I thank you Bea, for flying across the country into the cold, to help us protect our youths. I thank you for your compassionate heart and your noble spirit. I thank you for recognizing that LGBT youths are deserving of love, and speaking out for them.
If Rustin was afraid or daunted, he never showed it. He kept living his life, standing up for anyone who needed a voice. He loved Black people, but as evidenced by his global activism, he loved all people.
The church still teaches that homosexual conduct is a sin, and that being gay is disordered. I hope that if you understand how this teaching tears families apart and prevent your bishops from fighting against the acceptance of LGBT people as equal members of society.
LGBTQ teen homelessness is an often-overlooked aspect of the national struggle for equality. Of the nearly 2 million teens affected by homelessness each year, an estimated 40 percent of them identify as LGBTQ.
HIV prevention efforts directed at homeless youths typically focus on condom distribution and HIV prevention education. But focusing on condoms and awareness without responding to the lack of shelter, which forces homeless youths into survival sex, is a failed policy.
It's estimated that there are more than 4000 homeless youth in NYC -- but at present, there are only 400 beds available for this population. 100 percent of the proceeds from Shred of Hope will go directly to the Ali Forney Center, the largest organization helping homeless LGBTQ youth.
Last weekend I found myself in a gym in Portland, Oregon with tears streaming down my face. I was at Lewis & Clark Law School, at the graduation ceremony of Ksen Pallegedara, one of the first young people ever to stay at the Ali Forney Center.