Gay Bishop Gene Robinson has definitely “lived to tell.”
On Saturday, April 14, he will share his remarkable story with students and guests at the Southeastern Regional GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) Conference hosted by the University of the South-Sewanee.
In 1969, Gene Robinson graduated with his bachelor’s degree in American Studies and History from the University of the South-Sewanee. More than thirty years later, he will return to his alma mater to address regional GSA organizations. In 1969, no one could have predicted the swarm of controversy that would surround Bishop Robinson.
Born in the deep south, Robinson struggled with his homosexuality at an early age. Torn, he married his now ex-wife in 1972. After having two daughters and still unable to deny his sexuality, Gene divorced his wife. In 1989, Robinson met his current partner Mark Andrew with whom he has been happily committed to since that time. From that point on, Robinson no longer denied, nor was ashamed of his sexuality.
A long time member of the Episcopal Church, Robinson soon found his calling. He was ordained and served as both a deacon and priest before elected as Bishop.
Gene was catapulted into the national spotlight when confirmed as the ninth Bishop of New Hampshire’s Episcopal Church in March of 2004. Criticized for being openly gay, Robinson faced conservative right winged critics that denounced his chosen profession. Bishop Robinson faced both supporters and critics from both sides of the isle.
Remarkably enough, Robinson has come forth from all the controversy with renewed sense of purpose and dedication. GSA organizations from across the region are excited to have such a courageous man speaking about his inspirational road to tranquility, peace and God.
The conference is being held on April 13 and 14. Registration begins late Friday evening with both social and networking events planned. Bishop Robinson is set to speak the morning of the 14. Other topics will be explored that evening including how college students can get the GLBT movement going in the South and issues that the GLBT community faces in the buckle of the Bible belt.
The conference is open to the public and free of charge. Join local GSA members, students and friends in welcoming Bishop Gene Robinson home.
While in middle Tennessee, Robinson will speak about his experience as the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church at Vanderbilt Divinity School at noon on Friday, April 13. His presentation, "Ministry in the Eye of the Storm" will be held in Benton Chapel. The event is co-sponsored with Vanderbilt University’s GLBT Resource Center and Office of Religious Life.