Gay-rights activist Marc Adams to speak at Unitarian Universalist Church

Tuesday, August 2, 2011 | 1:54 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA – Author and gay-rights activist Marc Adams will give a presentation called "Hope Needs Only Hands and Hearts," at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Unitarian Universalist Church.

Adams founded HeartStrong Inc. in 1996 to support gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students who are discriminated against in religious educational institutions, according to a news release.

Adams is the author of nine books and the son of a fundamentalist Baptist minister.

On his website, Adams' bio says, "Growing up gay in an environment where your parents, teachers and peers deem evangelical Christians like Jerry Falwell as left-wing liberals is an entirely different experience."

His autobiography, "The Preacher’s Son," covers stories of the ex-gay time in his life, coming out again and the process to become a Unitarian Universalist.

Adams has traveled throughout the U.S., sharing his life story and trying to boost people’s interests about HeartStrong, Inc. through his journeys and presentations.

He recently gave speeches at Harvard University and Rutgers University.

His newest book, "It’s Not About You: Understanding Coming Out & Self Acceptance," handles the issue of helping friends and family support loved ones in the coming out process.

On a website for the new book, Adams says, "...there is a serious need for a modern perspective to guide those on the receiving end of a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender person's honesty as well as encouragement for those taking the step to live their lives honestly."

A dessert reception is scheduled to follow the presentation. Unitarian Universalist Church is located at 2615 Shepard Boulevard.

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