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Homelessness to Hollywood: Trans actress revisits shelter that saved her life

Homelessness to Hollywood: Trans actress revisits shelter that saved her life

When Ashley Grey came out to her family as transgender, they kicked her out of their home.

Homeless, she booked a one-way flight from Chicago to Los Angeles and checked into the Los Angeles LGBT Centre.

She eventually worked her way out of relying on the Centre and became an actress on hit-show Transparent.

And now she’s hoping to inspire others to do the same.

As part of Tyler Oakley’s wildly popular YouTube series Chosen Family, they want to shine a spotlight on LGBTQ homeless youth.

In its premiere episode, Oakley says: ‘So many of you commented about the necessity to have a conversation about LGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness.’

LGBTI Homeless Youth
Photo: Tyler Oakley / YouTube

The video states an average 6,000 young people in LA are struggling with homelessness. An estimated 40% of these identify as LGBTI.

‘I literally came here with nothing and no place to go’

Grey says in the video: ‘I didn’t have any place to go. But I think the reality hit me when I got here, just of how serious it was.’

She added: ‘I literally came here with nothing and no place to go.’

‘When I arrived, I called [the Centre] and they said they had a bed for me,’ she said.

You can watch the first episode of the Chosen Family series below:

In an interview with GSN earlier this year, Grey said: ‘Homosexuality is something the black community still hasn’t come to terms with.

‘We can stand together for Black Lives Matter, but we look around, and where are black people when a black transgender woman is murdered? We have to get to a point where we realize we’re all fighting for our rights,’ she said.

Despite the uncertainty and divides, Grey has hope for the future.

‘I find happiness in my own damn self. I find it in my career and being a good person,’ she said, adding, ‘I still needed to do groundwork to truly love myself and believing I am okay.’

She wants LGBTQ youth to feel the same way.

‘Remain confident, remain positive, and know you’re not alone. You are who you are and not who other people say you are. Find a circle and know your life is worth so much.

‘You have to be here,’ she said.