The Religious Right

The Religious Right

Bishop Oliver Clyde Allen, right, is probably one of the most recognized openly gay black male ministers in the United States. Here he is with his husband Rashad Burgess and adopted daughter LaTanya. The couple even made Ebony Magazine's list of the 10 Coolest Families in America. Photo courtesy of The Examiner.
Bishop Oliver Clyde Allen, right, is probably one of the most recognized openly gay black ministers in the United States. Here he is with his husband Rashad Burgess and adopted daughter LaTanya. The couple even made Ebony Magazine’s list of the 10 Coolest Families in America. Photo courtesy of The Examiner.

“Brunson” is a deacon, sometimes preacher and choir singer at his church.

He is masculine enough with a burly build and a well coiffed beard but if you look closely enough there is no mistaking he is gay.

Brunson’s outfits are too well put together — what straight man other than TV commentator Roland Martin wears an ascot?. The scent of cologne follows wherever he walks. And at 35 he has never had kids or even brought a girlfriend to church.

“So why not come out to members of your congregation,” I ask.

“No way. My private life is my business.”

“But if more black clergy members came out wouldn’t that help ease homophobia in the black community and especially black churches?”

“My church is too conservative,” answered Branson, not even bothering to entertain the thought.

I’ve fucked many people in the church. At least three ministers and a chart-topping gospel artist.

And it has never ceased to amaze me how, despite the fact they advocate God’s love from the pulpit or choir, they can be the folks most against love for LGBT people.

The cognitive dissonance is jarring.

I know one minister who says preaching hard on Sunday makes him especially horny. So on Monday you can often find him at a bathhouse getting his hole dug out by any hard dick he can find.

But would he ever come out to his flock. “It’s none of their business,” he says, sounding alot like Brunson.

I think one of the biggest reasons for these ecclesiastical closet cases is money. Several ministers I know in Baltimore, including one who is married to a woman and plays with men, are pulling in big money.

One drives a late model Mercedes and oversees multi-million-dollar church community projects.

The second uses love offerings from his congregation to go on shopping sprees in Washington D.C.’s tony Georgetown enclave. His closet is filled with designer clothes, many with the tags still on.

Yet when you ask him why he doesn’t challenge homophobia in his conservative congregation he says with a straight face that he has a theological degree and has studied the Bible for years and can find nothing in the Bible that justifies homosexuality.

Yet just a month or so ago he was bugging my partner “Van” and I to come over and threesome with him on a Saturday afternoon before he had to write his Sunday sermon.

I go to a Presbyterian Church that is accepting of LGBT people. Van is frequent guest and folks have been nothing but welcoming.

But my congregation is mostly white.

Sometimes I wonder whether homophobia in the black community would ease if all these gay black men in church took a stand and stopped hiding behind the cross.

Because Jesus sacrificed his life for them. Is it too much for them to sacrifice some of their comfort for their gay brothers?


  1. Dane

    I think the Black Community would be more accepting if they did. No matter what your sexual orientation is the Black Community has to start taking care of each other.

  2. Okay, I had to stop reading, and give no one in particular the side eye, on the part about the minister who gets horny preaching. He needs to revaluate his calling.
    I don’t know how much I should say, on this subject. I have a lot of opinions. As a person who very much comes from this life. I get it. I really don’t think money, is the reason…I don’t think we should perpetrate that stereotype. I don’t think they are dl, is because of money.
    I see what you are saying; about helping other gays in the church, by opening up, but not sure how that really relates to the car they drive or clothes they wear.

    Sorry first comment got messed up.

    1. The Blog Artist Formerly Known as YBDL: Hey man, hope you are well. I appreciate your comment and I listen to your opinions! I’m not trying to perpetuate a stereotype — I’m merely writing about what I see and experience in real time. I don’t know every gay minister — I can’t speak to every one of them. However, this one minister I know does appear to be caught up in the money he earns and the lifestyle it affords. He doesn’t just come out and say it but his actions demonstrate it. The other minister I mentioned does a lot of work in his community which involves HUD and bank funding and is concerned if his gayness got out it could affect his standing in the pulpit and his ability to live his lifestyle. Because no matter how much people go into a life of ministry to spread God’s word and love in our day and age it has become a multi-billion dollar business, at least for some churches. You can’t separate that out.

  3. scott

    I think you are definitely seeing the internalized homophobia. While on one side the what a preacher (or anyone else) does in their personal sex lives could be considered nobody’s business, the assertion that being gay is just about sex is a false one that, having read your blog archives, I suspect you fully understand. Being sexual is but one part of who we are. Being gay is so much more than our position or activity of preference be it top/bottom, orgy, or even no-sex at all. I also attend a welcoming and accepting UMC congregation in Atlanta and, while my husband has chosen not to attend church, we are both very accepted and even had a blessing of our legal union done by one of our ministers last year. If we ever get to a point where the black clergy would speak out about acceptance of both ourselves and each other, perhaps we could break the damaging cycles that cause us physical and spiritual injury.

