Pride Alliance

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The gay flag, often used to symbolize GLBTQ culture in general.

The mission of the Georgia Tech Pride Alliance is "to provide a supportive and educational environment for our members and non-members alike; to function as a resource for those who want and/or need information about Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender issues and any other related issues; and to provide a positive gay awareness and presence in the Georgia Tech community."[1] It is an organization in which people can be themselves and express themselves freely without being discriminated against.

Contents

Summary

Pride Alliance offers something for everyone; it is open to any student regardless of sexual preference. They hold general weekly meetings for members, off-campus and off-campus social activities, group dinners, planning sessions, volunteering opportunities, including support opportunities during the week, activism and leadership positions for open minded people of the Georgia Tech community, and even parties to promote unity within the group. Membership dues are $20 for a semester or $30 for the whole school year.

Pride Alliance members are welcome to participate in whatever level of activity that they wish; nothing is mandated or required, and everything is as confidential or open as wanted. They welcome everyone to participate in these activities-whether gay, straight or something in between.[citation needed]

History

The organization holds its roots at the Georgia Tech campus some time around 1988. Then, it was referred to as the GLBT organization (which stands for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people) and was not very well accepted among the Georgia Tech community due to the greatly conservative environment, social narrow-mindedness, and massive homophobia. The organization came to officially be after the SGA passed the charter of the organization by only one vote. Led by a group of dedicated members, the organization slowly grew, leaving a strong legacy. It came to be known as the GALA, standing for the Gay And Lesbian Alliance. GALA's primary goal was to offer support for Tech students, but as the organization grew, they decided they needed to include a broader group of people into the group, so they adopted the name Pride Alliance, which would then serve the GLBTQ (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer) and Ally (people who support gays and lesbians but aren't gay or lesbian themselves) community of Georgia Tech. The Pride Alliance today challenges itself with the development of a GLBTQ resource center, new housing initiatives, and other progressive movements for the future.[citation needed]


Events

Atlanta Pride Festival 2010.

[2]

The Pride Alliance holds a great variety of events to make everyone feel welcome. At the beginning of the year, also known as Rats Week, they hold events on Skiles Lawn to welcome new students and introduce them to Pride Alliance and its members. This includes a cook-out and activities to break the ice among new students so they can broaden their social network. They also organize a trip to watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show at Piedmont Park, which offers another opportunity for students to get to meet other people of similar interests.

National Coming Out Day is held on October 11th of each year. The Pride Alliance at Georgia Tech expands this Coming Out Day into a whole week's worth of events and named it Georgia Tech Coming Out Week (GTCOW). [3] During this week, the organization holds events like "For the Bible Tells Me So" in which the organization gets together to watch the compassionate and insightful documentary about the contemporary face of an old conflict between Christian fundamentalists and gay and lesbian people. A number of clerics and scholars explain the cultural and historical context for Old Testament quotes routinely referenced as arguments against homosexuality, and point out translation confusion about the real meaning of the Sodom story. This event allows members who aren't comfortable with their sexuality due to religious reasons to accept themselves more. Another event held during this week is the Being Out After College Discussion Panel in which the organization invites in some Georgia Tech Alumni to share their stories about being out after college. They answer any questions about being out in a more professional scene. Lastly, the Big Gay Out (BGO), held at the new Under the Couch in the Student Center, is Pride Alliance's Annual Fall party. It serves as a party to celebrate National Coming Out day and has continued to be one of the largest intercollegiate GLBTQ parties in Atlanta offering a drug-free, healthy environment.

The Pride Alliance also participates in the annual Atlanta Pride Festival by representing Georgia Tech with a float on the walk from Peachtree Street to Piedmont Road. This festival brings the GLBTQ community together to show pride in who they are. The festival includes small shops distributed throughout Piedmont Park with information regarding gays and lesbians as well as foods and drinks for the many who decide to take a seat on the grass or get involved in an outdoor activity.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance was set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder in 1998 kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Since then, the event has grown to encompass memorials in dozens of cities across the world.

The Day of Silence, a project of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) in collaboration with the United States Student Association (USSA), is a student-led day of action where those who support making anti-LGBT bias unacceptable in schools take a day-long vow of silence to recognize and protest the discrimination and harassment -- in effect, the silencing -- experienced by LGBT students and their allies.

Every Tuesday at 11am, members of Pride Alliance meet on the second floor of the Student Center, near the entrance of the Food Court. The members head in together as a group around 11:10, and sometimes enjoy lunch in the greenhouse if the weather provides the opportunity.

The group holds general meetings every other week, which begin at 6pm and are held in various rooms in the Student Center.[citation needed]

Support

Gay rights.jpg

One of the main goals of the Pride Alliance is to offer support to those who are unsure of their true identity. This is why the Pride Alliance often has officers in the office available to talk to any student about any problems regarding to.. that they might be encountering. The office is located directly above Einstein’s. The officers are available there everyday during their office hours, and they can also be contacted through email to set up an appointment. Phone calls and fax are also available. To get to the office, take the stairs by Hair Cuttery to the second floor, make a right and head into the Student Involvement office. The office will be in the back round the corner past the glass-walled offices.[citation needed]







External Links

References

  1. http://www.pride.gatech.edu/About/
  2. http://www.flickr.com/photos/docjohnboy/4070008459/in/pool-1071249@N23
  3. http://www.gtcow.gatech.edu/2010/
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