As leftist programs in public universities continue to draw more attention, taxpayer-funded University of Texas is promoting LGBT behavior through its Gender and Sexuality Center.
The center’s goal, according to the website, is to “provide opportunities for all members of the UT Austin community to explore, organize, and promote learning around issues of gender and sexuality.”
One event the center hosts is its “Lavender Graduation,” a graduation ceremony exclusively for “LGBTQIA+” people and their “allies.” Students cross a lavender stage and receive a “Lavender Graduation certificate,” as well as a rainbow tassel and stole. Other events like “Trans Thursdays” and “Feminist Fridays” are weekly events, where discussion topics include “Decolonizing Gender” and “Reframing Mainstream Feminist Herstory.”
The GSC also helps lead “Peers for Pride” during the school year, which is a “peer facilitation program” that requires students take two academic courses—one in the fall and one in the spring. The courses teach students to “gain skills in applied theatre, critical analysis, and facilitation as they build the workshop ‘What Do Thriving Queer Communities Look Like?’”
In Peers for Pride, students use theater to “share skills and build space for conversation and accountability across LGBTQIA+ communities and with supporters of LGBTQIA+ communities.”
According to the course description, “through their facilitation and reflection after workshop facilitation, students continue to build a knowledge of performance-based social justice facilitation in higher education and of intersectional LGBTQIA+ realities.”
The fall course, which is called “Confronting LGBTQIA+ Oppression,” is where students learn “basic facilitation skills while taking an in-depth look at some issues facing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals.” The spring course, called “Facilitating Dialogues on LGBTQIA+ Oppression,” instructs students on how to spread the LGBT ideals they learned in the previous course.
“I find it curious that an organization which cannot define what gender or sexuality are has started a center dedicated to it. The entire movement is both idiotic and absurd,” Brady Gray, president of Texas Family Project, told Texas Scorecard. “There are two genders and any sexuality apart from heterosexual is an abomination. These are the facts; they’re simple. That a university would suggest otherwise should tell you all you need to know about the academic vigor it possesses.”
The GSC also hosts the Safe Zone Project, a training that teaches people to “learn and practice describing the differences between assigned sex, gender identity, gender expression, [and] sexual orientation.” Another resource offered by the GSC is the “Gender Inclusive Restroom” directory.
However, in a report by the “Queer & Trans Student Alliance (formerly the Queer Student Alliance), The Queer & Trans Black Indigenous People of Color Agency, Students for Equity and Diversity, and The Senate of College Councils,” the students suggest that more “gender inclusive” restrooms and locker rooms are needed in order to help “LGBTQIA+” students feel safer.
Additionally, these student organizations requested UT President Jay Hartzell “guarantee that University of Texas Police Department (UTPD) does not receive an increase in funding,” in the interest of making the LGBT community feel safer.
The University of Texas at Austin is governed by a board of regents appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott and confirmed by the Texas Senate.