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UCOP celebrates Pride Month with rainbow sprinkles on top

On Friday, June 3, UCOP celebrated Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month with 18 gallons of chocolate, vanilla and raspberry ice cream, a few quarts of chocolate and butterscotch syrup, cherries and whipped cream — and lots of rainbow sprinkles.

With the thermometer hitting 85 degrees in Oakland, the annual UCOP Pride Ice Cream Social could not have been more welcome. An enthusiastic crowd of 150 employees jammed the fifth floor roof garden of the Franklin building, enjoying not just the cool treats but the community of co-workers. Under fluttering rainbow flags, members of UCOP Pride set records for speed scooping to make sure everyone in a long line got their bowl filled before the heat could do its worst.

Introduced by UCOP Pride leader Karin Rice as “always supportive” of LGBTQ staff, President Napolitano praised the rich diversity at UCOP and noted that UC campuses are considered among the most LGBTQ-friendly in the country. She also announced recent developments to help students, including voluntary identification as LGBTQ on UC applications, so that we have the data needed to allocate resources for them. Moving forward, new campus buildings will need to have gender-neutral restrooms and changing rooms, she added. After closing her brief remarks with “Let’s enjoy the ice cream before it melts!” she joined the rest of the staff for a cooling scoop.

Celebrated each June, LGBTQ Pride Month commemorates the Stonewall Riots, which started at New York City’s Stonewall Inn on June 28, 1969. The riots followed a police raid, a common occurrence for gay-patronized establishments at the time. The violent protest that night sparked several days of battles with police that ignited the modern struggle for LGBTQ rights worldwide.

UCOP Pride is dedicated to providing advocacy, education and community building for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex community within UCOP and beyond. To find out more about the group or join their listserv, contact Karin Rice at

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