The Pride Center is the LGBTQ+ resource center at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UT). We provide programming for our campus community about gender and sexuality as well as advocate for a more equitable educational experience for all students, faculty, and staff at UT. In addition, we offer a community space for LGBTQ+ students and allies to hang out, do homework, eat lunch, and build community without worrying about being misgendered, misnamed, or dealing with microaggressions based on their gender identity and/or sexual orientation.
The Pride Center is located in Melrose Hall F, room F-103 at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Melrose Hall F is a part of the Melrose building complex, located next to the Hess Residence Hall and John C. Hodges Library. Our office and community space is next to the Humanities Center and across the Melrose Courtyard from the Center for International Education.
We are open Monday-Friday 9AM to 6PM during the fall and spring semesters. Due to staffing we close to visitors during the summer, and, as a university department, we follow the university’s holiday and administrative closing schedule.
Our mailing address is as follows:
The Pride Center
1616 Melrose Ave
Knoxville, TN 37996
No! As a community space, the Pride Center is open to anyone who is interested in learning more about gender and sexuality. We welcome anyone in our campus community that can follow our ground agreements.
The Pride Center has several ground agreements that people utilizing the space must follow to maintain a respectful environment for all.
- Be mindful of your language: Avoid using language that is sexist, classist, racist, heterosexist, ableist, and any other forms of disrespectful speech. Include trigger/content warnings when needed. Please keep discussion of sexual and violent topics out of the Pride Center main room. There are two smaller rooms as well as the Melrose Courtyard for alternative conversations.
- Be mindful of others’ names, pronouns, and personal space: A person’s name and pronouns are essential to their identity. If you are unsure and think you have a valid reason to know, ask the person in private. Do not touch people without their expressed and continued consent. This rule is non-negotiable. If you continuously ignore this rule and show no commitment to improving, you may be asked to leave the Pride Center.
- Please avoid intimate PDA: Refrain from making others uncomfortable with intimate and other excessive public displays of affection (PDA). We love love, but we are a public community space, not your apartment or dorm room.
- Call in, not out: If you notice any behavior that is not aligned with our ground agreement, politely ask the person to stop and explain why, if possible. If the behavior continues, discuss again one-on-one and in private at an appropriate time. If it still continues, tell a staff memberExample #1: “I know you did not mean to be rude, but the word ‘transsexual’ is actually an outdated term that the trans community does not use anymore and is considered offensive.”
Example #2: “Actually, I think that [name] uses they/them/theirs pronouns rather than she/her/hers pronouns.”
- Keep the Center clean: This is a community space. Please pick up after yourself, throw out your garbage, and gather your items together. Any belongings should be on your person or stowed out of the way of traffic. We are not responsible if something is lost or stolen, as much as we try to prevent this. Be mindful of how much space you are taking up, and please be considerate of personal hygiene practices and how they might affect others in the space. It is up to ALL OF US to keep the space clean, not just staff.
- Keep the volume down: We encourage fun, laughter, and community. However, the Pride Center is not a large space nor is it very private, so please be aware of your noise level and activity. Consider moving to one of the side rooms or outside if you are having difficulty.
- What happens here stays here: Please respect the confidentiality and privacy of other people who visit the Pride Center. Not everyone is able to be “out” outside of the Center. Please talk to each other privately about what to do if you see each other on campus and in the community.
There are many ways to get involved with the Pride Center!
- Sign up for our newsletter: The Pride Center curates a biweekly newsletter full of event information, campus updates, job and scholarship opportunities, and more! Click here to sign up.
- Become a regular: Hanging out and spending time in the Pride Center can help you get to know other LGBTQ+ students at UTK and expose you to different student organizations, leadership opportunities, and more!
- Join a discussion group: Each semester we sponsor peer-facilitated, closed space discussion groups for specific identities within the greater LGBTQ+ community (such a transgender/nonbinary, bisexual/pansexual, queer and trans people of color, etc). For more information on our discussion groups, click here.
- Attend our events: We host programming throughout the year, and we would love to see you there! Check out our Upcoming Events page for the most up-to-date information.
- Join our LGBTQ+ peer mentoring program: We are always looking for mentors and mentees for our peer mentoring program. Feeling lost at UTK? Looking for guidance from your ~queer elders~? Or maybe you’re feeling confident in your own identity and want to help out other students who are struggling? Email Ciara Gazaway, she/her/hers (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information on applying.
- Attend a Safe Zone training: Looking to learn more about gender and sexuality? Want to know basic language and terminology about the LGBTQ+ community? Check out Safe Zone at UTK.
Check out our resources page for more information.
- Free LGBTQ+ themed swag, including bracelets, identity and pronoun pins, and stickers.
- Safer sex supplies, including condoms (external and insertive) and water-based lubricant
- Kitchenette: The Pride Center has a kitchenette with a fridge, microwave, and a Keurig. While we do our best to keep coffee, tea, and hot chocolate available for free for our guests, we sometimes run out. Students are allowed to store food in the fridge and freezer, although we empty it at the end of the week if the food has gone bad or is not labeled.
- Television with streaming: We also have a television with most major streaming services available for free. The television guidelines are below.
- Nothing with intense violence or sexual content is allowed on the Pride Center television.
- No purchasing/renting videos with the express consent of the Pride Center Coordinator.
- What we watch is picked democratically.
- Please be mindful that what you find acceptable/enjoyable may be triggering or uncomfortable for others. Always check in with others in the space regarding what you are watching.
- Please do not dominate the television. Check in with others after 30 minutes of consistent usage.
- Remotes stay on the staff desk. Staff members have the final say on appropriate/approved content.
- To reserve the television in advance, please email email@example.com with your request.