We had our first Integrity Board call a few nights ago and Louise Brooks was not a part of that call. I felt a huge hole during the entire call. Louise was not afraid to speak her mind on those board calls. I think that many of us hold back our thoughts and opinions because we are afraid that we might offend someone or we’ll alienate a boss or co-worker. Louise had the rare courage and chutzpa to say her truth as she felt and knew it. If it was something that she felt strongly about, she let you know. Louise was Director of Communications on the board of Integrity. Being on the board of Integrity is a volunteer position. Integrity would never have been able to afford the caliber of work that Louise produced for Integrity. Her knowledge of the spoken and written word was a major contribution to Integrity’s work over the last 8 years. The Voices of Witness films are a credit to her ability to put a vision on film.
The last vision Louise brought to fruition was a film about Transgendered people called Out of the Box. The video was released on June 1, 2012 and screened at the Episcopal General Convention in Indianapolis July 2012. It was a tremendous success. It was my personal favorite. When I finished watching the film for the first time, I didn’t want it to end. I had become so vested in these people’s lives, I wanted to know more. The film changed people’s hearts and minds. All of our legislation for Transgendered people was passed through both the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops. So different from just 3 years ago.
Unfortunately, due to the ravages of chemo therapy, she was not able to see the film screened in Indianapolis. Louise put her heart and soul into this film. Perhaps she felt that it would be her last. She was passionate about people understanding who Transgendered people are. Her passion showed in every frame of the film from the opening of baby photos to the very last piece of music during the film credits.
Louise was a courageous woman. She fought her cancer with everything she had in her. I believe that her faith, love, courage, sense of purpose in life and her sense of responsibility for her fellow human beings carried her through to seeing the film Out of the Box realized. If you haven’t seen the film you should click on the link below. Thank you Louise for making such a wonderful faith filled humanistic film about a group of people who have been sadly neglected in both the hetero and homosexual worlds. You will be remembered for your courage of person and truth of word and film.
(As Susan Russell stated in an earlier blog, Louise very much wanted to see a Spanish language version of this film made. It would be a tremendous insight for the Spanish language culture to see. If you would like to help make this a reality go to IntegrityUSA and click on donate and make an offering.)