We mourn the loss of Tom Murray, whose death today from a heart attack was announced by partner Vince on Tom’s Facebook page.
Murray was an award-winning documentary filmmaker who focused on stories exploring the LGBT experience. His recent projects examined “the variety of ways people find spirituality in our community.” His films included “Farm Family: Rural Life in Gay America,” “Fish Can’t Fly,” “Almost Myself,” “Tell,” “A Portable Tribe,” and “Amancio: Two Faces on a Tombstone.”
His 2005 documentary Fish Can’t Fly was a full-length exploration of the lives of people of faith who have endured and survived the spiritual and emotional traumas that are inflicted upon gay and lesbian people and their families by the “ex-gay” movement.
The film was instrumental in making religious audiences aware of the spiritual lives of LGBT people — and in alerting these same audiences to the religious and mental-health fraud that is Exodus International.
According to Murray’s website:
Tom Murray openly admits to getting a late start in life with filmmaking. Having studied filmmaking in his college years, and long term fan of documentary films, it was only in his “50+” years that he tackled his first feature length work. Inspired by his upbringing on a dairy farm in northern Illinois, “FARM FAMILY…in search of Gay life in rural America” was voted Best Feature Length Documentary at the Philadelphia Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in 2004 and has been acquired by Viacom as part of the initial acquisitions for LOGO TV, the new Gay and Lesbian cable channel. Now a resident of the Gulf coast of Florida, in 2005 Tom completed his second feature, “FISH CAN‘T FLY” which takes a look at the way in which Gay people of faith go about putting their spirituality and sexuality in harmony.
Murray continued to refine his filmmaking skills with subsequent efforts, and this year he was planning to complete work on a film exploring spirituality in the LGBT community.
Our thoughts are with Vince and with Tom’s extended family and many friends.