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An episodic TV series documenting the lives of Queer Black Visionaries.
Katina Parker
4,998 Facebook Friends
Video / Web
Durham, North Carolina
United States
1 Team Member

In order to take advantage of recent press and to make our funding goal for the pilot episode, we've started a new campaign at igg.me/at/truth-be-told.

Please come on over and donate $5 or more today... And bring a friend.

Follow us: 





To see who's committed for Seasons 1 and 2, click the "Updates" tab.

To date over 50 Queer Black Visionaries have committed to being interviewed for Seasons 1 and 2, including: Emil Wilbekin (Editor at Large for Essence magazine), Patrik-Ian Polk (Creator of Logo TV's "Noah's Arc" series), Linda Villarosa (a former Editor for the New York Times); Dr. Alexis Pauline Gumbs (Co-Creator of the Mobile Homecoming Project); Dr. Kortney Ryan Ziegler (Filmmaker/Transgender Rights Activist); and Justin Robinson (Grammy Award-winning musician, formerly of the Carolina Chocolate Drops).

The Executive Producers are Carol Ann Shine (who's produced all of Patrik-Ian Polk's work), and Jennifer MacArthur, a public media engagement consultant for Independent Television Service (ITVS).



In America, we are told through a variety of means, including mainstream media, that Black LGBT people are "other," as in problematic, and that because we are so marginalized, our families/our voices/our rights do not matter. It has long been the analysis of Black LGBT leaders that we lack media visibility for the authentic portrayals of Black Queer people and that this contributes to homophobia in Black communities. It has long been believed that by telling our stories to family and friends, we create spaces where we can bring all of who we are. The latter has been confirmed by the many of us who have come out to our families and who have endured a complex array of responses, but who have endured, nonetheless.

Truth. Be. Told. is a documentary series that seeks to reclaim the birthright of Queer Black visionaries within our families and communities by providing a platform for out, Black LGBTQI-SGL-TS people to tell their personal stories of challenge, radical self-inquiry, transformation, and triumph.

The basic premise of Truth. Be. Told.: in order to become all of whom we were sent to be, as Queer Black people, we have been pushed to question everything about our multiple layers of identity - race, gender, sexuality, class, vocation - and then reconcile who we know ourselves to be with the identities our families and society-at-large have constructed for us. Some of us face rejection from our parents, children, spouses, and other family; some of us experience job loss, religious persecution, personal attacks and violence; some of us are more afraid of who we might become than our loved ones who have been waiting for us to speak our own truth. By virtue of being Queer, we do this work in spite of the risks, in order to live more fully.

Truth. Be. Told. tells these stories of transcendence and triumph by positioning the cultivation of personal identity and transformation as a mark of innovation.

The conversations featured in Truth. Be. Told. are insightful, intimate, humorous, heart-warming, relatable, complex, and, at times, painful and profound. Per the life experience of each person interviewed, the testimonies cover a broad range of topics, but generally center around the interviewee's journey towards self-discovery; important moments that defined them; love lessons they received; how they came into their vocation(s); exploring, naming and elevating cultural/spiritual practices; and navigating bias - all against the backdrop of the community, family, and friends that support them. Themes include family acceptance and abandonment, religion
and sexuality, gender identity, health disparities, surviving sexual and physical trauma, art and activism, etc. Each story contributes to the weaving of an intergenerational dialogue about what it means to lead a life filled with purpose.

Truth. Be. Told. is a success that we build together. If you fund it, I will make it. And what I make will do us proud. Together, we will create the most comprehensive exploration of Queer Black identity, to date.   


what your money pays for:

The $10,000k that we raise via the IndieGoGo campaign will produce a pilot episode of "Truth. Be. Told.", which will be used to:

• Screen as a World Premiere at OUTFest (July 2013). Based in LA, OUTFest is the oldest LGBT film festival in America, having screened over 20,000 films and having reached over 1 million people in its 31-year history.

• Screet at the 8-city fundraiser in 2013. Targeted cities include: New York; Los Angeles; Washington, DC; Atlanta; Miami; Oakland; Chicago; and Dallas;

• Secure digital platform distribution via HuluPlus, Netflix, iTunes, and AmazonVideo on Demand;

• Secure network distribution via either Logo, Showtime, BET or TVOne;

• Screen at pride festivals, film festivals and LGBT events throughout Fall 2013;

• Attract investors, foundation money, press attention, and other needed resources.

The budget covers shooting, editing, and finalizing a pilot episode; travel; production personnel and consultant fees; equipment rental; production insurance' music licensing; social media engagement; and Facebook/Google advertising.

Stretch Goal: For every add'l $10,000 that we raise, we will shoot and edit 1 episode.


about katina:

My name is Katina Parker. Some of you may know me from my years as a communications strategist for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), and Southerners on New Ground (SONG). My background is filmmaking, photography, design, writing, and activism. As a part of my communications training, I also have an expertise in social media campaigns, messaging, and traditional media strategies. Present-day, I am an instructor at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University; I am the writer/producer/ director for a film called Peace Process, which airs regularly on The Documentary Channel; and I am working on a touring exhibit and book called One Million Strong, which features my photos from the Million Man, Million Women, and Million Youth Marches.

