.S. Transgender Survey in 2015 …
- 6% of trans people in Virginia were unemployed
- 23% of them were living in poverty
- 26% had been homeless at some point in their lives
Read that again, if you’d care to. I’ll wait.
Nearly a quarter of them couldn’t make enough to live on. 26% had been homeless at some point in their lives. More than one in four.
And sadly, 15% of those surveyed said they’d avoided staying in any kind of shelter, despite not having any other options. Why? They were afraid they’d be mistreated for being trans. (Note: this survey was done before the current administration took office, during a time that was considerably more hopeful within the LGBTQ+ community.)
I can’t imagine not having a home. (I blogged about the issue of homeless transgender youth before.) I also can’t imagine not staying in a shelter because it didn’t feel safe. Choosing to stay out on the streets because the shelter was potentially dangerous? What kind of hell must that feel like?
I don’t have a grand plan or a glorious solution to solve this. I just know that it’s unacceptable to me that anyone is homeless or living in poverty for any reason, lifestyle included.
I’m hoping that by calling attention to this problem, maybe we can find a solution. There is assistance available. In Virginia, check out the Transgender Assistance Program. I’m sure other localities have similar programs. If you’re interested but don’t know where to turn where you live, let me know – I’ll do some digging for you.
Meantime, hats off to the kind soul in Virginia Beach who helped out the trans person from Florida who needed a safe place to say. She did more than help someone within the trans community; she helped a fellow human being.
Love and light to you, fellow human beings. May we all remember we have the power to change the world.