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

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Progress at Pepperdine

I had the opportunity to catchup with outgoing Malibu GLEE president Jamaal Crowley yesterday. He informed me that progress towards making Malibu GLEE into Pepperdine GLEE, complete with school recognition, is going slowly at best. Pepperdine administrators have vowed to keep the conversation going but are uncertain whether GLEE can be recognized. I believe that as this conversation continues, the school will begin to understand that they cannot truly love and support their GLBT students without giving them voice and venue. With official sanction for their group withheld, GLBT Pepeprdine students continue to be second-class students... and even worse, GLBT Christians continue to be second-rate believers.

I was however excited to learn that Jamaal received dozens of emails from queer students--many of them closeted--after our visit. They had seen Jamaal speaking at one of our on-campus events and were so encouraged by his presence and his outreach. This is another way in which Equality Ride has fulfilled its goal of giving GLBT students at schools a voice. The closeted GLBT students who contacted Jamaal now have a person to turn to, a ear who will listen, and a heart who will love and support. It also reinforced the gravity of our present situation. I count myself blessed to have interacted with so many beautiful, faithful, gifted, and passionate individuals at the schools we visited.

At every school I met GLBT students, straight allies, and students willing to honestly consider the issues we presented. But what I often lost sight of were the closeted students, observing from a distance. In a very vague way, I knew they were there. I remember being in the closet myself. I knew that a big part of my personal reason for joining the ride was to witness to them. But they were always that--vague. When Jamaal told me of the outpouring of response he had received it made it all very real. There are closeted GLBT students at these schools and their lives are being changed by our mere presence. I hope that they continue to follow Soulforce and Equality Ride even after we've left. I hope they continue to seek out positive and affirming Christian voices. I hope they continue to draw strength from the LORD who created them--fearfully and wonderfully.

And if they ever decide to step out of the closet, I hope they know they can always talk to us.

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