A college education no longer functions – if it ever did – as a ticket out of poverty......because it's not a magic golden ticket, if you have too many other issues. And boy (girl?), do you have other issues!
...especially not for people at the crux of different forms of discrimination. As a trans person of color and survivor of LGBTQ youth homelessness, I struggled after graduating from college. Actually, that sentence belongs in the present tense: I am still struggling very much.Ummm...
OK, so who is Christopher Soto?
Christopher Soto (aka Loma) is a poet and activist living in Brooklyn. Their (sic) chapbook Sad Girl Poems is forthcoming from Sibling Rivalry Press in January 2016.Wha..?
I graduated in May with my master’s degree from New York University. I have not been hired for full time work yet...Gosh! The poetry business ain't hiring? Shocker!
Maybe you should have studied something else? I mean, it must be your fault that..
There is enough money in my savings account to last me until the end of February but, if I do not find work by then, I’m not sure what will happen. What is a survivor of LGBTQ youth homelessness going to do if they are facing employment discrimination, housing discrimination and have no familial support to help them during the transition out of college?Yes, it's 'discrimination' that must be the answer.
I thought getting a higher education would make things different, but it turns out demographics have been stacked against me the whole time.Yup, demographics are to blame. Not you. Of course.
This is a structural problem, so we need structural solutions. The LGBTQ movement should take notice – and take care – of the homeless youth (of color) in their community that struggle into young adulthood because of circumstances such as employment and housing discrimination.Ah, because you're special, over and above anyone else. How nice!
Homeless LGBTQ youth need free and optional housing to supplement the estimated 4,000 beds available for homeless young adults nationwide, only about 350 of which are LGBTQ specific, the Ali Forney head told NBC News last year.TANSTAAFL, chum...
We need affirmative action in the workplace and in housing (there are employment laws and housing laws to protect against gender-based discrimination but laws aren’t always followed).So laws aren't followed, so we need more laws..?
We need to focus on decriminalizing sex work (as suggested by Amnesty International this year) and decriminalizing drug use (Portugal did it 14 years ago, and the prevalence of drug use dropped).Wait, what? How on earth did this demand creep in, and .... why?
Homeless LGBTQ youth sometimes turn to alternative forms of income such as sex work and selling drugs in order to survive. This, in turn, means frequent contact with the police. People should not be criminalized for poverty.Ah! Right. No, dear, you don't get busted for 'poverty', that's not on the statute books, but for prostitution and drug dealing. You don't need to do that, you could study (a genuine subject this time) and get a job.
Like everyone else.
We need healthcare and doctors who understand the trans community.That might be a tough ask. Frankly, you're mostly hysterical and incoherent, at least, the public 'faces' of transgender, the squeaky wheels getting all the media grease, anyway.
You don't understand yourselves.
We need to be able to use the bathrooms and locker rooms of our choice and move through the world safely (gender discrimination guidelines like the ones New York City just passed are a start).While you have the plumbing of a male, you'll use the male toilets. And vice versa. Don't like it? Get it cut off!
We need opportunities to help us succeed into our adulthood, to become the adults that we want to become.You've had them. That you haven't made the most of them is....well, frankly, it's on you, isn't it?