Wednesday, November 07, 2007

ENDA Passed Today in US House of Reps

Hopefully many of you were on the call with Harry Knox and myself last Thursday for this month's God, Gays & You Live Interview Series call. Harry is the Religion & Faith Director for HRC (Human Rights Campaign) and today they released a major bulletin I pasted below.

It was an amazing call and I've gotten several emails thanking us for having him as a guest. Be sure to join us next month to be with Valerie Joi Fiddmont...musician, gospel choir director, partner to Rev. Deborah Johnson and the woman who delivers the "a-ha" comment in our movie. Be sure you're on our email list (sign up to the right) to get the call details. As sometimes we've had recording challenges, it's best to be on the call to make sure you don't miss it!

Here's the HRC bulletin on ENDA...feel free to comment on the decision to move forward lobbying without protecting transgender people in ENDA.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

We are one step closer to our ultimate goal of ensuring that all GLBT Americans no longer live in fear of losing their jobs.

The progress we've made today is historic - it is the first time either house of Congress has passed employment protections of this kind. It took over 30 years of lobbying and grassroots political work to get to this point, and while the bill that finally passed was not the fully inclusive version we sought, this represents a major advance - and the best way to move towards our long-term goal of protecting our entire community.

HRC first helped introduce ENDA 13 years ago, to prevent workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation. This year, gender identity was added to the bill. Unfortunately, gender identity was not covered in the version that passed today, but this vote was a first and absolutely necessary step towards equality for GLBT people in the workplace.

That's why HRC joined with a coalition of major civil rights groups who declared support for the bill before the final vote, including the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR includes more than 192 national civil rights organizations), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA), and the National Education Association (NEA).

Supporting this version of the bill was a difficult and painful decision. But, without a doubt, the only path to achieving a bill protecting our whole community was by achieving the successful House vote today. A defeat of ENDA would have set back the possibility of an inclusive bill for many, many years.

HRC remains 100% committed to doing the hard work necessary to pass legislation that protects our entire community, including transgender workers who remain especially vulnerable to workplace discrimination.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Talk with Harry Knox from HRC this Thursday

As the last week of October descends upon us, we'll enjoy "All Saints Day" this year with having Harry Knox from Human Rights Campaign (HRC) as our next guest for our God, Gays and You Live Interview Series. We'll talk with him on his experiences around the country in working queitly with hundreds of church leaders in helping them learn more about becoming open and affirming. He'll also share news from HRC's work and give us a snapshot of how culturally we're doing with moving from rejection and tolerance to acceptance of GLBT people as whole human beings. Harry is a major leader in the reconciliation movement and you're invited to submit your questions to him on how you can work with your church to become more openly accepting and loving of ALL God's creations.

We've pasted his bio below for you to get to know him and prep your questions for the call. If you're new to this series and want to be on the call, sign up in the email box to the right so you can get the phone number and access code each month. Tell your friends and family!

If you have a question for Harry, email it to us at:

I'll talk with you on Thursday, Nov 1st 5pm Pacific/8pm Eastern!

Harry Knox joined the staff of the Human Rights Campaign in July 2005. Under his leadership the HRC Religion and Faith Program has seen the creation of a national speakers’ bureau that reaches more than 10 million Americans monthly and a weekly preaching resource that provides scriptural commentary to ministers and lay people interested in an ecumenical gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender perspective on the Bible. He has also been instrumental in creating a national network for 22 progressive state clergy coalitions around the country. Knox has been featured on programs as diverse as "The Michael Medved Show," the BBC News, PBS, NBC, CBS and national and local newspapers and has co-authored an article on GLBT issues and world religions for Conscience magazine.

Knox’s prior management and advocacy experience includes having held the positions of business manager for patient services and comprehensive school health programs for the American Cancer Society, Georgia Division; director of development at Equality Florida; executive director of Georgia Equality; and program director for Freedom to Marry. He is also a former licensed pastor of a United Methodist Church in Georgia.

Under Knox’s leadership, Georgia Equality was successful in passing the state’s first GLBT-inclusive legislation, the Georgia Anti-Domestic Terrorism Act, and in obtaining domestic partnership benefits for employees at Coca-Cola, BellSouth, Delta Airlines, Atlanta Gas Light and Cingular Wireless. He was the recipient of the 2000 Cordle Award for Promotion of God’s Diversity and Lancaster Theological Seminary’s 2005 Robert V. Moss Medal for Excellence in Ministry. Previously denied ordination because he is gay, Knox is currently seeking ordination in the United Church of Christ.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Gay Around the World on Oprah Today

Today on Oprah, she's doing a show on what it's like to be gay around the world. She goes to Iran and India and around here in the US. People have asked us if we've tried to get on Oprah to tell the reconciliation story. Of course! We continue to. She has done a number of shows on different angles of the gay "issue" and hasn't yet walked in to the conversation around religion and sexuality with the message of reconciliation.

We have the talented speakers from the movie who are perfect guests, we have the movie releasing early next year to make it accessible to the world, we're ready when the producers are.

Until then, we're thrilled she continues to bring this topic and the effects on human being's lives by generations of not talking about it.

We intend on being a part of the dialogue she creates by doing shows like the one she's doing today. I encourage you to TiVO it, tell friends to watch it, share it with family who struggle to understand.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

NashVegas Opens its Doors to God & Gays

Darlene and I just returned from Nashville, TN where we spent the weekend (well, Darlene spent some of the weekend in Chicago's airport stuck from weather issues). We showed the movie on Friday night and hosted our workshops on Saturday. It's our mini-Gathering event we're doing around the country. If your church or school is interested, shoot us an email and let's work it out:

The Friday night screening was a huge success. We stuffed the Holy Trinity Community Church (UCC) sanctuary, some people showing up an hour before to make sure they got a seat....which was very smart as we had people stuffed in the aisleways eventually. Darlene was stuck in Chicago during the Q&A which broke her heart, so I recruited the church's pastor Rev. Cyndi to join me as we were greeted with a huge standing ovation by the audience while the movie credits rolled.

I got quite emotional by the overwhelming response. Yes, we've had the blessing of standing ovations a number of times before, this time it was in the south. That felt amazing.

I've believed in Nashville in being an excellent host for our Gathering and the rest of the weekend was planning meetings around doing it again next year. I met strong and committed leaders of the community dedicated to adding reconciliation to the short list of options for Christian families in their area.

The workshops were phenomenal. The response from the participants was staggering at how much they gained from our few hours together. I could literally see change happening right before my eyes. They felt incredibly affirmed, encouraged and empowered to step up in their lives and know what to do next to live daily in the life they want to live in. I am so proud of each and every person who was there. It's not easy to face some things we've resisted and pushed down but when we start to, we see there's nothing to be afraid of and we have authentic support along the way.

I met some really strong, courageous and amazing people all weekend. I got to crash a bowling birthday party in Smyrna and earned one of my highest scores ever while being called 'hon' from the bowling alley food personnel (I eat that up!). I was taken to dinner along the emerging 'gay strip' of Nashville which is funny enough, located on Church St. Smoking is no longer allowed in restaurants and I'm SO EXCITED about that! It's the one thing I don't enjoy about traveling is trying to eat my gardenburger while gagging on smoke. The flavor just goes away. I got my hair 'did' for the screening by a gracious hairdresser from the church who wants to go to divinity school. He even filled my quota of having locally made chocolate chip cookies on every trip by sharing some home made.

I enjoyed a Sunday apres-church lunch at PF Chang's with someone who ministered with my sister in college when she was still struggling with her sexuality and spirituality. She told me knowing my sister then and the world they were a part of and recently being back in touch with my sister and having my sister be cool with her being out meant everything to her. She comes from parents who see her as an Exodus speaker one day so that's not fun for anyone.

I cannot stress enough the power and importance of straight people being out and supportive in everyday conversation...we need more shining examples of acceptance as you never know who around you you could be helping and even saving.

I also got to watch the movie Soldier's Girl about Calpernia Addams's story. I didn't realize it all went down around Nashville so watching it there and hearing from people who knew Calpernia and the club she worked at when she met Barry...getting the inside perspective of how the death and following memorial really shook the area was really powerful.

The weekend was truly amazing and I cannot wait for next year's Gathering in Nashville. Stay tuned to this blog to learn more about it as we "leak" info on it here and there...found out who will be there and the workshops we'll be offering. We are very serious about having the event perfect for the entire family, so be thinking who you want to bring and practice inviting them.

Oh, and watch Oprah tomorrow for her show on "Gay Around the World".

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Mel White's Father Passes on Coming Out Day

Hi friends. A bitter sweet week....

