We Are



Meet the dedicated staff and interns who work hard to make sure that the Pride Center operates as an inclusive safe space for necessary resources.

Executive Director


Robert Salcido, Jr.


has extensive experience working with issues of equity, diversity and inclusion, LGBTQ+ education, and matters of discrimination, making him a sought after consultant, speaker, and facilitator. He’s committed to civic engagement and social justice for underrepresented and historically excluded communities. Robert has been active with The Center since 2011, as a volunteer as well as the Board Chair from 2015 until 2022. He has served in his current role as the Executive Director at Pride Center San Antonio since 2015.

He is a co-director of the community based project, Strengthening Colors of Pride that resulted from his past fellowship with the Interdisciplinary Research Leaders program at the University of Minnesota. The project aims to build a culture of health through community connectedness and data driven initiatives. Salcido has also held past fellowships with Freedom For All Americans and the Victory Institute Foundation.


Salcido serves on the board of directors for Planned Parenthood San Antonio and Planned Parenthood South Texas Surgical Centers and is an active member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committees for the Interdisciplinary Research Leaders program at the University of Minnesota and the Boys & Girls Club of San Antonio. He is a founding member and past president of Orgullo de San Antonio LGBTQ League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Council 22198. Under his leadership the council achieved District, State, and National Council of the Year in 2016. 


Robert was named Most Influential by Out In SA Magazine and 20 Most Captivating by the San Antonio Current in 2015. He was awarded the Alamo Area Region and the Texas State Public Citizen of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers of Texas in 2016, honored for his leadership by the National Diversity Council in 2018 and named ‘Best Community Activist’ by the San Antonio Current in 2019. Salcido is a 2020 inductee into ‘The Honor 41 List’, honoring Latino/a role models across the globe. Most recently, he was listed as one of 20 Influential Latinos in San Antonio by KSAT TV for 2021 National Latino Heritage Month. 


Salcido was raised in Amarillo, San Antonio has been his home since 2001. Robert and his husband, Mike, enjoy traveling and playing co-ed softball. They have one fur-baby, a PitBull/Catahoula mix named Cyxx. 

Director of Clinical Services (Pro bono)


Rev. Naomi Brown, LCSW


is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 20 years of experience in Social Services. Naomi started her education at City College in New York, later completing her Master’s degree at Our Lady of the Lake University in Social Work Clinical and a minor in Administration. Currently working as a Hospice Social Worker, Naomi worked in Homeless services for 7 years.

She is also a poet and educator on motivational interviewing, trauma informed care, recovery orientation and LGBTQIA Safe Zone Training. Naomi works as a Trauma Therapist; her clinical hours are spent seeing many gender queer individuals who live with PTSD and other traumatic experiences. Naomi is a Certified SAGE Educator (Senior Aging in a Gay Environment) a National Training Program based in New York.

In addition, she serves on the Board of National Association Social Workers Texas for Region 8 Alamo Area representing over 600 Social Workers in 12 counties and three schools of Social Work. Naomi is a Field Instructor with University of Texas San Antonio, Army FSU, Our Lady of the Lake University, and Texas State University.

She values mentoring and challenging the next generation of Social Workers. Naomi worked as an Adjunct Professor at Our Lady of the Lake University. For the past 12 years she has been a Safe Zone trainer, speaker, and teaches LGBT sensitivity at Universities, Colleges, Corporations and most notably the San Antonio Police Department. Naomi is a Licensed and Ordained Minister and currently Clergy in Residence/Outreach Minister at Metropolitan Community Church. Naomi is a founding member and has been working with the Pride Center since 2009.

Director of Community Health


Lex Loro


is a queer justice activist, community health educator, and mental health professional whose work focuses primarily on improving access to mental health care for LGBTQ+ individuals. 

Lex has almost ten years of experience working in sexual health education and advocacy, curriculum development, and training facilitation aimed at supporting queer and disabled youth. She is a Co-Founder of Not Your Average Sex Talk (NYAST), a peer-to-peer health advocacy network that uses a harm reduction, trauma-informed framework to discuss sex and intimacy in ways that are often neglected in traditional sex education settings. She has presented NYAST programming on college campuses and at national and local conferences across the country, with the goal of creating dialogue and resources that are sex-positive, intersectional, and catered towards marginalized people while addressing the ways that homo/bi/transphobia, ableism, and racism intertwine with attraction and intimacy. 

