Out On the Streets Queer Britain


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Out On the Streets

Riyadh Khalaf shines a light on the challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community. He explores homelessness among young LGBTQ+ people, meeting those affected by it.


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Transcript


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This programme contains some strong language.

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Most LGBTQ people have at some point felt that deep fear of rejection

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because of their sexuality

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or their gender identity, and I know I definitely had it.

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That fear of rejection is real because there is an insane statistic

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that says one in four young homeless people in the UK is LGBTQ+.

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So, why are so many young people in the community homeless?

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And what is life really like for them?

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I'm surprised that it is that high, really.

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That's a sad figure, if it is one in four, but it doesn't shock me.

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It's very shocking.

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I literally didn't know that at all. One in four, that's so...that's really big.

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-That's really high, yeah.

-One of my friends,

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their family kicked them out when they were 16,

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so they were just on the street for two years until they got their life

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back together.

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I grew up in Ireland, which is a beautiful setting...

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..but it wasn't the setting for me.

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HE SINGS

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I can't reach that note. Fuck off.

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I've been in care, like, pretty much all my life.

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That's because my mum and dad were alcoholics.

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I met my husband in Coventry

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and he died in 2010.

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It kind of went tits up then, really.

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I've been rough sleeping for about eight years.

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But I'm still alive and I'm still breathing,

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so I thank God for small mercies, eh?

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A lot of LGBT people come to big cities to feel like they have a community

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or just like-minded people around them.

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But the problem is if something goes wrong, they can very,

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very soon find themselves sleeping rough.

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So, I've come to a very cold, very chilly Birmingham to meet Damien.

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He's been sleeping rough for many,

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many years and we're going to find out a little bit about his story.

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Can you tell me the reason why you don't want us to show your face on camera?

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Because I'm afraid of being kicked in the face

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as soon as somebody sees this on BBC Three.

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Because this is a gay homeless documentary.

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They'll target you because you're gay?

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Yeah. And that is a fear that I live with constantly.

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Every night that I go to sleep, I fear this.

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I've had my sleeping bag set fire to on the end.

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Only for I was actually slightly awake,

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I wouldn't be standing here doing this interview now.

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I sleep with one eye open and one eye closed.

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I don't even get any sleep, really.

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If I had a choice, I'd be straight.

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Because it's easier on my life.

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I've been called a faggot and a queer, but...

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I've lived with that all me life, so...

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Do you not think it's sad that you've been desensitised to being called

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-such awful names?

-Not really.

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If I wasn't gay, I'd be called a fucking tramp.

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So...

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No matter what you are, someone will always pick something

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to speak about.

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I've been disowned.

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I haven't spoken to any of my family in...

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..17 years, 16 years.

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The day you said you were gay was the last day you spoke to them?

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Yep. Did Mummy and Daddy accept you? Nah...

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Yeah. Not straight away.

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No. My dad found it very, very difficult.

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My dad is from Iraq,

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-and, you know, it's not really a good thing to be gay if you are from there.

-No, obviously.

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And then you've got the Irish mixed in with Iraq!

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Fuck's sake!

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You know!

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Come on!

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Iraq, Irish Catholic. Hold up.

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Honestly, before I came out, I thought I was going to end up on the streets, like you.

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I'm only as lucky as I am because they brought me up,

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and they looked after me and embraced me and they nurtured me.

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-You didn't have that.

-I didn't have that.

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But...no point in crying over spilt milk, is there?

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Do you know what? I could be lying there in the puddle

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and I'd still make people laugh.

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Cos what's the point in being miserable?

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Where is it going to get you?

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We are all little children, all little babies of somebody.

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And I think

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we all deserve to have someone who makes us feel safe and loved and...

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-..worthy.

-You need to feel like you belong somewhere.

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You need to have somewhere, regardless of where it is,

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where you feel safe and you can be truly who you are.

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Of course, at its worst, homelessness means rough sleeping.

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But that is just the tip of the iceberg because there are so many people

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that just go unseen, who are sofa surfing, they are in hostels,

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or in and out of insecure accommodation.

