This week, Xavier University of Louisiana, a private historically Black Catholic institution, is celebrating its inaugural Pride Week to commemorate the LGBTQ community.
To kick off the celebration, Xavier’s Office of Inclusion and Social Justice sponsored its first Pride “Gayla” on Tuesday with the theme “Unveiling the Mask” hosted by popular LGBTQ musician Big Freedia. Students at the event were awarded scholarships to recognize their efforts in advocating for human rights.
“This is one of our biggest steps. For us to have this event, I think speaks volumes for how far we have come from when we opened so many years ago,” Patrick High, a junior at the university, told WDSU News.
Several other students echoed High’s sentiment, saying the school has come a long way from its religious roots.
“Here at [Xavier], we have such a large queer community. But you really would not know that because we are not put in the limelight,” High explained. “By having this event it shows there’s more to [Xavier] than just Catholicism. It shows how inclusive we can be as well.”