Lady Gaga visited the Ali Forney Center for LGBTQ youth in Harlem on Black Friday this year, which was taped and aired on the Today show last Friday.


In her sessions with the kids, she revealed that she suffers from a mental illness, and in her interview segment on Today, she confirmed. “I suffer from PTSD. I’ve never told anyone that before, so here we are,” she said openly. “But the kindness that’s been shown to me by doctors, as well as my family and my friends, it’s really saved my life. I’ve been searching for ways to heal myself and I’ve found that kindness is the best way.”

In 2014, Gaga revealed that she had been raped seven years prior, when she was 19 years old. Her Oscar-nominated song “Til It Happens To You” is about sexual assault, and was featured in The Hunting Ground, a documentary about sexual assault on college campuses in the United States.


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Gaga has always been an outspoken supporter of LGBT rights and youth, and this surprise trip touched a lot of young people, about 75% of which had been subjected to either physical or sexual abuse in their homes. “Lady Gaga has always been extraordinarily supportive of the LGBT community,” said the center’s executive director Carl Siciliano. “She was remarkably unguarded, open and available to each individual young person.” She ran through her meditation routines and played her new hit “Million Reasons” from her album Joanne.

“To have somebody so famous, celebrated and valued in our society kind of showed them that they are worth being cared about and worth being loved when they often feel so dramatically invalidated,” Siciliano said. “It was very moving and meaningful to them.”

The Ali Forney Center was founded by Siciliano in 2002 and named after a homeless gender nonconforming person who was murdered in the street in 1997. Gaga’s Today show segment aired on the 19th anniversary of Forney’s death.

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