Thursday, May 14, 2009

Nice profile of Mel White in "The Pasadena Weekly"

An 'amazing' journey
Former Pasadenan Mel White shows the world that gay dads can be great

Mel White well remembers the craziest thing he had ever done: skydive — at age 68 — over the Swiss Alps in an attempt to become a millionaire.

It’s a once-in-a-lifetime moment that’s not only etched in his memory, but one witnessed by up to 12 million television viewers nationwide and perhaps tens of millions more around the world on the CBS reality series “The Amazing Race,” in which 11 pairs of contestants raced against time and faced other challenges all over the planet to win a million dollars.

But jet-setting around the globe was just another in a series of unique life experiences for White, a onetime Pasadena resident and a biographer and speechwriter for such conservative Christian icons as Jerry Falwell and Billy Graham. In 1982, the then-41-year-old father of two came out publicly about his sexuality and embarked on a quest to show that gays had a place in Christian churches.

“Mel has been a profoundly influential voice for those seeking to reconcile their spirituality and sexuality in a culture that for too long sent messages that it was not possible to be a faithful Christian and be gay or lesbian at the same time,” says Rev. Susan Russell, a minister at All Saints Church. “As a trailblazing ‘out’ Christian, Mel’s leadership helped bring countless LGBT people of faith out of the closet and into the community. And his work with Soulforce — focused on peaceful, nonviolent protest as a means of achieving equality — has been an inspiration to those who are working in the civic arena to make liberty and justice for all not just a pledge but a reality.”

Read the rest here ...

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