E-mail from Billy About Homeless Youth
Thanks for this very interesting dialogue. I want this recorded in history. And hope to hear more of the man doing research from a LA (which one, the state or city, laugh!) and not New york view.
Subject: Re: Hope that this proves of interest, Leo! No other employed journalist here has it.
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2008 10:12:34 -0700
Interesting Leo! I've put your reply on top of my answer, so Billy Glover can check out the dialog, because I know that it's one where his opinions would be interesting ( I suspect that he will agree with you).
Apr 13, 2008, at 9:50 PM, Leo Laurence wrote:
While I totally agree with your proposal, I equally disagree that"Gay Liberation was first publicly recognized with Stonewall." False!!!!!
From: Jay Murley
To: Leo Laurence
Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2008 12:06 AM
Subject: Hope that this proves of interest, Leo! No other employed journalist here has it.
That is below, Billy: this is my reply to former Advocate reporter, etc. Leo
I don't think the general media even fully recognized Gay Liberation as a fringe group, except in San Francisco, where I credit that Halloween closure of the Black Cat as the media-cracking story that made it credible to report on homosexuality locally off the police blotters. But even the Black Cat fit in the national worth-covering category of police busts, normally regarded as the only aspect of homosexuality worthy of attention.
I had news stints with Plough's WCOP, Boston and a Canadian privately-owned net (long defunct All-Canada) before I came to San Francisco, and in each case there were policies on covering fringe groups like homosexual liberation. In Boston in 1962, for example, the Broadcasting Association had a list by confidential consensus of crazy publicity hounds not to be covered, with Boston's two Gay Liberationists, Prescott Townsend and Phil Bayon, among them, because I checked them on the list. I don't know if such a list existed in San Francisco before the Black Cat's ABC closure hearing, but I know it didn't after (when I arrived at KYA), because i covered a Gay ball (maybe at the Fillmore, can't recall) on Halloween 1964, the first anniversary of the Black Cat closure, which most of us had covered, including your KGO (radio side) and our arch-rival KEWB with yours truly for KYA (so we got one up on them by having me cover the costumed half in drag, half in suits Halloween event).
But I suggest that that wouldn't have happened in Chief Parker's LA or any of the eastern cities then. I believe that Gay Liberation's prior big moment had been the Supreme Court decision on One Magazine's eligibility for postal delivery, per the First Amendment. But recall how much attention the court's action received (with the ACLU in less than a co-star role), but how little attention was given the plaintiff; i never even knew the name of the plaintiff until I got to California, and I was as much of a news junkie than as I remain today. Even hoodlum Miranda became better publicly known than One!
One guy who is fact-gathering pre-Stonewall Liberation material nationally (with an LA and not NYC perspective, thankfully) is Billy Glover, now back in a Shreveport suburb. I bet his thinking would be fascinating and probably much like yours.
Does San Diego face a GLBT Youth Invasion?
What's going to happen to the trickles of homeless, jobless, impoverished 18-25 GLBT refugees who will wash up on coastal San Diego all summer as they do annually? Why will it be so much worse this year? How can we pitch in and help those that we individually feel most deserve help?
GABLES, the GAy, Bisexual and LEsbian Seculars, a unit of the HASD, the Humanist Association of San Diego (Chapter of the American Humanist Association) could plan to help in the months ahead, as their assigned civic project by HASD’s Board of Directors is to choose an aspect of homelessness and lend a hand.
How many Gay and Lesbian kids uniquely grow up behind homophobic enemy lines, exposed to parents and siblings sharing fag jokes or worse?
There is a thin line between throwaway and runaway, and its usually decided by chance circumstance. You will see that over a third of these young homeless are GLBT, and most of those are Gay
As GABLES pet project, victories will be won one young adult at a time. We are in contact with Brian Haslip, (soon to head north to manage Stand Up for Kids’ Seattle-Tacoma Project. GABLES individuals might first work with Stand Up for Kids’ San Diego office in outreach capacities, and with more impact, offer specific GBLT young adults appropriate aid.
Some of us could pitch in and each house one in exchange for limited housekeeping effort, just as a number of transient youth were stabilized back in the nineteen sixties and seventies. Some of us could pitch in this summer of 2008 to reduce the number of these youngsters who fall victim to survival sex prostitution and its likely followers, crystal meth addiction and HIV and/or Hepatitis infection. Together we can collectively make the sort of contribution that Laguna Beach Gays pioneered in Southern California over a quarter century ago. And if we don’t pitch in, what sort of problems will be increased?
