Introducing our first Hero of Pride!

In celebration of its NYC arrival, The Mixx is honoring 12 individuals who are making a difference in the lives of the LGBTQ community, leading up to WorldPride 2019. Our first Pride Hero is Rob Smith, founder of The Phluid Project. Read the interview below!

Hi Rob! So, what does “Pride” mean to you?

ROB: Wow. Pride is a great opportunity to pause and reflect on our entire LGBTQIA community, and think about how far we’ve come. It’s a time to give respect, gratitude, and appreciation for the leaders who got us to this point, and to think about what else we can do to support the broader community. That’s what it means to me. It’s a time of celebration, it’s a time to pause and reflect but also a time to celebrate and look forward.

What are you proud of?

ROB: What am I proud of? I’m proud of so much. I’m proud of my community and how they are like a tribe in stepping forward and helping each other out. I’m proud of The Phluid Project, I’m proud of the thing we accomplish here, and I’m proud of the team that works here. I’m proud of the partners we work with, and I’m proud every day to in some way represent the LGBTQ community as a gay man.

Who is your “Pride Hero”?

ROB: David Mixner is my “brole” model and my mentor. He’s been doing social justice work for 56 years. Starting off with marching with Martin Luther King Jr, he’s also worked on JFK’s campaign, Bobby’s campaign and Bill Clinton’s campaign. He’s done work with the anti-nuclear disarmament project and Vietnam war, HIV/AIDS… you name it, he’s done everything. He is my role model and was willing to be an openly gay man and suffer the consequences that he did at the time. He’s my hero. One of many.

Lastly, a fun one: Where is the best place to either catch a drag show or have some LGBT entertainment in the city?

ROB: My favorite place is still The Duplex, always is. You can listen to great performances, get up and perform yourself, watch a drag show upstairs…it’s fun for everybody and everybody is included there. That’s my favorite place.

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As a partner to the LGBTQIA+ Community, The Mixx is thrilled to be able to put the spotlight on some of our personal heroes all year long . Stay tuned for the next installment, and reach out for more on how YOU can get involved with WorldPride 2019!

Lisa Chernin