Last week, Alec Lucas, a senior at the University of Texas-Austin and president of the UT College Republicans, came out as gay during a general meeting.
In 2017, coming out as a member of the LGBTQ community may not seem like a big deal, but, for the president of the College Republicans at the biggest public university in one of the most conservative states in the Union, it’s not a decision taken lightly.
Lucas, who grew up in the small conservative town of Flower Mound, told the Daily Texan that he had always identified as a Republican, but felt that his sexuality had always conflicted with his politics.
“You grow up feeling who you are is wrong,” Lucas said. “I was in denial for years, really up until college. I was really scared of being bullied or being harassed.”
Lucas believes that by coming forward about his sexuality, he’s encouraging other LGBTQ conservatives to be fully open about their identities.
“If there is anyone who’s in the organization who feels like they’re not welcomed for also being LGBT, or if they’re considering coming out but they’re not sure how their peers would react, they could see me,” Lucas continued. “It’s not an issue. We’re not any different.”
He went on to say that his support of free-market capitalism trumped everything else when it came to politics, but the Republican party stance on same-sex marriage has been concerning to him. In the 2016 election, both platforms from the Republican party and the Republican party of Texas opposed the Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage in the United States via Obergefell v. Hodges.
“It’s wrong. Also, it’s totally proven that you can’t change your sexuality. As conservatives, we want less government involvement. We don’t want the government in our personal lives. How much more getting into your personal life can you go?” Lucas explained.
He also indicated that if his fellow College Republicans disagree with him, he won’t kick them out.
“If people don’t agree with me, it’s not like I’m going to take them on a field trip to a gay bar. At the end of the day, I decided that even if it hurts membership, that’s who I am. I’m not going to lie about myself.”