Thursday, December 28, 2006

Entering in the new year - Gandhi & cats

Hi guys. I'm sore today and I think I best get used to it. I've been joining in on Luane's workouts with our personal trainer and Luane's been sick so the trainer's had me to focus on and she worked me hard yesterday. The cool part is she does exercises with me without machines, the weight I lift is usually my own, we use stuff around the house like chairs, stairs and walls. Anyway, so I've been running more often lately and after the work out yesterday, I combined errands with exercise and ran this morning to the DVD store (a locally owned one, yes, they do still exist!) to return movies we watched over Christmas. I'm paying high for it now. I've been here on the computer working for a few hours and ugh, my thigh muscles are screaming.

Our two cats are also huddled in the office here with me around the portable heater. They sit around it (or sleep) like a campfire, sm'ores are sure to be next.

The pain of getting my body into better shape coupled with the innocence and simplicity of our cats snoozing got me to thinking of how to mentally and emotionally prepare for 2007. We have so many amazing plans in the works that I'm excited about, I can hardly wait. But wait I will, like recovering from sore muscles, so I enjoy the journey along the way. The simplicity of the cats reminds me of no matter how crazy our calendars get, Luane and I have to keep our focus and remember to do the dishes. The simple, humble tasks are quite meditative for me actually. One of the movies I returned today was Gandhi, the epic film with Ben Kingsley. I study Gandhi, among others, but seeing how this national leader of 300 million people spends his days spinning thread and mud packing goat legs made perfect sense to me. I totally get it.

So, as I head into 2007, I charge into it with a lot of gusto here in 2006. The balance of physical action pulling us more and more into becoming more of who we are now - and the simplicity of smelling the roses (or sleeping by a portable heater) to make sure we don't miss a moment of life available to live.

Best to you as we head to New Year's. Talk to you in 2007, it's gonna be FUN!!!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Episcopalians on the Mend - Update on the Snow People

Hope you all had a WONDERFUL Christmas! Luane and I did, we went to see Pursuit of Happyness and webcam'd with my family in Florida. Luane has a cold, we lit a fire, she had JoJo fall asleep on her (one of our cats), she got me a voice recorder so I can record my article, blog and workshop ideas no matter where I am (will come in handy when we start touring again in January) and I made her a mixed CD and got her the Quantum version of What the Bleep?! Down the Rabbit Hole. See...told you our personal and professional worlds are pretty intermingled.

If you've seen the movie, you've seen the two women standing in the snow while there is a truck behind them that garbage is being thrown into and off camera you can hear a stage being torn down. Ah, yes, the fun of indy filmmaking. Well, we talk about a lot of those behind the scenes anecdotes on our audio commentary track that we haven't released yet. I have a knarly cough when we recorded it so it'll surely be a classic cinema treasure when we release it.

One of the Snow People, Kathy, talks about her estranged relationship with the very kids she raised in the church. They are Episcopalian and if you haven't heard what's going on with that denomination recently, check out one of many articles on the Virginia churches. Anyway, we don't know if this has had an influence on Kathy's kids, but Kathy recently wrote us and gave us an update on how she and her kids are doing. It's perfect to cozy us up as we head into the holidays:

"Things have shifted a little with my kids. My son and I met face to face for the first time in over five years on the day before Thanksgiving. I also met my granddaughter for the first time. We stayed away from the subject of God and Gays for the three hours we were together. It was a beginning. We have exchanged one email each since then. He seems ready to figure out how we can relate now.

My daughter came to see me in October. I had not seen her or her daughter for two years. She said she came to see me to ask for forgiveness for trying to play the Holy Spirit in my life. She has been in therapy and is working through some personal issues.

Both visits made me very grateful that I didn't shut them out or discount my relationship with Donna. They both know that I love them and want relationship with them but... relationship with them is not more important than my living in truth about who I am and the reality that Donna is my partner for life.

I don't know where my relationship with my kids is headed. I do know that both of my granddaughters now know I exist. That feels good. Hopefully they will ask questions that will help to change the world in the years to come."

Be Who You Are and the rest will follow...

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Perfect Christmas Carol - indy style

We have found the ultimate Christmas carol for your viewing pleasure. Check this out and appreciate indy art with us!

Vote for Mel White as Person of the Year 2006

Mel White has been nominated as person of the year by gay.com and is need of your vote. We are obviously very proud of Mel, we're proud of him being a star in our movie, proud of his work with the Equality Ride (along with Jacob Reitan who's also in our movie with his AMAZING parents Randi and Phil) and the release of his book Religion Gone Bad. Mel is the Martin Luther King in the struggle to reconcile religion and homosexuality and Soulforce, based on Gandhi and MLK's teachings, is the vehicle to get people's attention that there's a serious civil rights issue going on right now. Mel receives letters, emails, phone calls and visits from people crying and scared, he gets the letters from people who soon commit suicide or from their family members. He's the guy who's had his life threatened many times because of his standing up for what he believes and his passion for people to be whole and have a relationship with God. Mel is seriously underrated. Being in the same room with him, you can feel his power and his humility. His love and compassion for people is the best Christ-like behavior I've ever experienced first-hand. Please register your vote to help Mel be recognized as Person of the Year....and feel free to add a comment to the bottom of the page and let them know they need to add to Mel's bio that he's in God & Gays: Bridging the Gap and that he has his new book out. How they missed that info, is a mystery. The website's parent company did a feature story on God & Gays just recently! Thanks for your support!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

New documentaries coming your way...

We've noticed there are indy filmmakers who, I guess in the spirit of competition, are just unfriendly and only promote themselves. Then there are others who do share, who do want to support colleagues and have realized that there's enough interest and audience for all of our films and works. Have you seen one movie and that's it? Read one book and that was it? I dontinkso. So, we make sure we fall into the latter category and help keep you in the loop of documentaries along our subject that would be helpful to you.

Plus, many people have asked us if we'll do more segmented versions of our movie - for Mormons, for Asian-American people, etc. We've definately toyed with the idea and it's still not out of the realm of possibility. In the meantime, I wanted to let you know of some docs that are in post-production right now and you ought to keep an eye on for their release.

The Truth About God made the short list for Sundance that's happening next month but didn't make it in. It's a movie geared in telling the stories about Mormons and homosexuality. Then there's the latest one from the director of Trembling Before G*d, In the Name of Allah, which was shot in 9 countries, dealing with homosexuality and Muslims. There's a short (22 mins) doc on Asian-American gays and lesbians called In God's House as well.

If you hear of other segmented documentaries you'd like us to know about, please feel free to send a comment to this posting. We love that this silence is being broken and documentary filmmakers are leading the way, I'm proud to be a part of the growing conversation and as Darlene Bogle recently wrote to someone who lives in Ohio and inquired about our film:

"Have you seen the DVD? It's available for purchase now through the website. The film has been received well as it has been shown across the country. Our prayer is that it will open the doors of dialogue and that many in the GLBT community will find help as well as open doors to mainline Christian churches have been judgmental and condemning. I am just one of the folks interviewed on the documentary, but I know that with the birth of this film there is going to be many lives saved that would have drowned in the sea of rejection."

A dolphin told me to have fun

Before Luane and I started on our tour last September, one of the things she, my coach, friends and family had been encouraging me to do is, basically, have fun. "I don't know how to have fun anymore" I whined, and continued, "I've forgotten how." Poor me, huh. Well, part of my "work" I've been doing is realizing consciously these totally unsupportive and victim-based statements coming out of my own mouth. It's a lot of work, to be truly present and realize what you're saying, what we're espousing, what we're putting out there as some sort of truth, but OH does it make a DIFFERENCE!



Well, what better teacher to help me do something about the fun thing, than a spinner dolphin on the Big Island. In September, we were invited to join a group of people we did and didn't know to a house where we'd get up every morning and join the locals in a swim with wild dolphins while they were still awake and very playful, coming in from their night of feeding. We'd leave when the obnoxious tourists would come and the dolphins got tired and started their shut down and low swimming patterns. Did you know that dolphins shut down half their brain and one eye and sleep, then trade off to the other side? How cool is that?



Back to the story. So one morning, we each decided to give the dolphins something to help us heal. Mine was to have fun again. We'd use thoughts and feelings, they'd sonar us. This is the morning they were particularly frisky and the babies were performing such beautiful acrobatics for us, it was just incredible. A small pod started doing their flips right in front of me, as to say, hey, let us demonstrate fun for you, shall we? They kept going and going and I'd cheer them on and laugh. The more they did it, the more I started to cry once I realized what they were saying to me. Disclaimer: I don't advise crying while in the middle of a bay in a snorkel and mask....unpleasant.



After their grand finale, they swam about three in front of me and one, the younger one, looked right at me, square in the eyes and nodded his head, smiling and opening his mouth like Flipper did - he looked so happy, he was actually laughing and having a great time. So, in getting the message, I began bawling in my snorkel and mask, fogging the mask and choking on sea water in the snorkel. I didn't seem to care. I just got healed.



So, what made me think of this four months later is how we are sending out cards saying Happy Holidays. I refuse to let such supportive terms like Happy and Holidays roll off my tongue sterile. I won't take them for granted anymore. On one wrist I wear a bracelet from India, on another one with Chinese characters spelling out happiness in couplehood. I'm getting better at the fun thing and the being happy now thing. Yesterday, I threw a cookie at Luane in jest and having played softball since kindergarten, my aim and speed was right on. I encourage all of us to remember the fun we can create and allow daily. Have a fun and happy holiday everyone.





