Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Religion and Coming Out Issues for African Americans

Traditionally, the church has been a huge influencer and guide for the day-to-day activities of African Americans. For them, the church isn’t just a place for enlightenment and spirituality, but it is also a place for empowerment.

The Root Cause of Coming Out Issues for African Americans

There are many bishops out there who would agree that it is almost impossible to separate the church from the life of individuals in the Black community. This is because of the fact the church plays the role of a stabilizer and a place to connect with the community – not just with God.

Having established the importance of church for the Black community, most of these places of worship have been very unwelcoming for people with different gender identities or sexual orientations. The black church has been a pillar for the Black community for quite some time now and this is why Black people who are a little ‘different’ have to either condemn their own actions or just not talk about it.

LGBTQ African Americans Have the Same Problems as Others

The LGBTQ individuals in the Black community face issues that are no different than those of the society in general. The only difference is that the public statements against these people are made openly on every Sunday. None of these institutions, however, have ever issued a public statement that clearly outlined its position against homosexuality.

gay - lgbtq (iconic colors)

Don’t Name It, Don’t Claim It

This is the motto of the Black church and it has led so many African Americans to create or find places where they can freely exercise their own spirituality. Some of these ‘new’ bishops have also said that they would rather sit on a tree and talk to God than to attend a church that doesn’t affirm the humanity of gay folks.

The Launch of Gay-Affirming Churches

Naturally, people have now come up with churches such as the United Fellowship of Metropolitan Community of Churches. These types of churches are racially and ethnically inclusive and have been established with the sole purpose of including LGBTQ individuals for their spiritual rights.

Another movement that was started way back in 1985, known as the Unity Fellowship Church Movement, has now expanded to as many as 17 locations all across the country. In April 2000, however, Boston saw its first Black Union United Methodist Church that openly invited Black gay and lesbian Christians into their sermons.

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