Hayden Brown lives in York, NE. He identifies as a queer demiboy and is majoring in English Education with an emphasis in reading instruction.
Hayden studies at York College. They came out as part of the LGBTQ+ community the summer after their freshman year to their parents, who forced him into therapy designed to push Hayden toward changing their identity. School officials have attempted to interfere with her education, including by asking her to withdraw from a study abroad program in Vienna, Austria because of her sexual orientation, and by telling her to change her clothes when she wears high heels or dresses.
The college has stated anti-LGBTQ+ policies, including stances against the freedom to marry and against LGBTQ+ student organizations. Hayden has attempted to improve these policies in tandem with the Title IX coordinator, but he has been largely stonewalled. “I have been told by college administrators that they did not need to take the actions I recommended to protect queer and trans students because they have a religious exemption from Title IX that allows them to maintain their current policies,” he said.
Hayden is raising their voice to protect all LGBTQ+ students at York College and religiously affiliated colleges across the country.
At many religious schools, colleges, and universities, LGBTQIA+ and other marginalized students suffer discrimination, abuse, isolation, and hardship. If this describes you, you are not alone. We are in this together.
REAP fights for the safety, bodily autonomy, justice, and human rights of LGBTQIA+ and other communities marginalized at many predominantly white, taxpayer-funded religious schools and colleges. Using campus organizing, storytelling through podcasting, documentary film, and speaking and preaching on campuses throughout the country, REAP empowers students, faculty, staff and alumni at these institutions to advocate for human rights, while shining a light on the dangers and abuses of a major educational pipeline of white Christian Supremacy.