Lex spent a year as a Public Policy and Government Affairs Fellow at the National LGBTQ Task Force where they worked to disseminate the findings of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey. As a graduate student, Lex interned at the Alamo Area Rape Crisis Center and the Community Counseling Services, providing trauma-informed therapy services to couples, families, children, and teens with a specialization in LGBTQ+ affirming care. They have spent the last three years serving the Pride Center as a Community Empowerment Coordinator before moving into the role of Community Health Manager.

Lex received their BA from American University in Washington D.C., with a degree in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Journalism and their MS in Psychology- Marriage and Family Therapy from Our Lady of the Lake University. She enjoys cheering on the Spurs, searching for the best coffee in town, and uplifting the voices of her queer and trans sisters, brothers, and siblings.

Program Manager


Erica Alcocer


is a queer non-binary femme living in San Antonio. Their focuses are in radical social change and self-awareness, empowering LGBTQIA+ youth, sex & gender education, inclusive language, creating community centered in liberation for colonized folk, and navigating spaces with intersectionality + inclusion in mind.

Erica currently studies at UTSA with a double major in Spanish + Mexican American Studies and a minor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Erica is a 2019 Presidential Inclusive Excellence Scholar and receiver of the Linda J. Rasmussen Memorial Annual Scholarship in Women’s Studies at UTSA. Erica is also a jewelry designer and dabbles in DJing, event production, poetry and live performance.

Development & Communications Manager

Beto DeLeón


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Beto is a community organizer whose work is focused on supporting community care networks and exploring alternative economies for a just and equitable future.

Their work has spanned 25 years of study, organizing and supporting local movements including their roles as cofounder of SanArte Healing & Cultura Collective, lead herbalist educator for the La Yerbería cohort, and past roles as Environmental Justice Coordinator with Southwest Workers Union and member of the Water and Natural Resources working group with the City of San Antonio’s Climate Action and Adaptation plan.  They have supported multiple grassroots community spaces and campaigns around clean energy, food justice, workers rights, land stewardship and building sustainable communities. Their work has also been shaped by working in the development department and as grant writer for local cultural spaces and also as Program Assistant in national granting programs with the National Association of Latinx Arts & Culture.  These combined experiences helped them better understand the need for a strong community based strategy in fundraising and building solidarity based funding opportunities. Their hope is to continue creating restorative spaces for 2SLGBTQ+ people to heal, self organize and thrive.


They are also a multidisciplinary artist and writer whose work focuses on the preservation of the Indigenous communities and traditions of South Texas. When not working Beto enjoys time with their family cooking, reading and working on their garden.

Community Health Manager

Bianca Puleo

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Bianca is a Texas native, originally from San Antonio. They graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and is currently a Master of Social Work candidate.

Bianca’s research focuses on understanding how minority stressors affect health. They are interested in transformative praxis to foster social change, health equity, ancestral reconnection, and restorative justice.

Bianca has been with their partner for 10 years and has an Australian Cattle dog that is the light of their lives. Bianca also loves plants, thrifting and lazy days at home.

Community Outreach Coordinator

Jeremy Sarten



Jeremy Sarten is a local queer, LGBTQIA+ activist; and mental health, recovery,  and harm reduction advocate born and raised in San Antonio. He began his journey at Pride Center San Antonio as an Operations Intern in the fall of 2019 and now serves as the Community Outreach Coordinator for The Center.  Jeremy also started our weekly addiction recovery support group, Sober Over The Rainbow

After an eight year career in the hospitality industry, Jeremy’s passion for advocacy and heart for marginalized communities led him to study Sociology at San Antonio College. During his time at SAC, he served as the 2021-2022 President of the Gender & Sexuality Alliance and helped institute LGBTQIA+ Health Awareness Week and SAC PrideFest on campus. He graduated in May of 2022 with Honors and as the Distinguished Graduate of Sociology. He is currently attending The University of Texas at Arlington to obtain his Bachelor’s of Social Work with a minor in Substance Use Treatment.  

