BYU Update

by Jessie Sullivan

Brigham Young University holds a special place in my heart. One of my oldest and dearest friends attends school there, and after today I can say I know not just one, but many lovely BYU students.

I have to say I feel today’s stop went overwhelmingly well. We dialogued with hundreds of students, had a chance to speak with a few gay LDS members who affirmed their orientation, drank some good chocolate milk purchased for us by a student and held a well attended rally in the evening.

Many Riders were nervous about this stop; BYU seemed a little different from other stops we’d made, the administration put stringent restrictions on our actions, (even specifying there was to be no PDA) and we all felt a little out of our element. We have two days of action here at BYU, and today we did not stand by and accept what we have come to call this kind of agreement – half a loaf. We took the half loaf offered us, and we used its resources (talking to students in small groups, refraining from passing out literature, not having public forums) but when its resources were exhausted and we saw that it did not satisfy three riders stood and with their actions proclaimed, "this is an issue worth addressing publicly, people are dying and we will not stand by."

Those three Riders were taken into custody while the rest of us remained on campus in invigorating dialogues. Stirring testimonies from former LDS members were delivered at the Kiwanis Park rally this evening to a crowd of well over 60 people, and tomorrow is another day; another day when BYU will once again hear that LGBT issues are worth addressing publicly.

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