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Mom, Dad, Grandpa... I'm Gay


Randy Roberts Potts talks being queer in a famously religious family

Imagine you're listening to a sermon. The preacher is charismatic, the audience is murmuring its approval, and there are a lot of references to God.

In other words, nothing out of the ordinary. But wait, there's one thing that's off. Did the preacher just say it's okay to be gay?

That's what a sermon is like when you have Randy Roberts Potts as your preacher, according to a story running in the February issue of DETAILS. In "Grandson of a Preacher Man," Jonathan Miles tells the engaging story of how 37-year-old Potts--whose late grandfather was the celebrity televangelist Oral Roberts--has grown from closeted married family man to outspoken pro-gay preacher, albeit one estranged fromhis family.

Seeking to undo all of the work that his famously homophobic grandfather did before him, Potts has been telling his story in churches around the country in order to spread the message that gay is good. He also has a performance art piece, The Gay Agenda, which features him and his boyfriend (or another couple) going about their daily chores in a glass cage.

As Potts puts it in Miles' story: "It's a visual that people haven't ever really seen in conservative towns... A lot of people immediately jump to images of sex or a pride parade. Well, here's another visual."

There are plenty of gems in Miles' story. For instance, Oral Roberts was apparently so obsessed with the family name that he paid his daughter Roberta $1, 000 to make Randy's middle name Roberts. (Too bad Oral's already passed, otherwise there would be thousands of people lining up outside of civil courts to request legal name changes right now.)

There are also a good deal of sad family-related anecdotes, but not to fret--the story has a happy ending. Potts has a boyfriend, his ex-wife doesn't completely hate him, and he's not completely ruling out reconciliation with his mother. Also, there's a lovely moment when Potts realizes that the work he's done has genuinely helped people--but to find out how, you'll have to click over to DETAILS.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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Evan Lambert