UTHealth celebrates pride June 23

pride 2018 pre-photo with t-shirts Front row (l-r) Rishi Goel, Robert Hammarberg, Erin Atkinson, Deodane Moreno, Mary Ann Smith, PhD, Alan Nyitray, PhD, back row (l-r); Laura Witte, Jessica Williams, Christine Moline, Jenny Holcomb, Travis Crook

HOUSTON – Students, faculty and staff from all six UTHealth schools and UT Physicians will celebrate pride at the 2018 Houston Pride Parade on Saturday, June 23.

Parade setup begins at 6 p.m. and the parade starts at 8:30 p.m. If you would like to participate in the Houston Pride Parade with UTHealth, please contact outREACH (Research, Education, and Community Health) at outREACH@uth.tmc.edu. For updates and meeting locations, please visit UTHealth Pride 2018 on Facebook.

“It can't be completely expressed how inspiring and fulfilling it is to have UTHealth supporting us this year at Pride. It is so remarkable to have UTHealth’s inaugural Pride appearance at the 40th anniversary of the Houston Pride Parade,” said Jenny Holcomb, internal chair of outREACH and a student and doctoral graduate assistant at UTHealth School of Public Health.

More than 80 students, faculty and staff have already signed up to walk in the parade.

“In a time when LGBTQ+ individuals and communities are not always celebrated — transgender women of color fear daily for their life, LGBTQ+ individuals can be fired from their job or kicked out of housing for their sexual identity, and many receive poor health care for simply being who they are — UTHealth has stepped up to be an ally and supporter,” Holcomb said.

Holcomb is coordinating UTHealth’s participation in the Houston Pride Parade with fellow School of Public Health students Rubaiya Islam and Joseph Hicks; Tyler Novy of McGovern Medical School; and Erin Atkinson of MD Anderson UTHealth Graduate School; as well as other UTHealth students, faculty and staff from across campus.

JT Rayburn, director of administrative services at UTHealth School of Public Health and outREACH staff advisor, said UTHealth’s participation in the parade is an example of its commitment to an institutional culture that fosters and celebrates diversity and inclusion.

“The many faces of UTHealth make up quite a diverse group and definitely include members of the LGBT community,” Rayburn said. “I hope that our presence in this year’s parade will spark the interest of young folks in the crowd and they will know that UTHealth is a place where they can continue their interests in health care education in a safe and inclusive space.”