Hi, and welcome to our Kickstarter page. This is a thrilling moment for us at Family Diversity Projects, and we’re excited to share it with you!
A little bit about our work: Since 1996, we have created seven award-winning photo-text exhibits, featuring powerful photographs and interviews with many different types of families including people. Our most well known exhibits are LOVE MAKES A FAMILY: Portraits of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People and their Families, (which is also a beautiful coffee table book), IN OUR FAMILY: Portraits of All Kinds of Families, and PIONEERING VOICES: Portraits of Transgender People.
Our exhibits are shown nationally and internationally, in museums, schools (K-12), universities, libraries, corporate headquarters such as Microsoft and Apple, houses of worship, state houses, conferences, and at Pride Events. Our exhibits are designed to help reduce prejudice, stereotyping, and harassment of all people who are perceived to be different from the "norm."
In October, we launched our newest exhibit in five cities across the USA. WE HAVE FAITH: LGBT Clergy & People of Faith Speak Out. This project is very close to our hearts. We are proud to be creating this exceptional and inspiring resource. WE HAVE FAITH will open minds and hearts, and be used to confront the faith-based homophobia and transphobia that has led to painful and sometimes tragic consequences for so many people of faith.
Many people of faith are getting comfortable with phrases like “Gay Christian”, “Lesbian pastor”, ‘transgender person of faith”, “queer Jewish family,” and same-sex marriage. But there are still a vast number of people of faith across the world who believe that LGBT people are sinners and should not be welcome at houses of worship as congregants or as clergy.
The WE HAVE FAITH exhibit replaces voices of bigotry and hatred with loving voices calling for full equality and inclusion of LGBT people. Beautiful and honest photos of bold trailblazers with their loved ones, along with text from personal interviews shine a light on their faith in a God who loves and accepts all people, as they work for equality.
WE HAVE FAITH features in-depth interviews and stunning photographs of renowned LGBT and allied clergy and people from a wide range of denominations including Presbyterian, Methodist, United Church of Christ, Unitarian Universalist, Muslim, Mormon, Episcopalian, Methodist, Jewish, Baptist, Pentecostal, Reformed Church in America, etc.,
The people featured in WE HAVE FAITH include Bishop Yvette Flunder, Bishop Gene Robinson, Dr. Michael Adee, Rev. Dr. Patrick Cheng, Rev. Rebecca Voelkel, Rev. Dr. Katherine Ragsdale, Rev. Mally Lloyd, Rev. Dr. Dennis Wiley, Rev. Dr. Christine Wiley, Rabbi Steve Greenberg, Rabbi Sarah Meytin, Imam Daayiee Abdullah, Rev. Darlene Garner, Rev. Candy Holmes, Rev. Jane Spahr, Rev. Jane McBride, Rev. Jen Nagel, Pastor Bradley Schmeling, Rev. Darin Easler, Rev. Ellen Petersen, Rev. Katie Morrison, Nicole Garcia, Rev. Harry Knox, Rev. Pat Bumgardner, Rev. Roland Stringfellow, Rev. Sanchez De Leon, Sung Park, Dana Beyer M.D., Joy Ladin, Rev. Kelvin Barlow-Flournoy, Rev. Ra’Shawn Barlow-Flournoy, Rev. Karpen, Macky Alston, Rev. Boon Lin Ngeo, Rev. Tim Burger, Rev. Greg Lisby, Rev. Ann Kansfield, Rev. Jennifer Aull, Val Kalende, Nick Gottlieb, Rev. Mary Foulke, Rev. Cedric Harmon, and many others.
Our aim with these exhibits is to make the world a safer place for ALL people.
Why is this project so important?
In recent months, LGBT issues have been at the center of religious and political dialogue. Often, mainstream media pitches religion against the LGBT community, leaving LGBT people of faith confused and divided between their religious and personal life.
We researched extensively to find leaders in all faiths who would be willing share their stories with us, hoping that their words and images would help to bring this huge but disconnected community together.
Those of us in the LGBT faith movement stand a little prouder when a Pride Parade in Chicago is led by LGBT men and women wearing their clergy collars. We cheer when San Francisco’s Pride features Bishop Christopher Senyonio from Uganda who has risked everything to minister to LGBT people there. We know we are moving forward when United Methodists of Northern Illinios, Iowa, Texas, resist the church’s policies of anti-LGBT discrimination. When the Presbyterians and Lutherans extend their welcome and ordination to LGBT clergy, we cheer! But when the Methodist national conference in 2012 voted to keep the doctrine that being gay is “incompatible with Christian teacher,” we were deeply disappointed. We know there is much more work to be done.
This exhibit helps bring the stories of affirmation and welcome to people everywhere.
We feel that WE HAVE FAITH is being made at a crucial moment in history, just at the moment when LGBT issues such as marriage are beginning to come out into mainstream focus. We want to give people the opportunity to get to know the many LGBT people of faith and allies who are so underrepresented in the media.
