A Brief Introduction

Endeavoring to define myself outside of a "job title." I'm a nomad of sorts who fell in love with technology, activism, and helping others. I run a web & media consulting firm, have a blog specifically for activists & non-profits, and travel often. I love talking about theology, politics, and social change. I love doing something about it even more. I also like to be a well-rounded and fully present person. That's why I write here. Connect with me on twitter

Monday, April 23, 2007

Small Town Sunday

A dog met us at the front door of the MOTEL we were staying at (no other name on the building was visible). The parking lot was dusty gravel and a Bud Light truck was the only other vehicle with us. Jonathan passed out the room keys. This time they were brass keys, not the plastic keycards we've been used to. I found an ashtray in my bathroom.

This is Ellendale, North Dakota, population 1500. We'd driven close to 12 hours through the night to get here. I would later talk to Haven about the trip and we decided it was the most surreal experience of our lives. Twenty-five young adults, who've known each other so briefly, but love each other so intensely. Held together by the singularly passion for the love of what is not now, but might be one day. This nebulous idea of social justice that we've each experienced in our own small ways that somehow seems totally existent as we drive together through the Badlands, under the stars, with nothing but the headlights. How did I get to a place where I would be asleep in a truck stop, next to a cow truck, with so many other people who have given up everything for two months. What we want exists only in our heads ... but there it is so real. I don't think I'll ever be the same.

Shortly after arriving in Ellendale, we congregate for dinner and a meeting, which takes a somber turn after the head of the Emergency Response Unit stops by. He will be blocking the road that runs into the school and the road that runs in front of the school (where we will be standing) to squash a threat from locals that they were planning to "run us off with combines." During our dinnertime meeting, three of our riders were jeered at. The police want our bus to stay next to us during the day we're outside of Trinity Bible College so that we can evacuate quickly if necessary.

Our bus attracts attention everywhere we go. Here, there is not a single person that doesn't know we've arrived. In fact, the ERU chief estimated there were approximately 100 more people in town the night before. His only guess was that they came because we were here. When some Trinity Students stopped by the hotel to talk with Justin, they told him their parents were coming into town for the day.

After weeks of schools that allowed us on to have dialogue, even as they had discriminatory policies in place, I had almost forgotten that such intense oppression existed. What happens to kids who grow up in this town when they begin to realize they might be LGBT? What happens to the families when children move away so that they can be themselves? What is the reaction when they return? I don't know.


seeking chivalry said...

Wow - looks like your blog has been found by some of the more, err, exciting elements of society. :/

And a threat of being run off with combines. I'm looking at it this way - you must be making a difference, or they wouldn't feel so threatened by you. Right?


Anonymous said...

ok first things first combines...think about guns...paintball bb guns pellet guns...maybe even a small rifle or handgun..second jeered at...O MY GOD no they didnt jeer at you!!! I have piercings and when some one like me who's from New York going to school in small town north dakota I prolly get a few more then you SUCK IT UP AND GET OVER IT!!!WOW can't believe gown adults cry that much!!! Thank God the cops were there b/c the high schoolers and skin heads that came to town that night were there to do harm...so thank God those cops were there...jeez.. threatened prolly not threatened..more like people don't like it and they wanna show it so...THreatened tell a small town farm boy your threatening him and he'll show you he's not threatened by throwing some fisticas... learn that...

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