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 2017-01-18
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


  WINDY CITY TIMES

VIEWS Kim Burrell shows how Black church abuses gay Christians
by Rev. Irene Monroe
2017-01-11

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Gospel music undeniably has a queerness at its roots that has not only shaped the genre but it has continued to give gospel music its enduring vibrancy.

One of Black gospel's darling and Pentecostal preacher Kim Burrell was ousted from The Ellen DeGeneres Show, sending shock waves throughout the African-American community.

Burrell, along with Pharrell Williams, was invited to promote their duet "I See Victory" from the soundtrack of the film Hidden Figures.

However, Burrell's homophobic homily about the "perverted homosexual spirit" has created a tsunami of tweets and comments on social media publicly denouncing her vitriol by a younger generation of African-Americans entertainers—both LGBTQ and straight—not seen in previous years.

Rhythm & Soul Music awardee Janelle Monae stars in the film and R&B and Songwriter Frank Ocean have had visceral reactions to Burrell's rant. Ocean's mother wants Burrell removed from her son's 2016 album Blonde, and Monae took her comments to Instagram.

She posted, "I unequivocally repudiate ANY AND ALL hateful comments against the LGBTQ community. … We cannot sit Idly by nor will we speak silently when we are confronted with such violence against members of our community."

What has always made me shake my head in utter disgust is not only how most African-American gospel church choirs of any note have LGBTQ singers but how they also actively seek us out as ministers of music.

"The virtuosity of gay singers, musicians and composers has been the driving force in developing popular gospel choirs—even chart-topping, Grammy-winning acts—that make money for a church, help expand congregations and raise the profiles of pastors," NPR reported in its 2012 segment "Blacks, Gays and The Church: A Complex Relationship."

Gospel music undeniably has a queerness at its roots that has not only shaped the genre but it has continued to give gospel music its enduring vibrancy.

One of the Black church denominations largest influence in the musical genre is the Church of God in Christ ( COGIC ) that Burrell belong to. COGIC is the largest African-American and largest Pentecostal church in the United States. And as the largest denominational Black church in the country it is also the loudest in rebuking homosexuality.

With many of the gospel music industry megastars from COGIC, the church's charismatic worship style shouts to a Black gay male queer gospel aesthetic every Sunday. And the church is conflicted with itself.

For example, Pastor Donnie McClurkin, an uber-star in the stratosphere of Black gospel music, also belongs to COGIC and has detailed his struggles with his sexual orientation.

"God did not call you to such perversions. Your only hope is Jesus Christ. Were it not for this Jesus I would be a homosexual today. This God is a deliverer," McClurkin exhorted with fire and brimstone at the Church of God in Christ's ( COGIC ) 102nd Holy Convocation International Youth Department Worship Service in November 2009.

In 2010, McClurkin was disinvited from Boston's annual Gospelfest, a public and taxpayer-funded community event that's open to all—even the African-American LGBTQ communities. But this wasn't the first time McClurkin, the poster boy for African-American "ex-gay" ministries, had to confront his closeted past and homophobic presence.

In Burrell's unapologetic rejoinder defending her sermon about the LGBTQ community, she stated, "I love you and God loves you but God hates the sin in you and me."

Burrell's theological qualifier of "love the sinner but hate the sin" is commonly heard in our churches. This message is deleterious to the LGBTQ worshipping community on some many levels:

It pimps our talent yet damn our souls.

Our connections and contributions to the larger Black religious cosmos are desecrated every time homophobic pronouncements, like Burrell's, go unchecked in these holy places of worship.

The Black Church becomes an institution on the "down low."

Our silence, shame, and stigma around issues of identity, sexual practices, and the lack of pastoral care to people deemed "outsiders" are factor contributing not only to high-risk sexual behaviors and the transmission of HIV/AIDS, but also to the silent killer of suicide and homelessness in my community.

Gay males, in particular, continue to find ways of being supported in the COGIC.

For example, "blaquebigayministers" is a Yahoo gay ministers group, boasting 787 members since July 2000 and was founded by COGIC Elder Ronald Kimbrew.

The "blaquebigayministers" website states the following:

"WELCOME. This fellowship is for support and encouragement especially of Black Christian ministers and friends who are "family" ( bi or same-gender loving ) and need a place of refuge. Enjoy the "fellowship."

A reported following the 2009 Convocation asked, "Is COGIC going to be silent while an organized culture of homosexual ministers and bishops populate its pulpits?"

My answer is yes.

COGIC cannot deny that the church get its Jesus dance on and Amen shouts to a Black gay male queer gospel aesthetic every Sunday and no one knows it better than Burrell herself.

COGIC was formed in 1897 by a group of disfellowshipped Baptists. I wonder if the guys were disfellowshipped because they were gay.

If so, their music lives on, nonetheless.


facebook twitter 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 The Embodied Power of Standing Rock 2017-01-18 - I remember the last evening at Oceti Sakowin so clearly. I had begun the day with a plan, but like the few days ...


Gay News

Most have all-gender restrooms at home. Why not everywhere? 2017-01-18 - Most people have all-gender restrooms at home. Why not have them everywhere? Just in time for holiday shopping last month, the retail ...


Gay News

GUEST COLUMN Last Call at Irene's Cabaret 2017-01-11 - My heart broke a little when I read in Windy City Times that Irene's Cabaret in Quincy, Illinois, had closed late in 2016 ...


Gay News

THE AMAZON TRAIL The mightiest of books 2017-01-11 - As an adult, I've had no interest in children's books. I left them behind half a century ago. Or did I? Chicken Little, ...


Gay News

Open letter to LGBTQIA, wider community calling for resistance to fascism, Trump 2017-01-08 - We are writing to you and your organization as members of the national LGBTQIA communities and HIV/AIDS treatment and advocacy communities in order ...


Gay News

It's Time: Direct Election of Our President 2017-01-04 - A funny thing happened to me as I was preparing to write this op-ed. I went looking for this thing called 'the electoral ...


Gay News

VIEWS Pope Francis needs his gay priests 2017-01-04 - Many LGBTQ people of faith were shocked by the Vatican's recent decision in the document "The Gift of Priestly Vocation," which bans gay ...


Gay News

LETTER Security issues 2017-01-04 - TRUST Collective-Chicago—Chicago's emerging community and intersectional voice for justice, peace, support, creativity and collaboration—adamantly condemns all forms of targeted hatred toward American Muslims. ...


Gay News

MOMBIAN LGBTQ families: Preparing for the year ahead 2016-12-28 - My family parties from Thanksgiving through New Year's. I'm Jewish, my spouse is Protestant ( though neither of us is particularly observant ), ...


Gay News

VIEWS What can queer people expect from Pope Francis? Not much 2016-12-28 - Pope Francis has made headlines worldwide for his conflicting statements and actions when it comes to LGBTQI people. In famous off-the-cuff remarks, he ...


 



Copyright © 2017 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
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.