** This young man is amazing. And check out his website, justbthat.com .... **
Jonathan Perry is a 26-year-old, third year student at Johnson C. Smith University, a historically black college in Charlotte, N.C. Concerned about the lack of support for openly gay students, Perry organized two forums on sexual orientation and race, and founded the school's first official gay, lesbian bisexual and transgender (GLBT) organization.
In an interview with HRC National Coming Out Project Manager Candace Gingrich, Perry talks about being an African-American gay male coming out in church and on campus.
GINGRICH: Jonathan, you've been quite busy on campus with your GLBT advocacy work. I'd love you to tell us about that. But first, would you share your coming out story?
PERRY: I came out in my first year of college. I was majoring in sacred music at an Assembly of God college in Florida and was in the praise and worship choir rehearsal. Out of the blue, the choir director began discussing how one could not worship God with sin in their lives, and specifically mentioned homosexuality, which hit me really hard. After rehearsal, I disclosed to him that I was gay and explained that I would give up anything to worship God. He offered to get me help, but that help would come in the form of a letter of suspension for what he called my immoral ways. The only way he said I could return to college was to be counseled by an accredited Assembly of God psychologist. Needless to say, I did not return.