We start with a fact: by definition, the economy only needs two negative three-month periods in a row to be in a recession. Regardless of numbers manipulated by the White House, we have already experienced two such quarters last fall and winter, and unless you’ve been hibernating, and missed housing foreclosures, credit inaccessibility, massive employment reductions, devastated consumer confidence, oil price and dollar exchange rate inspired inflation, I think we can all agree that we are well into such a recessionary spring. Thus I ask you to agree that the present Federal package will not genuinely turn the economy around in the summer or by fall, because recessionary factors are worsening, not improving. We should agree that we are in a recession: my questions are How Long? How Deep?
It is also a fact that a recession always sees more young adults relocating rather involuntarily. Many of their families are relieved to see those different GLBT ones go. In 1981 and 1982, during America's last major economic recession, homes facing reduced incomes due to increasing layoffs and vanishing overtime simply found some of their own children expendable.
In Evangelical, Pentecostal, Mormon and among some ethnic groups, Roman Catholic homes, religious homophobia often dictated who should leave. During recessions in the seventies and early eighties far more GLBT 16-24 year-olds receive the brunt of this economic and emotional crunch than usual!
"You might as well go to California where they seem to accept your kind, because you won't be accepted here. This is the money for a one-way bus ticket anywhere you want in California, with a few more dollars for meals until you fit in out there."
Since Gay Liberation was first publicly recognized after 1969’s Stonewall, such young gays particularly flooded to California early each summer in recessionary 1970, 1971, 1974, 1975, 1981 and 1982 (the six recent prior national recessionary years by most accountings). As usual, a disproportionate share headed to overcrowded San Francisco. Then they all discovered that San Francisco's coldest, dampest and foggiest month of the year is often August, when the Golden Gate turns into our hemisphere's largest cold, foggy air conditioning duct. Most discovered that it wasn’t cool to be homeless. Many usually migrated again to warmer, sunnier Southern California. Hollywood, West Hollywood and Laguna Beach were their three primary destinations then. These arrivals joined those who had arrived weeks ahead of them.
But most Laguna Gays have either died of AIDS or sold their homes at colossal profits, moving within Orange County or retiring to Palm Springs or beyond, with the renters among them often forced out by rising rents on stagnant incomes.
Hollywood simply lost most of its gay emphasis to its newly incorporated western neighbor, West Hollywood, as vintage Hollywood’s splendor tried to halt its decline.
For "Recession summer 2008," many of these youth might consider equally Gay Palm Springs, until they discover how hot the desert can be in summer, when those with Southern destinations will settle on West Hollywood and San Diego in that order.
Expect influxes of young throwaways mixed with equally desperate runaways to prove that homophobia is still alive and well in depressed areas of mid-America and most of the old Confederacy.
Will San Diego experience an invasion of gay, lesbian, bi & trans (GLBT) youth this recessionary summer?
Every year, youths hit the road to escape their small town homes, which often offer few job prospects as they force excessive intolerance against those who are perceived to violate their Family Values. This year sees families splitting as their homes get foreclosed adding more such youth, somewhat more often people of color who disproportionably signed up for sub-prime home loans. They can not escape to industrial jobs in the assembly lines of the Upper Midwest as their uncles and granduncles might have done a generation or two ago, for those jobs moved to East Asia and Latin America, leaving a rust belt that will only add to the exodus. These relocating youth will not be alone arriving here.
Every year, almost a hundred thousand 18 year-olds nationally are termed out of foster care after their birthdays. If they managed to stay in school long enough, most leave after their June graduation. A rather disproportionate share of foster youth is or is perceived to be Gay. Many of the smarter, straight-acting foster kids have already enlisted in America's Armed Forces by June. Some have already left school & foster care when they turned 18, and can still enlist successfully this year. (Looking after a new President is elected, fewer non-graduates will be acceptable to a more selective post Surge military.)
Some non-enlistees passed the military up because of the Pentagon's bigoted "Don't Ask: Don't Tell" policy. They’ve already experienced thoughtless bigotry: they know better than to volunteer to face institutionalized prejudice. Few of these youth have places to go.
Over half of these Foster Care youth are male; close to half of them are Black (though Blacks are slightly less than ten percent of America's population). Almost a third of foster care concluders and graduates who are not bound for military enlistment are Black males. Unfortunately, San Diego's Black community and its religious, political and cultural leadership remain perennially homophobic, and the Black GLBT community is proportionately small, reducing ethnic support. In such an environment, Gay Black refugees are likelier to relocate to Los Angeles County or the Bay Area, both with large diverse Black communities.
2008 is also a war year. Let us turn to the summer and fall of 2008's military here in San Diego. Expect a carrier and its five support ships returning to San Diego after one of the longest deployments since the Vietnam War. More than eight thousand particularly sex-starved sailors and marines who left months ago will return in the carrier battle group. Thousands more will follow later. Some are always mustered out for homosexuality: once again, many of them will consider staying here.
