Outspoken: Camilo Nazar Wants to Give Queer People More Representation

Camilo Nazar, a film student at Pacific Union College, wants to give queer people of color something that he never had growing up: the gift of representation. In the latest installment of the “Outspoken” documentary series, Nazar tells the story of his growing up Adventist in Monterrey, Mexico and discusses his student project, “Thou Shall Not,” in which Nazar stars alongside Zachariah Mohammed.

"Outspoken" is a ten-part series of short documentaries that features stories of LGBT+ people with ties to the Adventist Church, produced by husband and wife team Daneen Akers and Stephen Eyer, intended "to highlight stories of people who are giving back, showing up, and creating." In the installment released last week, Nazar discussed his upbringing in Mexico, his coming out, and what he is working to accomplish as a student on an Adventist college campus.

Nazar was in his late teens when he accepted that he was queer. “I think I finally gave up on the idea that I was heterosexual when I was maybe 19 years old,” he said in the Outspoken episode. For a young churchgoing Seventh-day Adventist, the realization hit hard: “Oh my gosh...I am this abomination that people keep talking about and keep preaching about in church. That’s me. I think there’s something wrong with me,” he remembered thinking.

His parents took him to see movies when he was young—something uncommon for an Adventist family in Monterrey (“It was just like, you were a sinner if you went to a movie theater,” he said). Nazar didn’t feel represented in the stories he saw, both because of his skin color and his sexuality. But to be a queer person with brown skin didn’t just mean being different, it also meant closer proximity to early mortality.

Two queer people Nazar knew and went to school with died by the time he started college, one by suicide and the other the victim of a hate crime.

Nazar resolved to use film and television to tell neglected and marginalized stories.

In “Thou Shall Not,” a television series he wrote and directed, Nazar plays a young queer man who falls in love with his best friend, a pastor’s son, played by Mohammed.

“I was always a bit iffy about…‘Can I write this as my project?’ ‘Is it something acceptable for this school?’” he said of the project.

Nazar is also president of Gay And Straight People (GASP), Pacific Union College’s unofficial Queer-Straight alliance. In the “Outspoken” film, Nazar expressed his longing for PUC to treat its LGBT+ students not as a potential financial liability or a “PR mess,” but rather his desire to see “Pacific Union College setting up the conversation so that every student feels welcome.” He called GASP’s being unofficial another form of being in the closet. “That’s not a place where we want to be anymore,” he said.

WATCH: Camilo - Outspoken

Camilo - Outspoken.

Jared Wright is Southern California Correspondent for Spectrummagazine.org.

Image Credit: Video still.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/8108
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Thank you for your openness and honesty, Cam! I feel honored to be one of your friends, and I too hope to make GASP at PUC a long-lasting, and valuable resource for our LGBTQ+ students. It is not just a benefit for LGBTQ+ students, but it also provides a place for allies and potential allies to get to know LGBTQ+ students. This is so important, because the more we get to know one another, the more we realize we are all more alike than different. I too hope we can make GASP an official group on the PUC campus. We are all God’s children, and the sooner we realize that and can be there to support one another through life’s challenges.


The power of personal story…


In the Adventist church MANY life-style things can presume to NEGATE the fact that
persons in life styles have found Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and have an
active relationship with God – the Sovereign , God - Jesus Christ, God - Holy Spirit.
Life Styles – presumed to use more make-up than necessary, wearing the "wrong"
clothes to services, wearing sparkly items [other than diamond wedding band], eating
foods considered inappropriate [meat eaters in some groups], liking the wrong persons.

Yes, in many SDA churches, Being a Friend of God, is not always seen as being the
most important issue in the life of a church member. Actually, it can be way DOWN ON
THE LIST of importance.

