By Darla Shelden
Opening at 7:00 p.m., Friday, Feb. 10, Randy Roberts Potts, grandson of Oklahoma televangelist Oral Roberts, will present “The Gay Agenda” a demonstration of what gay domestic life looks like.
“The Gay Agenda” project will be held at Cole Dewey Designs, 1704 NW 16 in the Plaza District in Oklahoma City. Presentations will take place on Friday, Feb. 10 from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m., Saturday, Feb 11 from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and on Sunday, Feb. 12 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
“The gay agenda is performance art designed to foster love and acceptance. We are hoping, by our simple, domestic, boring performance to change hearts, open minds, and inspire gay and lesbian youth that it really does get better, that being gay is not a daily fight,” said Potts.
The event sets up a ‘home environment’ in each town inside a borrowed storefront. Two men or two women will inhabit the space as a couple for several days performing routine daily tasks such as making coffee, reading the paper, playing cards with friends or watching TV to demonstrate what ordinary lives gays and lesbians lead.
“For the Oklahoma City performance, it will be myself and my fiancée, Keaton Johnson, playing the two roles,” said Potts. And introducing Randy and Keaton’s furry family member, Tug.
No intimacy beyond what might be acceptable for any heterosexual couple in front of children will be presented such as holding hands or a casual kiss goodbye, etc.
Last fall, Potts served as grand marshal for the AIDS Walk in Oklahoma, returning to the home state of his grandfather’s religious domain. Oral Roberts pioneered TV evangelism, conducted more than 300 crusades on six continents, and founded Oral Roberts University and the Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association in Tulsa.
“I’ve worked with juvenile delinquents on the East Coast, was a social worker in Oklahoma, and also spent five years as a middle school English teacher. I am currently focused on gay advocacy in “red” states, the front lines of the battle for equality for all LGBT folks,” Potts says on his facebook page.
Potts is bringing The Gay Agenda to conservative towns across America. He wants the public to help decide what cities by visiting their facebook page or twitter account. Top choices on their poll include Paducah, Kentucky; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Jackson, Mississippi; and Raleigh, North Carolina.
Potts tells the story of his uncle, Oral Roberts’ eldest son Ronald David Roberts, who was rejected by his family and the evangelical culture after coming out as gay while in high school. “Uncle Ronnie” took his own life in 1982.
At the age of 27, Potts decided to pursue a homosexual lifestyle after counseling led him to believe he was gay.
After coming out in 2006, Potts began writing a letter to his deceased Uncle Ronnie – “a letter meant for me, for my uncle, and friends I have who are still closeted, terrified their family will reject them.”
“My uncle and I were both raised in a world dominated by evangelicals who taught, and still teach, that the fires of hell await all gay men and women,” said Potts. “While the evangelical community might not pull the trigger when one of their gay members commits suicide, they often provide the ammunition.”
“I got an email from the Plaza Executive Director saying Randy was looking for space to hold the show. I do mostly weddings at my shop and so I have the space for it, and it just sort of fell together,” said Cole Dewey, owner of the Plaza District storefront hosting the event. “When I read what Randy is trying to do, it just touched me. I mean, our lives are very regular. We go to work, come home, make dinner, and raise our child. My goal is to help, in anyway I can, to make people understand that our family is just like any other family.”
The Gay Agenda project is looking for volunteers in the Oklahoma City area to help explain the project and pass out literature during the weekend of Feb.10th prior to the performances.