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Zayn Silva


Nyack College

Zayn Silva lives in Brooklyn, NY, where he has lived for most of his life. He is a Pentacostal Christian and a member of First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn, where he is engaged in LGBTQ+ ministry. He is a Black and Latinx transman who identifies as pansexual.

Zayn felt called by God to attend seminary, and so he applied to Nyack College. Before applying he called the college to see if they would be OK with him attending as a transman. The college encouraged him to apply, and throughout the application process he was reassured that being transgender would not be a problem.

In February 2020 Zayn received a call from the Director of Admissions saying that his admission was declined because he said in the application that he is transgender and proud of being transgender, rather than ashamed. Zayn pleaded with the Director for a reversal of this decision, but to no avail. His efforts to receive a letter detailing the specific reasons for the rejection were not successful.

He is raising his voice to protect all LGBTQ+ students at Nyack College and religiously affiliated colleges across the country.


About US

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.

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at
1-800-273-TALK (8255), or contact The Trevor Project
or Trans Lifeline.

Need support?

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