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Cyndi Lauper Launches “Forty to None Project”, A National Program for Homeless LGBT Youth

Cyndi Lauper has launched the “Forty to None Project“, which is a national program to educate  public about and to help support homeless LGBT youth.

Cyndi Lauper:

Five years ago, on the Christopher Street Pier in  New York City, my eyes were opened.I was doing a photo shoot for Interview  magazine and thought it was important to include some gay and transgender youth  to reflect my work with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender  community.  My goal was to send a message of inclusion and acceptance, but  what I realized after talking to these kids was just how different my vision was  from what they had experienced in their own lives.

The youth on the pier that day told me story  after story of exclusion, of rejection and of pain. As a mother, I can’t ever  imagine throwing my child away. I can’t imagine kicking a kid out of my house. I  can’t imagine rejecting a person who is, literally, a part of me.

But  for the kids of the pier, that rejection wasn’t something unimaginable. It was  their reality. Anybody can end up on the street. Homelessness knows nothing of  age or race or gender. It can happen to anybody.But when statistics show that as  many as 40% of the nation’s homeless youth are gay or transgender, compared to  3-5% of the overall youth population, we have to acknowledge that we’re facing a  crisis. The disparity suggests that gay and transgender youth stand a much  higher chance of becoming homeless because of abuse, neglect and familial  rejection due to sexual orientation or gender identity that drive them to the  streets.The kids on the Christopher Street Pier that day, and the other gay and  transgender youth living on the streets who make up the 40% have done nothing  wrong, other than being born the way they were supposed to be.  And because  of who they are, these kids have been forced to leave their homes, subjected to  abuse or worse.

Cyndi chose the name the  Forty to None Project, because of with up to 1.6 million youth who are  homeless each year, 40% identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.  Lauper wants that number to be “none”.

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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