The Rev. Elder Dr. Troy D. Perry founded Metropolitan Community Churches with 12 people in his living room in Los Angeles on October 6, 1968. Since that time, the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (UFMCC) has grown, under his leadership, to 44,000+ people in over 300 congregations in 16 countries around the world.
It has not always been an easy journey. In his autobiography, The Lord is My Shepherd and Knows I’m Gay, Rev. Perry recalls realizing his vocation in Florida at the age of 13 and being licensed as a Baptist minister two years later. Rev. Perry describes in frank, sometimes heartbreaking detail, the discovery and disclosure of his sexual orientation, divorce, estrangement from his wife and children, loss of his license as a minister, a failed suicide attempt and the "rediscovery" of his vocation and ministry, leading to the founding of UFMCC. Rev. Perry’s ministry and activism have taken many turns during the past 30 years, including positions on a number of boards of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered organizations. In 1978 Rev. Perry was honored by the American Civil Liberties Union Lesbian and Gay Rights Chapter with its Humanitarian Award. He also held a seat on the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations.
Perry has become an internationally recognized spiritual leader and one of the world's leading activists for the civil rights of gay/lesbian/bisexual and transgendered people. In 1984, Rev. Perry completed a one-hour video on the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, titled "God Gays & The Gospel: This Is Our Story" which is available for broadcast on local public access stations. Rev. Perry serves as host of "Out, Gifted and Blessed", a regularly scheduled 30 minute internet 'cybercast'. The program features music by UFMCC artists, UFMCC news, sermons by Rev. Perry and interviews with religious leaders.
Virtually every major magazine and newspaper in the world has covered the story of the founding and successful ministry of this unique Fellowship. Rev. Perry and Lay and Clergy Leaders of UFMCC have spoken on issues of gay/lesbian spirituality and the g/l/b/t civil rights movement on numerous local television/radio shows. At a national level UFMCC has been represented on virtually every major network news program, including 60 Minutes, Nightline, PBS presentations, Dateline, and many others in the USA, and in a wide range of world media as well.
The UFMCC founder holds an Honorary Doctorate of Ministry from Samaritan College in Los Angeles for founding MCC, an Honorary Doctorate in Human Services from Sierra University, Santa Monica, California for his work in civil rights, and was lauded by the Gay Press Association with its Humanitarian Award. Rev. Perry has been invited to the White House on five occasions:
- in 1977 by President Jimmy Carter to discuss the whole spectrum of g/l/b/t rights;
- in 1993 by President Bill Clinton as a participant in the first White House Conference on AIDS;
- in 1997 invited by President Clinton as a participant in the White House Conference on Hate Crimes;
- in 1997 again as a guest of President Clinton as an "honoree" at a White House breakfast with President honoring 100 national spiritual leaders in the USA.
- in 2009, along with his partner Phillip, by President Barack Obama on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Stonewall.
Rev. Perry led the movement for MCC’s membership in the National Council of churches starting in September, 1981. The UFMCC was given Official Observer status to the 7th General Assembly of the World Council of Churches, which was held in Canberra, Australia, in February, 1991.
Perry was a featured speaker at all of the LGBT Marches on Washington: 1979, 1987, 1993, 2000 and 2009. He conducted "The Wedding"--a demonstration for marriage equality at two of the marches--in 1993 at the IRS building and in 2000 at the Lincoln Memorial.
Rev. Troy Perry has devoted his life to help others discover the loving and caring God to whom he has committed his life. Rev. Perry also completed a sequel to his first book entitled Don’t Be Afraid Anymore, published by St. Martin’s Press. He is contributing editor for the book Is Gay Good? and the subject of another book, Our God Too. While Rev. Perry realizes the oppression still facing gays and lesbians, he stands at the vanguard of the movement, telling his flock - and the rest of the world - "We’re Not Afraid Anymore." Rev. Elder Perry resides with his lover of 28 years, Mr. Phillip Ray DeBlieck, in the Silverlake district of Los Angeles, Calif.
(This biographical statement provided by Troy Perry.)
Biography Date: October, 2002
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History recently received personal artifacts and records from the Rev. Troy Perry and the Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) for its archives.
MCC | Author/editor | Clergy Activist | Gay Liberation Movement | California | Los Angeles | Perry, Troy | EXHIBIT Rolling the Stone Away