Music blasted while students ate pizza, played games and earned prizes on the Gregory Gymnasium Plaza to kick off the annual Gay Pride Week on Monday.
Pride Week’s purpose is not just to celebrate but also to raise awareness for opportunities, faculties and support that the LGBT community has on campus. Alexia Puente, representative of the Queer Students Alliance, which helped organized the week’s events, said the organization values equality and gay pride.
“My organization hosts this event every year to promote equality and pride on campus,” Puente, an English freshman, said. “The LGBTQ community on and off campus not only get to express their pride but also share their happiness with others around them, and we like to make that happen.”
The kick off event featured the Queer Students Alliance, Queer People of Color & Allies and other organizations from the University and greater Austin community that are primarily queer, feminist, and ally. Other organizations, such as University Democrats and Texas Exes, were also present to support LGBT views.
John Cano, Texas Exes Networking Member, said Texas Exes has many opportunities and events reserved for the LGBT community, such as the Lavender graduation, a graduation ceremony explicitly for LGBT students, that would enhance its networking opportunities with LGBT alumni in Austin.
“Texas Exes has a Lavender graduation for each graduating class,” Cano said. “It is cohosted by the Gender and Sexuality Center and UT Queer Students Alliance. This allows the LGBTQ community to celebrate their success in their way, and it gives them an opportunity to meet alumni from their community as well as
Every year, Pride Week has a theme that the organizations center around. This year’s theme is “The Art of Being Queer.” This theme will allow the members of these organizations to express, inspire and advocate the meaning of LGBT through all forms of art.
Timothy Meyer, president of University Democrats, said supporting the LGBT community is a value that most Democrats share because they value the equal treatment of all people.
“Our organization annually participates in Pride Week because Democrats, like I, share the value to support the LGBT community and believe in advocating for their right to openly express their pride,” Meyer, a history senior, said.
This week-long event is open to anyone that wants to celebrate and support gay pride.