A treat last night on The Mo'Nique Show. The veteran R&B singer Miki Howard discussed her new autobiography Always Had Shoe and performed her fabulous hit "Love Under New Management." Howard talked about growing up in gospel music and the black church and "the first thing"" she wanted to discuss: Gays in the black church. Rough transcript as follows.
MIKI HOWARD: "One good thing I want to talk about is the gay aspect to our church. We don't talk about it in our community. I grew up in James Cleveland's church in LA and it was gay back then, really gay. And we weren't didn't know that people thought was bad, that outsiders thought that was bad. So that's one thing we talk in the church and explore, and how I came to be me."
MO'NIQUE: I applaud you for addressing this ...because people don't want to talk about it and for not judging because most times we run from it.t (TO CAMERA) And for all of our gay brothas watching, we love you this is the no judgment zone. You are always welcome and you are always loved. If you're in the church and you're gay, God is not judging you. Be who you wanna be."
MIKI HOWARD: "They gave us encouragement. They taught us how to walk"
Howard referenced the late and legendary gospel singer Rev. James Cleveland, who was closeted and his 1991 death has been attributed to HIV/AIDS.
Earlier in Mo'nique's "no judgment zone", she gave a shout-out to lesbians. "Sistahs, if you are laying next to your man right now give him a kiss. Or next to your woman.. no judgments here, as long as you got somebody."
It's about time someone mentioned on national television that the black church and black gospel music are "really gay" and they should not be ashamed. There are so many talented black gay men in the church and black gospel music. Unfortunately many are told otherwise and most believe they should remain (semi) closeted. The segment begins at 27:30. The oh-so-fabulous and very gay friendly Brian J. White is the guest in the prior segment. Via Clay Cane watch it AFTER THE JUMP ...