A former Houston mayor, whose election marked a milestone for the LGBT movement, spoke Thursday to a packed house.
Annise Parker became Mayor of Houston in 1997.
“I was only the 10th woman to lead a top 10 U.S. city and I was the first gay or lesbian person to lead a major American city,” said Parker.
Before and during her time in office, Parker was an activist for the LGBT community for 45 years.
“Where we are today as an LGBT community is much of what I worked for and dreamed of back in the 70s and 80s,” Parker said.
Texas A&M students packed the Evans Library to hear Parker share her experiences.
“We are honored to have Mayor Annise Parker as a guest of the Texas A&M University Libraries,” said Dr. Francesca Marini, director of Cushing Library in a press release.
“She represents in my mind that you can collaborate with people you sometimes you know might have thought you wouldn't want anything to do with,” said LGBT Aggies former president Katie Higgins.
“The stories she can share and advice she will pass on will surely have a sizable impact on many student leaders’ lives,” said program coordinator of A&M’s LGBT Resource Center Chad Mandala.
The university said a library collection focusing on LGBT issues is putting them on the map and they want to make sure students know the resources available to them.
“We want to take the diversity of ideas on our shelves and really bring it out to campus and make it a live part of campus and I think Ms. Parker being here and her talk is part of that vision as well,” said Texas A&M Dean of Libraries David Carlson.
Parker told students that while the LGBT community has reached milestones, there is still a long way to go.
"As long as there is still people in pain, we have to do something,” Parker said.
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