5 GLBTQ Issues More Important Than DOMA or DADT in no Particular Order

June 29, 2009

1. Homelessness- As many as 3.5 million people are homeless in the United States. It is widely estimated that 20 to 40 percent of homeless youth identify as queer, and 1 in 5 transgendered people are in need or at risk of needing homeless shelter assistance.

2. Suicide- Suicide is the leading cause of death among gay and lesbian youth. 30% of gay and bisexual males attempt suicide once. Over 30% of all reported teen suicides are committed by gay and lesbian youth. In one study 53% of transsexuals surveyed reported attempting suicide.

3. Violence- Hate crimes committed against people for their real or perceived sexual/gender identity are second only to hate crimes based on race.

4. HIV/AIDS- Yes it’s still around and an estimated 1 million people in the United States are living with HIV/AIDS with 40,000 new cases reported annually.

5. Prison – Queer youth are over represented in juvenile detention facility populations. Queer prisoners are frequently subjected to administrative separation, violence, harassment, rape, and insufficient medical treatment/care. Gay and lesbian prisoner do not enjoy a right to conjugal visits in 49 U.S. states. The rates of HIV infection among incarcerated men are 5 times the rate of the general population. AIDS is the number 2 cause of death in US prisons. There is typically no regard given to safe placement of individuals within the prison population based on gender identity.

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