by Dawn Davridge
Okay, so we spent today on the bus driving from Memphis TN to Tulsa OK. Not exactly a thrilling day but for me this was particularly tough because of several things, the first being that I have pneumonia. Not exactly the fun thing to get on a bus ride where you’re touring the country and obtain very little sleep but even less fun when you get it on the only 3 days of the entire 2 months that you get to see your wife. Then you add on top of that that at 3:30 am this morning I had to say goodbye to my wife for 6 weeks and you get the level of exhaustion that I’ve experienced today. It was soo hard and it’s still really getting to me. I mean when I said goodbye 2 weeks ago it wasn’t as rough because I knew I’d see her shortly and also because I had soo much to do to get ready for my two schools and really didn’t have the time to seriously get upset. As long as I talked to her at least once a day and heard her voice I was okay. Well, now it will be 6 weeks and my 2 schools have just finished (which I’ll cover in a bit) and now I have no pressing things to keep my mind off of thinking about my gorgeous incredible wife and how much I miss her. But whenever I feel down about missing Kat I go talk to Jen and Dianne because I know that they’re in the same boat. We all share stories about our womyn and it makes it that much easier to bear as we all remind each other of why we’re on this ride and give each other strength to keep going. Today was a particularly tough day but I know I can make it because any time I start feeling like I want to give up I just see my wife’s face and hear her telling me how strong I am and how important it is that our story get out there and that people learn so that others don’t have to go through what we went through 2 years ago.
This conveniently brings me to Union University, the place that changed my life (both for the good and bad). But let me first say a few things about Lee, since that was the other school I was in charge of. I have a lot of mixed feelings about what happened there, mixed being that I was incredibly excited about the dialog and help we were able to offer the students but completely frustrated by the political B.S. that Dr. Conn threw our way at 10:10 the night before we were supposed to come onto campus. I mean really, I understand that he’s under a lot of pressure and I know that he really wants to ignore the gay student population that obviously does exist at his school, but as a Christian, to make a deal with us and give us his verbal contract on something and then to go back on that agreement at 10:10 the night before is just not right. Then again, it really shows how scared these administrations are that if the truth is heard then they’ll loose the power they derive from making another group less than because their students will see that GLBT people are loved, accepted, and affirmed by God.
Hilariously, Dr. Conn’s betrayal hurt and quite frankly was not something I was expecting. I had heard such wonderful things about him from both gay and straight students at his campus that I thought that if nothing else he was at least a man of his word. Well that just shows how much I care about people and always hope for the best. I would say I guess that will teach me but it never will, I just can’t give up on people, not even Dr. Conn. I just pray that someday he has the guts to admit that he was wrong and bring the unconditional love of God to all of his students, gay and straight alike. Now as for Union’s Dr. Dockery, his "mud pile" reception was not unexpected but at the same time it still hurt.
I mean I went to his school for 2.5 years and Kat was there for 3.5 years and just because one person knew we identified as gay and even though we stayed celibate until we were married he thought just our simply existing on his campus was a huge enough threat to warrant kicking us out!! So for this guy, 34 gay activists from across the country coming to spend an hour on the first Saturday of spring break was enough of a threat that he would not allow us to actually set foot on campus but would rather give us a mud pile in the buffer zone to hold our vigil and press conference. All I can say is predictable. But like I said, although I thought it was too good to be true when I heard we were allowed on campus I truly hoped that Dockery at least had some tiny change of heart from 2 years ago. Who knows, maybe if Kat and I go back every 2 years and keep reminding Jackson of how un-Christ like Union is, just maybe things will change. I truly believe that if the students at Union gathered together and gained a united voice that says we are tired of being indoctrinated and we would rather be educated then the administration would have no choice but to listen. I know that GLBT issues are not the only things that are taboo to talk about or even contemplate dealing with at Union. Basically anything that goes against the SBC guidelines is suppressed. If every voice that is hushed on that campus concerning all of those different issues were to band together and say that you can not keep us quiet, we have a right to question, we have a right to learn then I believe that Union would truly become a university of higher education that reflects the true Christ, as opposed to the SBC cloning station that currently exists there. So let’s practice, all together now, "We will not be assimilated!!!"
Love to all,