Old-timers will fondly recall downtown San Diego, San Francisco and Long Beach when the fleet returned from Vietnam deployments almost forty years ago. Base reductions and closures to the north conclude that history can still repeat itself here.
How many U. S. Navy gays, lesbians and bisexuals are about to be dismissed under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"? How many more will check in at the Center in Hillcrest or with American Veterans for Equal Rights to determine if they have any civil rights? How many experimenters will simply descend on that last decrepit gay bar downtown or near various bus stops in Hillcrest or even North Park in search of same-sex company?
This particular recession has a new feature, however. Cash-strapped state, county and city governments will be releasing prisoners of all ages prematurely to reduce incarceration costs nationally; in California alone about twenty-two thousand adults must be released to comply with federal judicial edicts to reduce prison over-crowding. Nationally some will be among those convicted on felony possession of less than an ounce of marijuana (charges defelonized to a misdemeanor or less since 1974 here in California). Others, however, will have committed crimes with victims. Their states will not really want to expensively jail them again on minor parole violations. Many of the younger ones will simply cross state lines to enjoy a taste of freedom. Many or most will turn first to California. Violating parole to leave a state means that a state can hope that you are out of their hair, saving their old state money. Governments try not to publicly estimate how many will be released early.
California already gets the lion's share of the worst of Mexico's ex-cons, trying to pass off simply economic refugees or illegal aliens who are looking for government benefits unavailable across the southern border. These ex-cons are really bound for a huge nation that does not have rapid access to the criminal records of those who entered illegally. Many pay for their American border crossing as mules, lugging drugs across deserts or mountains for one of the cartels, so they are already off on the wrong foot. Some stay with the cartels as drug retailers.
Too many out-of-state ex-cons will do their best to be criminals here, giving a bad name to all ex-cons, including California’s new share of the nation’s Gay ex-cons freed after convictions for victimless crimes. As far too many ex-cons have learned to be pathological liars, few can really be trusted prudently. Most ex-cons tend to become homeless, with the younger ones searching Hillcrest and North Park in search of a free ride or more. The fact that disproportionate shares of these newly released ex-cons are either Blacks or Hispanic Illegal Aliens will increase employer reluctance to hire unreferred males from either group in an economy that has rising urban unemployment. This accelerates the local problems facing all unemployed males in either group. Those problems will slide over to other People of Color and even the White majority as well.
Who will hire all these newcomers, even excluding the ex-cons, in this job market?
Some new arrivals will have the qualifications for computer graphics, data processing, financial services, health care and software design. Some young adults always turn to the adult entertainment industry. Others will again to the telemarketing and food service industries, both set to decline further following their other mainstay, construction, which has plummeted in this recessionary year.
Among the youngest, some of the under 18 will discover the Storefront at Fourth and Wilson or Father Joe's Teen Centre on Fifth, while most of those under 21 will find the services at Stand Up For Kids at 12th and C & the Center’s Hillcrest Youth Center on 4th.
What's going to happen to the trickles of homeless impoverished 18-24 GLBT refugees who will wash up on coastal San Diego all summer? While the county does help fund the Center’s Sunburst young adult housing project, which was primarily built with GLBT donations for homeless GLBT young adults, the county is getting away with misusing it as a place to disproportionately dump Black youth from their foster care system. At recent count, Blacks added up to 75%, precisely 18 of 24 occupants (not all of whom were regarded as GLBT by their peers) when censured in a county that was 7.5% Black in 2000’s census. That is disproportional by a ten to one ratio, where a little improvement will not excuse the lack of attention to what some may dismiss as detail.
Other occupants claimed that the 18 Blacks include non-GLBT needle-sharing drug users and/or unprotected heterosexual sex practitioners who became HIV Positive. There is a proper American tendency to be concerned if Blacks are being treated equally: in this case, is overcompensation to non-GLBT Blacks depriving non-Back GLBTs of appropriate access? Do you think that there is room in crowded Sunburst for heterosexual HIV positives? Ask yourself: do they belong in Sunburst when GLBT young adults are homeless?
But that fills Sunburst, so what is ready for youthful newcomers in a bad recession year? The ratios of Sunburst admission hardly represent the GLBT community or its needs, but that issue appears ignored by a variety of public and non-profit bureaucrats with unrelated agendas.
Sunburst was supposed to help handle this recessionary contingency It won’t.
This city and its GLBT establishment offer homelessness.
As you read at the outset;
GABLES, the GAy, Bisexual and LEsbian Seculars, a unit of the HASD, the Humanist Association of San Diego (Chapter of the American Humanist Association) plans to help in the months ahead, as their assigned civic project by HASD is to choose an aspect of homelessness and lend a hand.