Kim – YES! There ARE LGBTQ SDAs at ALL our Grade Schools [most dont know it yet],
Academies [some know, others unsure, all have no one to discuss their feelings with],
Colleges and Universities [most more clear about their feelings, many will marry and have
children before coming to grips].
AND ALL of these persons in our Educational System are the CHILDREN of Seventh day Adventist parents. Have been raised in the Seventh day Adventist church since babes in arms. Have accepted
Jesus Christ, been baptized, and would like to continue to contribute enthusiastically to the Gospel in their Seventh day Adventist world community – whether it be their “home” community, university community, their new home communities after starting their careers, and be a part of the World Adventist Community and Mission with their gift and talents.
Many will want to find an Adventist Life Partner to share their life, their hopes and dreams with, and to work as 2 people furthering the Gospel in their local community, or perhaps in a “foreign – not their home church” community, on a Mission for Christ.
Some will want to adopt Parent-less children to raise them to be wholesome adults and who learn to love God like they do. Will want to introduce them to Sabbath School, Church School, Academy.

It is the HETEROSEXUAL Seventh day Adventist Adults who are having the HOMOSEXUAL children in the Seventh day Adventist church.
It is TIME to blame these HETEROSEXUAL Adventists, and TELL them to STOP birthing HOMOSEXUALS!!!

Robin-- BRAVO!!


My previous post must have been too inflamitory. But I will try again.

With all the positive coverage that gays get in the media, I am not sure why they would need more representation at a small Christian. College. Does every place have to be the same? The church teaches that gay sex is sinful, so why does a college the church runs need more representatives of those that’s promote it?

By that logic, more adulterers and thrives would be helpful as well?


This story is designed to appeal to emotion and there is no evidence or examples given of just exactly what representation is being asked for.
Lets say you have a representative on a particular board. Lets say even PUC. The subject on the agenda is one of any of 1000 everyday items. Mission trips, education, staff etc etc. Do we really have to get the gay perspective on all of that?
Is it perhaps a grandiose vision where they think the gay perspective is somehow relevant on every issue?[quote=“spectrumbot, post:1, topic:13823”]
Nazar resolved to use film and television to tell neglected and marginalized stories.

None of these things happened because they weren’t “allowed” to give their gay perspective on a board somewhere.


Our SPLENDID Adventist film makers, Daneen Akers and Stephen Eyer, have done, and continue to do a SUPERB job of revealing and elucidating the hitherto hidden lives of our gay offspring.

The demographics of being gay are relentless/implacable/unyielding:
every culture/ethnicity/race/nation has approximately four per cent (one person in twenty five ) of its,population who self identifies as gay/lesbian.

The theologians/geneticists/psychologists can pontificate until the cows come home as to why this should be,
but this stubborn fact remains incontrovertible:
every Adventist extended family of twenty five members ( aunts/uncles/second cousins/nephews /nieces) has at least one gay/lesbian member

Because of the denigration, discrimination and overt cruelty that the church heaps on its gay members, many of these individuals are reluctant to reveal their true selves to their families.

While if is laudable that Camilo Nazar strives to improve the lot of gay/lesbians at Pacific Union College, until the GAY AND STRAIGHT PEOPLE ( GASP )
alliance on campus, of which he is president, is OFFICIALLY recognized by the institution, gay /lesbian students will remain marginalized, dismissed and diminished.on campus.

Of more potent importance:
Daneen Akers and Stephen Eyer who both served previously as distinguished professors at PUC have been BLACK LISTED from being re-hired, merely because of their splendid journalism exposing the church’s pitiful, pathetic performance in openly and compassionately addressing gay issues.

PUC sends a significant signal to prospective gay/lesbian students when it will not hire Daneen and Stephen :

This campus is a TOXIC environment for Adventist gay young people.

Self esteem and self worth are vital components of maturation/adolescence.
Being treated as a second class citizen sends demeaning, denigrating, damaging messages to our gay youth. No wonder the suicide rate among gay youth who are rejected by their communities is EIGHT times the average.

All Adventist gay young people would be better off at the nearest and cheapest state college/university/community college where in state tuition will spare them student debt, and more importantly their psyches/souls will not be impaired with defamation, denigration and discrimination so rampant in Adventism.