Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Arts.Advocacy+Wellness: "Black Gay and Lesbian Leaders in NYC take a stand""

Black Gay and Lesbian Leaders in NYC take a stand

The title of the December 4, 2009 Metro News article read: "Black and Gay is Beautiful."  
This ad was supported by a few of NYC's Black Gay and Lesbian leaders, who are taking a stand for equality and respect in the pulpit, which is so often denounced in the black churches in America.  

I want to thank Pastor Joseph Tolton of Rehoboth Temple Christ Conscious Church for organizing this movement, that I proudly admit, I was part of.  This is one cause I felt I needed to support.  It hits so close to home and after all the work I've been doing with FlagBoy and creating new artistic works that speak to the empowerment and progression of Black Gay Men, Black Men in general, and the Black family, I must continue to stand on my word.  

Here's what appeared in last week's Metro News, December 4, 2009, pg. 17.  

Black & Gay is Beautiful


God has promised us life, and life more abundantly. At this juncture in our global history, the tide is turning as God’s plan is unfolding for the inclusion of all people based on their divine design as gay, lesbian, straight, bi-sexual, or transgendered. God is by all means up to something, and the day of reckoning is here. The universe will not tolerate bigotry much longer as racism, sexism, homophobia, and ultimately patriarchy are being dismantled brick by brick. So God’s call for the non-straight oriented community is that we LIVE! LIVE truthfully! LIVE courageously! LIVE spiritually! LIVE emotionally! LIVE financially! LIVE romantically! LIVE fearlessly! So come out, come out wherever you are and LIVE. For God is great and life is grand. It’s our time.

We are FAMILY!

As gay black people - brothers and sisters alike - we are building strong families, strong churches, strong business and strong communities in ways that we never dreamed possible. Be encouraged and again we say LIVE! There is no need to be held hostage by fear. There is no need to live disconnected and in isolation. There is LIFE for us and it begins by US loving and supporting US.

Spiritual Violence

For those of us of faith who have always loved God and loved the black Church, the defining issues of our lives has been the church’s damning stance on homosexuality. As children, this condemnation shattered our spirit. As adolescents, this ridicule broke our hearts. As young adults, this disdain has attempted to drive us to the brink. Spiritual violence is wrong and it kills the spirit. The black Church must find new ways to talk about sex and sexuality. The noise around homosexuality in our community distracts us from confronting human sexuality in the context of the black experience in America.  And black America is afraid to confront human sexuality because it means dealing with these issues: 

·       What is the emotional legacy we bear as a result of the rape of our women and untold rape of our men in slavery?

·       Black men have been held captive to notions of manhood defined by hyper masculinity.

·       The high proportion of gay men in the church and the prospect of marriage between them is frightening in the face of a record number of unwed black women in the Church.

·       Fully functional (straight and gay I might add) brothers are hard to find when there are more brothers incarcerated than are in college.

·       The experience black men have with other men in prison and how we negotiate the bandwidth of their sexual proclivity upon returning home.

·       The silent grief we felt but publicly never discussed when our brother’s died in record numbers between 1988 – 1998.

Hypocrisy in the pulpit

Come on Bishops, Elders and Pastors, it is time to stop abusing your gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and trans-gendered daughters and sons and deal with the real issue that drives your homophobia. White folks hid behind the bible - Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord, Colossians 3:22 - and you were the ones who exposed them. Hypocrisy does not look good on you. Stop the spiritual violence NOW!

Pastor Donnie McClurkin

We love you brother and in ways the traditional church cannot because we understand your pain. You are not a man who loves men because of being molested as a child. That grave and despicable tragedy broke your spirit and damaged your mind; however, it did not have the capacity to change your DNA. There is so much love in our community for you. We want to see you healed and whole. Whenever you are ready, come home and we’ll love you until it doesn’t hurt anymore. That’s how we do!

Long Island, Rehoboth Temple,, and our partners will be coming your way with an awesome crusade soon. Your sisters and brothers are concerned about you and we’re planning to bring a radically inclusive REVIVAL with a strategic plan for sustained support in your area. We love you. You are not alone!

Pastor Joseph W. Tolton &


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