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11th May
2012
written by Andre Wade

On May 10, 2012, I had the pleasure of spending the entire day with Cyndi Lauper lobbying on behalf of LGBTQ youth that experience homelessness. Along with Gregory Lewis, Executive Director of Cyndi’s foundation, the True Colors Fund, the Center for American Progress and the Human Rights Campaign we spent the morning briefing Cyndi on how to lobby members of Congress. The three “asks” we covered were:

We all made visits to the congressional offices of Sen. Franken (D-MN), Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), Minority Leader Pelosi (D-CA), and Senator John Kerry (D-MA). We also met with people HUD, HHS, and USICH. I am pleased to report that everyone was very receptive to Cyndi’s personal experiences and observations with LGBTQ homeless youth and the three asks for the day.

It goes without saying that Cyndi’s meetings and presence on the Hill drew some press! In between meetings and going from office to office, Cyndi had multiple requests to be interviewed by outlets such as CNN, MSNBC and others. It was thrilling to see the behind the scenes action!

Finally, we ended the day at a briefing on LGBTQ youth homelessness, which was hosted by the House LGBT Equality Caucus. The panelists consisted of Cyndi Lauper, Andrew Barnett, Sexual Minority Youth Assistance; Deborah Shore, Sasha Bruce Youthwork; Jeff Krehely, Center for American Progress; and myself. It was moderated by Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign. We all spoke to the need to improve the response to LGBTQ youth homelessness by increasing funding, improving data, and ensuring that family intervention is inclusive of the needs of parents with LGBTQ children and youth.

To learn more about LGBTQ youth homelessness and what you can do to get involved, please visit our website.

Photo courtesy of Washington Blade magazine.

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