By Simon Isham–
Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author, and advocate for immigration reform and LGBT rights, delivered the keynote speech for the university’s 2012 Pride Week this evening at 7 p.m. in the Student Activities Center.
Vargas is best-known for his coverage of HIV, the influence that politics and the Internet have on each other and the 2008 Virginia Tech shootings, for the latter of which he won the Pulitzer. His Filipino-American heritage and status as an undocumented immigrant—perhaps better-known as an “illegal alien”—inspired him to write a TIME Magazine cover story about immigration rights. Vargas is also the founder of DefineAmerican.com, and has been a journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post and Huffington Post among other media outlets.
Vargas’ keynote was introduced by Brian Buford, the director of the Office for LGBT Services, who also noted all of the contributors that have aided the mission of his office in the past year. One particular point of gratitude was paid to Michelle Clemons, the 2012 LGBT Ally Award winner.
Vargas was asked to talk about the intersection of identity; as “an Asian guy with a Hispanic name,” a political science major, a journalist, and an openly gay man, Vargas has quite a few facets of identity to draw on. What’s more, all of these features of his character began to develop at the same time. And they have not finished.
Vargas held a Q&A session after his speech. The event was sponsored by the Office for LGBT Services and the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky.
See Assistant Features Editor Simon Isham’s full coverage of Vargas’ keynote in the Oct. 16 print edition of the Louisville Cardinal, or here online at louisvillecardinal.com.