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04/19/2007


Plea to Pope Francis on Behalf of Homeless LGBT Youth Appears in Full-Page 'NYT' Ad

Pleatopopefrancis

Faith in America has taken out a full-page ad in today's New York Times to make an impassioned plea to Pope Francis on behalf of homeless LGBT youth. The letter to the Pope is written by Carl Siciliano, the executive director of the Ali Forney Center, NYC's largest shelter for homeless LGBT youth.

Read the ad HERE.

GoldWrites Faith in America founder Mitchell Gold in a press release:

"So much has been accomplished for LGBT legal equality….now we hope the next wave will be an all-out effort for LGBT spiritual equality…one that will especially protect vulnerable teens….and one that will enable all legislation to be passed. Just imagine for a moment if so many of the kids that have killed themselves did not grow up being taught that homosexuality was sinful….if when they came out to their parents they were totally embraced rather than being told they were “disappointed” and needed counseling….if they felt they had family and church to turn to?

"I’ve come to see that in the final analysis it is this “sin” hurdle that is the basis for too many to be against LGBT equality and it is clearly one of the most harmful parts of an LGBT teen’s life. Just a few months ago a precious 13 year old in my community told me how he agonizingly contemplated suicide for over a tortuous year. Why? Because he thought he was a sinner. On a very basic, simple level I believe we must dismantle this wall of outdated, misguided and ill-informed religious teachings. Not an easy task….but one that has to be done…..by all of us, with a concerted effort."

A Facebook page was also launched to accompany the ad.


Michigan Family Adopts Disowned Gay Teen: AUDIO

Corey NicholsSo many gay children and teenagers who are disowned by their families wind up living on the streets with nowhere to go and no one to turn to. Fortunately, Michigan teenager Corey Nichols was spared this fate when the parents of his friend Aubrey legally adopted Nichols as their own son after his family disowned him for his orientation.

Nichols tells of how his conservative family, his father in particular, consistently espoused vile anti-gay sentiment and suspected that Nichols was gay. When he came down with pneumonia, his family ignored his illness, leaving him so distressed and delusional that he told Aubrey how he planned to commit suicide. Aubrey's mother happened to see the messages and ran to get him, eventually nursing him back to health from a severe case of pneumonia. His family never once asked about him.

After he recovered, Nichols came out to his parents, who allegedly flew into a rage and called him the devil. Nichols ran away that night, and a few weeks later Aubrey's parents adopted him as their own. Nichols' parents never showed up to contest the adoption.

You can listen to the interview Nichols gave to Out in Santa Cruz about his disownment and adoption below.


'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' Broadway Proceeds to Help LGBT Youth

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Producers of Hedwig and the Angry Inch have announced a charitable partnership with LGBT youth organization Hetrick-Martin Institute as part of the Broadway show’s run.

The Advocate reports:

Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 8.14.55 PMThe musical will donate a portion from each ticket sale to Hetrick-Martin Institute, home of the Harvey Milk High School, a New York City public transfer school where at-risk youth can learn without fear of physical or emotional attacks. According to a press release, the partnership "will also utilize the resources of the production, including representatives from the show meeting with young people in an educational and mentoring capacity, and additional fundraising support."

"Hetrick-Martin Institute has always been a part of Hedwig's DNA and I’m thrilled HMI is able to join Hedwig on her journey to Broadway," writes producer David Binder in a statement. "Our cast, creative team, and my fellow producers have been overwhelming in their support of this initiative benefiting this inspiring and incredibly important organization."

Hetrick-Martin Institute CEO Thomas Krever adds, "HMI is deeply grateful to Neil Patrick Harris and the entire Hedwig and the Angry Inch production team for partnering with HMI to help us provide life-changing programs to LGBTQ youth. Hedwig's message of being proud of who you are resonates deeply with the thousands of youth we serve each year."

