Guilford College’s student newspaper, The Guilfordian, reports on openly gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson’s visit to the campus.
Reporter Victor Lopez writes:
Students, faculty, and members of the community filled the benches at the New Garden Friends Meeting to hear Robinson.
Robinson began by saying, “if you’re here somewhat hesitatingly, suspiciously, or just downright contrarily, you are especially welcome.”
“The only way we are going to get through some of the issues that face us is by facing each other in an air of respect and commitment to our broader community,” he said.
After his election on June 7, 2003, Robinson received death threats, had to wear a bulletproof vest and required around the clock security.
The bishop shared the story about when he first realized he was homosexual.
Robinson said that when individuals come out, “it’s up to the parents to accept their children or act like it never happened.”
At age 13 he suspected he was different after friends were excited to see a Playboy magazine, and he was not. He knew instinctively that to admit he was gay would have endangered him physically and damaged his relationships in the community.
“There began the divide that GLBT people have encountered many times in their lives, ” Robinson said. “In my time, to come out meant you’d risk either winding up in a gutter on drugs, unhappy, or if you were brave enough you’d kill yourself.”
Yet, Robinson said that “with time ideas change.”
“Change happens when you have a world view, then you have a new experience for which that world view is not sufficient to explain, then you are thrown into chaos,” said Robinson.