To be both gay and Christian is still a struggle for many, something Randy Eddy-McCain knows intimately—as not only an openly gay pastor, but as a committed partner to his husband, Gary. He wants his autobiography, “And God Save Judy Garland,” to help others who have been where he was—but first, it needs to be published. To that end, he’s started a campaign on Kickstarter.
The book is described as “the story of an openly gay pastor who found love, peace, and joy without losing himself or his faith.” To get it to the widest audience possible, Randy is seeking $3,500 to have the book professionally edited, published, marketed—and with enough left over to give some of the copies away to those who can’t afford them.
Even the smallest contribution, $5, gets donors access to a private Facebook group with more information on the book, to invite falling in love with it even more; larger contributions get that plus more substantial rewards, including copies of the book. The campaign ends on December 1.
Randy’s story will be a familiar one to many; born in Arkansas, he grew up in a conservative church he loved. He wanted to go into ministry, but according to the very religion he wanted to serve, his sexuality conflicted severely with his faith. In time, he was able to reconcile the two; it took more than two decades, but according to the Kickstarter page, that was when “turmoil turned to peace.”
The fundraising campaign is headed by Randy’s good friend Neal Campbell, who encouraged Randy to consider non-traditional publishing for his non-traditional book.
Neal told 429Magazine:
Randy found harmony in being a gay man and a man of faith, but finding that harmony took years of struggle. He struggled with what his church said about him. He struggled with his family not accepting what they believed to be his ‘sin.’ He struggled internally with his own doubts about whether he could be gay and Christian at the same time.
This book will help religious parents of LGBTQ kids understand that their faith doesn’t have to be in conflict with loving and accepting their kids. LGBTQ folks who grew up in church, who cherish their faith traditions can find an example in Randy’s story that they don’t have to sacrifice faith to be true to who they are.
The Christian faith is a large part of “And God Save Judy Garland,” just as it’s a large part of Randy’s life, but the book isn’t intended solely for Christians; neither is it intended to “save” any souls. Neal explained, “Randy isn’t trying to convert anyone to anything. He just loves people and that love is infectious. I think his story can make a love-shaped dent in our culture that changes hearts and minds.”