For many LGBT fans, Bea Arthur's death in 2009 was a harsh blow. Not only was the Mame, Maude and The Golden Girls star a comedic powerhouse and high camp class act, but her record of staunch support for the gay community—long before it was the norm—made her a bona fide queer superhero. Arthur's will stipulated that $300,000 be donated to the Ali Forney Center, a non-profit for homeless LGBT youth.
Now, the Center has announced that the Bea Arthur Residence, an 18-bed LGBT youth shelter, will complete construction in Feburary 2017, and open its doors soon after, offering housing, employment services and counseling.
Nearly 40% of NYC's homeless youth identify as LGBT, which is staggering considering the city's reputation as a gay mecca. "These kids at the Ali Forney Center are literally dumped by their families because of the fact that they are lesbian, gay or transgender," Arthur said. "This organization is saving lives."
Go here to volunteer or donate to the Ali Forney Center. And to witness the onscreen glory of Bea Arthur, you can watch The Golden Girls reruns, which are on TV pretty much 24 hours a day. If you've never seen The Golden Girls, just watch and worship...