© 2023 WFAE
90.7 Charlotte 93.7 Southern Pines 90.3 Hickory 106.1 Laurinburg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

How Mayor Roberts Became Charlotte's Most Outspoken Pro-LGBT Mayor

Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts is set to officiate Charlotte Pride's opening ceremony this Saturday, and while it will be Roberts' first time at Pride as mayor of Charlotte, it certainly won't be her first  time attending the annual celebration of LGBT people. Roberts has been a regular at Charlotte Pride since her days as a county commissioner in the mid-2000s.

Her history as an advocate for local LGBT people stretches back much farther than the recent non-discrimination ordinance and the ensuing battle with state leaders over House Bill 2. Over the last several years, Roberts has made herself visible at a number of LGBT fundraisers and events - notably the annual HRC Gala and the annual White Party, two of Charlotte's largest LGBT fundraisers. Two months after taking office, Roberts delivered the opening remarks at the 2016 HRC Gala, and days later, oversaw the passage of an expansion to the city's non-discrimination ordinance.

So while former mayor Patsy Kinsey broke ground in 2013 when she became the first Charlotte mayor to march in the Charlotte Pride parade, Roberts will break ground of her own when she becomes the first Charlotte mayor to receive an award  from Charlotte Pride for being on "outstanding ally" this year.

In an interview, Roberts spoke with WFAE's Nick de la Canal from a park bench in uptown's Marshall Park about her history with the local LGBT community, and her continuing fight over House Bill 2.

Nick de la Canal is a reporter for WFAE covering breaking news, arts and culture, and general assignment stories. His work frequently appears on air and online. Periodically, he tweets: @nickdelacanal