For Immediate Release
In 2009, David Wilson, one of the founders of the True/False Film Fest, and Dave Cover, one of the senior pastors of the Crossing, embarked on the least likely sponsorship in history: a conservative evangelical Christian church agreed to sponsor an irreligious documentary film festival. This unique project sought to find common ground between people in Columbia, Missouri who did not necessarily share religious beliefs but might nonetheless be able to grow and learn from watching documentaries at True/False and movies at Ragtag Cinema. From the beginning, this unlikely partnership created challenges, and both organizations lost supporters who couldn’t fathom why two organizations at loggerheads on many issues would ever work together. We nonetheless believe that the relationship has fostered meaningful dialogue and exposed two communities to each other in ways that would otherwise not have happened.
After ten years, however, Ragtag Film Society must end the sponsor relationship with The Crossing. We have always known that there are many places where the values of The Crossing and our organization diverge, but a recent sermon has crystallized an unbridgeable difference between us. The message, premised on the idea that trans and gender-nonconforming people are broken, has caused tremendous pain in our community. We do not believe that expression of authentic gender and sexual identities makes any person broken; it makes them whole and contributes to the richness of our community and lived experience.
Ragtag Film Society values inclusivity and celebrates diversity. We embrace the voices and views of LGBTQ+ citizens, artists, and leaders in our organization and our programming. We will not give a sponsor’s place of prominence to any organization that discriminates or explicitly devalues LGBTQ+ citizens. We encourage anyone who wants to support our community to donate to The Center Project, a local non-profit that provides essential services here in Columbia.
To the congregation at The Crossing and people of all faiths, you–and everyone– are always welcome in our spaces and in our community.
To our LGBTQ+ supporters and allies, thank you for your energetic support and feedback. We love you and we see you.