Tuesday, October 11 - doors open at 6:15PM at the UNT Willis Library
Speakers begin at 7:00, including:
Adrian Cooks / Alex Eller / Reverend Colleen Darraugh
Adrian Cooks is a student at the University of North Texas majoring in Political Science and minoring in Marketing. Adrian identifies as male with he/his/him pronouns and identifies as pansexual. Adrian has been involved with University of North Texas Short Film Club as a Director of Photography for the film Exuvia, was part of leadership for StartUP UNT Spring of 2016, an organization about understanding startup culture and is currently getting involved with North Texas Democrats, and Alpha Omega, a campus Christian ministry.
Adrian started his UNT career as a Radio-Television-Video-Film (RTVF) student. After issues due to personal commitments and a change of interest, starting Spring of 2016, he made the switch to political science and has been flourishing under the moniker since. For the start of his church journey, Adrian coordinated volunteering service in co-ordination with Christian Community Action in Lewisville and Alpha Omega in Denton. Adrian finds spiritual life and finding a community of individuals to be essential to development of a healthy individual.
Political science has been important to Adrian Cooks because he identifies strongly as a black egalitarian: a belief firmly rooted in equality and the hardships he faced growing up. He believes in through the process of political change, that society can be influenced for the betterment of all communities. Adrian is strongly for a secular country, because it puts emphasis on equality for all belief systems and eliminates discrimination on ideological grounds. Adrian currently works for Apple as the University of North Texas’ Campus Representative, and is considering going down the career path to being a salesman. His ultimate goal, however, is to work as a presenter for the Public Broadcasting Service, also known as PBS, for News Hour or Frontline or the National Public Radio service. He’s excited to share his story and prays that everyone can learn from his life experiences.
Alex Eller is an anthropology major and religious studies minor at the University of North Texas. They are the president of the Native American Student Association on campus and a senior.
Since a young age, they knew that they were somewhat different from their peers, not understanding the idea of “being a girl” or “being a boy”. They acted on their whims, childishly not understanding sexuality or the ‘proper’ ways to act or feel. As they matured, they fell in with friends who were gay and lesbian, giving them their first exposure to the LGBT community. It was then that they began to explore their identity.
Over the course of several years they came to realize that they had several identities that didn’t always mesh well together: nonbinary, bisexual, indigenous, Christian. Despite the fact that these identities seemed nonsensical or even incompatible to others, they took ownership of them and became deeply entrenched in activist and LGBT circles.
Alex fostered their self-esteem through this support system and began to take an active leadership role, finding themself passionate about those whose identities also intersected in unusual or ‘contradictory’ ways. They sought to bridge the gap between these identities and help others like themself foster pride and confidence in having a complex, multifaceted identity. They proudly advocate for the LGBT community and all the complex intersections that may exist within it.
Reverend Colleen Darraugh will be our third speaker. She is the Pastor at Metropolitan Coommunity Church, has lived in Denton for some time, and was an advisor to a GLBT student organization in the 90's.