Rachel Held lives in Macungie, PA. She is a bisexual woman.
She studies at Messiah University and expects to graduate in May of 2021 with a degree in Peace and Conflict Studies. Messiah University's student handbook outlines rules of behavior for students and includes several specific anti-LGBTQ+ policies, including regulation of romantic and sexual relationships between people of the same sex.
Rachel is engaged to a man who is not a student at Messiah. “I fear that if the wrong people at Messiah University found out that I am bisexual, that I could be in danger of immediate discipline or dismissal. It is scary knowing that such an intimate part of your life can be policed by university administrators.
She is raising her voice to protect all LGBTQ+ students at Messiah 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.