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Now, the Albert Kennedy Trust is a charity that specialises in

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LGBT homelessness. I'm going to meet key worker Helen, who is hopefully going to

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shed some light on just why so many young LGBTs find themselves without a home.

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The AKT is Britain's only dedicated LGBTQ homeless charity.

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-Hi, are you Helen?

-Hi, yeah, nice to meet you.

-Nice to meet you.

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-How are you doing?

-Come in.

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We are working with young people that are sort of between the

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ages of 23 to 25.

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And that's a real difficult time.

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You know, we are talking about young people who have just been suddenly

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kicked out of the house. It is just heartbreaking stuff.

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People having to sleep in tents, you know.

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People walking every night because they don't feel safe falling asleep on the bus.

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People they thought were friends are pushing them into having sex,

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and kind of in a roundabout way saying, you know,

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you can sleep on my sofa if you have sex.

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And obviously drugs - because for every group, it's an escape.

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You know, people, it's frowned down, people giving homeless people alcohol...

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-Because they need it.

-They need it so it is a difficult balancing act.

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What kind of LGBTs are coming to you looking for help?

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Every walk of life, really.

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Every race, every religion, or major religion.

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Homophobia, prejudice, anything like that,

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it doesn't really matter where you come from,

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it will exist there in some form.

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Is it parental rejection that is the main reason these kids end up out of

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a home or are there other things at play here?

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Yeah. Parents do play a role in it, and yes, one parent,

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sometimes two parents, just being very...homophobic and quite angry

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and horrible to their own child.

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The needs of LGBTQ homeless people,

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are they different from those of straight homeless people?

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Sexual health is a big thing but there isn't much support for that.

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The issues are different, you know, the sex is different.

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So, yeah, there are a lot of stuff that are specific for our young LGBTQ people.

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We've got to give them skills to manage rejection.

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When they first come to Purple Door, we do about two weeks where we're like,

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"Yeah, let your hair down, relax, get some sleep,

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"don't do things right on right on, get your strength back, recoup..."

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Because once we start again, there is going to be no stopping.

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They've kind of got to stay focused.

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So, that is how we kind of prepare them, I suppose.

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Gay boy. Back in school,

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if you asked me that or called me that at 16, I would have

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acted completely different now.

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Faggot. Weirdly, by one of my friends who would laugh and

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be like, "Yeah, but you know that I'm joking."

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And it's like, "But it's not funny,

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"it's not one of those words you can just use."

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Tranny. It can be taken into different concepts so you've got to

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kind of, like, identify which is positive and which is negative,

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if that makes sense.

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Batty man. I don't really care any more.

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He is what he is, I am what I am.

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If you don't like it, just take it or leave it.

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Batty boy, chi chi man,

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it's the embarrassment when it's shouted out in public

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when you are... Just out of nowhere, you could just be going to the shop,

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and just to hear that, it takes you, just, like...

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The gay scene here in West Calder? What gay scene?

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I'm an openly gay man.

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But just recently, I've kind of came across the terminology

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of gender neutral.

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You know, sometimes I feel male, or sometimes I feel female.

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Or there's other days where I don't feel male nor female,

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I just feel me. Plain old me.

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My mum couldn't look after me,

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so I was taken off my biological family...

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..and put into the care system.

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I've never felt part of a community, I've always felt like an outsider,

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it has made me feel more isolated, more depressed, which then

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has led for me to be homeless.

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I went to meet John in his old home town of Blackburn.

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This is the last place that I called home prior to being homeless.

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Do you think it was specifically homophobia that made you homeless?

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Yeah.

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Erm...cos for the four-and-a-half years that I stayed here,

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I was...I got nothing but subjected to homophobia, you know.

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Erm... Every day. Even going down to the local shops.

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The dog's abuse I would get, you know.

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I would wear my wigs or something, and they would pull them off.

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I mean, I've been called, like, a paedophile and stuff.

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Just for being gay. They have egged my windows.

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They've...erm...

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They've graffitied my property. They've chucked stones at windows.

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They've broke windows before.