Jeremy is beyond grateful for the community and family that The Center has given him. He feels honored to be able to work in a capacity that serves and empowers the local LGBTQ+ community and looks forward to growing his future career as a social worker and counselor with Pride Center San Antonio.

Community Empowerment Coordinator

Leo Castillo-Anguiano


Leo is a queer justice community organizer and activist whose work focuses on improving access to resources and health care for LGBTQIA+ folks, especially transgender identifying Individuals. Leo has over 7 years of experience working with LGBTQIA+ communities, sexual health education, criminal justice reform, and reproductive justice issues. 

He is a co-facilitator of Trans Masc Folks Y Más (TMFYM), a peer-to-peer transgender support group at the Pride Center. This group meets to discuss and break down any current perceptions they have on gender and sexuality, as well as addressing mental health, Hormone Replacement Therapy, and many other topics that align with resources trans identifying folks need the most, all while building community and relationships with one another. Leo is also a member of Trans Power SA, where they provide resources and raise awareness on gender equality and health education, while also fundraising events for the transgender community. 
Leo’s pivotal moment in activism began out of necessity in 2015 when his life was deeply affected by SB6, or as the public called it, “the bathroom bill”. Leo soon came out as transgender before his senior year of high school and began organizing. Leo’s first project was in 2016 with the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center. Esperanza and Leo created the ‘Queer Corazones’ comittee and the first ever Son Tus Niños Tambien annual event. Son Tus Niños Tambien is an informational panel with the goal of facilitating conversations between school leaders, teachers, parents, and their children on how best to include, respect, and protect trans children in schools. This is executed through discussions led by the ACLU, Transgender Education Network of Texas, school administrators and counselors within San Antonio, Texas. There are also legal experts who join the panel to discuss the rights of trans children and their parents as well as the best inclusive practices for school teachers/administrators when interacting with trans students in preparation for the school year. 
Leo received his Bachelors of Arts from the University of Texas at San Antonio, with degrees in Mathematics, Business Marketing, Communications. Leo is also certificatied in Social Media Marketing. He enjoys spending his leisure time going on hikes with his dog, playing video games, traveling the country with his partner, and playing his 3 instruments alongside his best friend.

Community Health Coordinator

Xavier Graves


Xavier is a queer Black man originally from Houston. With 4 years of work advocating  to make wellness and resources more equitable for queer youth, specifically black and brown. Xavier wants to continue his work in the LGBTQIA+ community through direct sexual health care and education.

Xavier is a certified Botvin LifeSkills coach. A evidence based curriculum that uses developmentally appropriate, collaborative
learning strategies to help participants achieve competency in the skills that have been shown to prevent substance use, violence, and other health risk behaviors. He spends his free time traveling around the country and has been a lifelong fan of the arts. Xavier is currently pursuing a degree in Music Business and would love to eventually create a space for queer creatives to flourish.

Group Therapy Facilitator & Contract Therapist

Nelson Hernández, LMFT-Associate



Nelson is a bilingual therapist and queer immigrant/first gen. settler. He facilitates group therapy sessions at the Pride Center. 

Therapy creates a space for resolving issues, managing conflict, and also finding a greater understanding of your personal and relational goals and values. As you build towards solutions in the session, the work will be collaborative and tuned in to the stories you bring. Nelson’s approach to therapy centers on systems, including family (chosen, blood, etc.), cultural histories, and community. Nelson incorporates their own lived experience and healing journey into the therapy process. They also draw from strength-based therapies, such as brief, strategic, narrative, and solution-focused, as well as EMDR and Common Sense Parenting. Nelson understands that those who come to therapy are the experts of their own lives; he seeks change and resolution within the gifts and abilities that are already present.

Contract Therapist

Rebekah Torres, LMFT-A



Rebekah Torres is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist – Associate under supervision of Amy Birchill Lavergne, M.Ed, LMFT-S, LPC-S. 

