Today I was hopeful. I was hopeful because I witnessed several NFL teams defy our current president, DJT, who a famous sports host labeled correctly a “racist and white supremacist,” and who a famous NBA star called “a bum.” DJT had, even before he was elected, ignited a national sense of urgency to resist social injustice in the so-called “mighty USA.”
“If someone had just asked, things might have been different,” said Mateo, a closeted, gay, gang-involved teenager in juvenile detention for committing a hate crime against a gay person. Mateo (pseudonym used to protect confidentiality) had committed a robbery at gunpoint outside a gay bar while shouting homophobic slurs at his victim.
NEW YORK — Despite the strides that the LGBTQ community has made in the United States over the last year, LGBTQ youth still have a way to go in having equitable juvenile justice and foster care systems as well as combating homelessness.
If the U.S. Supreme Court has declared gay marriage to be part of the fundamental rights of privacy, speech and expression for all American citizens, does that signal the acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals?
For the juvenile justice and child welfare courts, the answer is decidedly “No.”
Since he was 16, Ivan Cabrera has been spending time at New Alternatives, a drop-in center for 16- to 24-year-olds who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender — and homeless. He goes there almost every Sunday for a free meal, HIV testing and a talk with other clients and caseworkers.