Seattle Pacific University
Spencer Vigil lives in Seattle, WA. He is a transgender, bisexual man who is also a part of the BIPOC community.
He graduated from Seattle Pacific University in 2019. Seattle Pacific’s Student Standards of Conduct outline 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.
Spencer was afraid to come out as transgender on campus, but after confiding in some trusted friends and faculty, he came out more publicly in 2019. He often endured slurs from classmates and public shaming or teasing from professors. In order to participate in a theater department production, he was made to sign a document saying that he was knowingly breaking SPU’s lifestyle expectations and that he was aware of a list of consequences such as loss of scholarships, inability to graduate on time, or expulsion.
“Thinking back on the situation, I was so emotionally devastated that I had trouble sleeping for months,” Spencer said. “I continue to suffer from anxiety, depression, and insomnia resulting from the campus climate at SPU and discriminatory actions taken against me. Transgender students like me remain vulnerable to harassment and discrimination at SPU.”
He is raising his voice to protect all LGBTQ+ students at Seattle Pacific University and religiously affiliated colleges across the country.