Film | Homeless | New York

New Doc 'Pier Kids: The Life' Examines the Struggle of NYC's Homeless LGBT Youth of Color: VIDEO

Screen Shot 2013-09-16 at 8.46.41 AM

After his own 10 year battle with homelessness, first-time director Elegance Bratton decided to create a documentary about the unique plight of black LGBT homeless youth in New York City. That film, "Pier Kids: The Life," focuses on the lives of three 'pier kids' - youth who are both queer and forced onto the street. According to Out magazine:

The name originates from the youth population that congregates along Christoper Street in New York City's Greenwich Village and the surrounding piers during the nights and weekends. As many may be aware (but ignore), some of them sell their bodies for money, some of them are strung out on dope; all of them are treated unequally by a society that refuses to accept them, and refuses to help them.

Nearly 40 percent of homeless youth are LGBT, according to a report conducted last year. 

Watch the debut trailer for "Pier Kids: The Life" AFTER THE JUMP...


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  1. so sad. i wish so much that helping our homeless youth was a priority for LGB rights organizations, but then helping poor black people isn't particularly glamorous and there's no money to be made by doing so like there is with same sex marriage

    Posted by: JMC | Sep 16, 2013 10:09:41 AM

  2. There is usually great solidarity in the black community - so why aren't they doing more to help these black, homeless kids?
    When Trayvon Martin, a straight, black kid was shot and killed, the black community supported him 100%. But these gay, black kids are getting a different reaction. Homophobia strikes again!

    Posted by: David From Canada | Sep 16, 2013 10:25:02 AM

  3. NO disrepect to the kids who got thrown out, but to listen to a young justify sex work because he wants a $300 pair of sneakers? No sympathy, sorry.

    The other underside of the Piers is that the kids who AREN'T homeless get sucked into the street scene of sex work and drugs...and consumerist based self worth. Labels darling, labels. sad.

    Posted by: QJ201 | Sep 16, 2013 11:06:41 AM

  4. The gays hatred of the gay poor is so evident here....

    Posted by: Ankerich | Sep 16, 2013 11:29:12 AM

  5. David, I find it interesting that you've clearly done nothing to stand in solidarity with these kids either but sure did jump at the chance to put the blame on black people.

    Posted by: JMC | Sep 16, 2013 11:41:36 AM

  6. JMC, the issue here though is that black posters always come on these blogs are proclaim that there is barely any homophobia in the black community and that people are making an issue out of nothing.

    There has also being quite a few public insults thrown at Macklemore by LGBT black people saying he has no right to be seen as an LGBT figure head because he is white. etc etc

    So is there any wonder people like David say what they do?

    Posted by: Rowan | Sep 16, 2013 11:48:31 AM

  7. God bless these kids. Thank you, Andy and Kyler, for devoting space to their existence and this documentary. I hope it wins some awards, and that it raises awareness about young homeless LGBTQ around the nation (not just New York).

    Posted by: Zeta | Sep 16, 2013 11:54:29 AM

  8. Want to know how to help? Volunteer with the Ali Forney Center

    Q1201 you need to sit down. When someone has nothing and feels like nothing, attaining possessions like sneakers makes that person feel like something even for that one fleeting moment of purchase. They are now just like everyone else. Chiding these kids for "consumerism" is elitist and missing the point.

    Posted by: PrinceHarrysHusband | Sep 16, 2013 11:56:18 AM

  9. David, please drop the From Canada from your name. You're embarrassing us.

    Posted by: ger | Sep 16, 2013 12:36:32 PM

  10. @GER: I'm only embarrassing the Ultra Liberals who see the world through rose-coloured glasses and then become unglued when someone takes the glasses away.

    Posted by: David From Canada | Sep 16, 2013 12:47:03 PM

  11. David, thanks for the compliment, but I'm just a liberal and not worthy of the descriptor "ultra". And instead of asking why the black community doesn't appear to be helping these kids, why don't you listen to JMC and ask why the gay community doesn't rally around these kids. Or would that involve you actually doing something about it?

    Posted by: ger | Sep 16, 2013 4:40:17 PM

  12. PLEASE STOP using that obnoxious phrase "People of Color". So-called white people are not translucent. WE have various shades of 'color'. And in the English language it should read as colored people, not people of color.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Sep 16, 2013 4:43:37 PM

  13. They've turned the gay mecca of NY (Christopher St.) into a ghetto slum.

    Posted by: James | Sep 16, 2013 4:44:14 PM

  14. @ "They've turned the gay mecca of NY (Christopher St.) into a ghetto slum."

    Yes, James. So, now when you pee in the alley no one cares.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Sep 16, 2013 4:47:58 PM

  15. @James - Who are you to choose what gay people can and can't live there? Grow up.

    Posted by: reality | Sep 16, 2013 5:41:24 PM

  16. TO get kids off the streets, educated, and off drugs would make all those people who have jobs that make it possible for them to live on the streets have to find new jobs, so, nothing's going to change.

    Because the very people that portent to be "helping" those kids, they are exploiting them.

    The attitude in SF was "they choose to live that way, leave them alone". It's disgusting.

    Posted by: Pookie | Sep 16, 2013 6:04:18 PM

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