Meet the Board of Directors
Matilda Mann-Morales (she/they)
Matilda D. Mann-Morales grew up in the greater Los Angeles metroplex. Mattie was initially elected as OIWT's vice president, but was later elected as the organization's president. Their first experience in nonprofit work began at the age of 18. At 27, she moved to the West Texas area and started volunteering for Pride Center West Texas and its sponsored organizations. As president, she has been speaking with local government in efforts to have Out In West Texas reach the most endangered part of the queer community: the gender-diverse and gender-nonconforming community. She has partnered with other organizations such as HRC of Texas, the American Library Association, PFLAG Midland-Odessa, Basin Pride, and OIWT's fiscal agent: Pride Center West Texas.
Alexander Ermels (he/him)
Alexander was born and raised in Southern California, where he received his BA in Theatre Arts (dual emphasis in Acting and Technical Design) from California State University, San Bernardino. In 2022, he moved with his wife to Odessa, TX to work with IDEA Public Schools, where he currently holds a campus administrative position. In addition to Vice President, Alexander serves as the Director of PR and Marketing for Out in West Texas, creating and managing digital content. Alexander has recently begun work as a volunteer for Basin Theatre Works (formerly Permian Playhouse), a local community theatre.
Grace Kerestly (she/they)
Grace Kerestly is the treasurer of Out in West Texas! They grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan but has been living in West Texas for the past 13 years. Grace got her BA in Psychology from Angelo State University before moving to Odessa. They enjoy playing ukulele and guitar, roller-skating, and spending time with her husband and two dogs (named Muffin and Pancake). Grace is also the vice chair of Basin Pride!
Zed Campbell (he/him)
Zed was born and raised in Texas. Growing up primarily in West Texas, he studied psychology with a minor in women’s studies, graduating with his MA in Experimental Psychology from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin in August 2022. He began his journey with gender identity in 2016 at age 23, and socially transitioned using he/him pronouns and a chosen name in spring 2022 at age 28. His research has and will focus on trans and nonbinary/gender-diverse populations and the social stressors these populations face. Zed now works as the Director of Youth Services for Pride Center West Texas and has focused on encouraging authenticity, connection, and positive growth in 2SLGBTQIAN+ youth in our community. He serves as secretary on the board of Out in West Texas and is committed to fostering community, connection, and resilience among trans and gender-diverse people in West Texas.
Gale Norris (she/her)
Gale Norris was born in Odessa, and has always wanted to make it a better place. She came out as transgender in 2020 and joined Out In West Texas in 2023. She likes to help others, and is happy and honored to be serving the local LGBTQ community.
Rainbow Moonchild (they/she)
Rainbow is an artist and shopkeeper born in Alpine, Tx. They own a local metaphysical shop and make art in various mediums. They love watching horror movies, cooking, and hanging out with their family.
Phoenix Beetem (she/they)
Phoenix was born and raised in the Midland/Odessa area. She realized she was under the trans umbrella in the mid 2010s and joined the board in order to help make Texas a better place for other transgender and gender nonconforming people.
Director of IT
Jessa Davis (she/her)
Jessa was born and raised in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, PA and began her medical transition at age 37 after working for over a decade as an engineer in the oil and gas industry. She first moved to the Permian Basin in 2013 and lived in Odessa from 2019 to 2023. Jessa now works as a cybersecurity consultant in the Pacific Northwest but has devoted many years of her life to humanitarian causes, volunteering in Ukraine, Haiti, India, and most recently working as a project manager and software developer with the United Nations Office for Project Services in Nepal. Jessa serves as the IT administrator and emeritus board member of OIWT, and is committed to helping build a resilient community of transgender and gender non-conforming humans in West Texas.