Just-18 friend kicked out for being gay, what are his options?
April 23, 2012 3:05 PM   Subscribe

A very close online friend of mine is getting kicked out of the house and disinherited for being gay and not going through with what amounts to an arranged marriage. He just turned 18. The situation is somewhat urgent, he doesn’t have much in the way of local resources, and getting in touch with specifically LGBT groups is likely to strain his family situation further. What resources and options can I help him find?

Of primary importance for him is finding a place to stay for an extended period of time, ideally with a roommate. He has a bit of financial support from another friend to cover housing costs until he gets onto his feet. He's currently located in the vicinity of Sarasota, FL, and is planning a trip up to Michigan to visit a contact there and perhaps see if he can work out an arrangement and find housing, but that situation seems pretty tenuous.
posted by NMcCoy to Human Relations (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
getting in touch with specifically LGBT groups is likely to strain his family situation further

Further than being kicked out of his home? Perhaps he can call the Hetrick-Martin Institute from a friend's house or phone and get referrals to support organizations near him. (Hetrick-Martin serves LGTBQ people ages 12-24.)
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:09 PM on April 23, 2012 [5 favorites]

This group is in Sarasota. And here are a whole bunch more resources.

Going to Michigan for some tenuous connection sounds like a waste. There are plenty of young gay people in Sarasota, St. Petersburg, and Tampa if he wants to stay closer to home.
posted by mareli at 3:16 PM on April 23, 2012 [2 favorites]

NMcCoy: "with specifically LGBT groups is likely to strain his family situation further."

Uh, he's getting kicked out of the house. That's pretty much disowning. That's like telling an assault victim that going to the cops will make your attacker angry.

Look into LGBT groups. Really. That's what they're *there* for.
posted by notsnot at 3:18 PM on April 23, 2012 [18 favorites]

He just turned 18.

Is he still in High School? If so, at least in some states (I can't find info on FL quickly) he still may be eligible for help through the foster care system until he graduates.

Even if your local version of DHHS can't help him, he should be open with his school administration about his situation. They will probably be able to put him in touch with resources to assist him.
posted by anastasiav at 4:12 PM on April 23, 2012

Specifically LGBT groups are the ones who will act fastest and in the best faith. As a legal adult, he is not obligated to disclose to his family or anyone else who he's talking to or what forms of aid he's getting, so I don't see how it could have a negative impact. Please do post an update if you have information on this aspect of the situation that we might find relevant...
posted by hermitosis at 4:54 PM on April 23, 2012 [3 favorites]

He's not in school. To the best of my understanding, the situation is not "doesn't have a roof over his head" but "family is tolerating him staying on occasion while he looks for a place, and expects him to be gone by the end of May". Things are still pretty tense and hostile but he is not physically evicted at this point. He is averse to calling a hotline, and I'm not sure why; some combination of not thinking it will be helpful and being self-conscious about it, I think.
posted by NMcCoy at 5:13 PM on April 23, 2012

He could also try couchsurfing if he hasn't found a place by the time his parents expect him to move out. Does he have any other relatives he could reach out to for help?
posted by Autumn at 5:27 PM on April 23, 2012

There are support groups for gay and lesbians specific to many different cultural identities (I am wondering if this applies, since you mention an arranged marriage is in the offing). Would contacting one of them be easier/more comfortable for him?
posted by Wordwoman at 5:48 PM on April 23, 2012

ALSO Out Youth: ALSO Out Youth provides many direct services, including peer support services, social activities, educational programs and workshops, advocacy, and referrals for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and questioning youth ages 13 to 21, their families and friends, and the community. Located 1470 Blvd. of the Arts, Sarasota, Florida.

Step Out Sarasota has forums and an active community. I'd reach out there and ask for help.
posted by barnone at 6:32 PM on April 23, 2012

There are a lot of GLBTQ-focused websites around now for queer people to advertise queer-friendly share accommodation. If any exist in your area (or are well-frequented by people in your area), talking to a well-linked-up member of the queer community via a hotline might be the fastest way to get the details. As a queer person myself I'd definitely recommend trying a few.
posted by springbound at 8:14 PM on April 23, 2012

(You could call a hotline yourself to ask if there are websites like this, and pass the info on to him.)
posted by springbound at 8:15 PM on April 23, 2012

21 years ago I had a friend in more or less this situation. He never went back home. The next year the IRS audited his taxes because he filed separately but his father had still listed him as a dependent (after all, he'd lived a bit of the year in their house?) The repercussions and complications from this sort of situation are complex.

It is really hard to ask for help, but I don't think he'll find a much more understanding or supportive source than the LGBT community. Perhaps he'd be willing to let you call with him in the room so as to stay anonymous until he is more comfortable they'll really be of help?
posted by meinvt at 8:48 PM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

So, just an update for the concerned individuals in this thread.... it came to light that much of his situation was fabricated. (He got used to lying about his orientation, and that led to lying about other things, and the familiar snowball of tangled web from there.) Which explains some of the odder elements of his story. He is gay, and is having to move out of his parents' house (because he's 18 and they are having a hard time supporting him), and he's not comfortably out to his family, so I will forward these resources on to him. And I apologize for unwittingly transmitting a deception.
posted by NMcCoy at 9:54 AM on April 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

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