Sunday, October 28, 2007

Thoughts from Sunday's vigil - that little story we never notice

A couple of hours ago, I took part in the South Carolina Gay and Lesbian Pride Movement's vigil that was held outside Columbia's Township Auditorium.

The vigil was held to voice disappointment with Senator Barack Obama aligning himself with gospel singer Donnie McClurkin through a series of concerts.

McClurkin, in the past, has claimed to have been "delivered" from homosexuality. He has also gone on record comparing gays to pedophiles.

I am pleased with what happened. We had a small but determined group who used dignity and order to get our message out. It is interesting as to the spin that may be put out by the anti-gay industry, as well as the media, about the controversy.

No matter how many times it was emphasized that none of us care about McClurkin's personal decisions regarding his orientation, folks have continued to claim that we are angry at McClurkin's belief that he is "ex-gay" rather than his statements against the lgbt community.

But I am not upset over that. I am a very cynical person about such things.

However in this controversy, there was another story that will probably not see the light of day.

A black woman who stood in line for the concert marched over to us and declared:

"God made man for woman and woman for man."

She said a couple of other things of a Biblical nature (how homosexuality is ugly in God's sight, blah blah blah), but I tuned her out. I have learned that little trick over the years.

The ironic thing is that if this vigil was held in the 1950s, the subject would be about segregation and her role would be played by a white person claiming that the "separation of the races" was Biblically mandated.

The other ironic thing was that as she went on her tirade, I recognized a few of the faces going into the concert as those belonging to gay black men I knew.

As more attendees went in, I recognized quite a few more gay black men.

And let me tell you from the start that these men were not going into this concert looking to embrace McClurkin's message of being "delivered."

These men probably went in, clapped loudly, danced in religious ecstacy . . .

and then went back home to their psychological closets.

And that puts things in perspective.

The woman who came at us preaching probably thought she was doing God's will.

But who exactly did she think she was helping?

Certainly not those gay black men who stood in line for the concert.

If anything, her words told them that they have to choose between their lgbt orientation and their ethnic identity; an vicious and harmful lie.

For every so-called religious statement coming from her mouth, I could hear closet door after closet door slamming shut.

I could see even more black gay men (many of them married) trolling down the streets in the darkness of the night looking for a physical fix because they have been bamboozled to think that a quick thrust in the dark is all they deserve as gay men.

I could see more black women assembling themselves in "down low spotter groups" and doing inane things like checking their men's underwear for blood.

And I see the HIV/AIDS rate in the African-American community going sky high.

South Carolina's lgbt community took a stand today against ignorance and lies.

However in the middle of it all, God's Word was used as a whip to beat someone down, a chain to keep someone in a place that others thought he or she should be.

And to me, that's just sad.

This woman will probably go back to her church and claim that she stood up for God; as if God was just waiting on her to save Him.

Meanwhile, the gay organist will most likely play his usual song. The gay men in the church choir will probably sing as excellently as they do every Sunday. And those other gays and lesbians who attend her church will stay in their private miseries.

From what I understand, Mr. McClurkin distorted the issue at the concert.

He claimed that the issue was one about his personal decision to be "ex-gay" and did not address his comments linking homosexuality and pedophilia.

I am not surprised. Mr. McClurkin has continuously shown himself to be a huge charlatan. Why should he change? After all, lying in the name of God is very lucrative.

As to be expected, the audience gave him a loud applause.

And these are the same people who will, in the future, scratch their heads and wonder just how HIV/AIDS has become a scourge in the black community.

I have to ask myself

How can so many of my black brothers and sisters come so far and yet still be so far behind?


Anonymous said...

I've written about the McClurkin mistake by the Obama campaign and think it was a boneheaded decision. Having said that, though, for the life of me I can't understand LGTB groups protesting one of the most gay-friendly candidates ever. It's terribly short-sighted.

So are you a Clinton supporter, and if so, when was that decision made? What about the others at the vigil? That's the only logical explanation I can come up with for this vigil...that folks are actually trying to advance Clinton under the guide of an issue-specific cover.

BlackTsunami said...

I took part in the vigil because of the hypocrisy of Mr. Obama simultaneously calling himself a pro-gay candidate and then aligning himself with someone who ompares lgbts to pedophiles.

Drew said...

Congratulations on your vigil. I'm very glad that you feel as if you accomplished your goals given the whole controversy. I was annoyed to hear that Obama wasn't even there. I find it very strange that he was playing up the idea that HE was the candidate to bring together opposing points of view and then wasn't even there to help facilitate.

