The roots of Georgia Tech’s Pride Alliance go as far back as 1977. This first iteration of Georgia Tech’s LGBTQIA student organization was called Georgia Tech Gay Academic Alliance and sought to start the conversation about gay students on campus. This group was officially chartered in 1978; however, the charter was revoked in 1983 due to inactivity.
The next iteration of an LGBTQIA student group was the Gay and Lesbian Alliance. Amidst homophobia, social intolerance, and a conservative 1988 campus, an SGA debate was vehemently argued for the charter of a certain organization that year, and it was passed by a single vote. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance, as it came to be known, was established and it began to work for the betterment of Georgia Tech’s gay and lesbian students. The organization slowly built up its dedicated members to create its enduring legacy, and GALA continued for many years as a support group for Tech students. As time passed, however, the organization found itself trying to increasingly accomplish more, and its members took on the challenge of bringing GALA to new frontiers.
The current iteration of the LGBTQIA student organization started around 2002 with Pride Alliance, and its mission was now to serve the LGBTQIA and Ally community of Georgia Tech, rather than just gay and lesbian students. In 2003, Pride Alliance worked in collaboration with Dean Stephanie Ray and the Department of Housing to begin the Safe Space program at Georgia Tech. This program ran into some issues in 2006 when the school was sued over the content of the program.
In 2011, Pride Alliance worked with the Writing and Communication Program to produce Georgia Tech It Gets Better. This video was aimed at reducing bullying and suicides among the LGBTQIA community. This video is available on YouTube; a number of allies and members of the community talk about their experiences with violence against the community.
Later that year, Pride Alliance brought back the Acceptance for All Campaign at Georgia Tech. First initiated in 1996 and then repeated in 2002 and 2005, the Acceptance for All initiative is a movement that collects the signatures of students and faculty at Tech who support the LGBTQ community with the end result being a two-page printed ad, listing the names of the students and faculty who have decided to show their support for the community.
The organization was fundamental to the establishment of the LGBTQIA Resource Center was established in 2014. This was a monumental leap for the community and for Pride Alliance itself. With the center came the opportunity for Pride Alliance to explore new areas of growth as the organization is no longer the only source of support for the community on campus. The LGBTQIA Resource Center works at an administrative level with many campus resources to ensure these resources are up to par to support our students.
The LGBTQIA students have always had to work hard to support their members and sometimes it still isn’t enough. In 2017, Pride Alliance president Scout Schultz was shot by campus police which jettisoned the Georgia Tech community into the spotlight. They were an excellent student and inspiring activist and their legacy lived on through the events that happened after their death. If you want to know what happened, this article gives a decent review of the events. Out of these events came the creation of the Action Teams which two Pride Alliance officers served. These teams created a long list of recommendations in November 2017, many of which are still being worked on today.
Pride Alliance continues the traditions of activism, volunteering, and providing safe spaces to its members. The organization strives for growth and has recently worked for specific LGBTQIA non-discrimination policy, gender inclusive housing and restroom policies, white papers, and social events for both members and outsiders. Pride Alliance is committed to serving the LGBTQIA people of Georgia Tech.