The Pride Center at UT offers LGBTQ+ students a community to build relationships, a brave space for students to discover themselves, and a program that promotes allyship with marginalized groups, inclusivity on campus, and other educational opportunities. Located in the heart of campus in the Student Union, the Pride Center is important for our campus to celebrate and support our community and intertwining identities. The center helps students with similar life experiences find each other and create bonds, allowing students to form support systems like that of a family.
“A lot of our students are wanting to connect with others that have had the same experiences and have similar identities,” says Bonnie Johnson, the coordinator for the Pride Center. “They are able to talk about what that means, what it looks like for them in their own lives, and what it looks like as a larger community.”
The impact that the center has on LGBTQ+ students is significant. It’s a community gathering point where students can be supported by faculty, staff, and friends. Students build connections and friendships that last a lifetime. In Bonnie’s case, she continues to be friends with people she met during her time as a student. She understands that finding these connections can help students in their own journeys, not only as members of the LGBTQ+ community but as UT students.
“I love meeting new people and being able to interact with every student; everyone brings such a different personality and perspective,” Bonnie said. When deciding to return to UT in this role, she explains she wanted to give back to the community, “My motto has always been ‘I want to be the person I needed as a student’ and I wanted to be an advocate.”
Looking to get involved with the Pride Center or want to learn a little more? Sign up for virtual office hours! During the summer months, the center will be hosting office hours to answer questions and hear your concerns. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to request an appointment. We have created an online community space on Discord, a voice, and chat-based service that many of our regular students use frequently. Click here to join our server, but download Discord first! You can download Discord for free here.
Get Involved this Summer: Virtual Pride March
While in-person Pride month celebrations have been postponed, the Pride Center is continuing our annual celebration through a Virtual Pride March via the JustMove mobile app, taking place any time during the week of June 15–19! Check out the instructions below to participate in the march, and feel free to send pictures of your march to us at email@example.com
- Install the JustMove App on your mobile device.
- Click the access link on your mobile device in this calendar entry to add the challenge to your JustMove app profile.
- During June 15–19, open the JustMove app and navigate to the challenge. Begin and walk/jog/run a mile to complete! Don’t forget to wear your Pride Center/general pride swag!
Join the Peer Mentoring Program!
The Pride Center Peer Mentoring Program (PCPMP) partners incoming and transfer Volunteers with older students in order to connect them to the LGBTQ+ and ally community, feel more knowledgeable about campus resources, and transition successfully to college life at Rocky Top.
Through participating in the Pride Center Peer Mentoring Program, it is our goal for mentees to achieve a sense of or become more confident in their identity, develop a sense of belonging, loyalty, and institutional affinity, develop meaningful interpersonal relationships, and be able to identify and utilize campus resources.
Application deadline for PCPMP: Friday, August 8 at 5 p.m