Pride Center reopens with new name, same mission

UT’s OUTreach: LGBT & Ally Resource Center opened its doors today under a new name: the Pride Center.

The Pride Center is located at 1616 Melrose Ave. //Photo by Taylor Owens

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UT’s OUTreach: LGBT & Ally Resource Center opened its doors today under a new name: the Pride Center.

Students met in the courtyard in Melrose Hall Tuesday to welcome the new name with an ice cream social.

Kae White, a junior at UT, is an ambassador for the Pride Center. According to White, the Pride Center offers many events throughout the week to encourage inclusion and to be a resource center for students to learn about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

“The Pride Center provides a safe spot for people who are LGBT and even those who support the community,” White said. “Safe spots are hard to come by and campus isn’t as friendly as we would like it to be so the Pride Center is a home away from home.”

According to the Princeton Review, UT ranks fifth nationally in “LGBTQ-unfriendliness.”

“There are small portions  that are nice, and sometimes people surprise you,” White said. “But for the most part we are in the south, we are in the Bible belt and it is not a very friendly place to be.”

Kristen Godfrey, a master’s student in social work, said the university has a ways to go in order to embrace their community.

“I think it could do a lot better. I think that just simple micro aggressions, the lack of gender-neutral bathrooms and the lack of gender-neutral housing is not really a big issue for UT,” Godfrey said. “Being African American as well, I can come into the center and every part of me can be accepted. And I think that is what the Pride Center is really pushing intersectionality right now.”

The new Pride Center will continue to offer the services it has in the past in an effort to help students in the community feel safe and welcome on campus.

Featured image by Taylor Owens

Edited by Courtney Anderson