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Erm, and the firework through my door...

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-Fireworks?

-Yeah, a firework.

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Is there a standout memory of one day when they came down and you

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could see them outside?

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I was sitting there watching my telly,

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quite the thing, and all I heard was a thud, out my window.

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Next thing I know, a

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big brick, a massive brick had went through it.

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And they were all standing outside,

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like, the gate, shouting and swearing.

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And, you know, they were chucking rubbish and that in my garden.

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-What were they shouting?

-Like, "Faggot, you're a poof..."

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It got to the point where I was in that house, I would refuse to leave,

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just if I had to somewhere, but I would come back as soon as I could.

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How much can a person take?

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At what point did you go, "No, I've had enough"?

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After the four-and-a-half-year mark,

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I just...I had a complete and utter meltdown.

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How does it feel to be standing here?

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I don't know. Quite emotional, I think.

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But, you know what, I don't miss it. I don't.

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You know, I miss maybe some of the memories I had in it but they're memories.

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-You know, they're there, so...

-MAN SPEAKS INDISTINCTLY

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No, you don't. Oh, so...

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CAR HORN BEEPS CONTINUALLY

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-OK, so...

-This is the Blackburn mentality.

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-Is this what it is like here?

-Yeah, the Blackburn mentality.

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So, there's a man over there screaming and shouting at us

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-because we are filming.

-Do you know who that was?

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No, but I reckon it would have been the new tenant, probably.

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-What did he say to you?

-Do you mind me saying?

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No, no, please do.

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He said, "You're filming the only gay in the village."

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And I said, "Oh, we're filming an interview with John."

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-And he said something about "that faggot bastard".

-Are you OK?

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-Yeah, yeah. No, I deal with that...

-You're here with us.

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-The gay team.

-Yeah!

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And you are no longer the only gay in the village.

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-Exactly.

-There's four of us.

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Erm... Shocking.

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I've never experienced that.

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-But you're like, "Yeah, whatever," cos you're used to it.

-Yes.

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It's, erm, what I have to put up with on a daily basis. It's pretty much the norm.

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If you've not a loving environment to be

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supported in, then you're not going to be able to support and love the

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person that you are.

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You don't come out once.

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Like, each time you go somewhere else, you have to come out again.

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So, you go to work, you go to school, you go and meet new people,

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and you have to come out each and every single time.

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So, it is nice to have, at home,

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that stable place where you don't have to come out,

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you can just... They know, you know, they all know what's happening

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and you're just comfortable with each other.

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I've been homeless for six months.

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I identify as bisexual but I don't really feel like I want to put

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a label onto it.

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I was homeless because of a breakdown in my family,

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within my family, due to hardship.

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And because of my sexuality.

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I feel like homelessness changes people's identification.

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You don't feel yourself any more.

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You lose what you were.

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The impact homelessness has had on my life ranges.

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Confidence, separation from society, not having support,

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loss of friends and stuff.

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Being homeless and part of the LGBTQ+ community seems more difficult than

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other people I've met because it is not just one story,

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it is like telling two stories.

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Kristina has been living in a youth hostel for the past six months.

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-Oh, this is lovely, Kristina.

-Aw, thank you.

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Do you mind if I have a little poke around and have a little look?

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-That's fine, yeah.

-Is this a Lana Del Rey-esque headpiece?

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-I made it for prom.

-Can you try it on for me?

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CAMERA CLICKS

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What was the first time that you noticed there might be something there?

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THEY LAUGH

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I think I was about six. I was obsessed with Kylie Minogue.

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I thought everyone thought she was really adorable.

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She was in this, I think, a silver costume, and she looked brilliant.

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-I Can't Get You Out Of My Head video?

-Yeah!

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And I just thought, like,

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why am I so obsessed with this woman?

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She is just so... She's just beautiful.

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-Does Kylie still do it for you now?

-Oh, yeah.

-Yeah?

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-Is she your number one?

-Yeah.

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Dannii is lovely as well.

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Oh, yeah? If you had a choice, though, Dannii or Kylie?

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-Kylie.

-Every time?

