California-based singer-songwriter Danielle LoPresti tackles the complicated relationship between religion and homosexuality with a harrowing new video.
Released Nov. 18, “Holy” depicts a pastor (played by actress Anna Khaja) meeting with LGBTQ members of her congregation to inform them that the Bible says that their love is wrong. But the real-life couples, including “Arrow” star John Barrowman and husband Scott Gill, interpret the biblical texts that Khaja cites much differently.
LoPresti, who appears in the video alongside her wife, Alicia Champion, and young son, Xander, told The Huffington Post that her mission for “Holy” was “to bring two sides of the same religious communities closer together through one overarching message.”
“All religious texts ― in this specific case, that of the Bible ― can be wielded to divide as much as it can to unify,” she said. “We are pushing the latter in this video and advocating the single most important aspect of all practices: love.”
Also appearing in the video is Ryland Whittington, a 7-year-old transgender boy, and his family. Ryland’s mother, Hillary, documented her experiences raising him in the acclaimed book, Raising Ryland. (The family was also the subject of a CNN-produced documentary short of the same name.)
Ultimately, LoPresti said she wanted to stress the all-inclusive message of “Holy” by featuring so many co-stars of note in the video. She hoped to reemphasize that point by dedicating the song to the victims of the June 12 massacre at the Pulse LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
“One of the most beautiful things about this song, for me, is that it is so purely personal, so deeply and exactly true, and yet utterly universal, all at once,” she said. “As with most things, when we have the courage to tell our stories, we discover over and over again how connected we all are.”