Prayers for Bobby

As part of LGBT History Month, Rev. Sharon Ferguson, Chief Executive of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement, (LGCM), and pastor of Metropolitan Community Church North London in Camden invited a representative of FFLAG to a showing of the film “Prayers for Bobby”. Bruce Kent, FFLAG Trustee and his wife Janet attended.
 
After the film, Bruce and Janet led an open discussion about the issues that this film raised.  ‘Prayers for Bobby’ is based on the true story of the life and legacy of Bobby Griffith, a young gay man who killed himself in 1983 due to his mother's and their church community's homophobia. The film stars Ryan Kelley as Bobby Griffith and Sigourney Weaver as his mother, Mary.
 
Mary did, after much soul-searching, eventually manage to come to understand the horrific errors of the fundamentalist Christian church teachings and went on to be a powerful force for change as an early member of PFLAG (The American counterpart of FFLAG).
 
This film is an emotionally harrowing story for anyone who (themselves or a loved one) has suffered as a result of religious intolerance of LGBT people.  Bruce and Janet were able to talk freely about their own religious prejudices and the heart rending trauma this caused when their own son came out as gay and the ongoing work of FFLAG to support families in similar situations.
 
Bruce, himself, said “I tried to read the book three times before I was able to finish it.  The image of Bobby, with all hope gone from his life, falling backwards over the freeway bridge into the path of an oncoming truck, was too much to prevent the tears from flowing freely.”
 
The discussion in Camden with the delightful MCC and LGCM members and their guests, was, at times, deeply moving, as different ones contributed their own insights and experiences.  Some found the film truly helpful in understanding more of the conflicts that parents face when their strongly held religious beliefs come into violent conflict with their acceptance of their dearly love children.  
 

 

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