-Oh, yeah.

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How did you end up in a place like this?

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SHE SIGHS

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My mum didn't really treat me the same as my siblings.

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And it got to a point where I thought, "I can't take it any more."

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I wasn't allowed to use the bath, the washing machine, the cooker,

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the fridge, use any of the facilities in the kitchen.

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Every time I would get food out of the freezer,

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she would accuse me of stealing.

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I wasn't really allowed to go out.

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If I came back, and she wasn't in a good mood,

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she wouldn't let me back in. I just had no control.

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It sounds almost like you were a prisoner.

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-In your own home.

-Yeah.

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It was like that. I didn't know what to do with myself.

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What is your family, if they are not going to support you in that situation?

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It just doesn't make sense to me why they wouldn't want to love you because of...

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because of that - it's just silly.

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I just couldn't take any more.

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I said to my teacher, "I don't know what to do.

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"I'm already feeling suicidal, I already feel like I don't want to be

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"here, and I can't do it any more."

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She said, "Kristina, we can't have it," and called social services.

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And that was it. My status was temporarily homeless for three months after that.

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Shocking.

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-Yeah.

-Is this your girlfriend?

-Mm-hm, yeah.

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I'm loving the blue hair.

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It's been all sorts of colours!

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Being young and LGBT, has this situation affected you in the long term?

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Definitely. Even at college, I say, "my partner".

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I don't talk openly about having a girlfriend.

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We never kiss in public.

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And it really upsets me.

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It is not OK to be around certain people, people are offended,

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people don't want to see you do that.

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I mean, Amy used to get bricks and stuff thrown at her on her way home.

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I got pushed on a flight of stairs, and my face smacked off a wall.

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And I just had glasses as well.

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So, I literally just got them and it nearly went in my eyes and stuff,

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-it was horrible.

-I can't believe the stuff that you have been through.

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Mm-hm. I can't really accept it either.

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-Do you think you ever will?

-Probably not, no.

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You've had a roof over your head the whole time, yeah?

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-Yeah.

-Not one night on the street?

-I'm lucky.

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-Thank God.

-I know!

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I feel I would be so vulnerable as well, especially.

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-I don't think you'd survive.

-No.

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You're too gentle. I think you need to be in a safe place like this.

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Kristina's girlfriend Amy has supported her through her homelessness.

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It would be like if I didn't have...

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-Have you seen a change in Kristina? Over time?

-Definitely.

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I mean, we've been together for nearly three years now.

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And it is just amazing, I think we've both grown a lot as people.

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But, like, the changes you have made in your life,

0:19:080:19:10

like trying to make your situation better, it's phenomenal, really.

0:19:100:19:14

I wouldn't have coped at all,

0:19:140:19:17

at all, like, through school, through my dad, and just

0:19:170:19:21

everything at home, like, you're my rock, pretty much.

0:19:210:19:26

It sounds really sappy, but...

0:19:260:19:30

I wanted the chance to speak to Amy's parents about their support for both of the girls.

0:19:300:19:35

The first time that you got the pleasure of meeting Kristina,

0:19:350:19:39

you thought they were just mates, initially?

0:19:390:19:41

Yeah. Amy is quite...

0:19:410:19:43

She keeps a lot to herself, anyways,

0:19:430:19:45

so I've always kind of discovered things about Amy,

0:19:450:19:48

rather than, you know, we're having a good old chat about...

0:19:480:19:52

-Sure.

-..how things are going.

0:19:520:19:53

And, you, as the dad, what was your honest initial reaction?

0:19:530:19:57

When she said, "I've actually got a girlfriend," all I said was,

0:19:570:20:01

"Thank God I haven't got to worry about you getting pregnant."

0:20:010:20:04

My mum said the same thing.

0:20:050:20:08

Well, you are both unbelievably open and accepting.

0:20:080:20:12

I mean... Do you, as parents,

0:20:120:20:14

realise just how special that kind of love is,

0:20:140:20:19

and that not everyone has that?

0:20:190:20:20

If you thought about all the elements that made a person a person,

0:20:200:20:26

sexuality is...it's really like an orange, it's only one segment, isn't it?