Anonymous said...

You didn't answer my question: Are you a Clinton supporter, and if so, for how long? What about the other protesters?

BlackTsunami said...

i don't know about the others but as for myself, i honestly have not made a decision. but bear in mind, the events that are happening now will have a lot to do with my choice.

S. said...

I never thought Obama was the right choice for the GLBT community to begin with, nor is Clinton. It seems we'd be better off with a third party candidate LOL

Sorry you had to see all those closet cases blindly supporting McClurkin and Obama's "ex gay" views.

I would find it difficult to support somebody who supports the "ex gays", when all the "ex gays" yaps off Paul Cameron's gay extermination rhetoric. And why has the news not mentioned McClurkin's quotes such as "the gloves are off", which was a direct call to violence against GLBT people?

Lavenderpop Cards said...

I applaud you and the other participants in the vigil. As a Black gay man, it is sad to know so many brothers in our community would appear to support the concert. I'm sure there was a lot of denial going on in that many felt like the anti-gay comments and beliefs weren’t directed at them personally as long as they stayed closeted. Many of these men may have breezed past the vigil, but I have a feeling many wished they had the courage to stand with you.

Anonymous said...

I wholeheartedly respect your choice to protest the vigil. I think it makes a strong statement and hopefully urges all people to take such statements more seriously. However, I agree that Obama is by far the most gay-friendly candidate. If you judge him by one misguided "allignment," you blind yourself to the fact that he has been and will likely continue to be the strongest supporter of LGBTQ rights, probably of any presidential candidate to date.

Further, vilifying him as a person does no good. In our society, we always want someone to demonize...someone we can shake a stick at...but that doesn't address the fact that it all stems from a societal problem. You seem like you want to get at this societal problem. You talk of black gay men in church who feel they have no choice but to allow gay-bashing in the name of the Lord...but Barak Obama has gone into churches and flat out told entire congregations they were wrong for their vilification of gays and lesbians.

I think he made a mistake, and I am glad he has been made well-aware of it. I think his mistake highlights the tension between the African American and gay communities that exists and that troubles even Obama. Speaking out about it and demanding change is necessary. But demonizing a candidate that otherwise, and even considering, has been the biggest supporter of LGBTQ rights is a bad move.

BlackTsunami said...

Note from Black Tsunami:

I meant to post the following but accidentally rejected. No hard feelings, Paul:

Paul the Spud has left a new comment on your post "Thoughts from Sunday's vigil - that little story w...":

An excellent post. As a gay man living in Illinois (and one that happily voted for Obama), I find myself more and more betrayed by my Senator as each day goes by. He has permanently lost my vote, and I only hope that this ugly experience has opened his eyes as to the people he will choose to associate with in the future.

This isn't being "open to all sides;" this is vote pandering. And frankly, I thought he was above that.

Bravo to you for attending the vigil. I wish I could have been there as well.

(Drew, I also find it annoying that he didn't show up; Obama has a very troubling habit of being absent when his presence could mean he finally stopped straddling the fence. I'd imagine he didn't want to risk being photographed with anyone "controversial.")

BlackTsunami said...

Hey M,

Let me tell you a story.

When I was in college, I helped to edit a minority newsletter. When I once asked to write an article on lgbts of color, I was rejected.

A couple of years ago, I called the local African-American news program, Awareness, giving an idea that they focus on lgbts of color. Not only was I rejected, but the producer made me feel like an asshole for asking even though the program solicits story ideas.

A year before that, I was a part of a group of lgbts of color that worked on meeting with a group of local black ministers. Our goal was just to have a small meeting. We worked on meeting for over a month. But when we met, the ministers stopped the meeting and two minutes had not even passed yet.

Senator Obama would have impressed me if he had told those black ministers to meet and talk with lgbts in his congregation.

But more to the point, I will not take crumbs and I will not wait with twiddling fingers for someone to give me what should be mine already.

That is just how I feel

BlackTsunami said...

I made a mistake in the last post. I meant to say:

"Senator Obama would have impressed me if he had told those black ministers to meet and talk with lgbts in THEIR congregation."

Anonymous said...

No worries, BT. It happens. ;)

johnpetersen said...

I'm sure there was a lot of denial going on in that many felt like the anti-gay comments and beliefs weren’t directed at them personally as long as they stayed closeted.Bravo to you for attending the vigil. I wish I could have been there as well.
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