Students of all sexual orientations gathered in front of College Hall carrying rainbow flags and signs and marching for LGBTQ+ acceptance in South Texas.
University Boulevard was closed for the handful of students that marched.
After the march, students gathered at the pavilion for guest speakers, food and music. David Barrera, President of SGA, spoke to the crowd on how being together as students educating themselves on LGBTQ+ history will benefit the future and eliminate assumptions.
“Think about it, 20 years from now, we can all look back and say it started here with all of us together united,” Barrera commented.
Guest speakers included current President of UNITY, Faustino Limon, and TAMUK alumni and Texas State grad student Will Stridde.
Stridde spoke to students on the importance of educating the student body, especially at collegiate level.
“I didn’t learn about any LGBTQ+ figures of history till I was in grad school. That alone is a problem,” Stridde said.
Stridde provided a timeline poster of LGBTQ+ history including Stonewall riots, 8’0s AID’s crisis and historical figures like Harvey Milk.
“Whitewashing in American film is a problem when it comes to telling stories of LGBTQ+ history like the movie Stonewall which casts a white man as the main character but leaders of the Stonewall riots were indeed the drag queens of color, transsexuals and poor LGBTQ+ youth.”
Limon spoke on behalf of the UNITY organization of campus.
Limon discussed with the crowd self-acceptance within the community and introducing his next in line president of the organization.
Limon led a successful year for UNITY bringing informational booths to the university, Laverne Cox as a guest speaker, organizing a Day of Silence, and now the Pride March.
“I’m going to close off my speech with my favorite RuPaul quote…..’If you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love somebody else’,” Limon said as he exited the podium.
After Limon’s speech, the UNITY club members held more informational tri-folds on important issues in the LGBTQ+ community.
Students gathered around many tri-folds and asked questions to the club members.
Crystal Zamarron, editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and Student Government Association senator, commented on the event, “I think it’s pretty great that we did this event because I feel it’s important to the community coming from a heavily Hispanic and international population. And people don’t really know that but we appreciate it”.
Luis Aguilar, senior communications student, took part in the march sporting a crop top with the logo “I’m Gay” and high heels. “Pride is about living life with no regrets. Not caring what people think of you. It just shows that you are strong and your strength unites others,” he said.
The event ended successfully with students understanding and embracing LGBTQ+ as a part of the community, organizers said. This is not the first of Pride events and definitely not the last, they stressed.
Students interested in LGBTQ+ issues or concerns are encouraged to join or participate in UNITY events that take place on campus.