Exodus Targets Young Adults, Soulforce is already there
A participant in numerous Soulforce campaigns, and the current webmaster, Brian Gerald Murphy responds to Alan Chamber’s recent open letter.
Four years ago, health insurance changed my life forever. I was home in late November and after dinner with my parents one night, the discussion shifted to my upcoming graduation from college and my plans. A film student, I intended to pursue production jobs which means no stable health insurance. As I mulled over options with my parents we began talking about YoungLife, an evangelical Christian organization my mom worked for at the time and one with which I’d spent a great deal of time participating and volunteering. They have excellent health insurance. They also don’t hire LGBTQ people.
The discussion took a turn for the worse and I realized that in the three years since I’d come out, I thought I was being patient, thought I was giving my family space, thought I was being respectful… I realized I was being silent. My parents had not changed because I had not asked them to change.
And then it clicked.
America would not change unless someone asked it to. The world would not change unless someone asked it to. I could be that person.
I heard of the Equality Ride weeks prior but shrugged it off. Great idea, not my place. That night in November, I knew I needed to be on the bus. I applied, was accepted, and the rest is history. Four years later (has it really been that long?) my parents are wonderful, supportive, and better than I could have even imagined. I’m grateful that I finally asked them to change and thrilled that they did.
Alan Chambers recently made it clear that in 2011 Exodus International will be aggressively asking America for something different. Their plan is to “Simplify. Amplify. Intesify.” And they plan to put youth and students in the center of their target.
Exodus plans to reach young adults through the web, social media, YouTube, and other targeted efforts. They plan to tell them they are sinful, they plan to tell them they can change, they plan to tell them they need to change. They will tell young people that they are broken, sinful, and shameful. Thankfully, Soulforce is already there and we have a different message. We know that LGBTQ people are just as we should be! Soulforce has been making videos, connecting on Facebook, and tweeting for some time now. And we’ve taken our message to the front lines of religious-based oppression. We place value in young adults not as targets for conversion but as leaders, visionaries, and agents of change.
In the four Soulforce Equality Rides, over 100 young adults have visited 75+ anti-LGBT institutions and effected the lives of countless people. Saying that we’ve touched hundreds of thousands of lives is no exaggeration.
Now, more than ever, we need to make sure that we are able to continue cultivating young adults who will counter the lies and misinformation of Exodus International and other faith-based anti-LGBT groups. We need young adults who will resist the harmful actions of these groups and instead model bold, inclusive ways of being.
We need you to be part of this. Join our mailing list, refer a friend, make a donation, buy a book or a DVD for yourself or a friend, sign-up as a monthly donor, send a holiday card. Love wins, justice will prevail, and dedicated individuals like all of us will work together to usher in that new reality.
All for justice,
Brian Gerald Murphy
Brian Gerald Murphy is a filmmaker, media designer, and social activist. Brian participated in the 2007 Soulforce Equality Ride, went on to co-found Sanctuary Collective, and runs a media & design firm. He recently re-joined the Soulforce team as webmaster & web developer. You can connect with him on Twitter or his website.