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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Same Sex Couples Struggle for Legal Protection

We're often asked what the differences are with civil unions, domestic partnerships and full marriage rights. Although there's a bazillion resources on the web that'll lay these out (see hrc, lambda legal and others) here's a real sense of what Wisconsin gay couples are facing in light of the 59% passage of the discriminatory ban on same-sex marriages. Other states - Colorado, Virginia, etc. - have the same issues. Some people are moving out of those states - gay AND straight - as they don't want to associate themselves with states that blatantly and "legally" discriminate. As Leonardo DiCaprio recently said on Oprah (paraphrased) about his movie Blood Diamond which is about the war and killings that go on to mine diamonds in parts of Africa to feed the materialistic appetite of the US, "we vote when we buy". Many people are voting to stay in churches, states, companies, Universities, schools that are blatantly discriminatory. At private Christian colleges, each student must sign an agreement to "acceptable" forms of behavior. Within the top five mentioned is no homosexual activity or personhood. Many students sign it anyway knowing they are gay because either they are still hiding from their family and they want their college paid for and not get kicked out of the house, or they are basically saying they have no value to other people's rules and will do what they please, and try not to get caught. It can also encourage homophobia and violence (emotional, verbal or physical) on gay people.

Some people who choose to "vote" this way do help keep the spiral silence going, but some believe they stay so they can change from within the system. Some do. Most don't. It's a great idea and I hope people do change hearts and minds they have contact with, we just hope it's a stand that's taken to the point of not forcing an 18 year old to discriminate by signing a piece of paper and contributing to the deafening silence. I hope it's to a point that if a gay person is in the hospital they are lucky enough to have doctors and nurses who allow them to be visited by their gay partner since right now that obvious right is illegal in some areas still.

So, we encourage all of us to deliberately look at our votes and be conscious about what we're voting for and therefore standing for with our time, money and attention. In each moment we have choices and the purpose of goals is to keep us on the path to what we want. What do you want for Christmas? For some of us, it's equality so in each moment we make choices that'll lead to that desired outcome. As Rev. Deborah says in the movie, "all I want is what you would have given me before you started taking things away from me before you knew I was gay. I don't want anything more and nothing less." This is what's on our grown up Christmas list.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Introduction to Paul Cameron by Mel White

Happy Monday. I was perusing Mel White's blog he did during his book tour for his latest book Religion Gone Bad: The Hidden Dangers of the Christian Right, and he was introducing us to a discredited psychologist that feeds bizarre and absurd "data" to religious right leaders regarding the gay community and they in turn talk of this "data" as truth. Mel is so passionate and cares so much about what is going on under and at the surface of this struggle of religion and homosexuality and if you haven't recognized that, I encourage you to check his blog for yourself (last entry, under San Francisco). If you've wondered the sourcing material for some of the allegations that don't seem rational, much of it can be traced here.

One of our goals is to help people continue to be informed. The unfortunate part of this is most people don't want to be informed which is why suicide rates are so high, families are broken, etc. We get stuck and we don't need to be. We're a vessel of movement, of growth and of expression. It's not so scary to learn something new about something we're convinced of. Learning is mostly adoration for God's creativity.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Darlene Bogle's new book and new life

If you've seen the movie, you know Darlene Bogle was an Exodus Ministry leader for 15 years and while doing one of her many public appearances as a "healed" lesbian, she fell fast and hard for a woman contemplating suicide to rid herself of the pain and judgment of the sterile christianity and homosexuality debate. Darlene wrote or contributed to many books during her Exodus years and during her 12 year relationship of bliss with this woman, she didn't write as her life partner, Des, made her promise not to be public as it would cause Des to be rejected by her family. It's amazing at no matter our age, we are still children, sometimes scared children, around our parents. Des developed breast cancer and passed way too early in life in February 2005. Darlene, through her grief and recovery of such a tragic loss of a best friend and spouse, has found expression once again in writing. She's finished her first draft of manuscript basically as a follow up to her book, A Long Road to Love. She wants to tell people where she's been for the past 12 years. She's sent Luane and I the manuscript and has asked us to write the Forward, which we are honored to do. Darlene is entertaining a variety of publishing opportunities and I can guarantee you we'll be letting you know first when it's available.

The book is incredibly personal and very touching. I've cried in several parts, sometimes from sadness and sometimes from gratitude. Sure, ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you I cry rather easily...I'm rather sensitive but not in a wimpy way, I just really feel what other's go through and can't help but respond. For those keeping score, Mel White is also gifted with this trait, so I'm in good company.

Des had told Darlene that upon her death, she could tell Des' family and go public about their relationship so this book has Des' approval on it. Recently, Darlene visited Des' parents in southern California. Des' father is battling cancer and her mother has alzheimer's. Darlene brought the manuscript, told them what it was about and asked if they'd like to read it, to learn who their daughter was, as a whole human being, to really know their own daughter as a christian woman living out her life with the love of her life. Darlene basically saved Des' life from suicide and her parents had no idea. Here's what Darlene said of the meeting with Des' father:

"I spent a week in So. Calif. with Des's dad. I had taken a copy of the manuscript to give him an opportunity to read if he chose to do so. Des was right in her fears. He told me that he didn't agree with that "lifestyle" but he still loved me and loved Des, he just didn't want to read about it. Makes me sad because I think he could know more of his daughter's faith, not just her sexuality. I've left it in God's hands.
Her brother and his wife feel the same. I've felt a real coolness since I told them I was writing a book. I'm glad Des is in Heaven and doesn't have to experience the rejection. I'm wondering how folks can say they love you, but they don't want to know you? They can only love the "idea' of who and what you are. I guess there is still more to be done in educating the world!!"

We'll keep you in the loop on Darlene's book. Learn more about Darlene from our website.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Empathy Makes Us Better People

We were sent an article by a straight white guy in Florida who, we think, is one of the most straightforward and clear statements on why people should care about gay people and gay rights, if the simple "love thy neighbor as yourself" basics are still complicated to do. We've written a statement to the author in support of his support as he needs to know that IT MATTERS that he is "out" as a straight ally. How can we expect allies to support us if we aren't supporting them? I've pasted the article at the bottom of this posting.

This also reminds me of a conversation I had with our personal trainer, Machelle. She and her husband met us at a gay club on the rare occasion of Luane and I actually going out for a night of dancing. I LOVE dancing, but I've DJ'd many times in my career and it's hard to make me happy musically and most clubs play the best music for the warm up period and then settle into a hip hop or house theme with the same beat for hours on end. We leave after the warm up.

I digress...Machelle's husband Ryan brought a friend from work who's in his fifties I believe and just six months ago came out to him. Machelle and Ryan are straight allies and they don't get what the big deal is around accepting gay people. They are spiritual people, very fit as they are both trainers, normal law-abiding community members. Ryan's colleague came out to him which gives a great testament to Ryan's character and love for his fellow man. I'm proud to know these people. Ryan's colleague actually recognized Luane and I from a cover story photo in the local newspaper. That does happen to us but we aren't in public much. I think of us like the Loch Ness monster...rare sightings.

I'm still digressing...the main point I wanted to make was my conversation with Machelle. I acknowledged and honored her for bringing Ryan's friend, being supportive of him and of us by coming to a gay dance club and being straight allies. I then explained how crucial it is that they are vocal in average conversational opportunities, that they "come out" as allies. I stressed the power she has in being a witness to other straight people. She had a hard time believing that people would listen to her more readily than me on this subject, since it's my life and after all I did make a documentary on it. Alas, I emphasized how she is remarkably powerful just by being straight as to many in society, I'm the morally depraved, perverted freak who twists God and the Bible around to fit my sexual desires. I don't have the credibility as I'm merely "one of them". Machelle isn't and if she says it's cool, others are more apt to listen.

So, to the closeted straight allies, please be a Machelle and Ryan in your town and don't be shy about it. Talk about it. You're helping people at a scale you don't even know....

I recently exchanged emails with a straight ally who brought us out to her University during this last tour. I told her I wish I was straight so people would find me more credible as I'd fit the "norm". She emailed back saying "that's funny, I wish I was gay so I didn't have to deal with a lot of this male gender stuff..." Perhaps we're talking about the same thing. The grass is always greener but we're who we are uniquely and with purpose...and I'm off to continue mine....

Leonard Pitts: Empathy makes us better people
By Leonard Pitts

Published 12:00 am PST Friday, December 15, 2006
Story appeared in EDITORIALS section, Page B7

This is for a reader who demands to know why I write about gay issues. His conclusion is that I must secretly be gay myself.

Actually, he doesn't express himself quite that civilly. To the contrary, his e-mails -- which, until recently, were arriving at the rate of about one a week -- evince a juvenility that would embarrass a reasonably intelligent fifth-grader. The most recent one, for example, carried a salutation reading, "Hi Mrs. Pitts." We're talking about the kind of thing for which delete buttons were invented. So you may wonder why I bring it to your attention, especially since acknowledging a person like this only encourages him.

It's simple, actually: He raises an interesting question that deserves an answer.

If from that you conclude (or fear) you're about to read a stirring defense of my manly male masculinity, no. The guy is free to believe what he wishes; I really don't care. And here, let me digress to confess that, though I refer to him using masculine pronouns, I actually don't know if he's a he because his notes have been anonymous. Still, I assume it's a guy because the level of sexual insecurity the e-mails suggest strikes me as -- boy, am I going to get in trouble for this -- rather guy-specific.

