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05/03/2011

Wheaton, merrier: Christian college alums seek future freshmen freedoms

by Jeremy Hooper

Some collegiate understatements, in no particular order:

  • Beer is one way young undergraduate partygoers choose to quench their thirst
  • Organic chemistry is less fun in the classroom than it is in the bedroom
  • In terms of historic dress up, fraternities prefer the toga to powdered wigs and frock coats
  • Conservative Christian colleges are not widely known for their benign acceptance of LGBT students

For the first three, you'll have to find your own routes to reform. But for the last truism, at least as it applies to Illinois' Wheaton College, a new group of alumni and supportive allies are hoping to create some positive change. Check it out:

Onewheaton Logo VertDEAR WHEATON STUDENTS,

The recent chapel message on Sexuality and Wholeness and surrounding conversations may have left some of you feeling alienated, ashamed and afraid. It can be difficult to see the danger of messages about sexuality that emphasize "God’s compassion for the broken," but as a group of LGBTQ Wheaton alumni and allies, we’ve seen the devastating effects these words have had on ourselves and our loved ones. Many of us felt trapped and unable to respond honestly to these messages while we were students. We feared rejection from our friends and our college. We know many of you may fear the same and feel alone or depressed.

If you are a student and this is part of your story, your sexual identity is not a tragic sign of the sinful nature of the world. You are not tragic. Your desire for companionship, intimacy and love is not shameful. It is to be affirmed and celebrated just as you are to be affirmed and celebrated. In our post-Wheaton lives, we have traversed the contradictions we once thought irreconcilable. Our sexuality has become an integral part of our broader pursuit of justice, compassion and love. We can no longer allow ourselves or our loved ones to be trapped in environments that perpetuate self-hatred, depression, and alienation. As people of integrity we must affirm the full humanity and dignity of every human being regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
KEEP READING: OneWheaton.com

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