John Garon, a Colorado homeless man, says that he was kicked out of a homeless shelter because of he's gay. From the Coloradoan:
"[Shelter director Rev. Richard Thebo] said 'I don't allow homosexuals to use these facilities,' " Garon said. "I was blown away ... To be put out for something I can't change has profoundly impacted me."The Shelter director says it went down differently, but I'm really looking for the difference:
Garon was asked to leave after he "hit on" another man at the shelter, which led to a fight, Thebo said.Sound familiar? "Flaunting your sexuality", I've found, can mean anything to these people, including hiding it as best you can but others spreading rumors about you. And who says that you should even have to hide? I wish some of these people would just turn around and apply the same standard to see how heterosexuals flaunt their sexuality. Oh my word, if we queers were as open with our sexualities as straights are with theirs, some people would flip their lids.
Staff and other clients were "very put out" by Garon, Thebo said, because he'd flaunt his sexuality.
But it doesn't even matter, according to Thebo:
However, even if Garon had not gotten into the altercation, he still could have been denied a bed at the shelter simply for being gay, Thebo said.So better to make sure that some of the men have to sleep in the street.
Gays and lesbians are allowed to eat meals and take showers at the facility, Thebo said, but are not allowed to sleep in the shelter.
"I will not let them exert their sexuality here," he said. "Men have to sleep next to other men (in the shelter)."
Now this is a private organization that doesn't receive any government money, so legally they don't have to accept anyone they don't want to. But this does highlight the plight of many homeless LGBT people. The city of Fort Collins has only two homeless shelters. Garon, after losing his job because of an extended medical stay, got kicked out of the other shelter, and now has no place to stay. Really, so many people are two steps away from the street in this country if they get sick, and the thin, thin safety net that keeps many people off the street is even thinner for the queers because of less family support, smaller incomes, a larger chance of being uninsured, and discrimination at homeless shelters like this one.