The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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LGBT reporter to share experience working with Christian-based groups

The GLBT Resource Center at Texas A&M will be hosting Eliel Cruz, a freelance reporter and contributor on religion, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender issues, media and culture Wednesday for a seminar titled “Eliel Cruz: Bisexuality and Religion.”
GLBT Resource Center Program Coordinator Sidney Gardner said Cruz is a young blogger, writer and organizer who has been working in both LGBT communities and in communities of faith — particularly Christian based communities for a while.
“He has exploded recently via social media and a lot of different areas talking about these different identities,” Gardner said.
Gardner said religion and sexuality is a very interesting and under-addressed topic at Texas A&M’s.
“We have… many students that identify as Christian, but many LGBT people who also identify as Christian,” Gardner said. “I thought it would be interesting to be able to have a space to kind of talk about what that looks like and navigating that environment, which is probably very pertinent to a lot of our students.”
Gardner said Cruz grew up as a Seventh Day Adventist, which is a Christian group whose beliefs stem solely from interpreting the Bible. Gardner said Cruz talks a lot from that perspective and what it means to grow up in that church while identifying as LGBT.
“Tomorrow he’s going to be really focused on those intersections of both his identity as bisexual, what that means for him and what that’s looked like for him,” Gardner said. “He’s going to speak on growing up in a very specific denomination and now how to navigate that environment in larger Christian communities of faith.”
Geographic information science and technology junior Katie Higgins said she is looking forward to hearing Cruz’s perspective on the intersections of bisexuality and religion.
“A lot of people as of late have been talking about the intersections of gay people in the church or gay people who have a religious upbringing,” Higgins said. “The two aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive, but you don’t really hear another narrative of people who identify outside of that. It’ll bring an interesting perspective from an often unheard voice.”
Gardner said the lecture will be a good opportunity to gain further knowledge and insight into LGBT communities.
“I think for some people there’s an idea that being LGBT in some way excludes you from identifying as Christian or being a part of certain communities of faith,” Gardner said. “I think it will be nice to have that environment where people can say ‘Yes, I do have both of these identities that are very strong and meaningful for me in different ways.’”
Higgins said she hopes the lecture will help further understanding and discussion both in and out of the LGBT community.
“It’s kind of broadening your field of vision and enabling you to not just empathize but understand the complications of navigating a world that is often seen as one way or the other,” Higgins said. “I’m looking forward to hearing something different.”
The seminar will start at 6 p.m. and will be held in the Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building auditorium.

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