While middle-class white gays and lesbians picketed the White House wearing suits and skirts, trans women of color threw their heels at police officers and taunted the cops by forming kick-lines and singing raunchy songs. While assimilation-oriented gays pleaded with the queer community for peace in Greenwich Village, enraged queers used parking meters as battering rams to break down the door of the Stonewall Inn and reclaim their safe space from the mob and the police.
The elephant in the room is our conspicuous reluctance as a society to develop adequate service systems for homeless youth and children. Is the thought of the young people on the street so unsettling and counter to our values that we simply choose to look the other way? Is the reality of trafficking and exploitation so hard to face?
On Tuesday, the eve of Forty To None Day (a day of national awareness of the epidemic of homeless youth) I got the opportunity to meet with Grammy, Emmy, and Tony Award-Winning artist (and my teen shero) Cyndi Lauper when I presented a $160,000.00 check to True Colors Fund, a youth charity Lauper co-founded.
My life is proof that we can change the future of thousands of youth forced into homelessness by simply valuing their lives, making investments into their futures, and recognizing that they are worth more than a few bucks and some leftover lunch. I am worth something -- and so is every other homeless youth.
We can't expect to get appropriate care from our health providers if we don't come out to them. Conversely, our providers have to be well-versed in the healthcare needs of LGBT people. Aside from our romantic partners, our providers are the people who most need to be aware of our gender identity, sexuality, and sexual behavior.