There’s a Queer Underground at Biola

The purveyors of the website The Biola Queer Underground and contacted me, hoping that students and alumni of Biola who read my blog would speak out in support of them. Here’s a little something about them:

The purpose of this website is multi-dimensional:

1.We want to bring to light the presence of the LGBTQ community at Biola. Despite what some may assume, there are Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgender, and Queers at Biola. We are Biola’s students, alumni, employees, and fellow followers of Christ.

2. Biola’s value statement reads, “We believe that integrity and authenticity should be hallmarks of every believer. Our relationships should be models of transparency, truth-telling and unwavering commitment to the example set by the Lord Jesus Christ.” Although Biola may have good intentions in the way it handles homosexuality and related subjects, this does not foster the desired outcome of integrity and transparency among LGBTQ individuals. We speak for our majority in saying that most LGBTQ people feel isolated and fearful of rejection should we act with integrity and come out of the closet. Biola needs to take a close look at its fundamental values, first to question whether they are carried out, and second to discuss if identifying as LGBTQ is in fact contrary to these values.

3. We want to be treated with equality and respected as another facet of Biola’s diversity. Reconciling faith with non-conforming gender/sexual identities is our most important and difficult goal. This of course will take time. We begin by sharing a few of our personal stories and writings.

Find them here: biolaunderground.com.

  • http://existentialpunk.com Existential Punk

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  • Frank

    The second sentence of their letter reads:

    “Our sexual and gender identities, which are integral to who we are, are being questioned in terms of their morality.”

    And therein lies their problem, their pride and their sin.

  • Joy

    haters gonna hate

  • Tom B.

    What about those of us with other genetic sexual dispositions besides LGBT or hetero? Who will stand up for us?

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  • drdanfee

    Hmmm, nice to hear from the queer students at Biola, though indeed some posted comments I have read in reaction/response to them announcing their ‘hidden’ existence strongly suggests a couple of very vexed matters. Matters for which it seems no neat, pat solution or opening yets exists.

    One thing seems to be that so long as the fundamental framework of Biola U categorically determines that their queer underground persons are not real enough to include any healthy integration of being queer folks … which seems to be more or less the way a whole lot of posters understand the fundamentals to be … it will be quite difficult to become visible, speak in the real variety of voices that probably exist, and engage on any agreed bridge territories where something besides open/shut frameworks can be mentioned or explored in depth.of

    Indeed this is already begging to become a first bone of contention, as the most recent BiolaU statement on sexuality makes it clear what the supposed parameters of being a queer person of faith are.

    We might summarize:
    (1) a range of potent negative feelings about oneself must innately exist …. in recognition of one’s ‘struggles’ with having same sex attractions … the doors are wide open in invitation for feeling torn, ashamed, guilty of not just behaving badly according to a legalistic code about sexuality but of sustaining a kind of status guilt for being what according to a priori Christian Biola U definitions is not really supposed to exist as a substantial status or being, i.e., that one has depths inwardly in one’s embodiment which are suitable for committed relationships w another man or another woman?
    (2) intimations from Biola U that a core sector of the proper real faith walk must involve ‘struggling’ against these feelings (which are not quite understood yet in the given closed framework, as enduring, valuable deep parts of the creaturely self)?
    (3) pledge that one shall not relate to anybody else as an equal person of faith … as a queer person who is integrating and poised towards intergrating … certainly not equal to a heterosexual person of faith who can excitedly and prayerfully anticipate a godly married and family life?

    A second vexed matter seems corollary to the first one. Biola U is able to maintain a narrative of being queer that is centered upon sin. Aside from the customary solar system that always revolves around sin, Biola U simply as yet has no grasp of anything but a negative and tragic view of anything related to not being straight. This is going to bump horns and heads, as it were, with any real person among the queer underground whose self-understanding of their embodiment and daily life is not consistent with negatives, and with the admittedly unchosen tragedy of not being straight.

    Parenthetically, we might pause to recall that this same loggerheads set of seeming impossibilities is more or less where every single queer person has found themselves having to begin, at least since the notion of homosexuality as a personality dimension was expressed in the late 1800s.

    One way I like to image it, is to recall that flat earthisms and other taken for granted truths per Ptolemaic Cosmology (that had more or less been baptized by world religions for centuries) were at loggerheads with new fangled ideas that energized Galileo, Copernicus, and Bruno. We are still just the tiniest bit unsettled when it comes to working through that sea change. That is, we have more or less mostly digested or processed the empirical part of the change (specific to modern cosmology), but we still resist in many ways that we feel proud to be resisting, the meta-lesson of knowing that this is truly one way that deep sea changes arrive.

    To put it differently, I hear the underground as struggling with the realization that they as queer folks of faith, are not necessarily a problem or the problem. And in familiar ways, they refocus us as we let them, on matters of shared neutral academic or faith space, marked by both responsibility and diversity … a harboring marker of which would be being able to agree to disagree with the Biola Queer Underground while not punishing anybody for what they believe.

    Maybe Andrew Marin from Chicago could come moderate, facilitate?

    Alas. Lord have mercy

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