Where we are and where we need to go
All of the interviews and photo shoots have been completed for WE HAVE FAITH, and the exhibit is beautiful, and ready to go!
We recently finished our very first showing of WE HAVE FAITH, at the Provincetown Public Library during Family Equality Council’s Family Week 2012, and it was front-page news and a huge hit!
Why do we need your donations?
We want this exhibit to reach as many people as possible, from rural to urban settings, across the United States and beyond! Many of the organizations and houses of worship that want to show WE HAVE FAITH, LOVE MAKES A FAMILY, and our other exhibits, cannot afford the basic costs, including shipping, that are necessary to keep Family Diversity Projects going.
That’s why we are asking you to help us out, so that we can provide these exhibits at the lowest cost possible to houses of worship, schools, libraries, etc. The more money we raise on Kickstarter, the more this important work can be shown. We so strongly believe that it is important to replace religious bigotry with positive images, and we want to share this vision in a widespread way. We have been told that our exhibits save lives and we believe this is true.
So far, we have received an incredible amount of grant support for this faith project from The Arcus Foundation, The E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, and the Mailman Foundation. In addition, we’ve raised about $30,000 in annual fund donations for this project. However, we need at least $30,000 more to make sure that WE HAVE FAITH will be seen in as many houses of worship as possible. As WE HAVE FAITH is launched, your donation will go towards:
1. Scholarships for any exhibitor needing reduced exhibit rental fees. Imagine an LGBT teenager who enters his or her house of worship and sees WE HAVE FAITH hanging in the sanctuary. Imagine how it might feel to see these images and read these words of hope, faith, and acceptance. Your funding will make this possible. Over and over again.
2. Photograph and framing costs
3. Shipping of exhibits
WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT, HELP, and FAITH IN THIS PROJECT. WITH YOUR FUNDS, WE WILL REPLACE HATRED WITH LOVE. LGBT PEOPLE OF FAITH WILL HEAR FROM CLERGY LEADERS THAT GOD LOVES THEM JUST AS THEY ARE.
WE HAVE FAITH IS CO-SPONSORED BY
HRC, PFLAG, Family Equality Council, The Ettelbrick Project for LGBTQ Family Recognition at the Stonewall Community Foundation, National Gay & Lesbian Task Force’s Institute of Welcoming Resources, GLAAD, Believe Out Loud, More Light Presbyterians, Integrity USA, DignityUSA, Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists, Covenant Network of Presbyterians, United Church of Christ Office for LGBT Ministries, Fellowship of Affirming Ministries, Faith in America, Intersections International, Pacific School of Religion, One Iowa, Freedom to Marry, ReconcilingWorks, Room for All, and others.
Quotes about WE HAVE FAITH
“In the work I have done with faith communities on the issue of LGBT equality, Family Diversity Project’s exhibits consistently come up as a best practice – putting faces and stories to the human lives, hearts and loved ones for whom we fight. I am so eager for this next project, WE HAVE FAITH – to reveal to the world that so many of us are people of faith. I believe that again our stories and testimonies will resonate within and beyond our community and help the world recognize our full humanity and hence our right to full equality.”
- Macky Alston, Director of LOVE FREE OR DIE, Sundance award-winning film about Bishop Gene Robinson
"It is clear to me and to so many people of faith how important the FDP exhibits are in changing the minds of congregants and church leaders about LGBT equality. The FDP exhibits are powerful and unique tools that can be used in individual houses of worship to shift attitudes and to offer a strong welcome to LGBT people. The new exhibit, WE HAVE FAITH will continue to break the notion that Christians and religious people of other faiths including Jews and Muslims are all anti-LGBT. This effort from FDP will bolster the movement to create a new landscape in which faith and religion is a place of nurturance for those who have been wounded. FDP is doing ground-breaking work in the area of faith and values and deserves to be funded fully so every church that is willing to show an FDP exhibit can do so."
- Sung Park, Former Director of Believe Out Loud
“As the Director of HRC's Religion and Faith Program, I have become increasingly aware of the significance and power of Family Diversity Project's exhibits. They offer individual churches (and their leaders and congregants) valuable resources as they struggle to embrace the full range of diversity and become inclusive welcoming congregations. These exhibits provide opportunities to get to know LGBT people and to have dialogue that is informed by real people's experiences, not simply theoretical or Biblical interpretations of what homosexuality means. WE HAVE FAITH offers churches a unique and powerful exhibit which includes LGBT clergy and allied clergy speaking from religious points of views (and FDP is including people of a wide variety of faith traditions) about why denominations and individuals of faith must learn to stop the hatred and bullying of LGBT people and youth based on sexual orientation. I want to urge foundations and donors to fund their projects over the coming decade so that their exhibits can be used wherever they are needed in faith communities nationwide and eventually worldwide. WE HAVE FAITH has an undeniable power to promote understanding and help in this movement for equality."
- Sharon Groves PhD, Director of HRC’s Religion and Faith Program