Homelessness among gay and lesbian youth is a very serious problem.
It's the kind of thing that has whole advocacy nonprofits and government agencies looking into its causes, searching for solutions. The issue has its own somber Wikipedia page.
The problem's worst in areas where people are more likely to be religious conservatives, the kind of parents who might disown (and evict) their own kid after discovering he or she was gay. Places like, oh, let's pick one at random... central Minnesota.
This reality casts a pall over a new Craigslist ad that sounds like a great opportunity for a young gay man who is desperate. And willing to trade sex for security.
The listing offers a room in the "St. Cloud area," and specifically targets someone who's "going to be homeless and cant [sic] afford rent." Or maybe you're a "student who wants to save money." Have these people got a deal for you!
You get all utilities paid, free internet, cable TV, laundry, and off-street parking. All you have to do in exchange is the same sorts of regular chores expected of anyone: Clean up around the house, do some yardwork, "maybe a little bedroom fun."
Wait. What was that last one?
"No one will know what your [sic] doing here," write the listers, proving that they're not interested in apostrophes or common decency. "Your [sic] just the roommate."
Get it? To everyone else, you're just a guy moving in with some other guys. And to those other guys, you're a live-in boy toy who mows the lawn and blows the landlord when it's his turn.
The ad continues, asking candidates to "tell us about yourself, maybe send a few pics so we can get an idea of who you are." Right. Because if you want to learn about someone's character, you ask for "a few pics." Make sure one's shirtless, k? Thanks.
"I am sure we will get hate mail," the listing signs off, "but what can you do."
They probably expect nasty emails from homophobic haters. And screw those people, if anyone does.
But these guys would actually be deserving of harsh words from their fellow LGBTQ folks. Gay and lesbian homelessness is an epidemic in this country, and sad. Prostitution's a bad cure.