Hola and a big smushy WELCOME to our LGBTQ event which is here for the month of May. We have reviews, Guest Posts, Top Ten List and lots and lots of prizes all with a LGBT theme. The posts will be indexed on the side and I do hope you hop through … I have been so lucky this year!
Today, this post is very different. We have had a lot of book related posts but this one highlights the plight of LGBTQ youth around the US and I have to say I was shocked at some of the statistics in this post. It really does make some difficult reading.
The research for this post was done for a LGBTQ romance and we are lucky to have them offer a giveaway to one commenter of one of the books in this series.
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Our In The Kitchen Series revolves around food and foodies. When we first began working on the first book in the series, In The Raw, we knew Ethan was going to come from a rough background. With a dad who was drunk and eventually abandoned his family and a mom who worked two jobs just to pay the bills, Ethan took on the responsibility of helping put food on the table. Ethan worked odd jobs and often participated in dumpster diving to ensure his mom and his sister had enough to eat.
Hunger is a problem that many people face, but no population faces it quite as much as the homeless. Luckily, Ethan had a roof over his head, but many people aren’t so lucky. Especially amongst the LGBTQ youth. The problems facing LGBTQ youth are staggering and the statistics are harrowing:
- Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in young people ages 10-24
- LGBT from highly rejecting families are 8.4 times more likely to attempt suicide than peers in no- or low-level rejection families
- Each episode of LGBT victimization (physical and/or verbal) increases the likelihood of self-harm by 2.5 times.
- 39% of homeless are under age 18
- 75% of homeless teens use drugs or alcohol to self-medicate
- The average age of homeless youth is 14.7
(Statistics taken from Jaycee Edward)
The statistics are even more devastating for LGBTQ homeless youth:
- 20% of homeless youth are LGBT. In comparison, the general youth population is only 10% LGBT.
- While homeless youth typically experience severe family conflict as the primary reason for their homelessness, LGBT youth are twice as likely to experience sexual abuse before the age of 12.
- LGBT youth, once homeless, are at higher risk for victimization, mental health problems, and unsafe sexual practices. 58.7% of LGBT homeless youth have been sexually victimized compared to 33.4% of heterosexual homeless youth
- LGBT youth are roughly 7.4 times more likely to experience acts of sexual violence than heterosexual homeless youth
- LGBT homeless youth commit suicide at higher rates (62%) than heterosexual homeless youth (29%)
(Statistics taken from National Coalition For The Homeless)
In our second book, In The Distance, Ethan takes a young man, Tyler, under his wing after finding Tyler dumpster diving behind his restaurant. Ethan, having been there before, sees all the signs of someone struggling to feed himself, but Tyler’s situation is far worse than what Ethan endured. Upon finding out their son was gay, Tyler’s parents kicked him out of their house with only the backpack on his back. Tyler, however, was one of the lucky ones. He was able to take advantage of the services provided by a local LGBTQ youth shelter. Many youths, though, aren’t that lucky. There are several incredible LGBTQ youth shelters around the country, but it takes time and money to keep them running.
In our most recent book in the series, In The Distance (released on June15, 2015), Tyler is now living in his own apartment with a steady job and a career in the culinary arts. Even though he has his two bosses, Ethan and Jamie, to love and support him, he has to make his own journey so he can finally come to terms with being abandoned by his family and what he really wants to do with his life. Food banks and shelters play a prominent role in the story, both because of Tyler’s past and his future. Unlike Tyler, neither of us have been homeless, but both of know how much of a difference even one dollar or one hour of donated time can make to a young person living on the streets.
There are several awesome organizations around the country that specialize in helping LGBTQ. Please consider helping one today so that kids, like our beloved character Tyler, have a chance at finally getting off the streets and living a safe, normal life.
~Eileen Griffin and Nikka Michaels
Tyler Mitchell has worked hard to rebuild his life after his family kicked him out. A culinary student and sous chef who spends his spare time volunteering with kids, he’s happy enough even though he has no time to consider a relationship.
Trevor Pratt is finally getting over losing his best friend and the one person he wanted to spend the rest of his life with, but it’s taken screwing every cute guy in Manhattan to get there. He’s vowed to repair the friendship he endangered, but that’s hard to do when his friend’s new employee catches his eye. Despite being warned to stay away from Tyler, Trevor knows the sous chef is more than just a hookup.
Romance is a terrible idea. Trevor is ten years older and a relentless playboy. Tyler is still unsure of his place in the world. Neither of them is ready for life-changing love, but as things heat up, their chemistry in the bedroom might just take that decision out of their hands.
About the Author
EILEEN GRIFFIN BIO:
Eileen Griffin lives in the southwest, but loves to travel and has spent many summers crossing Europe with nothing but a backpack on her back. She enjoys TexMex, lives for good wine, and has a certain penchant for purple unicorns. She loves reading all genres of books, but her current obsession is writing M/M romance.
EILEEN GRIFFIN SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:
NIKKA MICHAELS BIO
Nikka Michaels lives in the rainy Pacific Northwest where she spends her time cooking, laughing and crafting romantic tales to satisfy her craving for HEAs with heat. A voracious reader, novice knitter and music lover she’s been known to multitask without breaking a sweat. She loves to read and write M/M romance but believes everyone deserves a love story.
NIKKA MICHAELS SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS: