Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-01-17
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Rev. Garner, 'You're Fired!': 1st and only Black person on MCC Senior Staff
Guest view by Robin Tyler
2017-10-27

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


(As first published in the Los Angeles Blade)

I am shocked and I am not easily shocked! Too many powerful, competent women have been attacked and vilified.

The best example, of course, is Hillary Clinton. As qualified as she was to be President of the United States, she was considered "pushy," suspicious, untruthful, and other derogatory adjectives heaped upon brilliant, successful women by men and some women.

Another example is attorney Gloria Allred. She is admired as much as she is vilified. But men are never accused of wanting or getting 'too much publicity.'

Then there's Jill Abramson, the first female executive editor of The New York Times. She was fired after complaining that her salary and benefits were considerably less than the male editor she replaced.

So I know of the struggle that competent women face.

But when I heard that after 41 years of working at Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC), my good friend Rev. Elder Darlene Garner had been "fired" on her birthday, I felt stunned and shocked.

MCC called it "restructuring." But that usually means shifting people around, not eliminating them without warning or seeking possible alternatives. Instead, Darlene was told "goodbye" with no warning, no severance, and no unemployment compensation from MCC. This LGBT church says their Core Values are "Inclusion (love is our greatest moral value), Community, Spiritual Transformation, and Justice (standing with those who suffer under the weight of oppressive systems, being guided always by our commitment to Global Human Rights)."

Excuse me? Discarding a 69 year-old African-American lesbian like yesterday's trash is justice? Of course, they wanted her to sign a non-disclosure agreement and since she has been the first and only black person as part of the MCC Senior Staff since 1999, I'm sure they are rushing to find African Africans to hire on staff and put on the board so they don't look bad. Too late.

But why was Darlene fired? At the MCC General Conference in Vancouver last year, Darlene came in second when they voted for Moderator, the top position in the organization. She's popular and has paid her dues.

Darlene joined MCC in 1976. She has been pastor of churches in Baltimore, Maryland, and Fairfax, Virginia, in the United States and in Cape Town, Western Cape in South Africa. First recognized as an MCC spiritual leader in 1993, she was serving as the Convener of the MCC Conference for People of African Descent and as Director of the MCC Office of Emerging Ministries when she was dismissed.

Darlene started out as a senior advisor to the mayor of Philadelphia in the mid-to late 80s, including providing diversity and HIV/AIDS training to city departments. But after attending the Lancaster Theological Seminary's Master of Divinity Program, she focused on strategies for how to provide governance, innovation, risk and conflict management and leadership development to MCC, its global emerging ministries and the religious and civic organizations with which MCC dealt.

Darlene was a co-founder of the National Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays; chair of the first International Conference for Gay and Lesbian People of Color; President of the Board of North Virginia AIDS Ministry; and so much more. Darlene attended Ohio State University, Samaritan College, and Lancaster Theological Seminary.

I worked for Darlene when she was based in Los Angeles. I produced the 31stAnniversary of MCC. She is one of the most competent, professional, fair, intelligent women I have ever worked with. That is when I learned what kind of person and leader she truly is.

At the time of Darlene's dismissal, the governing board of MCC was three white men, one African-American man, one white transmasculine person, and four white women. Two of the women and the African-American man have now resigned.

It was the "Interim Moderator" (a 40 or so year old white woman who Darlene trained — reminds me of the movie All About Eve) who told her she was fired.

Despite the good work of founder Rev.Troy Perry and past Moderator Rev. Nancy Wilson, MCC has had issues with racism and sexism. MCC was started when there was nothing for LGBT Christians to comfortably participate in. Now that many churches have changed their attitudes, this primarily gay male, primarily white organization has to be struggling. But this is not the way to attract parishioners.

Darlene was going to retire next year and would then have qualified for full social security benefits. This is important because the clergy in MCC's pension plan receive less than $150 a month.

So it has happened again. After 41 years of service to and with MCC churches, without cause or consideration, a strong, brilliant woman is discarded and her legacy erased.

I hope God is watching. We are.

Robin Tyler was the first 'out' lesbian or gay comic. She produced the main stages for 3 LGBT Marches on Washington, as well as 25 Women's Music and Comedy Festivals. Robin and her wife, Diane Olson, were the first lesbian plaintiffs the file in the case that brought marriage equality to California. (Tyler v State of California). They also filed to overturn Prop. 8.

See www.losangelesblade.com/2017/10/29/rev-darlene-garner-youre-fired/ .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

GUEST COLUMN I Don't Mind Your Asking 2018-01-17 - This question, again, was asked of me recently. Good naturedly, with love, and with sincere caring ... but always unexpected. It caused me, ...


Gay News

King's dream of 'the beloved community' extends to yours, too 2018-01-17 - KThis year is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It's a painful and necessary anniversary ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINTS Putting it to the test, 23andMe 2018-01-10 - More than 2 million people have taken part in genetic testing by 23andMe, a company founded in 2006 by CEO Anne Wojcicki. The ...


Gay News

VIEWS Words have consequences 2018-01-03 - Words matter in science—and in politics. We recently heard deeply troubling stories about the possible censorship of words at the Centers for Disease ...


Gay News

MOMBIAN 2017: Good news, bad news for LGBTQ families 2018-01-03 - Was 2017 a good year for LGBTQ parents and our children? The political situation in the United States was grim, but we also ...


Gay News

GUEST COLUMN Are you tired of male sexual privilege? #metoo 2017-12-27 - In 1978, I left Temple University's PhD program after I had an interaction with a professor on my orals committee. "I want to ...


Gay News

For Black women, being Dems' 'backbone' is no compliment 2017-12-27 - Black women voters in the recent Alabama U.S. Senate race are being thanked for "saving" the state from Republican candidate Roy Moore, a ...


Gay News

The fairy gardener 2017-12-26 - There was snow on the ground here in Chicago in early December. Did you get all your bulbs in? If not, pot them ...


Gay News

VIEWPIONTS The New Jim Crow targets LGBTQ Americans, too 2017-12-20 - Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments for the case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The case—which has many of ...


Gay News

A Different World: Why We Owe the Cosby Accusers an Apology 2017-12-15 - "The sins of the fathers. They just fucked it all up. We had the best family. We had it all. We had it ...


 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 

Sponsor


Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.