COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Many assumptions can be made about LGBTQ life in Texas. Texas A&M's latest exhibit shines a light on a community that has defied the status quo
Inside the walls of the Cushing Library at texas a&m university are stories of resilience, hope and yes, pride.
The Coming Out Together to Share Our History exhibit, which is now open, covers the history of LGBTQ culture in the Brazos Valley and in texas.
"It really represents a community, everyday life activism, community and political activism, art, culture,” Francesca Marini, Programming and Outreach Librarian at Texas A&M University said. “It really gives you an idea of the community and that's what we wanted to do."
Though the exhibit shines a light on the LGBTQ community, for years a&m struggled to formally recognize its presence. In 1976 a group of Aggies were banned from creating an official gay student organization due to a&m's view on homosexuality which was still illegal at the time in the state of Texas.
Decades later, Aggieland is showcasing monumental achievements in the LGBTQ rights movement not just on campus, but across texas. This visibility and resilience showcased give students on campus a chance to feel seen and proud.
"You wanna talk about recruitment and retention? That's what students need to see,” Rebecca Hankin, Africana Resources librarian said. “they are welcome here and they are part of here."
Tales of transgender journalists, drag queens shining in the spotlight and marches for AIDS awareness are just a few stories on display. Out from the closets are photos of a movement that has withstood the test of time.
"Queer history isn't new. Queer history isn't something that started within the last decade or so. Just because people started paying attention more because more laws were enacted,” A&M student Joshua Carley said. “it's something that existed in a lot of these places."
Carley hopes that exhibits like the one on display show that community is everywhere, even in the most unlikely of places.
"If you look and if you find and if you wanna find a community, there already is one that exists,” Carley said.
That said community will be proudly on display at the Cushing Library until Dec. 16. After, that sense of belonging can begin with anyone, no matter who they love or how they identify.