Anyway, to get back to the point, I'm not here to argue sexuality.

I just find myself intrigued by the idea that if you're not gay, you shouldn't care about gay rights. The most concise answer I can give is cribbed from what a white kid said 40 or so years ago, as white college students were risking their lives to travel South and register African Americans to vote. Somebody asked why. He said he acted from an understanding that his freedom was bound up with the freedom of every other man.

I know it sounds cornier than Kellogg's, but that's pretty much how I feel.

I know also that some folks are touchy about anything seeming to equate the African American civil rights movement with the gay one. And no, gay people were not kidnapped from Gay Land and sold into slavery, nor lynched by the thousands. On the other hand, they do know something about housing discrimination, they do know job discrimination, they do know murder for the sin of existence, they do know the denial of civil rights and they do know what it is like to be used as scapegoat and boogeyman by demagogues and political opportunists.

They know enough of what I know that I can't ignore it. See, I have yet to learn how to segregate my moral concerns. It seems to me if I abhor intolerance, discrimination and hatred when they affect people who look like me, I must also abhor them when they affect people who do not. For that matter, I must abhor them even when they benefit me. Otherwise, what I claim as moral authority is really just self-interest in disguise.

Among the things we seem to have lost in the years since that white kid made his stand is the ability, the imagination, the willingness to put ourselves into the skin of those who are not like us. I find it telling that Vice President Dick Cheney hews to the hard conservative line on virtually every social issue, except gay marriage. It is, of course, no coincidence that Cheney has a daughter who is a lesbian.

Which tells me his position is based not on principle but, rather, on loving his daughter. It is a fine thing to love your daughter. I would argue, however, that it is also a fine thing, and in some ways a finer thing, to love your neighbor's daughter, no matter her sexual orientation, religion, race, creed or economic status.

I believe in moral coherence. And Rule No. 1 is, you cannot assert your own humanity, then turn right around and deny someone else's. If that makes me gay, fine. As my anonymous correspondent ably demonstrates, there are worse things to be.

About the writer:

* Leonard Pitts Jr. is a columnist for the Miami Herald. Reach him at lpitts@herald.com. His column routinely appears in The Bee on Fridays and occasionally on other days. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Gay Parenting, Dobson and TIME Magazine

Yesterday, TIME published a decent-sized article by Dr. James Dobson on his opinion of Mary Cheney (Vice President Dick Cheney's daughter) and her partner's pregnancy.

Read the story

Wow, can you imagine planning to have a child (same-sex couples have to plan, there's no "oops" in these families), investing the money, the time, the physical health in hopes you as a couple can become pregnant and having your motherhood, coupledom and qualifications questioned in TIME magazine by a Christian leader!? Now add you're dad is in the highest political office and his days at the office aren't much fun lately.

Wow! Plastered for the world to see, when you're so excited about this new phase in your family, you're going to have a kid! Then wham-o.

TIME magazine has been very good in handling LGBT issues and allowing Dobson his own article based on inaccurate and non-existent claims about someone else's happiness just blew me away. What right does Dobson have to even want to write this article? Why not do the usual and talk about it over his radio show to his followers, why hit the mainstream? What's he trying to control and possess? Essentially, what's he afraid of that he'd step out like this in TIME and recently on Larry King Live after the Ted Haggard outing? He told Larry he doesn't have the time to help Ted with his struggles (ouch) so apparently he wants more time to rain on other people's parades.

All I know, from our research while making the film, talking to people who've listened to him for years and have been in his circle and with my gut, is that it's always a business strategy and it's ALWAYS fear-based. I'm writing a series of articles (clearly I'm in writing mode...I've been blogging every day lately...I got in trouble with the staff when I didn't...) and one of them is on fear-based versus love-based decision making. It's really amazing and illuminating. I look forward to sharing it with you soon. All the symptoms are in the article of coming from fear to persuade the reader to believe what he's saying.

Anyway, Soulforce is also concerned about the misinformation printed by Dobson in TIME and have started a petition requesting TIME to look into the facts, as it is a very credible journalistic venue and as the fourth wall, the watchdog of the people, we need them to be looking out for us and weighing agenda of the religious right with what's just plain the right thing to do.

From personal experience, I encourage you to not always believe what you read in the media. That's a whole other series of articles...I used to teach media studies at a University for eight years and it's a passion of mine.

We've written a letter to the editor of both the NY Times for the Evangelical article and to TIME. People need to know the struggle and division isn't all drama and pain, there is lots of love and reconciliation if you're looking for it. We focus on what we WANT to happen, not what we DON'T want to happen...what we focus on expands. Ta...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Even the NY Times Gets It

Wow, guys. I'm feeling a shift...are you feeling a shift? The consciousness that so many of us have been stepping into - love and acceptance - seems to be making it onto the front page of the NY Times.

Read the story

If I were straight, I'd be just as on fire about this struggle for gay and religious people as I am for being one of them. I'd be an awesome ally, fearless and standing up for what's right in my words and in my actions. By society's definition, I'd actually have more credibility as a straight person on the issue. Straight allies have so much power and now more than ever in history, allies in churches are gaining more and more opportunities to show God's love to the isolated, hurting and schizophrenic. The NY Times ran an article today called "Gay and Evangelical: Seeking Paths of Acceptance". Dude, this is all that we talk about in the movie and everywhere we do talks. Mel White's been doing it for a bazillion years too and he got recognized in the article as probably the most well known on the issue. We often wonder who our "leader" is...who's our MLK? Who's our Gandhi? Rev. Dr. Mel White is...and he's in our movie for that reason. The man that's been there and back, the man who gets email and letter after another of people killing themselves over the struggle and he still gets up in the morning and lives through his passion for compassion. Luane and I are THRILLED he got some attention for his work in the midst of the Haggard and Barnes outings. People may be shocked or even feel betrayed in the evangelical world, but those of us with this Christ Consciousness have our arms wide open for these folks, it's another day at the office for us. We know these people exist, we never believed they didn't. We couldn't agree that it's preventable and we can be de-programmed from how we were constructed. We've always kept the door open for them, kept the light on.

NOW is a huge opportunity to get the conversation back on the table. It's in the public sphere so bring it to the private level and get people talking. Get our movie as a means to hold a house party to get people to talk, to get to know Mel White, to see what they can do to learn to be safe spaces of acceptance and love for those in their world who could be Haggard and is scared to death to be themselves. Don't kid yourself that you don't know anyone, it's no excuse anyway.

Keep your eyes open and step into the power to make a difference. Here's another way to make our lives really really count. God gave us power, not timidity and to help those who are current and future Haggards, we owe it to them to learn from other's mistakes of oppression and repression and step into love. Talk about it.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Colorado Pastor Paul Barnes Comes Out

We thank Darren Main for sending this our way...people have asked if we'll be sending our movie to Ted Haggard and now Pastor Barnes so they can have the opportunity to reconcile sooner than later. We are showing them our support and encouragement, the same that is open to everyone. And yes, we will be sending them the movie once the wound isn't so open and they aren't in a total state of shock here around the holidays. Pastor Barnes' remarks, feelings and experiences are not at all unusual, I'm so thankful he's shown courage and honesty with himself and the world. He'll now be able to be an even better pastor, man and human being fitting into his own skin...finally!

"I have struggled with homosexuality since I was a 5-year-old boy. ... I can't tell you the number of nights I have cried myself to sleep, begging God to take this away." -- Pastor Paul Barnes

Check out the story

From Darren Main:
For the second time in as many months, another Colorado Evangelical pastor has stepped down for being gay. Considering the fact that Pastor Barnes has been asking God to change his sexual orientation since he was five with no effect, he might want to consider that it is not God who is conflicted about his sexuality. I hope he will find peace with who God created him to be.

For the college and high school students: get with us on facebook

As you know, we've been touring many universities the last few months and will be heading back out starting at the end of January in Ohio. We're meeting so many tremendously courageous, smart, active students on our trips and want to keep in touch with them all. So, we set up a facebook page so we can keep on top of what the college students want to know, need to hear, desire to be informed on and be helped by. So search us out on facebook and get involved in the discussion group today. As those who have come to our screenings have heard me say, "yeah, many of the homophobic problems are residing in the church and the church is a big part of the problem right now. However, I also believe that the church is and can be a major part of the solution as more and more religious folks connect the dots as God always has." There's thousands and thousands of teens and college students who are really freaking out and are scared to death with no one safe to talk to around them. It's our mission to be accessible, support, encourage and empower these guys. There are problems within the youth, and they can be their own solution. THAT'S a choice. Are you part of the problem...or the solution? Join us and be a part of the solution, get into our groups, get the DVD and get fired up! Time's a wastin'!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

New Yahoo! Group available!

We have learned of a new yahoo group around our movie, God & Gays: Bridging the Gap. We're aware of who started it and are completely comfortable with them as leaders in handling the delicacies of this emotionally charged issue. They are religious folks, many of them straight and they "get it." They saw the movie and felt compelled to do something about it and started the group. So, we wanted to make you aware of it and invite you to join. If you're involved in PFLAG, Christian, Catholic, Morman, Jehovah's Witness, atheist, straight or GLBTIQ, please join and spread the word and help out your fellow wo/man. We will be kept in the loop on how we can help and support the group.

So, now you can have more dialogue from the privacy of your computer, no excuse to keep it to yourself anymore and if you're straight and accepting, let me remind you of just how powerful and important you are by getting involved and "outing" yourself as a supporter for ALL people. Join the group and share the love...

