Ai Elo

Here’s the third installment of Many Voices, a documentary web series created by filmmaker Katina Parker for the Many Voices organization.

The goal of the series is to feature the personal stories of African American lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people who came of age in Black churches. The web campaign profiles not only lay people, but high-profile clergy as well.

The mission of the organization “is to foster a Black Church movement for gay and transgender justice. It also offers training, resources, and relationship-building opportunities for interested church leaders and Black LGBTQ people."

This latest episode centers on Ai Elo, a writer, a Cave Canem Poetry Fellow and youth advocate.

For Ms. Elo it certainly wasn’t easy being gay and a member of a church:

“My pastor used to make jokes about homosexuals, and everyone in my congregation would laugh. I’d sit there thinking ‘you’re laughing at me, you’re laughing at my friends, you’re laughing at a part of me that I can’t change. I turned away from church, I turned away from God, I turned away from my own spiritual practices because I didn’t feel accepted or loved.”

Past and future episodes can be seen on Many Voices’ YouTube channel HERE, and their Facebook page HEREYou can also go to Many Voices’ own website HERE.

Also Katina Parker has her own Vimeo website HERE.