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The Gathering Place Blog

From Pride to Prejudice: Tackling Housing Inequities in the Queer Community

Dear TGP Community,


As we immerse ourselves in Pride Month's vibrant colors and infectious joy, it is crucial to reflect on the ongoing challenges faced by the queer community. While Denver has made strides in protecting and advocating for LGBTQ+ rights, there remains a persistent issue: the marginalization of queer individuals, especially when accessing safe and affordable housing.


Pride Month is a celebration, but it's important to note that the LGBTQ+ community is disproportionately impacted by homelessness. Discrimination and prejudice can lead to limited housing options, unequal treatment in rental and mortgage markets, and higher rates of homelessness. Many LGBTQ+ individuals struggle to secure stable and safe housing, particularly transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals, people of color within the community, and those with intersecting marginalized identities. The University of Chicago released a report in 2017 on youth homelessness, Missed Opportunities: National Estimates, which found that LGBTQ+ young adults have a 120% higher risk of reporting homelessness compared to youth who identify as heterosexual and cisgender. 


  • According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, 1 in 5 transgender individuals have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives. 

  • The National Alliance to End Homelessness found that since 2017 transgender adults experiencing homelessness have increased by 88%, and the number experiencing unsheltered homelessness increased by 113%. 

  • Until February 2021, no federal law protected gender identity and sexual orientation from housing discrimination.

  • National Network for Youth discovered that transgender and non-binary individuals are among the most vulnerable to abuse, exploitation, and harm while living unsheltered. LGBTQ+ have reported discriminatory practices and policies when trying to access homeless services.

These alarming statistics reveal the urgent need to address the intersectional barriers faced by queer individuals when seeking housing. Many factors contribute to the ongoing housing marginalization of the queer community. Discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity can manifest in landlords refusing to rent to LGBTQ+ individuals, higher rental rates due to prejudices or limited access to shelters accommodating gender identity or expression.

This is why TGP has implemented initiatives to combat these issues and create a more inclusive housing landscape. We have policies to protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. We provide resources, support, and safe spaces for LGBTQ+ individuals, including housing assistance programs. For the last three years, TGP has operated the only non-congregate shelter in Denver that serves women, transgender and non-binary individuals. Addressing these challenges requires a comprehensive and multifaceted approach. The LGBTQ+ community deserves legal protection, affordable housing initiatives, increased public awareness surrounding housing disparities, and collaborative partnerships with allies. 


As we celebrate Pride in Denver and beyond, let us embrace the spirit of inclusion and equity. By raising awareness about the ongoing marginalization of the queer community in accessing housing, we can work together to create a future where everyone has a safe and affirming place to call home.

Let Pride be a call to action—a reminder that our work towards a more inclusive society is far from over. Together, we can ensure that the spirit of Pride permeates every aspect of our community, leaving no one behind.

Happy Pride!