‘Queer at Patrick Henry College’ vexes school’s chancellor

The Loudoun Times-Mirror
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December 13, 2012

Gay students at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville don’t exist. They can’t exist. So says Dr. Michael Farris, the college’s founder and chancellor. It’s simple, really. Homosexuals can’t exist at Patrick Henry College because the students sign an honor code, Farris claimed. “[Homosexuals] could not sign our honor code,” Farris said, adding that he considers the actions of gay men and women “sinful.” “Part of the honor code is to be sexually pure,” he added. So you can imagine the chancellor’s consternation when he learned of Queer at Patrick Henry College, a six-month-old, provocatively-titled blog operated by three pseudonymous writers – all of whom graduated from or have taken classes at the school. Queer at Patrick Henry College’s intent is to be a “safe online space for closeted students and alumni to share thoughts about LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning) issues, without the risk of school punishment,” according to one of the blog’s founders, who goes by the nom de plume Kate Kane. “Currently there are three contributors, though we are in contact with other students and graduates who are LGBTQ or identify as straight allies,” Kane said. Kane and co-founder Alan Scott told the Times-Mirror the reasons for anonymity range from not yet “coming out” to friends and family to professional connections to the school.