LGBT alumni network debuts at UT in Austin

The University of Texas at Austin’s LGBT alumni group celebrated its first large event for new graduates and alumni Wednesday, officially debuting the group at the university.

The Texas Exes LGBT Network formed last year, according to the university alumni website The Alcalde. But the first official gathering of LGBT alumni at UT was Wednesday after UT’s lavender graduation. The group is the first UT alumni network for LGBT grads since the school’s creation.

The network has only had mixers and gatherings before the graduation, welcoming about 100 LGBT alumni and students.

“Our primary goal is to come together to build community and advocate for UT,” network co-chair Ryan Miller told the website.

Miller said the LGBT network is working to create more ways to involve alumni and wants to establish a scholarship fund. While he wants LGBT members to join, he told the audience Wednesday that everyone is welcome.

“You don’t have to identify as LGBT to join us,” he said. “We really want to involve everyone.”

Gregory Vincent, UT’s vice president for diversity and community engagement, said the graduation reception was a historic event for the university, praising the alumni for their efforts on and off campus and encouraging them to do more in the future.

“UT has a proud tradition of LGBT student activism and we should take a moment to appreciate how far we’ve come,” he said. “Then we should get back to work, because there’s more to do.”

For more information about the Texas Exes LGBT Network, call or email Kara Florez with the Texas Exes at 512-471-8098 or our LGBT Network volunteers Ryan Miller or Angie Faye Brown at 512-471-7295.

—  Anna Waugh