Sunday, June 6, 2010

June 14th - Rally in Support of LGBT Homeless Youth

I'm helping to organize a big rally next Monday, June 14th in support of LGBT homeless Youth. I'm working closely with The Ali Forney Center, the organization that the Broadway Beauty Pageant benefits. The full press release is pasted below. Please RSVP & share the Facebook event. Hope to see you all there.

On Monday, June 14th at 6:30PM, numerous prominent LGBT and progressive leaders and organizations will come together at a highly anticipated rally at Union Square in support of the LGBT Homeless Youth community. (A list of endorsers can be seen below).

As LGBT youth find the courage to come out of the closet at younger ages, thousands are being rejected by their families and forced out of their homes. Most homeless LGBT youth describe having suffered violence and harassment in their homes due to their sexual orientations and gender identities. As many as 40% of the homeless youth in the United States are LGBT. Homeless LGBT youth are subjected to violence and harassment on the streets and in mainstream youth shelters. They face tremendous risk of HIV infection, drug addiction, and criminalization.

This phenomenon of thousands of LGBT youth being forced from their homes due to homophobia, stripped of economic support, and made to endure homelessness represents the most terrible cruelty and intolerance currently directed at the LGBT community. Any community has an obligation to protect its youth when they are being hurt and attacked. We call on the LGBT Community to stand up for our youth suffering on the streets, and advocate that they receive the protection and care that all young people need and deserve.

We call on the members of the LGBT Community, our straight allies, and on all decent people who believe that youths should not be thrown to the streets for being LGBT, to rally in support of the following goals:
  • To show solidarity with homeless LGBT youth, to demonstrate outrage that so many young members of our community face family rejection, violence, and homelessness, and to call on the adult members of the LGBT and allied community to demonstrate increased concern, support and advocacy for our youth.
  • To advocate that local, state, and federal government funding be made available to provide the housing and supportive services needed by homeless LGBT youth so they can escape the streets, and that efforts be funded to prevent LGBT youth from being subjected to violence and rejection in their homes.
  • To advocate that protecting our youth from abuse, rejection, and homelessness be recognized as a major priority in our local and national LGBT advocacy agendas.
The rally is endorsed by many significant local and national community organizations, including: Ali Forney Center, Broadway Impact, Broadway Speaks Out, Bronx Community Pride Center, The Brooklyn Community Pride Center, Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, The Center for Anti-violence Education, Chris Ryan NYC, CitizeNYC, Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, The Door, Empire State Coalition of Youth and Family Services, FIERCE, Gay & Lesbian Independent Democrats (GLID), Gay Men of African Descent, GLSEN, GMHC, GetEQUAL, Green Chimneys Children's Services, HetRick Martin Institute, Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn, Integrity NYC, The LGBT Community Center, Make The Road New York, Manhattan Young Democrats, National Youth Advocacy Coalition, New York City Anti-Violence Project, New York AIDS Coalition (NYAC), The NYC Association of Homeless and Street-Involved Youth Organizations, Out Astoria, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays National, Safe Space NYC and Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City.

Additionally, the rally is also endorsed by many prominent community leaders, including: US Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand D-NY, Carl Siciliano, Sandra Bernhard, Lt. Dan Choi, Joe Jervis, Brendan Fay, NYC Council Member Lewis Fidler, Ryan J. Davis, Ally Sheedy, Cathy Renna, Reverend Irene Monroe, Peter Staley, David Mixner, Yetta Kurland, NYS Assemblymember Micah Kellner, U.S. Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-08), David Badash, Kai Wright, Rod McCullom, Sassafras Lowrey, Editor of "Kicked Out", NYS Senator Tom Duane, NYC Council Member Daniel Dromm, and NYC Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer.

For more information, visit the AFC website.

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