Lone Star College-CyFair’s recent Gay Pride Week, held to raise awareness of issues facing Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered students, featured several presentations with community leaders, judges and educators.
Dr. Aaron Alon and two other new LSC-CyFair faculty members, Professors Hilary Harris and Blake Ellis, co-chaired this year’s Gay Pride Week, an annual event which Professor Sergio Sarmiento founded and still sponsors.
LSC-CyFair’s 2012 Gay Pride Week included a morning of sports and games as well as several presentations beginning with a “Coming Out Seminar” featuring guest speakers Judge Steve Kirkland, Harris County’s first openly LGBT elected judge and active advocate for human rights; Houston Associate Municipal Court Judge Charles Spain and LSC-CyFair’s Vice President for Student Learning Dr. Feleccia Moore-Davis.
Lou Weaver, a female-to-male transgender and president of the board of directors for the Transgender Foundation of America, led the “Gender Identity Seminar.”
A panel on “Marriage Equality” featured guests Dr. Gary Brewton, one of the founders of the Montrose Clinic (now Legacy Community Health Services); Marilyn Meeker-Williams, Pastor at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church; and Angela Oaks, a partner at Frye and Associates, focusing on family law.
The final presentation, “The Bully Summit,” drew attention to the issue which has become increasingly pressing in the national consciousness over the last several years. This presentation featured several guests including Julie Harrison, a longtime educator and counselor focused on the needs of vulnerable populations; Juliet Stipeche, a Houston Independent School Board Trustee and longtime member of the Human Rights Campaign; Ebie Hussey, a member of the Houston chapter of PFLAG (Parents, Friends, and Family of Lesbians and Gays) and Rhonda Thomason, program consultant for “Welcoming Schools,” a project of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.
In addition to the presentations, Alon, who teaches music, and Joan Valladares, who serves as vice president for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered and Ally (GLBTA) student club, received the Robert McGehee Award for their dedication and commitment to the overall success of GLBT students.
The award, named in memory of Professor McGehee, a founding faculty member at LSC-CyFair, recognizes those who work tirelessly for inclusion and outreach to GLBT students.
The week’s closing ceremony, which LSC-CyFair’s President Dr. Audre Levy and Dean of Arts and Communication Kimberly Hubbard attended, featured a GLBTA student club original video titled “It Gets Better.”
LSC-CyFair’s GLBTA student club provides a support system for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender students and promotes acceptance and diversity while providing a safe atmosphere free of prejudice. For information, go to LoneStar.edu/clubs-cyfair.