Q: Is BQU a response to the university turning down a petition to start a gay-straight alliance or support group on campus?
A: We are in no way affiliated with any students who have previously filed a formal group request to the university. We have never contacted Associated Students to try to get university approval or funding for our group.
Q: What is The Biola Underground's stance on homosexuality?
A: Surprisingly, some people have been unclear as to what we think about being both LGBTQ and Christian. To clear up this issue, we are in favor of celebrating homosexual behavior in its proper context: marriage. We do NOT believe that being gay or queer is a sin, whether in a relationship or otherwise. We do NOT believe that "acting upon" homosexual desires for intimacy in a loving marital relationship is wrong. We hold to the already stated standards of Biola that pre-marital sex is sinful and outside of God's plan for humans and we believe that this standard also applies to homosexuals and other members of the LGBTQ community. We believe that the Bible is God's Holy Word, we simply hold a different interpretation of the scripture on the issue of homosexuality. Someone with similar views on this issue is Justin Lee, here's a link to his article that explains how we interpret some of the more controversial passages.
Q: Why do you go to Biola, since it is a place that is so oppressive to you as an LGBTQ person? Why not just go to a different school?
A: This is a very good question that has several answers to it. First, many of our backgrounds are very conservative in nature and so, naturally, being in a conservative Christian environment is what is comfortable for us. We have grown up in the church and have been a part of Christian communities since we were very young. For many of us our Christian identities were already long established by the time that we began to understand our Queer identities.
Secondly, Biola was a choice for most of us because it was what our families wanted of us or expected us to choose. It's difficult to go against parents and those in authority over you who have your best interest in mind and also when they control your bank account. It's common to find people whose parents will help pay for only Christian Universities which leaves students feeling pressured to choose a school like Biola.
Thirdly, it is common for LGBTQ people to wrestle with their identities for quite a while and maybe not discover that they are Queer until they are well into their college years. The timing of these self-discoveries may make it difficult or impossible to leave or transfer.
Fourthly, many of us enjoy the community and Christian education that Biola provides. Our education is important to us and we value greatly the integration and biblical focus in Biola's curriculum.
Q: What is the Q for in LGBTQ? Why are you using it?
A: The Q, to us, means "Queer". While we understand that it has traditionally stood for "Questioning", in our group, we have found it helpful to use the term queer to represent members of our community who don't identify as LGBT but rather identify as gender queer, or other categories of gender non-conformity. The term queer has helped us include people who are on the fringes while also including the spectrum of queer identity. Those who are questioning their gender or sexuality are included in the "queer" category.
Q: How can we help?
A: Don't let our movement be silenced! Help spread the word that we're here and we're queer. Visibility is Power. We would also appreciate your prayers at this time for the administration of Biola, that they would make wise and Godly choices and for the members of our group who are feeling stress from outside forces.
Q: What is your stance on ex-gay and reparative therapy?
A: We the BQU see reparative therapy as unethical and psychologically damaging. The American Psychiatric Association stated in 1998, "psychiatric literature strongly demonstrates that treatment attempts to change sexual orientation are ineffective. However, the potential risks are great, including depression, anxiety and self-destructive [suicidal] behavior..." See this and other facts regarding reparative therapy here on PFLAG’s website.
Q: What are ways I can love the LGBT community and learn about their perspectives so I’m not shell shocked when I’m in the real world?
A: Listening will be your greatest tool in learning about the perspective of LGBTQ individuals. Especially listen to the stories and testimonies of your LGBTQ brothers and sisters in Christ. If you do not have any close LGBTQ friends, reach out to local gay-affirming churches and ask to meet with their pastor or priest, or even attend a service. However, if you let your friends and family know that you are a safe person to talk to, you might be surprised who comes out to you.
Q: Is it realistic for every Christian gay person to be celibate?
A: No. It is not realistic, because it is not sensible nor can it be expected. In the Christian community, celibacy is considered to be either a specific calling from God, or a decision to pursue him more deeply. Straight Christians are neither expected nor pressured to be celibate. However, the traditional Christian view requires that gay people live in celibacy, if they want to be legitimate believers. While we respect those who chose to be celibate, whether by calling or personal conviction, we firmly believe that no person should be pressured into such a difficult life-path.
Q: Why does the BQU remain underground?
A: The BQU is and remains underground:
1. To preserve the safety of its current and future group members, and to keep them from individual scrutiny.
2. Because it is unnecessary for the BQU’s individual members to be visible for the group to accomplish the goal of conversation about LGBTQ issues in the context of Christianity.