Hello, my name is Ruby L. “Sunshine” Taylor. My mother calls me Sunshine. I’m an award-winning independent filmmaker, author, and career social worker who has explored grief and healing, a traumatic brain injury and the beauty of black women through film. I’m a WOMAN, I’m Christian. I’m black. I’m a stutterer. And I’m a lesbian—but I didn’t always call myself that.
I used to believe that the world would only accept me if I loved men, that I couldn’t accept myself as a lesbian, and most importantly that God would no longer love me if I were gay.
Growing up in the Bronx, I was raised to keep secrets: when I was sexually abused as a child, my family told me to stay silent. They began to teach me that love was conditional, and I would only be loved if I hid my truth. They told me stories about how to get into heaven: and gays weren’t allowed in. From this world, I learned to fear God instead of trust him. So I tried to live my life in a way that wouldn’t disappoint them, or God, and I hid myself. And then I suffered a traumatic brain injury.
For years, I kept myself busy to avoid confronting who I was, but my brain injury meant that I could not keep up with the pace of denial. I had to embrace who I was, but before that I had to reject the thinking that God’s love for me could be destroyed and that my same gender loving heart, came from some place other than God. One day, I was moved to take a photo of sunshine, and in the weeks that followed I continued to be inspired by the sun and felt the need to photograph it. Over time, I found that the sun reminded me of God’s love: No matter how many clouds there are, or what time of day or night it is, the sun is always there, and it is only our perception of it that changes. God’s love never leaves us, and there is nothing we can do to lessen God’s love for us. God's love is unconditional and unfailing and I am focused on spreading that message. Will you join me?