The full title of the article from the School Library Journal website is “Cyndi Lauper’s Youth Homelessness Project Reaches Out to Librarians,” and it’s well worth the read:
“For far too long, gay and transgender youth who are experiencing homelessness have not received the attention, resources, and support that they desperately require,” says Lauper (left), explaining that Forty to None is the first national organization solely devoted to addressing the needs of homeless LGBT teens and hopes to end to the crisis by bringing the 40 percent figure to none. “All of us must join together to stand with America’s next generation so that they can stand on their own.”
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.”
Just a quick recap here: “gay and transgender youth who are experiencing homelessness” is a polite phrase for “teens who were sent away from their homes and told not to return once their parents found out they were gay or transgender.” Sometimes the kids outed themselves, sometimes they were outed by others. In any case this is not how a civilized society treats its children. Any society that allows it to go on cannot consider itself civilized. In those terms, we have a lot of work to do.