SYLVIAS PLACE

The downside of the higher levels of social acceptance toward homosexuality: The young homosexuals and transexuals 'come-out' to their parents and peers earlier than ever before - and end up on the street: homeless. The number of homeless individuals on the streets of New York City has nearly doubled over the past decade. From 30.000 in 2002 to more than 50.000 homeless individuals on any given night in New York City today. One of the growing trends that stand out, is the rise in homelessness amongst the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth. As LGBT youths come out earlier than ever before (the average is 17 years old), and the social acceptance towards the LGBT population is on the rise, more and more of them are facing parental rejection. Some of them are staying in a shelter on the West side of Manhattan: Sylvia's Place. They talk of abuse and rejection by their families, leaving them with the option of trying to find a temporary bed in some of New York City's shelters. Sylvia's Place is dedicated to LGBT Youth from 18-24 years old. They have 14 beds available. Statistically, LGBT youth make up no more than 10% of the homeless population segment, yet they might account for a total of 40 percent of homeless youth.