December 20, 2009

An Appeal to Help LGBT Youth

The Executive Director of the Ali Forney Center in New York makes a moving appeal for supporting his organization and others like it at Joe.My.God. here's an excerpt;

When I first began to work with homeless teens in the mid 1990's I met a gay boy who had nowhere to stay. We sent him to what at that time was the one youth shelter in NYC, Covenant House, a large Roman Catholic Shelter. The first night he stayed there he was placed in a dorm with about 15 other kids. After he fell asleep, the other kids in the dorm gathered around him and urinated on him to show their hatred and unwillingness to share their dorm with a gay person. I cannot tell you how many similar stories I have heard over the years, of LGBT kids being gay-bashed, humiliated and abused at Covenant House. Back in the 90's most LGBT kids felt safer sleeping on the streets.

I feel strongly that we, the LGBT Community, who call on each other to come out of the closet, have to be there to protect teens who come out only to be rejected and abandoned. I am very proud of the work that the Ali Forney Center now does to protect these kids and help them heal the trauma they've been put through, and help them rebuild their lives. We offer housing, food, clothing, medical care, mental health treatment, and vocational and educational assistance. We, and the many people who support us and volunteer for us become an extended family, who give these kids the love and support their own families cannot give.

Click here to read the rest of this essay.

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