The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Presence at Pride to continue

The+Central+Texas+United+Methodists+for+Inclusion+group+marches+during+the+2017+Tarrant+County+Pride+Parade+along+with+TCC+LGBT+student+organizations.
The Central Texas United Methodists for Inclusion group marches during the 2017 Tarrant County Pride Parade along with TCC LGBT student organizations. Collegian file photo

By Kathryn Kelman/editor-in-chief

Tarrant County’s Pride Week is around the corner, and once again TCC’s LGBT clubs from across the district will participate in a number of the festivities. 

Campus LGBT clubs have marched in the parade for a number of years, but 2018 marks the fourth year the college will be represented at the festival and the first year they’ve been asked to have a presence at the picnic too, said user services adviser Vicki Whorton. 

Whorton has coordinated the college’s booth and the parade participants for the last four years with the help of SE math associate professor Carol White and many others. 

“I couldn’t do it without the people who have supported me and helped me,” Whorton said. “Every year, while I’m at the booth, Carol White has taken charge of the people gathering and participating in the parade.”

Last year’s group won the “Stylish Stilettos” award for best walking group, she said. 

Whorton doesn’t know who coordinated it in the past but noted that they did good, important work that allowed her to expand on what had already been done and go from there. 

“It wasn’t so much a district thing and not everyone heard about it,” she said. 

Now what Whorton does each year is contact each of the campus’ LGBT groups ahead of the parade and help them have what they need to get students involved. 

She also contacts departments and people around the college for information and goodies to share at the festival and coordinates with TCC’s Institutional Diversity and Inclusion department, which sponsors their participation in the parade. 

“Our presence at the parade has grown every year,” she said. “Tarrant County Pride is a big deal.” 

Large crowds are anticipated for Tarrant County’s 2018 Pride festivities, Whorton said.  

Organizers expect about 20,000 people to attend the parade and festival Oct. 6, and 4,000 people at the Pride Picnic Oct. 7.

The Tarrant County Gay Pride Week Association produces the largest LGBT community-attended events in the county, one of which being Pride Week, which they hold each October.

AIDS Outreach Center representatives pass out sunglasses to Tarrant County Pride parade patrons during the 2017 event.
AIDS Outreach Center representatives pass out sunglasses to Tarrant County Pride parade patrons during the 2017 event.
Collegian file photo

“TCGPWA is the second-oldest Pride organization in the Great State of Texas,” reads the website. 

The association was established in 1981 to produce and facilitate a family-friendly, safe environment, host Pride celebrations and events to promote a positive image for the LGBT community and educate and celebrate the diversity of the LGBT community in Tarrant County. 

Whorton decided to get involved with Tarrant County Pride events after her teenage child came out and she began to see the struggles, judgment and discrimination members of the LGBT community faced. 

“I went to my boss at TCC at the time and said, ‘I have to do something,’” Whorton said. 

She was directed to the college’s diversity and inclusion council, but because the college didn’t yet have a presence in the Pride Festival, she spent two years at the festival with the Human Rights Campaign. 

It was during that time that she noticed how much TCC’s presence was needed at the festival. 

Ever since joining, the college’s booth always ends up running out of TCC outreach materials before the festival ends. 

“I met so many TCC students, and in just meeting others when I mentioned I worked here, I got so many questions that there was no denying the need and opportunity for us to have a presence there,” Whorton said. “Because of our presence at the festival, we were asked to participate in the picnic this year too.” 

As of now, the college’s participation in the parade is still done individually by each of the campus LGBT organizations. 

Whorton said she leaves it up to the students and their advisers to decide what they want to do for their parade participation be it a float, banners, signs or just marching. 

NW’s LGBT student organization, We Are One, will participate this year, according to club adviser Aubree Calvin, a NW government assistant professor. 

“We will be marching in the parade and show our public support,” Calvin said. 

Her students are looking forward to carrying banners and signs as they march in the parade. 

They’ll also go to the picnic as a social event, which Calvin explained was due to the group mostly consisting of first-year students still getting to know each other. 

The parade will start at 11 a.m. Oct. 6, and the Water Garden Festival will run 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Fort Worth Water Gardens. The picnic will run noon-6 p.m. Oct. 7 at the Trinity Park Arts Pavilion. 

For those interested, Whorton said they still need volunteers for the booth and people can still sign up to participate in the parade. Those interested in volunteering for the booth should contact Whorton at vicki.whorton@tccd.edu or 817-515-5863. 

Those interested in marching in the parade with their campus’ LGBT student organization should contact the adviser for the club. 

 

NE – Pride Club

Adviser: Andrew Rodriguez
andrew.rodriguez@tccd.edu, 817-515-6272

NW – We Are One: Gay Straight Alliance

Sponsor: Aubree Calvin, aubree.calvin@tccd.edu

South – Spectrum

Advisers: Ticily Medley, ticily.medley@tccd.edu
Jubilee Dickson, jubilee.dickson@tccd.edu

SE – Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA)

Sponsors: Carol White, carol.white@my.tccd.edu, 817-515-3627
Marilyn Murphy, marilyn.murphy@my.tccd.edu or 817-515-3158

TR – Trinity River Equality in Education (TREE)

Contact: Eddie Brassart- edward.brassart@tccd.edu or 817-515-5863

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