Name: Darren Arquero
Hometown: Houston, TX
The Equality Ride epitomizes the type of activism that I believe works best – creating change on the local level. But until now I’d never thought that I would be comfortable enough with myself to take this physical and spiritual journey. If I wasn’t ready to reconcile my own sexuality with my religious beliefs, how could I preach about their compatibility? This consumed my thoughts and was the inner conflict that hindered my ability to come out, until I came across the scripture Romans 12:2 that reads, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Through this verse I was able to find courage, a courage that enabled me to gradually undergo the process of healing the conflict in my heart while being open to the world about my own sexuality.
Because the Equality Ride symbolizes, for me, the Freedom Rides of the 1960s, this is an opportunity that enables me to put my name to something that I am passionate about but that isn’t accepted by society’s norms. Now, having grown into my own skin, I ride for all those out there who feel confined by what society tells them they need to or should be – as I did for much of my adolescent years. By no means do I feel that I am fully prepared for this journey. But even if I can help create change in just one person, then that in and of itself is a crucial step towards creating a more just society.
Darren has been sponsored a total amount of $.