Reverend Troy D. Perry

Rev. Troy D. Perry, July 27 1940 is the eldest of five brothers born in Northern Florida. As early as he can remember, Perry felt called to preach. Perry dropped out of high school, but was a licensed Baptist preacher by the age of 15. He married a preacher's daughter named Pearl Pinion in 1959. They had two sons and were relocated to Illinois where Perry attended Midwest Bible College and Moody Bible Institute. Perry was the preacher at a small Church of God, and sometimes had sexual relationships with other men. At 19, church administrators told him one of the men he had been with had told them what they had done. He was forced to leave the church. They moved to Southern California, pastoring at a Church.

Perry's wife found his copy of The Homosexual in America he kept hidden under the mattress and their marriage quickly dissolved. After being directed to pray about being led astray by his homosexual feelings, Perry's bishop told him to renounce himself in the pulpit. He was drafted to the army in 1965 and served two years in Germany. In 1968, after a suicide attempt following a failed love affair, and witnessing a close friend being arrested by the police at the Black Cat Tavern, a Los Angeles gay bar, Perry felt called to return to his faith and to offer a place for gay people to worship God freely. Perry put an advertisement in The Advocate announcing a worship service designed for gays in Los Angeles. Twelve people turned up on October 6, 1968 for the first service.

By 1971, their own building was dedicated with over a thousand members in attendance. Perry performed same sex unions as early as 1970 and ordained women as pastors as early as 1972. MCC has over 300 congregations in 18 countries. The 2007 documentary film titled Call Me Troy is the story of his life and legacy. He held a seat on the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations in 1973. Perry worked in political arenas to oppose Anita Bryant and also worked to oppose the Briggs Initiative in California that was written to ensure gay and lesbian teachers would be fired or prohibited from working in California public schools.

Perry also planned the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in 1979. In 1978 he was honored by the American Civil Liberties Union Lesbian and Gay Rights Chapter with its Humanitarian Award. He holds honorary doctorates from Episcopal Divinity School in Boston Samaritan College (Los Angeles) and Sierra University in Santa Monica, California for his work in civil rights, and was recently lauded by the Gay Press Association with its Humanitarian Award. Rev. Perry was invited to the White House in 1977 by President Carter to discuss gay and lesbian civil rights and by President Clinton in 1995 for the first White House Conference on HIV/AIDS. In 1997 he was invited to the first White House Conference on Hate Crimes.

Troy lives in Los Angeles with his long term partner, Phillip Ray De Blieck, whom he married under Canadian law at Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto. Troy and Phillip sued the State of California upon their return home for recognition of their marriage and won.