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Cyndi Lauper explains why she gives a damn

About five years ago, I had an opportunity to do a photo shoot for Interview magazine and wanted to include some young gay and transgender people to help spread a message of diversity and acceptance. So, I went down to the Christopher Street Pier here in New York City, where they tend to hang out. What came next opened my eyes to a problem that for far too long has not received the attention, the money, the resources and the focus that is desperately needed.

I was overwhelmed by the stories these young people were sharing with me about how they came out of the closet and the rejection that quickly followed by their family and friends, how they were forced to leave their homes or fled because they were scared or tired of the abuse and rejection.

As a mother, I could never imagine throwing my kid away for any reason, let alone over something like their sexual orientation or gender identity. It would be like ripping out a piece of my very own soul. For far too long, dogma and fear have torn apart too many families. It is a time when the heart must lead the way when your child shares this personal and life-changing moment with you.

Read Cyndi's full commentary in the new Gay Voices section of the Huffington Post.