It's the issue the black church just can't seem to get away from-homosexuality- and gospel singer Dejuaii Pace, of the Anointed Pace Sisters, may force the church to once again confront the issue.
In an exclusive interview on The Root.com, Pace, the daughter of a Pentecostal minister and a member of one of the most beloved family gospel groups of all time reveals she is a lesbian and has been coping with a food addiction as a result of being unable to live life authentically. Pace will share her story as one of eight cast members on the new OWN Network show "Addicted To Food" airing tonight.
From The Root.com
The Root: Before you taped Addicted to Food, had you ever shared with anyone that you were attracted to women?
Dejuaii Pace: When I joined my church about 15 years [ago], because I wanted to be up front with my pastor, I told her that the attraction was there but I was denying that I was attracted to that [gay] lifestyle. I acknowledged it to myself in 2006 when I really took a deep evaluation of my life.
I was not married, was not dating and had not dated. And I was like, why is it so? And I just took a deep look at myself and realized that I've not been attracted to men ever and had just been friendly with them. At the end of the evaluation, I told myself that I had to acknowledge it.
I didn't tell anyone [in my family] I was a lesbian until December 2009, when I felt sick and tired of my life and wasn't happy. And I told one of my friends. I said, "Listen, I need you to help me to come out, because If I'm going to be happy, I've got to face this thing." About 98 percent of my friends are in "the lifestyle," and they knew I was struggling with it.
TR: For a lot of churches in the black community, homosexuality could be staring them in the face, whether it's the choir director or even the pastor, and people will pretend it's not there and speak against it. You seem very passionate about changing that type of behavior. Are you doing anything to help do that?
DP: I feel that is the beginning of what God is calling forth at this time. I do not have all of the answers. For me, I am taking it day by day.
I want my soul mate. However God brings that about is fine with me. I know that God loves me, and he has created me, and this thing is here. I feel that it is part of my destiny to find out what is really going on. Because I cannot say it's against God, and I cannot say God is for it. All I'm saying now is that we cannot tell people what we've been telling them. I have friends who've stopped going to church because of that.
In the interview Pace reveals she is a 45 year-old virgin who has never been intimate with a man or a woman. So how will the church react to her coming out? Will it be the usual fiery condemnation reserved specifically for gays and lesbians ( while adulterers and baby mama's and daddies get a pass) or will Pace be welcomed into the fold because she has remained "pure" and not given into "temptation"?
Dejuaii Pace becomes only the second high profile gospel artist to come out following the firestorm of controversy after B. Slade (formerly Tonex') came out in 2009. Loldarian.com spoke with B. Slade regarding Pace's decision to come out and his concern for her well being was evident.
"I just hope I can reach her as support because I know the hate and fear this article will produce", says Slade.
Dejuaii Pace has provided the black church another opportunity to address (homo) sexuality but I'm not holding my breath for them to approach it any differently than they have in the past. Sadly, it will be business as usual.
Watch Dejuaii Pace in the trailer for Addicted To Food below: