What It’s Like to Be Gay at Wheaton College

The evangelical university has received negative press on LGBT matters. My own experience paints a different picture.
What It’s Like to Be Gay at Wheaton College
Image: Chris Strong

With adrenaline rushing, I walked through the main student hangout at Wheaton College holding a piece of paper, trying to find someone I could talk to.

It was a Thursday afternoon in April of 2013. As I passed through the Beamer Center a second time, I found a fellow member of Wheaton’s improv club. I told him I was trying to decide whether to post the piece of paper on Wheaton’s communal forum board, which many students used to communicate with the whole campus. After I hesitated, together he and I walked over to the board. He moved around other papers to make a space for mine. I gave the sheet to him, and he put it on the wall.

I tried to walk normally back to my dorm, but my insides were churning. This was the second semester of my final year of undergraduate work, and I was finishing in just three years. After a decade of experiencing exclusive attraction to men, I wrote, “the closet has started to seem too stuffy for me.” My post went on:

Lately, I’ve asked myself how I could do more to improve the atmosphere at Wheaton for other gay students like myself. I’m a male exclusively attracted to other males, and have struggled with anxiety and depression from my time in high school. From stories that I heard while growing up in a fundamentalist culture, I thought that all gay Christians had no option but to ignore their orientation as much as possible and pray that God would make them straight. However, after eight years of trying this, I’m still gay. This has not impeded me from continuing to love God, and he continues to palpably reveal himself to me. …I could have said this on Wheaton Confessions, but anonymous posts only help us to see that some general students share our ...
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