A new documentary by BET, Holler If You Hear Me: Black and Gay in the Church takes a look at the unique challenges of being a faithful gay black American.
The documentary also explores the LGBT community who navigate among religious communities that will support their cause and practice. While some of them do offer support to the community, there are others who reject them outright.
Holler If You Hear Me: Black and Gay in the Church takes a close look at the connection of queer and black identities that have acquired a great deal of visibility during the last year. This has been possible as a big number of LGBQT black individuals have made an entry to the mainstream along with their narratives. Some of the mediums that made it possible were various magazine covers scripted dramas and reality TV shows.
The producer and creator of the documentary, Clay Cane discussed what motivated him to create this offbeat documentary with the Huffington Post. He said that his intention was to make sure that his narrative reaches the LGBT people in the church. He also had a strong desire to hear their version of stories.
Cane had earlier dealt with the LGBT Black group within the church community in the capacity of a journalist for Gawker, Advocate, and various other media outlets. This is his first experience with the making of a documentary film.
Cane says his objective was to give a voice to the queer communities through his documentary who have got marginalized. He has tried to reveal the impact of what he terms as using the shield of religion for oppressing or controlling a particular community. In short, he calls it “spiritual violence.”
Another driving force was that Cane wanted to prove that spiritual and theological violence are as bad as physical and emotional abuse.
He revealed that the film was sensitive in nature and it was a big challenge for him to look for participants who could share their bitter experiences. Many of his subjects were in pathetic condition; they were homeless, penniless with several of them being asked to leave their homes as their families had conservative religious beliefs.
— Vesper (nighstar) (@nighstar) November 16, 2015
Cane says that when one watches the documentary, he or she realizes how much more is required to be done. There are not only tragedies in the lives of LGBT that have been shown but the doc has more interesting angles too. One can appreciate that there are many survivors from this spiritual violence and there are many who have still pursued with their faith.