Six months ago, I started working with Soulforce, running our web and media efforts. I have a three year history with Soulforce which started as a 2007 Equality Rider. Soulforce retained me just as the 2010 Equality Ride was setting out and a week into the campaign, I joined them in North Carolina for a visit to Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Some things I remember: the long hours, the instant bond between riders, the unmistakable feeling that we are doing something truly remarkable. Some things were different: the diverse group of riders were even better prepared and more intentional… the ride improves every year.
After our short visit to Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, I spent the entirety of a community picnic speaking with a seminary student. We talked about The Law and Leviticus for three hours. It was grueling and utterly exhausting. During that conversation I also connected, briefly, with another seminary student. The student joined us later that night for conversation in our hotel lobby and for lunch the following day. They shared a bit of their passions and joys, some struggles and theological differences they experienced at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. After talking with young adults about queer issues for three years, I have a pretty good sense of when a person wants to say something but can’t. I got that feeling from this person.
Today, that student, now a graduate, sent me a message. They shared a brief update on their life and then, almost in passing, mentioned that they are now in a queer relationship and could not be happier. They are starting to come out, they might lose their job at a Baptist church, but all will be well.
That is all I have to share today: that six months ago I spent three hours talking about Leviticus in a park in rural North Carolina and today a Southern Baptist told me that they are beginning to love themselves. The Equality Ride never really ends. And thank goodness it doesn’t.
Please help us ensure the future of the Equality Rides be making a donation toward the next ride today.