Carolyn Beck (remember her???) reports in the comments to my post below about Youth First Texas that Austin’s agency for LGBT youth is facing a similar budget crisis. Beck, if you’ll remember, is the official spokeswoman for the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. She also became TABC’s liaison to the LGBT community following last June’s raid of the Rainbow Lounge in Fort Worth. Beck is straight, but shortly after the raid she began volunteering at Out Youth. And from what I can tell, she did it for no other reason than the fact that she genuinely supports the LGBT community. Anyhow, Beck points us to a wishlist that’s posted on the Out Youth website. The list includes not only things like toilet paper and paper towels, but also basic necessities like a Netflix subscription and a Wii console. Seriously, though, aren’t we a little concerned — even in a recession — that the LGBT community in Texas is having trouble funding its youth centers? Maybe, just maybe, it’s time for some of us to rethink our priorities. Here’s Beck’s full message:
Out Youth in Austin – the sister organization to Youth First – is having a similar budget crisis and has been cutting back staff hours. The number of hours of counseling available for youth has been cut. And the organization has no operations budget at all — no new pencils, no snacks for the kids, no TP for the potty. (Volunteers can be seen bringing packages of toilet paper with them to the “Out House” because every kind of donation makes a difference.) If any readers are in Austin, or from Austin, or perhaps you were served by Out Youth in Austin, please consider becoming a monthly donor. And Saturday, June 19th is the annual all-ages Out Youth Queer Prom, which is a fundraising event for the organization. Everyone is invited!