Sexual Orientation

Welcome! In this bulletin, we will be discussing the topic of Sexual Orientation. In this bulletin you will find definitions of words relating to this issue, as well as history, videos, articles/handouts, statistics and questions to ponder. (Image: Freepick) 

A person’s self-identification as to whom they are – or are not – attracted to.  There are a lot of categories to explain our sexual orientation, but the three most widely recognized are: Heterosexual – attracted to the opposite sex (agent identity).  Gay or lesbian- attracted to the same sex (target identity).  Bisexual – attracted to both sexes (target identity).

Related ism:      Heterosexism

Discontinued term:  Homosexual.

Border Identity: Bisexual


Video Gallery

Employed but still homeless, working poor say Homelessness can happen to anybody –

The Criminalization of Homelessness

The Criminalization of Homelessness: A Veteran Receives a Citation for Standing Near a I-95 Ramp

More Information


  • In the U.S. 31.1 million people are living in poverty, more than 12 million are children.
  • In the U.S., more than 3.5 million people experience homelessness each year:
    • 35% of the homeless population are families with children, which is the fastest growing segment of the homeless population.
    • 23% are U.S. military veterans.
      • The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans estimates that on any given night 271,000 veterans are homeless in the United States.
      • 57,000 or 9% of all homeless persons are veterans in any given night.
      • While only 8% of Americans can claim veteran status, 17% of our homeless population is made up of veterans. In 2010, the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) estimated that on any given night there were 76,000 homeless veterans sleeping on American streets. Today, that number is closer to 50,000.
    • Nationally, about 50 % of all homeless women and children are fleeing domestic violence.
    • 25% are children under the age of 18 years. (1.35 million children)
      • The average age of a homeless person is years old.
      • 40% of homeless children identify as LGBTQ
        • 1 in 4 LGBTQ children are kick out after coming out.
    • 16% of adult homeless people suffer from severe and persistent mental illness.
    • 25% of the urban homeless population is employed. (but does not make enough money to pay for a house)
  • Chronic homelessness is the term given to individuals that experience long-term or repeated times of homelessness. The chronic homeless are often the public face of the homelessness issue, however they make up only 18% of the entire homeless population according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness.
  • survey of 29 cities in the United States found the homeless population to increase by 6% from the previous year.


  • How is homelessness seeing in your family and community? 
  • Why do you think that in the US society homelessness is not often discuss?
  • How does homelessness impact your community? 
  • Are there any laws or policies in your state or community to “deal” with the homeless?
  • Do you know if your state or community have laws against helping a homeless person?
  • How are we socialized to perpetuate homelessness?
  • Why does homelessness still exist in US on the 21st century?
  • What can you or your family do to help people who are homeless?


What is the official definition of homelessness?

No Safe Place: The Criminalization of Homelessness in U.S. Cities 

Homelessness in America

Serving Our Youth: Findings from a National Survey of Services Providers Working with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Youth Who Are Homeless or At Risk of Becoming Homeless  

Instead Of Arresting Panhandlers, Albuquerque’s Giving Them Jobs

Homelessness in America: Overview of Data and Causes   

Utah Reduced Chronic Homelessness By 91 Percent; Here’s How

National Coalition for the Homeless: HOMELESSNESS IN AMERICA 

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Homeless Assessment Report 

America’s Shame: 40% of Homeless Youth Are LGBT Kids 


Building a New Life off the Reservation

Kyle’s Story | Rethink Veterans Homelessness

Teaching about Homelessness in Grades K-12 An Interdisciplinary Activity Guide 


‘Housing first’: Dallas’s new strategy for the city’s most costly homeless people

US Could Eliminate Homelessness Among Veterans With ‘Functional Zero’ Cities


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