Hi. Hello. My name is Brandon Flanery, and you’re probably wondering who in the heck I am and why I’m writing on believr. Great questions!
My role within believr is the content director, words guy, and best friend. That’s right. Adam Evers hired his best friend. It’s another one of the reasons I’m writing the blog. Adam can’t talk himself up. That’s just narcissistic. So he makes the best friend do it, and thus I’m here. But beyond being the guy Adam would donate a kidney for, I also have a passion for words, story and communication.
Adam and I met each other when I was 14-years old. We led a high school ministry devoted to uniting the Christian youth of our town, Bible mecca and conservative capital Colorado Springs. After four years of trying to change the world as a high school student, Adam escaped to the Bay Area while I have remained in its grasp.
But Adam and I stayed in touch over the years through a force more powerful than proximity — trauma.
Adam and I came out within a year of each other back in 2016. With a lack of options of gay Christians getting kicked out of churches, we turned to each other, and I’m so grateful we did. During three of the hardest years of my life, Adam was there to cry with me, to laugh with me, tease me, and fight for me. I’m really grateful for his friendship and honored to be a part of this project.
So why believr? If you’re an LGBTQ+ Christian, you probably can answer this yourself. But in short, there’s a need for a space like this — a reality that we have been humbled by over and over again as we hear from amazing people like many of you, sharing that you’ve been waiting for a app like this. Adam and I are right there with you. We felt the need for this type of platform for years.
Being gay Christians, Adam and I would often feel too gay for the Christian spaces and too Christian for LGBTQ+ circles. Normally, both sides are so angry at each other that we get caught in the crossfire. We get removed from membership at fundamentalist churches. We’re called ignorant on queer dating apps. We date someone who isn’t a believer, and they look at us like we’re crazy when we talk about what we feel God is leading us towards.
It’s been hard to navigate jumping between two worlds we don’t quite fit in completely, especially two worlds known for having animosity and hurt with the other.
One day, in classic Adam fashion, he declared, “If no one is going to build an LGBTQ+ dating app, I will. I need to find a husband somehow, and these apps aren’t cutting it.” And thus, the idea for believr was born. After two years of life changes and setbacks, here we are, actually building the thing.
Since that moment, our thoughts and features have evolved. Night after night, Adam would call me, brainstorming different needs we’ve felt within the community and ourselves. What about B Side LGBTQ+ Christians? What about distance? What about how many LGBTQ+ Christians even exist? What about relationships beyond dating?
The result was a ton of rosé on Adam’s part and a lot of scrambling to find my computer buried under boxes and clothes for a last minute Zoom call on my part. But more importantly than that, some key features like the chat rooms and value-based matching came into fruition from those spontaneous, late night calls.
Which brings us to a question that might seem elusive to everyone else, but it was a question that I thought of in the hubbub of building this thing — why us?
To be honest, I do think there are people that could have built this app before us. The resources are out there. But no one has. That said, I do think that this team is uniquely built for this project, and I’m so excited and honored to be a part of it.
Adam has built and launched another app called Coindera. He’s no stranger to the tech world, as he’s worked for tech giants like Dropbox, Sprinklr and Tierion, managing massive accounts like Samsung, UnitedHealth Group, Groupon, Dell, Disney and Virgin America. But more than his experience, I’ve seen Adam come alive about this project. He is passionate about believr because he’s building it not only for a community that needs it but also for himself. He deeply believes in believr and the higher purpose it is going to serve within our community. Lastly, Adam’s a pit bull when it comes to projects. He latches on and doesn’t let go till it succeeds. I’ve seen him give whole weekends to develop an idea, refuse to sleep till all the pieces of a project fell into place, and put everything on hold to be present with a person. It’s because of that tenacity that I trust Adam to build believr and to do it well.
As for me, I have been in all the Christian circles as a congregant, missionary, and pastor. Now in the secular world, I’m a writer for the Independent’s Queer and There column, shining a light on a culture Colorado Springs would like to forget exists. With the combination of my past and present, I’m positioned in a unique place, standing as a bridge between two cultures that seem mutually exclusive. But they can cohabitate. This app is proof of that. I am proof of that. With my narrative and unique skill set, I’m so excited to be delivering a product that sits between two groups that have shown open hostility towards each other for hundreds of years. It’s time to affirm our existence and bridge the gap. But beyond my passion for writing, people, and reconciliation, I get Adam. I’m the first one to call him out when he’s being a dingus, but also the person who encourages him when he’s only seeing the negative. If he were to ever lose sight of who we’re building this app for or why we’re building it, I’ll be sure to kick his butt both metaphorically and literally.
All that said, thank you for trusting us. Thank you for sojourning with us. We are honored and humbled by the support we have received. If you want to help in any way, feel free to shoot us an email. We are always looking for financial partners, skilled queers, constructive feedback and unabashed encouragement.
This is Brandon Flanery, signing off. To those who believe, cheers!