The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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A unique sense of Pride

Photo by Photo by Meredith Seaver

In Texas A&M University’s second official Pride festival and parade, Aggies showed up to support each other and demonstrate the values of the Aggie Family.
Pride Houston, a celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, saw thousands of attendees flood the downtown streets on Saturday. Current and former A&M students and their families proudly participated in the festival, with over 50 Aggies marching in the evening parade.
The GLBT Resource Center at A&M had one of the many booths lining the streets of Houston, where former students informed Aggies of the upcoming LGBTQ & Ally Reunion and Tailgate on Nov. 10. Andrew Reichert, Class of 1990, volunteered at the booth and said it was nice to help out the university that has come so far since he attended.
“It feels like A&M has really changed and moved forward in a lot of positive ways when it comes to acceptance, equality and freedom,” Reichert said. “The opportunity for me to volunteer to sit at this booth and watch Pride go back and forth is really refreshing to do.”
Evan Rutledge, chemistry senior, said Aggies show up to Pride because it is an opportunity to demonstrate their values in a different setting.
“It really exemplifies the family and 12th Man idea of A&M because you get to see people here showing so much love and support for everyone else,” Rutledge said. “It’s all about love and what Aggies are all about.”
Bobby Brooks, Class of 2018 and A&M’s first openly gay student body president, said former students can play an important role in Pride.
“I think what’s so important for being involved with Pride, as a former student, is making sure that support remains there for the current students,” Brooks said. “I’m glad to be here to offer that support. You can get through college. You can survive and get your degree. Then you can still be involved in supporting and helping people grow.”
Brooks said Pride is a celebration of the LGBT community’s strength, a virtue which was tested when he was approached by protesters at the festival.
“Earlier today I had to walk by a man who was yelling with a bullhorn in my ear,” Brooks said. “This man was yelling things at me, telling me my lifestyle, who I am as a person, who I was born as, is invalid and that it wasn’t good. I had to walk through that and it took some emotional restraint because I made sure I stared ahead. I didn’t want to engage him. So Pride for me is being able to enjoy the fact that I’m strong enough to get through those moments. We’re collectively strong enough to get through those moments and we’re better off for it.”
Jack Drewniak, engineering sophomore, said events with the LGBT community of A&M provide them a unique sense of pride, which they prefer over traditional Aggie events.
“This is my Aggie pride,” Drewniak said. “Aggie pride is being here with everyone. It means a lot more to me to be at the GLBT center and going to events rather than going to football games and things like that. It’s my kind of pride. I’m proud to be an Aggie, but I’m proud of who I am too.”

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