There are two ways that folks engage with our work on the Beyond Equality Ride.
Some people very reasonably ask, “Do your college visits actually change anything?” And often, the immediate answer is “I don’t know.”
And then there are the people who are in awe and inspired by our work on campus. These folks are most often the folks who say, “Oh my God, I wish I had experienced y’all when I was a young LGBTQI person on a college campus!” These folks are often the ones who have experienced spiritual violence firsthand, many who are still healing from the deep wounds of religious fundamentalism.
We met some of those beautiful people today at Gracepointe Church in Franklin, TN. Our Riders have just arrived in Nashville, and before our first college stop tomorrow at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, TN, we wanted to practice our outreach. So we arrived at church this morning,
not knowing a soul, but hoping to find welcome and connection—and we found both. Conversations in the parking lot turned into a lunch invitation, and we were just blessed again and again by people of God telling us their stories and letting us share some of ours.
And like many times before, we heard the familiar words, “I am so glad y’all are doing that work. I spent a lot of years in shame and guilt about my sexuality, and I could have really used a visit from a group like yours when I was suffering on my Christian university campus. I really needed someone to tell me, ‘You’ve got some stuff to work out. But God loves you just the way you are, and you’re going to be okay.’”
That’s what we do here—the biggest change we make—we show up, exuberantly celebrate our lives as LGBTQI people with unwavering certainty that God not only loves us just the way we are, but created us this way in their image, in the image of the Divine, knowing that God celebrates right alongside us with glitter and rainbows every time we answer our call to live into our most authentic selves in the light of the truth that we are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image and likeness of the Creator.
Verse of the Day: Psalms 139:14: "I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well."