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Ask me if I’m gay and I’ll respond quickly with a “yes if you didn’t already know”. Ask me if I’m Christian or believe in God and I’m not sure how to respond. Why is that?

Religion, politics, and apparently Beyoncé are things that are difficult to talk about if your views are different from others. I’m not sure when I decided to believe in a higher power. I just knew that this is what I was expected to do…or else. Being told that I would spend an eternity in hell under the earth scared me. Eternity and hell? Oh no. I did as I was told and said nothing else for quite some time.

imageWatching my mother kneel down and pray as soon as we got to our seats. She would cry, fall out, and be covered in white sheets. I never understood why and why this Holy Spirit never took over me. Was there something wrong with me? Was I not good enough to feel the spirit?

As I grew older and never felt that spirit I started having questions upon questions. Is all this real? If this is all real why don’t I feel it no matter how much I pray and read this good book? I’m still having feelings for men and still no attraction to women. I believe I don’t want to be gay no more. I want to be delivered. Years later I would become comfortable enough not only with my sexuality but not feeling obligated to believe in something I’m not sure about.

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When people ask me if I believe in God or if I’m a Christian I almost freeze up. I freeze because I don’t wanna offend anyone or have somebody think I’m crazy or demonic. I’m 28 years old and I don’t think I wanna live my life being scared of something sentencing me to fire and brimstone. I’m not crazy, I just don’t know if I believe in God or any higher power. I believe in something, I’m just not sure what it is. Maybe years in the church have done this to me. Or maybe it’s because I’m a black gay man who doesn’t feel protected in this world. I have to deal with all of these things and I have no control over them. Who put this on me and why?

imageI attended a conference last month and on the last day we prayed. They prayed and praised the Lord for almost an hour. A room full of gay black men with strong faith. No matter how badly the church treated them, no matter how the scriptures were used against them–they still believed. A man next to me cried so much snot came out of his nose. I just looked at him. I felt like I was in the place again where everybody was feeling this spirit but me. But then again, I left that life a long time ago.

Explaining to someone that I am not Christian is difficult for a black man in the south. I get the looks something is wrong with me. This is why I freeze up. I’m not sure if I’m not ready to have this conversation or if it’s any of their business.

It seems as though they want to know why I don’t believe in God but when I ask why they believe in what they believe it’s looked as disrespect. Some of them can’t even figure out why they do what they do. They just do it.

 

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. TRINA

    May 2, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    Had to share once I read it maybe we can set up a live Chat discussion later or when convenient for you again I enjoyed it cause it’s that convo that’s hard to have with close family and friends, it just amazes me to see the division religion bring between loved ones and friends when it should be the adhesive that connects us, it’s almost so transparent what it was all structured for ya know? I just find how cruel our people(blacks) can be on the LGBT community on the subject of “Christanity” a religion given to us by our oppressors it’s like asking this question is like talking to a brick wall with some

  2. Kenneth Williams

    May 2, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    This Really Spoke to me. I greatly identify with not being able to comprehend for myself why I never was overtaken by this divine power and spirit. Trying to understand why I had soooo many questions about Christian Faith and their God. While everyone else understood without question. Then of course attempting to reconcile my sexuality with my faith. It’s extrr!e?y confusing an frustrating. Even now although I’ve completely rejected and separated myself from the church , still in the back of my head I wonder will I one day and spend eternity in a terrible place.

  3. Danielle

    May 2, 2016 at 11:21 pm

    I feel the same way Justin. I believe in a higher power. I cut ties with Christianity about 2 years ago and none of my family knows. Everyone in my family just blindly follows Christianity, asks no questions whatsoever. But I honestly don’t think I’ll ever tell anyone though.

  4. lia

    May 3, 2016 at 6:55 am

    wow this was a great article. why do we do the things we do? whether that question is pertaining to religion or any other aspects of our lives, it’s a very important quesfion. and seemingly one that is often left open ended. good read something to think about for sure.

