Ali/Luscious Forney did not live a well-documented life. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York, first with his family and then on the streets as a prostitute after he was no longer welcome at home; his attempts to live in the foster care system failed due to bullying and neglect. After the Safe Horizons Streetwork program helped him access a social security card and a GED, he started volunteering with them to distribute condoms and reach out to other queer homeless youth, even performing poetry at their annual talent show. Soon after, he was shot in the head and died outside a housing project.
Forney’s death inspired a former friend who had known him through an LGBT youth center to establish a shelter for queer youth who felt unsafe accessing the religious resources already available. Called the Ali Forney Shelter, it has remained in operation since 2002.
(This post employs male pronouns for Forney because he allegedly identified as both transgender and gay, switching between the name Ali during the day and Luscious at night, as per this video.)