Thursday Oct 11th was National Coming Out Day where people around the globe have all kinds of activities (showing our movie and holding discussions is among them) and spread awareness around acceptance. One of the goals is to let the millions of people across the country know who are still closeted and struggling that it's okay to be out and be who they are. For many, it's the encouragement they need to step out and be honest and authentic with themselves, keeping the faith they will weather any storm that comes their way.

Also on Thursday, Rev. Dr. Mel White's father, Carl White, died in California at the age of 94. Carl attended the premiere of our movie and even the reception celebration beforehand. He took pictures with our folks in the movie and spent a long time talking with us and the Reitan Family who are also featured in our movie. At the Q&A, we made a special introduction of him and as he stood and waved hi to the sold out and excited crowd, I started to tear up knowing how incredibly special that very moment was to be in my memory. Having Carl, a devout evangelical Christian man, be our guest at our movie which stars his son, Mel White is right up there in my most proud moments. He was incredibly kind and had a wonderfully warm smile. He was happy to be there and proud of his son. Carl's family is accepting contributions to Mel's organization, Soulforce, on Carl's behalf. We encourage you to get involved and help his legacy continue. You can read an article on Carl here.

This week also marked on October 12th the 9 year anniversary of Matthew Shepard's death. There's a lot going on at the Matthew Shepard Foundation and I encourage you to peruse what they're up to. Check out what the Matthew Shepard Act is all about too.

What an emotional it's leading right into our mini-Gathering in Nashville next weekend. Darlene and I hope to see you there Oct 19/20!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Is Kim MIA?

Hello! I am alive, I promise. There's so much excitement going on behind the scenes here at God & Gays, it's crazy fun.

Some updates just so you know I wasn't away on the beach in Mexico or something...we've actually been working very hard....

- God & Gays has been picked up by Indican Pictures out of Hollywood and is in prep mode for our Los Angeles release in November and then several other markets around the country in Jan/Feb 2008. They are hiring publicists so you get to know where and when you can see the movie in a theatre with other people....a very different and wonderful experience to the DVD. They are prepping the press kits, making plans, working with theatres, asked us for some photos of my and Luane's wedding (which we just celebrated our 3rd year anniversary in September) and who knows what else....

- Darlene Bogle and I are making a special appearance together in Nashville, TN on Oct 19 and 20 for a screening, Q&A and to lead our very cool interactive workshops. Darlene's workshop will be based on her Exodus from Exodus which is a great lead in for mine called "Comfort Zones Are Slow Dream Killers". If you are within driving or short flight of Nashville, I really encourage you to make the trip. It's going to be a mind and heart melding weekend. It's a great warm up for next year's Gathering.

- Luane is writing the script to our next project, we're getting close to start meeting with Hollywood reps and begin the production process all over again. We're two for two...two movies made, two movies distributed which is a frickin' excellent track record in the indy world. This next project will take this consciousness to a whole new level.

- Did you catch our amazing interview with PFLAG's power couple, Sam and Julia Thoron? You can listen to the recording on our archive page: Next month, join us for a live chat with Harry Knox, Religion and Faith Director for Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

- Luane and I have been going through adoption prep classes, building a baby room and getting ready to be parents very soon. We decided not to carry our own and help a kid or two who's already here and needs a loving stable home. I'm nervous, but excited. My kid sister's pregnant too so we're sharing "pregnancies" together, I just don't have the daily throwing up and can keep my body shape. Pretty cool deal.

- We're making plans for the 2008 Gathering. Be sure you're on our email blast list to get information as it becomes available.

Well, I guess that's good for now. There's been a lot of amazing things going on with the Matthew Shepard Act and many many churches becoming more open and affirming every week, in every part of the country. It's good to be alive.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Democrats Appear Before Gay Audience

Last Thursday, each of the main democratic candidates came on one by one for 15 mins each to receive questions from viewers, Melissa Etheridge, Joe Solmonese from Human Rights Campaign and Washington Post writer, Jonathan Capehart. As a side note, the moderator mentioned that all republican candidates were invited to participate and none of them accepted. Even middle of the road and GLAAD news release quoted Rudy Guiliani.

The video is available online so you can still see how things went:

Out of 15 candidates, 2 support gay marriage and when you hear those 2 talk, you can see a major difference in their overall demeanor than the others. These 2 don't play politics, avoid answering questions and turn the conversation to what they want to be heard (which Obama and Rodham-Clinton were experts in doing) much as the others anyway. Anyone, including us, who've had any sort of media coaching are trained to say what we want to be heard, regardless of what questions are being asked.

Before the event, Obama and Rodham-Clinton were on top of the poll on the HRC site, even though neither of them support gay marriage. Since the forum, it's Obama and Kucinich on top and thank God the message got through that the gay community has a real ally. Kucinich DOES support gay marriage AND every other issue that brings equalization to the gay community.

My favorite question was why does the gay population support Hillary and Barack when neither of these candidates support them back on gay marriage. It's a good question. My concern is that it's so because we're used to settling for the crumbs, we're used to compromising something to get anything. With this approach, it's why we're still in this stuck, unequal space in society. We aren't claiming our rights as whole and complete people.

We all teach people how to treat us. If we support people who still see us as less than or unworthy of full human rights support to play a political game, that's what we'll get. It's a no brainer to me.

I once asked my classroom at a University I taught in for 8 years that if Gandhi were running for president, would he have a shot. The class quickly and easily said no. Then I asked if they would want him as president and they all said a resounding yes.

There's such a disconnect of what we want and what we think others want. We have been voting to what we think other people will do so we jump on a bus and "vote for the lesser of two evils". Well, that hasn't worked so great for us lately.

We're supportive of Dennis Kucinich and it's an easy decision to make. Why? He's working with author Marianne Williamson on the US Dept. of Peace for one thing. This is a department that focuses on peaceful resolutions and putting government money and energy to peace, versus what NONE of us want which is more war, violence, death with the current focus and spending on the department of "defense".

Another reason is that he truly "gets" equality and is unafraid of political backlash. Watch his piece on the link above. Look at where he stands, go see him at a town hall. He's the kind of leader who would actually do the right thing for the right reason...because it's the right thing to do. He's love based and not fear based.

He's the closest we have to Gandhi running for the presidency right now and I encourage all of us to vote the way we feel we need to, because it's the right thing to do. We create our realities. We individually control our choices. Don't let the media, the double-speak, the family, spouse or friend influences override what YOU want. Don't jump on the bus this time. Try something different. Take your space, step into your power. Historically, it's those that take unpopular positions that are the most authentic and heart-based.

If you're in the gay community or straight ally supportive of the gay community, there's only two choices for the democratic party and that's Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel. They are both supportive of you, of who you are and what you stand for, so please support what supports you.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Presidential Candidate Debate on LGBT Issues August 9th

Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has organized a democratic presidential debate in Los Angeles Thursday, August 9th to see everyone's perspective on LGBT issues such as marriage, adoption and other political hot topics. For info on how you can watch the forum, go to

Last night Luane and I had dinner with a few very strong supporters of our movie and got to talking about the candidates and where they are in advancing equality for LGBT people politically. It was an interesting conversation as none of us were excited about any of them as each are finding ways to play the fence.

Which is exactly what we don't need from potential leaders of the "free world". I taught a management class for 8 years at a University and as anyone knows about leadership and what has actually been Bush's success has been that he's been a strong leader by being decisive.

Yes, he makes really really bad decisions causing a lot of pain, death, suffering at home and around the world, but he does make them and stands by them. That rallies people, when they can stand by a strong leader. Hence him (sort of) winning again three years ago. People still felt obligated to stand by their leader.

Having the democratic candidates not be decisive, not stand up for doing the right thing like allowing equality across the board for all paying, voting, productive members of the community, teachers, cops, doctors, lawyers, moms and days who also happen to be LGBT, is absurd. It's already guaranteed in the constitution so what's so fuzzy about it? Well, each have their take in claiming they are Christians. Unconditional love is already in the Bible so what's so fuzzy about it?

Here's an excellent opportunity for the candidates to do the right thing, recognize that equality for LGBT people is actually very prevalent and wanted in this country, we've seen it over and over ourselves on our touring and be a strong leader decisively supporting LGBT equality in all its political ways.

So, let's see what happens. The use of fear in the church, religion and the Bible has been very effective the last two races, wonder what would happen if we used the love side of the same things for 2008. Watch the debate and see what you think.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Peggy Campolo live interview TONIGHT

Hope you all can join us tonight for a live call with Peggy Campolo. An evangelical, mother, wife of popular speaker Dr. Tony Campolo, Peggy sticks her neck out as a Christian GLBT advocate. She accepts homosexuality not in spite of the Bible but because of it. Hear her story, how she and her husband disagree on this major issue, what it's like for her to speak out and why she's so committed to doing so.

