Jayden Abrams (they/them)
Programming Volunteer & Interpreter
Jayden is proud to have grown up in the Rochester area. They have been an ASL interpreter in the Rochester area for seven years. Currently they work in the K-12 educational setting as well as community interpreting. Jayden has been volunteering with the Rochester LGBTQ+ Together team for the past year and is looking forward to continuing that journey. In their spare time, Jayden enjoys drawing, baking, and shopping for new flannels. They live in Rochester with their partner, two dogs, and bearded dragon.
Alyssa Bileschi (she/her)
Secretary & Programming Volunteer
Born and raised in Rochester, Alyssa has developed an appreciation and love for the community. She has devoted much of her free time to exploring the city’s offerings and becoming involved in community engagement and activism. During her senior year at Nazareth College, she interned and volunteered in political communications in Washington, DC, at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. After graduating, she began working at the Memorial Art Gallery (MAG) as the Senior Marketing & Engagement Manager at MAG, leading content development and execution of programming and the strategy, development, and implementation of content across the museum’s digital platforms. Anytime she’s not working, she’s most likely reading in a coffee shop, taking cliché photos of food, photographing Rochester events, or writing poetry.
Amber Brooms (she/her)
Bio coming soon!
Shay Isaac Hogan (they/them)
Shay moved to Rochester in 2014 to attend RIT where they received their bachelor’s degree in chemistry and studied philosophy. They’ve worked in various scientific and medical industries around the Rochester area and are always looking to grow their professional and personal skills. Shay is a jack of all trades from abstract painting, aerial arts and amateur nature photography to home renovations. They are also an avid weightlifter, hiker and overall lover of exercise and movement. Shay is excited to be a part of the Rochester LGBTQ+ Together team and contribute to building community for fellow transgender and gender-expansive individuals in Rochester.
Lys Kirby (they/them)
Lys moved to the Rochester area in 2020 to pursue their MFA degree in Dance at SUNY Brockport. They also hold a BFA in Dance from Missouri State University and an AA in Dance Performance from Casper College. Their passions include Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analysis, helping dancers with chronic pain, and creating a safe and welcoming dance studio environment for LGTBQ+ students. In their free time, Lys loves to read, paint, spend time outdoors, and listen to their favorite musical artists Taylor Swift & Tessa Violet. They’re very excited to be a part of Rochester LGTBQ+ Together and hope to help the community grow and thrive.
Mara Kouides (she/her)
Assistant Director & Programming Volunteer
Mara moved back to Rochester five years ago after living in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest. She holds her Master of Social Work from the University of Washington with a concentration in multigenerational practice with elders. Mara serves as the Director of Education & Training at Lifespan of Greater Rochester. Since returning to Rochester in 2016, Mara began volunteering with the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley. She has served on three ROC Pride executive teams and now is volunteering with the ROC Pride Collective and Rochester LGBTQ+ Together. Mara loves to read, especially LGBTQ+ fiction, and is so excited to be facilitating the Rainbow Reading Club and Rainbow Reading Club: Teen Edition with Rochester LGBTQ+ Together!
Mark Malcom (he/him)
Bio coming soon!
Braden Reese (he/him)
Director & Programming Volunteer
Braden is a proud Rochester transplant – who was born in Syracuse, NY and grew up in Oneida, NY – but considers the Flower City his “chosen home.” Braden graduated from SUNY College at Oswego with a B.A. in Political Science. His passions include activism, community service, and politics. His hobbies and interests include board and card games, photography, walks, music, and movies. Braden founded and runs the Rochester LGBTQ+ Together and Rochester LGBTQ+ Mutual Aid groups and currently serves as Managing Director of ImageOut and Community Events Committee Chair at the ROC Pride Collective. He previously served as LGBTQ+ Center Manager and Program Manager at Out Alliance.