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For those who were offended by preachers

By Shayne Bilbrey
On September 20, 2012

Last week, students from all over this campus heard from a group of evangelists, spreading their word of hate and bigotry.

While these men were calling fellow students, and myself, perverts and sinners, I was not thinking of myself, but of those freshmen that are coming here to start their lives off on a good foot. Some or most of these freshmen had the normal teenage years. Some going to prom with the person they love or getting that first kiss at the end of their first date or getting their driver's license when they turned 16. Yet some of this year's freshman class couldn't have that dream because they were either gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered.

Most of these students lived everyday through many circumstances in which they felt alone.

Some of this year's freshman class were the primary targets for bullying. The bullying would vary from daily taunting, such as being called a "fag" or a "queer." The students usually behind the bullying would often cite the Bible or what their preacher told them. It is very troubling in a society which values individualism, that we can't honor these kids' fundamental right to let them be whomever they want or be with whomever they want to be with.

I know when I came out, during my senior year in high school, I was faced with some backlash. Even before that I was called many names and felt worthless at times, which is similar to how some of these students felt going through high school.

This preacher on South Patio made me feel like I was in high school again. Yet I know now that that his words of hate will never tear down into my beliefs that we are all God's children.

To all of those freshmen who felt personally attacked by this man, I'm here to say that things will and do get better.  Granted, there are still some that will disagree, but it does get better. We should all be able to value ourselves, love others and be able to accept all for who they are. So if you are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered, it's okay to be you. Be proud of who you are and will become. Love, cherish and embrace thy own self. Now go out and make a difference.

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