Nearly 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ+, compared to 7% of the general population. These youth may face homelessness for reasons connected to their identities, such as family rejection, prior abuse or neglect, bullying in school, or social discrimination and marginalization.
Youth without safe shelter and social supports are at higher risk of trafficking and exploitation. Traffickers exploit their needs and vulnerabilities to compel them into sex or labor trafficking. LGBTQ+ youth may be trafficked by intimate partners, family members, friends, or strangers.
The coercion and control that traffickers hold over their victims, in combination with the stigma of commercial sex, may prevent youth from disclosing their situation. LGBTQ+ youth service providers may be in a unique position to recognize indicators of sex trafficking among the youth they serve and connect them with much needed services.
Sex Trafficking and LGBTQ Youth, made possible by the generous support of the Palette Fund, provides an introduction to sex trafficking for LGBTQ+ youth providers and others who are new to the issue of human trafficking. This resource provides indicators of sex trafficking, recommendations on how LGBTQ+ serving organizations can get involved in anti-trafficking efforts, and information on how to get assistance for LGBTQ+ youth survivors of sex trafficking.