  5. Asia

    May 4, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    I had a huge argument with my friends about this.I felt the same way you did and they called me a devil worshiper for a long time after that. lol @ the ignorance.Throughout the whole argument I asked them why they believed what they believed and they referenced scriptures.I was tag teamed and could barely get a word out. Ppl believe what they are told to believe.I believe there is a God but I do also believe it’s okay to ask questions.People need to practice pluralism what makes one persons religion stronger than another. Ppl should respect everyone’s views and stand true in theirs it shouldn’t have to be such a hostile discussion.

  6. Meka

    May 6, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    Hi Justin, I’ve only posted on your site once before – when Charlamagne did the interview about the Black Panthers/KKK comparison. At any rate, I know you’ve been approached gently (& not so gently) by others before in their attempt to sway, convince or otherwise as it relates to “Christianity.” I only know this because I’ve heard you make mention in a few videos over time. I won’t do the same, not intentionally anyway but I would like to share 🙂 I’m not an advocate for “Christianity” because it is categorized as organized religion and I’m not a supporter of religion because you can do something religiously with having an evil heart/motive the entire time. I am a HUGE proponent of relationship, however. For me, that relationship is with Jesus as my Lord & Savior, God the Father and the Holy Spirit. Faith doesn’t require us to blindly follow, it compels us to trust beyond our own capabilities. That is why we can have faith in all sorts of things, people and systems. Faith in Jesus Christ is supported by invitations in scripture to “come and reason together” with Him and to come to “know Him in the power of His resurrection.” In essence, seeking to understand is encouraged! My heart was so full of compassion and yes, even emotion when you said you just couldn’t feel anything no matter how hard you tried and how much you read. Honestly, Darling, we don’t “feel” much. It all starts with knowing. “…and ye shall KNOW the truth and the truth shall make you free.” So you are not obligated to FEEL anything. One of the most widely used scriptures for salvation is Romans 10:9,10 and it speaks clearly to salvation being obtained by believing and confessing. No where does it say you must feel in order for you to be an authentic believer and experience the fullness of God. So many have this concept misconstrued and we get confused when we see people living like “hell” but still being blessed or perhaps even prospering in their endeavors. Well, for one, biblical principles work…without regard to who is working them. If you sow, you reap. If you obey parents, your days are longer. If someone works hard, they can usually eat. So when we see people doing well who aren’t living like “Christians,” some either pout with God that it is unfair while others come to believe that faith is a hoax because other people who aren’t living “right” are still doing well when the truth is you can’t just get things off the premise of being a believer, you’ve got to work principles! Faith in Jesus isn’t a hoax. When we see such things, it is just a biblical principle at work on the earth. ironic thing is that I don’t quite remember how I came across your videos last year but I DO remember that I literally cried laughing with tears running profusely down my face because of one of your rants on Claudia’s toes. After that, I didn’t think I’d continue watching because of the profanity but I would ultimately find that I tuned right back in to laugh more. I think the draw, other than laughter, was how eerily you bear a striking resemblance to a once very close friend of mine who has lived in Atlanta for some time and came out of the proverbial closet upon moving there. I sent him to your channel so he could discover his doppelgänger. Everything from your facial features to your voice to the way you noticeably swallow & snort when you are talking to the way you have no rhythm is identical to him! Whatever the draw, I find myself watching you when, on some videos more than others, I know that I shouldn’t for my own reasons. I prefaced with all that backstory to say that I don’t think anything, particularly those things we label as “chance”, is void of purpose. I’m much like your mother (in the ways and likeness that you have described & portrayed her in some of your videos, that is) so you already know that means I’m what one might call “saved, sanctified & filled with the Holy Ghost” and I have learned down through the years that it is with loving kindness that Jesus draws others into relationship with Him. I was raised in church by my grandmother-strong roots…BORN in the church, in fact. However, I grew to a place of decision btwn the ages of 19-22 where I could act like I didn’t know or believe anything about this Jesus & keep running & sleeping with the dope dealer who eventually caught a 45 year bid, smoking with the dealers in all the hoods around town, catching misdemeanors for bad checks, taking trips to the county health dept or I could realize that it was the grace, mercy and love of that same Jesus that protected me when I was in the same hotel room FULL of crack cookies packed in the wall behind the toilet, stuffed in the lamp post, etc. where police were on site looking for the man I was with & instead of coming to our room, they went to the wrong room and stopped searching for the guy I was with since the wrong room they went to ended up being a small bust. It was the love, mercy & grace of that same Jesus that, amidst my chlamydia, gonorrhea & trichomoniasis diagnoses, He shielded me from HIV when I had laid down with those rumored to be positive all those years ago during my time of living independently of serving the same Lord I’d become acquainted with in childhood. It was Him that intervened when I was standing before a judge on simple misdemeanor charges who was also hearing the cases of the man charged with felony murder who had been transported to court in the same squad car as me with just the two of us as if we had the same level charges. When my car was t-boned by a truck because I ran a stop sign & entered the highway from being so high while driving, the Lord intervened. Justin, sweet, precious Justin (because you are), you do not have to publish this …honestly, I just want you to read it and know that while my testimony is not yours and my experience is not yours, it is definitely worth the additional dialogue. Like you, my son had questions and I welcomed each and every one of them. I told him not to feel constrained to serve our Lord but to experience Him and come to know Him personally as his Lord. That freedom alone keeps him connected. Granted, he is still discovering. Quite frankly, any honest believer in God the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit will tell you that we are ever tapping in to the height, width and breadth of His power and His love, ever discovering things. So none of us should have reached a point where we feel like we know everything there is to know. We go from what the scripture calls “glory to glory” and “faith to faith” so we are growing and learning every day, if we are doing this thing right. I know you don’t like reading long things…SOOO sorry LOL. I just see where your Mother’s prayers and the words of faith that she continues to speak over you to this day are at work in you. You can throw a fit, kick, scream, wiggle & fight with all of your might but i believe a day is coming when this will all make sense to you. Love you! #forreal

