Gays in the pews

God and Gays: Bridging the Gap, originally scheduled for August, has been postponed until October. The event will begin Friday, October 19, at 5 p.m. and run through Saturday, October 20, at Holy Trinity Community Church, 6727 Charlotte Pike in Nashville. Ticketing and additional information can be found here.

“I 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 line-up of qualified speakers on the country’s most non-discussed topic, can you be Christian and be gay?

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 all coming together in Nashville -- considered a central location for people all around the "Bible belt" area to attend.

With the religious right and mainstream Christianity teaching emotionally traumatizing ex-gay therapies, celibacy or subtle and equally as harmful forms of tolerance, the time is right for the God & Gays Gathering.

Gathering founder Kim Clark says, “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," which is what got her through making God & Gays 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 an 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 told by the people who live with 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.

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Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

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