Grant Turck, The Missionary

Photo by Larry Hirshowitz

Grant Turck doesn’t look like one to raise a ruckus, with his dress shirt tucked into neat blue jeans and his unfailingly polite demeanor. But the Pepperdine sophomore has been shaking up the status quo at his conservative Christian university (Ken Starr is again on the shortlist to run the law school) by attempting to set up a Students Against Homophobia club. That went over like bacon at a Seder, but if Pepperdine thinks this is over, they don’t know Turck, a gay, faithful Christian, who eschews sophomoric promiscuity and is searching instead for lifelong monogamy. “Maybe I was too optimistic,” he says. “I was thinking I was trying to align with the university.”

Turck has fought this battle before. In Cincinnati he took on his public high school over forming a Gay-Straight Alliance chapter. School officials claimed chapter members needed permission slips, but after investigating, Turck knew they were telling tall tales, and within months his GSA was up and running. His quest at Pepperdine is more of a long shot, but he’s using the educational experience he’s getting at the school — he’s currently interning at a Beverly Hills PR firm — to bring attention to his cause. His press releases and sound bites are ready to go. When asked if he’s seen gay discrimination at Pepperdine, he stresses, “I don’t want to seek out victims, I want to seek out justice.”


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