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11 comments | Sunday, February 11, 2007


Over the weekend I received an e-mail from gospel singer Ricky Dillard's manager Will Bogle, regarding a post that I wrote about an incident that occured involvingTye Tribbett at a benefit for Ricky Dillard last week here in Atlanta.

If you've followed my blog from the beginning then you know it's not a gossip site and I don't waste my time on "outing" people. However, from time to time I will state the obvious or what is known to be true about certain individuals who aren't as forthcoming as others.

After reading Will's e-mail I decided to remove the post, a decision that I regret, but I had given him my word and I was not about to go back on it. After all we do live in a country where we take pride in having freedom of speech and on my blog I'm free to express my opinions without being regulated by anyone.

I paid close attention to everything he had to say in his e-mail and responded, but it wasn't until after I had sent the e-mail that a much bigger question/dilemma presented itself that I think needs to be discussed. I've posted Will's e-mail and my response here for everyone to read in an effort to be fair and balanced, but there's always two sides to every story and then there's the truth.

Will's E-mail
This message is intended for Mr. Darian Aaron.

Periodically, I come across numerous alleged incidents, fabricated accountings and untruthful stories...however, yours is most inaccurate. My name is Will Bogle and I'm pleased to manage and represent Mr. Ricky Dillard. I was informed of your page by a gay constituent who was also amazed by the extent of your dissertation. I do applaud your efforts to inform your community with news that you may deem relevant...however, I can not, in good faith, idly allow such ridiculous accusations to be made about my client or his friend and brother, Mr.Tyrone Tribbett.

Obviously, you were not at the benefit for Mr. Dillard, which is how you were able to grossly distort the verbiage and the intentions of both Mr.Tribbett and Mr. Dillard. Mr. Tribbett believes in his message for deliverance and Godly reconciliation...and he made it meticulously clear that nothing that he stated was directed to Mr. Dillard personally.

My request is that you immediately amend your postings, as it gives our fans and supporters a very jaded view of the actual events during the benefit service for Mr. Dillard. Slander is not God's desire for His people, nor is it in the best interest of brotherly commeraderie. I'm available at (he provided his phone number), should you have any further comments or concerns.

Kindly,
WiLL BoGLe
Manager ~ Ricky Dillard & the New Generation Chorale

My Response:
This message is intended for Mr. Will Bogle.

I just received your e-mail regarding my post about Tye Tribbett and your client Ricky Dillard and I have to say that it was not my intention to slander Mr. Dillard in any way, I do believe I did just the opposite.

I did not claim to be present the night of the benefit, I actually wrote that I learned of this incident through a friend who was in attendance. You stated that Tye's message was one of deliverance and Godly reconciliation and was not directed towards Ricky personally.

I have never met Ricky, but I respect his work and obvious calling to the ministry. But if he identifies as a same gender loving Black man in private or public , when his "brother" took the mic to speak his distorted message of God's word to all of the homosexual men and women in that church, Ricky was not excluded regardless if Tye Tribbett singled him out or not.

Journalistic integrity is extremely important to me and for that reason alone I will remove the post. I make no apologies for speaking out against Tye Tribbet's homophobic message and for commending Ricky for having the courage to be an openly gay face in an industry filled with closeted men .

I'm available at (I provided my phone number) should you have any further comments or concerns.

Darian Aaron
Living Out Loud with Darian

All weekend I thought about what had transpired as a result of my post and it caused me to examine the Black church (yet again) and it's treatment of gays and lesbians and the many gospel artists who identify as SGL in silence.

It goes without saying that the Black church has played a major role in shaping who we are as a community, through slavery, Jim Crow and the injustices we face in the 21st century, our relationship with God and the church has been paramount. I think the same thing can be said for gospel music. I can remember the first time I felt a connection with God, it wasn't after hearing the pastor in the country church I grew up in "hoop and holler", it was when I heard John P. Kee and the New Life Community Choir sing "Show Up"! There was something about gospel music that caught my attention and made a relationship with God seem accessible even at my young age.