Saturday, December 09, 2006

"Funny Hurts" from Jason Stuart

Hi guys. Here's an article Jason Stuart, who's featured in our movie and is a wonderful comic and human being, has written that I felt deserves posting on our blog. Take a gander and go from there...

All I ever wanted to do was act and do stand up comedy. Since I discovered that being gay was an issue to most folks one way or another, I feel compelled to take a stand when I see a group of my fellow human beings attacked. I was never the kind of man who could sit at a family dinner when a racist comment was made about any group. So if a racist joke were made, I would simply say, that's not ok with me. They would reply but you're not Black. Well, it's still not cool or funny.

So, I was saddened and offended at the crudeness, the lewdness, the brazen racism expressed by Michael Richards unloading his rage. Surely most comics have the skills to handle hecklers or distractions, from a large group of friends gathered for a surprise party at a comedy club where alcohol is routinely served. This should come as no surprise to any comic, and our tactics should be playful, to engage, and win over the noisy fuckers. It's part of our job.

To demean, an audience member with a vile, hateful diatribe, simply has no place in comedy. It's not even the word, it's who says it on our cultural landscape, in what context it is said, and most importantly the intent behind it. Nonetheless, I side with Oprah and think the word has too much meaning to be used in a public setting.

It is time for us all to stand up for an internal audit. What are we capable of? How many Mel Gibson and Michael Richards' moments have we witnessed in ourselves, both in and out of a comedy clubs?

As the NY Times stated on Dec. 3, "For some, the most important lesson, one which may show some progress toward racial tolerance, is that it is the man who first hurled the racial insult who appears more damaged this time, not the target of his epithet." Mr. (Dick) Gregory said his son told him a joke the other day: "What is worse than a white man calling a black man a nigger?" Mr. Gregory said, quoting his son. "Calling a white man Michael Richards." My hope is that Mr. Richards is able to turn this negative situation around and make it a positive by supporting the community with his celebrity. My hope is that then, he'll no longer be the target of jokes, and all of us may be changed by the discussion his behavior ignited.

I found myself in the lobby of the Laugh Factory after the news conference on November 27th and was asked to be of support to the owner Jamie Masada, who has had me work at his clubs for over 20 years as a headliner and always as an equal. After the press conference the New York Times asked me some questions. But the NY Times misquoted my words. So I wanted to set the record straight.

What I said was that, "about 25% of black comics have anti-gay material in their act and just as many or more white comedians do the same. What are we doing about that?" Nothing.... I spoke with Najee Ali, a civil rights activist and he responded by stating that he has been on the front lines to support all folks from prejudice.

So I turn to you, my community to start an enlarging dialogues on the social acceptability of gay-bashing. I ask the question where do we draw the line? The current all-important discourse on racist speak is vital. How can we as gay folks add to the crucial discourse centered now on racism? At a time when LGBTQ folks are scorned, do we not have to address the hate radiating from the Religious Right, and to all comics making us the "butt" of their homophobic fixations? We must ignite amongst Americans a desire to also dig deeper and address the hate. Most Americans have soul-searching to do in their comedy choices, on street corners, and middle school hallways, that are often not very funny either but painful to others.

I learned when I was 12 the word "fag" scraped on my locker with a nail. I saw it every day for 3 years in Jr. High School. I never said a word to a soul. It shredded my sense of who I was for almost 20 years, until I started speaking on college campuses on the power of being out in the workplace.

It is time for change and I for one intend to continue to be a part of it in my work and my life.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Podcast Interview with Luane Beck & Darren Main

Darren Main hosts her own podcast interviews where she discusses health, wellness, spirituality and more from all kinds of angles. She recently interviewed Luane, our director and has posted the interview on the web. Please take a listen and pass it around via email to as many as you can, keep feeding yourself and others on the subtance that'll help us feel "full", no more twinkie content to keep us asleep.

Darren, thank you for the interview and your support for our movie. Opportunities such as these will make differences and change lives, many of which we won't know about but know enough that they are there.

Listen to the interview
For iTunes

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Email the trailer to your friends - new discussion group on YouTube

Hi guys. Since we've been home from the last three months we've been on tour, we've been getting our act together behind the scenes trying to spread the word about the movie at the grass roots and organic levels. Any time we screen, the response is always huge and very favorable. Now that the movie is FINALLY avaialble, we're trying to get the word out and let people know here in the holidays.

What better gift is there to give yourself and others than love, support, acceptance and understanding? That's what this movie's about. Help us out by spreading the trailer now available to email around on YouTube.com.

Also, there's a discussion group! Our December newsletter will be out soon, think of getting the DVD for your friends, family, your self, your co-workers who could use a helping hand from a non-threatening source this holiday season. Dismount the year in style!

Thanks for your help!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Kim & Luane's Christmas List

My family has always tossed around a Christmas wish list. Dad usually gets one or two things on the list for me, my sister will get one and my mom will deliberately get me something NOT listed. It's part of my mom's sense of humor. Actually, my favorite gifts from her are the ones she makes. She's made me afghans, a picture pillow, a pad for this storage big Luane built, stitch work, candles, and a quillow -- ever heard of those? It's a pillow and when you "unfold" it, it's a quilt. Then you fold it back up to a pillow. It's like skorts, or a spork. Well, the word is anyway.

Luane's family tree is currently a twig. Lists don't seem necessary. Her mom basically says "send me the link and I'll take care of it". Her mom is generous at Christmas and cares a great deal that she gets us exactly what we need. She's not very technically savvy (knowing this, I set up her new mac with our website as her homepage so she can see us every morning) but is very understanding of us needing certain tools to do our work effectively. She actually bought one of the three cameras we needed to shoot the documentary last year.

So, Luane isn't into lists and it's been like pulling teeth to get her to tell me what she wants. As a compromise, she tells me stuff here and there and then I'm to be creative beyond that. However, I'm the one in our couplehood that wants so badly to choose something personal and sweet that she will love and will bring a tear to her eye and end up getting like a bag of socks for her. I'm just not good at it. And yet, every year she blows me away with her thoughtfulness and dead-on choices of gifts for me. It's a talent.

I'm easy to buy for. I lay it out on the traditional christmas wish list. Just like the song about grown up christmas lists, mine now includes the charities I'd like my family to donate to, spread the cheer that way. I've mever been into "stuff", it just means it's more to take care of and clean. So, I'm choosy and it's almost always relating to our work. There's not much of a boundary between me and my work, especially with this documentary, it spawned from my story so I'm not only in it but all over it. So if there's something I desire for Christmas, you can bet it'll be something I'll use for the doc and our upcoming supporting services.

The list used to be posted on the fridge. Now it's posted on the web. My how times have changed. I hope you get what you desire and wish for. Consider adding your favorite charities to your wish list too. Here are just a few of our favorites:
- Heifer International (being vegetarian, we tend to sponsors the trees...)
- American Forests (make sure you see Inconvenient Truth with Al Gore)
- Habitat for Humanity
- Save the Dolphins foundations
- The Hunger Project
- PFLAG
- HRC (Human Rights Campaign)
- Soulforce

We usually support organizations that don't just band aid but get the community to help itself. There's no long term effect just giving someone a turkey once a year. I'll save that for another blog...Luane has an interesting story around that. Anyway, consider supporting folks who build people up and in turn their communities for long term improvement and prosperity. Have a great week.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Get new blogs sent to your email!

Howdy! We've partnered with FeedBlitz here on our blog so you can not have to try and constantly remember that we have a blog. Now, new postings will just automatically go to your email. I know this wallpaper on this site is so lovely and all, but we're making progress every day to get rich content accessible to you and the folks in your world, for free. So, sign up for the feed, won't cost you anything but a minute. Thanks for checking out the blog!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Lots to be thankful for

Happy Thanksgiving! Luane and I usually drive several hours house-hopping visiting family for Thanksgiving but since we've been gone from home so much lately, I think Luane's feet are nailed to the living room floor and our cats permanently attached to our laps. So, we decided to have the day of gratitude on our own. Then, we got invited to a friends for breakfast...it was only 10 mins away, can handle that. We ate a lot and managed to see the Parade for the first time in like 15 years and see Barry Manilow's 2 minute plug for his 1960s album. If you haven't seen his show in Vegas, I recommend it...and save up to get the stage tickets too.

Anyway, back to eating a lot...then various family members from all around the country began the calls and check ins. I was on the phone with folks as often as I was talking to people in person...lots of talking, lots of love going around. We went home, I talked on the phone, Luane and I ran through the 79 ideas of what we could and in what order for the rest of the day which included hot tubbing to frisbee throwing to meditating to starting the deviled eggs. None of that happened.

We got another call. A friend of ours said we had to go to her house as her non-vegetarian aunt brought two huge platters of mediterranean food and they could never eat it all. So, Luane got off the treadmill, wiped her pits and off we went. Our friend didn't give us any time to clean up so we got real cozy with her and her family!

All in all, we were really thankful to have met so many new people, we got to share the movie all day, everyone wanted to hear about the tour and we carried around our *one* copy we own (isn't that funny? We have ONE). It made us reflect and appreciate what an amazing year this has been for us. We're so grateful for the support you've given and we hope you feel the support and love through the movie, blog and website that we have for you and yours. Happy Holidays! Let the Christmas music take over!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Election Reflection Nov 2006

First of all, congratulations to Arizona for being the only state to not allow the ban on gay marriage amendment to go through. While we visited there in October, people weren’t sure how things were going to go but were optimistic and believed in the people of Arizona…and it paid off. Yes, it was close with a 51% to 49% result, but nevertheless, the ban is now not something else to prohibit equality in Arizona. The shifting in the Congress and Rumsfeld resigning is all very interesting and encouraging that Americans are tired of living in fear. It's exhausting, isn't it? Thank you to everyone who participated in our Evening on Equality. We felt the energy move and really appreciate your taking the time and heart space to participate. It made a huge difference! We'll host these virtual events from time to time, looking forward to our next one. We're looking at ways to webcam them so we can seem more in the same room.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Lewisburg & Cookies

We were just in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania which is in the middle of the state. We were told before arriving that “there’s Pittsburgh, there’s Philadelphia, and then there’s Alabama inbetween.” We checked that statement with the locals while we were there and they actually agreed.

We missed the beautiful leaves by two weeks but there was still some orange and bright yellow to be seen. One thing I really appreciate in the trees that are bare and transparent with all the leaves gone, is that I get to see the nests the birds were using. I get to see where they built them, how they constructed them, admire their engineering of renewable resources and marvel at the art in the architecture. When such natural amazement is revealed, I like to pause and just appreciate. I felt this way in the vulnerability that Lewisburg residents and Bucknell University students showed us during our brief visit.

One of the first things we did at Bucknell was speak at a freshman foundations Social Justice class taught by a Ph.D. in Psychology. It was a small in number class but a high IQ composition. All but two of the students were female. Where are the guys? It’s not Home Economics, it’s social justice, where are the males?
What does that class’ composition say at a macro level? Or is it a fluke?

Nevertheless, the professor was very trusting of us and we reassured her Luane and I had taught at the University level for eight years and we’d behave as guest speakers. We even put her through a little experiment along with the class and she participated fully. The students were engaged, they seemed challenged, and got a chance to talk and look at a subject matter that is at the surface but rarely discussed openly and in such a safe space. We love doing classes so it was a real thrill to be able to work with this “next generation”.

The screening took place at the Campus theatre in downtown Lewisburg, which is an independently owned non-profit, kept in tact with its original 1941 art deco d├ęcor and ambiance. I’m told by Mary the amazingly cool manager that it’s one of twelve single screen theatres still running. We were proud to have screened there. It was so beautiful, you have to see it for yourself…check out their website at http://www.campustheatre.org. We got a tour up in the projector room and saw all this original equipment, firedoors and just how many miles of film makes up a movie. We also got to hear from Chris the local comedian projectionist, several funny projectionist stories of films spliced together out of order and therefore run out of sequence…the character’s eating, now he’s not, oh! He’s eating again…or still? I love hearing the behind the firedoor stories.

The screening went flawlessly, looked beautiful on the huge screen in 16:9 and sounded awesome. We had a great crowd who asked lots of questions coming from all kinds of different perspectives and experiences, and all there to learn, appreciate and exercise compassion….on themselves and each other.

We met people who are starting to deal with the struggle and the hard times that may lie ahead. We met people who didn't grow up in a religious home and found the movie talking to them in a way that helped them see that they can have a relationship with God even if organized religion is not for them. We also met a mom who came because she has two pre-adolescents and attends a conservative Christian church, wanting to know how she can help make room for her kids to let them find out who they are attracted to without getting stuck on the assumption they are both heterosexual. There’s more to be said on this subject but I’ll keep that for another blog entry.

In essence, we loved the people and the place of Lewisburg. It's a town where you can leave your car unlocked and it's still there when you return - in tact. I even saw someone leave their laptop case with the laptop in the coat check area of the eating commons. It was refreshing to see trust still existing in a community. Finally, I try to eat a chocolate chip cookie locally made at every place we go to and I got to have two this time...so the trip was a great success.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Sunny San Bernardino

San Bernardino had the most perfect weather. It was warm and beautiful. The only downside was the smoke in the air dusting up the horizon from the wildfires set by arson that had killed firefighters. What can a person be thinking by setting a fire in dry brush on a hill near homes and a university? The loss of nature, lives, animals…it makes me shudder. Not to mention that those trees, those green leafy things I see too often being cut down and replaced by concrete is our source of oxygen. We’ll suffocate without them and they are burning down in these wildfires as well. I won’t dwell on this topic since we believe what we focus on expands so I’ll focus on lots and lots of trees…therefore lots and lots of oxygen. Inhale...

The screening at California State University San Bernardino was really fun. We had great questions as usual – which we don’t take for granted, we’re very appreciative of the level of quality questions and integrity in keeping the discussion at a safe space for everyone. We had a student say he’s considered a conservative Christian and just the fact that he came we really wanted him to know how appreciative we were that he was there. He broke stereotype by attending and asking a great question and was open to the answer we offered. We have a ton of respect for people who come to the movie who may already think they know what to believe about the topic but don’t get stuck and/or stop at the title: God & Gays. They still take the time to hear something new, something that’s not openly talked about in this way in their circle. They are stepping out of their comfort zone and that’s a sign of spiritual maturity and for that we are grateful!

I also got to experience a student’s dilemma of talking to a friend who pretends he’s not gay but when he thinks no one is looking, he’s with guys in secret. My heart was aching for this friend and for the student. It’s not easy bringing a deliberately avoided subject up in conversation. The student cared and wanted to tell the friend she was accepting and supportive of him and wanted him to basically stop lying through his behavior to her and others….that he didn’t have to and that the friends loved him no matter who he’s interested in. She was afraid he’d get mad and cut off the friendship if she brought it up. Yeah, that’s definitely a legitimate risk. So is him opening up and being so relieved to have someone to talk to about what he's going through. As Henry Ford said, whether you think you’re right, or you think you’re wrong, either way you’re right. So, again, focus on what you want to have happen, have that emit as frequency from you and do your best. If the friend freaks out and slams the door on her, it’s just where he is right now and he got exposed when he thought he had people fooled. But, I made her promise that no matter how he reacted, she needed to understand that it was his reaction and she didn’t “cause” anything; he must own his reaction. He can take the conversation as a blessing and opportunity for acceptance and love or he can run and hide some more, and therefore everyone loses. But, he’s entitled to his process and so is everyone else.

I hope she talks to him, sooner than later. At least he’ll know there’s one friend that cares about him, wholly, honestly and completely and she’ll keep the door open for him as he’ll need a support network while he goes through his process. I was grateful she told us her situation. It reminded me once again why we did made this movie.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Soooooooo Close!

Ah, the world of indy filmmaking. Restricted by time and money, we're having to make some interesting choices for the final DVD. Then, when we thought we were at final, we aren't as the menu needed some sprucing up. The DVD is available for pre-order now and will be shipping on Monday, Nov 6th. We are sooo excited. It's really odd to think so much of your life and energy ends up on a thin disc between plastic. At least I have a snapshot of my life and say hmm...I wonder what I did in 2005 and 2006, look at the back of a DVD cover and know the answer. I'll hold the answer in my hands. I've had to be more involved in the technical aspects of finalizing the DVD than we anticipated, which is another part of indy filmmaking, the more aspects of the process you're good at, you'll probably end up doing them at some point. Between Luane and I, I'm the more technical one. We're a good pair...she's the creative, head in the clouds, big vision person and I'm the feet on the ground, technical, detailed one with a secret sociological identity.

This has gone off in a tangent...anyway, we thought we'd have the final delivered today of the DVD but nay, the excitement continues.

We're currently in San Bernardino, CA at a screening. I'm in someone else's office and there's a Taco Bell attached to the other wall. Taco Bell is the last remaining fast food place I'll touch since it offers vegetarian options. I'll write more soon on what we've learned while in San Bernardino where wildfires have been set by arson and wiped out the beautiful green tree-y mountains at the foothills of the campus. They had a flash flood last week dousing 1st floors of buildings since there isn't any brush and trees on the mountains to contain the rain. More from So. Cal. soon.

Friday, October 20, 2006

UC Davis with Laura...and Laura

So, I caught some sort of bodyache cold flu thing from Buffalo's flights - I forgot the Airborne - but we headed up to UC Davis in California by car and got there just in time before the Q&A. I was really impressed by a table set up and presence of a Christian group who is all inclusive...and they mean it. I'm told there's a bazillion student Christian groups on Davis' campus and they run the gamut of perspectives. There's ONE that has connected the dots of being open and affirming. They have dinner nights, retreats and different services and socials. They're gathering steam as more GLBT folks figure out they don't have to chose between being gay and religious as they find places they can go to in their local area and be themselves.

Laura Engelken who is a seminary student and attended the Davis screening with us fielded questions and had one student come up to her one on one. Her name was Laura as well and said how grateful she was Laura was in the movie because she resonated with Laura's experience and has similar thoughts. She's currently struggling and was thrilled to see our title say "and" and not "or". She attended by herself, was quiet during the Q&A, but when she shared herself with Laura and Laura later shared her conversation with us, we felt strongly that the screening that night was for Laura, the student attending the screening. We were thrilled at the hopes that she won't have the hard time Laura Engelken and I did. That she can have unity inside herself by saving herself from the drama and disconnect with God.

We also met a unitarian minister who shared with us that his parents have a hard time accepting him still. Here's a grown, intelligent, sensitive, honest, loving and caring man who's devoting himself to ministering to others and his parents aren't able to still recognize who he is...they only see who he isn't, and that's not knowing your own kid. Ouch. We loved meeting him and hearing more personal stories. One of my favorite reasons for being out on tour with the movie is hearing people's stories. I like to hear what they've been through, where they are now and where they want to be. I like to know what's really going on with people since I know from a lot of experience that mainstream media do not reflect what Americans really think, feel and believe.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

In Buffalo, NY, there is Canisius College

We've been having the most odd luck. Our screenings seem to land right around really odd acts of nature and humanity and when we arrive, the campuses are a little off axis. This time, we're in Buffalo at Canisius College which is named after St. Canisius and is a Jesuit school. Their freak adventure was a very early snow storm in October to where there was so much snow, and the trees still had their leaves, the branches and sometimes the leaves themselves snapped and fell...sometimes roots and all.

This caused power outages to lots of blocks, included dorms and classrooms on campus. Where our event was held, we had power so, "the band played on." We screened in a cultural center where it's a revamped old church with beautiful stained glass and stone work.

We sat in the greenroom during the movie and handled some phone call meetings since we were three hours ahead of most of our team back in California. They left us chocolate chip cookies and water, which is my favorite snack in the world. Ahhh....choc chip cookies.

For the Q&A, we had some great questions on the film and us personally. We always lay the groundwork that we're transparent and can answer anything asked...if we know the answer anyway. One person asked about the differences between marriage and civil unions and I told the audience how I feel when I'm reminded my status is considered second class because everytime I fill out my tax forms, I have to lie and say I'm single...under penalty of perjury no less. I'm not single. I'm married. But, I have to lie to my government because it judges my choice of love to another human being. I just have to laugh...probably because I don't know what else to do sometimes...that my marriage to Luane is decided upon as legit or not by strangers in voting booths by punching a card.

So, the best way we try to answer all questions is demonstrating what it's like for us, tell our personal stories. Then, the audience can decide on its own what it feels and believes. We can only tell our truth.

Buffalo also has an interesting plethora of Greek restaurants. Not sure why, but we always eat at locally owned cafes and restaurants wherever we travel so we can get the local feel and we kept ending up at Greek places. The food was excellent and our company was fantastic. We'd eat with other leaders at the University and we'd have some great, open and honest talks about issues effecting our lives. We broke all the dinner table etiquette rules and talked about religion and politics. We'd have some folks look over and stare, and that's okay. Glad they were interested and I hope they got something out of it.

Buffalo has a small gay area/street called Allentown and we just loved the old buildings. We went by an old church that Ani DeFranco bought and is renovating into a recording studio. There was this fantastic quilt tied between two trees in front of the church...not sure what it was doing out in the rain, but it was bright and colorful amonng the gray and brick.

Loved our visit to Buffalo. The students there have strong boundaries, they are motivated and have VERY strong ally support. One kid said there was another student calling him names and spitting on him and the kid told him to stop and when he didn't, he said the student crossed the line and put a restraining order on him due to harassment. THAT'S knowing and upholding your boundaries and nipping hatin' in the bud. Everyone deserves respect and just because you may not agree, doesn't give you the right to act like a dork.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

First Stop On Tour, Starting off Easy in...Virginia

Charlottesville, VA was our first stop on the fall 2006 tour. We did the red eye flight into Dave Matthews Band territory and was welcomed with Joy, our host, holding up a sign with our names on it. We had to take a picture by the baggage claim with her since we’d been in town two seconds and learned by the signage and flags all over the airport what “country” we were in now.

After some rest and a yummy stop at Panera, we arrived at the afternoon screening. It was the middle of day, didn’t know how much attendance we’d have but Kim the intern had this beautiful spread of veggies, drinks and cookies, the whole campus would be fed. The time came, soda cans popped, lights dimmed and the show went on. For the Q&A, we were told by students that there were a number of conservative Christian pastors in the audience, but they left immediately after the movie. There were also members of the campus republican club there. We loved it. Diversity and inclusion cross party lines…it’s unfortunately not as common, but it does and should exist. We had many straight allies in the audience and I made sure they felt the love we have for them in their showing up and caring about their fellow classmates not getting equal treatment.

The second showing was later that evening and the room was standing room only. Students sat on tables and leaned against walls to see the movie. Many people from the community came and we got to hear some really hard and some wonderful stories. The harder ones included a woman who was raised in what she called a “Christian cult” in New Mexico and was programmed at an early age that if she left, she’d go to hell. Fun, huh? Happy childhood memories... She still left but also still lives in fear that God not only may send her to hell for leaving the cult but now because she’s been in a long term relationship with another woman. She said the movie helped heal some of the hurt she’s been holding onto and it showed her not to stereotype all Christians as unaccepting. It’s true, there is so much support by mainstream Christians for GLBT people than what is said publicly (due to their fear of being socially punished) we cannot get stuck in the mire of lumping all religious folks into being uninformed and unaccepting. It’s just not true. We get emails and people (whispering) to us how they support equal rights but feel they can’t be outward about it in their church or community. This is a sad current state of affairs of course, as the negative stereotypes then stay alive and well about straight Christians and people and the subject continues to stay stuck. But, they are there, we promise. We hope those folks will see the movie and get the message that not only do gay people need to be honest and open of who they are but also straight allies must come out and be open and honest of their support and acceptance (mind you, I’m not saying tolerance…tolerance is unacceptable…and I hope you enjoy the double entendre of that statement).

Back to the cult woman, she mentioned if the unmarried gay and straight person’s marriage amendment passes, her and many others like her – gay and straight – will have to move out of the state. The amendment will prohibit further equal rights including hospital visits and she has health issues that should the time come, her partner will need to be there to make decisions on her behalf. They’ve been together 20+ years and there is no one else to be with her. With this law, her partner wouldn’t be allowed to be with her nor have power of attorney, etc. as she’d not be considered “family”. Think about that for a minute. What would that be like if you were in her situation? If you are straight, been with your spouse for 20 years and he/she couldn’t make decisions for you and that person knows you best? Some second cousin you barely know has more authority? Just pause and soak in that scenario for a minute. Remind me again how this promotes family values...

We also got to enjoy a good talk with an atheist bioengineering student who kept asking “who cares if it’s a choice or not?” as he’s really into the science of it all. It was great talking with him and it helped renew our faith in this collegiate generation that they too don’t all fall into the stereotype of being sheep who just memorize and are lethargic. We’re meeting outstanding minds and personalities and are better people because of it.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Tour Fall 2006

Luane and I are so jazzed about hitting the road these next three months to Universities and theatres hosting us in all different areas of the country. We start in Virginia and basically get to cover the whole state hitting Charlottesville, Harrisonburg and Norfolk. We've got one day off inbetween which we plan to make some visits with HRC and PFLAG in Washington, DC. Those guys are national marketing partners and we'll be adding more akin organizations throughout the next few months. I love it when we can all work together!

Back to the tour...so then we'll head to Arizona, Vermont, New York, California and Pennsylvania. We really wanted to get the movie on the road with us before the mid-term elections in hopes those who come will get exposed to information that could lead to a more informed vote. What's going on in Virginia with yet another attempt to narrowly define acceptable love and recognition is occuring verbatim in Arizona. We are anxious to learn what people are doing locally in their states and how the elections effect them. We plan to do a looootttt of listening. Bags are packed, fish and cats are fed, plants are watered and we're ready to hit the road!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Working on the DVD Extras

Okay, the time is drawing near when we'll announce the release of God & Gays. We're working hard on the DVD extras and will be shooting some interviews with featured folks in the movie during our tour in Sept and Oct to many states who have a lot to fight for in the upcoming elections.

Our challenge is selecting from what we have. It's hard! We actually have enough to do a whole other movie. Alas, here we are on another holiday weekend banging out our ideas. If you've seen the movie, contact us at info@godandgaysthemovie.com and let us know what you'd fine interesting on your copy of the DVD in the Extras.

In the consistent spirit of paradox, happy memorial day.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Mel White's new book and tour

Mel White who is one of our featured speakers in God & Gays has a new book out called, Religion Gone Bad, the Hidden Dangers of the Christian Right. He's also going on tour around the country when it's released on Sept 7th. Check out the website for more info: http://religiongonebad.com/.

We had breakfast with Mel before we premiered in March and he told us this book was not holding anything back. He is very committed and serious in exposing the spells that many Christian Right leaders seem to have on their loyal audience. He's an amazing leader in this quest to educate.

He's also father to Mike White, who you may know of from School of Rock with Jack Black and Black/White Productions in LA. They just released Nacho Libre. Mike is doing really well and is currently directing his first movie in California.

Media comes in all its forms of messages. Its cornucopia can get overwhelming and in the spirit of the "goodbye" message from the flight attendants upon arrival, we know you have a lot of choices for your media consumption and what messages you'll put your attention to, thank you for choosing ours.

Seriously, we're grateful it resonates with you. We hope you continue flying with us. Thanks.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Bridge That Gap Comes to Santa Cruz, CA August 19th!

We're thrilled to be taking the Bridge That Gap conference to Santa Cruz, CA! A perfect vacation destination. This is home to the very popular Rev. Deborah L. Johnson from Inner Light Ministries and her partner recording artist Valerie Joi Fiddmont who are both featured in God & Gays: Bridging the Gap. I'm proud to know them and be working with them on creating this incredible, unique and really cool one-day conference.

New to this conference is I'll be speaking on Comfort Zones Are Slow Dream Killers and run a breakout group on bridging fear to love, helping each of us acknowledge where we're making decisions based out of fear and bust through our belief systems to make decisions from God's point of view, from love. I've been running workshops at other people's conferences and have been encouraged to speak at my own conference, so, come to Santa Cruz on the 19th and check it out!

