LGBT Center of Raleigh

Mailing Address: 19 West Hargett Street Suite 507 - Raleigh NC 27601 - 919-832-4484

The LGBT Center of Raleigh is physically closed for programs due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but we continue to meet virtually! Those virtual offerings can be found here. If you have questions or are seeking resources, you can call 919-832-4484 seven days a week between the hours of 12pm and 4pm, and your call will be answered by a staff member or volunteer, or you can email

We are holding HIV and STI testing at our new location at 19 W Hargett St in downtown Raleigh every Monday from 5:00 pm to 7:45 pm.

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you again soon!

Meet the Center's Staff

Lindsey Lughes

Lindsey Lughes (she/her) has served as Executive Director of the LGBT Center of Raleigh since June 2019. Lindsey is a Raleigh native but lived in Pennsylvania for a while where she found community through her job at the LGBT Center of Central PA.

Moving back to Raleigh nearly 2 years ago was exciting because she’s passionate about supporting and affirming queer folks living in the south. Lindsey feels strongly about creating sober events or just places to hang out for LGBTQ+ people in recovery and committing every day to address white supremacy as it shows up in queer spaces.

Of all the roles Lindsey’s held in her life, her favorite is being a mom to her three kids. She enjoys spending time with them playing board games, having dance parties, and going on adventures. When she’s not working, she’s listening to them describe whatever their passion of the week is - from Pokémon to Marvel Comics to Harry Styles to the latest TikTok trend!

Feel free to connect with Lindsey to discuss the Center or to say “hi” at

Kori Hennessey

Meet our Director of Education and Programs - Kori (they/them). Kori started as a volunteer with the Center at the beginning of 2017 and quickly moved into the Office Manager role that summer. They have been in this director position for almost two years now.

Originally from NW Indiana, they appreciate the warmer days and small amounts of snow in NC. Kori received their undergrad degree in psychology and is currently finishing up the Nonprofit Management Program at Duke University. They have gone through the Training for Trainers program with the Transgender Training Institute and uses their own extensive research to facilitate training sessions on various topics within the LGBTQ+ community.

Kori lives in Raleigh with their partner, Jordan, and 3 dogs - Pierogie, Panini, and Loki. During the pandemic, Kori and Jordan have planned, bought, and started converting a 20-year-old van into a camper!

Feel free to reach out for any questions about Center programs, community partnerships, or any of your training or educational needs at

Andi Espenshade

Please give a warm welcome to our NEW Director of Development, Andi (he/they)!

Andi is beyond thrilled to be starting as the Director of Development for the LGBT Center of Raleigh! Having grown up in the Triangle, they lived in Asheville for several years before moving out to Oregon for their Master of Nonprofit Management, and now joins our team after fundraising for Seattle’s Planned Parenthood affiliate for the past two years.

Andi is excited to be able to support the LGBTQ+ community in this role after finding their way to fundraising through their drag persona, Chartreuse Dynasty O’Hara. Working with the wonderfully diverse community of Raleigh will be a fantastic opportunity to work with every facet of the LGBTQ+ community, put their fundraising experience to work, and bring a decade’s worth of drag and fabulousness to the LGBT Center’s fundraising efforts.

When not in the office (or heels), they enjoy spending time with their husband: streaming the latest true crime series, hiking along nature walks, taking care of their two cats, Solomon and Purrsephone, and playing hours and hours and hours of Animal Crossing.

When they’re in the office, please feel free to reach out to them with any fundraising / donation questions you may have at!

Natalie Watson

Meet our Director of Operations - Natalie (they/them)! They've been a part of the team as a volunteer since 2014 and joined the staff in August 2019.

Natalie is originally from Durham, NC and attended North Carolina Central University where they majored in Psychology. They have been involved in non-profit work since 2014 and have a background in customer service and operations work. Outside of Raleigh Center life, Natalie serves as the Vice Chair of the LGBTQ Center of Durham and was formerly a board member of QORDS, Queer Oriented Radical Days of Summer.

In their spare time, Natalie performs drag as a member of the House of Coxx out of Durham, NC. They enjoy reading, cooking, spending time with their partner and hanging out with their cat Wendy Guillermo. They're also a lover of all music (especially old R&B, soul and rock), really enjoys Legos, and even has a favorite Raleigh restaurant, Lucettegrace!

If you have questions about Center operations or just want to say hi, Natalie can be reached at

Jakaela Davis

Jakaela or Jai Davis (they/them) is the Queer Life Initiative Program Coordinator (our newest initiative)!

