There aren’t many things that surprise me when it comes to queer youth homelessness, but sometimes even I am left furious and perplexed. Late yesterday Ann Coulter tweeted “last Thursday was national coming out day. This Monday is national disown your son day.”
No doubt about it, Ann Coulter is an extremist and I don’t normally take her seriously. That said, when we live in a country where 40% of homeless youth are LGBTQ identified I have a difficult time reading a quote like this and simply dismissing it as the rant of a right-wing nutjob. Every single day in this country queer youth are being thrown out of their homes and families. For anyone, let alone an adult who (for better or worse) wields a tremendous amount of cultural power to say anything to say this, to turn the epidemic of queer youth homelessness into a cruel joke is to me ethically incomprehensible.
Mostly today I’m sitting here stunned that a person could be so cruel. I’m thinking too and most importantly about the youth I pray will never come across her cruel words. The reality is that there are hundreds of thousands of Queer youth Who don’t know Where they will sleep tonight. The facts that are as cold and hard as a city street is that 26% of youth who come out experience parental rejection and are kicked out of their homes. I know for a fact that includes young people who heeded our community call on National Coming Out day and payed a heavy price.
Even though i know that Ann Coulter is a bully, I cant help but wonder how she could sleep last night after posting that tweet when thousands of youth don’t have the luxury of a safe and warm bed to call their own. I don’t have a solution for how to fight this kind of bigotry. I don’t know how to work with or communicate with bullies like her. The only response I can think of is to keep talking, to hope that together as a community we make enough noise that any youth who might have heard her hateful speak also hear our messages of support and know that we won’t stand for anyone saying that queer youth homelessness is never something to laugh about.