SURVIVAL AND DREAMS: LIVES OF LGBTQ HOMELESS YOUTH IN LOS ANGELES
Sulfaro-Menconi, Angela M.
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In Los Angeles County, the majority of the homeless youth population self-identifies as LGBTQ. This research attempts to uncover some primary survival strategies for this population via personal narrative. In order to gather this qualitative data, multiple in-depth oral history interviews of five homeless LGBTQ youth were conducted over a period of six months. These interviews give a fascinating look into the tumultuousness of their lives and the many reasons for youth homelessness. An analysis of these interviews shows that youth employ many positive strategies for survival including participation in job training programs, as well as negative strategies such as drug abuse and crime. Youth who are successful in the homeless economy display high levels of social intelligence. This study is an addition to the established anthropological tradition of oral history as well as the growing body of research of LGBTQ life experience. This project will contribute to future research on similar topics.