Recent Articles

Presbyterian Church crawling toward marriage equality

Many Presbyterians jubilantly proclaimed the Holy Spirit had unquestionably descended upon their 221st General Assembly, when Presbyterians voted to amend its constitution’s (The Book of Order) definition of marriage from “a man and a woman” to “two people. It’s the only way their vote affirming and blessing the loving coupling for its same-sex worshippers could have happened. With an overwhelming 61 percent in favor for the amendment and 39 percent in opposition to it (of 565 commissioners), the Holy Spirit — if indeed she’s to blame for the church’s recalcitrant attitude toward its lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) brethren — took a long time coming. This recent vote is a welcoming change of heart from the church’s 1991 and 2008 rulings prohibiting clergy to perform same-sex marriages. When clergy performed these marriages, the church’s retribution was both draconian and antithetical to any cleric’s vocation toward fairness and justice. Continue Reading →

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America cleans up its homophobic language

As the country becomes more accepting of the civil rights of its lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) Americans, it is also beginning to reexamine its language used to demeans us. In last month’s New York Times’ article “The Decline of the ‘H’ Word,” Jeremy Peters wrote that while the word “homosexual” for the most part is “inoffensive,” “outdated,” and perhaps “innocuous,” the word nonetheless is viewed by many in our LGBTQ community as a pejorative term. According to George P. Lakoff, a professor of cognitive science and linguistics at the UC, Berkeley, because many still associate the word “homosexual” with sexual deviance, the preferred terms are “gay” and “lesbian.”

“Gay doesn’t use the word sex,” Lakoff said. “Lesbian doesn’t use the word sex. Homosexual does. Continue Reading →

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Que(e)rying Michael Sam’s timing to come out

When NBA center Jason Collins came out last year, it was the moment the professional sports world had been waiting for: a gay athlete currently playing in a major league who comes out publicly. And what many may not have known is that the professional sports world had also hoped it would be an African American male. What the African American community and the professional sports world of football and basketball (which is comprised of a brotherhood of predominantly men of African descent) desperately needed was an openly gay male professional athlete, one who would bravely dispel the myth that there are no queer athletes in those sports, while assisting the NFL and NBA leagues in their attempts to denounce homophobic epithets, bullying and discrimination. With Jason Collins, the NBA got their Great Black Hope. And if Collins had any worry of what his coming out moment would do to him career-wise he didn’t say. Continue Reading →

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Robin Roberts loosens the grip of Black homophobia







While I will continue to argue that the African American community doesn’t have a patent on homophobia, it does, however, have a problem with it. Black homophobia still has a deadly hold on African American life. And while I would like to say its oppressive grip only impacts lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people of African descent, in truth, Black homophobia maims the entire community. For example, to date more than a quarter of a million African Americans have died of AIDS — both straight and gay. There are many persistent social and economic factors contributing to the high rates of the epidemic in the African American community —racism, poverty, healthcare disparity, violence, to name just a few — but the biggest attitudinal factor still contributing to the epidemic and showing no sign of abating is homophobia. Continue Reading →

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It’s time to pay attention to LGBT domestic violence in communities of color

Every Monday morning Alex (not his real name) and I met for breakfast at our favorite dive in Harvard Square. I would notice visible bruises and cuts on his face, arms, and legs, but assumed the black and blue marks were simply par for the course for a guy who enjoyed the rough-and-tumble adrenaline high that come with playing weekend scrimmage football. I don’t recall a time when Alex didn’t have a knot on his head, a cut on his lip, a bite into his skin, welts on his arms or stitches. I did notice, however, over time that the teddy bear sweet guy who sat across the table from me with a smile as wide as the Charles River on Monday mornings looked beaten up rather than injured. When I began asking Alex about his bruises he shrugged off my queries and talked about something else. Continue Reading →

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What Pope Francis has known about gay priests

Pope Francis continues to send seismic shock waves across the globe with his liberal-leaning pronouncements. And they are the most affirmative remarks the world has ever heard on the dicey subjects of abortion, contraception, and same-sex marriage. ”We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. Continue Reading →

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Living, surviving and thriving with a disability

Current events: discrimination against persons with disabilities still alive and well
What do I know for sure about people with disabilities? We desire to be treated fairly and equitably in all aspects of our lives. We desire the playing field to be level and equitable. We have the nature and belief that we have to work at least twice as hard as does a “temporarily able-bodied” person to be accepted in many cases. With this knowledge in mind and the Americans with Disabilities Act [ADA] being passed in 1967 and reauthorized in 1991, why is employment discrimination against persons with disabilities alive and well in Minneapolis, MN? Continue Reading →

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Pride events unite us in a common struggle for equality



Black Pride reaffirms our identity. And it dances to a different beat. What started out in Washington, D.C. in 1990 as the only Black Gay Pride event in the country has grown to over 35 gatherings nationwide. Each year, celebrations start in April and continue to October. Over 300,000 LGBTQ people of African descent rev up for a weekend of social and cultural events celebrating their queer uniqueness. Continue Reading →

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Tom Joyner’s homophobic message to Black community is sad but no surprise



On May 1, Jason Collins, the 7’-0” center for the Washington Wizards and a former Boston Celtic, came out. His statement — “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m Black. And I’m gay” — made the cover story for the May 6 issue of Sports Illustrated. On May 2, three Morehouse College basketball athletes were accused of raping an 18-year-old Spelman College student. Continue Reading →

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Another tackle in the world of homophobic sports



Another former professional athlete came out last month — 6’-7” Jamaican-born NFL offensive tackle Kwame Harris. With news of LGBT equality in the news daily, one may wonder why this is news at all. But it is. The world of sports is quickly becoming the last closet, where gays and lesbians hide their sexual orientation. In a homophobic testosterone-driven sport like American football, Harris concealment is understandable. Continue Reading →

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