Rice celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride Month throughout June with host of events, participation in Houston parades

Rice students marching in the pride parade
Rice students marching in the pride parade
(Photos by Gustavo Raskosky)

June serves as LGBTQ+ Pride Month, and to celebrate, Rice University and many campus affiliates will host events to spread awareness about the LGBTQ+ community and educate on sexual and gender diversity.

Ongoing — “A Part Of - Not Apart From,” first floor Hobby Information Concourse, Fondren Library
The exhibit documents the history of the LGBTQ+ community at Rice from the 1970s to current day using materials from the Rice Thresher, The Campanile and the Rice PRIDE records.

Ongoing — “Queer Literature,” first floor Exhibit Case, Fondren Library
The library will feature queer literature purchases from the rare book collections in an exhibit case to spotlight the art that captures the LGBTQ+ experience from authors of a variety of backgrounds and experiences.

June 6, 5-7 p.m. — Pride Happy Hour, Moody Center for the Arts
The evening will include a cappella renditions of pop favorites by Pride Chorus Houston and tunes from DJ Krazzy Kris. In addition to enjoying the a capella renditions of pride anthems old and new, the Moody is offering complimentary drinks and the opportunity to make kitschy crafts. Guests can also tour the exhibition “Resonant Earth.” Registration is free.

June 12, 1-3 p.m. and June 26, 5:30-7:30 p.m. — Queer Beers/Queer Brews, Valhalla and the Graduate Commons
Hosted by the Rice Queer Graduate Student Association, Queer Beers/Queer Brews provides a fellowship opportunity for Rice’s graduate students and postdoctoral researchers who identify as transgender, lesbian, bisexual, gay, pansexual, asexual, gender-nonconforming, gender variant, intersex, queer, questioning, allies or as any other gender, sexual minority or variant. Queer Beers/Queer Brews is a biweekly event occurring throughout the year.

June 20, 3:30-6 p.m. — Visionary Voices: Leading Authentically with Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill, the Ion

Celebrate Pride Month with a special edition of the Ion’s “Visionary Voices” speaker series, featuring a powerful conversation between two leaders who have paved the way for LGBTQ+ representation in their respective fields — Woodside Energy CEO Meg O’Neill and alumna and former Houston Mayor Annise Parker ’78.

Attendees will gain valuable insights into the unique experiences and milestones that have shaped both O’Neill’s and Parker’s remarkable careers, as well as the importance of visibility and representation in corporate leadership and public service. From driving meaningful change and success in business to championing inclusion, they will explore the impact of embracing one’s true self and how diversity enriches leadership and organizational culture. Attendance is free with registration.

June 21, 5:30-8 p.m. — Pride Picnic, Graduate Commons
The Rice Queer Graduate Student Association will welcome the Rice community for a gathering that includes food and drinks as well as drag performances.

June 22 — Houston’s New Faces of Pride Festival and Parade
Rice PRIDE was elected as one of the grand marshals of the New Faces of Pride Parade. Celebrate its recognition by showing up to the festival between 12-6 p.m. and the parade 7:30-10 p.m. near City Hall, 901 Bagby St.

June 27, 5-7 p.m. — Greater Houston LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce collegiate-themed happy hour, Eureka Heights
Join Rice Alumni Pride, the Greater Houston LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce and several other LGBTQ+ alumni groups from across the state of Texas at Eureka Heights for beverages, food, mixing and mingling. After the event ends, stick around for drag bingo. Attendance is free.

June 29 — Houston Pride Parade
Rice will sponsor a walking group in the 46th annual parade. The parade route will start downtown near City Hall, 901 Bagby St. All Rice students, alumni, employees, families and friends are invited to participate in the walking group sponsored by Rice Alumni Pride, Rice Employee Pride, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Office of Public Affairs. Registration is free, but space is limited.

Rice takes part in the pride parade

Rice has made news for its inclusion of LGBTQ+ community members after recent state legislation impacting the community’s activities at public higher education institutions went into effect. Rice PRIDE, an organization not impacted by the new law since Rice is a private university, took action by offering free membership to college students across the state so they would still be able to access LGBTQ-related resources.

“When we opened up our honorary membership form, we had a triple-digits response from students across Texas who were signing up and requesting different services from us, which was really wonderful to see,” said Paige Fastnow, co-president of Rice PRIDE. “There’s a very strong cohort of students at public universities that pretty regularly attend as many Rice PRIDE events as they can.

“The reception we’ve gotten both from our members at Rice and also from all of the other Texas university students has been overwhelmingly positive. We’re really grateful to have the opportunity to create that impact.”

In addition to Rice PRIDE, Rice offers additional resources to the LGBTQ+ community, including the Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality, oSTEM and Rice Business Out & Allied, Rice Alumni Pride, the Queer Resource Center and the Rice Queer Graduate Student Association.