At one time, Raleigh Pride was a group of downtown Raleigh acquaintances whose lives crossed paths often. When Roxanne Lundy sparked the idea for a Raleigh Pride, Trey Roberts and Josh Lamm joined forces as co-organizers.
They became fast friends while organizing Raleigh Pride. They were motivated to bring to Raleigh a truly inclusive and representative Pride Month, and they did just that! They engaged local businesses, artists, and entertainers in the area that each of them have supported individually.
We had a conversation with Rox, Josh, and Trey, the organizers of Raleigh Pride ….
What originally made y’all decide to do Raleigh Pride?
“It was honestly something that has been discussed around this city for quite some time. In this case, it was something that grew naturally the more and more we got involved into what we know now as Raleigh Pride. We got together simply with the goal of fundraising, then with the overwhelming support from the community, Raleigh Pride turned into this beautiful, amazing entity.”
Since the 50th anniversary of Stonewall was this year, what do y’all see the future of Raleigh Pride being over the next few years?
“It’s important to grow with the community over the next few years. Some prides get to the point where it’s all fireworks and product placement -- but we want Raleigh Pride to truly make the Raleigh LGBTQ+ scene feel seen and celebrated. To quote Miley, “a party every day is nothing but a party.” We want those fun moments where you can show your true colors, but also programs that will help educate those outside our community and uplift those within.
“We have seen what Raleigh responds to. We know that our educational panels were well-received in addition to the family-friendly events, so we know there’s a call from our LGBTQ+ community to keep those programs alive, fresh, and wildly different than what we’ve done this year. Highlighting creativity and the arts is also incredibly important to us as individuals; ultimately celebrating and relating experiences we don’t get to know in a mainstream way is in one way what Pride is, and we’re taking the opportunity to make it a reality.”
What made y’all decide to work with the LGBT Center of Raleigh?
“Working with the LGBT Center of Raleigh was built into what we set out to do. Those folks are and have been an incredible resource for asking questions and brainstorming and are also personal go-to’s for celebration and struggles. They’ve been operating for what in my life seems like forever, and working with them on Raleigh Pride in any way was always a no-brainer.”
Roxanne held a relationship with the Center when it was in the warehouse district and her fundraising efforts began with creating something to give back to the Center – a chocolate bar that would help raise money. That chocolate bar expanded into the $30,000 fundraiser that expanded thanks to Josh’s and Roxanne’s connection with the restaurants and businesses in Raleigh. “Raleigh Pride is a moment of celebration – a flash in June – with the goal to make this a constant (the recognition and celebration of our community) and hopefully by fundraising for the Center we would help the efforts of doing this for the other 11 months.”
How can both people and small businesses help next year?
“Next year, there will be plenty of opportunities to volunteer at different events as our goal is to produce more original content from Raleigh Pride. And small businesses – giving back in the community you exist in is a wonderful way. Yet, another impactful way is educating employees on the issues, hiring and supporting our trans brothers and sisters, and doing something even if it isn’t Raleigh Pride.
The capacity to volunteer or offer spaces to curate highly original events and happenings are really at the forefront. Giving back to our LGBTQ+ and larger community is one goal of Raleigh Pride and there’s really no better way to work with Raleigh Pride than to help us give back. Even better, walking from those opportunities with a new understanding of any LGTBQ+ experience (it is absolutely not one experience) makes an incredible difference and does the work of giving back in a very meaningful and evergreen way.”
Tell me about each of you individually? What do you do for a living? What are your hobbies? Give me a couple of fun facts about yourselves.
Roxanne Lundy (She/Her) – Rox is the general manager of Videri Chocolate Factory and tells us Raleigh Pride snowballed into something bigger than she could have imagined. She gives mad credit to the Josh and Trey, as well as her family and friends for helping out with this new adventure. Rox and her husband live in Raleigh and love spending time downtown.
Josh Lamm (He/They) – Josh is the General Manager of Raleigh Provisions, a North Carolina gourmet food and gift shop that focuses on locally produced food & beverage. They are an Assistant Manager at Bittersweet, a terribly wonderful cocktail, dessert, and coffee bar, where he handles accounting and talk menus! They are from Wilson, North Carolina, though they don’t pronounce it with a ‘T.’ In addition to working with Raleigh Pride they serve as the treasurer and web manager for DTR Independent Shops, a collective of locally owned retail stores in Downtown Raleigh. Outside the grid, Josh says “I’m a poet and pianist just trying to make myself clear!”
Trey Roberts (He/Him) is the Outreach Coordinator for WakeUP Wake County, a local non-profit that focuses on smart growth, education, housing, transportation, and water in the area. He is from a small community called Hollister, North Carolina – the home of the Haliwa-Saponi Tribe, of which he and his mother are members. Trey is featured in Madonna’s MDNA Tour concert film Open Your Heart – around the 40-minute mark – “which is tied with Raleigh Pride as one of my most prideful moments.”
We are incredibly grateful for the work that Roxanne Lundy, Josh Lamm, and Trey Roberts do as the organizers for Pride Raleigh. And we are very proud of them for their commitment to our Community, so we recognize them as our Rising Stars for 2019. Please join them and all their friends at the Fall Achievement Benefit (FAB) at CAM Raleigh on Saturday, October 5th. Tickets to the event are on sale now.