Just in via email from Carl Siciliano:
To my many friends in the JoeMyGod Community,
I’m announcing today that after 18 years as the Executive Director of the Ali Forney Center, I will be stepping down from that role at the end of February.
I want to send a special message of thanks and gratitude to you. For more than a decade you have stood by my side, through your generosity and caring making our work of housing and protecting and empowering homeless LGBT youth a success.
Year after year you have sent a flood of donations our way, and several times (when Mayor Bloomberg tried to cut homeless youth funds by 50%, when Hurricane Sandy destroyed our drop-in center, and when we launched our ATLAH campaign) I felt as if the JoeMyGod family was like an army of big-hearted bears by my side, doing everything possible to help the young people in our care.
For me, this journey started when Ali Forney was murdered in the streets of NYC in a time when there were no shelters homeless LGBTQ youth could sleep in without facing violence and humiliation.
What an incredible thing it is to step back now and reflect on what we have accomplished in Ali’s name: building the largest organization in the country for homeless LGBTQ youth, one which has provided a home to over ten thousand young people who’ve had to face more terror and sorrow and hardship and rejection than any kids ever should. Now, looking back over it all I am overwhelmed with gratitude and amazement.
I am able to step down because I feel I’ve accomplished the core goals I had for the job, and because we were able to identify a successor, our Director of Development Alex Roque, who brings the skills, talents, determination, and most of all the heart this task requires. I am excited to see how he will grow the Ali Forney Center in responding to the many young people who continue to seek our help. I hope you will show him as much love and support as you’ve shown me.
As for me, I’m not really going anywhere, merely changing my focus. I will continue to work with the Ali Forney Center to expand our reach by focusing on two core issues: helping providers in other parts of the country build up resources for homeless LGBT youths in their local communities, and working to educate and create dialogue withing religious communities about the central role religious hostility towards LGBT people has in making so many families reject their kids.
I am grateful for what has been accomplished, and excited to meet the new challenges. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Ali Forney Center
VIDEO: Carl explains further below.