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Young People Are Taking the Stage at the 40 to None Summit

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True Fellow Aurora Lloyd is co-producing the 40 to None Summit.

I am so excited! On October 3-4, the True Colors Fund is holding its annual 40 to None Summit, which I have the honor of co-producing as the 2017 True Production Fellow. Did you know 40% of youth experiencing homelessness identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT)? The 40 to None Summit is the only national summit that focuses on LGBT youth homelessness. Check out the agenda here!

I myself was a homeless youth until a year ago, but the realization didn’t hit me until after I moved into my apartment. See, we think homelessness means being on the street looking rough, sleeping on curbs, and fighting to get into shelters. But, as youth, that’s not always our reality. Sometimes our reality is best friends houses family members’ couches. Most of the time, we are there for about a least a week until we feel we overstayed our welcome and run to the next available couch. Doing this, we trust our hosts to not say that so-and-so is “homeless,” but instead to say so-and-so is “crashing with me for a few days.” It sounds a lot smoother if it’s a casual sleepover than a homeless person.

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Cant stop, won’t stop our momentum.

At the 40 to None Summit, we will challenge narratives, explore unique strategies to end youth homelessness, and hear from young people who’ve experienced it firsthand. Now, more than ever, it’s crucial that our communities come together to reaffirm our commitment to ending LGBT youth homelessness and put our heads together to find solutions. That’s why, this year, our Summit tagline is “Can’t Stop Wont Stop.” A lot of amazing work has been done to end youth homelessness and advance LGBT equality in the past few years. As our momentum grows, we will continue to find ourselves conflicting with those who wish to dismantle the progress our community has made. While the attempt to invoke fear and anger in us is strong, this is the time we rally together – because the sum of our parts gives us a momentum that can’t be stopped. We must use every platform to fight for ourselves and be present in every type of space.

At the 40 to None Summit, we tackle all of this and work together to find solutions. And this year for the first time, we are holding a graduation ceremony for our True Fellows at the Summit! I can’t wait to celebrate the amazing the work we have done and share the things we’ve learned.

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As the 2017 True Production Fellow, Aurora Lloyd is co-producing the 40 to None Summit.