The Abilene Allies group hosted two events last weekend to show support for LGBT students.
Led by Abilene pastor Damon Parker, the group invited LGBT students to a dance last Friday night at the Swenson House.
“The purpose of the dance was mostly to have the community of Abilene show support for our LGBTQ students,” Parker said, “and to show we’re glad you’re here in Abilene at school and as a part of our town.”
Gabby Thompson, co-president of Voice, a student LGBT peer-support group, said about 30 students attended the dance.
Some students brought dates, while others came with friend groups, Thompson said.
“If you aren’t out yet, formal dances aren’t as fun cause you can’t bring your significant other,” Thompson said.
She said she had the idea for an “LGBT prom” and told Parker it would be a good way for the allies group to show support. The allies group started in March after the announcement of changes to university policies for students in same-sex relationships. About 70 local residents attended the group’s first meeting.
The group also hosted an ally training event last Saturday to discuss how Abilene residents can support members of the LGBT community. Parker said the discussion ranged from the meaning of the letters “LGBT,” to ways to talk about sexuality and sexual identity. Parker said the group plans to have another ally training in the fall and will continue working on other long-term plans.