Not By Sight is a comedy-documentary that features Sampson McCormick, an African-American comedian, author, and GLBTQ activist as he explores the State of Black Culture, Black Socioeconomics, and most importantly, the role and wrath of the Black Church. From Washington, D.C. to California, the cast is comprised of artists, academic scholars, ministers, and community activists who share diverse views from within multidisciplinary fields. The documentary establishes a bridge between comedy and spirituality while shedding light on the role religion continues to play in defining and shaping identity in the Black GLBTQ community.
From within these cast members, a variety of topics comically range from “Growing Up Pentecostal” and the positive and negative effects of being raised in Evangelical Christian traditions to “Black Gay Gospel Pioneers” and the fact that queer members have always been present in the church even if not always respectfully and openly acknowledged. The documentary not only addresses tough topics through candid interviews but also intertwines them with parodies. The film also discusses “The Identity Crisis” and even the history of “Gay Lingo” followed by facts and opinions surrounding Black Socioeconomics and an unbiased, honest evaluation of marriage.
Overall, from Washington, D.C. to California, the film establishes a bridge between comedy and spirituality while shedding light on the role religion continues to play in defining and shaping identity in the Black GLBTQ community. Not By Sight is not rooted in the victimization of the GLBTQ community but the empowerment and tenured queer presence within the most significant institution of the Black community — the Church. The documentary suggests a wholistic approach to what it means to “Walk By Faith and Not By Sight” and provides a plethora of thought-provoking ideas to create awareness and encourage support through advocacy or most significantly… love.
Meet The Cast:
SAMPSON McCORMICK is a nationally touring, award winning, stand up comedian, writer and activist who can make audiences double over in laughter whether he’s joking about his whacky and beloved, Aunt Jackie, his twink neighbor or addressing homophobia, poverty, and religion. For over a decade, he has been a favorite at LGBT pride festivals and mainstream venues alike. His screen appearances include BET, MTV’s “Real World”, and the Oprah Winfrey Network. He is also the author of two books Ebonic Faggotry, and Taboo Village: A Perspective on Being Gay In Black America and is at work on his third. He’s also released three live stand up comedy albums, including his latest That Bitch Better Be Funny: Live at the Howard Theater, where he made history, becoming the first openly gay comedian to headline the famous venue. Other prestigious venues that he has headlined include The White House, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The World Famous Comedy Store in Hollywood, CA and Harvard University. His comedy offers riveting, refreshing and original takes on religion, sexuality, life and politics — you know, all those things there you weren’t suppose to talk about in polite company.
CONTENT JOHNSON is a producer, director, screenwriter, motivational speaker, singer, and composer. She wrote the comedy-drama, Duty Free, which was an official selection for the 2015 Script DC catalog. She has compiled a versatile portfolio of studio and freelance photography, scripts for short films, TV series, documentaries, and at least 100 concept development pitches ranging from magazine series to historical dramas. Previously, she has released two (2) independent albums, Diasporan (2006), Rhythmic Blues (2009), and currently working on a third project. She has a Bachelor of Arts in African-American Studies with a minor in History and Religious Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University. In 2015, Ms. Johnson received a Master of Arts in Communications: Producing for Film and Video from American University. She is also a licensed and progressive minister within the Pentecostal denomination and a strong advocate for Afro-Diasporan education and culture as well as a supporter of GLBTQ rights. Ms. Johnson is the executive producer, writer, and director of the Not By Sight documentary.
IVORY SHELTON, JR. is originally from Alexandria, VA and he has seen the world through his experience in the United States Navy. A very active member of his church as a diligent Usher, Ivory is full of fun and compassion for all mankind. He enjoys traveling, reading, and learning new things. He has experienced many things in his life but over all other things, he has a passion for his family. In 2006, he was diagnosed with HIV. Since then, he has been an active advocate helping others to prevent from contracting the virus.
PATRICK WILSON was born and raised in Lancaster Virginia. He grew up in the Baptist/Pentecostal church. He is the youngest of five siblings. Since middle school, Patrick has been involved in the musical arts. He has participated in multiple theatrical projects and featured as soloist in numerous productions. Mr. Wilson’s professional background consists of Hospitality and Retail Management in which he has worked for many years. His creative interests include singing and comedy and he is a strong advocate for Mental Health, Anti Bullying and the LGBT community. Patrick resides in Virginia Beach, VA and pursuing a degree in Business.
S. NICOLE CATHEY, PH.D. is a professor, minister and LGBTQ advocate from Jackson, MS. She received her doctorate in Political Science from Howard University in Washington, D.C. Her research interests encompass political behavior, public opinion and political participation, with an emphasis in the intersectionality of religion, gender and sexuality. She is currently a student at Chicago Theological Seminary and serves as Co-Chair of the National Black Political Scientist LGBTQ Caucus. As a scholar-activist, she works to integrate applied research with social justice issues. She also uses community gardening as a means of teaching young people about better health through growing and distributing food in her home state of Mississippi.
WILLIAM LEAP, PH.D. received his B.A. in Anthropology and Linguistics from Florida State University and his Ph.D. in Anthropology (Linguistics concentration) from Southern Methodist University. Dr. Leap’s career in public anthropology has included work with American Indian tribes (community organizing, language renewal, teaching retraining), engagements with language, sexuality, and HIV politics in the urban US and urban South Africa, studies of gay language and “gay men’s English” as local and global formations, and multiple projects (at AU, in DC, in the American Anthropological Association and in other public settings) designed to build alliances between dissident gendered and sexual voices. He is the founding co-editor of theJournal of Language and Sexuality. Since 1993, he has coordinated the annual AU Conference on Lavender Languages and Linguistics. He has published seven books and edited collections and numerous essays in language and sexuality studies. He is currently finishing the edits on his new book,Language Before Stonewall.
CARLTAISE RANSOM was born and raised in the City of Baltimore, Maryland. He is a compelling Actor, Singer, Writer, Director, Filmmaker, Black Activist/Revolutionary, and Entrepreneur. As an Actor, he displays a wide range of technique from drama to comedy and most certainly, musicals. He has played both fictional and non-fictional roles, such as Malcolm X, Langston Hughes, Alex Haley, Jackie Robinson and he has long dreamed of portraying the Legendary Singer Marvin Gaye in a biopic. Carltaise has appeared in a variety of plays, such as James Baldwin’s The Amen Corner, Walter Mosley’s Strike Heaven On The Face, Dreamgirls,Smokey Joe’s Cafe, August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson, Seven Guitars, and Two Trains Running. He has also appeared in a few independent and major films, such as The Head of State and has played every role from Jesus to a hardcore thug.
Currently, Carltaise is completing production of his weekly series, Speak It Real in which he is the creator, writer, director and a cast member. He is also involved in producing other culturally groundbreaking projects, such as his Afrocentric reality series, Not About You, It’s About Us. As a singer, he has the ability to sing soulful and gritty all while switching to smooth, soft, and mellow. He believes in creating opportunities for himself and primarily, other Black artists. He is dedicated to creating quality films, television productions, and stage plays featuring artists that reflect the entire African Diaspora. He has recently formed The Carltaise Ransom Royal Hues Melanin Manor African Ensemble Theater in Baltimore, MD.