Huffpost Gay Voices

Parker Posey To Host Ali Forney Center's Oasis Benefit For Homeless LGBT Youth

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The Ali Forney Center's annual summer benefit will shine brighter than ever this year -- with a little help from Parker Posey.

The 43-year-old "House of Yes" actress is set to host the third annual "Oasis" event, which will take place July 19 at the Bowery Hotel’s Terrace Room in New York City. One hundred precent of the proceeds from "Oasis" will go to the Ali Forney Center, the homeless shelter and advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) teens and young adults in New York, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year.

Among those to praise Posey's involvement was Ali Forney Center Executive Director Carl Siciliano. "As a longtime supporter of the LGBT community, we are especially grateful that Parker is lending her celebrity to support the most vulnerable members of the LGBT community –- our youth," Siciliano, who founded the organization in 2002, wrote in an email statement.

Posey spoke about her upcoming gig in an email to HuffPost Gay Voices:

The Huffington Post: How did you learn about or become familiar with the Ali Forney Center?
Parker Posey: I learned about it from my gay friends!

There are so many worthy causes to support -- what about the Ali Forney Center drew you to it and made you want to get involved?
Kids running away and living on the streets because their family doesn't understand them or want them is a very sad thing to think about. Parents not loving their children. Because the kids at school make fun of them and they can't stand the pain of feeling different, of being gay. The stigma of this difference needs to be lifted.

And I know by now these kids have seen my movies and I just very simply want them to know I admire their courage and I too, felt different and out of place as a young teen...but then you see as you get older that difference, being unconventional, is a path, and you follow it as best you can, with the rest of those close to you who are different and unconventional, too. And sometimes difficulty in ones life early on can make room for intense creativity for a young person -- and almost all of my gay friends are creative and intelligent and of course, funny. I want these kids to see some hope and encourage their spirits not to get down.

Funding for homeless youth is constantly being threatened by budget cuts. If given the opportunity to address politicians who make decisions regarding those cuts, what would you say to them?

These kids, if supported, will have much to offer the city when they get older, if they see the city as their home and not as a place that isn't for them. We have to nurture them now so they experience the city as a place where nice people from out of nowhere give them a home and place to stay and live. That they belong. No matter how bad things can seem, there's a generosity of spirit here that comes out when needed. It's a responsibility to keep the youth safe as well as proud to live here.

For more information about the Ali Forney Center's "Oasis" event, click here.

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