As a military brat, Nathaniel grew up the son of two Marines in a rural, conservative part of southern Ohio. His early childhood experiences have informed much of the work he now does on behalf of queer youth, and the broader LGBTQ+ community. He was raised in an evangelical church, played a sport every season, and was the target of ongoing, merciless bullying throughout grade school, middle school and high school. These experiences led him to head to New York City for college to study theater just after graduation.

Over 17 years in New York City, Nathaniel completed a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Musical Theater, performed professionally with several theater companies, established a full-time career as a drag queen, taught and tutored students from 6th-12th grade, completed his Master’s of Social Work with a focus on queer youth and policy design, and has spoken professionally in several states on the importance of creating and maintaining LGBTQ+ affirming environments for all.

As an Albany transplant in 2019, Nathaniel was the proud recipient of the Edie Windsor, Marsha P. Johnson, and Sylvia Rivera LGBTQ+ Empire Fellowship. In this inaugural role, Nathaniel served as a policymaker for the Office of Children and Family Services, and supported the Governor’s Office outreach for annual Pride events each year. After 3 years of policy development and community engagement, Nathaniel looks forward to bringing these many past experiences to the Pride Center to support this organization’s next 50 years as a critical service provider and LGBTQ+ advocate in the Capital Region.

Nathaniel is excited to join the Pride Center of the Capital Region as their Executive Director. He brings to this role his experience in clinical casework and program development for queer homeless youth, a passion for effective and inclusive policy changes, and his own unique perspective as a former state policymaker, as well as New York City drag queen, and empathy-building trainer and educator.

Phone: (518) 462-6138 x1001 • • Pronouns: he/him/his

Phone: (518) 462-6138 x11
Pronouns: he/him/his

Nathaniel Gray, MSW: Executive Director

Originally from Cincinnati, OH, Jen moved to Albany in July 2006 with her wife, Kelly, after graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice from Eastern Kentucky University. It was in college that Jen began her advocacy work with the LGBTQ+ community, serving in various roles of EKU’s Pride Alliance as well as organizations in the community.

Jen obtained her Master’s Degree in Social work from the University at Albany and has worked at various non-profits throughout the Albany area. Becoming an LMSW, Jen is excited to provide case management and counseling services to the LGBTQ+ community.

Jen is excited to continue her career at the Pride Center where she can give back to the community that has given so much to her.

As an LMSW, Jen’s main focus is to provide competent case management and counseling services to the LGBTQ+ community in addition to providing training and education services to local organizations, schools, community centers, and non- profits.

Phone: (518) 462-6138 x1003 • • Pronouns: she/her/hers

Phone: (518) 462-6138 x13
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Jen Maley-Wheeler LMSW: Director of Mental Health Services

Searching for space to volunteer, Tora soon became an integral part of the Pride Center team, providing program and general administrative support. Tora is a straight ally, and mother to a Center Youth Group participant. Tora quickly learned that the Pride Center is an open and accepting place for all in the LGBTQ community as well as friends and family. Tora is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in business from Post University.

Tora came to the Pride Center at a pivotal point in her life in May 2018.

Phone: (518) 462-6138 x1002 • • Pronouns: she/her/hers

Phone: (518) 462-6138
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Tora Stringfield: Programs + Operations Coordinator