Amber Brooms (she/her)

Programming Volunteer

Programs include: Arts & Crafts Club, Movie Lovers Club, Music Lovers Club

Amber is a proud Rochesterian. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science at the University at Buffalo. Volunteering is important to her and she splits her time between Rochester LGBTQ+ Together and ImageOut. Her regularly attended programs include Arts and Crafts and Movie Lovers Clubs, and she loves to discuss new LGBTQ+ media.

Outside of volunteering, Amber enjoys spending time with her fiancée, their cat, and family and friends. She enjoys local food and drink and trying new culinary things. She also enjoys watching and rooting for the Buffalo Bills. She is excited to continue meeting and connecting with other people in the community through the Rochester LGBTQ+ Together group.

Matthew Burke (he/him)

Programming Volunteer

Programs include: Rainbow Hike Crew, Rainbow Reading Club, Saturday Stroll, Walk & Roll

Matthew moved to Rochester in 2004 after graduating from Nazareth University with a BS in Environmental Science and Economics. He was born in Quincy, MA and grew up in Plymouth, MA. Matthew enjoys several outdoor activities including hiking, kayaking, laying on a beach, sometimes running, and reading in his hammock. He has become an avid reader over the past few years after discovering the books of Alice Oseman. His favorite book, however, is The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. He also enjoys gaming both PC and board games. He lives in Rochester, NY and is a Leader of Operation at his job in Henrietta, NY.

Matthew joined Rochester LGBTQ+ Together in 2023 and started as a volunteer for the group at the start of 2024. He was formerly a Roc Pride volunteer.

Fun Facts about Matthew: He was a lifeguard in high school and college. He is an Eagle Scout. He has been with his partner since 2006

Braden Reese is smiling at the camera

Braden Reese (he/him)

Founder, Director & Programming Coordinator

Programs include: Movie Lovers Club, Pop-Up Pride, Rainbow Hike Crew, Gay & Queer Men’s Group

Braden is a proud Rochester area transplant since 2014 – who was born in Syracuse, NY and grew up in Oneida, NY – and considers the Flower City his “chosen home.” He currently resides in Brighton, NY and works in Rochester, NY. Braden graduated from SUNY College at Oswego with a B.A. in Political Science. His passions include activism, community building, and politics. His hobbies and interests include board and card games, photography, nature walks and hikes, music, and movies. Some of his favorite outdoor spots include Highland Park, Corbett’s Glen Nature Park, and The Brickyard Trail at the Sandra L. Frankel Nature Park. His absolute favorite thing about Rochester is the lilacs!

Braden founded and currently serves as Director of Rochester LGBTQ+ Together (2020-present), a volunteer-run social and support group for members of the LGBTQIA+ community in Rochester, Monroe County and Western NY. In this capacity, he manages all programming, projects and initiatives of the organization, including the new Community Pride Garden plot at 490 Farmers. His day job is Managing Director of ImageOut (2021-present), WNY’s LGBTQ+ arts and culture non-profit organization. In this role, he oversees daily operations, manages social media, coordinates fundraising efforts, and more. Braden is also the Administrator of Rochester LGBTQ+ Mutual Aid (2021-present), Community Events Committee Chair at the ROC Pride Collective (2022-present), and an Advisory Board Member for Shoulders To Stand On (2022-present). Additionally, he’s the Community Guest Programmer of Memorial Art Gallery’s Pride Celebration Day (2021-present) and Community Partner liaison for Rochester Red Wings Pride Night (2021-present).

He previously worked as LGBTQ+ Center Manager and then Program Manager at Out Alliance (2018-2020), after first serving there as a community programming volunteer (2017-2018).