Christianity has been a crutch of the black community for centuries now as it sheltered people from the troubles of the outside world and served as a community center. Homosexuality has been a part of humanity for much longer. However, the two have seem to conflict when brought together.
A BET documentary entitled “Holler If You Hear Me: Black and Gay In the Church” focused on the place, or lack thereof, of homosexuality specifically in black churches. The Clay Cane-produced documentary will be screened in the White House for Black History Month, according to MSNBC.
Cane himself doesn’t necessarily come from a church background, but he still sees the constant struggle between faith and sexuality.
“You can’t avoid religion. It’s a constant part of the conversation,” Cane told MSNBC.
President Obama is choosing to screen a film with this subject matter reveals a lot about the progress the country has made when it comes LGBTQ issues. Obama himself was against same-sex marriage during the early stages of his presidency before coming around full circle to give it his endorsement.
“He had to undo the sins of the Clinton administration to make some great gains for the LGBT community,” said Cane when speaking on Obama striking down “don’t ask, don’t tell” and other ways he’s shown support for LGBT causes.
While many choose to lean on scripture to condemn LGBTQ folks, they’re either ignoring or not aware of the fact that the chances of someone near them identifying as LGBTQ are very high.
“If you want to meet a whole bunch of black gay folks just go to the black church,” Cane jokes, acknowledging that at least some of the black LGBT community have felt they’ve had to hide their sexuality from the public so that they could still be embraces by their faith.
Whether it be due to religion, a misperception that homosexuality damages male identity or some other reason, the black community appears to have had a harder time embracing diverse sexual and gender identities than others.
The black community appears to be doing understanding and accepting LGBTQ folks at a slower rate than everyone else. To serve as an example of the other side of the argument, Cane even speaks with a devout Christian woman in the documentary that has trouble accepting that her own daughter married a woman.
Regardless, this film being being shown in honor of Black History Month at the White House acknowledges that black people of all identities are valid and important.
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