'Outspoken' Short Film Series Celebrates Voices and Contributions of LGBT+ Adventists
3 February 2017 | JARED WRIGHT
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Daneen Akers and Stephen Eyer today released the first installment of a new ten-part series of short documentaries called “Outspoken” that features stories of LGBT+ Adventists. This is the third major project for the husband-and-wife team dealing with the intersection of sexuality, gender and the Adventist faith.
Their first film, the feature-length documentary “Seventh-Gay Adventists” (Watchfire Films, 2012) followed the lives and spiritual journeys of three Seventh-day Adventists in same-sex relationships as they struggled with tensions between the distinct cultural markers of their faith community and their identities as lesbian or gay individuals. After screening at film festivals and in and around Adventist communities, the film was released on DVD and Blu-ray, followed by a wider online release.
Akers and Eyer followed “Seventh-Gay Adventists” in 2014 with “Enough Room at the Table,” a film intended to model for the Adventist Church a process the filmmakers called “the sacred act of listening.” “Enough Room” brought together a diverse group of Adventist pastors, thought leaders and congregants—some LGBT+, some not—to talk with one another over the course of a weekend retreat. The film that documented those conversations provided a framework for congregations that might have had preliminary talks about homosexuality and sexual identities, but that might have lacked resources for moving the conversations forward.
I spoke with Daneen Akers about this new project—how it came to be and what links it to and separates it from past projects.
“This new series is a shift for us,” Akers told me. “We’ve journeyed from thinking that we as allies are doing something helpful to realizing that we are the ones who are deeply blessed by getting to witness and share the stories of our LGBT friends.”
The “Outspoken” series of short films will be released exclusively online on the first Friday evening of each month, starting today.
Watch the "Outspoken" trailer''
Yeshara - Outspoken.
Jared Wright is Managing Editor of SpectrumMagazine.org.