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Family Conflict and Family Reconnection
It is assumed that we learn about love from our families of origin. This may be harmful for young people who are kicked out of their homes for coming out. This teaches them that there are 'right' and 'wrong' people to love, and that loving the 'wrong' people means losing their families. Forcing your child to leave home for coming out as LGBTQ2S is an abusive act. This lack of acceptance is what often lies behind LGBTQ2S youth homelessness.
Beyond traditional prevention strategies
Traditional prevention strategies typically focus on keeping youth from becoming homeless in the first place. However, LGBTQ2S youth experiencing homelessness have often reported their lives being threatened by their parents, which is why family reunification is not always an option for this population of young people.
Preventing LGBTQ2S youth from becoming adults experiencing chronic homelessness
It may not be possible to prevent LGBTQ2S youth from becoming homeless, which is why we need to shift our thinking from traditional 'prevention' and place more emphasis on preventing LGBTQ2S youth from becoming adults experiencing homelessness. This can be done by working collaboratively across systems through a cross-systems approach.
Caitlyn Ryan's family acceptance project
- evidence-based approach to decrease risk and promote well-being in the context of LGBTQ2S youth and families
- reuniting youth with their parents is often not possible, but there tends to be at least one family member who is supportive and can create an opportunity for more acceptance
- family reconnection work needs to ensure that when we are defining family, we include family outside of the parent-child relationship - grandparents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles
Abramovich. A. (2014). Young, Queer and Trans, Homeless, and Besieged: A Critical Action Research Study of How Policy and Culture Create Oppressive Conditions for LGBTQ Youth in Toronto’s Shelter System. University of Toronto.
Ryan, C. Family Acceptance Project. San Francisco State University.
LGBTQ2S Youth Homelessness in Canada Infographic Links
Download Complete set of Infographics
» Family Conflict and Family Reconnection
Our Fostering an Inclusive Shelter Environment for LGBTQ2S Youth curriculum and infographics were developed in collaboration with Dr. Alex Abramovich and A Way Home, a national coalition dedicated to preventing, reducing and ending youth homelessness in Canada. Development of this new resource has been generously supported by TD Bank and The City of Toronto.