Former Gov. and current U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry has inadvertently made a hero out of Bobby Brooks, the openly gay president of the Texas A&M University student body, whose election has been questioned by Perry, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Discrimination (GLAAD) says Brooks will be an honored guest at the group's high profile media awards ceremony in Beverly Hills this coming weekend.
In a statement today, Brooks requested a meeting with Perry, who was the first Aggie elected Governor of Texas and was a member of the Corps of Cadets during his time at the university in the early 1970s.
In an op-ed in the Houston Chronicle, Perry said Brooks election was 'illegitimate' and he said University officials improperly disqualified a candidate who received more votes than Brooks in a 'quest for diversity' that Perry called a 'mockery.
'A&M Officials say the candidate was disqualified due to financial irregularities.
According to Brooks, since Perry wrote his op-ed, he has experienced harassment and even physical threats from opposing campaigns - specifically an incident on March 17. The harassment is what compelled Brooks to write a letter to Secretary Perry inviting him to meet with Brooks one-on-one in either College Station, Texas or Washington, D.C.
“Young people like Bobby Brooks are the future, and should be encouraged, not harassed,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. “I hope Secretary Perry takes this opportunity to meet with Bobby and learn what this student already knows - that diversity and inclusion are among our greatest strengths."