We'll have live music from Marjorie Pearson and Valerie Joi's choir, author Darlene Bogle talking about her exodus from Exodus and we'll kick off the day by showing our movie, God & Gays: Bridging the Gap. Many of the people featured in the documentary will be there in person; how often do you get to talk with people from a movie in person?

It's going to be an incredible event. Thank you to Santa Cruz and Inner Light Ministries for bringing the conference to your area. If you can't come to Santa Cruz for the conference, then you can bring the conference to you! Email us from the website as we're already booking sites for Summer 2007!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Have you heard of The Secret?

It's a movie and no, I can't tell you much more than that, because, it's a secret.

What I do encourage you to do and I'm very very serious about this, is, to go to thesecret.tv and either watch the trailer and the whole feature-length movie there on the site or order a copy to purchase. It's not on Netflix, not in theatres. This is the only way to see it unless you have friends that own a copy. Then, get a showing together and include chips and dip.

We highly recommend seeing it with a small group of people. The discussion afterwards is always very enlightening. You'll be talking and thinking about it for days after watching it. For some, they watch it every few weeks to kind of make sure they're still on target and didn't stray too far.

You'll see life in a whole new way. More power to ya. Feel free to write us and let us know what you think of the The Secret after you see it, post your comments below.

I'm having a hard time not sharing stories of how our lives have been different since really watching the movie and see how its messages show up in life...so, check out the movie and share your stories with us.

More power to you.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Kim & Luane go on tour packed with the movie to the magic 17 states

The November mid-term elections are on the horizon. When I was in school, most people didn't like midterms, but they were precursor to how we'd do on the Finals which made the midterms that much more important. It's like when I played basketball in high school, how much attention I paid and effort I gave in practice clearly showed up in how I played the game.

The campaign ads have begun their race to the bottom, which helps fair-weathered voters blow off the mid-term elections. With my analogies above, hopefully we can really change our tune about these kinds of elections. Just because we aren't electing a president this time, doesn't mean it's not important. Future presidents are running for seats as governors, congress members and their are 17 states here in 2006 that still battle to legislate people's equality rights.

Just because it's baffling and absurd to most of americans, that doesn't mean we should ignore it and it'll go away. There's a bazillion signatures that need to go on a petition to get to a ballot. Somebody's signing them and those same somebodies are motivated to vote.

So, just like basketball practice, Luane and I have decided to hit the road and help political, spiritual and community-oriented organizations by providing non-threatening, educational, compassionate and undeniable content for their event.

Remember my post on living small? Luane and I can't make a movie like this and not do anything with it when there's so many people in the shadows who don't deserve to be there. The movie is meant to be seen and be a tool to bridge gaps: gaps of understanding and gaps between friends, family members and within ourselves.

We're serious about this stuff. Just yesterday, sitting in a restaurant, a woman leaned over to me and told me of her husband's brother who's gay and the whole Mormon family has shunned the brother except her husband. She talked of the divisiveness of the family and how her husband is also shunned for actually loving his brother, no matter what. Interesting implementation of family values.

So, if you and your affiliated organizations are running community educating events, no matter what state you're in, email us from the website and let's work on this together. We look forward to the road trip and meeting you in person.

Thank you for what you do, every day, from wherever you are.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Some say 6/6/06 is the apocalypse, maybe their right: The FMA vote

Hi everyone. Today, the US Senate is actually taking the time to deliberate on if LGBT people deserve equal rights and propose to amend the constitution banning gay marriage (the FMA: Federal Marriage Amendment). If you're reading this from outside the US, you're probably throwing your arms up in the air and thinking, if Americans are this bored, perhaps a library card or gardening would be less harmful to portions of their human segments? It's quick and easy for us Americans to respond with sadness, rage, depression, powerlessness at the very thought of someone's value being discussed in legislation. It's oh too easy to go there.

This is the consequence of doing nothing.

That willingness to sit in a corner in defeat and fear is what has allowed the discussion to even get this far. Lethargy is one of the main factors for the fact this documentary had to be made and is in high demand, that there is a PFLAG and an HRC. One would know the world is serving fully and spiritually if none of these organizations had jobs...there'd be nothing basic and obvious for us to teach and explain to each other like there's no difference between heterosexual and homosexual people...all are people.

We are not to be on the defensive. There's no reason. We have nothing really to explain, or justify. It just seems that way because many LGBT people feel attacked. Well, Osama felt attacked so he attacked. It's perception. Americans felt we got attacked by Osama. Who's right? It's perceived, long-held, well-watered beliefs.

I agree with Anne Frank. I believe there is good in every person. I also agree with Mandella when he said: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world." (Read Marianne Williamson's Return to Love for more)

I especially have been inspired by that last line. I used to tell my media theory class to stop robbing us of them, for example. When we "play small" we stay as insignificant as we believe we are. That's a lie.

Think of watching a group of kids in a dance recital. There's always one or two kids that just give it their all, you can tell they've rehearsed, focused, practiced and now really are shining. Then there's the other 82 that watch the person next to them, look bored or are clueless. They aren't connected, they dance small. Who are we inspired by as the audience? Who do we pay attention to? The kids who are dancing big and connected to themselves.

Below is a segment of a blog written by an episcopalian reverand who speaks on behalf of HRC. Please consider the words and their meaning. Call your Senators and tell them to continue to say no to the FMA:

"The exploitation of gay and lesbian families in the game of partisan American politics is what we went to Washington to protest. Writing discrimination into the Constitution is antithetical to our core American values and I believe it is critical that we hold to account those in this country would use the issue of marriage equality as a wedge to further polarize and divide a nation looking for ways to come together to solve the many very real problems we face.

Just as we said "No" to the Federal Marriage Amendment we must say "No" to any resolution that would place the burden for the unity of the Communion on the shoulders of a percentage of the baptized. Our vocations and our relationships cannot be used as bargaining chips to secure unity for some at the price of justice for all."

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Dueling Conferences & the Clueless Mormon Family

People have been sending us the article in Fort Lauderdale about the two dueling conferences vying for the attention and attendance of christians struggling with homosexuality. There's the Love Won Out and Love Welcomes All conferences in May. There was controversial coverage in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel on it that got a lot of people buzzing.

People have asked us if there's a big enough audience for our movie. Just the fact that at least 80% of America claims it's Christian and yet the continued rise of discontent, division and overall unhapiness could be enough. When I think of the size of the budget that Exodus has at a global level and other "ex-gay ministries", and the continued talk of the constitutional amendment and that it's over the battle of traditional marriage and traditional family, it's hard to escape the influence of religion. So, just look around. Read a paper. Visit a homeless shelter, a teen drop in center, psych hospitals in Arkansas, emergency rooms, read obits of a family who has no idea why their kid committed suicide...it's all related. We're all related. So, yes, there's an audience for this movie. Yes.

It's just a matter of will they step up and give it a chance to bring their family together again. Or at the least, let it bring themselves back together again.

Let me explain the clueless family statement. Our family has life-long friends who are devout mormons and moved to Utah when the younger kids were still small. When one of the kids, the 18 year old became distant to the rest of the family and meetings and talk was happening about his required missionary service, I got worried. Then, I heard the tragic news that the 18 yr old killed himself. The family was stunned, completely at a loss for explanation. They say there was no note, no signs, they struggle at understanding the why. Life was so perfect, love abounded in their home. They were very involved in their church. What could have been 'wrong'?

If you've ever wondered if the gay-dar thing is real, this is a solid example. I knew why. It's one of the reasons we made this movie. The isolation one can feel inside when knowing who we are but not seeing how it can be reconciled in reality can be and is deadly for some. The division of the "should" and the "is" in our heads and hearts can seem hopeless.

There's nothing divisive about oneness and that's what all this is about. Hope you'll see the movie and take it in.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Happy Easter

Well, this weekend is Easter. Good Friday is about the crucifixion of Jesus and Sunday is about the resurrection. We celebrate it with food, egg hunts and family...and for sure going to church. The bummer I find in knowing several christians is come the day after Easter, life lived in suffering continues...we immediately forget that Jesus rose, defeating suffering, defeating death.

How come we stay in the death? We live our everyday lives believing we deserve to suffer? Maybe you're saying...hey now, I don't walk around all day moping or crying or in constant pain. Are you sure? Are you as happy as you could be? Where are you not aligned with yourself and the world around you? Just as our spines need adjusting by chiropractors and we feel pain, suffer illness and headaches if we don't, we need to be aligned, making adjustments along the way to keep ourselves strong and healthy - physically, emotionally and spiritually. If people base their life on a teaching and faith, why are so many Christians irritable, unhappy, and unsatisfied in their work and family life? I don't get it.

Modeling life on how Jesus lived his is awesome, and his actions followed his beliefs.

Beliefs drive behavior.

What we believe about ourselves shows in everything we do and say.

How we do anything is how we do everything. I credit T. Harv Eker for that profound statement. Test it our for yourself...it's amazing what we can learn about ourselves when we care enough to look.

So, at this Easter time, I encourage us to make different, more positive, more self-supportive choices in the moment, every moment, and see what happens with our beliefs and therefore our attitudes which leads to overall feeling like we really are living life. We are alive. Jesus is alive. He had a mission and he filled it. What's yours? How are you doing in being honest with yourself and God in filling it? If you aren't going for what you came here to do, the world is currently living with that void that only you can plug up. Please, don't rob us here in society any longer from your gifts, talents and offerings. We need you! This is one huge way we can eradicate lack from our life, society and world. Live alive!

