Brandeis Alumni, Family and Friends

How the LGBTQIA+ Alumni Network is Celebrating Pride Month

June 11, 2024

The Network is one of 10 shared interest and identity groups for Brandeis alumni.

A group of people stand and smile in front of a rainbow flag.
Brandeis alumni and other volunteers at SAGE.

To kick off Pride Month, Abel Flint ’15 wanted to do something for LGBTQ seniors in his community. So, for the second year in a row, he rallied a group of Brandeis alumni in New York City to volunteer at SAGE, a national nonprofit that provides advocacy & services for LGBTQ seniors.

The event was all about fostering “intergenerational companionship,” he said. And throughout the day, a dozen alumni and 80-plus elders did just that–sharing stories, enjoying meals together, and even holding a dance party.

“During Pride, there’s always a lot of celebration,” said Flint. “But I feel it’s also critical to give back, especially to the people who paved the way for us to be who we are, openly, today.”  

Making connections 

Flint organized Brandeis’ presence at the SAGE event through the LGBTQIA+ Alumni Network. Operated in partnership with the Alumni Association, the group organizes events, programming, and networking opportunities for gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, and queer alumni .

The SAGE event is just one example of how the network is celebrating Pride. In fact, alumni have been organizing events around the country, including at Fenway Park in Boston, and at happy hours in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles

Network chair Adam M. Greenwald ’98 (he/him) said Pride is always a busy time of year for the group. However, he added, the network also serves members year-round. 

“We’re all about bringing people together, to socialize and make new friends, as well as to network and find new professional opportunities,” he said. “The group is about bonding over what we have in common and celebrating what makes each of us unique.” 

Sustaining connections

The LGBTQIA+ Network is one of ten shared interest and identify groups available to Brandeis alumni. Each one is designed to serve specific subsets of the alumni population, whether through shared identity, professional pursuits, or personal interests. For example, other groups include the Alumni of Color Network, the Arts Alumni Network, the Women’s Network, Friends of Brandeis Athletics, and the Lawyers Alumni Network. 

The idea behind all these groups, said Patsy Fisher, vice president of alumni relations, is to bring alumni closer together and closer to the university. 

“Shared interest and identity groups enable alumni to make and sustain connections to Brandeis and to one another,” said Fisher. “We know that alumni like to connect with Brandeis in different ways, be it through class reunions, local clubs, or over shared interests and identity.”

Getting involved as an act of service

Some alumni also see shared interest groups as a way to provide service to their communities. Flint said he remains engaged with the LGBTQIA+ community at Brandeis because he wants current and future students to know they’re not alone. 

“For me, Brandeis was one of the first places I felt like I could fully be myself. It was the first place I felt I could embrace every part of my authenticity,” he said. “I want to make sure students see we have alumni communities for LGBTQIA+ people, and that they are always welcome.”