Former Army Lt. Dan Choi, an Iraq war veteran turned gay-rights activist, will speak at the University of North Texas tonight as part of the Distinguished Lecture Series.
However, due to inclement weather, the event was cancelled. The event has been rescheduled for next Monday, Feb. 10
Choi’s visit coincides with the recent opening of the Pride Alliance of UNT, a resource center for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students that was created last semester, said Blake Rexroat, the assistant director of student affairs administration.
“The center opened before the holidays, so when the committee met they really wanted to bring in someone who represented the LGBT community,” he said.
The series brings in speakers that students choose each year. A committee surveys the student body for whom they would like to see visit and narrows the list down to a dozen people, Rexroat said.
Then, the list of potential speakers is put on a ballot with the Student Government Association elections, and the committee works to secure the most popular speakers.
Choi was an Arabic translator in the U.S. Army in Iraq from 2006 to 2007, and announced he was gay on The Rachel Maddow Show in 2009. He was notified soon after that he was being discharged, and has since been an activist for LGBT civil rights and worked for the repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
“When he visits, he’ll be talking about his experiences with repealing ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ and the things he’s done to get that repealed,” Rexroat said.
Choi will speak at 8 p.m. tonight in the Gateway Center Ballroom, and tickets are still available online at http://untuniontickets.universitytickets.com. Students receive one free ticket with a student ID and can purchase up to four guest tickets for $5 each. Faculty, staff and alumni tickets cost $8; tickets for the general public cost $10. Tickets will also be available before the event.
JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.