Later on I would realize that gospel music was the one aspect of the Black church where I was free to praise God openly and honestly without experiencing the condemnation of the "word". As I came into my own and embraced my sexuality and the backlash from the church for identifying openly as such, I couldn't help but notice all of the gay men and women who were at the forefront of the gospel music industry. We've all seen them in church, on tv, we own their cd's, everyone whispers about them, they're flamboyant, attractive, talented, anointed and unmarried.

Praise and worship would not be the same if gay brotha or sister so and so was not leading the choir and bringing souls to Christ. The music in a Black church can ruin the worship experience if the choir is not on point and whoever wants to argue with that can do so all day long but that's just a fact.

We've always been apart of the church, we sit and listen to ministers damn our souls to hell and preach conversion through prayer Sunday after Sunday in silence. Meanwhile, our self -esteem plummets and we allow man to convince us that we won't have access to the kingdomn of God because of who we are. I'm personally sick of this lie and I'm sick of all of the men who "AMEN" this religious dogma and then retire home to feel the touch of their boyfriend.

How many gospel artists do you know that fall into this category? Probably too many too count. But of course no one in the church or the gospel music industry will have a problem with your homosexuality as long as you don't talk about it.

Translation: We'll let you sing in the choir,even let you hold the title of minister of music, buy your cd's, and enjoy the presence of God as a result of your gift, but the moment you admit you're a homosexual you might as well be Lucifer himself.

I'm not calling for every closeted gay man in gospel music to come out, I understand that they are at risk of losing their fan base and their livelihood. But I am challenging them to be sensitive to the fight for tolerance, acceptance, and equality on the behalf of those of us who love exactly as they do but out in the open.

Labels:

11 Comments:

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

When I read your blog about the whole RICKY DILLARD/TYE TRIBETT thing I must admit I was kind of surprised by the account given of what had transpired. I immediately started looking for other stories in the media to back up your claims, but found none. This is is not to that I did not believe you, but something said by Ricky Dillard like that would have been BIG NEWS.
While you did state that you did not attend the event. I do think it was journalistcally irresponsible to make such a claim based upon what a friend heard. Sure, it's your blog, but as someone who is intent on having a wide audience of readers you have to take responsibility when speaking about others private matters in such a public space. I commend you for doing the responsible thing and removing the blog entry. Your criticism of Tye Tribett was on point in that it is your opinion and you are responding to something that was said by him public that others can verify....those who watched the CELEBRATION OF GOSPEL show and those who have his CD where he says it as well.

I mean come on man. We all know that homosexuality exists in the gospel music industry...it's no differen than any other music industry in that regard. i mean ll you have to do is attend a GMWA convention and see it right before your very eyes. However, with gospel music you are not just dealig with the business, you are dealing with religious piece too. You are right in that it speaks to a bigger issue of homosexuality and the black church. However, I think you need to be more sensitive of what these artists have to deal with while in the midst of this struggle.It's easy to be on the outside looking in and a whole different picture from the inside. I know plenty of gay gospel artists and I respect hwo they choose to deal with the issue of their sexuality and religion. And while many of them will never come to public spotlight as an OUT GAY person, they have been activists and supporters of their gay brothers and sisters in less public ways but equally meaningful....caring for sick friends, playing and singing at funerals, contributing to organizations and fundraisers either monetarily or of their time and talent. This issue is not to be resolved overnight.

February 12, 2007 1:47 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

to allegro

Thank you so much for that. I couldn't agree more and could not have put it in better words.

to Darian

I enjoy your blog. Keep doing the good work you do and you did make the right decision to remove the psot.

February 13, 2007 1:30 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Hello...

I was just wondering why it is, that when Christians don't approve of homosexuality they are labeled as Homophobic?

[& I'm not talking about a hypocrite that speaks out of condemnation or ignorance from lack of relationships with any Great people that are homosexuals.]

But it seems as if Christians don't even approve of the body of Christ teaching on what they see as SIN, even if spoken from a place of Love, its still labeled as being "Homphobic".

