The Christian Closet: At Religious Colleges, Gay Men and Lesbians Hide to Avoid Harassment and Expulsion

By Gideonese, Ted | The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine), September 29, 1998 | Go to article overview

The Christian Closet: At Religious Colleges, Gay Men and Lesbians Hide to Avoid Harassment and Expulsion


Gideonese, Ted, The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)


At religious colleges, gay men and lesbians hide to avoid harassment and expulsion

One morning last fall Dave was listening to a lecture in his humanities class when a classmate caught his attention by waving a piece of paper at him. It read, FAGGOT: YOU'RE GOING TO HELL. Understandably upset, he told his professor after class. His response, Dave says, was, "Well, Dave, if you are a faggot, then you deserve that treatment." Dave recalls, "The next day I went to the dean and dropped out. That was enough."

Now living near Boston, Dave is struggling to get out, of debt so he can return to school, preferably one not as repressive as the Nazarene college he had been attending. "I went to a Christian college because I knew that I was gay and I had heard so many people say that, God could change me," he says. "When I got there I found out that wasn't going to happen."

Sadly, stones like Dave's aren't rare, say Marc Adams and Todd Tuttle, a Seattle couple who surreptitiously counsel gay and lesbian students at conservative religious colleges. "Over the year and three months that we have been doing our outreach work, we have worked with almost 240 of these students," says Adams. …

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