0:20:260:20:30

That is just one thing, so why do people pick that one thing out,

0:20:300:20:34

and make it like that is what the whole person is about?

0:20:340:20:37

So, you two being such open and accepting parents,

0:20:370:20:42

what did it feel like, then, when you saw Kristina's situation?

0:20:420:20:46

Amy had said, "Well, can't she stay here for a while?"

0:20:460:20:48

I said absolutely not a problem.

0:20:480:20:50

But what I didn't want was her only having the option of being here so I

0:20:500:20:54

said that probably in the long term,

0:20:540:20:56

to find out how you could live independently.

0:20:560:21:00

People think their own ideology is so strong that they can't accept

0:21:000:21:06

anything that is on the outskirts of that.

0:21:060:21:09

And I can't understand why people can't be more accepting.

0:21:090:21:12

At some stage, perhaps as they get older, and they miss their child,

0:21:120:21:16

they will regret it. At some stage, they will.

0:21:160:21:19

Definitely, yeah.

0:21:190:21:21

It says, #ISawYourDadOnGrindr.

0:21:280:21:32

When I get picked on, it's a thing that

0:21:320:21:36

I either say in my head, or to them personally.

0:21:360:21:42

It takes my mind off the hurt

0:21:420:21:45

and the pain that they are causing.

0:21:450:21:48

Oh, excuse me, that's my phone, that'll be the council.

0:21:480:21:51

Hello. So, is this a temp tenancy?

0:21:540:21:58

Oh, right, OK.

0:21:580:22:00

That is OK, then... And...what about my belongings?

0:22:000:22:04

Thanks. Bye. Bye.

0:22:040:22:07

Well, there you go, a bit of good news.

0:22:070:22:10

I've got my temp tenancy the morra, so...I'm excited.

0:22:100:22:15

I'm nervous because I just don't know what I'm going into.

0:22:160:22:19

Like, through this situation, I've kind of lost my independence a bit.

0:22:190:22:25

I'm just packing some of my stuff. Just trying to get it all organised.

0:22:270:22:33

This is just like a stepping stone.

0:22:330:22:36

I'm getting somewhere in the line of homelessness.

0:22:380:22:41

Oh, even a wee seating area there. Look at that.

0:23:020:23:05

The old smell of cannabis.

0:23:060:23:09

This is 13.

0:23:100:23:12

So, I'll leave you.

0:23:140:23:16

-You can have a wee wander.

-Yeah.

-So, this is your sitting room.

0:23:160:23:19

-Yeah.

-All the stuff. Kitchen... Fridge...

0:23:190:23:23

-Aye.

-Pots and pans and all that stuff.

0:23:250:23:28

And at the back is your bathroom.

0:23:280:23:31

This is your bedroom. That's it!

0:23:320:23:35

-It's just...empty.

-It is very empty.

0:23:350:23:38

-I'm sure it won't be long until you...

-Probably not!

0:23:380:23:42

You want to go in and have a wee sit down?

0:23:420:23:44

Take it all in?

0:23:440:23:48

Despite having new house keys in his hands,

0:23:480:23:51

things for John are not so simple.

0:23:510:23:54

I'll be all right. I usually am.

0:23:570:24:00

I just feel a bit lost the now, to be honest.

0:24:000:24:04

I mean, I don't know.

0:24:040:24:07

I don't think I'm quite comfortable with the idea, to be honest.

0:24:070:24:12

It is just, I don't know the area, I don't know nobody...

0:24:120:24:16

I just feel like I'm going to become more isolated.

0:24:170:24:20

You know?

0:24:200:24:22

What is your first memory of when you realised you fancied fellas?

0:24:330:24:37

Do you remember Casper the friendly ghost?

0:24:370:24:39

-Yeah!

-Do you remember when Casper turned into that boy?

0:24:390:24:44

This is so funny. I had the exact same crush!

0:24:440:24:47

All the girls at school were saying, "Oh, my God, he's gorgeous!"

