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Sunday, January 26, 2014

THE BLACK CHURCH & GAY COMMUNITY NEED EACH OTHER

I cannot speak for others, but as for me, I am a hybrid product of the seemingly contentious traditions. For many years, I allowed myself to fall victim to noxious societal pressures which inadvertently communicated a message of polarized separation for the two influential entities which have helped carve my character and identity as a black man in America.

Being a same-gender loving Christian is not a contradiction, nor is it hypocrisy; however, the gatekeepers of the African-American Church and Afro-centric Gay Culture continue to perpetuate this mammoth myth.

There are condemning pastors, preachers, deacons, and evangelists who viciously (and disproportionately) attack homosexuality whilst being permissive of fornication, adultery, lying, and other socially acceptable transgressions found within the four walls of The Church. Conversely, there are many jaded members of the LGBT community who spew venomous hatred towards any object or individual associated with Christianity.

Trust me. I wholeheartedly identify with the frustrations of each separate faction. As a same-gender loving man who is also a follower of Christ; I understand the disgust of gay church-goers who wonder why former Gospel recording artist Tonex (B. Slade) was black-balled from the music industry following his decision to be honest and forthright regarding his same-sex attraction to men, while an artist such as Deitrick Haddon was  given a second chance at a career in the Gospel music industry after committing adultery and producing offspring outside the confines of his marriage.

I am not blind to such glaring intolerant injustice towards homosexuality! Why was one man categorically disowned by an entire segment of the entertainment industry while the other- and the like- was welcomed back with open arms following his proverbial ‘fall from grace’?

The Black Church must provide salient answers to such relevant inquiries. Similarly, the black gay community must also give an account of its witch-hunt to ‘out’ closeted men who mask their sexuality via spiritualism and religiosity. It is not our job to publicize the orientation of our fellow brethren who choose to keep such knowledge undisclosed, yet there are subsets of black gay men who seem to possess an unrelenting distaste for other gay black men who remain in “the church closet.”

Such mentalities and actions produce counterproductive cycles of conflict between the Black Church and the black gay community while simultaneously creating a daunting dissonance for the black man who identifies as both gay and Christian.

The internal struggle spoken of in the previous paragraph manifests itself in a number of different ways when one observes the life of your typical gay, black Christian man. I have seen men who intentionally compartmentalize their gay and Christian identity. I know of a gentleman who constructed an entirely different persona, in order, to keep his homosexuality from connecting with his Christianity.

This particular man holds a position of authority at his local house of worship. One of his major fears is a loss of respect by those within the religious community if they learn of his homoerotic tendencies. Such terror caused him to concoct his ‘gay persona.’

It is eerie to witness the polarized attitudes exhibited as he inhabits both public images. One is very aggressive, flirtatious, sexual, and demanding while the other gravitates towards meekness, kindness, rules, regulations, and humility.

In an ideal world, my friend (and those who share his struggle) would have never been forced to separate their sexual and spiritual-selves, nor would prejudiced clergymen have sown seeds of distrust, hurt, and turmoil in the hearts of countless gay men who attach themselves to the Body of Christ.

Clearly, the mutual disdain between both camps (The Black Church & black gay community) is bothersome, especially when one considers the striking similarities possessed by the two influential institutions.

Both communal institutions embrace black men who have been rejected and deemed second-class by society. As a teen, the Church was the only place where I felt accepted despite my youthful angst and awkwardness. It was a safe-space where I was free to be who I was without judgment.

In fact, it was one of the first places where I utilized my gift of the written and spoken word before a large crowd of people. Being there truly helped me discover an undying passion.

Likewise, the black gay community offered much love, support, and encouragement when I began openly acknowledging my sexual orientation.

Is either community perfect? The answer is a resounding, “NO!” I’ve felt betrayed and hurt by both the Black Church and black gay community at varying points of my life, but that doesn’t mean I will ever disassociate myself from either of them.

We’re all human and as humans we are prone to shortcomings, therefore I will fight to forgive, forget, and move-on. Life is too long to carry such contempt in one’s metaphysical space.


Truth is, the Black Church and the black gay community need each other. The one cannot exist without the other.

SOURCE: MUSED MAGAZINE

2 comments:

  1. All truly Christian Churches must accept and minister to everyone including their GBLT members! We are all children of God and should be accepted as such by our Churches! AMEN! ALLELUIA!

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