Our People: Natalie Watson

Center Volunteer, Community Leader

Having served as a volunteer coordinator for over two years, Natalie Watson is this year’s Community Impact Award recipient for the LGBTQ Center of Raleigh. Watson is on the Board of the LGBTQ Center of Durham and also works with QORDS (Queer Oriented Radical Days of Summer), a summer camp for LGBTQ youth where they learn about issues in the community while having fun.

The LGBT Center of Raleigh, says Natalie Watson, is a vital part of the community.

“For all they have done over many years, we honor them this year with the Community Impact Award,” the LGBT Center of Raleigh says.

With all the work Watson has done and is doing in the community, qnotes thought it was time to have a proper introduction and to congratulate them on their recent acknowledgment. qnotes got to speak with Natalie about their volunteer work, and also got a chance to get to know a little bit about them.

Tell us a little bit about your current professional life. What’s your position and what all does it entail?

I am the operations manager at the LGBT Center of Raleigh. As the operations manager, I am in charge of running the day-to-day operations of the center. This includes facility management, managing our volunteers, overall all office management and assisting with development and accounting when needed.

Tell us a little bit about your life outside of work. What’s your home life like?

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Outside of work, I am involved in other non-profits specifically the LGBTQ Center of Durham and QORDS (Queer Oriented Radical Days of Summer). I am also a drag king and a member of the House of Coxx located in Durham, N.C. When I am not busy with other non-profits or performing, I like to relax at home and build Lego sets.

Where did you grow up, and how long have you lived in North Carolina?

I grew up in Durham, N.C. and I have been living in North Carolina for 25 years.

What’s your favorite color?

Blue.

What are some of your favorite areas to travel or vacation?

I had the chance to visit the area around Sarasota, Fla. recently and loved it. The weather was so nice and the water was very warm.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grow up?

When I was a kid, there were three things I wanted to be. Either a professional basketball player, a chemist or a lawyer.

Tell us a little about your gender identity. Being an individual who prefers the gender-neutral pronoun, “they,” how do you identify and what has your experience been like since that journey began?

I am a non-binary trans masc. For me, this means that I am neither male nor female, but Natalie. It has been an interesting journey. My friends and my partner picked up on my pronouns real quick. My family knows, and we have had great conversations about gender and what my identity means to me. My parents are really supportive.

Do you have any children or foresee having any in the future?

I do not have any children, but I do foresee having children.

What do you like to do for fun or leisure?

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I love hanging out with friends, reading books, watching movies and spending time with my partner. I also enjoy spending time with my parents and their dogs as well.

What motivated you to get involved with volunteering?

I started volunteering to get out of the house, socialize and meet people. I did not have a community at that time and wanted to step outside of my comfort zone so I could help people and make friends.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

I would want the ability to fly.

What’s your favorite cuisine?

Any Latin American or Asian cuisine.

Are you a pleasure reader? If so, who are some of your favorite authors?

I am a pleasure reader. My favorite authors include David Baldacci, Jacqueline Woodson and Becky Chambers.

What’s your all-time favorite movie?

“Lake Placid.”

Who are some individuals you look up to as role models, and why?

I look up to my Dad a lot. He has worked hard all of his life and has always supported his family. He is caring, loving and very supportive. He has a very hard work ethic and is always willing to take the time out to help someone.

What are some sports or outdoor activities you enjoy?

I love basketball. I also enjoy football and soccer.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Somewhere that was 60 to 85 degrees all year long.

What kind of music do you like to listen to?

I listen to all kinds of music. I really enjoy old school R&B from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. I also love classic rock and soft rock from the 70s .

Do you have any favorite artists or singers?

My favorite artists include Sam Smith, Emeli Sande and Boyz II Men.

What’s your favorite sports team?

Duke University sports and the Dallas Cowboys.

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