During my time at Wheaton, I was able to observe campus culture just begin to shift toward accepting this idea of “more than a single story” when it comes to the experiences of LGBT Christians. Incidents like the Rosaria Butterfield demonstration, the town hall apple toss, and the hiring and resignation of Julie Rodgers, and events like the More Than a Single Story and Is Wheaton Homophobic? talks, began presenting LGBT experiences as worth talking about. By my senior year, most students, and many faculty members with whom I spoke at least acknowledged that it was a “complicated issue.”
But what I felt was lacking was the actual expression of those multiple stories. There were very few people who felt safe putting their faces out there, naturally. But it seems like the telling of real stories is the only way the Wheaton community could grow from seeing “LGBT issues” as some vague, nebulous conglomeration of confusing questions, to what it really is: simply a part of life for people like me.
With these thoughts in mind, during the late fall semester 2014 I started an independent project collecting stories from LGBT Wheaton students. I sent out ten or so simple questions, and received an abundance of thoughtful and honest responses from some amazing LGBT Wheaton students, my friends, about their lives at Wheaton. I compiled the best, and sent them to the Record to publish them multiple times, but the Record unfortunately never put them in.
These stories are about our daily joys, hardships and friendships as they are influenced by our orientations. I hope they start to give you a sense of the real multiple stories out there.
By: Morgan Kinsinger
When did you first know for yourself that you were LGBT?
What is your view of labeling yourself as lesbian, gay, bi, trans or queer? What are your views regarding Christians identifying with these terms?
How does your sexual orientation and gender identity relate to the other facets of your identity?
How has your sexuality played a role in your academic studies?
What is an example of a homophobic microagression?
How has your experience as an LGBT person positively contributed to your faith?
What is the best thing about LGBT subculture? What should straight people know about it?
What is your best or worst coming out story?
We would love to update this collection on a future post with stories from alumni and current students. Please share whatever you feel comfortable.