  7. Kkkkkkk

    May 23, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    These are all important questions. Not just for gay black men. For all of us.

    There are objective truths and impirical reasons to believe in the God of the bible. That much has been established by people like Ravi Zacahrias and Lee Strobel. And to answer your question, God encourages us to ask questions and to find reason in our beliefs.

    But your question more subjective. Feeling Gods spirit is for them that believe. You must first believe in Jesus. The real one. Then, you have to allow him to show himself to you. If you are real with God, he will be real with you. It’s just that simple. If you hold back, your spirit will not be able to connect with his spirit. That’s why those people at the convention could feel him. They were being real.

    You are afraid of God. You don’t want to come to him as a gay black man. It’s too hurtful. But God did not place a prerequisite on coming to him. The very fact that you were having these questions, shows me that he is drawing you to himself.

    I do not think you’ll ever be free or happy until you let yourself go and seek God for who he is. Trust me, there are answers to all your questions but if you fail to seek those answers you are only doing yourself a disservice.

  8. Genesis

    June 20, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this Justin. For two years, my husband and I have walked out of Christianity. I use to be deep in church, but I would often feel and question why am I going through so much. I used to be the one who my friends would call on because I could deliver a prayer that produced so much energy. I had lots of anger at times because I felt like my prayers were often unanswered especially when I was always I taught that God will have something greater for me that’s why I’m going through my storm. Now that I’m away from Christianity, my husband says that my spirit has changed. I’m no longer down and depressed waiting for God to deliver me away from a storm. I am unable to share my beliefs with my friends and family simply because they’re all very hyper religious. I’m glad I’ve found some people that I can talk to about this, who understands why I walked out of Christianity. I’ve noticed some many contradictions with Christianity now that I just look at people and shake my head….

