Great story, Madeline Kay Sneed.
You bring back vividly for me an evening just a couple years ago when I was having dinner at my favorite pub, which happened to be across the street from Wayne State in Detroit, and which was an unofficial faculty watering hole.
I struck up a conversation with a woman who taught there, and it turned out she was a lesbian who had graduated from Baylor. I asked her how she’d managed, and her answer sounded a lot like your own story in many respects.
She was so conflicted! She had a lot of love for Baylor as an institution, and much love and respect for her fellow students and for many faculty members. But she also told me that when she left to pursue an advanced degree at a secular university, she began to feel truly free and fully loved for the first time in her life.
Nobody should have to wait until they’re 22 or 23 years old to feel accepted and loved for who they are.
Good on those Baylor students with their petition. I hope they’re able to effect some change so that good people like you and my professor friend don’t have to go through needless struggle.
Thanks for writing!