In its annual report on poor housing unveiled on Tuesday evening, the Abbé-Pierre Foundation addresses the vulnerability of certain LGBTQ + people to housing, particularly in the event of family breakdown.
This is the case of Julien, who found himself on the street at the age of 20 to flee the home of his parents, who did not accept his trans identity.
He has been living for four months in a squat, with the fear of falling ill because of the promiscuity and the anguish of being evicted.
On the street, one night at 11 p.m., with his big suitcase.
This is what happened to Julien four months ago, when he was only 20 years old.
"I fled my parents' home because I couldn't stand their transphobic behavior anymore," he says.
A situation that is not uncommon, as underlined by the report on poor housing from the Abbé-Pierre Foundation unveiled on Tuesday evening.
“After coming out or revealing their gender identity, some young LGBTQ+ people experience rejection from their families.
They are sometimes kicked out of their homes or leave on their own, and find themselves on the street overnight while they are still students or young workers in precarious situations", observes Manuel Domergue, director of studies at the Abbé- Rock.
A 2021 Ilga-Europe survey also highlights that for 71% of LGBTQ + homeless people, family conflict is the cause of their homelessness.
Accommodation centres, an environment considered insecure
When they find themselves on the street, the first instinct of these young people is generally to call 115. are overwhelmed.
And if you are alone without children, you are not a priority, ”continues Manuel Domergue.
Julien was no luckier.
And even if he had obtained a place, he probably wouldn't have taken it.
"I don't want to go to a mixed place where I risk being sexually assaulted," he explains.
His fear is not unfounded, according to Manuel Domergue.
“We receive a lot of testimonies from trans people who are being abused in collective accommodation.
They accept inappropriate comments and are sometimes victims of sexual violence.
Some people are forced to go invisible to conceal their gender identity, which affects their mental health.
A squat as the ultimate solution for Julien
To find shelter, some young LGBTQ + agree to be hosted by an acquaintance, who sometimes turns out to be malicious.
"They are then very vulnerable and it is not uncommon for them to be exposed to sexual blackmail," he continues.
Julien, he has not taken up residence with anyone.
But a student friend sent him the address of a squat in former empty offices, in the Paris region.
“It housed 40 people, 17 of whom were transgender.
Initially, they allowed me to sleep on a mattress in a common room.
And after 3 weeks, I got my room,” he says.
He then invests a room of 5 m2, which he arranges as he can.
“I bought a canvas wardrobe, something to cover the stain-stained mattress and a hot air diffuser.
To feed himself, Julien goes around supermarket bins and eats mainly expired foodstuffs.
To wash, he has to be patient, because there are two showers for the 40 tenants.
Ditto for washing clothes, because there is only one machine.
“We fear being expelled one day or another”
Despite his very precarious living conditions, Julien regains the upper hand a little: “In this squat, I discovered solidarity.
I no longer feel judged and I have regained some stability.
So that it goes well, we have rules of life: everyone participates in household chores and alcohol is prohibited in common rooms.
But a feeling of insecurity does not leave him.
“As we use domestic appliances recovered from everywhere, we know that they can catch fire.
I'm also afraid of getting sick because of promiscuity.
And we also fear being expelled from the squat one day or another, ”he confides.
He has applied to several associations, such as the Refuge or SOS homophobia, but for the time being, no housing solution has been found for him.
“Several associations, such as Hom'up in Nantes, host young LGBTQ + family members.
But the demand is stronger than the supply of housing,” emphasizes Manuel Domergue.
Julien still being a philosophy student, he hopes to be able to get a place in a university residence even if he hasn't set foot in class for several months.
“I asked the CROUS for specific help for young people experiencing family breakdown.
If I get it, maybe I could have my own roof,” he muses.
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