By Sabrina Samone, TMP
Coretta Scott King once said “I support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (EDNA) of 1994 because I believe that freedom and justice cannot be parceled out in pieces to suit political convenience.” Martin Luther King himself has said, Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. I have worked too long and hard against segregated public accommodations to end up segregating my moral concern. Justice is invisible.” You can’t stand for one group of people and deny it to others.
A growing number of African-American church leaders are growing in numbers to stand against gay marriage and other LGBT legislation. Catholic leader Cardinal Francis George spoke back in April against the “redefinition of marriage” and was joined by a number of Africa-American pastors who are opposed to legalizing gay marriage in Illinois. Willie James Campbell of the Chicago-based Church of God in Christ said “We are biblically, spiritually against it. The bible is our guide, our road map.” According to the Chicago Tribune.
Shae Addams, a close friend of mine, who was raised by her very religious grandmother, has never wanted to leave her religion as so many in the LGBT communities have because of the bigotry felt. Over the years as I’ve witnessed through my life in the LGBT world, so many that literally have been forced to find spiritual guidance from a religion other than Christianity. Over the years I’ve watched her go from church after church in rural South Carolina. She’s been flat out told not to attend, to a preacher directing a sermon directly at her by saying things like, “God didn’t make a mistake by making you. You were meant to be who you were born to be.” On many occasions, because of lack of support from a minister, the members of the church would ostracize her. I’d often ask why you force yourself to go through this, she’d always reply, “I’m not letting them stop me from worshiping the lord.” Her faith has kept her, without the guidance of any actual church, from being a statistic many Trans woman of color and Trans people period, have become; suicide victims, drug addiction, extreme depression. She is still loved in the small town of Pamplico SC; on a friendly basis with the local mayor, a favorite volunteer among the elderly who are recipients of the meal on wheels program, yet in the African-American churches of God, she continues her struggle to be herself and worship her lord without being ridiculed.
I really can’t understand the psychological reasons behind why groups of people that have experienced themselves, the most discrimination and denied equality, be the first in line to stand in the way of other persecuted groups. It is the highest form of hypocrisy. Homophobia, Transphobia and biphobia plague our community regardless of nationality, race or religion, but it is especially hypocritically high within the African-Latino-Muslim and Native American communities.
Now the Republican party, which is on a mission to be inclusive of minority groups are pushing their anti-LGBT agenda onto the closed minded sections of the black churches of a America, churches that today even Martin Luther King would now be considered an outcast due to their intolerance to the LGBT community. A culture of people with long roots in the church as far back as the earliest days of slavery are now pushing young LGBT people of color away from Christianity into the arms of other religions where they may feel accepted.
Another Trans-sister that is fighting for her faith in God is
Summerville, blogger of Trans-girl at the cross,
who says, “I think that many in the Christian church on a whole have forgotten
that Christ has called us, above all else, to love one another. This is not the
love many of us know. It has nothing to do with mutual love, a give and take
type of love. It is the love God has shown us, the love of Christ showed when
he died on the cross for each and every one of us. It’s called agape, a love
that is unconditional. God loves us not because of who we are but in spite of
whom we are and many Christians have forgotten that. Christians are humans just
like everyone else, we are flawed. Many bow to the ways of society and forget
what God has called us all to do and that to love one another.
Whether its hate groups like the Lesbian TERF groups or the churches of racial minorities, I hope we all can learn that there is no freedom until all are free and to practice that the same need and desire to be included in society should be given to others who desire and only wish the same. I had thought with the election of President Obama, the dream has been realized; I’m only beginning to understand it is only the beginning. Dr. King’s dream was not only for us in black America, but for all of mankind, a dream that all men are created equal, Trans-black-Gay-Latino etc., and to actually live equally. Dr. King, I hope one day your dream is finally fulfilled and one day will come, where no man is hated just because he or she is different from another.