Lady Gaga visits homeless LGBTQ youth to show that kindness counts
Early Monday morning, Lady Gaga joined with The Today Show and their #ShareKindness campaign to donate clothes, make-up, and other products to the Ali Forney Center for homeless LGBTQ youth in New York City.
Gaga’s appearance at a center that most of America has never heard of, for a segment of the population that is frequently alienated, was powerful.
During her visit, Gaga shared for the first time that she suffers from PTSD as a result of a sexual assault at the age of 19. She now handles it with medication. “I’ve never told anyone that before. So here we are. But the kindness that’s shown to me by doctors as well as my family, and my friends, it’s really saved my life.”
Gaga’s visit was part of the Today Show’s campaign to inspire one million acts of kindness, both big and small, across the country by the end of the year. For Lady Gaga, kindness has played in her own recovery as a trauma survivor: “I’ve been searching for ways to help myself. And I found that kindness is the best way.” The appearance of the superstar at this small center, which has only eight paid staff members, made an impact on the kids there to see her. As one teen said to her, “When family was, like, kind of, like, pushing me away because I’m gay, all I had is you and ‘Born This Way’ album on repeat.”
It makes you want to weep. These are kids who have been told by their parents that they are not okay the way they are and that they are no longer wanted. The pain must be indescribable.
Too often, children are abandoned by their parents after coming out as LGBTQ; it is estimated that while 5-10% of the teen population identifies as LGBTQ, almost 40% of the youth homeless population does. According to the center, 80% of the kids they serve were forced out of their homes because of their sexuality. Who kicks their kid out on the streets because of who they love? It’s sickening.
Today, the center offers a drop-in center where these kids can get food, medical care, and mental health services, and provides assistance with emergency housing, transitional living, and job readiness. And now, thanks to Lady Gaga, people around the world will know about the center, will know about these kids and their struggles, and will be able to see what a little bit of kindness can do for people who need it.
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