Hoping to wipe out youth and LGBT homelessness, singer Miley Cyrus recently launched Happy Hippie Foundation. Her Foundation donates proceeds to various groups that support homeless youth, LGBT youth and other vulnerable populations in the United States. For the records, 20% to 40% of America’s homeless are LGBT.
“In December of last year, Leelah Alcorn, a young transgender girl, committed suicide. It hit me as hard as if I had known her. I felt connected to her. For a year, my focus has been on helping homeless youth, and it was heartbreaking to hear that 40 percent of homeless teens identify as LGBT. The more I learned about what life can be like as a transgender person, the more I realized how especially woven into homelessness that is. Acceptance is a huge step towards eradicating youth homelessness. Being who you are and who you want to be has nothing to do with gender, sexuality, body type, race, or age,” Miley wrote of the Cincinnati teen who took her own life when her parents didn’t accept her when she came out to them as transgender.
“No one should have to hide who they really are, no matter what his or her name, gender, status or orientation. That’s why happy hippies are here to say that every life is valuable and it is our mission to make sure those who question the value of themselves and their lives feel protected and loved by us… which they very much are,” she added.
“The Happy Hippie Foundation is encouraging people to be the artists of a picture of true freedom, freedom of self-expression…freedom to be true to themselves. The fight to be free isn’t over. We have to rally together and fight injustice. Being a happy hippie means making others happy, even those unlike yourself!” Miley wrote.
Miley was criticised for bringing a young homeless man, Jesse Helt, to the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards in August.
Jesse accepted Miley’s VMA Award for Video of the Year with a heart-warming speech: “I am accepting this award on behalf of the 1.6 million runaways and homeless youth in the United States who are starving, lost, and scared for their lives right now. I know this because I’m one of these people. … I’ve survived in shelters all over the city. I’ve cleaned your hotel rooms. I’ve been an extra in your movies. I’ve been an extra in your life. Although I may have been invisible to you on the streets, I have a lot of the same dreams that brought many of you here tonight.”
Her act was branded a publicity stunt, but now it turns out to be a genuine act – to raise awareness and much-needed funds for homeless and LGBT youth, an important issue most of us turn a blind eye to.
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