0:24:490:24:52

And I was like, "Oh, he is gorgeous, isn't he?"

0:24:520:24:56

I must have been about 12, 13, or something like that.

0:24:560:25:01

And I think that was my first where I thought, "Hold up..."

0:25:010:25:05

Absolutely freezing tonight.

0:25:090:25:12

Like, I'm wearing these, and the tips of my fingers are...

0:25:120:25:15

They feel like they are going to fall off.

0:25:150:25:18

And he's got, like, two tiny layers on.

0:25:180:25:20

To be honest with you, I feel a bit stupid,

0:25:200:25:23

wearing all of this in front of him.

0:25:230:25:25

He's taking me around the local area,

0:25:250:25:28

showing me where he hides all of his stuff,

0:25:280:25:31

all of the sleeping bags, the quilts, and all of that,

0:25:310:25:33

and then the different spots in the town where he can sleep.

0:25:330:25:37

He says there is about 100 of them.

0:25:370:25:39

But he is going to show me the one where he...lays his head most often.

0:25:390:25:43

Is this going to be where you'll sleep tonight?

0:25:430:25:46

-Yeah, yeah.

-Right here?

-Yeah. I need a fecking can now.

0:25:460:25:51

-How many cans in a day?

-Ten.

-Ten cans?

-Mm.

0:25:510:25:56

He has just gone in to get a can cos he has started to get shaky.

0:25:560:26:00

It has been, I think, an hour since he has had one.

0:26:000:26:04

And...

0:26:040:26:07

I guess he just needs it to feel normal.

0:26:070:26:09

Which is understandable, I guess. A bit sad, but I've got to let him do his thing...

0:26:090:26:14

MAN SHOUTS ..and then, we're going to carry on.

0:26:140:26:18

Are you feeling better, since you got it?

0:26:180:26:21

I don't know, it just... It keeps me warm, really, do you know what I mean?

0:26:210:26:24

-Oh, that's a brothel!

-That's a brothel?

-Yep.

0:26:240:26:27

-Have you frequented it?

-Have I shite.

0:26:270:26:30

HE LAUGHS

0:26:300:26:32

They don't do willies.

0:26:320:26:33

-Oh, they don't do willies?

-They don't do willies.

0:26:330:26:36

Dirty bastards!

0:26:360:26:38

I'll go and show you now where we hide our stuff.

0:26:380:26:43

Look, sleeping bag and the quilt...

0:26:430:26:46

Now, we have another sleeping bag under there.

0:26:460:26:48

You put this one over,

0:26:480:26:51

to keep the rest of them dry.

0:26:510:26:54

Is there a risk, though, that another homeless person or a group

0:26:540:26:57

-of homeless people will come and...?

-Yeah, there's always that risk.

0:26:570:27:00

But it is a risk you are willing to take, really.

0:27:000:27:03

I guess. Where else are you going to put it?

0:27:030:27:05

-Exactly.

-What is this place that we are going to now?

0:27:050:27:08

We are going on to the arches where I used to sleep.

0:27:080:27:11

-Are they railway arches?

-Yep.

0:27:110:27:13

Wow, what a place.

0:27:180:27:21

-Are you warm enough? Yeah?

-It's well warm.

0:27:310:27:35

Nice and cosy, you fecker.

0:27:350:27:37

Keep yourself warm.

0:27:370:27:40

Night, and God bless you, son.

0:27:400:27:42

In the cold weather, Damien gets regular visits from local outreach

0:27:460:27:50

workers Rick and Tash.

0:27:500:27:52

Would you still be here without them?

0:27:520:27:55

No. I'd be dead.

0:27:550:27:57

I would have died of hypothermia.

0:27:570:28:00

Or starvation.

0:28:000:28:02

I worry about Damien.

0:28:030:28:05

If I don't see him in a week, I'm out searching for him.

0:28:050:28:09

To make sure he is still alive and not dead.

0:28:090:28:12

At this point, I've almost become institutionalised,

0:28:120:28:17

I'm almost used to being homeless, so I don't know nothing better.

0:28:170:28:24

Is there a hope that things will change?

