(No)Where to Go

Erin Bentley

Bentleys research examines the experiences of five lesbian and bisexual young women who were homeless in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Canada. Based on key informant interviews, Bentley undertakes an intersectional analysis of gender, race, class, and sexuality in an adapted institutional ethnography that explores what the young womens stories reveal about key social institutions. Their narratives disrupt mainstream, common sense notions about street youth that position homes and families as unproblematic sites of unconditional love and safety. Bentleys narrators reveal that their public school experiences reflected an institutionally violent atmosphere for queer youth. The young women also discuss encountering troubling barriers to accessing youth housing, BC Benefits, police, mental health, and addictions services. Bentleys research is essential reading for all those professionals and advocates whose work influences the lives of young women, including policy makers, teachers, school administrators, addictions counselors, health care staff, social workers, as well as the post-secondary education programs that provide credentials to these professionals.