Rebekah values the connection that individuals have with those closest to them and aims to enhance these relationships by using a solution-focused narrative approach. She also enjoys helping individuals, couples, and families rewrite their narratives, understand how the past influences the present, and learn how to navigate through various challenges of life. Rebekah enjoys working with individuals, families, and couples in helping them gain various skills that can guide them through the challenges that they face. When she isn’t working, Rebekah enjoys camping with her family and traveling to new places.

Special Interests / Experience:

  • LGBTQIA+ Affirming
  • Individual, Family, Couples Therapy
  • Anxiety/Depression
  • Emotion Recognition/Regulation
  • Self-Esteem
  • Monogamous/Polyamorous Relationships

Graduate Student Counseling Intern

Carly Friedman, B.A., M.S., M.A., Ph.D.


Carly Friedman is in her final year of the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at St. Mary’s University. She has years of experience with research and advocacy for sexual-minority youth.  Her counseling approach combines cognitive behavioral, gender-affirming, feminist, strengths perspective, and person-centered approaches.

Carly completed her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz.  She taught and conducted research for years on gender and sexual identity development, wellbeing, experiences with discrimination, and feminist identity among youth and young adults before serving as the Health Professions Advisor at St. Mary’s University for five years.  In 2020, she decided to return to school to obtain her Masters in clinical Mental Health counseling.  A mother of two, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, being outside, and cooking.  

Cristina (they/them) is a queer non-binary chicane living in San Antonio. They graduated from Texas A&M College Station with a Bachelor’s in Sociology and is currently a Master of Social Work student at Our Lady of the Lake. Cristina’s passions focus on intersectionality, inclusion, self-awareness, and empowering LGBTQ+ folks to live their most authentic life.

Graduate Student Counseling Intern

Rox Canavacholo

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About Us

Board of



Rev. Naomi Brown, LCSW


is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 20 years of experience in Social Services. Naomi started her education at City College in New York, later completing her Master’s degree at Our Lady of the Lake University in Social Work Clinical and a minor in Administration. Currently working as a Hospice Social Worker, Naomi worked in Homeless services for 7 years.

(Full bio above)

Vice Chairperson

Cristian Sanchez


was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley. He has a lifelong commitment of service to marginalized populations especially the LGBTQ+ and immigrant community. Cristian graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in 2017. During law school he worked at the ACLU of Southern California’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. He also led a pro bono program that assisted transgender people in correcting their names and gender markers on their identity documents.

Cristian now works as a supervising attorney at RAICES in San Antonio. He leads the removal defense team, which represents clients in removal proceedings and stops them from being deported. Cristian is dedicated to providing high-quality legal and wraparound services to his immigrant clients. He is also passionate about finding novel ways to advocate for his clients in a changing immigration policy landscape. At RAICES, Cristian defends immigrants who are detained or non-detained from deportation. A focus of his work has been representing LGBTQ+ asylum seekers. He led a project assisting transgender women detained at South Texas Detention Complex with access to counsel and advocacy. Recently, he developed and ran an emergency shelter in Tijuana for a self-formed group of LGBTQ+ asylum seekers that were part of the caravan, as well as a temporary shelter for released trans women in San Antonio. Cristian enjoys horror movies, board games, and time spent with friends.


James A. Chavis


James A. Chavis is an educator with several years of experience and is a school district administrator of a public charter school. He earned a Masters Degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from University of Phoenix and a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from Park University. Currently, he is pursuing a Doctorate in Education in Educational Leadership from the University of Phoenix.

James relocated to San Antonio from Dallas in 2010 and found his church home at Metropolitan Community Church of San Antonio.  Currently, he serves on the church board and volunteers weekly at the food pantry. 

In addition, elected in 2019, James serves on the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (Worldwide) Governing Board and is charter member and served as President of the Hill Country Optimist Club. Working with these groups along with previous non-profit work, James has gained valuable experience in the areas fundraising, event planning, governance and more. His passion for service and commitment to help and support the LGBTQ+ community and others is unwavering.


