Students, faculty, staff and alumni donned rainbow tie-dyed T-shirts and marched in Houston’s Pride Parade alongside Rice’s float on Saturday. The thousands that gathered in downtown Houston for the celebration of the LGBTQ community greeted them with cheers, stretching out their hands for high-fives and rainbow beaded necklaces.
This was the tenth consecutive year that Rice has sponsored a float, according to Director of University Relations Greg Marshall. It is organized annually by the Rice Pride Committee, which consists of representatives from various student, alumni and administrative organizations supporting the LGBTQ community.
Marshall said that Rice participates to live out the letter and spirit of its institutional values.
“Rice is a place where diversity is not just tolerated, it's celebrated,” Marshall said. “We are proud to celebrate our [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual] alumni, students, staff and faculty, and their families and friends.”
Brown College sophomore Gabrielle Humphrey marched in the parade and said it was wonderful Rice participated in Pride as a community.
“It brought students, faculty and alumni together and showed that the university stands in solidarity with its LGBTQIA students,” Humphrey said. “It made it clear that we're inclusive and accepting as a campus.”
Wiess College sophomore Anson Tong said she supported the idea, but that more students could be informed.
“It's a really great idea to show support for and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community,” Tong said. “I just wish more students were aware that Rice even did this because I'm sure they'd be interested in helping out with the float and walking and whatnot.”
To learn more about Rice’s participation in Pride and LGBT organizations, visit rice.edu/pride. For the full gallery, visit https://www.flickr.com/photos/151574828@N03/sets/72157685541913175.