Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Pastor/CTS student in trans* documentary
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times by Lauren E. Childers
2014-09-16

This article shared 6249 times since Tue Sep 16, 2014
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Rev. Kevin Downer, a doctoral student at Chicago Theological Seminary ( CTS ), will be featured as a religious expert in the upcoming documentary TRANSit. This film has been produced by and about trans* activist and filmmaker Rachel Lauren Clark. Clark included Downer to be a voice from the religious community to give merit to trans* experience and identity.

Downer has served many parishes since the early 2000s within the Metropolitan Community Church ( MCC ) and is currently the executive pastor at MCC Toronto. A lot of Downer's activist efforts have been focused on being a spiritual-political force and to involve his church to be a positive voice for legislation effecting the lives of LGBT individuals.

The MCC as a denomination is focused on blending spirituality and advocacy. The first church was founded in a pre-Stonewall political environment and was formed to serve the spiritual needs of LGBT individuals at the time. MCC has kept these ideals as part of its values and mission work.

When the first MCC Chicago closed down in 2006, Downer was later called to Chicago, where he founded aChurch4Me in 2007. During his service in Chicago, Downer participated in the LGBT Substance Use and Abuse Task Force. He also organized the congregation to work with the Chicago Department of Public Health at Halsted Street Market Days to hand out condoms. Downer indicated it was also important to him that the church show support for sex-positive education and awareness.

Prior to his fellowship in Chicago, he served as a pastor at MCC San Antonio. Here, he worked closely with the trans* population where he primarily played the role of mediator between the Police and trans* individuals. In addition to police mistreatment, trans* individuals sought Downer as a source of legitimacy when going to the Police to report a crime in order for their reports to be taken seriously.

Currently at MCC Toronto, Downer helps to facilitate an LGBT refugee program with much congregational support. The church provides helps refugees by helping with finances and integration. More than 100 members of the congregation are involved with the peer support program which gives many refugees a social community and someone to join them to help with new experiences.

Downer met Clark through worship services and programs he runs offered through MCC Toronto. Through their connection, Clark is now active in ministry and shared her story on the pulpit one Sunday—Downer saying brought the congregation to tears. Clark told her story in service again Sept. 14, which was webcasted live as well as archived on the MCC Toronto website.

Clark is now telling her story through the production of TRANSit. The documentary aims to educate the public on trans* issues in a non-traditional way, to influence various governmental bodies to change legislation on trans* issues, and to demystify transgenderism. TRANSit will use the lenses of religious, medical, socioeconomic, and political experts juxtaposed to her own narrative in order to represent one trans* experience in a non-exploitive way.

Downer's stake in the film twofold: In addition to contributing to the goals of the film, he believes that as a person of faith it is critical to try to dispel myths of religion.

"It's a sad reality that many people use the Bible for all different kinds of things doing an awful lot of psychological and personal damage," said Downer. "I want to be the voice that actually speaks against that—to offer an alternative."

Downer also emphasized his belief that the Bible throughout history has been interpreted through our cultural lens and that since our culture is changing, so should the traditional dogma and methods for interacting with congregations.

The documentary is being produced at a crucial moment for Canada. A bill that would change the legal definition of a hate crime, sections 318 and 319 in the Criminal Code, to include gender identity has been stalling in the Canadian Senate each time it is presented to it. While sexual orientation is currently protected under the same legislation, trans* rights and justices have been left out.

Clark said she hopes to have the film completed at the end of 2014 and has already captured much of the film. The documentary is being funded through crowdsourcing, grants and partnerships, and release is dependent upon current fundraising goals.

To view the TRANSit preview, go to vimeo.com/103948310; for live stream of Rachel's story during sermon, go to www.mcctoronto.com/video .


This article shared 6249 times since Tue Sep 16, 2014
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

'Firebird' opens Reeling Chicago LGBTQ+ Internat'l Film Fest tonight
2021-09-23
--From a press release - CHICAGO, Illinois — Tonight, the 39th annual Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival invites audiences to enjoy an in-person pre-party and theater screening of 'Firebird' for Opening Night at the Music Box Theater. Director P ...


