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Gaga, Lauper Lend Voice to Issues Facing LGBT Youth in "Speak Out"

“Speak Out,” a USA Today insert, takes a compelling look at issues facing gay, lesbian, bi, and transgender youth. The 8-page insert shines a spotlight on anti-LGBT bullying, LGBT homelessness, suicide, and youth empowerment projects with the help of some big name celebs and the organizations and youth working to make it better.

Among the organizations highlighted is the Gay Straight Alliance Network – a youth-driven organization working with students to promote safe schools for all. Carolyn Laub, executive director of the Gay Straight Alliance Network, speaks of the work still needed to combat bullying in schools. Aptly, Laub points out that though adults need to take part in the change we create, “students are fueling this movement.”

Lady Gaga lends her voice to highlight the high number of homeless youth who identify as LGBT. In a PSA with Virgin Mobile, Gaga asks fans to support homeless youth shelters with a specific message regarding LGBT youth. Watch her PSA here:

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Another celebrity advocate featured in this issue is Cyndi Lauper, who opened an LGBT homeless youth shelter this week in NYC. As part of her message, she asks all parents “to love and accept your child, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.” And she goes on to tell straight allies, “the most important thing that all of us straight people who support equality can do is speak up and let our voices be heard.”

Other organizations featured in “Speak Out” include GLSEN, the Trevor Project, the Ali Forney Center, PFLAG, and the It Gets Better Project, along with profiles of successful out individuals like Laurence Boschetto, President and CEO of Draftfcb. Additionally, leaders from Wells Fargo, the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, and Love and Pride also weigh in on how to make a difference in the lives of young people and supporting the LGBT community.

With students heading back to school all over the country, “Speak Out” is a shining example of timely and relevant news coverage, illuminating some of the issues LGBT youth continue to face while encouraging youth and allies to be a part of making it better.  Readers can find “Speak Out” on newsstands everywhere.

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