It might claim otherwise, but the sex industry is no friend to the LGBT community. Lambda Literary writes in June:
There’s a dirty secret in the LGBT community. One we rarely discuss, but one that affects thousands of queer teens every year: homelessness. According to a report by The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 26% of LGBTQ youth were kicked out of their homes when they came out. A disconcerting 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ…
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force says, “LGBTQ youth are three times more likely to participate in survival sex.” “Survival sex,” Lowrey explains, “is one strategy for survival involving the sex industry — either exchanging sexual acts for money or for food and shelter.” These teens’ barriers to health care access make HIV and STDs a particular challenge.
In “Framing Federal Policy to Benefit LGBTQ Homeless Youth,” Kicked Out contributor Richard Hooks Wayman addresses the simple steps adults can take to help curtail the epidemic of youth homelessness within the queer community:
There is a role for the LGBTQ community to play in ending youth homelessness—a role for advocacy, a role for sustained giving to youth services, and a role in reaching out and building relationships with vulnerable queer youth. LGBTQ adults can ensure that vulnerable, homeless youth are not assaulted in street environments and not recruited into the commercial sex industry through strip clubs and prostitution. LGBTQ adults have the opportunity to reflect on their own behaviors and consumption patterns by not supporting businesses or venues that encourage the sexual exploitation of youth through erotic dancing, escort services or prostitution.