  9. Gary Benjamin Holt Jr

    July 10, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    Very honest post. These days I’m more of a spiritual person than religious, for I don’t believe all of this happened by accident. People in our community can be judgmental about many things, so I understand your struggle with this

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Dwyane Wade Reveals 12-Year-Old Child Now Goes By Zaya

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With all of the obstacles that exist within our society, it’s incredible to see 13-time NBA All-Star and former player, Dwyane Wade and his wife Gabrielle Union empowering their pre-teen, Zaya, to live her truth.

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Everyone say hey to Zaya ❤️❤️

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Wade recently appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” to promote the upcoming ESPN documentary D Wade: Life Unexpected. Following a clip from the documentary, he shared that his middle child, formerly known as Zion, now identifies as “her” and goes by the name Zaya. 

As DeGeneres praised him for his support of Zaya, Wade replied, “Me and my wife Gabrielle Union are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community. And we are proud allies as well. We take our roles and our responsibility as parents very seriously.”

He went on to share that Zaya expressed her desire to live her truth at 9-years-old. “I don’t know if everyone knows, originally named Zion, born as a boy — came home and said, ‘Hey, I want to talk to you guys. I think going forward I’m ready to live my truth. I want to be referenced as she and her, I would love for you guys to call me Zaya,” he explained.

Immediately the parents began to educate themselves and seek advice from members of the LGBTQ+ community, Union reaching out to the cast of the popular FX series, Pose. For Wade, it’s all about giving her “the best opportunity to be her best self” while preparing her to live life openly.

According to Wade, “Once Zaya came home and said, ‘I want you to call me Zaya and I’m ready to take on this,’ I looked at her and said, ‘You are a leader. And this is our opportunity to allow you to be a voice.’ Right now it’s through us, because she’s 12 years old, but eventually, it will be through her.”

For more on his journey post-career and as the father of an openly gay pre-teen, tune in to D Wade: Life Unexpected. The ESPN documentary airs Sunday, February 23rd. 

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For The Culture

Welcome to Uncle Tom’s Haus of Koonery

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So in light of the great news of President Trump getting impeached. I was sent an article from a few twitter mutuals of an interview done by Mikelle Street interviewing everyone’s favorite problematic porn star Max Konner. I knew at that moment I would not receive any peace this week. The article at hand denoted that Konner was beginning his own talent agency for people of color. I did a double-take, but I been on this earth long enough to know a stunt when I see one. In the article, Konnor mentioned the need for porn actors of color needing proper tutelage and education before entering the pornography industry. Which I do agree with, but we also know that seeing the phrasing “people of color” does not mean black people and why would Konner exclusively help his own people? He wouldn’t, but that’s been made very clear that he has no intention of helping the Black LGBTQIA+ community after his behavior during the PR nightmare which and is still NoirMale.com

Noir Male

I have to be honest that I found the interview to be amazing and at minimal a cross-examination of Konner’s work history, work ethics, and very sorted and messy racially insensitive history. Konner acknowledges that there will be criteria for all those that apply to join the slaveshi-, sorry the Haus of Konner. 

He says in the article:

“Right now we have three exclusives: Derek ClineJabari Clutch, and Asher Lee. I have a bunch of other submissions but I’m taking my time to go through everything because it is a boutique talent management company. I am not just accepting everybody that applies. I’m trying to pick models who I feel like have what it takes to make it.”

Now, what this statement could subversively say so many things. Firstly, Jabari is the only black presenting model. Derek is racially ambiguous and Asher is Asian. Even in the first stride of selection, there is only one Black person in the mix (pun intended). Secondly, “boutique talent management company” is reading as “no fats, no fem” because knowing the shortness of sight that Konner has he may only present body boys and cis actors that are racially palatable.

Mr. Street follows up with the question:

“The release says that you all are prioritizing “models of color.” Are you referencing all models of color, specifically Black models, or will it be all models with an emphasis on models of color?”

