In 1968 Rev. Troy Perry founded an LGBT-affirming Protestant Christian church in Los Angeles, eventually growing into 250 worldwide congregations as the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC).
In D.C., Rev. J. E. Paul Breton founded the Community Church of Washington D.C. at his home in Capitol Hill in 1970. The next year, it became chartered as an official MCC congregation.
Perry is expected to join the Metropolitan Community Church of Washington, D.C., (MCC-DC) during its ''Fabulous and Faithful 40th Anniversary Event,'' at the Human Rights Campaign, 1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW, on Friday, May 13, from 7 to 11 p.m.
''We wanted the celebration to be outside the church because we wanted people to be able to have some social time and we don't allow alcohol at MCC, so they can drink there,'' says Bob Whitman, who is gay and the vice moderator of the church's board of directors.
Shae Agee, who serves as the church's 40th anniversary committee chair and identifies as ''gender queer,'' says the celebration will include a drag performance by Billie Ross, and will cater to a youthful audience.
''MCC in Washington is a pivotal place for LGBTQ people that have been thrown out of their church, who feel that being gay and Christian or trans and Christian cannot be done,'' Agee says.
''I just know from my experience that it was the place that I felt comfortable,'' she says, adding that the organization collaborates with the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League in conducting outreach to LGBT youth.
''I think it's important,'' she says. ''I think spirituality helps them and I think we're growing towards a more-inclusive congregation. We're open to the trans community as well. Some trans folks feel like there's nowhere to go. They can come to MCC. It's important for us, for people to know that.''
For more information about Fabulous and Faithful 40th Anniversary Event, on Friday, May 13, and to buy tickets, $40, call 202-638-7373 or visit mccdc.com.