This morning was a beautiful Minnesota spring day. Walking along Northrup Mall on the U of MN campus, I noticed a throng of students shouting and a police car. What was all the commotion?

Brother Zed is back. This man is the local Christian fanatic. He walks around campus telling everyone that they are going to hell. He always has some harsh words for the ‘homah sekshuls.’ Today he had another man with him shoutin’ and yellin.’ But perhaps the worst part was that he had kids with him. Like grade school age kids.

Aside from the hate spewing, I’m glad the fanatics were there. The number of students arguing with him and supporting the GLBT community was immense. At one point there were at least 150-200 observers, many wearing anti-homophobia stickers being passed out by the Queer Student Cultural Center, and group of at least 30 very vocal students arguing with these fanatics.

Seeing that support got me a bit choked up. There people you wouldn’t expect to be rallying for GLBTS folks; fratboys and guys wearing football jerseys, conservative looking girls and hippies, all gathered together, defending the rights and well-being of their fellow GLBT students. It’s easy to forget the support we enjoy at the U of MN, especially in light of the virulent attacks by the religious right over the past year or two. This university rocks, this city rocks, and this state ain’t so damn bad after all.

I am really, really glad I moved here. And I’m really fortunate that I’ve had the opportunity to be myself in school, at work, and at home. The students at the U of MN should be proud, because I sure am proud of them.

And this was the one time I didn’t have my camera with me. Godammit!

POSTSCRIPT: The fanatic I referred to may have been Brother Jed, the notorious ‘mall preacher’. I certainly wish I would have taken a picture, because I can’t tell if it was him or not. He did have his family there, which is a trademark for him, so I suppose it could have been. If you are interested in knowing more about Brother Jed or other campus ‘mall preachers,’ check out this editorial. Brother Jed’s sloppy website can be found here. Thanks to Jason at the Game and How We Played It for the info!

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