Every now and then a piece of gay affirming literature written from a black same gender loving perspective comes along that has the power to not only entertain but to be transformative.
In the early 90's Keith Boykin's One More River To Cross became the light in a dark tunnel that was my forseeable future filled with loneliness, depression, rejection, and a sense of unworthiness- in a hostile and homophobic society that tried to convince me that this is what I would experience in life as a gay man.
Nearly thirteen years after Boykin's book was published and considerable achievements by black gay authors in a myriad of genres have occured, gay author and ordained minister Terry Angel Mason emerges with Love Won't Let Me Be Silent, a collection of essays, short stories and poems written to affirm the black gay experience.
A work of fiction, Love Won't Let Me Be Silent is slightly autobiographical as Mason cleverly weaves his life experiences as a black openly gay minister with the stories of so many wounded gay men of color navigating through life in search of acceptance, love, & equality.
Chapters like "Lord My Child is Gay, What Do I Do", speaks directly to parents of gay youth who often find it nearly impossible to reconcile conservative biblical teaching with homosexuality.
"Does God Hate Me Because I'm Gay"?, What AIDS Cannot Do", and Don't Walk Past Your Miracle, a look at the potential beautiful partners we overlook as gay men on a search for the fairy tale companion.
Mason masterfully tackles the intersection of race & homophobia in "Love Won't Let Me Be Silent" while simultaneosuly challenging heterosexual privilege; leaving the reader with a profound sense of self-worth whereas before it may have been in question.
If black men loving other black men is considered a revolutionary act, then Mason provides a blueprint to love God, yourself, and ultimately the man of your choosing boldly and without reservation in "Love Won't Let Me Be Silent". It's a must read.
You can learn more about Mason on his official website terryangelmason.com as well as purchase Love Won't Let Me Be Silent online or at any major bookseller.