The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center ended its inaugural year by taking part in Houston’s largest gay pride celebration for the first time.
Close to 40 faculty, staff and students gathered Saturday evening on Hazard Street to take part in the Houston Pride Parade.
Last year the group participated in the festival, but this is the first time UH had a group walking in the parade, said Lorraine Schroeder, director of UH LGBT Resource Center.
It was encouraging to see the response the UH walkers were getting as they threw coozies into the crowd, Schroeder said.
“UH being in the parade has an effect on the LGBT community,” Schroeder said.
Walking in the parade gave the LGBT Resource Center an opportunity to show the gay community that UH is accepting enough to be in the parade and allowed those who don’t know about the resource center to see that they have a place on campus to fit in, Schroeder said.
There were faculty members and students in the crowd that did not know UH was participating in the parade. They were happy to see UH being represented. People from the crowd were yelling, “Go COOGS!” as they passed by, Schroeder said.
Lance Reyna, political science junior, agreed that this was a great opportunity to get the word out about UH’s LGBT community.
“I think that the parade really got the word out that UH is LGBT friendly,” Reyna said. “There are so many students who are preparing to enter college who may not be out of the closet so seeing all of us representing UH may help them feel more comfortable or let them know it gets better.”
Students are planning on making next year’s walk even better because they were so hyped up from the success of this year, Schroeder said.
There are talks of even having a float, Schroeder said.
Reyna was one of the many students that walked in the parade. He said he was grateful to get this opportunity.
Reyna said that having an openly gay mayor participate in the parade and the legalization of same sex marriage in New York only made the parade more meaningful.