Ready To Help LGBTQ Students At Christian Colleges Know They Are Not Alone?
Isolation is the most significant problem LGBTQ and allied students face at conservative Christian colleges. On God's Campus (OGC) is a video-based education campaign and book project designed to end this isolation by sharing the personal stories of over 100 LGBTQ and allied students, alumni and faculty members from more than 25 conservative Christian colleges.
What's Special About This Project?
This project is the first of its kind and will impact the more than 500,000 students who attend Christian colleges that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The video interviews will give hope to the thousands of LGBTQ students currently on these campuses and will challenge others within these communities to step into the shoes of their LGBTQ brothers and sisters.
Who's Behind This Project?
I'm Paul Southwick, the producer of On God's Campus. This project is important to me because I attended a conservative Christian college where I was subjected to harassment in the dorm showers, sent to reparative therapy for two years and battled daily with depression. It’s my hope that On God’s campus will reach students like me, who felt alone, forced to choose between their Christian identity and their sexual or gender identity.
I’m launching this project now because there is finally a critical mass of more than 50 LGBTQ student and alumni organizations associated with conservative Christian colleges across the country. Many of these organizations are underground, unofficial or underfunded. This project will give them exposure and help LGBTQ students find organizations, people, and resources in their area.
Who are some of the people being interviewed?
Joshua Wolff, gay Biola University alum and member of the Biola Queers alumni group
A.J. Mendoza, gay George Fox University student, current president of GFU Common Ground, the unofficial LGBTQ and allies club on campus
Domaine Javier, transgender student at California Baptist University who was expelled in 2011 because of her gender identity
Todd Clayton, gay Point Loma University alum, author of "Coming Out at a Christian College"
Sarah Gordon, bisexual Pepperdine University student, and a leader of Pepperdine ReachOUT, the unofficial LGBTQ and allies club on campus
Sean Lewis, gay Point Loma University student, and president of Bridge Point Loma, the unofficial LGBTQ and allies club on campus
Jennifer Lingenfelter, lesbian alum of Biola University and Moody Bible Institute
Jeffrey Hoffman, gay alum of Bob Jones University, executive director of BJUnity, the LGBT+ organization for current and former Bob Jones students
Steve Rouse, a straight ally faculty member at Pepperdine University
Zach Alexander, a queer-identified alum from Gordon College, and founder of If I Told You So
And many more....Here are some pictures of people we've already interviewed:
We will focus on about 25 colleges representing different geographic locations and denominational affiliations (including nondenominational). In addition to the institutions represented above, we will include interviews from Wheaton College, Baylor University, Liberty University, Westmont College, Lee University, and Seattle Pacific University to name a few.
Where Will The Money Go?
Video-based campaigns like this take money. We've already completed 25 interviews, but have 75 more to go. We need $35,000 to finish recording the interviews, create an interactive website where you can watch or listen to clips from the interviews, and cover the expenses involved in spreading the word about the campaign and book.
How the project will use its funds:
$5,000 will go towards an interactive website where you can view the interviews, locate student and alumni groups, and download resources
$5,000 will go to editing the 100 filmed interviews so that you can hear directly from students, alumni, and faculty associated with these institutions
$5,000 for a publicist to help the book reach national and local audiences
$5,000 for editing, layout, and publishing expenses relating to the book
$15,000 for research, traveling and on-the-road videography expenses. Surveys, SD cards, and time off from work add up, this will help keep the project on track so that we can finish the book by Fall 2013.
We really hope to make our goal of $35,000, but if we don't reach our goal, the campaign and book will still go on but with a smaller scope.
How Else Can I Help?
In addition to making a contribution, you can:
1. Email the link to our Indiegogo page to your friends, family or church and ask them to support On God's Campus.
2. Share our Indiegogo page on your Facebook and Twitter.
4. If you, or someone you know would like to share their story please have them contact us to find out how they can get involved.
If you have any questions about On God's Campus, please do not hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. I or my associate producer, Tiffany Stubbert, will get back to you ASAP!
Additional Information and Resources
"Is There Hope for Queer Students At Conservative Christian Colleges?", Huffington Post, Paul Southwick, Aug. 24, 2012
"Sexuality at George Fox University," Think Out Loud, podcast featuring Paul Southwick, Mar. 20, 2012
OneGeorgeFox.org: LGBT+ non-profit established by Paul Southwick
Frequently Asked Questions
Why would a LGBTQ person attend a Christian college?
Here are some of the answers we've heard directly from students and alumni we've interviewed:
I'm a Christian and wanted to go to a Christian college.
My parents would only pay for a Christian college.
I thought that if I went to a Christian college I could change.
I thought my faith and my sexuality were compatible, because God made me this way.
I got good scholarships. I didn't realize that it would be so difficult.
Are you trying to force Christian colleges to change their positions on homosexuality?
No. The purpose of the project is to provide hope for the LGBTQ and allied students who are already on these campues and to encourage a dialogue at these institutions concerning faith, sexuality and gender identity.