Lady Gaga chooses OKC youth group for concert honor

Alex Aide, program director for the Born This Way Foundation, speaks to OKC LGBTQ+ youth. Photo by Robin Dorner.

Youth Equality Services (YES), an Oklahoma City LGBTQ+ youth group, has been selected by Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation (BTWF) as the local partner for the Oklahoma stop on the singer’s Joanne World Tour.

YES will join the Born This Way Foundation on December 9th at the Chesapeake Arena to promote the foundation’s Spreading Kindness initiative. 

At each city of the concert tour, the BTWF is organizing or participating in a variety of events that will support their mission of engaging youth to foster kindness, improve mental wellness and create more positive environments.

A booth shared by the BTWF and YES at the concert venue, Chesapeake Arena, will provide information on how to lend a hand and make a difference by spreading the power of kindness in the community.

In 2011, Lady Gaga co-founded The Born This Way Foundation with her mother, Cynthia Germanotta. BTWF is a non-profit organization that strives to create a “braver and kind world” for youth. They do this by focusing on an end-goal to create safe-spaces, promote the learning of life skills and provide opportunities to improve their local communities.

“It’s important to be recognized because on most others bases I don’t get recognized,” said Emerson Taylor, 14. “YES is like a second home for me.
“Lady Gaga recognizing us is amazing,” he exclaimed. “It means a lot that someone who is so high up in the world would recognize us. She is one of my idols.”

As for the concert, Emerson and his mom tried to win tickets on the radio earlier this year but fell short.

Youth Equality Services is a youth-led, adult-supported supervised group that provides community support to LGBTQ and marginalized youth, ages 13 to 20. YES provides a safe, affirming, alcohol/drug-free environment and models positive adult behaviors to foster healthy development for the youth served through the program.

Program Director for the BTWF, Alex Aide, and other members of the BTWF met with youth from the YES program before the concert on Saturday. The youth introduced themselves and shared the challenges and triumphs they have faced growing up LGBTQ+ in Oklahoma. 

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12/9/17 @12:46 p.m. CST