Out Front Theatre
999 Brady Ave NW, Atlanta, GA 30318
|Resident Company(ies)||Out Front Theatre Company|
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Out Front Theatre (Photographed July 18, 2020)
This is the house and stage of the Out Front Theatre Company. Their mission is to tell LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trangender, Queer, Questioning, Intergender, Asexual, and Allied) stories. (I “borrowed” that from their website.)
When I graduated from Georgia Tech (shoutout to Georgia Tech Arts), I immediately went to work for IBM. In the 1970’s, it’s been said, that IBM helped write much of what became Federal EEO law. Back when I joined the company in 1982, diversity wasn’t something you did, it was something you were. And we also saw ourselves as a large, diverse family.
Artists, in general, tend to be more diverse than the rest of the population, although, that’s not always true, and we still have many biases to over come. But perhaps as a lot, we are just a bit more in touch with who we are and with central facts about our lives.
A few years ago All Saints' Episcopal Church, Atlanta hosted an exhibit of religious vestment stoles, from priests, pastors and others who were denied ordination or otherwise outed and/or ostracized from their religious communities. I was struck by one in particular from a very senior pastor in a very high place of leadership within their Christian Denomination, one who at least at the time, had strong views against the very kinds of loving relationships to whom Out Front’s mission is to serve and whose stories they tell. I could not imagine what it must have been like for that pastor to hold such an important fact of their life a secret from the community they loved for such a long time.
Thank God for the openness and for being willing to tell those stories that challenge those of us who they might make just a little bit uncomfortable—the kind of uncomfortable that makes us grow and be more open to the deep and loving relationships that I have observed in the many, many members of the LGBTQIA+ community who I know and love.
Originally posted to Facebook, August 20, 2020