LGBTQ+ Policy and Practice Fellow, Office of Children and Family Services
Nathaniel Gray received his Master in Social Work from Fordham University and is the founder of The Proud Path, a program to educate parents on the importance of raising LGBTQ+ youth who are proud of their identity and what parents must learn to help them get there. Professionally, Nathaniel's background is working with homeless and/or marginally housed LGBTQ+ youth in New York City at the Hetrick-Martin Institute and the Ali Forney Center in direct practice, policy design, and grant writing. Leaning on his experience as a professional musical theater performer and full-time New York City drag queen, Nathaniel has developed and delivered several engaging queer cultural awareness trainings for social workers at nonprofits like Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City as well as at several public and private schools nationwide. Currently, Nathaniel works as the first recipient of the Edie Windsor, Marsha P. Johnson, and Sylvia Rivera Empire Fellowship, placed at the Office of Children and Family Services focused on policy and practice within New York State government. Through this role, Nathaniel facilitates workshops, researches best practices, provides guidance, and writes policy to improve practice with LGBTQ+ youth in foster care, juvenile justice and homeless youth shelter settings across New York State. Nathaniel’s dedication is to address reduce the disproportionate rates of homelessness and suicide in queer youth through cultural awareness and empathy building workshops on queer youth mental health, as well as LGBTQ+ inclusive and affirming policy design at every level.