The Office of LGBTQIA honors 22 students through its Lavender Gr

The Office of LGBTQIA honors 22 students through its Lavender Graduation

LUBBOCK, Texas -

Texas Tech's Office of LGBTQIA Education and Engagement recognized its students during its fourth Lavender Ceremony. 

The Lavender Graduation celebrates those students and their allies. The featured speaker, a Marine Judge advocate General who identifies as transgender. 

Emma Shinn graduated from Texas Tech's School of Law in 2007 and leads multiple ally organizations. 

"Students who are being celebrated this evening are not supposed to be here. They've gone through so many struggles and you know, people in previous decades would not have been able to do this," Matthew Hernandez, Student Assistant for the Office of LGBTQIA Education and Engagement, said. "I think that it's really important that we recognize these individuals because they are standing for something that's extremely important for societal progress and inclusion in general." 

Hernandez said the color lavender represents positivity and is used to show there is progress to be made in society. 

"The combination of pink and black colors were used during Nazi Germany. Pink and black were used to designate sexual orientation in that time period. We are using that as a way to say that we are not going to be defined in a negative way," he said.

22 students were recognized this year including undergraduate, graduate and law students. 

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