This week’s episode of Cyndi Lauper: Still So Unusual follows Cyndi, the Forty to None Project, and partner organizations the Human Rights Campaign, Center for American Progress, and National Alliance to End Homelessness to Capitol Hill to advocate on behalf of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender homeless youth.
Meetings were held with various congressional leaders, including Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senator John Kerry, and Representative Jared Polis. In addition, there was a briefing for congressional staff on a number of legislative matters that would have a positive impact for gay and transgender homeless youth:
- Increased funding for the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act.
- Added protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth in this year’s reauthorization of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act.
- Passage of the Reconnecting Youth to Prevent Homelessness Act.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius presented Cyndi with a SAMHSA Special Recognition Award for her work in helping gay and transgender homeless youth. “Homeless gay and transgender youth face unique challenges, like family rejection,” said Cyndi. “They inspire me with their honesty and bravery to do all that I can to help them overcome their adversities and succeed in life.”
It is estimated that up to 1.6 million youth are homeless each year. Up to 40% of these young people identify as gay or transgender, while only 3-5% of the general youth population does the same. The primary factor causing these young people to be homeless is family rejection.
Make the commitment to stand with our gay and transgender youth who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of being homeless so that they can stand on their own. Sign this petition if you believe that no one deserves to be without a home because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Cyndi Lauper: Still So Unusual follows the True Colors Fund and Forty to None Project co-founder through her “struggle of the juggle” of being a rock star, mother, wife, Broadway composer, New York Times bestselling author, and philanthropist. This season also features the launch of the Forty to None Project, the first national organization to solely address the issue of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth homelessness.
PHOTO CREDITS: JUDY ROLFE