BY ZACK FORD
Today, Cyndi Lauper launched the Forty To None Project to address the inordinately high rate of homelessness among LGBT youth. Studies estimate that there are more than 1.6 million homeless kids between the ages of 12 and 17, and as many as 40 percent of that group identify as LGBT. This is largely due to the family rejection or abuse they experience when they come out as gay, bi, or trans. Lauper hopes to educate the public to help reduce the rejection and ensure these young people’s futures.
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.
Read more at ThinkProgress.org