This is part of our monthly teleconference series the first Thursday of every month with some of the biggest and most influential folks in the reconciliation movement. To get the access code and phone number every month, sign up for our e-blasts in the right column of the blog. For tonight's call, write us at

Join us!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Independence Through Apology - Ex Gay Leaders Say They're Sorry to Gay Community

The Ex Gay Survivor's Conference last week was historical in many ways. Not only was it the first time ex gay survivors were proactive in setting up a gathering for other ex gay survivors around healing, sharing of stories, and empowerment but to also put a face and voice to the emotional trauma many of them have faced...never mind the suicides they know of from friends in the programs who couldn't make it through.

Last week, history was made by ex-Exodus group founders, President and leaders coming together to issue a formal statement of apology. They apologized for being a part of a paradigm and organization that made people feel not enough, broken, sinful, not accepted by God...most Christian's worst fear. They are sorry for their role even though at the time, they believed like the others, what they were saying. Fortunately, these people are huge examples of how when leaders finally get conscious of the consequences of their actions, they step back, take responsibility and choose to be vocal. They aren't flip-floppers as some would spin, they are sorrowful for their role and speak out for reconciliation, as they have now found for themselves.

Just imagine being 16, been told from the pulpit, within family and friends how gross and sinful homosexuality is...all the while scared to death that you're learning your gay. At first you don't tell anyone. Maybe you go to a pastor who tells you to go to Exodus which promises "freedom from homosexuality through Jesus Christ" which assumes you are gay because you aren't a good enough Christian. Ouch.

You start going to weekly meetings, lying to people you love of where you go on Thursday nights for hours. The struggle is on your mind constantly. It's hard to concentrate on school or what you want to do for a career. Relationships are distant, you're afraid of intimacy, it's too scary to get too close to anyone, they might find out who you really are and reject you cold. So you pretend to be social when you feel totally isolated and alone...for fear of being isolated and alone if they knew. Catch 22. At least you have control, you're the one choosing to be alone, not them, right?

Your parents finally get involved when you tell them you've been in meetings for 2 years and nothing's changed. They pay for you to not go to college, but to go to the live-in version for a couple of years. You try to abide by the 254 rules while living 24/7 in a house with several others of your peers dealing with the same thing...and you're all the same gender, separated from the opposite gender. You are told to tell your most shameful sexual sin in detail in front of your parents and everyone else's during the parents, friends and family members weekend. Now your parents are brought into the mire and emotionally devastated. Where did they go wrong with you? You feel shame, guilt, embarrassment wanting all this to just end.

Two years turns into 12, hundreds of dollars turn into several thousands. Alas, you still are who you are. You decide you've done all you can to please God except one thing; accept how he made you and live your life as he's designed it, no longer listening to others tell you how you're supposed to live your life. You realize there's no such thing as should, normal or supposed to...or even try. Try is just another term for confusion, stuck, indecisive, non committal. You step up and step out of the programs.

Then, you learn of this statement of apology. The fact that someone in the program is sorry for putting you through all that suffering for no reason, to fix what isn't broken in you. You're out 12 years of your life, thousands of dollars. You're angry, maybe you've left religion as a result, you might get involved in more self-destructive behavior because it's all you know to do from your ex gay get into drugs or alcohol, become promiscuous, become anti-social and other coping mechanisms people choose when they feel directionless and incomplete.

The apology hits you hard. It brings up feelings and emotions you've been trying to silence externally. It asks you to forgive those who wronged you. The range of emotions sways and then you realize you just got the biggest gift anyone could have given you. Someone who harmed you actually said they were sorry. How often does that happen in our culture? What a gift. You decide to accept their apology. It frees you like you've never felt before. You feel like a backpack of weights are taken off your back for the first time since you were 16. You get it. You come to self-acceptance finally. You don't hate yourself and beat yourself up anymore. You start to love yourself and in turn are now available to love others healthily. The smile returns to your face. You finally feel happy. No more struggle. Sure, you could have done this without the apology, but this apology sure is nice, isn't it.

I'm proud to know and have in our movie one of the authors and signatures on the apology, Darlene Bogle. There's a series of photos and YouTube videos from the Conference event, you can see how it went down for yourself. The apology spans across all of us who have or had a struggle around homosexuality and religion. Forgive them, for they know not what they do....

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Sabrina Matthews Benefits God & Gays July 17th

I'm happy to announce Sabrina Matthews, from NBC's Last Comic Standing and Wolfe Video's Outlaugh DVD will be headlining a fundraising event for our God & Gays Gathering. Here's the gist:

An Evening with Sabrina Mathews to Benefit the God and Gays Gathering

NBC's Last Comic Standing and out lesbian comic Sabrina Mathews performs her hilarious comedy live Tuesday, July 17th 7pm at Club Savoy in Santa Clara, CA. Catch her in an intimate setting all to benefit the God & Gays Gathering, a live event to bring people together in conversation and healing around homosexuality and religion.

6.30 pm - Doors Open
7 pm – Event Begins
- Local singer/songwriter Derek Jameson performs
- Oakland’s acoustic guitar player and singer Karen Soo Hoo performs
- Sabrina Mathews performs
9pm - Event Ends

Tickets available online and at the door:

Club Savoy
3546 Flora Vista Ave. Santa Clara, California 95051
Phone: (408) 244-6909

Derek Jameson, for those of you who have the movie, is the guy who sings the song over the ending credits. The song, Whisper, was custom written by Derek and his lyricist Adis Eminic just for the movie. It's really an amazing song. Karen Soo Hoo has contributed music to past projects for Luane and is amazingly talented and a wonderful human being. We're lucky to work with folks of this caliber.

So, if you're in the San Francisco Bay Area or know people who are, let them know about this event. It's basically going to be very very fun. See you there and Happy Fourth of July.

Monday, July 02, 2007

My Weekend at the Ex Gay Survivor Conference

Wow....what a weekend. Peterson Toscano and Christine Bakke from along with Soulforce put together this first time ever, unique and much needed Ex Gay Survivor's Confrence in Irvine, CA. It happened less than a mile from Exodus' "Freedom" Conference. Fascinating that what Exodus was interfering and creating at their conference, was the same thing the survivor conference was trying to repair and heal. It's like a photo I took of a Krispy Kreme donut store directly across the street from a hospital. Cause and effect. Choices and consequences. Eat a lot of donuts, you'll end up in the hospital sooner than you think. Believe a lot of harmful lies and psychological trauma based in fear, you'll end up suicidal, ripped from your family and if you survive, putting the pieces of your life together slowly, maybe have a healthy relationship without feeling guilty. Either donuts or dogma, we're allowing it to ourselves. We're the ones putting it in our system and digesting it. But these options are only available if there's an audience willing to pay and hear it.

Why not skip the middle man and allow God to guide you? No need to spend money to hear someone say every gay person is gay because they were molested (Melissa Fryear of Exodus) or it's the father's fault because he didn't hug his son enough (Nicolosi from NARTH) or it's the mom's fault because she wasn't a strong role model for her daughter. Why pay someone to do that to you? Why doubt yourself and God's guidance in your life that much?

Even Exodus' current leader, Alan Chambers, says, "expect a life of denial" as an ex gay and he frequently mentions a daily prayer he says asking God to help him not do what comes naturally to him.

The focus on the Survivor conference was not on Exodus or bashing them, it was in support and encouragement for those who went through the programs and are broken inside, carry pain and guilt still, feel divided, walked away from God, are angry and feel betrayed and for those who have accepted themselves, want to meet others and see they aren't alone.

People shared their stories, there were tears, there was laughter. We got to show our movie and the praise was high. This was a very different crowd for our movie...we usually have 80% heterosexual people attend. This time it was the opposite. What was important to me was that they felt properly represented. Like the movie voiced them and their experience, saying what they'd want to say to people. And they did. They felt great about the movie expressing and representing them. Phew.

You probably have caught the articles, our own Darlene Bogle on CNN, etc from the Ex conferences. It was amazing to be a part of history.

If you're ex gay or had an ex gay experience yourself or with your child, I highly recommend coming to our Gathering in Nashville August 3/4. You'll be safe. You'll be upheld. You won't be alone. You'll be comforted. You'll be heard. You'll matter. You'll be addressed in love. Click the registration button on the right column and see you in Nashville.

I'll continue to blog on my experiences and the kinds of stories we heard this weekend, some heart breaking, some very redeeming. I'll also share one of the disturbing emails we got recently.

Hang in there if you've had an ex gay experience. There is light at the end of the tunnel...hang on....there's a huge support system here for you.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

God & Gays Gathering August 3 & 4

We've sent out a press release and wanted you to have a look so if you see mentions in your local media, write us and let us know. Word doesn't always get back to us that someone has covered our movie or the Gathering.

Also, feel free to copy and paste the release and email or fax it to your local TV, newspaper, radio, entertainment magazine's news assignment editor in arts & entertainment, religion sections and features editors. And, if you have a favorite personality or reporter, send it to them as well. We have seen the success over and over again that if people know about the movie and now the Gathering, they will show up and as a result, thousands of lives will be positively impacted. So help spread the word.

