Stellar Award winner and Grammy nominated gospel recording artist Tonex has dealt with rumors regarding his sexuality for almost his entire career. The son of the late Rev. Dr. Anthony Williams and a minister himself, the accusations of homosexuality have been an enormous threat to his livelihood, ministry, and future as a respected leader in the black faith community in his native San Diego, California.
In 2007 with the release of The Naked Truth and the infamous YouTube video (that has since been pulled) where Tonex's use of profanity and secular posturing shocked gospel music fans; it seemed inside this talented singer was a ticking time bomb ready to explode. In that video Tonex emphatically denied being gay, but that was two years ago.
In a recent interview with The Lexi Show produced by The Word Network, Tonex' boldly opens the closet door in a way that I could never imagine anyone else in the gospel music industry having the courage to do. As a childhood victim of molestation, Tonex' refuses to blame his same-sex attraction on this experience like many of his colleagues who "struggle" with homosexuality (i.e. Donnie McClurkin) and corrects the interviewer when she attempts to frame the discussion in this way.
"It wasn't a struggle. And then people like to blame the struggle on molestation. No. Just say you were attracted to men and be honest and quit blaming it on that experience", says Tonex'.
On homophobia in the black church:
"The church has completely faggotized everybody who's gay, sends them to hell over the pulpit and the church literally screams hooray and are happy about that. And yet, we celebrate the pastor who has a clean record and a clean look, but yet he is still doing the same thing that the same gender loving people are doing. I believe that there's holy ghost- filled fire baptized gay people."
Tonex' is currently writing for Janet Jackson's upcoming CD and can be seen in Maurice Jamal's Friends & Lovers.
Watch Tonex' explain the man he is today in the videos below: