Wednesday, August 25, 2004

The irony of this journey

A very interesting series of events has taken place over the last few days. I contacted a radio talk show host from WTLC 106.7. Her radio handle is Terri Dee. I left her a voice mail suggesting a unique show idea. Homophobia in the black church......from a black gay mans perspective. This subject has never been discussed on the public airwaves hear in Indianapolis and I thought it would be a poignant topic. Terri called me on last Thursday evening (08/19/04) and left me a voice message saying that she would like to talk to me moe about my topic. I called her back. We spoke briefly and she said that she too was intrigued by the homophobic rhetoric that spews from black pulpits across this country. She scheduled me for September 26th. I was excited. She asked me to email her some details about my church and myself. I sent her an email on Friday morning. I was elated. Finally, someone in the black community will engage me in dialogue about sexuality and religion. Something other than a conversation about J.L. Kings book about the DL.

On Monday morning I arrived for work at 6am. I checked me email on my break and low and behold Terri had responded. "Where did you attend seminary?" she asked. "I have a problem," she went on to say, "with people who have personla revelations and try to pass them off as religion". "Quite honestly without, without the proper credentials, the callers will jump all over you and question whether you are a true messenger of God.

I wonder, was I too honest about my beliefs. Was I too raw. Did I give away too much of what I would be talking about befoer the show. I dont' know but Terri shut me down. Why hadn't she asked me about my educational background before she scheduled me? I told my Mom and my Pastor.......................................

Now today, the hosts of a local gay radio show asked me to be on their show September 9th. Great!!
Perhaps I jumped out too far. Could white gays be more supportive than black straight people?
Ironic dont you think.
Alls well that ends well.
I'll keep you posted

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Passion Marks

i just finished reading Passion Marks by Lee Hayes.

I must say this is an excellent read and I highly recommend it to all. Passion Marks tells the story of the toxic and very violent relationship between Kevin Davis and James Lancaster. Kevin is living in a perpetual state of depression over the unexpected death of his twin brother and the wealthy successful James comes to his rescue to love and protect him. However, James's undying committment comes with a stiff price tag. James is a beater and a control freak. Ofcourse when Kevin and James first meet, Kevin needs a control freak in his life to hold him together. When the abuse started Kevin feels somehow responsible and deserving and starts to become and accept his victim status. However, as Kevin begins to heal and face his past he starts to get his life back together and exert his independence. Thats when the fireworks really begin.

As I said this is an excellent read and the story is full of twists and unexpected surprises. I was reminded of the writings of E Lynn Harris, but with a much sharper edge. The characters are layered, colorful, and intense. The story is well developed and you will not be expecting the turns and discoveries as they unfold.

So often within the gay and lesbian community we like to talk about true love found and hot steamy encounters. These do make for enjoyable reading, but what about the harsh realities of the world. Spousal abuse does exist in our world but we dont talk about it. This book deals with one of our dirty little secrets. On the surface we understand that low self-esteem and self hate are the catalysts that bring about co-dependency and toxic relationships. However underneath the surface there is a lot of pain, anger, and frustration. Passion Marks eloquently captures the darker side of black gay life.

Without spoiling things, I assure you there is a happy ending.......of sorts. It may not be what you expect, but thats what makes this little gem of a book such a treasure.


Today is a gloriuos day

Today is a glorious day! It is Thursday August 19th and all is well in my world. I have so much to be grateful for. I have my health, my mind is well, I'm not broke, and my relationship is moving along well. God has blessed me and I took some time today to say thank you.

There are areas of my life that need some attention, but all things in time. Tonight I am scheduled to attend a fund raiser for Indy Pride Inc. I am not sure that I want to attend. I kow there are some contacts there that I need to make and I am sure there will be opportunities, but I question how much of my life I want to give up. Trying to establish oneself as a leader in the local African American gay and lesbian community takes a lot of self sacrifice. The most valuable of these sacrifices is time. Time to meet with people, time to plan events, time to network, and time to attend someone else's function in the hope that they will do likewise when its your turn. Time that I would much rather spend with my partner, or reading a good book, or re-energizing my mind for an upcoming event.

Now dont get me wrong, I love the work that I am doing in my church and the community. However, there is the need for balance in my life. I am of no value to anyone if I am burned out.
I think tonight I will relish in the glorious day that the Lord has made. There will be time for saving the GLBT community later

Monday, August 09, 2004

truth and lies from the pulpit

It has been a most remarkable 24 hour period. The time now is 11:35 on Monday August 9th. Just 24 hours ago I was preaching during the second of three services at my church. I attend Jesus Metropolitan Community Church and yesterday i presented my first sermon for this congregation. I have rightly divided Gods word before, but this was the first time at the gay and lesbian church. My sermon topic was, "lose the weight, drop the pounds". It dealt with the subject of dealing with all of the anxiety and stress that comes along with being black and gay. The only problem was that besides a contingent of my staunchest supporters, black gay Indianapolis wasn't there. Nevertheless, my pastor said I did an excellent job and quite a few of my fellow church members said that they loved Gods message and thanked me for bringing it to them.

Truly by the end of the evening i was exhausted. So much so that my brain felt like a big jellyfish. I found myself questioning what had just happened. Was i effective? Did those people that came to the church specifically to support me get what they came for? Did they leave unfullfilled and wanting more? Did I give what God wanted me to give? The questions swirled around my head. The leader of the local black mens AIDS awareness program Brothers United came to the morning service and a local celebrity friend of mine came to the evening service. My best friend was there with his partner and the Indiana Soul Sistahs even showed up in a strong show of support. My mother and her fiancee drove all the way in form Chicago to hear me preach. I am so blessed in that regard, but still I wonder? Am I doing what God would have me to do? Would I even be able to do this if God hadn't ordained my steps? I could have said so much more.........

my text was taken out of I Samuel 1: 1-20. We learned about Hannah the barren wife of Elkanah. She was saddled with weight, issues, problems, sorrow, and grief. She took her problems to the Lord and her coutencance was no more sad.

Now today a friend of mine brought me a copy of a sermon by T. Garrott Benjamin. He is the pastor of Light of The World Christian Church here in Indianapolis. His sermon topic was gays and God. Sorry, God and Gays. He delivered this message on July 25th, 2004. His text was taken from Romans 1: 22-28. His whole message was based on how homosexuality is an abomination to God and it goes directly against natures design. Obviously his message of hate and seperatism was shrouded in God loves the sinner, but hates the sin rhetoric. We want to bless our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters not bash them. All the while he was perpetuating stereotypes of effiminate males and masculine females. He even touched on the new hot topic, "men on the downlow". He stated that these men who profess to be heterosexual were actually homosexuals in disguise. His whole verbiage and dialogue reeked of homophobia and exclusion. He went so far as to say that if men were good fathers they would scold there young boys when they saw them with limp wrists and correct them when they saw them switching like girls when they walked. It is as if he was suggeting that homosexuality can be cured by fahters who correct and chastise thier sons. he is creating closets for gays and lesbians to hide in. He is slpaaping us in our collective faces over and over again. I am in great pain today and I dont know what to do with this feeling.

I have decided some time ago that God has purposed me for a ministry aimed at confronting the hate filled rhetoric that spew so fluidly from the pulpits of the black church. Sometimes, like right now, I feel powerless to defend myself or my brothers and sisters, against these tirades that sound more and more like the witch hunts of Salem and the McCarthy hunts for communists of the 40's and 50's.

I completely respect the rights of the church to establish and teach its own doctrine. However, two things are at stake here. One is the mental, psychological, and spiritual well being of teen gays and lesbians as well as closeted gays and lesbians who are forced, for any myriad of reasons, to sit in the church and listen to that garbage. I should know about this, I sat in many of those very types of churches for years. We sit there and we act as if we didn't hear it or the preacher must be talking about other people. Then we go home and we are forced to deal with guilt and self hate. Then we proceed to quietly shut our closet doors and our self esteem sinks lower and lower and lower. So low that we dont care about objectifying our bodies and engaging in promiscuous behaivor. We can't endure long term relationships becuase this Love we feel is a forbidden LOve and it is not worthy of committing to and being serious about. The church has convinced the African American gay and lesbian community that we are dirty filthy freaks who are interested in quenching our carnal lusts and that is all that we amount to. That is the first shame and horrible atrocity of this type of preaching. The second is that these black pastors wield a lot of political clout. The two reigning political parties know all too well how to generate, excite, and mobilize the coveted black vote. The pulpit is a powerful tride and true vote getter. If T Garrot Benjamin and Jeffrey Johnson approach any political candidate and say, "I am a leader and pastor over thousands of registered voters and taxpayers in the state of Indiana and we dont want any legislation that would add inclusive and non-discrimanatory language to the states constitution to be approved in this state and furthermore we are in complete support of any proposed amendments to this states constitution that would maintain the sanctity of marriage in Indiana'' the politicians and lawmakers and judges will listen. That is extremely frightening to me. Jeffrey Johnson and Tom Benjamin pretend to represent me and hundreds of African American gays and lesbians including the ones that actually attend their church. This is a crime and a travesty and it is happening to us, right infornt of our faces, and we cant stop bickering and fighting between ourselves to try and unite and do something about it. I am furious today!!!

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

We have embarked on a new journey

Forget what you heard we are going to do this darn thing. I started connecting with a local black lesbian group called the SoulSistahs we have decided to try and throw a Black gay pride festival in Indianapolis Indiana next summer 2005. There is a lack of unity in our community and we seem to only be interested in clubbin, drinkin, dancin, and sexin. Well while we have been distracted by ourselves the mainstream media and the gay white community has either forgotten us or ignored us and we will take back our identities. So if you or anybody you know would be interested in attending or helping to create a black gay pride event in Indianapolis Indiana please take yourself to this site:

take a look, sign up and join us in the fight.

More on this later
peace ya'll