Lucas Wilson lives in Toronto in Ontario, Canada. He identifies as a gay man.
He graduated from Liberty University in May 2012. Liberty University’s student honor code, “The Liberty Way,” has a range of anti-LGBTQ+ policies and explicitly prohibits romantic and sexual relationships between people of the same sex. The school’s official policies lead to an unaccepting anti-LGBTQ climate.
Lucas decided to go to Liberty University because it was an evangelical school and because, as someone who struggled with his sexuality, he wanted to be straight and knew that Liberty had an anti-LGBTQ “conversion therapy” program. “My main form of therapy involved numerous individual meetings with a Liberty administrator over the course of all four years of my time at Liberty. Repression, deep-seated shame, self-hatred: these were the enduring fruits of my meetings. At the time, I didn’t understand that you can’t fix what isn’t broken.” He also attended one group “conversion therapy” session – a group now called Armor Bearers.
“Essentially, conversion therapy is part of the ‘menu’ of educational opportunities available for same-sex attracted students ‘who accept responsibility’ for their homosexuality or homosexual behaviors,” Lucas said. This ‘opportunity’ is provided by Liberty as an alternative to disciplinary action. Queer students should be protected from the discrimination that I experienced at Liberty. No university that offers conversion therapy or treats LGBTQIA+ students the way Liberty University does should receive government funding.”
He is raising his voice to protect all LGBTQ+ students at Liberty 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.