Jakaela is an alumnx of Tuskegee University in AL where they received their Bachelors in Elementary Ed and recently received a Masters of Divinity from Duke. They plan to pursue a PhD in the area of Theology, Culture, and Psychology with an intersection of Queer Theory and an emphasis on theological language.

Considering both Mobile, AL and Atlanta, GA home, it was their time in Atlanta where they began exploring their call to teaching, theology, and missionary work. They’ve have extensive experience in the fields of theology, culture, ethics, gender, race, and sexuality and is a passionate leader in many ways!

In their free time, Jai enjoys reading, writing, cooking, hiking, and relaxing with their loved ones. They’re ready to help the Center programs grow and thrive!

Questions about the Queer Life Initiative programs, events, and resources can be directed to Jai at

Les Geller 2021

Les Geller (he/him) is our SAGE Central NC Program Coordinator! He was one of the founding members of the LGBT Center of Raleigh, as well as having served on the Board of Directors of the Center for its first 6 years.

While on the Board, Les, along with fellow Board member Lorraine Johnson, created a program called “Gay & Gray.” This program was intended to provide connection, services and social opportunities to members of the LGBTQ+ community age 50 and over. Within three years Gay & Gray transitioned into SAGE Raleigh, an affiliate of SAGE USA, and is now known as SAGE Central North Carolina.

Today, Les also heads up an initiative to build affordable and mid-market senior housing in Wake County that will be welcoming and affirming for the LGBTQ+ elder community.

SAGE Central NC Logo

You can reach Les at

Lora Pilcher 2021

Meet Lora (she/her), our Youth & Family Initiative Coordinator! Lora started off as a regular volunteer in 2015 with the goal of putting her allyship into action. A little over a year later she began working with the youth programs and relaunched our Youth Drop-In program before moving onto being the coordinator in 2019.

Originally from Central Illinois, Lora enjoys the warmer weather and southern hospitality. She comes to us with over 19 years of experience in education and mental health. She received her undergrad from Northern Illinois University majoring in Psychology with a minor in communicative disorders. In 2018 she received a master’s degree from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Most recently she launched a telemental health practice to provide LGBTQ+ affirming counseling services throughout the state of North Carolina. Lora uses her extensive background and training to support our youth and strengthen the programs we provide.

Lora lives in Pinehurst, NC; however, she doesn’t mind the drive to Raleigh (pre-COVID). She enjoys road trips, concerts, and loves watching movies! The thing she has most in common with our youth is her love for Panic at the Disco. During the pandemic she has become a loving plant mother and is attempting raised garden beds this month!

You can reach Lora at

Cleo Hyzy

Cleo Hyzy (they/she) became our Transgender Initiative Program Coordinator in January 2021.

Cleo is a massage therapist and the facilitator of a local nonbinary discussion group. They've previously volunteered as a hotline operator with Trans Lifeline. She is a queer nonbinary femme and a Virgo, and her quarantine hobbies have included skating, making pasta, and trying to keep all of her plants alive.

If you have any questions about the Transgender Initiative programs, events, or resources, you can reach Cleo at

Kim and Shanna

Welcome to both Kim (she/her) and Shanna (she/her) co-facilitators from LGBTQ Women of the Triangle, a program that's a part of our Queer Life Initiative!

Kim, a DC native, started volunteering with the LGBT Center in 2018 and also volunteers with the WISE Project. She lives in Zebulon with her partner Rainey along with their fur babies, Rocky & Sheila.

Kim is a proud member of Omicron Epsilon Pi Sorority, Inc. which is the first lesbian incorporated sorority catering to the needs of feminine lesbians. She loves music, shopping and spending time with friends and family!

Shanna moved her just three years ago from Virginia with her partner Peggy. Together they have two rotten pups, Jaxon and Darcy, and most recently added two rescue kittens, Livi and Luna. Shanna finished school recently and is now working as a nurse, a very important position these days!

Shanna is a self described homebody and loves gardening and hiking. Her passions include building community and connecting to others so she brought up wanting to get this program started a few years ago. Shanna loves being in the Triangle and this program because it's helped her get outside of the house and her shell!

The LGBTQ Women of the Triangle originally started as the Women's Initiative by a passionate volunteer seeing a need for a space for all LGBTQ+ women in and around Raleigh. Events are virtual at this time and open to anyone 18+ regardless of location. For more information, please contact our Queer Life Initiative Coordinator at

Upcoming Events