Young Homeless Lesbian Included On List of 100 Most Powerless New Yorkers

Jamie’s Team Pick:

The dark, cold days of winter bring us the cruel truth within the story now gracing the cover of the Village Voice, “100 Most Powerless New Yorkers”.

I’ve selected a few for whom I’m particularly sympathetic, though keep in mind the numbers aren’t actually intended for ranking purposes.

22. Tiffany Cocco, homeless young lesbian

Well wouldn’t you know it, queer youth made the list. The Voice explains:

Cocco (and nearly 4,000 homeless youth, who are disproportionately LGBT) has to fight for one of less than 300 shelter beds for homeless kids. Of those on the street, about 20 percent become HIV-positive.

Photo credit: Caleb Furguson

7. The person holding the sign at the end of the Trader Joe’s line

I nearly have an anxiety attack every time I enter a Trader Joe’s so I’m with them on this one. The Voice writes:

Bouncers have power over lines and who can even get into them; the Trader Joe’s employees who have to hold a sign are just showing people the end of the damned line. All they can do is bring misery to people.

9. Carriage horses

Over 70,000 people have signed the petition NY-CLASS to end the abuse of horses and end the use of horse carriages in NYC. Will the city finally open an investigation into the industry this year? The Voice writes:

These horses work in the hottest hot and the coldest cold. Despite the fact even the best-trained horse can be spooked unexpectedly, they walk right in the middle of traffic on the busiest streets of Midtown, even at rush hour. This past year, three have collapsed, one fatally, on the job.

70. Teachers in failing high schools

The mayor was all over the news this week offering $20,000 raises to “highly ranked” teachers. People have lots of opinions about this. The Voice explains:

When teachers end up in a school with a failing grade, it’s a mark of death for them. If they leave a school slated for closure (which can take years to phase out) and try to get a job elsewhere, they are considered ignoble for abandoning a sinking ship. But if they stay until the end, they become pariahs. No principal wants to hire a teacher from a “failed” school. (Even more powerless are students in the end, who, if they graduate, might do so from a school that is no longer accredited.)

59. Anthony Weiner, former Queens house representative

I wouldn’t want to marry him (for so many reasons) but could we stop it with the firing of people over their sexting and tweeting scandals already? The Voice explains:

Weiner began last year as a powerful potential mayoral candidate in the city. On the national and international stages, he married into American Democratic royalty by wedding Hillary Clinton’s right-hand aide, Huma Abedin. With one public tweet that was meant to be a direct message, he ended it all, leaving the career politician with nothing to do except to turn his overwhelmingly Democratic district over to a Republican in a special election.

Everybody sexts!

Who will climb the ranks in 2012? Remains to be seen.

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Jamie J. Hagen

Jamie lives in Boston and is currently a PhD student in Global Governance and Human Security at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She is a freelance writer and also a team associate for the Boston chapter of Hollaback!.

Jamie has written 76 articles for us.


  1. Cocco is a friend of mine. Really weird to see someone I know on a blog I follow.

    (I’m also homeless BTW, and yeah, it sucks.)

  2. Not to trivialize this article or anything, but am I the only one who read this title as though the homeless lesbian created the list? I somehow thought it was some sort of list about powerless lesbians and could not figure out how a horse made the list. :/

  3. This is pretty depressing, but it did make me feel a little more grateful for the things I do have going for me…

  4. waaaahhh the carriage horse thing makes me so sad. :(
    i have NO doubts that the carriage horse industry, especially in NYC is horrendous.
    but i do want to say, my best friend drives a horse carriage in austin TX. she works for a tiny company that has like 4 horses and 5 employees and they are so well taken care of so its not allllll evil.

  5. I’m really disturbed by the rate of homeless LGBT youth here. I mean all homelessness too, but does anyone know an organization that deals particularly with this?

  6. Wingspan is my local LGBT center and they do a ton of stuff for homeless LGBT youth, good thing to since being homeless in Tucson summers has to be just horrid…

  7. Anthony Weiner deserved to lose his job because he was sending nude pics to women non-consensually. That’s sexual harassment and incredibly messed up.

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