Cyndi Lauper's Youth Homelessness Awareness Project Reaches Out to Librarians.
Cyndi Lauper has started a new organization to help educate folks about the very serious problem about LGBTQ homeless teens. Why this group? Because "while LGBT kids make up an estimated three to five percent of the
general population, they account for as much as 40 percent of the
homeless youth population. The reason? Because families often abuse,
neglect, and reject gay and transgender teens due to their sexual
orientation or gender identity."
School and public librarians are not only in the perfect position to
educate and get the word out about this problem—but they also offer LGBT
teens a safe haven, says Greg Lewis, executive director of the True
Colors Fund, which seeks to advance LGBT equality and was cofounded by
Lauper. "There is much that the public and those who work directly with kids
can do, especially librarians," he says. "For many young people who find
themselves homeless, the local library is the only place where they can
search the Internet for information and resources. For this very
reason, libraries and librarians can play a major role in dispersing
effective, sometimes life-saving information for homeless or at risk gay
and transgender youth looking for help." Lewis says he encourages all librarians to familiarize themselves with the information and resources available on the Forty to None Project
website, and to "urge any homeless or at risk gay and transgender youth
who may visit their local or school library to seek help."
I encourage you to read through this site and be prepared for when you encounter this challenge in your community. Odds are, some of your teens may already be in this situation.