"I Love the Black Church But the Black Church Doesn't Love Me" is the first essay in a week-long series on homophobia in Black America by TheGrio.com. The series debuted on the same weekend the national board of the NAACP voted to endorse equal marriage rights for same-sex couples—and only days after President Barack Obama's historic announcement supporting that position.
My sexual orientation is "known" but never openly discussed. "I think she is one of them" is what they'll say. The invisible nature of my existence and the routine condemnation of me for being something other than a child of God, ultimately forced me leave the black church. As a gay person, I was made to feel that I was the only sinner in a land of saints. Well, at least the 'saints' were guilty of committing 'acceptable' sins. Me? Let the stoning begin!
We know people in the church who sin openly, and even have children out of wedlock. We are there to shout 'amen' for our church leaders and wish them well as they move from one failed marriage to the next one. ... We think gays are a threat to the manhood of African American men, however as a Christian community we would rather only whisper about love on the 'down low' as opposed to addressing it openly. We ignore the real threat to our communities: schools that are continually failing our children; while, "at least my pastor drives a fancy car and lives in a fabulous home."
But fair warning: "Avoid [the essay] like the plague if u have an aversion to hate speech," tweets Atlanta-based blogger and activist Darian Aaron, referring to the dozens of comments. Many of them are hatefully heartbreaking.
One comment that stands out: "If you think you are so-called unloved in the Black Church, join a White Church. Good luck with that. You chosed to be whatever you are so stop whining."