Greg Varnum has announced that he will be leaving the Triangle Foundation, a Detroit-based LBGT rights advocacy and anti-violence project, effective in March. Varnum is the Director of Youth Initiatives and Information Technology.
“As the program director who began the programs, my fingerprints are all over it. That, at some point, will hinder its growth,” said Varnum. “I think that is where we are with our youth programs. It was time for someone else to look at it with new eyes.”
Under his leadership, the Triangle youth programs went from nonexistent to a summer camp for LBGT youth, outreach and coordination with colleges around the state and the creation of a youth advisory board.
Triangle Foundation announced late last year that its founding executive director Jeffrey Montgomery was stepping down after 17 years at the helm. Varnum’s departure is the most high-profile position being vacated at the organization since then. But Varnum warns against those who might see the staffing changes as being about a conflict with interim executive director Kate Runyon.
“It’s funny people see these very logical, and not very exciting reasons for my departure and they try to make it a scandal,” Varnum said with a smile. “We all have to make hard decisions in life, and I have decided to leave a job I love exactly because I love it. I have to let it go in order for it to grow.”
Varnum, 24, is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University with a degree in political science and marketing. He said he has not found a new job yet, but believes he and his partner, who is planning to start a nursing education program soon, are likely to relocate to Washington, D.C.