ABOUT RED DINNER

 
I DO NOT LIKE TO ASK FOR HELP, BUT…
 
"I'm a current Civil Engineer major. I came out to my parents last semester. They kicked me out of the house, forcing me to find a job and a place to stay while going to school full time. I failed a class, and got placed in suspension at the engineering college. Failing this class took away my Texas Grant for next semester.  I do not like to ask for help; I like to overcome the challenges that are placed in my life, but I have learned that sometimes you cannot be prideful."
THE NEED IS REAL.
 
Coming out as your authentic self is a journey for every person. For some it’s a moment of joy and celebration, but for too many UH students, there are unresolved questions and issues.  What are the consequences?  How will my friends and family react? What happens if I get cut off financially?  Every year, students request funding from the University through the UH LGBTQ Resource Center to help them offset the financial crisis brought on by coming out to their families.  But funding for these students is desperately thin, and too many face the struggle of choosing between their education and homelessness.
 
THAT IS A CHOICE NO COUGAR 
SHOULD EVER BE FORCED TO MAKE.
 
The University of Houston is recognized nationally as an inclusive, welcoming campus, and proudly diverse.  The University has been a champion and ally for LGBTQ students.  But the extraordinary financial and emotional circumstances many students face after they come out are too overwhelming for anyone to overcome.  The UH LGBTQ Alumni Association is determined to offer those students financial resources through a crisis fund so no Cougar ever has to choose between their education and shelter or food or medications.
 
 
 WHY CANʼT STUDENTS JUST GET 
ANOTHER LOAN OR SCHOLARSHIP?
 
Financial aid is awarded to students at every college and university in the United States when the student completes a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.  It is required to received scholarship funding or access to student loans.  It also requires not only the student’s parents Internal Revenue Service information on annual income, but also their signatures — until a student becomes officially “independent” of their families income, at age 24, two years after most students graduate.  The 130-question FAFSA, with their parents’ information and signatures is required their whole college career. Without the signatures, no financial aid. 
YOU CAN HELP!
 
Join us in providing financial solutions to UH students who are facing these impossible situations.  No one should lose their opportunity for an education because they come out as their true self.  Red Dinner is the annual fundraising gala for the University of Houston LGBTQ Alumni Association benefiting UH students who have been financially affected as a result of their sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.  The funds raised at the Red Dinner directly help reduce the economic impact to UH LGBTQ students whose families terminate financial support when they “come out” as their authentic persons.