ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – As celebrations ramp up for Pride weekend, advocates say it is important to also understand the challenges faced by the LGBTQ community.
Many teenagers find themselves met with closed doors instead of open arms when they come out to their friends and family.
According to a study by the Williams Institute, 40% of kids on the street are either gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.
‘Captain’s is the only licensed shelter for 13-17-year-old children in the Capital Region.
Resources are scarce and most other area shelters cater to adults or are run by religious organizations.
Experts say many teens are either sleeping on a friend’s couch, out on the street, camping in tents, or even engaging in unsafe sex or drug use.
Martha Harvey, Executive Director of the Price Center, says such behavior is terrifying in the midst of a fight to end the AIDs epidemic.
“Kids are not thinking about that. They’re thinking about, ‘right now I’m cold, I’m wet, I’m tired, I’m hungry. I will engage in unsafe activity to secure something right now,’” says Harvey. “That’s just going to keep perpetuating the epidemic.”
Captains encourages parents struggling with their children coming out to reach out and work together so their children don’t have to end up in danger.