The cost of living crisis is putting trans youth in a dangerous position
Young trans people are being hit hard by the cost of living crisis. (Getty)
The cost of living crisis is forcing young gay men to leave safe homes and find themselves in potentially dangerous situations.
The economic crisis is hitting young people in the UK particularly hard, as landlords demand higher rents and inflation affects more aspects of daily life.
UK households are also facing a looming steep rise in energy bills from October after the regulator Ofgem has raised the energy price cap by 80% Friday (August 26).
Melissa Gilpin, head of marketing and communications at akt, a charity for homeless LGBTQ+ youth, said PinkNews the looming crisis is “undoing years of work” to help youth at risk of homelessness – especially trans youth.
The cost of living crisis is ‘pushing’ many young gay men ‘out of safe spaces’ because they ‘cannot afford rent in private accommodation’.
“If you’re under 35, the government can give you £300 a month in Manchester for rent, and you’re supposed to be in shared accommodation,” Gilpin said. “But at the moment the rent can be up to £600-£1,000. Ohere you get the rest of the money – especially if you take into account that unemployment is a major problem? »
Gilpin said akt has seen young people being “cut away from their support networks and communities” due to the cost of living crisis and lack of trans-friendly housing. While a lot of couch surfing, tIt is feared that some young gay men will be forced to return to unwelcoming family homes.
“Many parents [of these young people] say, “You can go home, but you’re not allowed to go out as trans or as queer,” Gilpin said.
“Trans youth are shunned from a lot of housing, such as single-sex or women-only homes,” Gilpin added. “They don’t accept trans women, which is a problem anyway.”
Guidelines from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) released in April said that separate and single-sex service providers should balance the “the rights and needs of trans people and the rights and needs of other service users”.
He added that such spaces – which include single-sex or separate washrooms, shelters, changing rooms or wards – can “prevent, limit or alter trans people’s access to the service” if he reaches a “legitimate objective”.
However, several LGBTQ+ groups have denounced the EHRC guidelines, saying they “contradicts the true means of ‘equality'”.
Gilpin said trans youth are being rejected “much more often” since the guidelines were released and there is a lack of trans-friendly hostels to begin with.
Lots of young trans people are forced to “choose between eating and receiving gender-affirming care” due to lack of funding.
Increasingly, trans people are accessing this health care privately and crowdfunding to confirm treatments due to the multi-year waiting lists through the NHS.
“For trans youth, getting gender-affirming services and care is a huge priority for how they spend their money,” Gilpin said. “Right now they can’t afford hormones, so a lot of people are choosing between eating and getting hormones.”
She added: ‘We’re seeing this right now where people have to go off their hormones because they have to pay their bills, and it’s triggering huge gender dysphoria and mental health issues.
“They have no way of budgeting for the future. It undoes much of their gender affirmation care that they invested their money in, which has become a cycle of drug addiction, depression, back to the streets and sex work to be able to afford sex again. hormone.
Gilpin said the charity is only able to do “contingency planning” at this time. As such, akt is ask for the public’s help to support LGBTQ+ youth affected by the lack of government support and the cost of living crisis.
“Barriers to accessing safe and affordable housing for queer trans youth are exacerbated much more by the cost of living crisis, but the barriers existed before that and affect trans people much more because it is harder to find a job, to get into any space or dwelling,” Gilpin said.
Gilpin added that it was “almost impossible” at the moment for young trans people who are “rejected by their families to move into safe private long-term accommodation” given these barriers.
She said it was essential that the Conservative government commit to a strategy to end homelessness and include a “specific appeal to young gay men”.
“They can’t just be lumped in with the homeless population because they have specific needs to access housing and employment services,” she said.