Thursday, March 30, 2006

Soulforce comes to Texas A&M

Soulforce is having an "Equality Ride" currently where 32 young gay adults are going around the country in a bus to several Christian colleges and military universities that ban admission to gay students. The goal, of course, is to open a dialogue with the students and admimistrators on the campuses.

The riders have been denied official recognition from some schools, been jailed for trespassing at others, and had their bus vandalized at still others. For anyone that thinks it's all peaches and cream for young gay people these days, think again (but that's a separate point).

While I've been following this ride on and off so far, I'm posting about it this time because the bus has come to Texas A&M University, a school located just an hour and a half from me and one that I root for in sports every year as a result of family allegiance. Texas A&M's Corps of Cadets is one of the largest group of military students in the nation, which is why the bus is stopping there. However, I have been unable to confirm that their program specifically prohibits gay people.

Well, welcome to Texas, Soulforce! I'm glad (excited even) to report that the students and faculty of Texas A&M have welcomed the bus openly (Abilene Christian University in North Texas, and current school of my boyfriend's sister, was equally as generous). The riders were treated to lunch in the dining hall and were offered time for open discussion with the students. While it looks like not all of the cadets had their views changed, I'm glad to see that they were adult about this and offered the riders the opportunity to discuss. At the very least, I'm sure some mutual understanding was reached. Maybe some of the "Christian" schools on the trip could learn a thing or two from those Aggies.


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