As higher education comes under scrutiny for its hiring practices, admissions processes, and teachings, the University of Texas at Austin’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement has allocated $5,000 in taxpayer funds to the annual Austin Pride celebration next month.

The theme of this year’s Austin Pride event is “Keep Austin Queer’d” with the organization advertising the event as a way to fight back against child protection laws enacted by the Texas Legislature this year:

From attacks on our Drag community to the fight for trans rights… sometimes it feels that our community is getting pushed from all sides. When that happens, WE STAND OUR GROUND!

Since the Texas Legislature passed measures banning the hormonal and genital mutilation of gender-confused children as well as children’s attendance at sexually oriented shows, LGBT advocates are pushing back against the child protection measures.

The  event––scheduled for August 12––is set to include “Inflatable Games & Carnival Rides, Drag Queen Story Time, 100+ Vendor Booths, Drinks & Food, and more!”

”Just one month ago, Governor Abbott signed SB 12, an historic bill set to end sexually prurient drag shows in the presence of minors. Now, his own alma mater is responding by sponsoring an event featuring this very content,” Brady Gray, president of Texas Family Project, told Texas Scorecard. “Texas taxpayers will give UT Austin $858 million over the next two years. This means hard-working Texans are being forced to fund initiatives that go directly against their own morals.”

Higher education came under intense scrutiny during the regular 88th Legislative Session, with measures to end professor tenure and ban DEI offices in public universities earmarked as priorities by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

Now, UT Austin’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement is sponsoring the Austin Pride event alongside several other local businesses such as Austin Subaru, Lone Star Circle of Care, and Austin Community College District (another taxpayer-funded institution).

Additionally, Texas grocery store empire H-E-B is advertising the event to employees. Last summer, H-E-B sponsored a different LGBT advocacy event in Austin, which included a drag show targeting children. Now, the chain’s diversity division is encouraging employees to travel to Austin and wear their “Be the Change” T-shirts.

“Alumni, donors, and every Texan should contact the board of regents for the University of Texas and demand that they put a stop to the funding of this debauchery,” said Gray.

The University of Texas at Austin is overseen by a board of regents selected by Gov. Greg Abbott and confirmed by the Texas Senate.

Sydnie Henry

A born and bred Texan, Sydnie serves as the Managing Editor for Texas Scorecard. She graduated from Patrick Henry College with a B.A. in Government and is utilizing her research and writing skills to spread truth to Texans.