The June 2nd LGBT Rally for Homeless Youth will be the launch of the National Campaign for Youth Shelter, a movement to prioritize the protection of homeless youth across the United States. The Ali Forney Center, the nation's largest organization dedicated to homeless LGBT youth, is partnering with the National Coalition for the Homeless.
The new campaign aims to demand a national response to the crisis of youth homelessness in the U.S. Despite a staggering 500,000 unaccompanied children and teens experiencing homelessness each year, there are only around 4,000 beds for youths in shelters. And although around 5 percent of the overall youth population in the U.S. identify as LGBT, upwards of 40% of those youths who are homeless are LGBT.
The LGBT Rally for Homeless Youth, taking place in New York City's Washington Square Park at 6 PM on June 2nd, will feature some exciting speakers. Junior Labeija, star of the film Paris is Burning and former homeless LGBT youth, will be the master of ceremonies. Edie Windsor, plaintiff in last summer's Supreme Court case which found the Defense of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional, will speak, along with LGBT leader and civil rights activist David Mixner, and many other former homeless LGBT youth.
Watch David Mixner address the importance of standing up for our nation's LGBT youth:
Carl Siciliano, executive director of the Ali Forney Center, exclaimed:
"I am thrilled that so many heroes and icons of the movement for LGBT equality have agreed to come together to demand that our homeless youth, and all homeless youth, must be better protected by our nation. And I hope that this rally will mark a turning point where the LGBT movement finally prioritizes the fight against the epidemic of LGBT youth homelessness."
Watch Siciliano speak here:
Come out to the rally on Monday to show your support, or visit the campaign's website to find out other ways you can get involved. Demand support and shelter for our nation's youth!