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Trans Teen Leelah Alcorn Inspired Miley To Create Happy Hippie 

Trans Teen Leelah Alcorn Inspired Miley To Create Happy Hippie

Trans Teen Leelah Alcorn Inspired Miley To Create Happy Hippie

When most people think of Miley Cyrus, they remember her twerking with "Beetlejuice" at the 2013 MTV Movie Awards. But, she doesn't want that moment to define her celebrity.

Miley Cyrus wrote an op-ed called "Innovators vs. Dinosaurs," and asserted that trans teen Leelah Alcorn inspired her to launch the Happy Hippie Foundation.

"It hit me as hard as if I had known her. I felt connected to her," she writes.

According to a study by the Williams Institute at UCLA, 40 percent of homeless youth identifies as LGBT. This statistic inspired Cyrus to use her celebrity to create opportunities for homeless queer and trans youth. Alcorn's story motivated Cyrus to assist LGBT youth because she noticed that homelessness intersects with the transgender community.

"The more I learned about what life can be like as a transgender person, the more I realized how especially woven into homelessness that is," she writes in the op-ed. Cyrus added that she wants to be like Bruce Jenner, who "spoke beautifully about using his platform and fame to do good and to make real change..."

Cyrus announced that Happy Hippie raised and donated money to My Friend's Place, a center for homeless youth in Los Angeles. In addition, the organization plans to contribute more than 60,000 meals.

In an interview with AP, she revealed that not all of her past relationships were "straight, heterosexual." Cyrus also spoke to Out Magazine about her struggles with gender:

"I don’t relate to what people would say defines a girl or a boy, and I think that’s what I had to understand: Being a girl isn’t what I hate, it’s the box that I get put into."

To celebrate the launch of Happy Hippie, Cyrus released a series of performances with stars like Against Me! frontwoman and trans punk-rocker Laura Jane Grace. The duo performed Against Me!'s "True Trans Soul Rebel" in Cyrus' backyard. The ex-Disney star wanted Grace to join the project because she believes that if young people "see examples of positive people coming out, having positive reactions, they’re going to feel confident and free to do it [come out]."


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