(NEW YORK) — Miley Cyrus’ latest venture isn’t a new movie or an album. On Monday, she launched the Happy Hippie Foundation, which aims to bring awareness to youth homelessness and other vulnerable communities, such as the LGBT community.
“I’m the one that can fix it,” Miley said of the problems plaguing homeless and LGBT youth on Tuesday’s Good Morning America. “And I think I’ve been able to identify with it just because I’ve never thought of myself as I’m a girl and so I can’t do this or I can do this or you gotta be a boy to do that. I’ve never thought about that. I feel completely like I’m not tied to a gender or to an age. I feel, you know, like an infinite cosmic thing and that’s what I want people to feel.”
Although it started with bringing a homeless teen with her to the MTV Video Music Awards, Miley said she was recently inspired to expand her foundation for LGBT youth when she saw Bruce Jenner’s interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer, in which he revealed he’s transitioning to a woman. Miley added that she “thought it was really cool” that he used his platform to bring awareness of transgender issues to “that many impressionable people.”
Miley is kicking off fundraising for her foundation with a number of music video collaborations called “Backyard Sessions” filmed in her own backyard — hence, the name. Miley’s friends and frequent collaborators — such as Joan Jett, transgender rocker Laura Jane Grace, folk legend Melanie Safka, and Ariana Grande — are featured in the videos, which will premiere exclusively on Miley’s Facebook page. The social networking site has placed a special “Donate” link on the page so fans can contribute to The Happy Hippie Foundation, where funds will create digital support groups for LGBT youth and their families.
The first video features Miley and Joan singing “Different,” a song from Joan Jett and the Blackhearts’ 2013 album, Unvarnished.
Miley said if she has any advice for a teen struggling with who they are, she’d give them this advice: “You want to be peaceful with yourself and happy with yourself and love yourself. And sometimes I think, as women especially, I think we’re taught that we’re not supposed to say ‘I love myself’…I love myself and that’s what everyone should be able to say.”
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