You can also easily send it to your local churches, diversity resource center, University multicultural office, state equality organization and others you know of that will want to join in and get the word out. Thank you in advance! It takes all of us!

Contact: Michele Karlsberg
(718) 351-9599
Gathering Schedule Available at:

God & Gays: Bridging the Gap
The Movie. The Gathering. The Movement.

Bishop Spong, Mel White and Actor/Comedian Jason Stuart and many more converge in Nashville for the highly anticipating
God & Gays Gathering 2007: Unity is Our Identity

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., July 1, 2007 -– “I’d rather she be dead than gay,” confesses a mother who, unfortunately, got her wish. She lost her daughter to suicide and talks about it in the heart-wrenching and yet unifying feature documentary, God and Gays: Bridging the Gap.

Filmmakers, Gathering founders and life partners, Luane Beck and Kim Clark, created God and Gays: Bridging the Gap to offer an intimate look into the lives of people raised in Christian homes and who struggle, knowing – or fearing, their homosexual path. Now, they host the largest, most impressive line-up of qualified speakers on the country’s most non-discussed topic, can you be Christian and be gay? With the religious right and mainstream Christianity teaching emotionally traumatizing ex-gay therapies, celibacy or subtle and equally as harmful forms of tolerance, it’s the perfect time in history for the God & Gays Gathering.

The God & Gays Gathering features progressive Episcopalian Bishop John Shelby Spong, previous ghost writer to Jerry Falwell Rev. Dr. Mel White, evangelical minister’s wife Peggy Campolo and ex-Exodus group leader Darlene Bogle plus many more together to Nashville, TN. Considered a central location for people all around the Bible belt area to attend, Gathering founder Kim Clark hopes, “anyone who is tired of being asked to vote on marriage equality and hearing only fear as the reason to keep people divided and are ready to deal with the human side of the debate around homosexuality and religion in a safe, accepting environment is welcome. We are ready for the parents and friends of gays, lesbians and transgender people to come so we can support them as they will and do get flack from society for not disowning their loved one. We are ready for the gay person with nowhere to go safely, who has contemplated or attempted suicide to instead invest time in him or herself, in what they’re going through and how to work with their faith to be the solution, not the problem. We’re ready for the church leader, the teacher, the therapist, to give them support in leading their groups to learning more on what it’s like to be gay and religious. The goal is empowerment. Get people out of victim status and they become more of who they are, how God made them.” Clark is best known for her quote, “comfort zones are slow dream killers” and lives by it on a daily basis, which is what got her through making God & Gays: Bridging the Gap and creating several support services like the Gathering. Her partner, Luane Beck, originally made the film based on Clark’s own personal struggle with being gay and Christian. Since premiering, they’ve toured the country speaking to large groups, showing the movie, receiving thousands of emails, letters of support and stories about changed lives.

God and Gays: Bridging the Gap is a rare opportunity to get questions answered, challenge the myths about gay people, and to put a human face on a hot political issue. The story is uniquely told by the people who live the struggle, judgment, fear and ignorance of others every day. “This is about real human beings, contributors to society, educated, kind, God-loving people. This is for real and people deserve to see and hear the stories of the people whose lives they will affect,” says Producer Kim Clark.

God and Gays: Bridging the Gap unifies Christianity and sexual preference in a time where church denominations are on the verge of dividing, in an era where history doesn’t repeat itself, but people repeat history.

Editors: For an EPK and free viewing of the movie trailer, go online to To schedule an interview with the filmmakers and people featured in the movie, call (718) 351-9599.

About Zernus Productions: Writer, Director and Actor Luane Beck started Zernus Productions to produce her first feature-length narrative drama Intentions in 2001. Award winning documentary producer Kim Clark joined in 2003 and together they focus their true-to-life stories with social integrity and unification in mind, heart and soul. Learn more about the nationally distributed Intentions at
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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Day of Silence for Internet Radio

Most folks are not like me in some ways. For example, I eat my gardenburgers upside down. If I have any socks on at all, I walk around with only one on usually. I bounce my left leg feverishly for an hour before I notice it.

But, many folks are like me in the way of listening to internet radio, the last free medium for indy artists, multicultural music and channels to lost songs and artists that we'd never hear on commercial radio. And it's free to the listeners. No subscriptions, they survive on donations.

I personally listen to UK and French stations through the internet. I like hearing what's going on in Europe since they are far ahead of us in music trends and I like variety. I mostly like listening to ambient...or "chill" music. It's meditative and helps me be creative in my writing.

Today, I gotta pull out the CDs because internet radio channels are silent to demonstrate how the future will sound if we don't get involved with what's going on in DC these days. There's been a horrific copyright royalty charge on internet radio stations including past years that will put most internet channels out of business. That's the point. The proponents want to silence them, because they can't control them.

There's lots of talks quietly going on around the internet to make it more profitable for large companies. Being an indy filmmaker, and with filmmaking one of the last frontiers to have a voice untouched by profit margin, I tend to step up for whoever the little guy is when the big guy is trying to crush the little guy.

Hey, I grew up on Underdog. I also believe in cooperation and that there's abundance in this world. We don't need to crush and eliminate others so we can advance. Wallace D. Wattles writes about the maturity of a person in their spiritual growth is marked by embracing creativity and not lowering oneself to competition. Yep, this harkens to the philosophy that I learned all I needed to know in kindergarten. Sharing, making room for another so we can all work together balancing our strengths is what benefits us all. There's no reason to silence internet radio, besides fear and lack of control...which is fear.

So, if you appreciate internet radio like you do indy films, free speech blogs like this one and other internet beauties, I highly recommend going to and learn more how you can simply help. The little guy is more representative of who we are as individuals, than the big guy trying to define who we are as a collective. You're needed. Help 'em out and contact your congress person telling them to rescind the enormous royalty charges. It's not that radio doesn't want to pay any, they just can't pay the rate they are being charged.

Extinction of good things can be preserved. Ball's in your court. Thanks.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Ex Gay Survivor in Irvine this Weekend

This weekend is the Ex Gay Survivor's Conference in Irvine, CA. and Soulforce put together a series of workshops, speakers, performances, music and movies to bring people together who have dealt with ex gay ministries in their lives.

I will be in the minority there as I didn't fall for the ex gay ministry tractor beam propagated by many Christian churches in the country. I don't know how I escaped it actually. Under the sign saying "Grace Ministries" at my previous church, sat a table top full of books titled "You Don't Have to Be Gay" and other such myths. I was fortunately at a place of self-acceptance that seeing the contradiction of the book titles with the sign saying Grace helped me leave the church, never looking back.

If you're not familiar with what ex gay means, it's a philosophy around believing being gay is preventable and/or curable. All you have to do is read the Bible more and welcome Jesus into your heart. It completely negates those of us who have reconciled did not do so in spite of God, but because of Him. Well, recently the head honchos at Exodus International, the biggest and best funded ex gay ministry (by Dobson's Focus on the Family) stated they see homosexuality is actually not a choice. Gee, what took them so long?

It's a way to make people conform to other people's level of comfort. It takes creativity away from God. It's absurd and there's thousands of people in loveless marriages because of it.

Now the course of self-justification of existence is to say gays must be celibate. As if all gays can be priests, when priests aren't always able. It's insane. It's emotionally traumatic. It's caused youth and adults to commit suicide. It's psychological malpractice. It divides families. It divides individuals. It's conditional when the Bible is clear on loving as Jesus loved, which is unconditionally.

We have Darlene Bogle, a former ex gay (I guess an ex ex gay...) and former leader in Exodus Ministry in our movie. She has a powerful story of how she sees how damaging her life was by confusing being numb with being straight. The self-hatred she had, burrowing it in alcohol, drugs, staying busy at work so she didn't have to feel or deal. I've met others who are anorexic. I have a personal friend who has caused herself an ulcer, had surgery, aged her skin with stress, kept her kids home from school so she isn't alone, got addicted to Vicodine...all to avoid and self-punish after listening to made up marketing terms like "pro gay theology". People will cause themselves physical harm when emotional trauma manifests. It's emotional trauma because there's a huge disconnect from our soul to God when we pull back and listen to made up rules from human beings versus listening to what God is telling us in the whispers. Even if we ignore it or deny it at first, it always gets worse and the consequences greater. Always. Being gay can't be fixed, because there's nothing to fix.

Darlene now is on fire to minister to ex ex gays and help those currently in ex gay groups get out and get on with their life as a whole human being.

We have another person in the movie who is currently ex gay and has been for 10 years. We've gotten the feedback from screenings of how viewers can see her pain and struggle and wish she would truly connect to God and get her nose out of studying herself into dead ends to keep herself from feeling anything. It's interesting. People think they pull off how they are happy and at peace, even though parts of them are quite shut down.

