Daneen Akers and Stephen Eyer released the second installment today in their ten-part series of short documentaries titled “Outspoken.” The films feature the stories of LGBT+ Adventists.
As previously reported, this is the third major project for the husband-and-wife team that deals with the intersection of sexuality, gender, and Adventism.
The "Outspoken" series is being released exclusively online on the first Friday evening of each month. The first installment was released on February 3.
Akers and Eyer hope the short-film format will make online sharing via social media easier and help to foster listening among a wide audience.
“For this new series, we wanted to highlight stories of people who are giving back, showing up, and creating,” Akers said.
Included in the series are gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people as well as parents. “We’ve really felt convicted about how isolating and lonely it is for Adventist parents of LGBT children with so much misinformation and judgement,” Akers said. “Some parents have said that when their children come out of the closet, they go in a closet.”
Alberto Barcenas, Philip Smith, and their daughter, Dalia, are featured in the short film released today. Barcenas and Smith wrote an essay for Spectrum in 2014 about their journey and desire for community within the Adventist church.
“Both Philip and Alberto grew up typically Adventist, and they loved their childhood family memories that revolved around their local church, potlucks, Pathfinders, and Wednesday night meetings. When they started dating their senior year of college, they started talking about having children on their second date. They always knew they wanted kids, and they always knew they wanted to raise those children Adventist,” Akers said.
When discussing why Barcenas and Smith were the perfect subjects for the "Outspoken" film series Akers said, “Their way of being outspoken is by continuing to show up. It's an intentional choice on their part to "chip away" at those who might object. They know that by showing up and participating, they will change hearts and minds. They do realize not everyone can do that, but it's their call. Their gentle hearts, deep grace, and persistent resilience is remarkable.”
WATCH: Philip and Alberto – Outspoken
Alisa Williams is Managing Editor of SpectrumMagazine.org.
Image Credit: Film still from Philip and Alberto – Outspoken.
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