‘Better the street than a shelter’: LGBTQ people loath to use homeless services

Finding affordable housing can be a nightmare at the best of times, but imagine being a young transgender person fronting up to a real estate agent’s office.

One young transgender woman went to apply for a rental property dressed as a woman, got a cold reception and no application forms. But when she returned dressed as a man, staff encouraged her to apply.

Another real estate agent insisted a transgender woman produce identification documents she didn’t have: “They refused to give us the house…we appear as female but our voice is male. Maybe that is the reason”.

Their experiences are captured in new research into why lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people* in Australia are 50 per cent more likely to have experienced homelessness, and many at a younger age.

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