We don't fool anyone. Except ourselves usually. I'm excited to be at the conference and show the movie on Sunday, July 1st 4pm at UC Irvine as the grand finale. I'm proud to be a part of a sanctuary of sanity for people who got caught in the ex gay net. Hope to see you there on Friday with Mel White, Wayne Besen and Darlene Bogle. I love my job.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Luane's Other Projects...and Our Next

So, how about this for "coincidence"? I'm started to write this blog at 6:16pm. That miracle won't mean anything unless you read the previous blog, but...SEE?? It happens to me all the time. Has it happened to you yet? We'd love to hear if 6:16 suddenly starts catching your eye...we can start a nationwide movement called 6:16 and have it about taking a minute every day to remember why we're here and be in appreciation that we are here. interesting idea.

Speaking of 6:16, I forgot to tell you a few years ago Luane actually wrote a David Lynch-like script called 6/16 for a grad program project. We gathered a crew and shot the 24 min. short over a long weekend (and it was loooonggg...not much sleep on indy film sets). Luane's not happy with how the lighting turned out so currently it's only for our eyes. We showed it once at an Intentions screening (Intentions is Luane's first can get it at amazon, blockbuster, netflix and see it on Logo television). There was a fantastic reaction to it, but Luane being the artist she is, doesn't want to release it as it is. Who knows, maybe we'll re-shoot it and put it out there.

The story is basically how I saw and dealt with my sister's tragic death...then and now. It's out of order, I acted in it (well, tried) and the pool scene was too intense for me to stick around and watch. But it's a good script, a great story and I'm sure it'll help someone someday. With this short film and God and Gays, you'd think Luane uses me and my life story as her muse. Well, I guarantee our next project has nothing to do with my life...but a lot to do with my sense of humor. We're in scripting and plan to fund and start shooting next year. So excited!

We'll keep you in the loop as things move along...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

My Sister is An Alien

Okay, today's blog is just for sister, her husband and their kid took photos in the local Apple store with new software called photobooth. I laughed so hard! Enjoy:

Monday, June 18, 2007


June 16th is a very memorable day in my family. June 16th, 1985 my younger sister and youngest sister went with my mom to the grandparents for my younger sister's birthday. I was supposed to go with them, but as a typical 16-year old on the weekend, I slept in, so they left without me and my Dad went to his second job he did on the weekends.

After an afternoon of Doritos and Diet Coke (I can't believe I used to live on that junk...) and watching MTV when it was still showing music videos, I hear screeching of tires into our driveway. I hear my Dad screaming for me as he runs into the kitchen. I jump up, we hug, he's very very upset and manages to tell me there had been an accident.

What happened at that moment and for the next three days completely changed my world, my family and me.

My 12-year old sister, on her birthday, had lunch with the family and followed my then 6-year old kid sister and my mom out to the pool at my grandparents house. My sister was a frog, not only for the green swimsuit she wore out but because she loved being in that pool. With my kid sister bobbing along with her floaties in the shallow end and my mom sitting by the pool taking out her contacts, my sister was doing a lap, pushed off the deep end wall where the underwater light is, her feet touched the metal frame around the light and was instantly electrocuted.

My grandfather later found out there was an electrical short out there. Even though no one blamed him or was ever upset at him, he took that guilt to the grave. My family was devastated, changed, and asking why.

We all grieved and handled it in our different ways, maybe a little too separately. Two years later, my parents divorced.

The good stuff that came from this life-altering experience is I recognized life is short. Too short to get into drama. Drama is stupid. I became more patient. More compassionate. A better listener. Closer to God.

The one major pattern I just recently got help recognizing that started from that moment 22 years ago is how I handle conflict and tough situations. What I do when Luane and I disagree, is I pull back, I disconnect, I put up a wall of shame and guilt for messing something up, not doing something, not doing enough...and therefore not BEING enough. This came from the guilt and shame I carried for YEARS believing I was supposed to be there with my family at my grandparents. Had I been there, maybe I could have saved my sister. I felt horrible about making such a stupid choice as to sleep in. I kept saying I just wanted my sister to come back and tell me she forgave me for not being there for her. I was always there for her when kids picked on her or she wanted to borrow my clothes. I felt the one time she really could have used me, I wasn't there and now she was gone...somehow, I believed it was my fault.

Since we were all handling it differently, I didn't voice this. I expected them to agree so I felt shame. Ten years ago, I finally confronted my guilt, had several keening moments and finally forgave myself, acknowledging there was nothing I could have done and to focus on the good stuff of when she was alive.

It's been 10 years and I thought I was done. Nope. That pattern of retreat had stayed alive. Now I'm focusing on being more conscious, present and not letting old patterns run my life. I run my life. I run it with co-creation, energy supplied by God. My sister is still teaching me things, even 22 years after her death.

My kid sister, as you can see from the photo, has done an amazing thing. She tatooed the dates of our sister on her ankle. I was there and watched her wince and clench while it was being done, the whole time, talking to Tiff and letting her know how much we love and miss her. It was awesome. As my kid sister says, "going through something like losing a sister, you make up your mind as a family that ya stick together. No matter what." Which has helped her be supportive of my being gay.

The year I forgave myself around my sister's death, was the same year I had my struggle and came out. I wonder what else is getting ready to be revealed....

...but at least once a week, usually more, I'll randomly look at the clock and catch it saying 6:16. And every time that happens, it makes me pause, smile and say hi to Tiff, thanking her for looking out for me. I know I'm never alone, but it's sure cool to have that moment to remind me what's really important in life. When you catch 6:16 on the clock, I hope it helps you, too.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Massachusettes Still the Rock Stars in Equality

This just in...

Massachusetts Defeats Discriminatory Constitutional Amendment on Marriage

EQCA Calls on Governor Schwarzenegger to Oppose Discrimination

Statement by EQCA Executive Director Geoff Kors

SAN FRANCISCO – In a joint legislative session on Thursday, lawmakers in Massachusetts rejected a proposed constitutional amendment to ban marriage for same-sex couples by a vote of 45–151. The vote secures marriage by eliminating any chance that the amendment would get on the 2008 ballot. At least 50 votes were needed to advance the measure.

“Today’s victory illustrates the incredible leadership of Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, MassEquality, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, legislative leaders and scores of lawmakers who all diligently fought for fairness and dignity for gay and lesbian couples and the entire LGBT community in Massachusetts,” said Equality California Executive Director Geoff Kors. “Since he took office, Gov. Patrick made the compelling and necessary case that minority rights should never be put up for a popular vote. Today, we call on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to demonstrate the same kind of leadership in recognizing that the ballot process should never be used to take away or preclude basic rights and freedoms.”

For more information visit and

Luane ran her marathon!

As many of you know, Luane started training in March when she could only stand walking a mile, to run a marathon in June (that's 26.2 the same day...). She signed up with Team in Training for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She raised more than her minimum, stuck to what the coaches told her to do, ran the marathon by running 9 minutes, walking three for 6.5 hours in warm San Diego, CA sun with 17.000 other people. She is injury-free, she just walked really funny for a few days, and she's on a great personal high as this was one of her items on the "life list".

Now she's hyped to either be a mentor and do it all again (this time run in Alaska with the Moose) and/or train for a Team in Training triathalon.

I'm so proud of her. She got through all the mind garbage to acheive her goal and did while raising money for treatments to help someone's mother, brother, father, sister, friend not die needlessly without cures.

I know this doesn't really have anything to do with our work directly. But, since it's a big deal for us, it influences our work. We're getting the message that obstacles are not what they appear to be and can be overcome when there's a pure reason to do so.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Central Pennsylvania or Alabama?

We just returned from 4 screenings in 3 days in Central Pennsylvania. As the saying goes, there's Pittsburgh, there's Philadelphia and then Alabama inbetween. Depending on your perception and experience of Alabama will determine what you think of that statement. Its intent was apparently to demonstrate the middle part of PA is lots of country, farmland, Amish communities and religious conservatism. And therefore, not a welcoming environment for gay, lesbian or transgender persons.

A sidenote, did you know that the republican party actually motivated the Amish (who live their personal and religious lives in the running water, no electricity, ride in buggies) in the last election by frightening them of the eminent overrun of gay people if they didn't vote? Fascinating. I'd be ticked if I was Amish...being used in that way for political gain. Oh wait, I am being used that way....

So, we started at Penn State in Harrisburg where we ate large chocolate chip cookies (I had so many over the weekend! The word got out that I love them and have the goal of eating one wherever we travel...I'm still batting 100% on that goal), we made our own calzones and experienced a thunderstorm in the middle of the movie that knocked out the video of our movie, but the audio kept playing. In our sense of humor, our host told the audience to think of it as listening to NPR while they fixed the projector. It was fantastic...everyone stayed during the black out and was very enthusiastic during the Q&A. Then the question came around if we'd distribute an audio version, which we do plan to do. We just didn't count on testing it on an audience just yet.

