There are so many stories of brave LGBTQ leaders working to transform their churches. Watch these extended interviews for some important perspectives that couldn’t make it into the full film.

 

Anonymous

"Someone Needs Us"

 

For a long time, Anonymous didn’t think she was the right kind of person to be a minister. There were no leaders in her church community like her. Then she realized that’s exactly why she needed to become one.

Anonymous is sadly well aware of the risks of being out during the ordination process. Knowing that changes in the rules don't always equal changes in heart, she refused to speak about her sexual orientation throughout her process in the hopes that she would be judged based on her ministerial qualities and not on whom she loves. Although silence can be painful, it was preferable to having her calling completely stalled and harshly scrutinized based on just one aspect of her life.

 

Paula

"We are All Beloved Children of God"

 

To tell a human being that they aren’t welcome is hurtful. To tell them that, because they are gay, they need to be “healed” before being worthy of serving God is a hurt beyond words.

Despite living in a cosmopolitan urban setting, conservative values reign, and Paula has felt rejected by her family and her church most of her life. She tried to walk away from the church to escape the rejection, but God continued to lead her toward ministry in the church. Several years into her teaching career, she finally found acceptance in the PC(USA) and entered seminary full-time in the evenings. Her path to answering her call to ministry has lead her through 20 years of teaching, 2 seminary degrees, and toward a wonderful life partner. 

 

REV. KATE LEFRANC

"Jesus was a Weird Kid"

As long as Kate can remember they have been attending church, a place where they felt accepted. Even when Kate was at school they were the weird kid, but church was where they could be who they were, where they were supported in everything they did.

The Rev. 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.

 

REV. BERTRAM JOHNSON

"My Call is Bigger than Me"

Bertram’s religion didn’t give him a place to explore being gay. The only vocabulary available in his church told him that being gay was bad. He resisted this truth about himself; he prayed against it; but he only found peace when he claimed the words for his own truth.

The Reverend 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.