0:28:240:28:27

Well, I know things will get better because they can't get any worse.

0:28:270:28:33

I know that.

0:28:330:28:35

I'm an optimist.

0:28:350:28:37

Anyone else that is out there and you are in the same situation as me,

0:28:390:28:44

please don't do the same thing as I am doing.

0:28:440:28:48

Get yourself indoors, because this is no life.

0:28:480:28:52

And it is not a life you should have to be used to.

0:28:550:28:58

It's a cruel but very real fact that there are so many young LGBTQ people

0:29:030:29:09

who are homeless because of their sexuality.

0:29:090:29:13

And yet, when you have spent your entire young life struggling with

0:29:130:29:18

your sexuality or your gender identity, and you are vulnerable because of it,

0:29:180:29:22

the horrible irony is that that's the point in your life where you

0:29:220:29:26

need a safe space or place to call home the most.

0:29:260:29:29

It has been a month since John moved into his temporary accommodation

0:29:360:29:39

here in Livingston, Scotland.

0:29:390:29:41

So, I've come to see how he's getting on.

0:29:410:29:44

-Hi, come in.

-Hi, how are you?

0:29:460:29:48

-I'm good, thank you. Come in.

-So, this is the pad.

0:29:480:29:51

-Yes, it is the pad.

-Can I have a little look around at your stuff?

0:29:510:29:54

Yes. Of course you can.

0:29:540:29:56

Where did you get these fellows from?

0:29:560:29:59

-They're brothers, are they?

-Yeah.

0:29:590:30:01

-See no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil.

-Ah, yes!

0:30:010:30:04

I love your taste in movies, as well.

0:30:040:30:07

-Miss Congeniality...

-Sandra Bullock, Beyonce...

0:30:070:30:10

-Jennifer Hudson.

-Yes. And the pride flag.

0:30:100:30:14

-Oh, yeah.

-Why is it important to you to have them all over the house?

0:30:140:30:18

I don't know, it just...

0:30:180:30:20

It adds colour, for a start, on they white walls!

0:30:200:30:22

No, to me I think it just signifies, you know, love and peace and equality and diversity...

0:30:230:30:30

Where did you get this one?

0:30:300:30:33

It was in Edinburgh.

0:30:330:30:35

-My very first Gay Pride.

-Your first?

-Yeah...

-This is precious!

0:30:350:30:39

Yes, this is very precious. This is like gold dust.

0:30:390:30:42

Wow. How important is it for you to have all of these things,

0:30:420:30:46

like, your own style in the place?

0:30:460:30:49

Oh, yeah, it's, like, really important to me,

0:30:490:30:53

because I feel a bit more secure when I see my things around.

0:30:530:30:56

How do you feel now that you are here?

0:30:560:30:58

I love the flat. The flat is amazing.

0:30:580:31:01

But I'm just not sure about the community yet.

0:31:010:31:04

You know. I don't know how the community is, but I am settling a bit.

0:31:040:31:09

How important is having a home for your mental health or for you just

0:31:090:31:13

-to function as a human?

-Well,

0:31:130:31:15

it is important to me because my house is my sanctuary.

0:31:150:31:18

It is somewhere where I am meant to be safe and secure and somewhere

0:31:180:31:24

where at the end of a long day,

0:31:240:31:27

I can just come in and shut the door and be myself

0:31:270:31:31

-and...

-Put your wig on.

0:31:310:31:33

Put my wig on, yes. Or my make-up.

0:31:330:31:36

Or prance about, dancing to Gaga, you know.

0:31:360:31:41

Next year will be my year.

0:31:410:31:43

I keep saying that at the end of every year.

0:31:430:31:45

No, next year's going to be my year.

0:31:460:31:48

I'm going to make it my year.

0:31:480:31:51

Riyadh Khalef explores the issues behind the statistic that one in four young homeless people in Britain identifies as LGBTQ+.

He meets rough sleeper Damian on the streets of Birmingham, follows John as he is rehomed into a temporary flat in Scotland, and speaks to Kristina about how she ended up without a home.