Trans activist will speak at alternate UNT graduation ceremony

Posted on 07 Apr 2015 at 1:55pm

Pam Curry

Trans activist Pam Curry will speak at the Lavender Graduation, an LGBT graduation ceremony planned for April 18. The event has been planned since September and the LGBT group on campus hopes it becomes an annual event.

Since Gov. Greg Abbott was named the school’s commencement speaker, many more students are planning to attend the Lavender Graduation and the group Abbott Free UNT has been promoting it as an alternative to the governor.

Almost 2,000 people signed an online petition to dump Abbott as the speaker, according to CBS 11. Protesting Abbott’s views on marriage equality and education, students created the Facebook page “Abbott Free UNT” and posted comments like, “Upset about Greg Abbott???? Protest by walking out of the ceremony as soon as he takes the stage! Attend your department graduations or attend LAVENDER GRADUATION hosted by the Pride Alliance.”

Spencer Keralis, who sent the invitation to Curry to speak at the Lavender Graduation, is connected to the UNT libraries that house the LGBT archives.

Curry accepted the invitation and wrote on her Facebook page, “I will approach this as a challenge to be the motivation, and inspiration that Gov Abbott can’t and won’t be. So I’m asking for the prayers from all my friends.”

Here’s the invitation:

Dear Pamela:

On behalf of the planning committee, it is my pleasure to invite you to deliver a keynote address at the first Lavender Graduation ceremony at the University of North Texas. We believe your history of activism and community engagement would be inspirational for UNT’s LGBTQIA graduates.

The ceremony is Saturday, April 18, from 2-4 p.m. at UNT in Denton. We are able to compensate you for your mileage to and from Denton.

We would be honored if you are willing to perform this service for our students. Please let me know if you have questions

Best Wishes,

Spencer D. C. Keralis
Research Associate Professor,
Digital Humanities Coordinator
University Libraries – Public Services Division
Adjunct Instructor
College of Information – Department of Library and Information Sciences
University of North Texas

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