Belinda Trevino Cantu


is a native to Corpus Christi Texas where her passion for helping people began before moving to San Antonio in 2016. She has been heavily involved with fundraising efforts for many non-profits to include the Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation and the Children’s Advocacy Center of South Texas where she served as a Board Member and Board Secretary.

Belinda has spearheaded projects like, Kids Helping Kids, a school supply drive ran by kids for kids who came from low income families. Her most passionate project of them all, #beHuman Campaign, an organization she founded that was inspired by her, then high school son Mason, who came out to her as transgender. She created this platform to help connect other parents who were going through the same journey, to offer advice, guidance and resources. Aside from helping others, Belinda is a REALTOR with Pride Realty Group and loves to spend time with her family and friends.

Board Member

Rick Gipprich, Jr.


is the Director of Program Support and Campus Sexual Assault Specialist for the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA). Prior to working at TAASA, Rick served as Deputy Director of Education & Development and Director of Prevention Education for The Rape Crisis Center in San Antonio. Rick started his career in the anti-sexual violence movement 20 years ago as a dedicated hospital advocate and hotline operator.

Understanding the need and the importance of education, Rick eventually started working with neighborhoods, other nonprofits, professionals, and schools by engaging them in dialogue surrounding the prevalence of sexual violence in our community and the ways we can prevent it. In addition to training on issues related to sexual assault, Rick works daily to ensure that communities across Texas understand the impact of sexual violence and its effect on the people of our state.

Board Member

Pamela Michelle Herrera


is a very proud ally of the LGBTQIA+ community and has a strong desire to support the San Antonio community. She has twenty years of experience working in various non-profit settings, to include experience in development, fundraising and community outreach.

This experience has made it possible for her to support numerous San Antonio nonprofit organizations both as a community member and as a member of the Royal, Sovereign and Imperial Court of the Alamo Empire Inc., where she recently served as Empress 28. Herrera received her college education at San Antonio College and Palo Alto college in English and Dance. 

She absolutely loves working with youth and families in the community and is a proud employee of the San Antonio ISD, where she has been able to shape the minds of our youth and see them grown academically and emotionally.

Board Member

Lisa Martinez


is a queer Latinx that was born and raised in Del Rio, Texas. She graduated from DePaul University with a degree in Interactive and Social Media. She currently works as a User Experience Designer at USAA where she creates solutions and interactions to help Members manage their money by simplifying their financial view regardless of where their money is held. Lisa has worked in the design industry for over 15 years and is passionate about creating websites, apps, and software that is simple, beautiful, and easy-to-use. 

Lisa has previously founded two online media publications that focused on the underrepresented parts of the LGBTQIA spectrum. She is passionate about leveraging the power of the internet and creating platforms that provide marginalized communities a safe space to come together for support, celebration, and inspiration. She also co-founded the San Antonio chapter of Lesbians Who Tech + Allies. Serving and the organization’s City Director, she hosts local MeetUps that bring queer women and allies together for visibility, networking, and support. 

In her free time, she enjoys getting out into nature, spending time with family and friends, and estate sale shopping. She is a proud parent to her tuxedo cat, Amos, and her rescue pup, Bruce Wayne. 

Board Member

Jamie Zapata


is a full time REALTOR®​ at Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS® where she specializes in serving the needs of the LGBTQ+ community and other diverse groups.  She’s also a member of the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals and is 1 of only 5 trans real estate agents out of 2000 nationwide members.

The primary mission of NAGLREP is to advocate for fair and equal housing rights for the LGBTQ+ community.  She also serves as a Board Member at the Transgender Education Network of Texas, an organization dedicated to furthering gender diverse equality.  She co-hosts a monthly support group meeting at the Pride Center SA for LGBTQ+ folks and allies.  She is also a Community Advisory Board Member with the Pride Center SA and the Strengthening Colors of Pride LGBT+ resiliency study.  Having transitioned as a teenager in the 1980’s, she has a lifetime of experience in the need for education, employment, inclusion, and respect of trans men and women.  When she’s not working with real estate clients, she spends her free time volunteering and advocating for equality for ALL people.

Immediate Past Chair 

Richard Farias

Chair Emeritus

Joseph Garrett