Then we had two showings at the Penn Central United Church of Christ Conference where they had voted that morning to continue to honor marriage equality 251 to 91, a flip from just a year ago. We had ministers telling us they were on the fence or on the other side of the marriage equality issue and were so touched by the movie and our stories, they are now committed to equality in their churches and see how crucial it is for straight people of faith to step up and speak out. It was incredible. We even had a few people who had been strong advocates for keeping GLBT folks out of the church and not allowing equality in marriage attend. They came, they stayed, they listened, they nodded in affirmation. We couldn't ask for more. But we did get more by meeting a local therapist who was just crying to us afterwards. She's the person who hears the pain and the stories in these more oppressive areas. She meets and works with these real people with these real problems. She shared some of her stories so people who think they don't know anyone gay can get a grasp of how serious this all is. I just kept saying thank you to her, over and over again. I get how important it is that she's doing what she's doing. I get that she's carrying a lot with her when she hears other Christians talk about the gay agenda and other myths about the homosexual community.

Our last screening was at an open and affirming UCC church just outside of Harrisburg. They became O & A (which means they openly and officially accept LGBT people as they are...they don't try to fix what ain't broke) not because there were LGBT people there. They don't even know if there's any LGBT people who attend their church. They did it because it's the right thing to do. Entirely lead by straight allies who are members of the church, since their transition they've seen their attendance increase some by LGBT people (well, the ones that are out anyway) but more by straight families. They WANT to go to a church that walks the talk of taking people for how God made them. They get that if one is disadvantaged, we all are. We live in a system of relationships and the system is altered when there's pulls us all down.

So, don't believe the hype about Central PA. They really genuinely care about their neighbors. They are doing something about it. Their PFLAG chapter is very strong, very committed and unconditionally loving. And they need to be. We're big fans of PFLAG and love meeting the volunteers. I cry every time I meet a PFLAG parent out of gratitude for what they are choosing to do with their time and love. We look forward to visiting Central Penn again soon. There's lots of reasons to go back, namely 3B ice cream...just kidding.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Dr. James Holsinger for U.S. Surgeon General?

Fitting to the pattern of choosing the most controversial persons to high posts of government, Pres. Bush announced recently his nomination of Dr. James Holsinger. You might have seen the CNN ticker that said "gays oppose Holsinger" or the like, often not really saying why and therefore leaving the impression those gays are just whiners and would disagree with anything the President would do.

That's not true. I think lots of gays would be in agreement if Bush decided to leave office because his conscience finally got to him for all the harmful decisions he's made over the years that have effectively touched all Americans and quite a few folks around the world personally. I can see the purpose for a psyche of denial and irrational support for irrational decisions like Holsinger. It's a coping mechanism. If he ever actually felt a piece of the damage he's helped cause, it'd be too much to one could handle the guilt and weight.

So, the reason in a nutshell why Holsinger isn't the best candidate for the Surgeon General job is because, as HRC says:

How can we trust Holsinger to be America's top doctor, when his resume looks like this:
  • In 1991 used basic plumbing analogies to write a "scientific and medical" paper arguing that homosexuality is unnatural and dangerous.
  • Founded the Hope Springs Community Church, which reportedly has a special program to "cure" gays from "that lifestyle."
  • Past writings indicate that he views sexual orientation as a "lifestyle choice." This could not be further from the view held by mainstream medical or scientific organizations.
and Soulforce says in their press release:

Dr. Holsinger is the current president of the United Methodist Judicial Council. As a member of the council, he opposed the 2004 decision to allow Rev. Karen Dammann, a lesbian, to continue serving as a minister. He also upheld the 2004 defrocking of Rev. Beth Stroud, another lesbian minister, and sided with a Virginia pastor who denied church membership to an openly gay man. Soulforce stood in solidarity at the trials of Rev. Dammann and Rev. Stroud, challenging the unjust policy that bars gay men and lesbians from ordination in the United Methodist Church and the false doctrine that homosexuality is "incompatible with Christian teaching."

Holsinger co-founded Hope Springs Community Church, in Lexington, Kentucky, which operates an "ex-gay" ministry aimed at changing homosexuals to heterosexuals. Recent events have brought national attention to the existence of programs intended to modify same-sex desires, which continue to multiply in spite of the consensus of the major medical and mental health organizations that sexual orientation is not a disorder and is, therefore, not in need of a cure. The American Psychological Association identifies "depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior" among the possible risks associated with ex-gay therapies.

The concerns are valid that the nation's top doctor would be swayed by religious prejudice versus scientific medical findings in guiding the nation's health...mental and physical.

Learn more about ex gay "ministries" June 29-July 1 in Irvine, CA at the Ex Gay Survivor's Conference at UC Irvine. We'll be there, show the movie and have lots of discussion. Our own Darlene Bogle, an ex-ex gay, whatever that is, will be there too and speaking in her own workshop and doing book signings for her new book, A Christian Lesbian Journey.

Hope you'll consider calling your senator to oppose this nomination. It's not in ANYONE'S interest to have this grossly of bias when it comes to medicine and health...I shudder to think about it....

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Equality Updates and Boundaries

The New Hampshire governor recently signed civil unions into law and California had a major bill passing to further marriage equality to same sex couples. It's fascinating that the California governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, yes, the actor...I can't believe I'm writing the two careers in the same sentence...always puts a letter in the HRC programs as well as Pride Festival program guides all over the state. It's usually talking about how exciting it is that the "ice" is melting and unification is growing to respect each member of society equally. And yet, he's the one who keeps vetoing the marriage bills. One of his personal assistants who spends more time with him than his celebrity wife, is a gay man. How can the assistant stand to watch his boss stamp "denied" time and again keeping him and millions of others as second class citizens legally? How can Arnold do that to someone he trusts and knows so well? How does he sleep at night? Why the bogus letters in pride guides? Are we that dumb? Ouch.

It comes down to boundaries and what we're able to allow. We teach people how to treat us. I recently had lunch with two UCC pastors and we talked of just a few years ago how in hiding we were. Now, we can't even remember the people we were who would allow such lying. We couldn't hide for anything now. We can't lie anymore, about anything. We're so in our skin, so self accepting, all we know is what is real and what is honest.

We head out this weekend to Pennsylvania to be with UCC church leaders and members. We get to show the movie and talk with them as some embark on taking their congregation and churches to becoming open and affirming to GLBT people. They are seeking to bridge the gap in their community and help be a place for people to reconnect to their faith and to God. We're honored to be a part of it and we'll let you know how it goes.

PS: Don't forget the Bishop John Shelby Spong call tomorrow night, Thursday, June 7th 5pm Pacific/8 pm Eastern.

PSS: Make sure you vote on our web poll in the right column.

"Human Loss" in the Courtroom

Sorry I've been away from blogging over the last week. I've never been on jury duty before and it's weird to hang out with 12 other strangers brought together for a civil lawsuit over an accident that could've happened to anybody and not be able to talk about it for a week. It's a bizarre scenario to have your schedule and life interrupted by a :15 incident from 4 years ago because these two guys couldn't or wouldn't compromise. I wasn't all that pleased with the special verdicts, but it would've been worse if I didn't say anything. It was a fascinating sociological experiment for me too.

Since we were dealing with the awarding of money for "human loss" although no one died but instead got a bruise on their thigh, much of the deliberation came down to the people's relationship with money. The real estate investor felt the settlement was too low, $123,000 isn't a lot of money to her. To the college student, anything over $5,000 was too much. The bank teller was okay until $10,000. The appliance repair man wanted the moon, $200,000 minimum because he felt the plaintiff was kin to his struggle and wanted to give the guy a new life, a new start, something he really wants for himself. Our decisions and opinions were direct reflections of ourselves.

So little of it had anything to do with the actual case. It came down to people's emotions. Fascinating. So, keep this in mind if you are looking to go to trial around money and extracting it from another private citizen. It could work for you or against you, the facts and the case itself seemed to have little to do with some people's decisions. The real "human loss" was the inability to agree on responsibility and we're set up in a legal system to put a price or cost on something emotional and intangible. It's absurd. So, we go on with our lives and this part time massage therapist in his late '50s has to deal with his wages garnished for the rest of his life.

We're all a part of the same body, what effects one, effects us all. It was truly a curious experience. So much at stake when jury members just want to go back to their lives.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Welcome New Zealand, The Race for the Bottom & Jury Duty

Hi. Hope you all had a good holiday weekend here in the US. And a big hello to our newest audience members in New Zealand where the movie is touring through the OutTakes film festival. The New Zealanders are really getting the message, they are snapping up copies of the DVD and especially those who are a part of the Anglican (Episcopal) Church who have a vote coming up next month to be welcoming of same-sex blessings, they are using the movie for the perfect purpose of dialog and truly wanting to bridge the gap. Yay New Zealand!

