According to The Association, an estimated 30,000 members of the Aggie Network identify as LGBTQ+ or their allies.
The Texas A&M University Association of Former Students announced it has chartered its 12th constituent network: The Aggie Pride LGBTQ Network.
This new Constituent Network will serve as a place for LGBTQ Aggies and Aggie allies to build connections with one another and strengthen their ties to the university, said Association officials. The network will work with Texas A&M’s LGBTQ+ Pride Center, LGBTQ Professional Network and Office for Diversity.
“Together, the Pride Center and Aggie Pride have an exceptional opportunity to support our current students by providing community, sharing networking opportunities, exploring career search advice and opportunities, as well as promoting inclusivity at Texas A&M,” said Kellie Malone ’08, manager of Campus Programs at The Association.
Brad Dressler ’96 serves as the Aggie Pride LGBTQ Constituent Network President. “We founded the Aggie Pride LGBTQ Network in 2013 for a few reasons. This is something that the LGBTQ+ Aggie community has needed for a long time,” Dressler said. “Historically, LGBTQ+ Aggies have not always been supported or welcome at Texas A&M. As a result, many became disconnected from the Aggie Network. We want to reach out to Aggies who felt disenfranchised and hope to rebuild those connections to A&M and their fellow LGBTQ+ Aggies. Plus, most SEC schools and Texas universities have had an official LGBTQ+ alumni organization for years. We needed to catch up with our peers.”
The network’s mission is to “Strengthen and support a welcoming, inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ students, faculty and staff at Texas A&M, as well as building a network among LGBTQ+ Aggies beyond Aggieland and connecting them back to the university.” Aggie Pride represents all members of the Aggie Network who identify as LGBTQ+ and their allies, a group that is estimated to be around 30,000 strong.
“Constituent Networks were created to allow Aggies with similar interests, backgrounds or professions to connect and support Texas A&M, its students and each other,” said Marty Holmes ’87, Association vice president for marketing and programs. With this new network, “more Aggies will be able to be involved with the university to support more students and programs.”
“Developing your own individual Aggie Network is one of the best parts about being a Texas Aggie,” said Malone. “The worldwide Aggie Network is so huge, and it’s exciting to be part of something so vast, powerful, and respected. It’s also pretty great when that network gets a little bit smaller, and you find those individuals who make Aggieland feel like home. Hopefully, this official Constituent Network will help other Aggies find that sense of community within the Aggie Network.”
You can learn more about the Aggie Pride LGBTQ Network and their upcoming events at aggiepridelgbtq.org. To learn more about The Association’s chartered Constituent Networks, visit the Association website.