30 Days of Gratitude – Day Twenty One – Soul Force

soulforceER2012

Today I am thankful for Soul Force.

In case you don’t know, Soul Force is an organization devoted to changing the hearts and minds of religious leaders who engage in anti-homosexual campaigns.

One of Soul Force’s programs is the Equality Ride. The Equality Ride is an annual civil rights bus journey across the United States led by young adults who travel together to schools with policies that discriminate against the LGBTQ community. On these campuses LGBTQA students and faculty are forced to suffer in silence. If they come out they are subject to expulsion and can even be forced into harmful “ex-gay” or “reparative” therapy programs.

The Equality Ride was conceived of in 2005 and hit the road for the first national trip in 2006. Since then, the buses have carried over 100 Riders to over 50 schools.  The message of Equality Ride is clear: discrimination against LGBTQ may be legal, but it is unjust.

In 2005 my son was a Freshman at a Christian college in Texas.  The Equality Ride came to his campus and played an important part in helping him to come out and live an authentic life as a gay man.  They held symposiums on campus (fortunately the campus allowed it) and helped my son discover that scripture did not condemn him or healthy same sex relationships.  They were the beginning of my son thinking about himself in a healthy and loving way, which eventually gave him the courage and confidence to come out and live authentically.  And that was the beginning of me re-examining what I believed about same sex relationships.

Organizations like Soul Force aren’t just changing campuses, they are also changing families and individuals.

I am thankful for this organization and other lgbt social justice organizations such as GLAAD, PFLAG, and HRC.

What lgbt social justice organization has had a positive impact on you or someone you know?

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