Perhaps I should start off with a personal note. When I was living in Arkansas after my transition, I used to run a LGBT group out of my home: Conway Prism. Although the group was mainly advertised as a gay-friendly atmosphere, we were open to anyone who wanted to attend and respect everyone else who was there. Someone once ask me what the point of it was. My response was that I wanted everyone to become a member.
It appears that philosophy may undergo some testing.
A week ago, Cyrus announced the beginning of her Happy Hippie Foundation, which is designed to help homeless and other at risk LGBT youth.
At the event, Cyrus also announced that not all of her past relationships have been heterosexual...and that she sees herself as being "gender fluid."
Cyrus says she was resentful that she was a girl.
I didn’t want to be a boy. I kind of wanted to be nothing. I don’t relate to what people would say defines a girl or a boy, and I think that’s what I had to understand: Being a girl isn’t what I hate, it’s the box that I get put into.
Cyrus told the Associated Press that her Happy Hippie Foundation will be dedicated to helping empower young people like herself who feel that they exist outside the “straight, heterosexual” gender and sexual orientation spectrum.
Cyrus said that she was moved by the suicide of Leelah Alcorn in December. Of the more than 1.6 million homeless young people, it is estimated that 40% are LGBT.
When you have all eyes on you, what are you saying? And that's what I had to ask myself a lot. It's like, I know you're going to look at me more if my (breasts) are out, so look at me. And then I'm going to tell you about my foundation for an hour and totally hustle you.
[youth homelessness] is something that everyone sees. It's like the birds chirping. We're consciously ignoring it at all times, but it's always happening right in front of us.
It's not going to be an overnight process. You've got to get into a lot of people's brains and you've got to really make this a topic.
--Cyrus, who promises to sty on the topic for at least 5 years
Funds raised by Happy Hippie will create digital support groups for LGBT youth and their families. The foundation is also aiding My Friend's Place, a center for homeless youth in Hollywood.
Cyrus rocked The Replacement's Androgynous with Joan Jett and Laura Jane Grace:
Also part of the Backyard Sessions is Grace and Cyrus performing True Trans Soul Rebel:
Will this help? I'd like to say it couldn't hurt. But is that the truth of the matter? Perhpas we will have to wait and see if another person of wealth and privilege joining our cause is a help or a hindrance.
I know transgender people who transition from female to male and have had their own children forcibly removed from their lives. I have known scores of transgender people who have become homeless. Too often people are arrested for what we call "walking while trans" -- when police assume a transgender woman out in public is engaged in sex work. Trans people sucked into the criminal justice system are forced to endure extreme sexual and physical assault. And so many people, especially those who come out young or come out in communities that are already economically marginalized in the U.S., never have any chance to complete their education or get into the traditional workforce.