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Edward Bennie

Staff Writer

Many people are up until ridiculous hours in the night, on their phones, watching Netflix, or even doing homework. I myself am also up late at night, but not for any of these reasons. My reason for staying awake is simple – this country’s homophobia and all the damage that it causes is simply terrifying to me. Everyday at least 4 gay or other non-heterosexual homeless teenagers die because they are on the streets alone and confused, without aid.

Why are they on the streets though? A survey done by CNN three months ago came up with two major influences. The first being that they ran away because they were too scared to come out to their families, or had trouble accepting themselves. The second is that they were forced out of their families because their parents refused to have a “disappointment” in their family, or because it went against their faith.

These poor people are still just teenagers, being forced into exile to live alone and afraid. It is unimaginable to me how it would feel to have the parents who brought me up to respect everyone and anyone, to suddenly despise the every essence of who I am.

While on the street, they start to do things in order to survive, things they wish they did not have to do. This could be anything from drugs, to selling their own bodies to have a decent lunch. Many lives are ruined in this country and in this world because hatred and intolerance for those that are different exists. When one issue of hate is eliminated, another one emerges.

Although the world is changing, and acceptance of different sexualities is greatly increasing, what will be the next target of scrutiny? Who will be the next victims to face the force of hatred and old thinking? Only once homophobia is eradicated will that become apparent. That is why it is important that those who are going through the current struggle for acceptance, rise up and become ready to fight for the rights of the next to be targeted.

Sources:

http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/the-forsaken-a-rising-number-of-homeless-gay-teens-are-being-cast-out-by-religious-families-20140903

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