Series focuses on the struggles of LGBT people of faith
It can be an interesting intersection – bringing together gay communities with religious ones. Let’s face it – when you have groups like the Westboro Baptist Church telling the world that God hates gays, it’s difficult to figure out how homosexuality and religion can co-exist. But bridging that divide is the goal of a film series currently underway at The Wolfsonian-FIU auditorium. The InterFaithOUT series continues through the middle of December.
Each film is followed by a moderated discussion and reception. Admission and reception is free, but reservations are required.
The films focus on the journey for visibility and acceptance of LGBT individuals within religious communities throughout the world. There’s still time to catch two of the movies.
“People can expect to learn that people of faith are gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender. The films show LGBT people living out their faith. Often when someone comes out of the closet as LGBT, they go into the faith closet in the LGBT community. In this film series, we see people embracing all of themselves: their sexuality and their spirituality,” says InterFaithOUT member Allison Grisham.
On Nov. 13th, the film Fish Out of Water is screened. It uses animation and academic interviews to dissect the seven Bible verses used to condemn homosexuality and justify marriage discrimination. The movie takes the subject, but not itself too seriously by examining the conventional arguments of hate and exposes how the Bible is often misinterpreted and misquoted regarding same-sex relationships. Dr. Elsie Miranda, of the Department of Theology and Philosophy at Barry University, will moderate this film’s discussion after the screening.
“When we have shown a film with more anecdotal and personal stories of families struggling with their faith...the post discussion has tended to also be one of more personal stories of struggle and taken on a sort of group therapy setting. When a film has contained more research and expert testimony, such as the case with how A Fish Out of Water interviews several Biblical scholars to address head on the seven Bible passages that are most used to condemn homosexuality, the post discussion has had a bit more of a revelatory ‘...Ah...I didn't know that’ type of response, often followed by deeper questions, says InterFaithOUT member Joseph Mooradian.
The series concludes Dec. 11th with the documentary Trembling Before G-d. The 2001 film was directed by Sandi Simcha Dubowski. It focuses on the personal stories of Hasidic and Orthodox Jews who are gay or lesbian. It outlines their struggle of reconciling their passionate love of Judaism and the Divine with the drastic Biblical prohibitions that forbids homosexuality. Rabbi Amy Morrison of Temple Beth Sholom in Miami Beach will lead the post-film discussion.
InterFaithOUT members who have attended previous screenings say the tone of the discussions has been varied because each person brings their own experience and viewpoint to the film.
“Following all the films there has been a common thread of this being deeply personal. These are very complex and sensitive issues and the ideas and views expressed in these films can be so different than one has ever been exposed to, that more than anything I think the post discussion serves as a time for one to process this new information,” saysMooradian.