Members of the Working Group set to dialogue about Gordon’s current treatment of LGBTQIA+ students were asked to send emails, similar to those requested from students, faculty and staff last month, to voice their perspective on what is happening. I wanted to share with the public what I sent because:
- It is my responsibility as a member of the Working Group to be transparent about my stance on the topic, because to anything more would be to lie to the very people you are representing (i.e. if someone who finds same-sex attraction sinful tries to act if they are welcoming to people who experience such attraction)
- I am tired of the confidentiality of the group allowing curtains to be drawn and people outside the group to be lied to about what is happening. There is no real dialogue happening. I am constantly fighting for my voice to be properly heard. I am being forced by current practices and treatments of faculty perspectives to represent myself and that is repulsive.
So here is my email regarding what is happening on campus. Please respond, critique and expand on whatever you would like.
Coming into the Working Group I had many expectations, which now I realize were from a misinformed idea of the overall purpose of the meetings, that all pointed to a community that was inclusive towards individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+. Over the past few months I have noticed a number of disheartening perspectives on sexuality, theology and Gordon College that I would like to voice in this email.
First of all, I (along with many other students that have applied to Gordon) were sold a false product. This is not to say that I was lied to, however I was not told the entire truth. I was blinded by the friendliness of my host and his friends, along with the openminded courses that I got to sit in and experience, and yet the topic of the L&CS was never addressed. Technically, I should not have been allowed to apply to Gordon since I was breaking the L&CS by being gay (regardless of any current grammatical changes at the time of me signing it prohibited homosexuality). How is this fair? How should I have been able to enter a contract that I was breaking from the beginning?
I was also told I was safe at this school. I am not safe – although I have never worried about my physical safety I have constantly have my psychological safety threatened and breached.
I have been told I am going to hell.
I have been told that I am actively defying God.
I have been told I am not a Christian.
I don’t care if you’re sorry or not, and I especially do not care if this is only a small percentage of perspectives present on this campus. They are still here and they are still hurting LGBTQIA+ students. It is disgusting Gordon tries to parade itself as an understanding institution when it is killing its students slowly. I expect at this point you’re going to try disregarding my argument as violent or rude and I ask that you act like an adult and take the criticism you’ve asked for. This is a regular barrier that many of us face – the minute we reach a breaking point our arguments are disregarded as “rants” or “tangents.” Stop doing that to people. Actually listen, otherwise you are just promoting your own agenda.
Why are we allowing heterosexual individuals to make decisions over what to do with LGBTQIA+ students? Why are we continuing to let people with bigoted perspectives to choose how the school treats its students?
NOTE: committing bigoted actions (like not addressing hate crimes committed against students) or saying bigoted things (same-sex attraction is nothing but sinful nature) makes you a bigot.
If you don’t want to be a bigot then stop doing bigoted things.
If you’re hurt by being called a bigot then stop being a bigot.
The position Gordon is in right now allows other students to mistreat those who identify as LGBTQIA+ (i.e. RA’s, sports teams, ministry groups) and that is not fair. Either work with people who identify as such (and a working group that simply suggests to heterosexuals what they can do does not count) or make it clear that you do not want anything to do with people who identify as anything that isn’t cisgendered, heterosexual.
Class of 2015