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New generation of Atlanta LGBTQ youth speaks out

JustUsATL

“My mom met my boyfriend today,” Gabriel Haggray said, seated at a patio table at Savage Pizza in Little Five Points with friends Chris Kontopidis and Casey Geyer. “She gave him a hug.”

A huge grin allowed a flash of his blue-tinted braces to shine. This was a huge step for Haggray, 24, a psychology major at Georgia Perimeter College who once had dreams of a ballet career and now hopes to become a criminal profiler for the FBI.

When Haggray came out in the 11th grade, his parents were a bit reluctant to understand and accept. It’s a different story today. Haggray said the support he receives from his family, especially his older sisters, is monumental.

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Ad-hoc committees try to help save YouthPride

External shot of LGBT youth advocacy organization YouthPride

Gathered around a table at Avondale Pizza, several young people waiting for their food to arrive joked about school, the different haircuts they want and teased some friends who accidentally went to Savage Pizza down the street.

All utilize the services provided by YouthPride and say they are grateful for the agency and do not want it to disappear.

They understand the nonprofit is facing a financial crisis, can’t pay its rent and is dealing with administrative difficulties. Two community volunteer ad-hoc committees have formed to study YouthPride’s financial and programming viability and are scheduled to make a public report to the community on Feb. 8.

“It’s sad but at same time the people would find ways to continue on [if YouthPride] closed,” said Sean Hussey, 24, who identifies as transfeminine and is a computer science major at Georgia Tech.