Cyndi Lauper | Gay Youth | News

Cyndi Lauper Launches National Program for Homeless LGBT Youth


Cyndi Lauper today launched the Forty to None Project, a national program to educate the public and support homeless LGBT youth. The project's name comes from the disturbing number of LGBT homeless youth. With up to 1.6 million youth who are homeless each year, 40% identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. Lauper wants that number to be "none".

Watch her speak out in the organization's first PSA, AFTER THE JUMP...

40Writes Lauper in a message about the project:

Five years ago, on the Christopher Street Pier in New York City, my eyes were opened.I was doing a photo shoot for Interview magazine and thought it was important to include some gay and transgender youth to reflect my work with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.  My goal was to send a message of inclusion and acceptance, but what I realized after talking to these kids was just how different my vision was from what they had experienced in their own lives.

The youth on the pier that day told me story after story of exclusion, of rejection and of pain. As a mother, I can’t ever imagine throwing my child away. 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.

LgbtyouthBut for the kids of the pier, that rejection wasn’t something unimaginable. It was their reality. Anybody can end up on the street. 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.

Lauper says she has done her homework on the issue while raising awareness through her True Colors Fund, which has produced video and print campaigns like The Give a Damn Campaign, which featured celebrities discussing the issue.

FortytononeAdds Lauper of Forty to None:

We traveled the country, visiting shelters, drop-in centers, outreach programs and advocacy organizations. We talked to community leaders, service providers, government officials and the kids themselves. We held meetings in 10 cities, from Washington to New York to San Francisco to Minneapolis. We looked for the holes in the system, and we’ve developed a five-year plan to make significant changes happen.

In our first five years, Forty to None will work to drive down the number of gay and transgender youth on the streets through a campaign that includes: education and awareness to raise the visibility of these young people and the direct service providers who work with them; advocacy at the state and federal levels; strengthening the network of services, advocates, community leaders and others working on the issue; training service providers to be more inclusive and understanding of the issues specifically affecting these kids; and empowering homeless gay and transgender youth themselves with valuable resources and information.

Watch Cyndi speak in Forty to None's first PSA, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Cyndi is fabulous in oh so many ways.

    Posted by: MARCUS BACHMANN | Jun 26, 2012 9:23:17 AM

  2. Always love her! What a great friend of our community, Ms. Lauper is the real deal. It comes from her heart and she is such of inspiration! She worked so hard to bring marriage equality in NY and has done so much for all of us! Thank You Cyndi for being a real friend!

    Posted by: Josh | Jun 26, 2012 9:23:56 AM

  3. I love her! What a beautiful person -- inside and out.

    Posted by: kit | Jun 26, 2012 9:25:40 AM

  4. She is truly a glorious person, I just love her so much.

    Posted by: NaughtyLola | Jun 26, 2012 9:34:06 AM

  5. Wonderful.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Jun 26, 2012 9:40:29 AM

  6. CL is proof that celebrity CAN DO GOOD, and years from now - she will be remembered for her endless wrk to help those who needed it!

    Posted by: Disgusted American | Jun 26, 2012 9:48:45 AM

  7. cyndi, if you read this, the first and in many ways the most significant step you can take is to get bloomberg to find the money to help homeless youth in NYC, whether it comes from public monies or his own pocket. his budget cuts pull 40% (if i have remembered correctly) of the funding for these shelters in the current budget. it would be easy to find out, and difficult for him to look you in the eye and say no, especially with the camera on. just a suggestion.

    Posted by: bandanajack | Jun 26, 2012 10:02:02 AM

  8. Brilliant, magnificent and so needed. We need this in major metropolitan cities across the USA.

    Posted by: Johnny | Jun 26, 2012 10:32:36 AM

  9. Thank you, Cyndi, for enacting real change in our community with targeted problems, solid research and concrete objectives. You are amazing and the real deal.

