I don't know how many times I've given the elevator speech for our documentary "Out Here In Kansas," but considering we starting shooting on it about a year ago, I'm guessing it's about 365.
I do know I've not had an encounter quite like the one I had when I was taking down a road barrier when we were tearing down our first set Saturday in Augusta. (You can see the photo gallery here.) A woman, maybe 70, approached me on the curb and asked what we were doing.
Me: We are making a documentary.
Me: Well, it basically centers on the relationship between Christianity and homosexuality.
Her: Oh. Oh no. Well I'm a Christian. And I don't believe in gays. Are you a Christian?
Me: Yes ma'am, I sure am.
(At this point she insists on shaking my hand.)
Her: Well God bless you. Do you believe in gays?
Me: Yes ma'am, absolutely I do. They are real. I've seen them and talked to them myself.
Her: (Frowns.) That's not what I mean. The Bible has some things to say about gays. Do you go to church?
Me: Yes, in fact I grew up in First Baptist Church right up the street.
As I pointed in that direction, this woman realized she knew my parents, and thankfully the subject changed.
But the exchange left me with a sad feeling. She identified herself as a Christian, but the way she represented herself is exactly why many gay people are uncomfortable going to church.
So if you're a Christian, even if you believe the homosexual lifestyle is unacceptable, please be careful with your words. The Bible has something to say about a lot of things we don't understand, including women remaining silent and submissive. (I haven't heard anyone bring that one up lately.)
As I've said many times, the purpose of this movie is to tell Burt's story and to invoke a discussion. This woman could have a gay family member and not even know it. Because who would tell her?