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Can I move out at 16 in New York?

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  • Can I move out at 16 in New York?

    My family and I have been getting into fights a lot since I came out as transgender and gay. I don’t want to be called a runaway so is there any way I can legally move out at 16?

  • #2

    Thank you for your post. It takes a lot of courage to come out to your family;it must be really stressful and frustrating to get into a fights after that.In an ideal world, your family would be perfectly supportive, loving, and acceping of your sexuality and gender identity. Unfortunately, it can be difficult news for everyone in the family to process--but that doesn't mean your family has to take it out on you.It's understandable that you would want to remove yourself from that situation. You ask about legal ways to move out at 16. While we aren't legal experts, we can talk you through some options. And of course, if you have further questions or want to speak more specifically about your situation feel free to give us a call at 1-800-768-2929.

    To answer your question, we know of only two ways you can legally move out at 16. The first (and easiest) is to leave with permission from your legal guardians. It could be an option to talk with your family about how you've been feeling since you came out and talk about the possibility of staying with a friend or a family member. If you need help having this conversation, feel free to give us a call and we'd be happy to mediate. Another option is to file for emancipation, which is a legal process whereby you'd become your own legal guardian. In many states, you must be at least 16 to be emancipation and you would need a lawyer.Generally, you need to be able to prove that you have the ability to support yourself financially and that you have the emotional maturity to live without a guardian.

    Finally, we understand that it can be so difficult to share your gender and sexual identities with your family. If you ever need someone to talk to, there are some really awesome hotlines specific to LGBTQ+ youth. We've listed them below. You're also so, so welcome to call us any time, day or night.

    Trans Lifeline: 1-877-565-8860

    LGBT National Hotline: 1-888-843-4564

    LGBT National Youth Talkline: 1-800-246-7743

    Thank you again for reaching out. If you need additional resources or anything at all, please feel free to call us at 1-800-786-2929. Take care and stay strong!


    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

    National Runaway Safeline
    [email protected] (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

    Tell us what you think about your experience!


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