Tell us about yourself and your journey
“My name is Natalie Crawford (They/Them) and I am the graphic design student assistant at the Pride Alliance. I have worked at the Pride Alliance for almost 3 years, starting my freshman year. I’m a Communication Design major in the Graphic Design track and will be graduating in May 2023 I’ve been studying graphic design for 7 years so far and hope to continue it into my future. Specifically, I want to work for an LGBTQ+ resource center doing marketing and graphic design to help my community. The Pride Alliance was a perfect step for getting there, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunities I’ve had and the connections I’ve made.”
What has your pride experience been like at UNT?
“Overall, UNT has had an amazing community both internally and in the surrounding community for pride and LGBTQ+ events. Along with the environment on campus, I have been very happy to live, work, and attend a college with a more stable LGBTQ+ community than anything I’ve personally experienced.”
What does the Pride Alliance mean to you?
“The Pride Alliance was one of the big factors that made me want to come to UNT. I thought it was amazing that UNT had an actual pride office instead of only student organizations. And so to be able to come to UNT and immediately start working at the Pride Alliance was a dream come true. The Pride Alliance to me is home. It’s community, opportunities, friends, support, and I am proud to say that it is by far the most impactful part of my time at UNT.”
How have you seen the Pride Alliance change LGBTQ+ students’ lives?
“We see lots of different changes in students’ lives at the office. Sometimes it’s getting to see someone just feel more affirmed through clothing, or make some friends, and you can tell how much happier they are. Other times we get to see people truly grow and transform, stepping into and loving who they truly are. It’s so deeply heartwarming to see students find their identity through the community and resources we are able to provide.”
What do you hope students gain from working with the Pride Alliance?
“There’s a lot that we do as an office, but overall, I just hope that students have connection. That can be a connection to resources, to community, or even to deeper knowledge of themselves. All of these things help students feel less alone, which means a lot to anyone, especially those who come from environments where they felt like they had to hide who they are.”
What is the best part about working in the Pride Alliance?
“The best part about working in the Pride Alliance for me is the people. Both the other office staff and the students that come through mean so much to me and give me more support than I ever knew I could have. I always feel like someone is there for me and genuinely cares about me, and we get to also give that experience to others.”
When did you realize the impact and importance of Pride Alliance?
“The first time the impact the Pride Alliance had really hit me was when I helped a student pick out and try on her first bra. When she came into the office it was clear that she was extremely nervous and timid, but getting direct help and care made her day so much better, and she left the office with a completely different energy. We have experiences like this a lot in the office, but her time visiting the OUTfits Clothing Closet was when it really hit me that not only does the Pride Alliance have this impact, but that I wanted to continue providing resources to individuals in my community directly for the rest of my life.”