Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Something to warm the cockles III

The article below is taken from here. It's good to know that our brothers are making themselves be seen and heard.

Recently, I got an email from Jon (sorry that I haven't replied you yet), which has a quote that I found to be profound - It's better to be hated for who you are, than to be loved for who you are not.

May you find the courage to live the life you want and to the fullest, like the Vinces below.

Gays survive exorcism, find love, urge change
Meet the Vinces.

Or, as friends call them, Vince C. -- short for Cervantes -- and Vince P. -- for Pancucci.

Talking to the young couple, it's hard to imagine that less than a year ago each underwent exorcisms or other religious "treatments" intended to de-gay them while they were students at the same Christian college in California.

"I was about ready to end my life," recalls Cervantes, 19. "No matter how many exorcisms I went through, no matter how many times I cried and asked God to change me, I wasn't changing."

Wrestling with being gay fundamentalist Christians, their paths merged last August. Through prayer, Scripture reading and listening to their hearts, they came to understand their sexual orientation is a God-given identity. And they soon fell in love. Or, as Cervantes describes it, "I felt God opened a door for me."

At school, they bravely posted testimonials about how it hurt to hear being gay called "sinful" and "immoral" in chapel. School administrators ripped down their testimonials and threatened expulsion.

Refusing to abandon their relationship, the couple left school and became domestic partners under California law, gaining nearly all the state-level rights and responsibilities of married heterosexuals.

Outside a chapel, they exchanged vows. Only then, feeling married in the eyes of God, did they become sexually intimate.

Dedicating themselves to helping other gay Christians, they became Equality Riders, faithful young adults who travel by bus to Christian colleges to carry hope to closeted gay students and share their experiences with all students and faculty.

Guided by the powerful principles of nonviolent protest used by Gandhi and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., 50 gay or gay-friendly riders are traveling to 32 Christian colleges. (For details: Soulforce.org.)

As two Grand Rapids colleges they'll visit in late April illustrate, sometimes they're welcome, other times they're not.

Rex Rogers, the president of Cornerstone University who claims in his blog that gays are in the "grip of sin," warns Riders won't be allowed on campus because, in his view, their "purpose is to undermine and attack the very basic biblical values that we say we believe in."

Down the road, Calvin College also teaches that gay sex is wrong but is inviting Riders to a worship service, meals and to tell "what it's like to have been on a bus ride for two months on a cause you believed in," says Shirley Hoogstra, vice president for student life. The Riders offer her students a chance "to welcome well the stranger at your gate," she adds.

Pancucci, 20, who like Cervantes has been arrested along the way, says, "We don't want anyone else to have to question whether they can be gay and Christian. We want to go to schools and say, 'Hey, it's OK to come out of the closet and rejoice in who you are.'"

Cervantes revels in knowing the ride is changing hearts. At one Christian college, a young woman took him aside: "She broke down and said, 'I can see your love for your husband is no different from mine for my husband.'"

Ever so gently, Equality Riders like the Vinces are breathing new life into Gandhi's great challenge: Be the change you wish to see in the world.


Jon said...

It's ok. Just remember to drop some news about your whereabouts and happenings.: )

Out and proud.

k said...

u've got v inspirational articles. cheers for tht.

josh kimura said...

aww it beautifull. too sweet to comprehend by words hehe.
so how bout u? find ur heaven-match partner yet and write ur own love story? =p

k.t.x said...

derek babe....heyyyy.........


happy songkran!

Derek said...

jon: Will try. But work does suck out the energy to write.

Though I shouldn't be saying that, since you have the time to blog almost everyday! ;P

k: That's what I do when I don't have the time to write anything! ;P

josh: I will write it soon, since partner has been found ;P

k.t.x: Thanks. Happy Songkran to you too!