We're also thrilled to be getting requests from churches of many Christian denominations requesting public performance permission to show the movie at their church. They recognize the dire need and urgency for "the Church" to not again historically be the last to love and accept people for who they are. The only category they are in a neck and neck race with is our government, who seems to be taking a lead in non discrimination, but with UCC churches open and affirming at the national level, MCC churches, the Methodist Reconciling Ministries, Lutherans Concerned, welcoming Baptists, the Epsicopalian churches questioning, it's a close call. So, who will be the last to equality, political law or religious law? Place your bets.

Speaking of law, I spent the day in a courtroom for jury duty. I actually, for the first time not only had to go in, but I actually got selected. Unbelievable. The week before June Pride and I'm serving on a jury for a civil lawsuit. As with everything in life, there's a reason for this timing and this situation is to somehow advance, challenge and teach me. There's never a good time for jury duty, and it could've happened at better times, but it's okay. It's a lesson of faith in the big scheme of things and I look forward to what this experience will teach me. So, if emails are slow to respond, blogs coming in late, etc. you know why.

Make sure you vote for our award winner in the right column....

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Our New Poll - Vote for Ellen, Emily, Cyndi, Amy or Sharon

We've launched our highly technical voting system for you, God & Gays blog readers, to choose who has earned our Bridging the Gap Award for 2007. See the poll on the right side of the blog.

These people have been nominated in 2007 for several reasons, here are just a few:

Emily Saliers: Raised in the Christian church, she's had more than her share of dealing with the gay and Christian intersection both personally and professionally. She's risen above and has lived her truth and is authentic in her private and public persona.

Cyndi Lauper: A champion GLBT ally, this singer partnered with HRC, PFLAG and the Matthew Shepard Foundation for this summer's concert tour, True Colors. The tour is dedicated to bringing people together and raising not only money, but awareness and understanding for GLBT people and issues.

Ellen DeGeneres: Well, duh. She is sure to be nominated every year. Most recently she's brought on newly outed celebrities and reads email from viewers who thank her for bringing a sense of normalcy to the "gay threat". As one email she read said, "for each celebrity who comes out, is one less teen in the ground." Amen.

Amy Grant: Long been controversial and yet consistent with unconditional love, this highly accomplished singer/songwriter is a favorite and a role model to many who were raised in the Christian church growing up on her music. Her duet with Melissa Etheridge and her sense of immunity to conservative criticism is inspiring.

Sharon Gless: This actress was the ultimate PFLAG mom on Showtime's Queer As Folk. At the end of the series, her character was the first as (that we know of) a heterosexual character who connected the dots of the inequality around marriage. Her character wanted to marry her boyfriend but chose not to as she understood that her gay son couldn't marry his boyfriend and felt it'd be, basically sick and wrong to take advantage.

Most shows that have gay characters keep the characters single and hopeless (which helps avoid the gay marriage thing) while other straight characters gleefully marry, never putting it together that getting married in front of gay people who've been together and would marry if they could is a punch in the soul.

Now there's hundreds of church leaders refusing to sign marriage licenses for only some of their congregation and then there's straight allies (Angelina Jolie, etc.) who refuse to get married until it's equal for all US citizens. Imagine the damage to the wedding industry if all straight allies made the same decision? Or, look at how much the travel and wedding industry stands to GAIN by marriage being equal for us all?

I digress...

There's many many others who are very deserving of this recognition and we look forward to the years to award them all. Until then, vote and forward this blog to everyone you know to vote as well. We'll let you know when the poll will need to close. Happy voting!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Bishop John Shelby Spong Polarizes Opinions, but Not People

We're finding it rather fascinating the response we're getting from our monthly e-newsletter we sent out today as well as our announcements on our website and blog about partnering with Bishop Spong (be on a call with him live Thurs June 7th 5pm Pacific/8pm Eastern). We're aware of the various opinions about Spong's ideas. It's not surprising, how else would a man of his stature have the guts to call his book Christianity Must Change or Die be welcomed in our culture? We've had emails of people saying they thank him for their coming out and staying a Christian, and not killing themselves in the process. We've had others talk about how his theology or lack thereof annoys them. All in all, everyone agrees his role as a bridge for Christians and the gay community is desperately needed and well appreciated. People are grateful for him and what he stands for.

Thank goodness. I'm proud our readers see beyond the drama and disagreements and look at how we are actually all walking in the same direction, for the same purpose. We're learning to appreciate that about each other above all else. Huge sign of spiritual maturity. That's why we love hanging out with you guys and are marking the countdown to the Conference in August which will feature Bishop Spong as one of our many amazing speakers.

There was an error in our newsletter today that we need to correct and wish to apologize for the oversight. We mentioned Gene Robinson was the first openly gay minister ordained by Bishop Spong. Rev. Robert Williams was actually the first. Rev. Robinson was the first bishop. To hear more about Rev. Williams' story, see his book called, Just As I Am: A Practical Guide To Being Out, Proud and, Christian.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Mel White on Jerry Falwell

As you know, Rev. Falwell passed away last week. If you've seen our movie, you know Rev. Dr. Mel White and his extensive past (and present) as Falwell's ghost writer and church attendee. GLAAD, who will be running a workshop at our Conference in Nashville August 3/4 (register at the button on the right), posted the video interview with Anderson Cooper and Rev. White about Falwell. Take a look, tell a friend. White is featured in our movie, get a copy on DVD to the right to see what else he said about Falwell and his past.

CNN Anderson Cooper 360: Coverage of Falwell death including interview with Neil Giuliano — May 15, 2007 Link to Video

Happy Monday.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Yolanda King, MLK's daughter is in Heaven Too

Yesterday was a really crazy day on the equal rights front. Rev. Jerry Falwell, 73, passed away in his office at Liberty University while sitting as his desk. Yolanda King, 51, Martin Luther King's eldest daughter and most visual in following in her father's equality rights vision, suddenly collapsed walking down a hallway after a speech given for the American Heart Association raising awareness to black women and strokes.

Both passed while in their place of passion, in their work and they literally worked until the moment they died. It's hard to grasp why King would go so young. It's curious why God had them go on the same day, especially considering one preached separatism and superiority and the other unity and equality. Two powerful voices silenced at the same time.

Relating to my blog about my friend who died of a rare cancer (This Cubicle Supports Gay Marriage) where I'd noticed there were people around me who recently had lost someone, it seemed in a month or two like a domino effect. In the last two weeks, I've had three friends lose a parent - 2 cancers and a car accident.

It's such a reminder how we don't know how long we have and that's okay. It's okay when we know authentically that what we're doing right now...and now....and now...are the best things we could be doing. We're doing it with passion, with meaning, all the while asking, how can I serve, how can I give, what can I share? As wise ones have said in the past, once we accept our own death, can we really live.

Falwell and King left legacies, they spread consciousness, they were powerful and charismatic. We're not all meant to be in the media spotlight like them but what we do really really matters to those around us and even the strangers we encounter in the post office line. I pray that we use our power, our lives, our words for good, for benefit, out of love. That's the kind of legacy I'd like to leave.

To help remove some of the emotional blocks you might be encountering, strongly consider coming to our conference in August in Nashville, TN. Be there and be moved.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Peace and Blessings to Rev. Jerry Falwell

This morning at the age of 73, Rev. Jerry Falwell, founder of the Moral Majority, passed away. It's been interesting seeing the press releases and statements from several LGBT organizations as the census is mixed emotions. People feel a sadness at the loss, a celebration as he gets to know all the answers and dance with the angels, a curiosity of what happens now with Falwell, Robertson and Dobson all of the same mindset on the LGBT conversation and of similar age range.

Hopefully, people don't get scared and emotions coming from that fear of losing their leader create more pain and harm. I'd prefer to feel confident that it opens up the conversation, allows more room to openly talk and allow people to get to know each other without concern of repercussions or having their Christian card revoked.

I really do have faith in people, like Anne Frank, that fundamentally people are good, or at least they are often trying to do what they think is best or maybe even out of love, they just have a really funny way of showing that love.

Falwell was committed, he apparently did what he thought was right in God's eyes, he had a funny way of showing God's love to LGBT people. As he is transformed now, I hope we take the similar opportunity and find ways for our thoughts and actions to transform, to become more of who we are, who God made us to be.

