As more students come out at evangelical colleges, administrators are cracking down on campus groups and faculty who give them support. A new advocacy group wants to change that.
The linked article from the Daily Beast describes the formation of Safety Net, “a new LGBT support coalition for Christian college students and alumni.” I’ve been thinking about this topic since reading Linda Robinson’s Just Because He Breathes, which was originally written for Biola Queer Underground, “a group of like-minded LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) students and allies at Biola University who have formed a private underground community in which we share our life struggles, as well as our love and support for one another.”
A friend was recently telling me about things going on in the Seventh-day Adventist church relating to their treatment of LGBTQ members. The briefest of summaries is that a gathering of church leaders is being held to discuss how the church should “address the experiences of homosexuality and alternative sexualities;” however LGBTQ church members and allies have not been included in the discussion. In explaining why he continues in a church setting that systematically excludes him, he said
I realize, though, that there are many within who would find it very difficult to live without the church that they have always known, but they cannot speak up for themselves the way I can.
I find that inspiring. And it makes we wonder how I might support members of the LGBTQ community who feel disenfranchised by the Christian communities they are part of. Safety Net seems like a good place to start:
Safety Net is launching as an umbrella coalition for LGBT groups at 50 Christian colleges, including organizations like BJUnity (for Bob Jones University alumni and students), OneWheaton, OneGeorgeFox (George Fox University), and Biola Queer Underground. Most of the alumni groups are public, but around a third of the groups, mostly representing current students, are “underground,” not disclosing members’ identity for fear of expulsion, losing financial aid or students’ families cutting them off. (The Daily Beast)
Are any of you among my readers who are current students, alumni, faculty, staff, or administration at Christian colleges? What is/was the atmosphere like on campus for LGBTQ members of the community?