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.

Interim Executive Director

Lex Loro


Lex is a queer justice activist, community health educator, and mental health professional whose work focuses 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.

Director of Clinical Services (Pro Bono)

Rev. Naomi Brown, LCSW


Naomi 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.

Program Manager

Érica Alcocer


Érica 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.

Érica studied 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.

Community Health Manager

Bianca Johnson-Puleo


Bianca is a Texas native from San Antonio. They graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and has recently completed a Master’s of Social Work.

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.

Youth Empowerment Coordinator

Cydney Varner


Cydney is a Texas native from Katy, where her journey in philanthropy began through various community outreach programs. This early start ignited a passion within her to create safe and welcoming spaces for the LGBTQIA+ community. Inspired by this mission, Cydney pursued her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, with the ultimate goal of becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). Her undergraduate studies laid the foundation for her future work in supporting and advocating for the LGBTQIA+ community.

Cydney’s dedication led her to The University of Texas, where she recently completed her graduate degree in Educational Psychology. During her time as a graduate student, she concentrated on the spheres of higher education and community development, with a specific focus on fostering greater inclusivity for LGBTQIA+ individuals and people of color.
Now, as part of The Pride Center team, Cydney is eager to apply her knowledge and experience to promote the well-being of the LGBTQIA+ community. She is particularly excited about developing new programming for youth, providing them with the support and resources they need to thrive.
Outside of her work, Cydney cherishes spending time with her partner Maya and their beloved pets, Kota, Ivy, and Toffee. You can often find her soaking up the sun at the beach or engaging in a little retail therapy on her days off.

Youth Empowerment Coordinator

Connor Halbert


Connor is a neurodivergent gay trans man and lifelong resident of San Antonio. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Trinity University and is currently completing a Master of Library Science at the University of North Texas. Having been involved in the local LGBTQ+ community since his early teen years, he centers disabled and neurodivergent trans people of color in his personal praxis and community-building philosophy. Having come from a critical and anthropological background, he approaches communal work through the lenses of intersectionality, cultural relativism, and anti-colonialism.

Connor is Chicano and Slavic, a self-taught illustrator, fiber artist, writer, and proud dad to a Labrador/Catahoula Leopard Dog mix named Bean. He enjoys wintry mountain views, metal music, working out, video essays, and café hopping with friends.

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 – an evidence-based curriculum that uses developmentally appropriate, and 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.

Board of



Rev. Naomi Brown, LCSW


Naomi 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


Cristian 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.


Rick 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


Pamela 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


Lisa 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


Jamie 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


This page last updated: 7 / 1 / 2024.