Chief among the concerns of LGBTQ+ Bostonians surveyed by the City of Boston’s Beyond Pride Initiative is housing and homelessness, according to Quincey Roberts Sr., the head of Boston’s new Office of LGBTQ+ Advancement.
The city of Boston introduced its Beyond Pride Initiative this past February, soliciting feedback from LGBTQ+ residents in an effort to gauge how city officials can “improve [their] lives.”
“I love the city of Boston: we have so many different resources, but we do a bad job of communicating those resources,” Roberts told Boston Public Radio on Tuesday. “So my job is to make sure that the queer community knows that resources are available for them, and how to navigate city departments to receive those [resources].”
The Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ+ Youth, which released its annual recommendations report on Tuesday, found that roughly a quarter of Massachusetts’ homeless youth self-identified as LGBTQ, according to 2019 Youth Count data, and “at least 47% of those respondents identified as Black, Latinx, Native American, Asian, or Pacific Islander.”
In addition to directing LGBTQ+ Bostonians to existing city resources, Roberts said his office is looking to implement changes, too.
“We're working on [an] LGBTQ+ ordinance where we want to change the forms in the city of Boston to include gender non-conforming [identities], because right now it's just male and female,” Roberts said, adding that the City of Boston has “a large population of individuals that are gender non-conforming, or gender neutral.”