Hedwig and the Angry Inch, starring Neil Patrick Harris, begins preview performances this Saturday and opens April 22 at the Belasco Theatre. To find out more information about the show's partnership with HMI and to purchase tickets, click HERE


UK Teen Who Committed Suicide In 2010 Had Allegedly Been In Relationship With TV Star

In December 2010, 18-year-old UK fashion student Ben Cowburn (right) overdosed on drugs, killing himself and leaving behind a baffling and unnerving story. Cowburn, who had moved to London in 2009, had reportedly been in a relationship with a famous television actor that may or may not have led him to a compromised emotional state. Fueled in part by promises of gifts (in exchange for Cowburn's styling work), the romantic relationship was also heavily infused with drugs, alcohol, and, as some believe, unwanted sexual attention.

BencowburnPinkNews reports:

The comedian, who in the inquest was referred to only as “Mr X” to protect his identity, allegedly showered the teenager with gifts before taking him to drink and drug-fuelled parties.

The inquest also heard of how Mr Cowburn was persuaded to strip in front of a group of men and of how the comedian occasionally crept into his bed for sex.

Cowburn's parents were reportedly wary of the situation from the beginning as the comedian likely already had a stylist and did not need the student's help. When their relationship did end, Cowburn attempted suicide several times before being admitted to Longreach hospital. 

David Taylor, a nurse, told the inquest that the student had felt embarrassed and ashamed and thought he had been groomed by the man, although claimed the sexual relationship had been entirely consensual.

A different story from the Metropolitan Police claimed that when Cowburn could not pay for a cab to leave one of the actor's parties he was offered a bed and woke up to find the man lying next to him. The police noted that Cowburn's sister, Laura, said that she had been led to believe that he had been raped.

However, police decided there was no conclusive evidence that the teenager, who had sent Facebook messages to the celebrity, had been physically coerced into sex and therefore there were no grounds for questioning Mr X.


Jamaican Court Allows Gay Youth To Continue Living In Sewers: VIDEO

Gay Jamaican Youth In Sewers

Jamaica has the distinction of being a country that is particularly hostile to gays, thanks in no small part to U.S. evangelical speakers attempts to sow hatred there. The fallout of the hostility includes GLBT youth being forced into the sewers, having nowhere else to go after being kicked out by families and suffering abuse in shelters.

On Ash Wednesday, police in New Kingston forcibly evicted a gay youth encampment from the sewers. An abandoned building they had previously settled in was torn down and a gully encampment was burned down on the pretext that the encampment "attracted criminals," so many of them resisted as they had nowhere else to go.

When taken to court, the judge fined them for swearing, but told the arresting officers that the sewers are a public space and the youth have a right to be there. Once released, the youth returned to living in the sewers.

You can watch a video report on the encampment AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Jamaican Court Allows Gay Youth To Continue Living In Sewers: VIDEO" »


British Man Attacked in Anti-Gay Hate Crime, Posts Story On Facebook

Richard Scott Kennedy, a British student at University of Central Lancaster, was reportedly attacked in an anti-gay hate crime last week. He posted a photo and his story on Facebook:

RichardkennedyHere is my face after a homophobic attack, 4 of my teeth are gone, not fallen out but deep inside my gums and cheek, one is sitting under my cheek inside my gum on the right side bottom of my nose. My face is swollen and it was worse yesterday, both my knees are badly injured and I struggle to walk and my hole face is constantly throbbing and i'm now on 4 tablets a day for pain and infection and may require surgery to sort the damage.

All of this and what was their motive? because of my f--king sexuality. something that doesn't concern ANYONE else minus me and the person I fall for, either man or woman. A sex life is private and has nothing to do with no one, needless to say it's absolutely disgraceful to violently attack someone because of who they are. My confidence has gone, im utterly embarrassed to be seen in public, the only reason I am putting this picture up is because I want you to see me as an example. An example why homophobia is wrong and it's disgusting that it's still around in 2014. Society needs to get a grip, people are who they are, people are different, people are gay, straight, bi, transexual, black, white, asian, fat, skinny, small and tall but regardless of who they are and what they look like they are still human. There is more to people than their sexual preference and what they look like. 

This is just another homophobic attack that happens every day, but it needs to stop, this is wrong, this is disgusting and using sexual preference as a motive to be violent and abusive is utter inhumane.

Richard's post has been shared more than 176,000 times since he posted it on February 26.


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