Touring Homophobia: Understanding the Soulforce Equality Ride as a Toxic Tour

Leland G. Spencer, Joshua Trey Barnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This article considers the 2010 Soulforce Equality Ride, a movement of queer Christian students who traveled around the country protesting conservative Christian colleges and universities with anti-lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) policies. We argue that the movement is comparable to a toxic tour, as described by Pezzullo (2007), because of the harmfulness of the campuses' policies, the difficult rhetorical challenge the movement faces, and the importance of presence for the Equality Ride activists and the students they met along the way. We understand the conservative Christian college campuses as environments and the anti-LGB rhetoric and policies as toxins. We argue that the movement offers hope by undermining the notion that LGB sexualities and Christian spirituality are mutually exclusive categories of binary opposition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-41
Number of pages17
JournalSouthern Communication Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication


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