TCU disabled and removed all comments on an Instagram post supporting the Tarrant County Gay Pride Parade after receiving negative comments.
The post showed TCU students at the parade with a pride flag as well as a TCU flag.
A majority of the comments were positive, but some of them expressed objections based on religious views and hate speech, said Joshua Friend, a co-president of Spectrum, TCU’s LGBTQIA+ student organization.
Spectrum is TCU’s largest LGBTQIA+ student organization, serving as a social, political and support organization for the community and its allies.
Holly Ellman, the associate director of strategic communications management, said the comments were removed because of the harmful impact they were having on TCU students; however, the picture remained in support of the university’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts and LGBTQIA+ community.
Ellman declined to say how long the comments remained before the university removed them or whether there has ever been another situation when comments were disabled from a social media post.
“I firstly have to say how brave it was for TCU to post their coverage of the parade,” Friend said. “This was a bold move and overdue coverage of a large community within TCU.”
However, Friend said he thought the comments should not have been disabled in spite of the negative reactions because doing so eliminated the comments that praised the LGBTQIA+ community.
Normally, TCU does not receive more than 20 comments on its Instagram posts, but Friend said more than 300 comments were left on the post before the comments were removed.
The 38th-annual Tarrant County Gay Pride Parade took place during the first week of October, and many TCU students attended to show support.
Friend said that though TCU has started committing to the diversity initiatives in order to equally represent the LGBTQIA+ community, there is still more to be done.
TCU offers several resources for LGBTQIA+ students such as a Gender Resource Office in Jarvis Hall and unisex restrooms.