Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Help for Gay Wanderers

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Help for Gay Wanderers

Article excerpt

After leaving what he describes as an unacceptable situation at home, 15-year-old "Jamie" entered the foster care system in Massachusetts. Each time he was placed in a home he was afraid to come out, certain that he would not be accepted. And each time the situation would become unbearable.

Then a social worker referred him to Waltham House, a live-in program for queer youths, ages 14 to 18, offered by the Home for Little Wanderers in Boston. "When I first started at Waltham House I felt a little uncomfortable because I had never lived with LGBT kids," he says. "After a few months passed I got much more comfortable. I could finally be myself."

Despite Massachusetts's image as a gay-friendly state, many gay youths who live there do not fit into the existing child welfare system. "My experience growing up has been pretty difficult," explains 16-year-old "Zhane," who recently entered Waltham House. "I've been moving from foster home to foster home. …

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