In the case of Rev. Derek Terry, the weight of hiding his sexuality from members of his church reached a point where he revealed his truth from members of his congregation. Rev. Terry came out as gay while in a church pulpit, which was aired on Iyanla Fix My Life.
Over the series of three episodes, Iyanla Fix My Life host Iyanla Vanzant covered Rev. Terry’s journey into revealing his at the Douglass Boulevard Christian Church in Louisville, Ky. Rev. Terry actually ministers at churches in Cicinatti and Louisville, but the show was filmed at the gay-friendly church where he came out. Gawker’s MorningAfter blog covered the big reveal, and followed up with an inteview with Rev. Terry.
Gawker: How has life been for you since coming out?
Reverend Derek Terry: Out of the ministry, we may have lost one family, but for the most part it’s been really, really positive. What’s really interesting is so many people have come out to me with their own truth. Some people I never thought were gay came out with their stories, some people were sexually assaulted. It’s been a really positive one. Of course there’s been some craziness—little conservative groups sending brochures to the church, and making calls, and some foolishness on social media.
Is the Douglass Boulevard Christian Church your primary church?
No. We had to use that for filming. I have a church in Cincinnati [St. Peter’s United Church of Christ], I have a church in Louisville [Community Empowerment Center]. They’re 100 miles apart. I commute on Sundays [from Louisville]. [In the filming], it wasn’t just my church. It was people like aunts and uncles, people from my home church. People I grew up with. People that were friends with my grandmother, who has since passed. Seventy-year-old friends of hers—conservative old church ladies. Former teachers. It was really a congregation of my community.
Rev. Terry’s journey is still ongoing, and as the news of his revelation spread he finds there are more questions to contend with. Rev. Terry has been applauded for his bravery and his willingness to share his story in such revealing detail.
The rest of Rev. Derek Terry’s interview can be viewed here.
The revelation can be viewed below.
Photo: Iyanla Fix My Life