Cyndi Lauper wants everyone to know that of the approximately 1.6 million youth in the US who are homeless each year, 40 percent of them identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.
The singer and longtime LGBT activist wants to reduce that percentage from 40 percent to none.
To work toward that, Lauper this week launched the Forty to None Project to help the homeless youth and to educate the public about this disturbing situation – the result of kids being rejected by their families for being who they are.
‘Anybody can end up on the street,’ Lauper writes in a statement. ‘Homelessness knows nothing of age or race or gender. It can happen to anybody. But when statistics show that as many as 40 percent of the nation’s homeless youth are gay or transgender, compared to 3-5 percent of the overall youth population, we have to acknowledge that we’re facing a crisis.’
Lauper says the disparity shows that LGBT youth stand ‘a much higher chance’ of becoming homeless because of abuse, neglect and familial rejection.
‘As a mother, I can’t ever imagine throwing my child away,’ she writes. ‘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.’
Lauper assures people that she and her team have done their homework by traveling the country, visiting shelters, drop-in centers, outreach programs and advocacy organizations.
They also talked to community leaders, service providers, government officials and the kids themselves. They held meetings in such cities as Washington DC, New York, San Francisco and Minneapolis and looked for holes in the systems. From that, they developed a five-year plan.
Below is the public service announcement Lauper has made for the organization: