While looking for images to go with the post I googled 'black church queens' and got all sorts of things, including Tyler Perry, Donnie McClurkin, and uh, Kirk Franklin. Hey, I'm just sayin'. Nice pic of Kirk though ... ;-)
We've always known there are tons of gay men up in Eddie Long's church. Now one has a face. We've also known that the reason they stay is because they believe the hype, that we are disordered, wrong, and just need to pray more. The last religion which tried to saddle that bullshit on me I gave it my ass to kiss and walked out. Never looked back. Religion was always a little too master/slave for my tastes anyway.
But some like to be slaves. To each his own.
The above interview is with Samuel Brown - a member of Eddie Long's New Birth Missionary Baptist church. He's gay and lives with his partner. He says that he "fasted and prayed" many times that the homosexual desires would leave him but nothing happened.
The amount of self-loathing one must endure to stay with a church that condemns you, takes 10% of your income, yet has you praying night after night after night to change your innate self must be completely soul-crushing. And then come to find out that the Bishop has been tappin' pretty boys all along!
Sorry Samuel, I'd wanna kick Eddie's ass. You should, too. But you might wanna kick yourself first - really, really hard.
** On a serious note: This is a HUGE step for Samuel. He wasn't totally out before, but everyone at New Birth will know now. We have to give him huge props for taking the steps he's taking, and wish him the very best. And hope his bold actions inspire others to stand up and demand to counted.
"No tithes without representation!" ~ Sounds like a new battle cry to me.
The July '08 issue of VIBE featured Usher on its cover, but the real story was inside. In an article titled, STOKED - allegations of sexual abuse involving B2k, Immature and the man who created both boy bands, Chris Stokes, were explored.
Over two years later, no one has been charged with a crime. Are the accusations baseless? Is the fact that Tyler Perry, Donnie McClurkin (and possibly Raz B) have a common history of sex abuse and religiosity notable?
Does being molested make you gay?
Listening to Raz B comparing notes with another singer (Quindon Tarver) about the alleged sexual abuse by then manager Chris Stokes is very disturbing.
Not only because they may be talking about things which happened while they were still underage, in which case Chris Stokes should be in jail (or at least awaiting his day in court), but because whoever is in the room with Raz, that female voice saying "that's nasty" makes us wonder if she's talking about the sexual abuse of minors by Stokes - or just gay sex in general.
It's not a stretch. The Christian Right already equates us with pedophiles anyway, citing famous allegedly ex-gay sex abuse victims like Donnie McKlurkin as an example that ABUSE makes you gay. With more celebrities admitting to being victims of male sexual abuse, as Tyler Perry just did on Oprah, the 'ABUSE makes you gay' theory has another poster boy. In Perry's case, however, sexual orientation wasn't mentioned. But with a little reading between the lines the message is clear: Whatever homosexual thoughts Tyler Perry had in his teens and through his twenties were put there by his abuser.
No one is downplaying Tyler's pain. What happened to him is unimaginable. But it must be noted in the full context of the state of homophobia in society in general, and in the black community in particular - one where Jesus is the cure-all for one's troubles and sexual confusion. Tyler arguably made his fortune off black church folk, the same type of people who cheered when 'Bishop' Eddie Long vowed to "fight" his own sexual abuse allegations by not one, not two, not three but FOUR young men of his church.
Yes. New Birth Missionary Baptist Church cheered!
Sexual abusers get away with what they do because no one stops them. In Eddie Long's case, parishioners instantly sided with the accused abuser (and hypocrite). In Tyler's case the abuser is vague and easy to demonize, and any thoughts that Tyler may be homosexual is swept into the Donnie McClurkin, religious transformation category.
In that VIBE article, Raz B may come off as a little crazy (even mentioning Jesus in the oddest way), but is it because what he says is true? Does the fact that Raz went to Vegas and gambled all the money Chris Stokes gave him just before making the retraction video explain why he's suddenly bringing it all up again in video after video? Does he just want more money? Who knows.
But a couple of things are certainly true: First, sexual abuse screws people up, which could explain Raz's craziness. Second, where there is smoke (and Raz has been sending smoke signals for awhile - and that Immature pants down pic is a smoke signal as well), sometimes there's an actual fire afoot that can't be ignored, or in the case of Eddie Long's parishioners, cheered.
Does being molested make you gay? Those of us who know this is untrue need to speak out before the evangelicals who believe we can be "fixed" frame the message. ~
click to enlarge
The above piece by Gary Hardwick blew me away. It is a very well thought out analysis of a serious problem in Black America, tracing sexual abuse all the way back to slavery and up to the prison system of today which houses 10% of the black males of America. Is Eddie Long the Chicken (laying abusive eggs) or the egg (once abused, now abuser)? I guess only Eddie Long knows for sure; and I'm equally sure he'll never tell.
Still, I felt something was missing in the piece. Something crucial.
There is a certain vibe in the piece that suggests abuse and a system rigged against black men are the cause of homosexual behavior. I know this is really about sexual abuse, still, someone less informed could surmise that all black gay men were themselves abused at some point.
Some people are born gay - without being molested or in anyway "lured" toward a same sex orientation.
Though I agree with everything said in the piece, leaving out the vast majority of (non-coercive) same gender loving black relationships furthers the ugly theory that we are broken and in need of repair. We're not. That mind-set is killing our children. The bad eggs (like McClurkin) are killing our children.
Before McClurkin's broken ass, long before 'Bishop' Eddie Long turned Jesus into a pimp, there was a real Bishop who embraced and affirmed his truth, and made us dance to it - Carl Bean.
Our powerful icon for equality Lady Gaga's Born This Way will be debuting in 2011. I pray its half as inspiring as this powerful song from the disco era of '77 ....
In the coming weeks, preliminary shooting will begin on the film version of DANCING WITH THE DEVIL. Despite the tough economy and even tougher funding raising, we're forging ahead -- even if we have to live off Ramen noodles for months. Yes, its that serious.
As artists and writers and activists struggle to tell stories geared toward same gender love, our stories, any and ALL donations from the community are greatly appreciated. Whatever you can spare, know that you are helping to bring more and more of OUR stories to light.
So, please donate, by click button below.
Shameless plug ...
Check out the short story that launched my career.
It's yet another salacious tale you won't soon forget. ~ tS
Posted at 04:53 PM in A Taste for Cherries, Activism, Art/Photography, Black Pride 101 , Books, Bow Wow, Chris Brown, Dancing With The Devil, Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Donnie McClurkin, Down Low, E. Lynn Harris, Equality Supporters, Eric DeChavez, Erotica, Evan Ross, Fiction du jour, Film, Kanye West, Kelly Roland, Kevin Michael, LGBT, Michael Jackson, Queer Lit | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
With all the drama surrounding Barack Obama's inclusion of gospel singer and 'reformed' homosexual Donnie McClurkin in his southern gospel concert tour, Donnie, I believe, will back out of the concert. And for good reason.
In this country, matters of church are supposed to be completely separate from matters of state -- Presidential campaigns certainly qualify. Although the religious right has shamelessly blurred that line (while greedily holding onto their tax exempt status), it is clear to me that politics and God don't mix.
McClurkin will without a doubt, with his infamous anti-gay message, cost Obama votes -- mine included. Giving a man who believes homosexuals are going to burn in hell forever and ever (a silly notion only the blindly faithful could believe), a platform to preach and sing his passive-aggressive form of hate is tantamount to agreeing that gay people should change, or else.
Others feel that if Obama dumps McClurkin he'll lose votes from the conservative black religious right. It's true. He's got a rock and a hard place situation. However, losing those votes -- while standing up for the right of all Americans to enjoy the religious freedoms this country was founded on, and against religious extremism -- should be a feather in his cap. And if Obama can't see that, then he's not the man I thought he was.
All across the globe, homosexuals are subjegated and often killed -- all by religious people who feel God has got their back. McClurkin, with his melodies and voice, sings to these people and validates, hell, PROMOTES their behavior.
I know Donnie had a hard life. Well boo-fuckin-hoo, so have I. A win-win for Obama is for McClurkin to 'Fall Down' willingly, before he takes Barack with him. And I predict he will, after some gentle urging for Barack's corner. ~~
Pam's House Blend -- 'Ex-gay' McClurkin's alleged lover: I was with him after he prayed away the gay
Chuma Spirit Magazine's Take on Inclusion of Gay Minister (post and video here)
Unity Fellowship Church Charlotte, Charlotte, NC
"I challenge Reverend McClurkin and others who use their voices to cause harm to press past the easy and wide road of ignorance and homophobia toward love's narrow way. While presidential candidate Barack Obama has stated strongly his support for LGBT rights, privileges and protections, it is my hope that he will not allow others to use his platform or presence to promote views and opinions contrary to that position."