Guiding Gay Evangelicals Out of the Campus Closet
In the DC Comics universe, Kate Kane is a lesbian who dons a mask to fight crime as Batwoman. In the real universe, Kate Kane is the pseudonym of a bisexual woman in her 20s who this year helped found QueerPHC, a blog for gay, lesbian and otherwise unstraight students and alumni of a conservative Christian college. Michael P. Farris, the chancellor of that campus, Patrick Henry College, which he founded in 2000 to educate home-schooled evangelicals, threatened this month to sue the founders of QueerPHC for copyright infringement. He quickly withdrew that threat. But his public pique directed attention to a growing movement: alumni from evangelical Christian colleges who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or who otherwise identify as queer, and their straight allies, speaking up on behalf of gay students still on campus. These alumni are reversing an old truism of campus life: that student radicals have to drag stodgy alumni into the modern age. But at these colleges, it is still difficult to be an openly gay student. And after graduating, gay and lesbian alumni and allies find each other, meet, push their colleges to be more liberal and reach out to undergraduates — offering affirmation that students do not get on campus.