When Steve Hightower came out to his family, he, like many of his fellow LGBTQ community members, was nervous—very nervous. He had no idea how his family would handle the news. “My family, from the day I told them, accepted me with open arms. My grandfather, at 92, told me, ‘It’s not my place to judge you. It’s the Lord’s, and I love you no matter what.’ My grandmother just stood up, hugged me, winked at me and said, ‘I knew,’” says Steve.
Unfortunately, many area youth don’t share a similarly happy story. All too often, these young people are disowned by their families and kicked out of the home. After being approached for help by one such gay youth, Hightower learned about the nonprofit Lost-n-Found Youth and immediately became an avid supporter.
An Atlanta-based nonprofit, Lost-n-Found Youth champions the mission to take lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth who are living on the street after being rejected by their loved ones and forced into homelessness. Currently the only nonprofit of its kind in Atlanta, Lost-n-Found offers LGBTQ youth assistance with counseling, medical care, hot meals, clothing, job placement and, when available, securing housing.
As Lost-n-Found works to acquire a house in Midtown to expand this ability to shelter, Hightower supports the effort by using the funds raised at his Thriving Children Gala. Taking place at the Fox Theatre on April 29, this year’s 7th Annual Thriving Children Gala presents a night of glitz and glamour for a good cause. Guests are invited to peruse the silent auction while enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres served by 10 of Atlanta’s top restaurants. Entertainment for the evening includes big band era music by The Sentimental Journey Orchestra, a special performance from the award-winning Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus and a featured act by Cher-impersonator Chad Michaels, as well as a live auction featuring everything from jewelry to furniture, a fashion show and a hair show featuring Steve Hightower Hair Salon & Day Spa and Jyl Craven Studio. Tickets start at $75.