During the three years that I worked at GLAAD, my primary objective was creating visibility for Black LGBT issues in mainstream media. In conjunction with my colleagues, I was responsible for placing with the New York Times and The Associated Press, the stories of Saundra Toby-Heath and Alicia Heath-Toby, a couple from Unity Fellowship Church Newark who were plaintiffs in the 2006 New Jersey marriage lawsuit. I helped the very brilliant, Tony-Award winning Staceyann Chin publish a preview of hermemoir THE OTHER SIDE OF PARADISE with New York Times magazine and also pitched her for the courageous appearance that she made on The Oprah Winfrey Show. I successfully advocated for Patti LaBelle to receive a GLAAD Media Award for her outstanding commitment to LGBT people. I photographed and designed visibility ad campaigns, which I placed with The Amsterdam News, the Los Angeles Sentinel, The Chicago Defender, and several other Black newspapers. I brokered a deal with Black Voices/Huffington Post to feature weekly editorials from Black LGBT activists, including the work of Krys Freeman and former Essence magazine Editor-in-Chief Linda Villarosa. Over a period of years, I held editorial board meetings with Johnson publications, home to Ebony and Jet magazine, which laid the groundwork for them to begin featuring the wedding announcements of same-sex couples.

I did this work to create safety for my community. I also did this work to create safety for myself. There was a time when I felt so isolated that I considered taking my life, when it was easier to be a drug addict than it was to be me. I was clueless about how to be an out, queer Black woman. I saw no one in the world who looked like me, who thought like me, or who had healed enough to serve as a living example of the possibilities that were ahead of me.

I understand the value of community. I understand how media placement fills in the gaps when community is not readily accessible.

When I began at GLAAD, there were only a handful of Black LGBT people who were willing to speak publicly - and intelligently - about our issues. Over the years, I logged thousands of miles spokesperson-training more than 500 Black LGBT issue experts in New York; Washington, DC; Atlanta; etc. In the process, I came to know intimately the network of courageous pioneers who have chosen authenticity over fear, and met many of the bold young people who are poised to take us into the future.

We have only scratched the surface when it comes to visibility for Black LGBT people. While our stories are told more frequently than they used to be, our lives are shared in sound bites, book-ended by the editorializing of journalists. We don't get enough prime time real estate (in media or in formal community spaces) to engage in full dialogues about who we are and what we stand for.

Personally, I can't possibly sit on or sit through another panel, over-crowded by LGBT issue experts of every persuasion, who have been given the task of summarizing all of our collective issues in 90 minutes or less, i.e., coming out, homophobia in black churches, transphobia, Black LGBT images in media, the impact of HIV/AIDS on Black gay men, bullying, gay as the new black, etc. I'm tired of Black communities being blanketly characterized as homophobic. The nuanced and explorative conversations that so many of us have with our loved ones deserve elevated visibility so that others who don't have immediate access to our circles of influence can be included. And we deserve to be strengthened by a show that captures our resilience as well as our commitment to change.

To read more about my work or to check out samples of my filmmaking please go to: www.katinaparker.com/katina-parker.

************************************************************************************************** other ways you can support:

• Donate or become a monthly sustainer;
• Join our email list to receive (and spread) our regular updates;
• Post our promotional videos, fundraising pitches, and other materials to your blog/tumblr/
• Recommend people to be profiled. In your communication, include their bio/photo/video along
with a personal testimony on why you think their story should be shared;
• Recommend resources/introduce us to people/organizations that can help.


other needs include:

• Computer and camera equipment;
• Professional services like color-timing and sound-mixing;
• A PHP coder;
• Android/iPhone/Blackberry app programmers.

Find This Campaign On
raised by 98 people in 2 months
40% funded
No time left
$10,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on April 17, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $5USD
    Octavia Butler

    Recognition on the "Truth. Be. Told." website.

    9 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2013
  • $10USD
    Gladys Bentley

    A heartfelt thank you on the Truth. Be. Told. Facebook and Twitter pages.

    14 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2013
  • $25USD
    James Baldwin

    A thank you card. A thank you on the website + everything at the $10 level.

    23 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2013
  • $50USD
    Ruth Ellis

    Set of 8 Truth. Be. Told. postcards featuring affirmations/truths from our esteemed interviewees + all perks at the $25 level.

    17 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2013
  • $100USD
    Audre Lorde

    Digital download of the first episode + all perks at the $50 level.

    4 claimed
    Estimated delivery: August 2013
  • $250USD

    Truth. Be. Told. T-shirt + signed poster + all perks at the $100 level.

    0 claimed
  • $500USD
    June Jordan

    Name in Thank You section of end credits for each Truth. Be. Told. Season 1 episode + each perk at the $250 level.

    0 claimed
  • $1,000USD
    Marlon Riggs

    2 tickets to private screening of Season 1 (travel and accommodations not included) + each perk at the $500 level.

    1 claimed
  • $2,500USD
    Langston Hughes

    Producer Credit for Episodes 1-5; 2 tickets to private screening of Season 1 (travel and accommodations not included); 3 month subscription to Hulu Plus + each perk at the $1,000 level.

    0 out of 6 claimed
  • $5,000USD
    Bessie Smith

    Executive Producer Credit in closing credits for Season 1 - Episodes 1 thru 5 + 2 tickets to private screening of Season 1 (travel and accommodations not included); 6 month subscription to Hulu Plus + each perk at the $2,500 level, sans Producer Credit.

    0 out of 8 claimed
  • $10,000USD
    Lorainne Hansberry

    Executive Producer Credit in Opening and Closing Titles for Season 1 - Episodes 1 thru 5 + 4 tickets to private screening of Season 1 (travel and accommodations not included), Invitation to review/provide feedback on rough cuts for Season 1. A special spot reserved for you in Black Queer heaven; 1 yr subscription to Hulu Plus + each perk at the $5000 level, sans Executive Producer in closing credits.

    0 out of 4 claimed
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