Bourke was named UofL’s 2013 Outstanding LGBT Alum for his years of activism and service. LGBT Alumni Network president Andy Downey gave the award.
Bourke is a founding member of the UofL LGBT Alumni Network who received national attention when he was removed from his role as a Boy Scouts leader for being open about his LGBT identity. He spoke out tirelessly against the anti-gay policies of the Boy Scouts while continuing to support his son’s journey toward attaining Eagle Scout status. This year, Bourke and his husband made national news again when they filed suit against the Commonwealth of Kentucky challenging its marriage amendment and asking to be recognized as a legally married couple. As an employee at Humana, he has also helped build the LGBT employee resource group into one of the company’s largest.
He credits UofL for helping lead him to a life of service.
“When I was a student at UofL back in the 1970s one of my professors had a sign constantly displayed during her lectures that said ‘think globally, act locally’. This was a mantra that I accepted and internalized, and have always strived to make a difference right here, right now in Louisville to raise awareness of and bring acceptance to the local LGBT community.”
The LGBT Center gave Wiegman its 2013 Ally Award from for providing a key voice in bringing LGBT awareness to the Health Sciences Center. He helped launch a student organization and hosted numerous events that focused on LGBT topics. Most recently, he helped create space at the HSC for a satellite LGBT Center office and spoke at the first HSC Pride Week cookout this year.
A lifetime supporter of underrepresented communities, Wiegman focused on correcting racial disparities in the 1960s and ’70s, gender bias in the 1970s and ’80s, and international representation in the ’80s and ’90s. He was one of the first administrators to offer support to the LGBT Center and saw it as a natural progression of his work.
“I stay inspired, motivated and idealistic because over a long life I have repeatedly seen that with continued effort positive change can be generated (often not easily) and people’s lives (both individually and as a group) can be markedly improved. This reward is tremendous!”
The LGBT Center gives the Ally Award annually in recognition of a university faculty or staff member who has taken steps to support the LGBT community. Past winners include Provost Shirley Willihnganz and Mordean Taylor-Archer, associate provost for diversity and international affairs.