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.
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.