    1. Scott very well said. Thanks for your comment. And yes internal homophobia is apparent in some of these folks I know. Others have grown up in a conservative church and it is part of their family life. So they are afraid to come out because it could lead to them being ostracized not only by the church but by family and friends who attend that church. So I can understand their fear and reluctance. You are correct in saying if the black clergy spoke out more on acceptance we could break this cycle. I think so as well. All the best to you and your husband and Van and I are visiting Atlanta later this year to visit family and would love to visit your congregation. Take care!

      1. See Imanual I can completely see that. Some may even say, you are talking about me. I can see that more than the money explanation. I’m personally not sure if one or two minister coming out will help or your deacon friend. I get it, it’s a start, but for my mind not enough. I know of a particular gospel artist, who was kind of popular when he decided to come out, and his career was a wrap after that.

        I hate to be the pessimist in this subject, not sure I see how, it will help.

        1. Wow yeah I remember that Gospel artist and yeah he took a huge popularity hit. But see God doesn’t measure success the way we do. His coming out probably helped some gay youth want to live his dream or maybe not want to suicide. That is worth far more than a chart topping song.

  4. The Black Male Nudist

    I think that the black community would be more accepting of Black LGBT. The Black Church has lost respect of many LGBT because DL pastors playing around and then condemning the very thing that they are. The hypocrisy pisses me off. Now from my studies in the New Testament Jesus commanded love. So where’s the love for the out and proud Gays in the church? I guess they overlooked that part.

    1. Yep they sure did overlook the part about love. “Brunson” told me his church has a don’t-ask-don’t tell policy toward gay folks. In other words be gay but don’t talk about or express it and you will be tolerated.

    2. Jmz

      I can agree also with that. I know of a few who are straight up, for lack of a better word,lol Gay and mess around then proclaim to be this deep spiritual insightful minister, and I’m not judging but come on man…who are you trying to fool?

      1. Well, I don’t have a problem with them having sex. Shoot they are only men. And God created sex too. But when they get up in the pulpit and tolerate gay bashing that is not cool. When I was married we had a married deacon in our church who was real homophobic but hit on me then got mad and talked about me like a dog when I didn’t reciprocate. That really turned me off to “holy” people.

  5. Martin

    Not to sound cynical but I agree with them black ministers are really looked up to in my community and to come out would alienate the congregation. They would be trailblazers within the black gay community but no movement comes without struggle first and most of them are aware of that and it frightens them

  6. marcus

    I agree with the Pastors. In life we have individual choices and as adults we have the right to chose whether or not we want to disclose our sexually. We can’t decide when we think it’s time that someone come out. Who in the heck do we think we are. Friends of mine came out when they decided to come out. They were closeted as long as they chose too. If the Pastors feel that financially it’s more beneficial that they remains closeted then that’s their business and no one else’s. Celebrities make that financial decision all the time. In closing I admire guys who displayed the courage to come out when they chose to and I think they should respect guys who are not out and not judge them. How do they feel when heterosexuals judge them for their lifestyle. Let’s stop judging peeps.

    1. Thanks for commenting. What you said is all well and good. I don’t disagree. But it’s so hypocritical when they are part of a congregation that preaches intolerance or preach intolerance themselves. That’s where I have a problem…when you suppport a system that hates what you are.

  7. marcus

    Hope I didn’t come off to harsh but this is a really good subject Immanuel. Really enjoy your blogs and like I told you earlier today; always well written. Take care brother and hope to see you soon my man. Ttyl.

  8. worst_1_yet

    Hate shit like this. The personal is political, and yet we have men who are like . . . “none of their damn business.” Some shameful behavior. Truly lame.

  9. Jmz

    As a black gay man who grew up in the church, sang in a gospel choir my eyes were opened up to a lot . As a brotha who fell in love with another brother who also sang gospel I can attest that there are many uncover DL black gays in the church. It’s an issue we all know about but don’t wanna talk about that white elephant in the room .

  10. If you think Jesus got it bad on Calvary, hold onto your britches. Bc especially for a black preacher in a black church to come out, he’d get crucified and hung in the vestibule. Remember that whole Bishop Eddie Long scandal? The accusations alone caused him to lose 2/3 of his congregation and from what I hear, has yet to shake the gay rumors. I’m actually (finally) out to my friends and fam, but nobody at my church know, and I intend to keep it that way. But if/when it does eventually get back to them, I wouldn’t deny it. What I will say, though, is that I get hit on more at church than I do at gay bars, and that’s saying something! I remember one time I was preaching in Detroit and the pastor’s assistant was helping me loop the microphone cord up through my shirt and legit tried to get to 2nd base with me. We talked for 3 months.


  11. Gimme

    Oh yes, I can definitely see the flamboyancy of many black men in the church. I do get the feeling that it’s all about the money. I’ve always been weary of churches for that reason. I attend church to fulfill my spiritual needs, not to fund the preacher’s car note for his third BMW.

  12. robert

    The black church is still in DADT mode. A friend of mine was an associate pastor for a nationally known TV and radio preacher back in Dallas. He came out to that preacher and was thrown out of that church.Years later, I can still hear his tears. When I lived in DC…a FWB said he was going to marry and have kids…one of the versatile sexual t muscular men I have been with….ministers can lose their livelihoods and be thrown out of denominations that they believe in….love someone that is in ministry who has lost their job because of gossip about their sexuality…you will never forget it.

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