Three Orlando LGBTQ+ organizations have been selected to receive support from Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation during Pride Month 2023.
Recognizing the urgent need to support places affected by anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, the foundation partnered with LGBT organization CenterLink to contribute $250,000 to LGBTQ+ community centers.
The three centers in Orlando receiving funds are The Center Orlando, Orlando Youth Alliance and Zebra Youth.
The Born This Way Foundation has worked for more than 10 years “with and for young people to build the kinder, braver world they know is possible,” according to their website. The foundation was founded in 2012 by Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta.
The organizations are being funded by the Born This Way Foundation Pride Fund and CenterLink, which are focusing on specific states across the U.S. that face significant legislative threats to LGBTQ+ youth.
The Center Orlando was founded in 1978. It was created in response to the need for safe spaces for the community. Since then, the center has provided a space where the LGBTQ+ community can feel free to express themselves as they are.
Orlando Youth Alliance is a support group that works to remind youth they’re never alone. The organization hosts weekly peer-to-peer support groups and monthly activities to provide a safe space for LGBTQ+ youth between the ages between 13 and 24.
Zebra Youth is a network of organizations that provide services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth ages 13 to 24. They assist young people who may be facing homelessness, bullying, isolation from their families, and physical, sexual and drug abuse with individualized programs to guide them into recovery and stability.
Some other Florida organizations also being supported include Jacksonville’s LGBTQ Center at UNF and JASMYN, Inc.; Sarasota’s ALSO Youth Inc. and Fabulous Arts Foundation; and Altamonte Springs-based LGBT+ Family & Games, Inc.
The goal of the Born This Way Foundation is to foster resilience and empowerment within the LGBTQ+ community, especially in states and communities facing harmful legislation. Together, Born This Way Foundation and CenterLink aim to create a meaningful and lasting impact on the lives of the community.
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