I am a graduate of Asbury College in Wilmore, KY but I was nearly kicked out because I couldn’t tell them I was gay. My story happened when I was a junior. I lived in an on-campus apartment and a friend from high school came to visit me. She stayed late and ended up spending the night. My roommates reported me and I was “brought in” for questioning by the ethics committee. I knew that I could never tell them that I was gay, therefore nothing sexual happened between us, since that was grounds to kick me out. I felt I was forced to lie about myself, to deny who I was just to get an education. I told the committee that my friend was my cousin, and after hours of interrogating me they decided to let me finish my senior year on “probation”, warning me that this type of behavior was unacceptable! And the sad part is I got off easy. Lying about yourself takes so much away from your spirit. It’s not just about lying, but about feeling that who you are is unacceptable. The four years I spent at Asbury were some of the worst in my life. I try to tell everyone I know of the dangers in Fundamentalist Colleges and the way their oppression leads to depression for so many. Thank you for your work. If you ever go to Asbury, I’ll be there, to support you and to tell my story.
John A. Sowder