by Carl Millender
Good gardeners know that in order to truly deal with a weed, you must address it at its root. Well, that is just what we did today as we visited the Council of Christian Colleges conference in Dallas, Texas. While we have been working with the CCCU for the last year in our organizing for the ride, we have received what can at best be described as mixed messages from the council and its members. While the council has been courteous towards us, they have made it quite clear that they do not support us in our efforts to create discussion on GLBT issues on member campuses. So, as always, we continued on our mission to go into places where, whether we are wanted or not, our voices are needed.
In the morning, we all rose to yet another early morning to continue our vigilant non-violent fight for justice. Unfortunately, no matter how noble your cause, it can never energize the body. So, as I stood outside the conference in vigil, I could feel my legs beneath me ache. My body, along with many of the other riders, was ill. That, coupled with the little sleep we are coffered while on this treacherous trail, left me so tired I found it hard to even hold up the pamphlets I was given to hold. But just like every day since I began this ride, I reminded myself that I’m not here because I want to be. I’m here on this ride because nobody should have to fight for the rights we are fighting for and it saddens me to think that there are people out there saying I am spending my time fighting for special rights. The right to live openly and honestly is not a special right, but it is adamantly denied to so many students on these campuses. So as I stood there, every bone in my body aching for two hours, I just thought of all the students at all the campuses who are suffering in ways I can’t fathom. So I went on, more tired than I have ever been in the entirety of my life.
After our vigil was over, many members of the group chose to attend a reception for CCCU schools; however, I was far too tired to attend and can’t say much about it. But I have heard from those who did attend that the conversations were indeed fruitful and that many made contact with people at the schools we have yet to visit. I am glad that at least the CCCU was open to us joining their members for a reception, although I have to wonder when we will truly be offered a seat at the table.