Peace and blessings to Falwell's church and family.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Transgender Runs for Prom King

In April, we had the honor to go to a Fresno, CA reconciling United Methodist church to show the movie and spend the weekend speaking and meeting with groups. We recently learned of some consciousness shifting going on in Fresno and we're excited the student was accepted and validated by gender expression. See the article:

http://apnews. article/20070421 /D8OKLKP01. html

We also recently saw a documentary called Middle Sexes: Redefining He and She, where they talk about the diversity and tapestry of sexual orientation that is absolutely real and prevalent (1 out of 100 people) even though it would SEEM in our culture and media there's only a few random, sinful, rebellious "freaks" amongst us. Ouch. We couldn't be more wrong in our understanding of God's creativity. The realization and findings of orientation variety is yet another way God is teaching us unconditional love for one another as well as gaining courage for ourselves to be who God created us to be. The movie takes us to other countries and cultures, variety is everywhere, to be appreciated and cared for.

If you've ever been curious about what transgender, intersex and bisexual persons go through or who they are, rent the movie. It's on Netflix and from our site, you can click the Netflix link and get a free trial. Plus, any button or link you punch from our site, you're helping support our services. We listed Rev. Deborah's brand new book Your Deepest Intent as well as her previous one The Sacred Yes and the audio version. There's other stuff there too, check it out.

People have asked why our movie is not on Netflix yet. It's because we're in contract negotiations with a distributor so we have to put that on hold for now. Subscribing to this blog will keep you in the know of where and when you can get the movie from Netflix and many other outlets. For now, you can simply click on the right side of the blog and get right now.

The Absurdity of the Argument

Someone forwarded us a link to a scene from Boston Legal that is a great demonstration of the logic and rational we get confused by when people take issue with homosexuality and especially when it's believed that being gay can be "fixed'. Take a listen and go from there:

We also want to share an interview on Good Morning America's Diane Sawyer with Christine Bakke from who's hosting the Ex-Gay Survivor's Conference in Irvine, CA the end of June. Luane and I will be there as part of the film forum and our very own ex Exodus leader Darlene Bogle will be speaking at the conference as well. We encourage you to come, support and be supported.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Talk with Bishop John Shelby Spong Thurs June 7th

So, if you were on the fantastic call with Darlene Bogle and Dotti Berry last Thursday, this is old news but if you couldn't make it, check out the recorded call in our archives.

The big news is our next guest on God, Gays & You is Episcopalian Bishop John Shelby Spong. Having such a voice in the reconciliation movement at our conference in Nashville August 3/4, we thought it was perfect timing to have him as our guest for Pride Month. Spong is an ally champion sticking his neck out to religious leaders by ordaining the first openly gay minister in the Episcopalian church, Rev. Gene Robinson. He's the voice for millions of Christians who do reconcile faith and sexuality and look for ways to be empowered in their church to stand up and speak up about what's right, living God's unconditional love, the basic foundation of faith. His exegesis debates bring thousands. He's currently on a book tour for his new book, Jesus for the Non-Religious.

From Spong's website: He is the author of 15 books including the bestselling Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, Living in Sin, Liberating the Gospels, Why Christianity Must Change or Die, and his latest book The Sins of Scripture. History will recognize him as one of the major change agents in modern Christianity.

Be sure you're on our e-blast list (sign up right now, look at the right column for the subscription box) to get the phone number and access code to be on the call. Think of a question you'd like to ask Bishop Spong and email it to us in advance. Questions will be asked in the order we receive them so the sooner you send in your questions the better.

It's free to join us on the call. Spread the word to your family, friends and colleagues and get on the e-blast list. We'll talk to you on Thursday, June 7th 5pm Pacific/8pm Eastern!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Who (or What) is My God?

Hi guys. There's been a great deal of shifting going on behind the scenes here at God & Gays. We launched registrations for the Conference to be held in Nashville, TN Aug 3/4, our promotional partners at PFLAG, HRC,, UCC Coalition are all ramping up to help spread the word about the conference, we have Pride and UCC Conference showings and appearances coming up in June, we're interviewing PR reps, God & Gays will be showing all around New Zealand this and next month...and there's mass distribution on the horizon that I can't talk about just yet.

All the while, even when things seemed to be stagnant or I can't get someone's attention who would really benefit by partnering with us, or when expenses pile up and the income isn't, I could chalk it up to the life and struggle of the indy filmmaker making passion projects. Before I run to the local pizza place for a job and allow myself to get consumed by worry, stress, lack and fear of the unknown, I've finally gotten to a point where I'm more present in the present and can catch myself heading down the rabbit hole. I snap myself out of it and ask, "Kim, who's your God right now?"

I ask this because if my attention is on the worry, worry has the power of my attention and takes my perspective of reality down that insecure and fear-based route. If I'm paying the bills and focus on the lack of income, that becomes the power, the priority. As a result, I feel like the victim, I get depressed, I get scared. I say, all I want to do right now is get this movie and this conference to the people that need it, the people who will be empowered, who will reconcile themselves and ripple out this courage to overcome and reconnect. All I want to do is work on these projects, make them the best quality, to make a living at doing what I love. At a basic level, no different than what you might tell yourself too.

Then I realized that kind of talk was victim-status. It was the spiritually immature side to me that needs acknowledgment and then healing. By replacing that self-talk with 'who is my God right now', I'm able to snap out of the victim spiral, reconnect with who my real God is and step into that co-creative power.

I don't tell my small God about my big problems, I tell my big God about my small problems. I learned that saying from Rev. Deborah Johnson, she's full of impact-filled statements like these. In her first book, The Sacred Yes, she talks about God's inexhaustible supply and miracles happen where we put our intentions in touch with that supply.

My answer is critical. Who or what will I allow to triumph in my life, moment by moment? Worry? That gives me gray hairs. I don't want gray hairs just yet. Stress? That increases chances of cancer and heart conditions, not to mention digestive issues and weight loss (not in the good way). Lack? That's no fun...and we live in an abundant universe and the Source is inexhaustible. Fear of the unknown? Where's the fun in discovering miracles, divine timing and how cool "coincidences" are on a daily basis?

My answer is God. I wear a necklace that Luane gave me that is a symbol of God as Creator (Om). I touch it when I need a reminder that the Creator is running the show. If I get caught up in making worry, stress, lack, fear God in my life, I'm putting limits to the Good that can come, I'm making myself unavailable for possibility when there's more going on than what I see.

How can I be useful to God if I'm running in mental circles freaking over lack? What good am I to you if I'm stressed all the time? I can't show up for you, I can't show up for God. Isn't that the opposite of what I said I wanted to do?

So, I've finally reached a peace in myself and a self-awareness to do motivation checks and make sure when I'm paying bills, I thank God for the dollars to support the services I enjoy, when I see the bank account dwindling, I surrender and make myself available to hear inspired ideas on what the next action step is and that it'll all be for good, it'll all work out and continue to work out.

I just keep going. Now I keep going in faith and I look for the miracles in my life and my work as reminders of God saying to me, "yep, still here, what's up!" I'd forgotten that this faith is what got the documentary made in the first place. It's truly a miracle the film was made. Now I see how perfect the timing of its release is. There's been no better time in history for this kind of story.

So, you in? Who's your God right now? How's it workin' for ya? If you need different results for something, do something different. Then, you've already broken the pattern, even if it's just one step of the dance, you've created a new result. Good for you. Good for me. Now you're available too.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Bill Passes House...Thank you!!

Wanted to let you all know as a follow up to today's blog that the House bill on Hate Crimes did pass and in a big way. Thank you for your prayers, efforts and all you do on a daily basis to help people feel loved, safe and appreciated. For more on the story: Human Rights Campaign.

Hate Crimes Bill in DC Today

In recent weeks, there's been a huge outpouring of attendance, intention, love and debate around the hate crimes bill going through the House today. HRC is involved and so many religious leaders, progressive pastors and congregants have come from all over the country to show their support for its passing. Take a look at it for yourself, see what you think. Encourage your state representatives to do the right thing and make their decisions love-based.

Here's another chance to take a minute and even if it has nothing to do with the deadline your facing at work, getting the laundry done or paying bills, recognize that this legislation directly affects millions of people across the country and it matters that you are involved.

There's only one of us here. Separation is an illusion.

Take a gander at the write up done by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and make your own love-based decision:

This Thursday, the full House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which would add victims of hate crimes who are targeted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity to existing hate crimes statutes. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc., has been working since the 1980s to pass similar legislation, and 2007 presents our best hope yet for passing this bill.

Yet extremists on the right are doing everything they can to prevent us from receiving the same protections provided to people who are targeted due to their race or religion. And they’re reaching new lows in their attacks. We don’t usually link to sites like the Traditional Values Coalition or the American Family Association, but this time, we felt you should see for yourself what they’re saying.

Make sure Congress understands that it needs to pass the hate crimes bill — this year. We have been waiting far too long. Contact your U.S. representatives and senators today by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202.224.3121. And make sure to visit our Hate Crimes Protections 2007 Action Center.