    Posted by: luminum | Jun 26, 2012 10:34:25 AM

  10. I just love this woman - she is a genuinely decent chick. Heard her recent acoustic version of She Bop the other day - it was AMAZING. Sorry - kinda unrelated. I just got excited when I saw her name in my twitter feed & had to share with someone. LOL

    Posted by: terry | Jun 26, 2012 11:01:40 AM

  11. A noble cause. She has my respect.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jun 26, 2012 11:39:49 AM

  12. Why isn't she more famous than Madonna? Cyndi Can really sing, does her own videos, and seem to be a pretty awesome women. The music industry isn't fair to talented good singers anymore! Cyndi deserves much more success!

    Posted by: Paul | Jun 26, 2012 12:40:23 PM

  13. Adore Cyndi. Great person, great talent.

    Posted by: Molc | Jun 26, 2012 4:13:28 PM

  14. This is so awesome. I love that she isn't tackling the more glamours LGBT issues that make the news every night. She is fighting for homeless youth, very admirable.

    That Blues album she did last year was fantastic, hope to hear more music from her soon.

    Posted by: Thomas | Jun 26, 2012 4:20:02 PM

  15. Everyone of us as adult LGBT have a DUTY and RESPONSIBILITY for our LGBT youth, and making this society more accepting for them. They don't have it easy in this day & age and it will take all of us actively working within our community, great or small, to create change and progress. GET INVOLVED with the manyyyy LGBT programs in your area! It will not only make you feel good but will have you find many new friends along the way.

    Thank you Cyndi.

    Posted by: GregCali | Jun 26, 2012 5:15:02 PM

  16. This is why I don't understand why some gays worship trash like Madonna or Britney - WTF have they ever done for gays? Start supporting people like Cyndi who actually do something for us.

    Posted by: Jeff | Jun 26, 2012 5:34:56 PM

  17. This is a great thing she's doing but... what happened to her face? Cyndi, leave your face alone. You're great enough already.

    Posted by: Snottyboy | Jun 28, 2012 2:14:11 PM

  18. Dear Cindi, I have been looking for someone to help. I live in Columbi, SC and I had two strokes in 2001. I have a privare BR and bath for a guy willing to help me a couple days a week with my house and yard, I will help you find a job. I will be just like a Dad or brother. Call me at 803-446-2509. I will help you and I will be nice and helpful in any way that I can. Your new friend. Cal

    Posted by: Cal Lucas | Jun 30, 2012 1:03:40 PM

  19. She is really close to the cause because of her sister Ellen.
    Ellen Lauper is lesbian and is very known in the areabouts of New York City.
    Thank You, Cyndi Lauper, for bringing notoriety to this marvelous cause !!

    Posted by: Lady HaHa | Jul 1, 2012 9:06:47 PM

  20. Hello everyone :)
    Imari Bratcher and I am a video artist/producer working out of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts University in Boston, though I 'm from Jacksonville, FL.

    I am a student currently producing a film called the Father and the Path. The
    film follows the story of John, a gay black man coming to terms with his sexuality, and the steps he takes to tell his adult son, Alex. Complicating matters, it appears that Alex has a secret of his own. Both father and son struggle with the ability to be honest to themselves and each other, putting strains on their relationship.
    The main idea behind the story is to highlight the hardships of coming out and specifically in the black community.

    This project is important because it highlights the ongoing difficulties Homosexual/LBGT people face in opening up to their loved ones about their sexuality. It is especially hard in the black community, and we hope that this film can be part of a discussion that will help improve this situation.

    Anticipated Project Needs Our goal is to shoot this project in a orderly and timely matter, and we can't do it without you. Check out our Kickstarter page

    So please donate and check out our exciting rewards!

    Posted by: Imari Bratcher | Mar 6, 2013 4:41:04 PM

  21. Maybe the point should be for ALL homeless. I am tired of all the separation that politicians, musicians, actors and actresses are putting out

    Posted by: CR | Feb 28, 2014 10:23:12 AM

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