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Saturday, September 26, 2009

runaway teen

America Needs to Tackle Rise in Homelessness Among Gay Youth

A gay youth's story is told in "An Epidemic of Homelessness," an alarming report by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Coalition for the Homeless that brings together the best research on homeless gay youth and combines it with accounts of the few projects that are successfully addressing the problem. (Read the report at

here is a snippet of a story that is mirrors this concern.

once upon a time there was a boy growing up in a small town in the middle of a cluster of small towns. every day was a plain day that was filled with the kind of love and horror that accompanies small towns. everybody knows your name and almost everybody verbally documents your game.

he knew he was different from a very young age and had desperately tried to hide that fact from the world. of course, this wasn't possible as his uniqueness was as visible as his brown velvet eyes- you could almost see them both from space.

in this hiding from the world that he spent a good portion of his youth, he found an imaginary world that he could drift into if the real world became too jagged. many times he would slip behind a secret hidden door into a safer less judgemental place where he could breathe without being the subject of discussion.

but alas, these otherworldly dalliances didn't last long and the crush of real time judgement and ridicule would return as would the tape loop of self judgement that dominated his mind.

his home had remained fairly stable but as he eased into puberty, that stability began to shrink. he did his best to careen the tides of mood swings and alcohol abuse that rushed by him on many sides, but it was almost preordained that he would choose self-medication over self-vindication because that's all he saw. puffs and pills as quick fixes and liquid jet packs that one could travel almost anywhere.

trouble was, those travels always ended up back where they began, with a hard desire to hide and a growing backpack of guilt. his heart and mind would swell and ebb with inspiration and self-deprecation so fiercely at times that he would find himself doing things he didn't remember nor would admit. sex and drugs and rock and roll were a mantra for him by the time he was 15. he knew he couldn't continue like this. he could no longer conform to the assigned roles in front of him at school and at a workplace. he couldn't continue to see himself in the eyes of people looking at him. he despised himself and judged himself so fiercely that acid may have run in his veins.

things at home continued to disintegrate. drunk and depressed were his home monitors and staying away was the only coping skill he could muster. one day, filled with rage and determination, he did the only thing he could think of. he knew he wouldn't survive the world he was in. he knew he wasn't ok in his skin. he was a faggot, he was a whore, he was a sissy, he had become a liar. he was 16 and he felt like his life was almost over.

so he ran away. he was 16. he was incredibly naive. he was determined to get away. he couldn't think of anything but now.

today's sound choice is soul asylum with "runaway train"



Java said...

This is how we learn about it, how we know about it. What can we DO about it? It is in my nature to want to invite them all to stay with me while they figure out how to live in the world. That's an impractical solution to say the least. Nevertheless, I want to DO something. (I haven't read the article yet.)

Sheria said...

where did he go? how does this end? you seem to know this boy from the inside. I knew a boy like this when I was in high school. He was my fiend but I didn't really understand what he was going through but I was happy being his friend. He ran away. I never saw him again. I've always wondered where he landed.

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