Campus News

Office of LGBTQ* Resources' new directors celebrate Campus Pride Week

Glenn Means and Atticus White.
Glenn Means
Atticus White

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 11, 2024) — This week marks the beginning of Campus Pride Week here at the University of Kentucky. Celebrated nationally in June, Campus Pride Week, hosted by the Office of LGBTQ* Resources, housed in the Office for Student Success, allows students, faculty and staff an opportunity to honor pride on campus while the spring semester is still in session. 

Throughout the week, the campus acknowledges and celebrates the diversity of identities, experiences and histories in the LGBTQ+ community.

While this is an annual event at the university, this year will look a bit different, as the Office of LGBTQ* Resources has hired both a new director and assistant director. 

Glenn Means, new director, believes the week will provide the campus community with an opportunity to learn about the office’s resources and build community. 

Prior to his new role, Means served in the UK College of Public Health as the admissions and recruitment coordinator, and before that, Means worked for the Legislative Research Commission, where he handled constituent service matters for the Commonwealth. Means also served as the development director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bluegrass and the donor stewardship manager for Lexington Habitat for Humanity. Outside of his work experience, Means has volunteered with various LGBTQ* organizations.

“Through all of this work, I have had the opportunity to educate, advocate and inform people on many issues that are important to our community, including mentorship, housing, health care, human rights and LGBTQ+ issues,” Means said. “It is a privilege to serve in this role to allow our students to have a safe space on campus and more importantly, a place for them to be themselves.”

As new director, Means hopes to create a more inclusive, supportive and affirming campus environment for LGBTQ+ individuals. He is committed to championing diversity, equity and inclusion, and to creating a space where all individuals are respected, valued and celebrated for who they are.

Atticus White, who will serve as the new assistant director, began their journey with the Office of LGBTQ* Resources back in 2018 during their sophomore year at UK where they were an intern in the office. After graduating in 2020, they held various retail and administrative jobs, but says nothing really stuck or felt fulfilling. 

“I kept thinking back to the office and how wonderful it was to work in an environment that did so much work to support a community I love,” White said. “I sent an email to the director at the time and described my work with the office previously. I made my way into an administrative assistant position. About six months into my position, I became the only full-time staff in the office. I was suddenly in charge of managing everything. While it was extremely overwhelming, I knew that I had to stay to keep our doors open and continue to support our students. After all that hard work and strife, I had the opportunity to apply for and accept the assistant director position.”

As the new assistant director, White wants to continue the great work the office has been doing since starting with the office but push for more visibility. 

“Glenn and I have talked a lot about our visions for the office in the future. One of the biggest things we’ve discussed is how to make our office more visible. Many students might not even know our office exists on campus. We want to change that,” White said. “Students of any marginalized identity have specific needs that their peers might not understand or relate to. We must continue our work so that students know that they are welcome not just in our office, but on campus, in Lexington, in Kentucky, in the United States and in the world.”

Through collaborative initiatives and outreach programs, starting with Campus Pride Week, Means and White plan on making an impact the campus community can see and feel.  

Throughout Campus Pride Week, the office will host a series of events, including educational workshops, guest speakers and social gatherings, designed to promote LGBTQ+ visibility and acceptance. These activities are open to all members of the university community and serve as opportunities for dialogue, learning and celebration.

“Our office has three core pillars that we strive to follow with all our work: education, advocacy and community building. Pride Week is a culmination of all these things,” White said. “I hope the campus community finds new ways to celebrate their queer and trans peers, to be better allies to them and to feel open to having discussions about identity that they may never have thought about before! Most cisgender and straight individuals may not have spent a lot of time thinking about those elements of their identity; events like these give the chance to challenge that and create the opportunity for more conversation. More than anything, I hope our campus community feels inspired by Pride Week. Pride is a beautiful time to spark new conversations, new creative endeavors and new opportunities for growth and change in our world.”

UKNow recently caught up with Means and White to discuss Campus Pride Week, their new roles and their visions for the future of the Office of LGBTQ* Resources. You can listen to the full interview on "Behind the Blue" by clicking the play button above.

"Behind the Blue" is available on iTunes, Google Play and Spotify. Become a subscriber to receive new episodes of “Behind the Blue” each week. UK’s latest medical breakthroughs, research, artists and writers will be featured, along with the most important news impacting the university.

Transcripts for this or other episodes of "Behind the Blue" can be downloaded from the show’s blog page.

The Office of LGBTQ* Resources is located in the Dinkle-Mas Suite in the Gatton Student Center. The campus community can drop by the Dinkle-Mas Suite from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you are a student and would like to stay up to date on information regarding the office and stay in the know on events hosted by the Office of LGBTQ* Resources, register to join the Discord server, a free voice, video and text chat app open to undergraduate, graduate and professional students at UK.

For more information about Campus Pride Week and the Office of LGBTQ* Resources initiatives, click here.

At the University of Kentucky, students are at the center of all that we do. From the moment you become a Wildcat through graduation and beyond, the Office for Student Success is committed to supporting you. Comprised of five areas and 25 units, together, they have one vision — to help students live a life of meaning. Student Success works through an equitable, holistic and inclusive lens to design and deliver unparalleled services and support a diverse community of learners in achieving their wildest ambitions. In the Office for Student Success this is what we do — this is who we are. You can explore resources available to you here. If you have additional questions, you can reach a Student Success team member by calling the helpline 859-218-YouK (9685).