LGBTQ youth make up only 7 % of the entire youth population, but represent 40 % of all reported homeless youth.
Think about that. Almost half of all homeless youth in this country identify as something other than straight.
In my professional life I work as a case manager for homeless youth at a shelter in Cincinnati, OH. In those statistics I am reminded of some painful anecdotes that illuminate the lives behind those numbers.
I am reminded of when I worked in homeless outreach in Salt Lake City, UT. A young, well-dressed man was dropped off in front of our shelter with a roller backpack and Armani shirt as a black Suburban peeled away from our parking lot. He said to us, in a shaking voice, that he was kicked out of his house today because he came out to his Mormon family.
Currently, a young trans-woman facing dead-end after dead-end from employers in Cincinnati. The anxiety she has that she will lose her apartment once the one month subsidy we were able to secure is palpable.
A young gay client of mine who was tortured - suffering permanent vision problems from having the contents of a ramen noodle spice packet poured in his eyes while held down by his peers.
Trans individuals facing housing barriers. Homeless shelters as unsafe and psychologically triggering places for people with PTSD due to a lifetime of being mis-gendered and physically attacked for who they are.
These are the most vulnerable and resilient people I've ever met.
Jason Harris known under his musical moniker Public Speaking has created an album that speaks, in acute detail, to the physical and psychological violence perpetuated against the bodies and identities of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. It is an intensely personal and acutely-aimed political album that ascribes the most intimate violence perpetuated against a person to a culture writ large.
It is with the greatest honor that the Tome is partnering with Public Speaking, Floordoor Records and our longtime friends Already Dead Tapes to premiere this remix album of Public Speaking's 2016 masterpiece "Caress, Redact". All proceeds from this album will go to the NYC organization New Alternative for LGBT Homeless Youth which serves to, "increase the self-sufficiency of homeless LGBT youth and to enable them to transition out of the shelter system and into stable adult lives. We do this by providing case management, education services, life skills training, community-building recreational activities, opportunities for self-expression, and support services for HIV+ youth. Our guiding principles are those of harm reduction, youth development, and empowerment."
The remix album itself explodes the intensely personal and noise-laden compositions by a series of remix collaborators that break and rebuild Harris's tracks from the ground up while keeping his voice at the front and center. Jeremy Bible turns the textural crunch of "Blacksite Blues" into the highly cinematic stabs of a tightly composed string section, the pitch-shifted mutations of More Eaze on "Shifting Weight", the beautiful, operatic rededication of ARIADNE's "Blacksite Blues" weighed against sizzling black noise, to Umin's chopped rendition of "Caress, Redact".
Listen and purchase.