People I Admire #1 - Troy Perry
One of the great pioneers of the queer liberation movement is Troy Perry.
Troy is the founder of the Metropolitan Community Church, the world's first Christian Church established to serve the Gay community. These days the Church has grown to be much more than that - it speaks up for the disenfranchised and dispossessed wherever they are in the world, and is one of the most truly inclusive spiritual communities currently operating.
Growing up in a variety of Protestant denominations in the South in the 1950s, Troy felt a calling to be a preacher at a young age. He also worked out that he was gay, and this caused many years of torment as he tried to reconcile the two realities.
The MCC is a very visible face for the movement for gay and lesbian equality, and there is normally an MCC presence at any community event.
Mr. Perry himself still remains as the symbolic head of the MCC worldwide, and he is a big bear of a man. If you read his books you get the feeling that he is a Pentecostalist at heart, though the MCC keeps a reasonably open mind about the shape and format of its worship services - it's normally determined by the tastes of the local Pastor and congregation.
MCC has been in Australia since the early 80s, and has a church in most states. There are two in Sydney - one in Petersham and MCC Good Shepherd in Granville.
Bless you Troy Perry for all the wonderful work you've done and continue to do. We say a special prayer for you.