Many Voices Video Campaign Releases Fourth Video
Featuring Julia Wallace, Co-Founder of the Mobile Homecoming Project

On Monday, November 11, Many Voices released the fourth of six videos featuring the personal stories of African American lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people who came of age in Black churches. The web campaign features lay people as well as high-profile clergy like out, lesbian Bishop Tonyia Rawls of the Unity Fellowship Church Movement and Rev. Brendan Boone, out, transgender pastor of Metropolitan Community Church.

“Who I am is a gift from God, from the Creator, and it is exactly who I am supposed to be in this lifetime,” says Julia Wallace, theologian and Co-Founder of the Mobile Homecoming Project. Wallace adds, “Learning more about the history of Christianity and the Bible allowed me to see that it could be used as a tool for love, for liberation, and that it is my choice to use it that way.”

The Many Voices videos were created to engage church leaders and LGBTQ people about fostering a movement for gay and transgender justice in Black churches. A new video will launch every week until just prior to Transgender Day of Remembrance (November 20). The interviewees include:

Bishop Tonyia Rawls - Founding Pastor, Unity Fellowship Church Charlotte (Charlotte, NC);
Jermaine Lee – Program Manager of Behavioral Intervention, PowerHouse Project (Charlotte, NC);
Ai Elo - Writer and youth advocate (Charlotte, NC);
Julia Wallace – Co-Founder of the Mobile Homecoming Project (Durham, NC);
A’Omaré Kyyam – Activist and poet (Chapel Hill, NC);
Reverend Brendan Boone - Transgender Pastor of Metropolitan Community Church Raleigh (Raleigh, NC).

All interviewees are based in North Carolina. Detailed descriptions of their personal stories may be found on http://www.manyvoices.org/video-campaign-launch.

Dr. Victor Anderson, Vanderbilt University Divinity School, said, “People often charge that the black church, as a historically progressive force for social justice and change, remains silent on pressing issues of sexual-gender politics in the black community. The reality is, sex talk is rampant throughout our churches and with demonic consequences for those who suffer under life debilitating sex talk in our churches. Thank God for Many Voices for empowering the ‘courage to be and speak’ truth to power, even in our own churches and communities.”

In addition to being distributed through social media, press, and community collaborators, Many Voices will share the videos with those who want to move the Black church toward gay and transgender justice, but who lack the resources or the personal relationships to do so. Many Voices offers training, resources, and relationship-building opportunities for interested church leaders and Black LGBTQ people.

The Many Voices Visibility Campaign was funded in part by the Arcus Foundation, the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Foundation and The Aquila Fund of RSF Social Finance, and was created by Katina Parker, a filmmaker and PR specialist. The music was performed by Julia Wallace, Rachael Derello, and Katina Parker.

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