Harding is for lovers?

I’m not sure how I didn’t hear about this until now. But I’m glad I heard about it now:

Queer students at Harding University—a conservative Christian university in Arkansas—put out a zine earlier this year about their experiences and personal stories. The zine’s called “The State of the Gay at Harding University,” and the collective of students dub themselves the HU Queer Press.

Let’s set aside the conflict and the story of their administration failing to shut down the site (welcome to the internet, Arkansas). Yes, Harding President David Burks blocked the site from the university, saying that even the name of the web address was offensive to him (it’s huqueerpress.com.). Yes, the zine has caused some polarized reactions on campus—probably in part thanks to the hefty media coverage.

But while it’s the David and Goliath angle that has gotten them into the news, the writers just want to start conversations and community on their campus. And they’re not letting the drama stop them from doing that. When advocates started harassing university administration, they put up a statement telling people to back off. They’re still tweeting about the school’s policies around queerness, keeping the conversation going. The zine is still up. And it’s still really frakkin’ good.

It doesn’t hurt that I think the site is gorgeous. But  the writers’ voices are the perfect antidote to campus attempts to delegitimize or silence people’s identities and experiences. It’s these kinds of raw, personal, not-always-politically-correct, but always-honest stories that are going to make fundamentalist stereotypes and assumptions about queers impossible, and get honest communication happening about what faith communities can look like.

And it’s those conversations that are going to turn over the tables and start an affirming-Church revolution!

Just you watch.

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