Why would a queer student come to a university that Princeton Review had ranked in 2014 as one of the most unfriendly LGBTQ+ universities in the United States? Here are a few responses from queer students on why they made the decision to attend Pepperdine and what factors they considered when committing to this university.
“I came to Pepperdine because I felt that out of all the Church of Christ schools my parents wanted me to apply to, this one would have been the best possible place out of all those other schools for being gay.”
“I chose to study at Pepperdine University because I wanted a chance to change the conversation and dialogue surrounding the LGBT community and faith. I wanted to help create a more accepting and understanding environment within the University and to help encourage that open dialogue for those wanting to learn more.”
“I’m a Christian — raised Church of Christ — so I thought it might be a good fit since it’s a Christian school in California. I hoped it would be spiritual while also being more accepting. I was really looking for a place where my faith would be nurtured and my identity respected. I had heard there had been issues at Pepperdine with queer students before, but after a lot of prayer, it felt like the place I was supposed to be.”
“I was forced to come to Pepperdine by my family because one of my parents works on campus, and therefore I get a large scholarship. If I had not come to Pepperdine, I would have been cut off financially.”
“I chose to come to Pepperdine University because I was raised by a super conservative mother who was a member of the Churches of Christ. I was told that I should not attend universities such as Emerson or Tulane, my initial top choices, because they were not Christian schools. Looking for affirming universities that still fell into the Christian realm, especially those which fell into the Churches of Christ, Pepperdine stood out because it had Crossroads, it was more egalitarian and it seemed more open to the LGBTQ+ community of believers. Especially as someone who wanted to study religion and Christianity, I wanted to be accepted by my university for who I am holistically.”
Contact Quinn Mathys via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter: @MathysQuinn