As GABLES pet project, victories will be won one young adult at a time. In contact with Brian Haslip of Stand Up for Kids, GABLES individuals could work with their San Diego office in some outreach or related capacity, and second offer specific GBLT young adults appropriate aid. Most will need support in dealing with self-esteem or related woes.
To spearhead this effort, as Chairman of HASD’s GABLES unit, I will take advantage of a past track record of success stories in this regard. I volunteer a bedroom at no cost but limited housework effective this summer to a selected honest, clean, intelligent, personable, English-speaking, culturally assimilated, Gay or Bisexual, 18-24 year-old male who is currently homeless, jobless and broke. He must be drug-free or pledging to enroll in a program, and closely related to this, long-term infectious progressive diseases would be deal-killers: thus, STD testing would prove mandatory. Obviously, I must feel comfortable with the young adult.
Lets recognize that thirty per cent of America’s youth do not graduate from high school successfully. (The rates vary tremendously by race and nation of birth, with Blacks and foreign-born Hispanics having the worst rates and Asians having the best). To qualify, if he is not a High School graduate, he must register at the Center City/Skills Center (1400 Park Blvd.) GED Continuing Ed Program for study, test registration and GED testing and expect to treat performance as a closely monitored job, with free room and board dependent on his GED success.
If he is a High School graduate or upon being awarded his GED, he will enroll at San Diego City College (1313 Park Blvd.) as soon as practical upon residential eligibility. (A past resident of several years is graduating this spring of 2008. This new resident will be aided to secure Pell and Governor’s grants that will make such education and its bus transit from North Park reality, and may soon prove eligible for part-time employment at ten dollars an hour with union membership (about eighteen hours weekly required for full medical and dental, far in contrast to City College’s nursing service). This requires legal American residency and a valid Social Service number. As the program here involves a shared bathroom, it is unavailable to females or the transgendered, though androgynous males are certainly welcome.
Will young adults benefit from such an approach?
If the Gay or Bisexual throwaway or runaway ends up in such a solution, even after a few weeks of college, the U S Government tabulates him as a “some college” dropout in census and income data from “high school dropout” or “high school graduate”.
According to a 2001 report from the Commerce Department's Census Bureau titled "The Big Payoff: Educational Attainment and Synthetic Estimates of Work-Life Earnings" (.pdf), it was revealed that over an adult's working life, the thirty percent who are high school graduates can expect, on average, to earn $1,200,000, or $140,000 more than the one in nine who dropout. Those with a four year bachelor's degree average $2,100,000 million in contrast with associate degree holders $1,600,000; and college dropouts who entered college $1,320,000. If a youngster here takes four months to get his GED and then leaves, he has increased his future average earnings by $140,000: that’s over a thousand dollars a day. For the high school graduate who didn’t want to go to a homophobic college back home but enrolls at City College for a few weeks to get free room and board here during a two month stay, his average lifetime income soars $120,000: that is two thousand dollars a day, for which he is likely to thank his host here when he gets older. (By then he will realize that higher education pays off: a master's degree earns $2,500,000, those with doctoral degrees earn an average of $3,400,000 during their working life, while those with professional degrees do best at $4,400,000. Clearly gender, ancestry and geography complicate the averages, and such averages will not reflect the relative economic decline of America until fiscal data is updated by the Census).
Epidemic of Homelessness," an alarming report by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Coalition for the Homeless that collects the best research on homeless gay youth and combines it with accounts of the few projects that are successfully addressing the problem (Read it at thetaskforce.org.)
An appalling number of young people -- as many as 1.6 million, the federal government estimates -- are homeless or runaways. And even though a small fraction of teens are gay, more than 40 percent of homeless youth are gay, the National Runaway Switchboard finds.
The new report is a wakeup call for lawmakers and social service agencies: Our nation is failing these kids.
The federal Runaway and Homeless Youth Act needs to be renewed and better funded, as the report suggests, and Uncle Sam needs to focus on the reasons gay teens are at much higher risk for homelessness.
Most homeless gay youth are either throwaways, teenagers thrown out of their homes because of their sexual orientation, or are not at home to escape being beaten for being gay. So much hostility and violence are aimed at gay teens in foster care, homeless shelters or corrections that many conclude they're safer living on a sidewalk.
Read the full Detroit News article at:
http://www.thetaskforce.org/TF_in_news/07_0202/stories/3_detroitnews_dobetterforhomeless.pdf or the full joint NGLTF & Natl. Coalition for the Homeless report indexed at: http://www.thetaskforce.org.