YouthPride tries to pull a Snuggie over your eyes

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As YouthPride teeters on the edge of collapse, its leaders continue to hint that the troubles are the fault of Atlanta’s LGBT community and not a dysfunctional board and the shifting target of a shaky fundraising campaign.

The organization’s latest attempt to whitewash its troubles and cast misplaced blame came on Monday when the Atlanta Journal-Constitution profiled the group and its difficult position. Terence McPhaul (photo right), YouthPride’s executive director, complains that LGBT donors don’t make up a larger piece of contributions to the group, that it still needs at least $40,000 to continue operations and anti-gay bigotry led them to the financial abyss.

In other words, it is everyone else’s fault that YouthPride is on the brink.

“The economy has been hard on everyone,” he said, adding that several expected grants didn’t materialize. He said some potential donors have scoffed at contributing to an organization that focuses on helping LGBT youth.

He also wants to see more contributions from the larger LGBT community, which accounts for 7 percent of YouthPride’s funding.

“We have to do a better job of telling people who we are,” McPhaul said. “We’re going to be out there every day asking for money. We hope we run across people who really realize that this is critical.”

Blaming the LGBT community is the same tack that Jordan Myers, YouthPride’s board president, took during a Jan. 25 meeting of LGBT activists and community leaders who gathered to offer their help. That’s the same session where Myers also wanted media outlets kicked out.

Yet, YouthPride’s fundraising goal has been a moving target, its board hasn’t met in more than a year, McPhaul skipped that meeting last month and tangled with a reporter over even the most basic request for information, and both McPhaul and Myers have been less than transparent with the group’s finances and troubles.

McPhaul and Myers have also offered behind-the-scenes resistance to helping the group of LGBT activists and community leaders, who hope to issue a public report with their findings on Wednesday.


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