Out of Order

Queer Pastors
Redefining Church



Out of Order

Queer Pastors
Redefining Church

“Many LGBTQ people feel that Christianity has abandoned them. In their pursuit of leadership and through their encounters with intolerance, the heroes of this film radiate qualities that arguably make them the authentic heirs of modern Christianity: faith, hope and love.”



July 2016
Limited preview screenings


Anticipated RELEASE

Spring 2018
Video on Demand



Amanda Bluglass



Aden Hakimi


running time

60 minutes

Out of Order is a groundbreaking feature documentary revealing the complex and painful struggles faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) faith leaders as they confront entrenched bigotry and work to build loving support within their churches.

Many queer individuals  have quickly learned that rule changes don’t guarantee true welcome in their churches.

In spite of growing fear and suspicion toward LGBTQ individuals, and transgender people in particular, a new kind of spiritual leader and movement for welcome is beginning the delicate work of winning acceptance beyond the wedding chapel.

The leaders of this movement are young LGBTQ people of faith claiming a place in their church pulpits — and recognition in the everyday moments of church life.

The film draws timely attention to the joyful experiences and complex struggles of queer young people, the need for greater awareness and understanding of bisexuality, and the growing visibility of transgender individuals, offering a unique perspective on a trans person of faith.

Out of Order offers audiences a glimpse into what it looks like to navigate the reality of gender transition and lived sexual identity as a person of faith.



Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer families in the United States have won many secular and cultural victories in the last several years, but progress toward equality and acceptance has been slow within the Christian community.

Some Christian denominations have rejected the movement toward equality for LGBTQ people in sacred spaces. Others have accepted structural changes that have created, to varying degrees, space for LGBTQ families in church life and embraced marriage equality.

In response, conservative activists are increasingly rallying support for state and local bills designed to restrict the rights of LGBTQ people.







The Rev. Mieke Vandersall

Mieke Vandersall, as a violin-playing, martial artist-practicing lesbian, defies stereotypical notions about pastors. She was one of the first openly queer people ordained as a pastor in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

As the Founding Pastor of a worshiping community called Not So Churchy, and the previous Executive Director of Parity, she has ushered would-be clergy through the ordination process. She is currently still the Pastor of Not So Churchy and is also a fundraising consultant for religious organizations and congregations.


Alex McNeill

Alex McNeill is a witty, Vespa-driving preacher with a penchant for bow ties. Throughout his journey to ordination, he has navigated obstacles and opposition to achieve a series of “firsts.” Before he transitioned from female to male, Alex was the first out lesbian pursuing ministry in his conservative, rural ordination committee in 2005. He was also the first person to come out as transgender during the ordination process, and though other transgender people have pursued ordination, no one has yet completed the process by being accepted to a ministry job. During the course of filming, Alex became the executive director of More Light Presbyterians, which made him the first transgender executive director of a mainline Christian organization.


The Rev. John Russell Stanger

John Russell Stanger may have lived in India and NYC, but he grew up ridin’ horses and fixin’ fences on his family’s Texas cattle ranch. After coming out gay in seminary, he discovered his call to help others reconcile the rift between their sexual, gender, and spiritual identities. He joined the staff of Parity as a minister to LGBTQ youth and became the first openly queer Presbyterian to be ordained in Texas. After leading Parity as the Executive Director, he is returning to the South to begin a Master of Arts in Marriage of Family Therapy. As a pastor-therapist he will continue helping people to love themselves and live abundantly.


The Rev. Bertram Johnson

Bertram Johnson is the first openly gay African American to be ordained in the PC(USA). He holds this distinction with humility and awe. In February 2016 he was called to The Riverside Church in the City of New York where he serves as Minister of Justice, Advocacy, and Change. Having graduated seminary in 1996, he is now experiencing the joys of his first full-time ordained call.


The Rev. Kate LeFranc

Kate LeFranc is currently a doctoral student in theology, and a nerdy/artsy Presbyterian pastor who misses getting to lead worship on a regular basis. Kate identifies as a non-binary queer, and they are hoping to write some boundary-pushing queer theology. In the roller derby world, Kate is known as Bruise Almighty and is a certified referee with the Women's Flat Track Derby Association.








Amanda Bluglass (UK)

Amanda is an award-winning British director/producer who makes films about real people, strong on story and big on beauty. Her strengths lie in understanding narrative structure and directing stunning photography. She has a strong visual eye and instinctive feeling for sound and music. Directing credits include internationally recognized multi award-winning short documentaries. Amanda has worked with BBC, Channel 4, NASA, Nike and London Olympics 2012.

Learn more: amandabluglass.co.uk

Director awards and official selection include:

  • AFI/Silverdocs Documentary Festival 2012
  • Vimeo Film Festival 2012
  • Media Innovation Award 2013
  • Lunafest 2014


THEY bklyn (USA)

THEY bklyn is Julie Mack and Christy Pessagno. THEY loves telling stories through video and photography. When not making films with Amanda Bluglass, you can find them working with clients that include Ford Foundation, The Vilcek Foundation, NYU Stern, Columbia University, The New York Times, and the Lucie Foundation.

Out of Order is THEY’s first feature length documentary project .

Learn more: theybklyn.com



Aden Hakimi (USA)

Aden Hakimi is a filmmaker and editor who has worked with Google, MTV, Logo, TBWA\Chiat\Day, MLB.com, Whole Foods, TEDx, Housing Works, and more. Out of Order is the fifth film he has helped produce and the third he has edited (his first doc feature). He is also the founder of Silver Crown, a Brooklyn-based creative agency.

Learn more: silvercrownnyc.com



Aden Hakimi and Danny Cooke

Assistant Editor

Elizabeth Moore

Sound Editor

Casey Holford


Danny Cooke



Sebastian Renfield

Wave and Shingle / Weaker Men / Under the Maple Tree

John Szymanski

Late Night Sitar Freakout / Amble A

Mike Sayre

Hurricane / Princes of Maine / New Romance / Starting Over




Janet Edwards

Aden Hakimi

Peggy Howland

Karen and Neil Kavey

Amy Lopez-Cepero


Hank and Margo Lopez-Cepero

Alex McNeill


Julian and Ruth Schroeder

Mieke Vandersall

The John A. Hartford Foundation on behalf of Ann Raffel



Dawn M. Adamy

Zahra Ladak

Paul and Nancy McNeill

Floria Nafei Hakimi

Dorothy Porter and Laurie Phelan

Doug Wingo

Thomas Winslow


Grateful thanks

Kerry and Robert Bluglass, Dick and Sandy Beery, Nicole Chilivis, Katie and Haddon Givens-Kime, Kristen Graf, Christopher Johnson, Kyle Lasky and Julia Haas, Molly McGinnis, Jayson Mena, Jennifer Kottler and Gavin Meek, Patricia J. Raube, John Russell Stanger, Lucy Sutcliffe and Kaelyn Petras, Margaret and Jim Talbot, Max and Myra Vandersall, Madrona Grace Presbyterian Church, Seattle, Plymouth University, UK and all of our crowdsourcing donors and fundraising teams.


Special thanks

Letitia Campbell, Nicole Duarte, Antony and Dot Griew, Aiden Lawley, Amy Lopez-Cepero, Nancy and Paul McNeill, Bernie and Mickey Pessagno, Irasema Rivera, and Mary and Cowboy Stanger.

The Brick Presbyterian Church, The Center for Anti-Violence Education, Concord Presbyterian Church, Wilmington, Rutgers Presbyterian Church, First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York, Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church, First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn, and First Presbyterian Church of Asheville.