There’s a problem we don’t talk enough about. There’s an issue that we, as LGBT people seem to ignore while we are fighting to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. There’s something we are missing when we discuss the teens around the country that are taking their own lives.
We sometimes forget the survivors.
Statistics are numbers, something you can read and feel bad or good about and move on. They can be staggering or heart-wrenching and when I tell you the next statistic, it should shock you, but it may not.
According to the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, of the 1.6 million homeless American youth, as much as 40% of them identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Many of these kids were kicked out of their homes after coming out, many realized they couldn’t live at home openly and so the only choice was to run away. Either way, these are our kids. They are our responsibility. Many have been left without parents who want to know or understand them and without a single positive role model in their lives.
Cyndi Lauper’s phenomenal Give a Damn! campaign released this star-studded video today, featuring Susan Sarandon, Alan Cumming, Rebecca Romijn, Eden Reigel and Pete Wentz:
And just this week, we read about an organization called New Alternatives for LGBT Homeless Youth. According to their website,
“The mission of the organization is to increase the self-sufficiency of homeless LGBT youth to enable them to “go beyond” the shelter system. We intend to do this by providing case management, community organizing, life skills groups, community-building recreational activities, and, in the long-term, supported employment opportunities. Our guiding principles are those of harm reduction, youth development, and empowerment.”
They’ve launched an incredible campaign that we all can take part in and we wanted to let you know about it. They are looking for 150 Secret Santas for this holiday season, and we here at Talk About Equality have just put on our big red hat and fluffy white beard to take part. Please read about the campaign and take part in any way you can. If you can’t afford it on your own, get a few friends together to be a Santa to one of these kids who won’t have a holiday without you.
This is a chance to make a small difference in one of OUR children’s lives. take it.
Here’ s how it works:
1) Sign up to receive a letter written by a homeless LGBT youth requesting a gift (requests are limited to items of $100 in value or less)
2) Purchase the item and mail it or drop it off before 12/22/10
3) Your young person will receive the gift at the New Alternatives Christmas Party on 12/23/10
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in being a Santa this year.
Please share this wherever you can.