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WATCH: Miley Cyrus And Ariana Grande Perform Soothing Cover Of ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ for LGBT Youth Group

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Miley Cyrus teamed up with Ariana Grande in the latest installment of her Happy Hippie Foundation's "Backyard Sessions," series performing a touching cover of Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over." Cyrus recently launched the Happy Hippie Foundation to provide support to homeless LGBT youth and shot music videos with other singers including Joan Jett and Grande to raise funds for the foundation.

Watch Cyrus and Grande perform a soothing cover of the 80's hit while sitting on an inflatable couch and wearing adorable, goofy animal onesies, AFTER THE JUMP

Continue reading "WATCH: Miley Cyrus And Ariana Grande Perform Soothing Cover Of ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ for LGBT Youth Group " »


Miley Cyrus Announces Launch Of Foundation To Support Homeless LGBT Youth

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(Photo via Instagram)

Singer-songwriter Miley Cyrus announced this week that she's launching the Happy Hippie Foundation to support homeless and LGBT youth reports the AP. Cyrus said the death of trans teen Leelah Alcorn and Bruce Jenner's coming out as trans spurred her to use the fame and attention she receives and re-direct it into a good cause:

"The position I'm in, I feel like I've got a lot of power. But so many kids don't feel that way. They're under their parents' rule.

"When you have all eyes on you, what are you saying? And that's what I had to ask myself a lot. It's like, I know you're going to look at me more if my (breasts) are out, so look at me. And then I'm going to tell you about my foundation for an hour and totally hustle you."

Cyrus generated media attention when she brought a homeless man as her date to the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards, where he accepted an award on the singer's behalf. In the AP interview, Cyrus revealed that not all of her previous relationships could be considered "straight or heterosexual." She declined to elaborate. 

Cyrus recently shot a series of music videos with other stars including Joan Jett and Ariana Grande to help raise funds for the foundation; the video with Joan Jett officially debuted this Tuesday on the foundation's Facebook page.

You can watch Cyrus' kill it with Joan Jett as they perform "Different," AFTER THE JUMP...

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Cyndi Lauper Lets Her True Colors Shine in Passionate Senate Speech on LGBT Youth Homelessness: WATCH

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Singer and gay icon Cyndi Lauper fielded questions regarding youth homelessness during a Senate subcommittee meeting on Capitol Hill on Wednesday reports The New York Times. Lauper discussed efforts to alleviate homelessness among LGBT youth, which make up 40 percent of all homeless children according to the True Colors Fund, by addressing contributing factors that lead to LGBT homelessness such as discriminatory shelters that turn away youth based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

CollinsSenator Susan Collins (R-Maine) posed a potential, partial solution by re-introducing nondiscrimination policies that shelters who receive federal aid must adhere to. One such nondiscrimination policy was included with a bill to reauthorize the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act that expired back in 2013; the bill fell four votes short of the 60-vote threshold for passage.

Lauper, who co-founded the True Colors Fund to address youth homelessness after experiencing homelessness herself, confronted Collins on when the senator would attempt another pass at the measure. Collins was unable to confirm when another attempt would occur, but Lauper pressed for another solution asking, "Then what should we do?"

Watch Lauper discuss LGBT youth homelessness with the Senate subcommittee, AFTER THE JUMP

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'Lost In America' Is A Heartbreaking Expose Of Youth Homelessness: VIDEO

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"My dad hates gays," said one youth in the teaser for the new documentary Lost in America. "My dad's tried to kill me once or twice."

It is estimated that there are between 1.3 and 2.8 million homeless youth in the US, 40 percent of whom identify as LGBT.

5,000 homeless kids die on the streets every year as a result of assault, illness or suicide.

Meanwhile, there are only 5,000 beds available for homeless youth nationwide.

Currently seeking crowdfunding for post production work, watch a trailer for Lost In America, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "'Lost In America' Is A Heartbreaking Expose Of Youth Homelessness: VIDEO" »


One Of Nation's Few Homeless Shelters For LGBT Youth Opens Doors In San Antonio, Texas

Homeless

One of the nation's few homeless shelters specifically for LGBTQ youth has opened its doors in San Antonio. 

