In a previous post, I mentioned that I was fearful about my sexuality in the conservative Christian university I attend. My friend elaborated that fear perfectly and I want to share that with you to give you some insight.
They mentioned that one of the hardest things about being LGBTQ+ at our school is feeling alone and like we have to walk on eggshells. We always have to watch what we say, make sure no one else is listening, and that no one is going to say anything. It can be dangerous if you rub someone off the wrong way or if they are homophobic. People may overhear you and say hurtful or homophobic things. As I mentioned previously, you can get into some serious trouble for “homosexual behavior” at our university. When you’re reported, usually it is your word against their word. If you come out, you risk being treated differently.
I think that what my friend said describes my fears perfectly. I am always paranoid talking about my sexuality on campus even though I have never done anything wrong or that requires expulsion. Students at this university are so sheltered and many of them claim that they do not have “any experience with gay people”. I’m scared that if other people find out about my sexuality, they will treat me differently especially because that is exactly what happened with my roommates. I thought that they were okay with my sexuality because we were friends before I came out to them but the minute that they found out I wasn’t straight, I was reported. They excluded me from all the things that we used to do together. They started confronting and interrogating me. They would tell me things like “gay people started AIDS” or other hateful things. I had a pride flag in the living room that management asked me to take down because “it is disruptive in nature”. Side note: I was able to fight for my right to have it up and won so my flag is back up now 🙂 I started developing depression and my anxiety heightened extremely.
A lot of students at the university or other people say hurtful things. Then they say “If it is so bad for you, why don’t you just leave?” Well, I can’t. First, leaving is not feasible for me. At my current school, tuition is pretty cheap when it comes to typical university tuition rates. I also receive a scholarship. I have looked into other universities and it is either too expensive or they don’t have the specific major I want. Also, why do I have to leave for being treated poorly over something I didn’t choose? There is some science that backs up the claim that sexuality is not a choice. There are some genetic/biological factors. Why isn’t tolerance taught? If we are a Christian university, why are we not taught to love one another?