The Liberty Queer provides a space for non-binary LU students to connect and support one another.
Liberty University is a conservative university, and while that may be appealing to many, it has instilled fear in others, especially those who do not conform to its way of thinking.
Recently, a Twitter group called The Liberty Queer was created to protest the lack of vocal LGBTQ+ representation on Liberty’s campus. The site’s mission is to provide a safe place for people to connect with others who are going through similar struggles.
“Through Twitter we are able to connect with other LGBTQ+ Christian groups, leaders and students to use social media to encourage Christian schools to have conversations surrounding our community and seek to find common ground and policy changes regarding LGBTQ+ discipline and procedure,” the admin of The Liberty Queer said.
The admin for Twitter page asked to remain anonymous for fear of disciplinary actions and a lack of emotional and physical safety.
In the student code of conduct, The Liberty Way, the only reference to homosexual relations is under the heading “Statement on Sexuality and Relationships.”
The section reads, “sexual relations outside of a biblically ordained marriage between a natural-born man and a natural-born woman are not permissible at Liberty University.”
Although same-sex relations are not explicitly listed with the penalties in The Liberty Way, same-sex relations would likely be counted as a violation of The Statement of Sexuality and Relationships.
This does not prevent students from coming out as queer in any way, but stops them from practicing. This does not mean the students feel safe on campus, though.
“Liberty University does not recognize the validity of same-sex relationships or any other form of sexual identity beside the binary of male and female” the admin said. “Specifically, gay men and women have been outed or reported to student conduct and have faced fines of up to $500, mandatory counseling (conversion therapy) and possible expulsion.”
Because of these restrictions, underground communities of LGBTQ+ and allies, such as this one, exist at Liberty University. According to the admin, many of them are passionate Christ-followers who have reconciled their sexual identity as a God-given part of them.
“I hope that many LGBTQ+ students will find this page and that leadership at Liberty University will also open their minds to empathize with the students represented from this page,” the admin said, “Christ welcomes us to the table, and we long for the day when churches and schools will do the same.”
Though the admin chooses to be anonymous, there are other students who have no problem with being vocal about their feelings, like Caleb Fitzpatrick.
A senior at Liberty studying business administration and economics of finance, Fitzpatrick said he believes in inherent human dignity and value for everyone.
“From my interactions with my LGBTQ friends, it feels as if a lot of the implicit biases that may exist at Liberty end up causing an LGBTQ person to question whether they do have value—to question their personhood,” Fitzpatrick said.
Fitzpatrick expressed that sexuality is a core aspect of who we are and he can’t understand how difficult it is to be told that you’re living in sin. He encourages everyone to talk to an LGBTQ+ person to better understand who they are and what their experiences are.
Leaders from Liberty University’s Shepherd Office were contacted for their thoughts on the issue but declined to comment.