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.