Seven years ago when this blog was new, I interviewed an aspiring young man who was trying to start a gay basketball league in the Washington, D.C. area.
The entry was called “Gay Men Can Jump!”
Recently this same man came up on my Facebook page as a suggested friend. I wondered how he was doing and clicked on his profile.
Wow, how seven years can change things.
Now, he says he has been delivered by God and is no longer a homosexual. He even wrote a book about it.
The book blurb reads:
God wanted Kevin to stop running from the voice of the Lord and to stop giving in to the sin of flesh. God desires for Kevin to tell the good news of what the Lord says in His Word, not only for Kevin but for all of God’s people. God wants Kevin to break barriers and the deceit that the enemy tries to portray to God’s people. He is a trailblazer and trendsetter that is destined to successfully deliver a message of hope and deliverance to all.
I don’t know this brother’s journey. I have not read the book. I haven’t talked to him in years. So I shouldn’t judge.
But I’m saddened by this development. Just seven years ago he was so pro-gay and committed to using basketball as a vehicle to help people who are same-gender loving. What happened?
I can guess.
I go to an affirming church but I know many LGBTQ people who for whatever reason don’t have the luxury of practicing their faith in a place that nurtures them.
So they go to churches that preach hate against LGBTQ people and foster self-loathing.
At least one of these churches in my area I heard still supports gay reparative therapy, which mental health organizations have long proven is a form of abuse what harms the well-being of LGBTQ people. Plus, trying to change people from gay to straight just doesn’t work.
My partner “Van” and I know at least two gay men in the Washington, D.C. area who attend Baptist churches where the minister has been known to preach against people who are LGBTQ, even though many of these same people are very active in the congregations and make donations every week.
Yet another gay man I know of Caribbean descent attends a Baptist Church here after growing up in the Pentecostal Faith.
Although he is in his mid 40s, financially successful and attends events such as Sizzle and black gay ski trips, this person still feels guilty about his sexuality. He hasn’t even told his parents who are almost 70.
That is because he was brought up in a church that pounded into his psyche that being homosexual was a sin. And his Caribbean culture and his parents just reinforced that.
“Hey I’m still a church boy at heart,” he said. “And homosexuality is wrong.”
I’m sorry. I believe God loves us all and didn’t make a mistake when he made us.
Jesus never condemned LGBTQ people but he did condemn people who were hypocrites and urged people to love their neighbor as they loved themselves. Jesus went out of his way to minister to people who were the outcasts of first century Jewish society, including lepers, tax collectors and the poor.
I just wish more black gay men would get this message.