by Monte Sahlin
By Adventist Today News Team, November 21, 2013
The award-winning, feature-length documentary film entitled Seventh-Gay Adventists will be released for private purchase Friday (November 22) after more than 70 showings across North America with nearly 14,000 in attendance. It has generated much discussion and some debate.
The film simply tells the stories of three gay and lesbian Seventh-day Adventists who wrestle with how to reconcile their faith, identity, and sexuality. One young man spent five years in "ex-gay" therapy trying to become straight. Another was an Adventist pastor in Brazil who was fired for being gay. The third is a lesbian mom from the Midwest who wants her daughters to grow up with her beliefs, even though she knows her church might not accept their family.
"These are Adventists whom we followed for two years," said Daneen Akers and Stephen Eyer, the couple who produced the movie. "They all desire a way to reconcile their faith and sexual identity. Their voices, especially combined with the verité style of filmmaking, add a not-often-heard perspective to the conversation about this topic."
Growing up Adventist means knowing you belong. And being Adventist is about much more than a set of beliefs–it's a close-knit community not easily left. Discovering you are gay in this community often means loss and exile from all that has been home. The film follows the raw and moving journeys of these three as they wrestle with deep questions and struggle to find a place where they can integrate identity, love, and belief.
David loves Jesus, but he might not go to heaven. At least, that’s his deepest fear. For the last five years, his “ex-gay” therapist has tried to help David become straight, but his heart’s desire is still to be with a man. As a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church with family members in prominent leadership positions, David knows that being gay is not okay. Gays are promiscuous, hedonistic, and decidedly un-Christian—or at least that’s what he’s always believed.
"Whatever one's position regarding homosexuals and the church may be, this film is worth seeing because it candidly probes issues with real human faces and stories," stated Dr. Roy Gane, author and seminary professor. "The movie, which simply tells stories rather than taking an advocacy stance, is powerful. It can, I believe, do much to make Adventists more compassionate in this controversial area," stated Dr. William Johnsson, retired editor of the Adventist Review.
This is "a must-see documentary film about the crossroads between faith and sexual identity. Thank you for being gracious and generous and for putting a spotlight on grace," said Pastor Ray Dabrowski, who served as communication director for the General Conference from 1994 to 2010. "The film is superb, a poignant and profound experience beyond any I've seen on the subject," stated Chris Blake, author and professor of English at Union College.
The film will immediately be available in digital format for immediate download and DVDs and Blu-ray format will be shipped in the near future. Orders can be placed at the website https://buy.sgamovie.com, and for the long weekend of Thanksgiving, from Wednesday (November 27) through Sunday night (December 1), it can be viewed free at https://buy.sgamovie.com/buy. Use the code watchfree.