Yet, I've never hear people state a 'PHOBIA' when someone speaks on: Lying, Adultery, fornication, (all Lusts of the flesh), showing favoritism, being prideful, etc.
Which are all rooted in sin.

So, Why should people be judged if they believe homosexuality is not of God?
We all have sins and struggles that are not of G-D, so why should Christians feel speaking on homosexuality is Taboo, unless they agree with it as being Holy before G-D?

That's just as hypocritical as those who make judgements & condemn homosexuals.

You have the right to believe Homosexuality is Right in the eyes of the Father.
Just as much as someone else has the right to believe that its a SIn.

Without Judgement...
None on Earth, is G-D.

July 11, 2008 11:48 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

WELL I HONESTLY GOOGLED UP ABOUT THIS INCIDENT. I AM A STRAIGHT MALE. I DO ATTEND THE BLACK CHURCH. I DONT THINK ITS RIGHT FOR A PREACHER TO TRY TO DAMN ANYONES SOUL. YES ITS WRONG IN THE EYES OF GOD, BUT WHAT SIN ISNT? IS IT BETTER FOR ME TO TELL YOU YOU ARE GOING TO HELL BECAUSE YOU SLEEP WITH A MAN, AND I SLEEP WITH AN UNMARRIED WOMAN? SIN IS SOMETHING WE ALL HAVE TO FREE OURSELVES FROM. HOMOSEXUALITY IS AN ADDICTION. AND WHETHER OR NOT YOU WANT TO BE FREE FROM IT IS YOUR BUISNESS. BUT GOD LOVES EVERYBODY AND HE WANTS EVERYONE TO GET IT RIGHT. AND IF MORE MINISTERS WOULD RELAY THAT WORD TO PEOPLE MAYBE PEOPLE WOULD WANT TO CHANGE THEIR LIVES!

October 25, 2008 4:06 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I agree with what the other poster said about having an opinion about gay people and their lifestyle. I don't feel it's right but, I don't hate gay people. I know plenty of gay people and some are down right cool! Likealbe, and funny. Why? Most importantly because they're human. They are people too, it's not like they are from another planet. Some I know are not nice, they're loud and like to get crap started. No one likes a trouble maker, but if you call them out all of sudden you don't like gay people. That's wrong! I think some people like to play that card, just like some like to play the race card. It's time we grow up and act like adults and not take everything so personally.

December 18, 2008 5:55 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Darian, I know this is two years late, but I'm gonna go against the grain of most of the replies and commend you for posting what you did initially. You have that right as a journalist. Church folk always wanna jump up and down in defense of people like Ricky Dillard (who I'm a huge fan of), yet also bash him behind his back. EVERYBODY knows Ricky's and many other gospel artists' deal and it's ok. We don't have to be with them or be a fly on their walls to know what they do in their bedrooms. People can be denial about it all they want, but at the end of the day, Will knows as well as anybody that you were telling the truth, and so do these folks who are trying to say you were wrong. Big up to you Darian.

December 21, 2009 12:22 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

This is very interesting. I did not get to read that blog before you took it down however, I have NEVER thought that Ricky Dillard was a straight man; never!

May 15, 2012 5:16 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I agree with you 100%

June 30, 2012 3:46 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I didn't read this when it was first posted but get your life, they all know who they are and try to hide behind gospel music. Sickening

November 08, 2013 4:15 PM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

I don't understand why hide if this is what you are. EVERYONE knows who the ones are male or female. Your secrets are no longer safe and have never been. They are preaching, teaching, singing, directing, the first ones to be up shouting when the music starts and wear more lip gloss than a teacher wearing her favorite Mac. Honey stop it !!!!!

November 24, 2013 9:47 AM

 
<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

It is extremely disturbing, to bad I didn't see this article when it was first posted. Maybe pictures could have been drafted. Just nasty. The sad thing is they will deny it even if they are caught. Oh no that wasn't my mouth on his penis, oh that wasn't me bent over and HIM was given me the business. The gospel world has gone crazy. You think some of the two snaps make artist not given them the business. PLEASE

August 22, 2014 3:49 PM

 

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