There has been and will be lots of analysis on what Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover might mean to the evolution of Americans’ conception of gender identity. It’s fair to say, however, that whatever the former Bruce Jenner’s very public transition does to increase respect for lesser-known trans people, the vast majority of folks who experience a transition will do so under starkly different circumstances.
Just as most of us (show of hands?) don’t have an Olympic gold medal, a Wheaties cover or an inexplicably famous step-daughter on our resumes, most trans people won’t have Annie Leibovitz snapping photos or a reality show in the works.
In fact, no single experience captures what the transgender community is, or what its members have gone through. But a few recent City Limits stories do look at other sides of the struggle—ones playing out in foster care and homeless shelters. They are worth a read … after you’ve put down your Vanity Fair, of course.
Struggle Amid Progress: To Be LGBTQ in Foster Care
While circumstances for some LGBTQ children remain bleak, advocates for LGBTQ foster children say there’s anecdotal evidence of improvement. Advocates also point to changing times – and a new city policy that requires foster parents and child welfare employees to undergo “LGBTQ-affirming” training that make them more sensitive to the needs of LGBTQ youth.
ACS Responds to Our Story on LGBTQ Foster Care
When examining our juvenile justice systems, other national studies indicate that anywhere between 13-15 percent of young people in these settings identify as LGBTQ. Given that young people are either not willing, or able to disclose their sexual orientation and/or gender identity at the time they are asked, the actual numbers could be even higher.
City: We’re Stemming Flow of Foster-Care Kids Into Homelessness
.. gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth in foster care face discrimination, harassment and physical violence from group home staff and peers or from foster parents, which pushes LGBT youth to runaway into homelessness.