It’s Pride season. That means it’s the season to champion LGBTQ+ people in your inner circle, outer circle and beyond. Pride is an especially important time for LGBTQ+ folk who are still bearing the brunt of an unequal homophobic, biphobic and transphobic society. Those who are reliant on the integral support of their community and chosen family, to help affirm pride in their identity.
This is at the core of akt. We believe no young person should have to choose between a safe home and being who they are. As a national LGBTQ+ youth homelessness charity working with young people across the country who are told to suppress - or worse negate - their gender identity and sexual orientation in order to ‘fit in’.
COVID has only exacerbated this situation. The LGBTQ+ young people akt supports are facing homelessness, experiencing abuse or living in a hostile environment. The pandemic has seen them being made redundant and struggling to pay rent, being evicted - despite the previous eviction ban - and either being kicked out or forced to flee hostile households.
As it stands, one quarter of young people facing homelessness identify as LGBTQ+. They are overrepresented in this demographic despite being underrepresented in national statistics. This is why in April 2021 akt launched The LGBTQ+ Youth Homelessness Report.
It is the first research of its kind to evidence the impact of homelessness on queer young people across the U.K. It addresses domestic and partner abuse and discrimination faced when accessing services. It addresses the disproportionate impact of homelessness, financial difficulty and violence on trans people, people of colour and those with a disability. This report gives a platform to the voices of those with lived experiences of marginalisation and is a tool for us to ignite change.
For akt, Pride is part of that narrative and the support of the wider akt community is integral to helping make that change happen. That’s why we launched our 2021 community appeal to highlight the ‘unity’ in LGBTQ+ community. akt is eternally grateful for the donations, fundraisers and volunteers who help us support the LGBTQ+ young people who need it.
To find out more on about how you can help visit: https://www.akt.org.uk/Appeal/community-2021