Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Riding for Religious Change

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Riding for Religious Change

Article excerpt

Jarrett Lucas, 20, was raised by his grandparents as a Jehovah's Witness. He was 14 when he told them he was gay, and they promptly kicked him out of the house.

But Lucas kept his life together, and now he's a senior at Drexel University in Philadelphia. And he has kept his faith. "I still believe in God," he says. "I have a Bible and read it often."

In hopes of sharing his experience and making a difference for other LGBT youth of faith, Lucas has joined the Soulforce Equality Ride, which this spring will bring 35 LGBT students to 19 religious and military colleges that have policies barring gay students. "Our hope is we can have a productive day of dialogue about gay and lesbian issues" at each school, said Jacob Reitan, codirector for the ride, which is a nationwide bus tour being organized by Soulforce, an LGBT spiritual and nonviolence-advocacy network.

Reitan, 24, a recent graduate of Northwestern University, said the idea for the tour came to him after he met a gay student at a religious school. The student told Retain he was not open about his sexuality for fear of being expelled.

Some schools targeted by the ride have already told Soulforce not to come, and a few have even threatened to arrest riders if they set foot on campus. …

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