Ask a Pride Organizer: Rodney Glore
by Ashley Atwood (’07)
Rodney Glore (’16) is a familiar face on campus. He’s a staff member, an alum, a graduate student in the Master of Education program, and—for 10 years and counting—the force behind Westminster’s participation in the annual Utah Pride Parade. In fact, his ongoing dedication to this project led to him being named Volunteer of the Year for 2018–19.
In honor of Pride Month, Rodney reflects on what this beloved tradition means to the college community.
Westminster had its first significant presence at Utah Pride in 2009, when, as staff advisor for Alphabet Soup, you registered that club to walk in the parade. Describe your experience establishing and growing the college’s participation at Pride.
“In 2009, it was a very simple process: Just filling out a one-form application. Building on it took time—keeping motivation moving forward and slowly getting other people involved. Eventually, we had the president of the college come and participate. The first time I asked a president to walk with us, it became a motivator for others because they thought, ‘If the president is doing this, then maybe I should.’”
Not only does 2019 mark 10 years since the college first formally participated at Pride, but it’s also the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, a pivotal moment in the fight for LGBTQIA+ rights. How is the college honoring this milestone?
“Students came up with Westminster’s Wizard-of-Oz-inspired float theme: Making Our ‘Over the Rainbow’ Right Here. There’s actually a May Term class that Dan Cairo is teaching that coincides with all this. Dan’s class is about drag queens, and if you know the history of the Stonewall riots, it started with drag queens. It was a Latina drag queen who threw the first rock, you could say. The Wizard of Oztheme is a throwback to that time, where one would identify if they were LGBT or not by answering the question, ‘Are you a friend of Dorothy’s?’”
What’s your favorite Pride memory?
“I loved the year that it rained—either 2009 or 2010. It rained, and people were still out supporting and walking in the parade with flip flops and umbrellas. It felt amazing, and everybody was still excited. There was another year when a good friend of mine asked if she and a few friends could come and walk in the parade dressed as 1940s pin-up girls. They actually walked with the banner, in their heels, with style and class. It was hilarious. I was so impressed.”
What does this tradition mean to the Westminster community?
“My original intent was to give people an opportunity for belonging—to show support to students who are a part of the Westminster community as well as the LGBTQIA+ community. Pride gives them resources, somewhere to connect. There are students who started walking with us in 2011–12, who still come back every year. They’re part of a legacy. Even if I were to leave, this work would still continue because it’s now recognized by the administration, faculty, and students. We have participants from every part of campus now—students to alumni, staff, faculty, administration, and board members.”
About the Westminster Review
The Westminster Review is Westminster College’s bi-annual alumni magazine that is distributed to alumni and community members. Each issue aims to keep alumni updated on campus current events and highlights the accomplishments of current students, professors, and Westminster alum.