New film explores homosexuality in Bible

By Jim Wittmann

A new documentary by a local filmmaker to be released in May, Fish out of Water, intends to draw a correlation between homosexuality and the Bible. The crew plans to show the film at a number of film festivals.

Seven Bible verses are examined in the film that directly deal with homosexuality and how Christians should react to it, said Ky Dickens, writer and director of the film.

The film breaks down these verses and simplifies them in order for the viewers to better understand what they’re trying to say, said Kristen Kaza, producer and publicist. The film does this by using animation and easy-to-understand graphs and illustrations, Dickens said.

The 15-member crew has been working on the film for more than two-and-a-half years. They have been asked by universities, organizations and seminars to speak about the documentary and its findings and what the significance of it is, Kaza said.

The idea for Fish out of Water originated while Dickens was a senior at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. After coming out as a lesbian to her sorority sisters, friends and family, they reacted by saying she was a sinner and “going to hell” for being a lesbian, Dickens said.

“When I came out of the closet, it was like mayhem,” Dickens said. “I decided to go look in the Bible about what it said about homosexuality. I did this so I could defend myself, and [the verses] kind of shook me up a bit. While talking to a bunch of ministers in Tennessee, they told me how grossly the Bible is misinterpreted.”

After Dickens developed a better knowledge of filmmaking, she decided to pursue making a documentary, thinking it could help numerous people who were going through the same thing she did and show them how to utilize the Bible to prove homosexuality is not sinful. She rounded up a crew to help her out, started hosting fundraisers and received a few grants for the film. In addition, she took a large sum of money out of her personal bank account to help fund the film.

“The surprising amount of support we have received from straight allies and various religious communities was really encouraging,” Kaza said. “They have been a huge emotional support and financial backers. Our film has come from a lot of very small donations, and a lot of our support came from our straight allies.”

Dickens said the best way to present these findings was as a documentary, but her goal was to showcase an exciting documentary to a non-documentary audience. She and her crew hoped to do this by interviewing hundreds of people from both the religious community and LGBTQ community to get a full-circle point of view.

“I thought that this information was important to get out into the greater public. When I was having problems with my friends, there were no resources,” Dickens said. “A lot of people have a need to reconcile their faith, and there are no resources. So I thought, ‘OK, I’m a filmmaker, so the best thing to do was take this information and make a documentary about it.’”

Golden Globe nominee Kaki King, who composed two songs for the award-winning film Into the Wild, expressed interest in the film after Kaza contacted King’s manager.

“We talked backstage one night, and found out King is dealing with these same issues, and she was really on board and has been an amazing person to work with,” Kaza said.“We didn’t actually believe it was happening until she actually produced seven to eight pieces for us.”

Dickens and Kaza are planning to make speeches about the subject to universities, organizations and seminars after they were contacted by a few of them. They were scheduled to speak at a high school recently, but it was canceled after the community reacted negatively, Kaza said. Because it is the very definition of a polarizing issue, it will be hard for people to talk openly about the subject, and this film was made to prod this conversation, Dickens said.

Katy Haggis, assistant producer of the film and senior arts, entertainment, and media management major at Columbia, worked as promoter of the film. She posted its trailer on, and in two weeks it already had over 2,500 views.

“It’s been really eye-opening for me because I never really knew the in-and-outs of the background of making a movie,” Haggis said. “The film has a great message that needs to be heard.”