It didn’t help that I was extremely shy in this scenario, and I probably was using my lack of dating experience in high school as an excuse for myself, but more than likely, I really wasn’t more aggressive in actively dating a woman, even in a fundamentalist environment, because the physical drive just wasn’t there.Before I knew it, I was an upperclassman, and I started to hear a faint voice of disappointment in the back of my head.Fortunately, BJU promoted itself as “The Opportunity Place,” which I always interpreted as referring to the dating possibilities (it was no secret that many women were there to get their “MRS.” degree) in the way it manufactures social gatherings all semester long.
This was purposely done to bifurcate my two opposing queer identities and to ensure that no one at BJU would know about this side of me.
Even at this point in my time at BJU when I was still a fervent, optimistic defender of the university, I knew that rules were strongly enforced.
Moreover, as we all were told and expected to know from the Student Handbook, if anyone was aware of another student’s breaking the rules, that person would also be eligible for the same punishment if it could be proved that he or she knew but did not tell.
Needless to say, I remained closely guarded about this part of me.
As an upperclassman, I had a car that I could park on campus, which opened up unexpected opportunities off campus that I soon began to crave and capitalize on more and more.
On various evenings, I would frequent the mall or other places I knew where I could find the means to satisfy my physical drive with men, but I was always careful never to meet anyone affiliated with BJU or to disclose my experiences with anyone I knew on campus.
Consequently, it became difficult to distinguish whether the punishments, such as receiving demerits for missing a class, were meted out as academic penalty or as spiritual rebuke for disregarding authority.
Of course, we were always told that BJU was “God’s Special Place for You,” so any action of theirs, academic or not, was done in the name of spiritual ministry, which labeled any potential questioning as rebellious.
I knew that no matter how much I trusted anyone on campus, there was always the possibility he or she could be forced to use this information against me.