Twenty-seven gathered in DH 105, giving tangible body once again to the very special, supportive, beloved community that is GASP. It was especially great to have several first time attendees, who we hope will come back often, even if they learned just a little too much about some of our Netflix secrets. We also got to again bear witness to one of those most special of all GASP events, when a student introduces themselves as a member of the LGBTQ community, and then pauses for a magical moment before quietly adding: “that’s the first time I’ve said that out loud”. GASP was started seven and a half years ago by a PUC student who wanted to create a community to support and witness just those kinds of moments. Later we watched a video from a high school student forced to leave his Christian school because he had come out on the Youtube. He actually had been told he could stay in school if he erased all signs of himself in the electronic media as a gay man (he chose to leave). It was a heartbreaking reminder that even with all the advances, the Christian love and acceptance we find in GASP is still the exception rather than the rule in so much of the larger Christian world. We were reminded of this too by a report from one GASPer of a loved one who is on the verge of losing her job because of her sexual identity. We still have a lot of work to do.
See everyone again in two weeks (February 19)!