Jake Picker lives in Waco, TX. He identifies as queer.
He attends Baylor University as a pre-med student and expects to graduate in May 2021 with a degree in Biology and Biochemistry. Baylor has several official anti-LGBTQ+ student policies, including stating, “Christian churches across the ages and around the world have affirmed purity in singleness and fidelity in marriage between a man and a woman as the biblical norm. Temptations to deviate from this norm include both heterosexual sex outside of marriage and homosexual behavior.” This policy and others like it result in Jake feeling unsafe and unprotected at school.
He is working toward change on campus by serving as Vice President of Gamma Alpha Upsilon, an LGBTQ+ support group for Baylor students. The group is not school-recognized, despite many attempts from Jake and others.
“I am participating in this lawsuit because Baylor has made their LGBTQ+ students feel like they are less than and undesirable,” he said. “I am tired of seeing my friends hurt by the way their school treats them. I want to help change the way our universities treat their LGBTQ+ students.”
He is raising his voice to protect all LGBTQ+ students at Baylor University 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.