Thrive Youth Center is a 13-bed, 1,400-square-foot facility — including five individual rooms for transgender youth. 

The center, which will serve LGBTQ youth ages 18-25, was initially scheduled to open last year at a downtown church, but that plan was nixed due to zoning issues. The shelter finally opened last week through a partnership with Haven for Hope, a larger facility serving the general homeless population. 

Texas Public Radio reports: 

WhitleyThrive Executive Director Sandra Whitley (right) said Haven has changed its intake process since Thrive came on board, asking new applicants if they required LGBT services. “And if they check yes, then they call one of us over at our office and we come over and talk to the person and see if they’ll be a fit for our program.” ...

Thrive’s initial mission —getting people back on their feet — is being upheld through Haven’s programs. “The services that we were going to offer, the GED program; the career counseling; the job placement, all those things are now located 25 feet from our door,” said Whitley.

Scott Ackerson, a Vice President for Haven for Hope, said they also found space for certain individuals who did not meet Thrive’s 18-25 age group criteria. “We’ve got the capacity to serve an additional 10 LGBT individuals that don’t necessarily fit within Thrive’s target population,” said Ackerson.

According to Thrive Youth Center's website, 50 percent of homeless youth in San Antonio are LGBTQ, mostly as a result of family rejection. And homeless LGBTQ youth on the street are more than twice as likely to commit suicide as other youth on the street.

Meanwhile, nearly nearly one in three transgender men and women report being turned away from homeless shelters because they are transgender, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality. 

Before opening Thrive Youth, Whitley and other founders visited the Ali Forney Center in New York City and the LA Gay and Lesbian Center in Los Angeles — two of the only other homeless shelters in the nation for LGBTQ youth. Whitley, whose parents once sent her to a mental hospital because she was gay, sold her business last year so she could run the shelter. 

For more information on the Thrive Youth Center or to make a donation, go here. And to listen to the stories of some of the youth who'll be served by the facility, go here

With any luck, Thrive Youth Center can serve as a model for shelters serving homeless LGBTQ youth across Texas and in other red states — where the facilities are often most needed due to high levels of family rejection.

Watch a video report from last year about plans for the Thrive Youth Center, AFTER THE JUMP ... 

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Kansas City Homeless Shelter Refuses To House Married Same-Sex Couples Together

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A Kansas City homeless shelter says it won't house same-sex couples together even if they're legally married in the state of Missouri.

The 90-year-old City Union Mission, in the heart of downtown Kansas City, provides shelter to up to 550 people every night, including families and children.

Dan Doty, City Union Mission's executive director, told The Kansas City Star that the shelter's board has had discussions about housing same-sex couples together over the years but has decided to "stay true to our biblical convictions."

Doty“I knew this day would come, especially when the media would begin asking that question,” Doty said, deeply concerned about what effect the nonprofit’s decision could have on its broad community support and donations. “I truly hope you understand the can of worms this could open.

“…We are a Christian, faith-based organization that really does adhere to biblical standards. Our view is that it (same-sex marriage) is inappropriate. Our intent is not to shelter same-sex couples together.”

The article explains that because City Union Mission is a religiously affiliated organization that receives no government funding, it is not bound by nondiscrimination laws. Doty said City Union Mission will house gays and lesbians individually, but requires transgender people to dress according to their birth sex when they're in the facility.

Same-sex couples who want to be housed together will be referred to other facilities. Representatives from local Salvation Army and Catholic Charities shelters told The Star they will house married same-sex couples together, while another shelter in Topeka said it's still undecided on the issue.

In related news, KSHB Channel 4 reported last week that City Union Mission is facing a $300,000 budget shortfall and is banking on a generous holiday giving season to make up for the deficit. 

But after Sunday's story in The Star about City Union Mission's decision not to house same-sex couples together, the shelter probably shouldn't count on getting much help from the LGBT community or its supporters. 

"So, you discriminate against gays now," Chris Jozwiak wrote on the shelter's Facebook page. "Sounds fine. You'll be doing so without support of my friends and family moving forward. And I'll make sure and pass on the news as often and loudly as possible so others join me. Jesus didn't stop and question people about who they loved before he helped them. You're apparently not worthy."

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article3971676.html#storylink=cthat because

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