(Un)Belonging in the City: Research, Theory and Practice Highlighting LGBTQIA+ Youths Experiencing Homelessness in Cape Town, South Africa
Keywords:shelter, Cape Town, homeless youths, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender
LGBTQIA+ youths who experience homelessness in South Africa face a unique set of experiences that is disregarded and sometimes unacknowledged. Using existing literature, the minority strengths theory, the minority stress theory, original research, and practice knowledge, we provide insight into the context in which these youths exist. While more research needs to be conducted to develop interventions and further refine existing interventions for more impact, we highlight some actions being taken in Cape Town, South Africa, to deal with some of the needs of the population. The Pride Shelter Trust is leading the way in providing services to deal with some of the needs of the multiple marginalised members of the LGBTQIA+ population that it serves. In this commentary, we highlight some of the work being done at the Shelter and offer recommendations for more inclusive practices at shelters for people experiencing homelessness that may not have an emphasis on LGBTQIA+ populations.
Alessi, E. J., Greenfield, B., Yu, M., Cheung, S., Giwa, S., & Kahn, S. (2021). Family, friendship, and strengths, among LGBTQ+ migrants in Cape Town, South Africa: A qualitative understanding. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 38(7), 1–20. https://doi.org/10.1177/02654075211001435 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/02654075211001435
Brendtro, L. K., Brokenleg, M., & Bockern, S. V. (2009). Reclaiming youth at risk: Our hope for the future. Bloomington: Solution Tree.
Chimdessa, A., & Cheire, A. (2018). Sexual and physical abuse and its determinants among street children in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 2016. BMC Pediatrics, 18(1), 304. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12887-018-1267-8 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12887-018-1267-8
Durso, L. E., & Gates, G. J. (2012). Serving our youth: Findings from a national survey of services providers working with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. UCLA: The Williams Institute. Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/80x75033
El-Sayyed, N., Kabbash, I. A., & El-Gueniedy, M. (2008). Risk behaviours for HIV/AIDS infection among men who have sex with men in Cairo, Egypt. Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal, 14(4), 11.
Embleton, L., Wachira, J., Kamanda, A., Naanyu, V., Winston, S., Ayuku, D., & Braitstein, P. (2015). “Once you join the streets you will have to do it”: Sexual practices of street children and youth in Uasin Gishu County, Kenya. Reproductive Health, 12(1), 106. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12978-015-0090-z DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12978-015-0090-z
Gattis, M. N. (2013). Ecological systems comparison between homeless sexual minority youth and homeless heterosexual youth. Journal of Social Service Research, 39(1), 38–49. https://doi.org/10.1080/01488376.2011.633814 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/01488376.2011.633814
Gattis, M. N., & Larson, A. (2016). Perceived racial, sexual identity, and homeless status-related discrimination among black adolescents and young adults experiencing homelessness: Relations with depressive symptoms and suicidality. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 86(1), 79–90. https://doi.org/10.1037/ort0000096 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/ort0000096
Gattis, M. N., Wagaman, M. A., & Kemmerer, A. (2023). Developing Marsha and Marian’s neighbors: A shared housing intervention to address homelessness among LGBTQ+ and pregnant/parenting youth. Youth 3(1), 335–350. https://doi.org/10.3390/youth3010022 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/youth3010022
Gyamerah, A. O., Collier, K. L., Reddy, V., & Sandfort, T. G. M. (2019). Sexuality disclosure among black South African MSM and responses by family. Journal of Sex Research, 56(9), 1203–1218. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224499.2018.1559917 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00224499.2018.1559917
Haroz, E. E., Bass, J., Lee, C., Oo, S. S., Lin, K., Kohrt, B., Michalopolouis, L., Nguyen, A. J., & Bolton, P. (2017). Development and cross-cultural testing of the International Depression Symptom Scale (IDSS): A measurement designed to represent global presentations of depression. Global Mental Health, 4, e17. https://doi.org/10.1017/gmh.2017.16 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/gmh.2017.16
Matthews, P., Poyner, C., & Kjellgren, R. (2019). Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer experiences of homelessness and identity: Insecurity and home(o)normativity. International Journal of Housing Policy, 19(2), 232–253. https://doi.org/10.1080/19491247.2018.1519341 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/19491247.2018.1519341
Mayeza, E. (2021). South African LGBTPQ youth: The perceptions and realities of coming out and parental reactions. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 17(3), 292–303. https://doi.org/10.1080/1550428X.2021.1897051 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/1550428X.2021.1897051
McCann, E., & Brown, M. (2019). Homelessness among youth who identify as LGBTQ+: A systematic review. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 28(11–12), 2061-2072. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.14818 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.14818
Meyer, I. H. (2003). Prejudice, social stress, and mental health in lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations: Conceptual issues and research evidence. Psychological Bulletin, 129(5), 674–697. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.129.5.674 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.129.5.674
Perrin, P. B., Sutter, M. E., Trujillo, M. A., Henry, R. S., and Pugh, M. (2020). The minority strengths model: Development and initial path analytic validation in racially/ethnically diverse LGBTQ individuals. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 76, 118–136. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/jclp.22850
Reddy, V., Sandfort, T., & Rispel, L. (Eds.). (2009). From social silence to social science: Same-sex sexuality, HIV & AIDS and gender in South Africa. Cape Town: HSRC Press.
Republic of South Africa. (2006). Civil Union Act, 2006 (Act No. 17 of 2006). Pretoria: Government Printers.
Republic of South Africa. (1996). Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Act No. 108 of 1996). Pretoria: Government Printers.
Scheim, A. I., & Bauer, G. R. (2019). The intersectional discrimination index: Development and validation of measures of self-reported enacted and anticipated discrimination for intercategorical analysis. Social Science & Medicine, 226, 225–235. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2018.12.016
Testa, R. J., Habarth, J., Peta, J., Balsam, K., & Bockting, W. (2015). Development of the gender minority stress and resilience measure. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 2(1), 65–77. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/sgd0000081