In America, up to 40% of youth experiencing homelessness identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.

The 40 of the Forty list provides a platform for the 40% of youth experiencing homelessness who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning. Youth are the experts of their own truths, and we aim to honor their voices and their stories. Our goal is to inspire hope and help reduce the stigma often associated with housing instability and homelessness.

The young people on the 40 of the Forty list were nominated by homeless youth service providers, social workers, educators, and other folks from across the country. The list highlights 40 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth who have experiences with homelessness and provides them opportunities to be engaged in our work nationally and within their home communities. Youth featured on the 40 of the Forty have become spokespeople for their communities, representing them in local and national forums and have contributed to publications from leading national organizations.

DOWNLOAD PDF

Aaron Kemmerer

Aaron Kemmerer

Richmond, VA

“I am proud of myself for owning my reality and, more importantly, doing something about it to help other folks.”

Aiyanna

Aiyanna

Richmond, VA

“I think about how I am blessed to see each day and that each day will bring a better opportunity my way...to see great change and to part of a movement that means more to me than anything.”

Benjii

Alaicia Taylor

Oakland, CA

“People should understand love knows no boundaries. It is color and gender blind.”

Austin Dunn

Austin Dunn

Atlanta,GA

“We just need a place to have friends and family. That’s what I call Lost-N-Found.”

Benjii

Benjii

Washington, DC

“I’m proud to overcome the obstacles of homelessness, insecurities and child abuse. I pride myself to be able to find the strength to keep living and moving.”

Caitlyn Caruso

Caitlyn Caruso

Las Vegas, NV

“I want to accomplish so much in a world and a system that often tells me I will accomplish nothing.”

Christian

Christian

Cincinnati, OH

“I am proud for existing and attempting to live my truth openly every single day.”

D'Angelo Morrison

D’Angelo Morrison

Richmond, VA

“I’ve learned that though I’m strong because my past, I don’t want any other youth to have to go through the obstacles and hardships I endured in life.”

Dean Wilson

Dean Wilson

Arcata, CA

“To end the homelessness, we need to educate the public and let them know what actually happens on a day to day basis for youth.”

Devone Thomas

Devone Thomas

Brooklyn, NY

“My biggest dream is to accomplish greatness.”

Giovanni

Giovanni

New York, NY

“The smallest things excite me and simplest things inspire me. I’m proud of the pieces that I produce as an artist and will soon share my love of words with the world.”

Hannah Le

Hannah Le

Rochester Hills, MI

“I want to continue this work of amplifying my voice as well as the voices of others”

Holly Love

Holly Love

Los Angeles, CA

“I came from nothing. I grew up in poverty and over the course of a few years was able to transform myself into a powerhouse of a woman.”

Independence

Independence

Sacramento, CA

“Connection is what makes our world function and human connection even in its simplest forms is valuable to us.”

Indie Landrum

Indie Landrum

San Diego, CA

“I don’t want to be famous, I just want to be able to say that my life was worth-while because I made the world a better place.”

Jaleel Kameron Carter

Jaleel Kameron Carter

Chicago, IL

“To be Jaleel, you have to be able to have an answer or solution to a problem because everyone is looking at you to do the right thing.”

Jawanza James Williams

Jawanza James Williams

New York, NY

“To be like me is to be totally and irrevocably committed to realizing one’s full humanity- and that is often a scary process, as deeply held 'truths' are always subject to critique.”

Jerome Fitzgerald Kendrick Jr

Jerome Fitzgerald Kendrick Jr.

Atlanta, GA

“We need more safe work environments for queer and trans youth as well as more accessible housing and shelters.”

Jobi Adams

Jobi Adams

Minneapolis, MN

“Just being me is making a difference in the world and that’s a lot of power to know that I have within myself.”

Kahlib Barton

Kahlib Barton

Washington, DC

“My biggest dream is that the world will one day embrace uniqueness; that when someone self identifies as something that others do not understand, they will be guided with a spirit of empathy.”

Kalwin 'Dre' Perrin

Kalwin “Dre” Perrin

Nashville, TN

“Today I can say I’m very humbled to be who I am and where I am. it may not be a millionaire dollar life, but its mine and I want the world to know I love myself and the life and skin I’m in.”

La'Ruben Dixon

La’ruben Dixon

Miami, FL

“I try to make the best out of every difficult situation I am placed in.”

Lanay Lindsey

Lanay Lindsey

Tucson, AZ

“I have to say that I am extremely proud of myself in that I’m learning how to not only advocate for myself but others, turning me into a stronger leader and better ally.”

Mario

Mario

Phoenix, AZ

“I stand firmly to my values, principles and the outcome of my life because of those who saw more in me when I was at the deepest lowest point in my life.”

Michael Monsujh Vincent Bolwaire

Michael Monsujh Vincent Bolwaire

Cleveland, OH

“We have to build our peers to love themselves, to believe in themselves, and to build each other by encouraging resiliency.”

Nisa Bragg

Nisa

Brooklyn,NY

“I want to open the world’s eyes up to the ugly truth by creating art that screams for change.”

Ziggy Keyes

Nzingha “Ziggy” Keyes

New York, NY

“With me, everything is constantly changing and moving and I just do the best I can to change with it.”

Patrick Notah

Patrick Notah

Phoenix, AZ

“Anyone can be a drag queen, but it takes a real person to spread good.”

Phoebe VanCleefe

Phoebe VanCleefe

Houston, TX

“My biggest dream is to be a part of a grassroots movement that emanates love, power, and resources toward the (complete) black community.”

Quneisha McGee

Quneisha Lashay McGee

Little Rock, AR

“We need to make people more aware of all the dangers of being an LGBTQ homeless youth.”

Regi Stevenson

Regi Stevenson

Jackson, MS

“To be me is like being a caterpillar. I’m often prejudged by my cover, but through time with me, I’m seen for my true self: a butterfly.“

Patrick Notah

Rhys Xavier Caraway

Houston, TX

“I am proud of my intersections and being ok with them. I am proud to be a queer black man of faith.”

Roxane Jack

Roxane Jack

Bemidji, MN

“I want nothing in life but to be happy and successful while bringing others with me. We all deserve a chance at a better life and, if I’m granted that chance, you sure as hell know I’m taking those who struggled with me.”

Shanwalus 'Sammy' Nesbit

Shanwalus “Sammy” Nesbit

Houston, TX

“I wouldn’t be the person that I am without strong people who made it in this life through adversity offering hope for young gay black men like me. I am proud that I have made it this far, and plan to go further.”

Shikema

Shikema

Richmond, VA

“People need to understand LGBT youth more.”

Sonya Wilson

Sonya Wilson

Patuxent River, MD

“I am proud to have made it as far as I have and all on my own. I have been homeless 95% of my life.”

Soul

Soul

Bronx, NY

“(I’m) very proud to be myself.”

Steven

Steven

Chicago, IL

“I think about how thankful I am to be alive and for my accomplishments so far and that I can try my hardest to make a difference and better my community.”

Taylon Taylor

Taylon Taylor

Hollywood, CA

“There are so many challenges that I have overcome & to find the blessings in the lessons of life translates into being ‘me’.”

Tyreik Gaffney (Xavier)

Xavier

Los Angeles, CA

“Cancer survivor at the age of 14 years old is my biggest accomplishment. I feel unstoppable in most of my efforts, having that under my belt.”