Unfaithfully Yours Honors Tammy Faye Bakker's Life!
Did You Know Jim Bakker Was Accused Of Homosexuality?
I first came across the late, noted television personality, Tammy Faye Bakker (or Tammy Faye Messner) when I was still in grade school as she appeared as a cast member on the sometimes forgotten reality show, The Surreal Life. At that stage in my life, it was still a bit rare to see the LGBTQ community painted in such a positive light in media. My escape during my youth, of course, was television and pop culture. I witnessed Tammy Faye praising the gay community and playing a mother to the other cast members, including porn star, Ron Jeremy, reality television vixen, Trishelle Canatella, and Rapper, Vanilla Ice. It is so easy to fall in love with Tammy Faye. Her charming, warm personality oozed with spark. As you likely know, Tammy Faye passed into paradise in 2007 after complications with colon cancer spread to her lungs. Strangely, I hadn't researched much into Tammy Faye or her former husband, Jim Bakker, and was glued to my television in a recent ABC 20/20 documentary highlighting the couple's life, fraud scandals, and sexual allegations.
During the documentary, Unfaithfully Yours, we were schooled on Jim and Tammy's televangelist Christian news program, Praise The Lord (PTL). Long story short, Jim and Tammy would basically ask for dollar after dollar and religious zealots would donate and donate. The Bakker's lived lavishly until sexual allegations came against Jim and his colleague, Jim Fletcher, along with allegations of fraud. In the documentary, it is briefly glossed over that Jim had numerous allegations of engaging in homosexuality. Shocker, right? Through that, Jim was also accused by his secretary, Jessica Hahn, of sexual assault and was eventually jailed for fraud. This would lead to Tammy Faye's life in shambles, leaving only a thousand dollars to her name. It was at her rock bottom Tammy Faye began connecting with the LGBTQ community.
World of Wonder producers, Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey, are interviewed during the documentary as they discuss their own film, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, and her love of the gay community, including her acceptance of people living with HIV at the height of the AIDS epidemic. Tammy Faye never backed down on her love of our community and called Christians "sad" for being afraid of those suffering from AIDS and not being able to care about them. She was truly ahead of her time and is now considered a gay icon for her role in gay events, including pride parades. She is quoted saying on Larry King:
"When we lost everything, it was the gay people that came to my rescue, and I will always love them for that."
I highly recommend you checking out Tammy Faye's latest documentary! I watched it on Hulu, but I'm sure you're crafty enough to figure out elsewhere to view it. In the meantime, check out the teaser trailer for the documentary below.