In the U.K., 1 in 4 homeless people identify as LGBTQ. (Lest Americans think the numbers are any better here, 40 percent of homeless youth in the U.S. are LGBTQ. Whether it's a family that won't accept them after they come out or a lack of workplace protections, LGBTQ people are at higher risk for homelessness.
It's a point The Outside Project and Stonewall Housing, two British non-profits addressing the issue, drive home with a new "Coming Out Kit" from AMV BBDO. It was initially billed as a fun goodie bag for people who are finally out and proud.
When Pride paradegoers guessed at the contents, the most common response was "glitter," along with sex toys and celebratory booze. But in reality, it holds a sleeping bag, a knit cap and thick socksï¿½"necessary gear for sleeping outside.
Each of the items is emblazoned with a quote from an LGBTQ person describing the circumstances that led to their homelessness. "My first same-sex relationship turned violent and there was no refuge to go to," says one sock. "I told them I was gay. Dad thought it was a phase. Mum thought it was a joke," says the hat.
A digital spot documenting the sobering reactions from people in the crowd drives viewers to comingoutkit.com, a new website for the initiative that collects donations for both organizations. The site also promotes the first crisis shelter and community center for LGBTQ people in the U.K., which will be launching in London soon.