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6 comments | Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Over 80 people from Atlanta's LGBT community gathered last night at Tabernacle Baptist Church, an LGBT affirming house of worship led by Rev. Dennis Meredith to discuss the impact of stigma as it relates to HIV, homophobia, and religion in the Black LGBT community.

The panel consisted of Dr. Edith Biggers (Fulton County Health Department), Pastor Paris Ealey (The Vision Church of Atlanta), Pastor Will Horn(The Power Center) and community activist and artist Anye Elite.

Panelists reiterated the need for prevention but drove home the need to eradicate internalized homophobia and stigma that often leads to destructive behaviors.

One audience member rose to urge people within our community to "get a little nosey". "As individuals we need to start getting a little nosey. We've got to stop having these surface relationships with people," he said. "When was the last time you pulled a friend to the side and asked him if he's had an HIV test?"

Ealey seized the opportunity to highlight the need for mentorship between older and younger LGBT's and the hypocrisy of the black church and it's effect on the self-esteem of gays and lesbians.

"Very intelligent people suspend their thinking processes when they come into church. Church is the only place where there is socially sanctioned retardation," says Ealey.

"You can come in here and spend forty-years and know no more when they roll you out of here than you knew when you walked in...and we're okay with that. So the church can start by telling the truth."

Watch footage from the town hall below:


<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

OMG PREACH I want to cry right now....OMG this is toooooooo powerful

February 08, 2011 11:56 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

You better tell it. He has me in tears right now. He is telling the truth preach preacher.

February 08, 2011 11:57 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

That's what I'm talkin' about...imagine if the gay men and women of the church were able to speak freely in the church and not just outside of it. Imagine the truth that could be revealed. It would probably look and sound like the openly, proud, well-spoken brother in this video. Speak on...

February 09, 2011 4:48 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

If what the guy said, who did most of the talking, is true about most "traditional black churches then why attend those churches.

If you need to be churched then find yourself a gay or gay friendly chuch to attend. If you don't like the gay or gay friendly churches where you live then START YOUR OWN church and invite like minded people to attend. It is NOT THAT HARD to do.

February 10, 2011 11:42 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

@Anonymous FYI Paris Ealey is a minister at an LGBT affirming church in Atlanta. He was speaking on the hypocrisy and homophobia that exists within the traditional church. I hear your argument but keep in mind that if you're not a resident of a major city the option to go to an affirming church may not even be a reality.

February 10, 2011 1:32 PM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

Why do so many gay men come off as "feminine" in mannerisms and speech? I know this sounds shallow, but it is something I find perplexing like the usage of the word "girl" when taking...

February 25, 2011 7:51 PM


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