Directors: Daneen Akers & Stephen Eyer
Seventh-Gay Adventists follows three gay & lesbian couples as they reconcile who they are with what their Church believes.
Marcos is a former Seventh-Gay Adventist minister from Brazil who was fired when it was revealed he is gay. From an early age he has always been drawn to the teachings of the Adventist Church, the Christian Faith, and the call to preach. We follow his journey to find a spiritual community to be a part of with his partner Obed. As the first Church they join is forced to close due to poor finances, Marcos feels loss and frustration–loss of his spiritual community, and frustration that he may have to go through the “coming-out” process again for his next Church Family.
Sherri is in a committed relationship with her partner, and together they have two daughters. Sherri wishes to belong and have her children grow-up in an Adventists Church. They join an Adventists Church where their sexuality and relationship are not openly discussed. As time passes they both become a part of different committees and volunteer positions within the Church. But their current minister is leaving, and they fear the new minister will not be as accepting of them & their family.
David has lived his whole life in the Adventists Church, and his family is very involved in its corporate governance. Throughout his life he has fought his homosexuality, read books about straight conversion, and lived in shame of who he is. After David accepts himself he feels isolated from the community he has always known. But in time he discovers love, and he & Colin find a Church where they are accepted. Now, together, they hope David’s family of Adventists ministers will be able to accept them.
The directors, married couple Daneen Akers & Stephen Eyer, construct a documentary that carefully lets you into the lives of the all the couples and the importance of the Christian faith in those lives, as well as show us what it means to be an Adventists. As each of the stories move forward, the interplay between each of their different scenes become more frequent. Each story is very different in terms of where each couple is in their lives, but all are the same in that each couple wants to belong to a spiritual community that accepts them for who they are. You feel for Marcos, Sherri, David and their partners as they swim up-stream with their Christian Faith against the current of conservative religious beliefs. As their stories progress you are brought into the tension they are feeling, and eventual relief of their positive conclusion.
Seventh-Gay Adventists shows that being gay and Christian are not mutually exclusive. The Seventh-Day Adventists Church is not depicted in a bad light; their beliefs & traditions are shown matter-of-factly. A LGBT audience member will leave the documentary knowing there are Christian denominations and groups that do accept them. Members of Open & Affirming Churches will leave happy knowing their beliefs of inclusion for all is being shared. And hopefully members of conservative/fundamentalists Churches leave with a little doubt regarding their prejudices.
Grade = B+