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Give A Damn: Homeless LGBT Youth - Video

Give A Damn: Homeless LGBT Youth - Video

As part of National Runaway Prevention Month, the Give a Damn Campaign, a project of Cyndi Lauper's True Colors Fund, released their latest video focused on raising awareness for homeless gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth. In the video, Susan Sarandon, Alan Cumming, Rebecca Romijn, Pete Wentz, Eden Riegel and Cyndi Lauper speak up about the need to bring an end to this epidemic. 

As part of National Runaway Prevention Month, the Give a Damn Campaign, a project of Cyndi Lauper's True Colors Fund, released their latest video focused on raising awareness for homeless gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth. In the video, Susan Sarandon, Alan Cumming, Rebecca Romijn, Pete Wentz, Eden Riegel and Cyndi Lauper speak up about the need to bring an end to this epidemic. 

Each year, there are between 500,000 and 1,600,000 homeless or runaway youth in the US. An estimated 3% to 5% of the general US youth population are estimated to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, yet between 20% and 40% of all homeless youth in the country are LGBT.

The most common cause of all youth homelessness is family conflict. For LGBT youth, their sexual orientation or gender identity tends to be a large part of the conflict. When teens come out to their parents, half of them get a negative reaction, causing many of them to run away. Over a quarter of these youth are actually thrown out of their homes by their parents. 

“As a parent, I can’t understand those who would kick out their own kid simply because they are gay or transgender,” says Cyndi Lauper. “Your child is a part of you, throwing them out on the street is like ripping out a part of your own soul. No child should ever be homeless, especially when they have a family that can give them the love and acceptance that they need. It’s time all of us parents join together and let our kids know that their home is always a safe place for them no matter what.”

Once these LGBT youth are living on the streets, they must learn how to survive among a higher rate of victimization and suicide than before they were homeless. Additionally, they face more difficulties in finding resources that are able and willing to help them due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. This can also mean facing further rejection from the people and institutions that are supposed to help them. 

The Give a Damn Campaign is a bold, web-based initiative with the goal of educating and engaging the straight community in the advancement of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. The campaign produces call-to-action videos that have featured Elton John, Whoopi Goldberg, Susan Sarandon, Ricky Martin, Jason Mraz, Anna Paquin, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Alan Cumming, Cynthia Nixon, Lily Tomlin, Pete Wentz, Piper Perabo, Sharon & Kelly Osbourne, Judith Light, Rebecca Romijn, Wanda Sykes, Margaret Cho, Mae Whitman, Kim Kardashian, Clay Aiken, Eric Roberts, and Cyndi Lauper.

To learn more about the Give A Damn Campaign, and LGBT homeless youth, visit WeGiveADamn.org.

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Boo Jarchow