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GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender People) Documentary Films in Leavey Library (DVDs): Religion


ABC News Nightline. Gay in Middle America: One Town's Struggle with Religion and Bigotry
"An excellent sociological case study, this ABC News program examines the plight of Michael Shackelford, a 17-year-old homosexual struggling for acceptance in small-town Oklahoma. The video outlines the development of Shackelford's situation: his early awareness of his sexual orientation, his inability to conform and placate his mother, the attention he receives in a Washintong Post article, and the subsequent media abuse he and his church endure as a result. Complex and surprising in its observations--especially those concerning Shackelford's Bible Belt community--the program sheds light on America's increasingly troublesome cultural division."

Call to Witness
"This documentary focuses on openly gay and lesbian Midwestern Lutheran pastors who are waging a fight within their own church to simply retain their civil right to do their job."

Camp Out
"Follows ten Midwestern teenagers as they attend the first overnight Bible Camp for gay Christian youth. As they struggle to be true to both their spirituality and their sexual identity, the teens will discover that coming out as a Christian is just as difficult as coming out gay. An important journey that explores the battle between religion, politics, and sexuality that rages in the United States today."

City of Borders: Love and Consequences at Jerusalem's Only Gay Bar
"In the heart of Jerusalem stands an unusual symbol of unity that defies generations of segregation, violence and prejudice: a gay bar called Shushan. ... The documentary follows the daily lives of the five Israeli and Palestinian patrons as they navigate the minefield of politics, religion and discrimination to live and love openly."

Coming Out, Coming In: Faith, Identity and Belonging
"This documentary gives voice to gay and lesbian Christians who have struggled to reconcile faith with sexual orientation. Personal stories, from dedicated Christians of all ages and many walks of life, take viewers beyond the current debate in churches about homosexuality to reveal the everyday efforts of faithful people."

The Congregation: Questions of Faith in Changing Times
"Compelling story of two ministers--one undergoes a trial by jury, the other a trial by fire--at a church trying to re-invent itself for the 21st century. The newly appointed Reverend Fred Day, with a traditional style of worship, causes a bitter divide among the congregation. Meanwhile, the congregation rallies in support of Reverend Beth Stroud in her challenge of the Methodist church law banning gays in the clergy. The film captures her dramatic journey--from her sermon announcing that she is a self-avowed practicing homosexual to her eventual clergy trial in which she loses her credentials and stirs a national debate in the American press."

Gender Me Homosexuality in the World of Islam
"Filmed in Istanbul and Oslo, Turkish/Norwegian filmmaker Nefise Ozkal Lorentzen explores what it's like to be both gay and Muslim."

The Gospel of Eureka
"Welcome to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, a one-of-a-kind oasis in the Ozarks where Christian piety rubs shoulders with a thriving queer community. Narrated with homespun humor by Mx Justin Vivian Bond, this lushly photographed documentary spotlights the space where the town's seemingly contradictory factions intersect."

In a Time of Trial: The Story of Pastor Bradley Schmeling and St. John's Lutheran Church, Atlanta, Georgia
"Pastor Bradley Schmeling of St. John's Lutheran Church, Atlanta, Georgia from the clergy roster because of his committed relationship with Rev. Darin Easler based on charges filed by Bishop Warren of the Southeastern Synod on August 8, 2006. This film focuses on 2007 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Churchwide Assesmbly in Chicago when LGBT pastors and their allies came out in droves to push for a policy that would allow the church to allow pastors in committed same-sex relationships to be rostered. 'The Assembly voted against policy change but by a small margin than ever before.'"

In God's House: Asian American Lesbian & Gay Families in the Church
"Asian American lesbians and gays have been largely invisible in Christian churches. Some Asian American churches silence the issue for fear of division and conflict. Other Asian American church leaders have condemned homosexuality and publicly protested against same-sex marriage. Yet lesbian and gay Asian Americans and their families worship and serve in churches every day. Where are their voices? This honest and thought-provoking film tells a story that the church needs to hear: that of Asian American Christian lesbian and gay people, their pastors, and their parents."

In Good Conscience: Sister Jeannine Gramick's Journey of Faith
"Presents the work of Sister Jeannine Gramick, who offers compassionate Catholic ministry to the gay and lesbian community, contrary to official church practice and doctrine. When then-Cardinal John Ratzinger issued an edict that such work was in defiance of the Church and must be ceased on threat of excommunication, Gramick continued her outreach work and during this film attempts to meet with Ratzinger directly. The film follows her on that journey, as well as capturing other moments of Gramick's work and dialogue with the larger community, as regards both her motivations and her efforts to reconcile her own spiritual beliefs with those of the Church."

A Jihad for Love
"First feature documentary to explore the complex global intersections between Islam and homosexuality ... The film travels a wide geographic arc presenting us lives from India, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, South Africa and France. Always filming in secret and as a Muslim, [filmmaker] Parvez [Sharma] makes the film from within the faith, depicting Islam with the same respect that the film's characters show for it."

The Lost Tribe
"Ex-Mormon-lesbian comedian Sue Ann Post attends the annual conference of Affirmation, an organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Mormons in Salt Lake City Utah. An observational documentary following Sue Ann's funny, bizarre and confronting journey to Mormon Zion as she performs for an audience of predominately devout, excommunicated gay Mormons."

Love the Sinner
"Filmmaker Jessica Devaney grew up in Florida deeply involved with Evangelical Christianity. She eventually left Florida and came into her lesbian identity. Following the shootings at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando she returned to Florida to explore the connection between Evangelical Christiantiy and homophobia. In this very personal film she interviews her mother as well as two Evangelical ministers."

Queers in the Kingdom: Let Your Light Shine
"...traces the legacy of historical evangelical Christianity through the rise of the secular university and the struggles of the Christian college to remain relevant. This documentary exposes evangelical Christian culture in the U.S. as the underlying force that legalizes Bible-based homophobia. Nowhere is this more evident than in the more than 200 well established Christian Colleges where LGBT students must remain closeted and celibate or risk being expelled and condemned as sinners."

Testimony Time: Sharing My Present Convictions Concerning a Christian Perspective on Homosexuality: a Sunday Forum, April 20, 2008
"Talk by Pastor Lowell Erdahl, Bishop Emeritus of the St. Paul Area Synod of the ELCA at a Sunday Forum sponsored by the Hospitality Plus Committee of Gethsemane Lutheran Church, ELCA Synod Hopkins, Minnesota. Introduction by Pastor Anita Hill of the St. Paul Reformation Lutheran Church, St. Paul, MN."

The Transformation
"Follows Ricardo, a homeless, HIV-positive transvestite prostitute as he rejects his street life to join a group of Born Again Christians from Dallas, Texas in an effort to transform his life from that of a homosexual to a heterosexual. He ends up marrying a woman and returns to the New York streets to proselytize among his former associates."

Trembling Before G-d
"A documentary built around personal stories of gay and lesbian Hasidic and Orthodox Jews. Portrays people who face a profound dilemma - how to reconcile their passion for Judaism with the biblical prohibitions against homosexuality. Includes interviews with closeted and out gay Orthodox and Hasidic Jews, including the first openly gay Orthodox rabbis, Steven Greenberg."

We're All Angels
"Take a behind-the-scenes look at the public and private lives of rising pop stars Jason and deMarco, who are gay, Christian, and in love. The two charismatic singers perform all over the country in dance clubs, at pride events, and even in churches. But their openness about their sexuality often pits them against evangelical Christianity, while their faith at times meets with resistance from the gay community. As they prepare to release a new album to appeal to a wider audience, We're all angels turns the spotlight on their struggle to integrate their sexuality and spirituality within their relationship and professional careers."