Happy Easter everyone from all of us here at God & Gays.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Let the Race Begin!

After our outstanding showings at Cinequest, the race begins on how we get God & Gays out to a theatre near you. We have been contacted by Hollywood, New York and Europe with offers and methods of distribution. We're thrilled they see the need to get this film out and so we're in discussions on the best way to roll out the doc to nationwide outlets.

I'll be honest that I don't know how soon this could happen. It's really important to us that we work with people who have a heart for this project and want to see it succeed and are willing to work their magic to allow that to happen. We cannot allow this movie to gather dust on someone's shelf while we enjoy our advance. Nope. Can't happen. We're careful of who gets involved in this project at any part of the process as to give it the most love and care possible.

It's our baby. We created it. Just as having a kid procreated by two people is made out of love (hopefully) and there's dedication by the parents to nurture, protect and teach it skills to be self-sufficient, we have the same commitment to God & Gays. We made this film out of love and we're on our way to being empty nesters and letting it move on to its destinations.

Monday, March 13, 2006

A Woman Cried on my Shoulder

I gotta tell you, meeting so many incredible people at the screenings and the conference was what really kept us going...we were so out of steam with putting so much work in getting the movie ready to show, the PR to get the word out with no advertising or PR budget, prepping for the conference and then running it...plus we have jobs that are keeping us financially afloat with all this mayhem going on.

My hives are better, by the way. I'm starting to get some sleep. I slept from early last evening and most of today and I plan on sleeping more before sleeping the whole night. Sleeping is all I'm capable of right now...oh, and this blog. I'll have to proofread this several times, I'm sure.

Anyway, we met many unforgettable people...two guys who went to two of our three screenings and our conference pronounced themselves officially "groupies" to the older men who just come up and with a strong handshake, quietly and quickly say, "thanks" before rushing away.

One woman in particular felt comfortable enough to tell me that she has been struggling with being gay and Christian for 15 years. Now, by looking at her, she doesn't fit the media stereotype of a gay woman. That's something else we say in the documentary...gay people come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, just like straight folks. Again, no difference. And in her situation, her looks allowed her to blend and not be noticed and questioned...which was also part of her internal pain.

The woman said the struggle of spirituality and sexuality was so difficult for her and caused her lots and lots of pain. She didn't want to leave Christianity, she loved God and she knew who she loved here on earth. All of it was clear but the stigma, culture and people in her life who made it much more difficult than it should have been.

We talked briefly about how our upbringing of seeing sexuality and spirituality as separate was a big fat lie...and that's when she lost it. And I totally understood why. The first time I had that epiphany, I lost it too. She cried, I cried and the subsequent people in line after her were all crying. The next five people I saw after her were all wiping tears away.

We really are all one.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Sunday Morning Special

Okay, our final screening at Cinequest is over...we are so sad! The morning audience was really incredible too. First drama was us being so exhausted from the whole week and especially the conference that to get up, unload our cars from the conference stuff and get out on the freeway in time was a challenge. Next, we find that Highway 17, for the first time in thirty years mind you, is closed at the summit due to snow! This is central California! There's no snow here!

So, we had to drive the loooong way which of course made us late and we missed the opening of our movie. We snuck in while it was playing though and got to enjoy the movie with a few hundred people who got up to see a movie on Sunday morning at 10.30am.

The Q&A was really powerful. One person asked us why we were so nice and not angry after knowing what's going on. I totally understood her question and I assured her that we had been through quite the emotional roller coaster while making the movie (see earlier posts for more). However, we can't stay that way. We aren't affective if we stay down in our lower selves. We have to get and stay in our higher self to do the work that needs to be done. We are in the results stage of the process and how can we be mad when we've got a hundred glowing faces looking at us with such gratitude for telling such a compelling and realistic story?

One thing we said in interviews was that we have been very deliberate in steering the conversation to what all of us can agree on, and where we are similar because from there, we have things we can talk about and learn from. If we go with what our differences are, then that stops growth. That stops listening. And that is unacceptable in this dynamic life.

Thank you to everyone who got up on a Sunday morning and watched a movie. Major kudos to you.

It was really wonderful meeting people at the screenings and the conference. It was a pleasure for all of us to get together and share an experience. We're looking forward to the movie continuing its journey around the states.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

First God & Gays Conference Goes Smoothly!

Oh, man...I'm so running on fumes right now. This last week has been such a whirlwind, there's no way to prep for something like this. Fortunately, I had outstanding help from volunteers in setting up and running the conference. It went so smoothly, I was almost creating problems to deal with.

I also discovered during some down time that I broke out in hives. My mom flew in from Utah to be at the showing last night and help at the conference and thank GOD she did. She's the one that noticed my itching and red lumps and ran out to get me some goop to put on it and make me sit on my hands to stop itching. That was fun.

We had people come to the conference from over an hour away and in the morning they were quiet and shy and by the afternoon, they were laughing, relaxed and looking really happy. I was just thrilled to see people shift once they realized what our environment can provide people. We had PFLAG there, pastors from several open and affirming churches and christian denominations, an incredible choir lead by Valerie Joi Fiddmont, great food from Camille's catering that they donated to support the event...over 100 people were there. It was just so alive. It was an incredible experience.

The afternoon small breakout groups brought lots of people to share a lot of their pain and lots of tears came out...connections were made, stories were heard and people finally felt truly loved and accepted. I'm telling ya, it was just an incredible experience. My description isn't coming close to how awesome it was.

So, I guess you'll have to come to one the next time we hold a conference and see for yourself!

Showing #2 at Cinequest Sold Out!

So, we just had our second sold out screening at Cinequest. What a blast. We had a dinner for the people who are in the doc or on the crew and it was such a trip to see so many of us all together in one place at the same time. When shooting, no one knows each other...Rev. D doesn't know about Jason, Mary Lou doesn't know about Darlene and Mel White doesn't know about anyone as he's in Virginia fighting his good fight. So, to see these people talking and having such a big part of their life, mission and their identity in common...needless to say the conversation was always very interesting.

The audience was just as hyped as the audience for the premiere on Monday. It was so awesome! Our showing was at 9pm so it was after 11p for the Q&A and the place was still packed. The questions were great, we got lots of time afterwards to talk to people individually, got to hear a lot of amazing stories.

We flew in Mary Lou and her wonderful husband Bob all the way from Arkansas to come to the screening and speak at the conference. They were tired but great troopers. We brought Jason in from Los Angeles and he of course was wonderful to have around. That guy is so frickin' funny. He did tell us that his nephew is having his bar mitzvah this weekend and he wasn't invited so he was glad to be with us and doing the work with us. If you've seen the movie, you know his heart-wrenching story about the loss of relationship with his sister and how he's never met her kids...and now one of them is old enough for a bar mitzvah. Ouch.

Overall, it was fantastic meeting people who had come from all over the country at the movie. One woman has a strong uphill challenge on her college campus in Minnesota trying to her LGBT group and the christian campus ministry groups to work together. Oh, man. The stories we hear...

Thank you to everyone who came out to the late version of the show! Now, it's some sleep before we run the conference all day tomorrow and then a third screening on Sunday morning. Rest when we're dead, right?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Third Show Added at Cinequest!

Wow...and the hits just keep on coming! We've sold out our two scheduled shows at Cinequest and they have just scheduled a third in their 1100 seat theatre! That's the good news...the funny news is their only availability was on a Sunday morning. I teased the programmer that for any other movie, that would be great, but this one movie on a Sunday morning? Where does most of our audience spend Sunday mornings?

Well, since services can be on Saturday nights these days, hopefully we'll get lots of support. The challenge now is to promote it and let people know it's there. That's the big challenge...we'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, March 12th 10.30am California Theatre downtown San Jose. Tix available at box office and online. See you there!

World Premiere of God & Gays a Huge Success!

Woo Hoo!!! We are on such a high right now, words just can't do it justice. We held a thank you reception for people who touched the project in some way before the premiere and over 70 people showed up. We had an open bar and vegetarian appetizers at the Blue Monkey in San Jose. At one point, the entire executive staff of Cinequest arrived...the founders, the program director, the PR director, the PR staff...I've never seen all of them in one place before.

Then, as we get to the theatre, we see this line at the box office with over 100 people in it. Then we walk into the theatre and our screeening is on the third floor. As we're walking up the stairs, we see the line for our theatre down all three floors, around the corner in the lobby and outside.

We are just in awe.

The Cinequest staff tells me they've never seen such demand for a film and tell me we're sold out for the premiere and for the second showing on Friday so they have to figure out how to accomodate all the people in the box office line by scheduling a third showing.

The energy was just electric in the theatre and all through the line. The crowd was fantastic. The audience was at least 90% heterosexual couples, all kinds of ethnic backgrounds. I saw pastors there I knew from my past when I worked in doing drama productions for churches. It was just fantastic to see the curious and willing show up and be interested in how they can be a part of the solution. They will help so many people in their world. One guy who came with his girlfriend told me after the show how his mind was just racing on ways he could help make himself be a safer person for people to be who they are, as they are. I didn't know this guy at all and he was compelled to really share that this movie really challenged him and how empowered he felt to be able to do something.

We had a ton of comments...all of them positive...that we'd love to share with you. Right now, I need rest...if I can sleep. We'll see how Friday goes. We're so thrilled! Thank you to everyone who came out to the premiere. Your presence and enthusiasm really matters.