Queer and Loathing: Does the Foster Care System Bully Gay Kids?

From Mother Jones’ Magazine: http://motherjones.com/politics/2010/11/gay-kids-foster-homes-bullying

One teenager’s heart-wrenching—and telling—story.

— By Jason Cherkis

Nothing frightened Kenneth Jones more than the prospect of his first real date. He prepped for it like a court appearance, saving up for a black button-down shirt and for a salon treatment to tame his spiky locks and paint his nails with intricate black-and-gray swirls. He still remembers those last anxious teenage moments. “A lot of mirror time,” he recalls. “Tons of mirror time.”

He needed this to go well. As a gay foster child in Washington, DC, Kenneth spent most of his weekends alone. By the summer of 2009, the isolation had gotten so bad that he’d started calling his cell-phone carrier’s help line with imaginary complaints, just so he could vent to somebody about something. He would even text himself encouraging messages, like “Good job,” or “Damn you so strong.”

He needn’t have worried. Kenneth and his date took an afternoon swim, made out during G.I. Joe, and finished the evening at Chipotle. More dates followed. After a few weeks, taking his new boyfriend home seemed like the natural next step. And so it was that James, Kenneth’s foster father, returned to the apartment one night to find the boys talking and laughing in the front room. The introductions immediately turned into what Kenneth calls a “life-or-death situation.”

Continue reading at: http://motherjones.com/politics/2010/11/gay-kids-foster-homes-bullying

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