Konner responds with:

“As of right now we are looking at all models of color. I’m trying to decide if I want to have one or two models that don’t necessarily fit that because in doing this I don’t want to become the problem that I’m trying to fight. There are so many avenues and so many arenas where we as models of color are shut down or shut out because of the color of our skin, and I don’t want this to be a thing where we say: OK it’s all models of color and anyone who is not that, get out. So I’m still toying around that, but right now we are exclusively models of color.”

My thoughts are that this is basically saying that “I’m gonna have some good ole boys in the club because I don’t want massa upset with me none.” I’m just saying. Rather than doing the right and altruistic thing and doing an all-black agency. Konner is going to appease the comfort of his white fan base in spite of the fact his black fan base was there for him when he was the porn actor Isaiah Foxx. Which if anything he owes that little boy the world because Konner is fully aware and present on the issues that BLACK porn actors face and what Isaiah a black bottom porn actor felt.

The thing that is further disturbing in the article is when Konnor says this:

“I do plan to send models from Haus of Konnor over to Noir Male but one of my big things is: if I send a model to a studio there’s agreement between me and that studio that nothing that has to do with that model’s race or nothing pertaining to the “BBC experience” is what that model is participating in. I’ve been on jobs where I’ve had no clue what I’ve been working on and then the movies come out and it’s like ‘Oh god!’”

This sounds very historically familiar. So during the slave trade, the Caribbean Islands was used as a large space for sex farms for slaves and “buck breaking”. 

Noted on RacistReport.org:

“These male slaves were purchase based entirely on the prerequisite of them possessing a large penis. Black men were routinely raped by their gay slave owners. The process was known as “breaking the buck.”

It involves a strapping Negro slave, who was defiant, was beaten with a whip till bloody in front of his entire slave congregation. The slave owner would cut down a tree and, with the help of the overseer, would then pummel the deviant “buck” into submission. Once the slave was worn down, the master had the other Negro slaves force him over the tree stump where his britches would be removed and he laid fully exposed buttocks, he would remove his own clothing and proceeded to savagely sodomize the buck in front his wife, family, friends, and children.”

Konnor is basically handing these gentlemen over to a problematic porn company ran by the also very racially problematic DJ Chi Chi LaRue. After the debacle with PrEP/U=U advocate, #TakedownTina activist, and now amateur porn actor Jacen Zhu. He stepped away from the company for their purposeful mishandling of race in the studio. We can not trust that Konner will have good intentions.

So let’s be clear. Is there a race issue in gay porn? Absolutely.

Should there be a space cultivated for porn actors of color to get jobs and to be treated fairly? Yes ma’am.

Should there be a space cultivated for black porn actors of color to get jobs and to be treated fairly? Yes sir!

Should Konner be the one doing it? No, not at this juncture and especially around his limited education on race.

Konnor has clearly acknowledged that there is a problem, which is good for him I guess. I just understand that there needs to be more work done to supplant footing for black LGBTQIA+ porn actors of all genders and body types and this attempt is half-cocked, lazy, and wildly remedial. He participating in the same foolish stunting that Noir Male did as well at their inception.

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LGBTQ

Rumpur: The 1st Dating App for Every GBTQ Person of Color

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Rumpur is a mobile gay dating app for gay, bisexual, trans and queer people of color and the people who love them. Rumpur was founded by Garfield Wright who was inspired by his adult son because he faced bigotry and discrimination while navigating other popular gay dating apps. So Garfield created this platform so that his son and other gay ethnic men of color can have a safe space to date without being degraded on a daily basis.

Rumpur is a new app that has been featured on a podcast called BrothaSpeak and OnlinePersonalsWatch.com which features information about all the new dating sites hitting the market.

Rumpur is free to download and includes features such as grid or swipe browsing and free messaging. Rumpur is also the first gay dating app in America to incorporate video chat which makes catfishing a non-factor!

There are a few dating apps out there that present a false image of being black-owned. Rumpur is 100% black-owned The gay, bisexual, trans and queer community can be somewhat segregated and Rumpur is here to level the playing field.

You can download Rumpur on both Playstore and iOS platforms. Visit the website: www.rumpur.com

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