As public schools and universities across the state continue promoting radical gender ideology and divisive racial policies, the University of Texas at Arlington is creating a “queer safe space” for LGBT students to study, attend support groups, and read “queer books.”

Late last month, UTA’s library department announced its collaboration with the university’s LGBTQ+ program to create the Rainbow Lounge, with Multidisciplinary Liaison Librarian Elle Covington calling the initiative a “visible representation of the library’s support for our queer and trans students.”

The Rainbow Lounge will provide LGBT students with faculty and staff mentors and “Pride Peers,” as well as move “queer books” from the library’s general collection to the “queer safe space.” The library also promised to convert two third-floor restrooms into “gender inclusive” restrooms.

Multidisciplinary Liaison Librarian Janet Burka said the library will allow students to take part in decorating and setting up the space to provide them with ownership over the project so “it’s not just librarians or the LGBTQ+ program, like figures of authority, but you know, students are really sort of owners of that space as well.”

The library’s Rainbow Lounge is not UTA’s only LGBT initiative; the university also sanctions an LGBTQ+ program to “help build and sustain a socially just campus community that is welcoming and inclusive of all people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and expression.”

The group also provides workshops to help non-LGBT students become “allies” and help promote radical gender theory. Various “Mavally” workshops instruct university students and faculty on how to change from “Ally to Accomplice” and teach modules on pronouns, intersectionality, and privilege. Other workshops discuss the “marginalization of trans folks” and the “intersections between race, ethnicity, and LGBTQ+ identities.”

UTA’s LGBTQ+ program also provides students with links to The Trevor Project, an LGBT group some have called out for using unreliable data, and the Transgender Education Network of Texas, an organization that promotes child gender mutilation.

Earlier this week, the LGBT organization Campus Pride Index declared UTA, whose Board of Regents is appointed by the governor and approved by the Texas Senate, awarded the campus five out of five stars for promoting “inclusive LGBTQ and ally policies, programs, and practices.” UTA’s Director of Student Advocacy Services Jessica Sanchez praised the ranking and promised to continue promoting radical gender ideologies on the campus.

“UTA leadership and campus partners have truly embraced the LGBTQ+ program’s vision of ensuring all Mavericks feel heard, seen, and recognized at UTA,” said Sanchez. “I am taking this moment to celebrate a major accomplishment, and then my team and I are getting back to work to create an even more inclusive Maverick community.”

In response to the creation of UTA’s “queer safe space,” student and grassroots activist Carlos Turcios condemned the project and criticized the university for indoctrinating students.

“Safe Spaces only create echo chambers and further lead to social justice indoctrination,” said Turcios. “Ironically, safe spaces are not spaces of inclusion.”

The University of Texas at Arlington is overseen by the University of Texas System’s Board of Regents. Led by Chairman Kevin Eltife, all members were appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott and confirmed by the Texas Senate.

Katy Drollinger

Katy is eager to use her skills in writing and research to accurately report on issues for Texas Scorecard. She graduated from Tarleton State University in 2021 after majoring in history and minoring in political science.

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