Gay News

REVIEWS: Movies of Reeling 2021
2021-09-22
- Reeling: The 39th Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival will take place Friday, Sept. 23-Thursday, Oct. 7. After a virtual edition in 2020, Reeling returns with in-person screenings this year, kicking off with the Estonian romantic drama ...


Gay News

MOVIES 'Shang-Chi' actor in anti-gay controversy
2021-09-20
Actor Simu Liu—the star of the latest Marvel action movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings—is embroiled in controversy over alleged Reddit comments he made about how pedophilia is "no different from being gay," ...


Gay News

FILM REVIEW Chastain mesmerizes in 'Tammy Faye,' but bio offers few surprises
2021-09-20
Televangelists featured in some of the of the most spectacular falls from grace in the '80s. Television preachers who'd spent the better part of the '70s and the '80s insinuating themselves into pocketbooks, not to mention ...


Gay News

8th Annual Black Alphabet Film Festival on Nov. 5-7
2021-09-17
The 8th Annual Black Alphabet Film Festival (BAFF) will take place Nov. 5-7 at the University of Chicago's Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St. One of the longest running Black ...


Gay News

Brittany Devon meets a 'Platonic Girlfriend'
2021-09-15
Queer, genderfluid actor Brittany Devon has created a brand new project to explore with Platonic Girlfriend. It is the story of a relationship between straight woman Alice and a queer, nonbinary person named Dev. Devon stars ...


Gay News

Gov. Pritzker signs transformative energy legislation for Illinois
2021-09-15
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Delivering on principles previously laid out, Governor JB Pritzker signed landmark legislation into law that puts the state on a path toward 100% clean energy, invests in training a diverse workforce for the jobs ...


Gay News

THEATER Out actor Dan Butler to be in 'When Harry Met Rehab'
2021-09-15
Don Clark, a Chicago-based film/theater producer as well as co-owner of the Chicago Magic Lounge, will present the world premiere of When Harry Met Rehab—a comedy that takes sobriety seriously and is based loosely on the ...


Gay News

AstonRep Theatre Company announces 2021-22 season:
2021-09-13
--From a press release - CHICAGO (Sept. 13, 2021) — AstonRep Theatre Company is pleased to welcome back live audiences this fall, kicking off with a revival of Yasmina Reza's frenetic dark comedy God of Carnage, translated by Christopher Hampton and ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Teachers, GLAAD talks HRC, 9/11 items, Dr. Rachel Levine
2021-09-12
In North Carolina, a former teacher won a lawsuit against Charlotte Catholic High School and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte after he lost his job following an announcement on Facebook that he planned to marry ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Boy Meets Boy,' Jennifer Hudson, 'SVU,' tennis honor, ABBA
2021-09-12
Ariztical Entertainment is releasing the German movie Boy Meets Boy on DVD and VOD on Oct. 26. According to a press release, the plot of the 70-minute movie is as follows: "Harry has been partying for ...


Gay News

WORLD False report, Indian activist dies, fashion exhibit, LGBT Awards
2021-09-12
In Spain, a man who claimed eight hooded men carved an anti-gay slur on his butt using a knife in a horrific hate crime later said the act was consensual, according to out.com. According to police ...


Gay News

MOVES Talking about 'Everybody's Talking About Jamie'
2021-09-08
The new movie Everybody's Talking About Jamie tells the inspiring story of Jamie New, a young drag artist who overcomes hardship and homophobia in Sheffield, England. Out actor Max Harwood stars as New, who gets by ...


Gay News

Dutch study: Transgender people face twice the odds for early deaths
2021-09-08
A long-term Dutch study revealed that transgender people have double the odds of dying early compared to folks whose identity matches the sex they were assigned at birth (cisgender), according to the U.S. News & World ...


Gay News

Survivor shares the story of trauma and thriving in 'Untold'
2021-09-07
WARNING: This article contains material of a graphic nature. Gina M. Garcia is finally sharing her story of thriving after trauma in her new docu-drama biography, Untold: This is My Story, which premieres Sept. 6 at ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.