NEW YORK — Adult products manufacturer Blush Novelties has initiated a campaign to raise funds to help services for homeless LGBTQ youth at New York City’s Ali Forney Center.
“We are a company that insist upon recognizing the rights of all individuals,” said Ducky DooLittle, Blush’s resident sex educator. “We understand that meeting the basic needs of a human being must come before pleasure.”
Statistics show that 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ, with 68 percent of those young people sighting family rejection as the major contributing factor to their homelessness.
Established in 2002, the Ali Forney Center has grown to become the largest agency dedicated to LGBTQ homeless youths in the country — assisting nearly 1,400 youths per year through a 24-hour Drop-In Center in New York City.
“Knowing that from a young age lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, and pansexual youth face extraordinary obstacles means that we must go above and beyond in our efforts to care for them.” DooLittle said. “We are so grateful that the Ali Forney Center exists, and we are proud to fundraise for them.”
The Ali Forney Center provides more than 70,000 meals annually, medical and mental health services through an on-site clinic, and a scattered site housing program.
The organization's namesake, Ali Forney, was a gender-nonconforming teen who fled his home at 13. He entered the foster care system where he was bounced around to several homes, experiencing beatings and abuse.
Forney ended up living on the streets at the age of 15. Despite his hard circumstances, Forney was dedicated to helping other young people and publicly advocated for the safety of homeless LGBT youth. Tragically, in December of 1997, Forney was murdered in Harlem—shot in the head and left for dead.
DooLittle said that supporting the efforts of the Ali Forney Center is “perfectly aligned with the Blush mission stating that all bodies are beautiful, worthy and deserving of celebration and pleasure.”
Together, with the participation of adult distributors and retailers who sell Avant Pride, Blush will donate $1 to the Ali Forney Center. The promotion take place the entire month of June.
Samples of Avant Pride available upon request. For more info on Blush, click here. For more info on the Ali Forney Center, click here.