Civil Rights and LGBTQ equality movements; are the two similar, or are they fundamentally different? Do they have the same goals? Why are they often in conflict with one another?
A new documentary, From Selma to Stonewall, explores these questions through the journey of two unlikely friends; Gil Caldwell, an 80 year-old, black, heterosexual, retired preacher and civil rights leader and Marilyn Bennet, a 52 year-old, white, lesbian activist and author.
The film is a powerful new documentary that begins by looking at the Civil Rights Movement in Selma and the LGBT Rights Movement that was galvanized at the Stonewall riots, then delves into some of today’s most explosive and discussed subjects: racial injustice, police brutality, transgender discrimination, LGBTQ homelessness, and where those issues intersect. It will screen in New York in June, which is recognized as LGBTQ Pride Month.
Together Caldwell and Bennet visit important landmarks for both movements, such as Selma, Alabama—where Caldwell marched with Martin Luther King along with thousands of others—and the Stonewall Inn in New York City, a gay bar and the site of the historical 1969 Stonewall riots that is often referred to as the trigger for the LGBT liberation movement.
“Reverend Gil Caldwell and I want this film to be a catalyst for bringing diverse groups together at the same table on equal footing to recognize our shared humanity and fight for justice,” says the film’s director Bennett, a video biographer and non-profit consultant with a long career in social justice, working with LGBTQ equality and the church.
Rev. Fred Davie, who was interviewed for and is in the film, explains, “We are living in a time when LGBT and allied communities must adapt to cultural and political climates where understanding how the intersections of our diverse identities impact our lives is more critical than ever. This film not only addresses how race, class, sexual orientation, gender, and our myriad other identities intersect, it provides a platform for discussion as we begin LGBT Pride Month at a critical time in our movement.”
Davie joined Union Theological Seminary in New York City in 2011 as executive vice president. He has extensive experience in social justice ministry, especially affordable housing, criminal justice reform, and LGBTQ ministry. What’s more, he was appointed as an openly gay advisor by President Obama to the White House Council on faith-based and neighborhood partnerships.