Student Inspired By Macklemore’s “Same Love” Reveals School Fired Him For Being Gay

John Lovegrove macklemore same love

Photo: Stephen with his grandfather, John Lovegrove. (Stephen Lovegrove)

Okay so the big topic of discussion after the VMAs was Miley Cyrus twerkalyptic performance. But the awards show also had moments of inspiration—like Macklemore and Ryan Lewis performing “Same Love” with Mary Lambert  and Jennifer Hudson.


Stephen with CSU president Dr. Jairy C. Hunter Jr. (Stephen Lovegrove)

As our cousins at MTV Act report, we weren’t the only ones touched by the song’s message:  Stephen Lovegrove, a 20-year-old college student at Charleston Southern University in North Carolina was inspired to come forward about how he was expelled from his school, and lost his college job, after posting videos about being  gay and Christian.

The whole time I was at CSU, I spoke openly about my faith and my sexuality. All my family, friends, co-workers, and supervisors knew that I was a gay Christian. Over the summer, I knew the time was right for me to share my story with the world. I posted a series of videos talking about my story and explaining what it was like growing up as a gay Christian in the conservative South. The next week, my boss called me in and told me that I had been fired from my job as an RA and banned from being on stage publicly at my school and from leadership in campus ministries.”

Related: Freedom To Work’s Tico Almeida Breaks Down the Employee Non Discrimination Act  

For a long time after the meeting, the school did not contact me at all. A couple weeks later, after I had made the decision to transfer and had already moved off campus, a representative for the school emailed me to ask for a meeting. Unfortunately, I was traveling across the country and unable to attend. I have not heard anything since from the administration. Students have been unbelievably supportive! I have had so many friends encouraging me, rooting for me, and praying for me! There are so many people at CSU whom I love dearly and miss tremendously. I want people to know that I had a great experience at CSU right up until the end, and I still care about the school so much.

Even though he rocked a GPA of 3.8, administrators at Charleston Southern University took away his financial aid, and Lovegrove made the decision to transfer. A petition has been made asking CSU to protect students of all sexual orientations, but to date the school hasn’t addressed the issue publicly. 

To learn how you can help fight LGBT workplace discrimination, visit Freedom to Work


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