|Parents||Troy Perry and Edith Allen|
|Spouse||Phillip Ray De Blieck|
Troy D. Perry (born July 27, 1940) founded the Metropolitan Community Church, a Christian denomination with a special affirming ministry with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities, in Los Angeles on October 6 1968.
Troy had been involved in Christian ministry since he was 13. As a young man, he entered full-time ministry in a Pentecostal Church and married a pastor's daughter, with whom he had two sons. He was unable to ignore his homosexual feelings which ultimately brought an end to his marriage and his ministry.
He never expected to return to Christian ministry, but he did, founding a congregation which grew into the MCC denomination. He retired as Moderator of the MCC in 2005, and the Reverend Elder Nancy Wilson succeeded him at an installation service on 29 October 2005. He remains active in public speaking and writing.
Troy lives in Los Angeles with his long term partner, Phillip Ray De Blieck, whom he married under Canadian law at Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto. Troy and Phillip sued the State of California upon their return home after their Toronto wedding for recognition of their marriage and won. The State appealed and the ruling was overturned.
Founding the Metropolitan Community Church
In 1968, after a suicide attempt and witnessing a close friend being arrested by the police who often raided gay bars, Perry felt called to return to his faith and to offer a place for gay people to worship God freely. Putting an advertisement in The Advocate magazine, Perry announced the first worship service of what was to become MCC, to take place in the small rented house he shared with a friend in a working class district of Los Angeles, California. Twelve people turned up on 6 October 1968 for that first service. MCC now has over 300 congregations which worship all around the world.
Human rights activism
Rev. Perry's activism has taken many turns, including positions on a number of boards of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered organizations. He held a seat on the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations. In 1978 he was honored by the American Civil Liberties Union Lesbian and Gay Rights Chapter with its Humanitarian Award. He holds honorary doctorates from Episcopal Divinity School (Boston), Samaritan College (Los Angeles), and Sierra University (Santa Monica), California for his work in civil rights, and was recently lauded by the Gay Press Association with its Humanitarian Award.
Rev. Perry was invited to the White House in 1977 by President Jimmy Carter to discuss the gay and lesbian civil rights, and by President Bill Clinton in 1995 for the first White House Conference on HIV/AIDS and in 1997 to the first White House Conference on Hate Crimes. Perry was also a guest of the President that same year for breakfast in the State dining room in the White House to be honored with 90 other clergy for their work in the American society.
In addition to his work as a gay religious leader and human rights activist, Rev. Perry has found time to write an autobiography, The Lord is My Shepherd and He Knows I'm Gay. Rev. Perry also completed a sequel to this book, titled Don't Be Afraid Anymore, published by St. Martin's Press and "Profiles in Gay and Lesbian Courage" also published by St. Martin's. He is a contributing editor for the book Is Gay Good? and the subject of another book, Our God Too. In 2003, he completed the text of his latest book, 10 Spiritual Truths For Gays and Lesbians* (*and everyone else!).
- Rev Troy Perry's website
- Metropolitan Community Churches
- News clip featuring the Reverend during the early days of the HIV epidemic.
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