Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-03-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  IDENTITY

Monroe Views: Black Gay Magazine Sells Its Soul to 'Ex-Gay' Forces
by Irene Monroe
2007-04-01

This article shared 4872 times since Sun Apr 1, 2007
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


by Irene Monroe

Charlene E. Cothran sent shock waves throughout African-American LGBT communities nationwide. The longtime African-American lesbian publisher and editor-in-chief of Venus Magazine recently wrote an article entitled, 'REDEEMED! 10 ways to get out of 'The Life' if you want out!' In it, she wrote that she's now not only 'saved'—having turned her life over to Jesus—but 'straight' as well.

A staple in the African-American community, Venus Magazine was the first and only queer magazine owned and operated by a Black lesbian that spoke to and about the unique intersections of being Black and LGBTQ in both the African-American and white queer communities.

And Venus' loyal readership had hoped the magazine would do for its queer population what revered publications like Ebony and Jet magazines did for all people of the African Diaspora—that is, change society's negative and misinformed perceptions about us.

But as a fledgling magazine with the threat of folding always hanging over its head, Cothran opted to take financial support from Black churches funded by white right-wing Christian organizations that emphasize 'reparative therapies.' In fact, she opted to be her own magazine's 'ex-gay' poster girl rather than let the magazine fold. And with her four-year-old publication, Kitchen Table News, funded by Black church support, Cothran has not only sold her soul for paltry pieces of silver and gold, but she has also sold out the African-American LGBTQ community for her ravenous desire to save her magazine by any means possible.

Those betrayed the most by Cothran's purported conversion are her New Jersey queer African-American brothers and sisters who helped get Venus up and running in its early years.

'It is my personal opinion that you have done so for money—for business advantage. For this, your own religion provides the best one-word summary—JUDAS,' stated a letter to the editor in Venus that was signed 'Members of New Jersey's LGBT Community.'

However, when confronted with these allegations, Cothran states the contrary:

'Venus has managed to pay for itself AND Kitchen Table News. In fact, we are considering closing Kitchen Table News because, after four years, it simply is not paying for itself. As for support from Black churches, we have been and continue to be avoided by them financially. Any support given usually comes in the form of an ad here and there, but these ads are few and far between. We have sought support from professional Black clergy associations in New Jersey, but have not gotten a single official or unofficial, public or private endorsement to date.'

What Cothran isn't telling us is that not only is she getting financial support from Black churches, but they have helped her land anti-HIV ads from big pharmaceutical companies like Bristol-Myers Squibb and Abbott Laboratories that pay for half the cost of the magazine, with the other half paid for by the Black churches promoting 'ex-gay' ads targeted to the African-American LGBTQ community. One of these ads features Rev. Carla Thomas Royster, founder and pastor of Blessed Redeemer Church in Burlington, N.J. The ad states, 'Only God brings us out of the closet: An uncensored testimony of one woman's struggle with life and a lesbian spirit.'

But Cothran's strategy to keep Venus alive is foolhardy ( at best ) and deliberately deceptive ( at worst ) to both her former readership as well as to the Black churches she convinced her magazine would win over souls.

In Cothran changing neither the magazine's name nor its readership, she convinced her financial backers that her Christian 'ex-gay' rhetoric would be an easy sell. But she is bringing in neither the money nor the multitudes. Using the Moses motif, a narrative embedded in Black church liberation theology where God gives him the Ten Commandments, Cothran positions herself as a Moses-like figure with her list of 10 'demandments' that will deliver us out of a life of sin.

But Cothran has found that no one is buying her truth.

She states, 'Although I have lived as a lesbian for my entire adult life, it is without a doubt my soul's purpose to use my gifts to LOVINGLY share the truth about how we got here: how we came to be gay and lesbian, how we can enjoy our 'lifestyle' and how we came to believe that this was OK with God.'

Cothran not only colluded with the Black church in bashing LGBTQ people, but she also participated in her own exile. Having neither the Black church community to welcome her back into their fold as the prodigal daughter, nor the LGBTQ community that once accepted and revered her, Cothran stands alone.

And she's coming to realize that she was not only journalistically irresponsible with her blind ambition to save her magazine, but she was also ethically reckless with a readership that would have accepted her folding her magazine respectfully rather than using us for her personal gain.

And what does it mean to gain the world but lose your soul? Cothran's actions show she knows of neither.

************


This article shared 4872 times since Sun Apr 1, 2007
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

'LGBTQ Rights on the Line: The Role of Communicators Advocating for Equality' event preview 2022-05-22
-- From a press release - Celebrating, honoring and acknowledging Pride Month is more important this year than ever (and it should be celebrated all year, not just during one month). The expected Supreme Court ruling that will undermine the right to ...


Gay News

VIEWS Dignity/Chicago celebrates 50 years of ministry 2022-05-06
- It was 1972 and it was dangerous to be gay or lesbian. One could be arrested, publicly humiliated or fired from one's job. Even finding safety in the emerging bar scene was hazardous. Added to that ...


Gay News

VIEWS Biden, Democrats must end Title 42 now 2022-04-26
- The Biden Administration should honor its commitment to immediately end Title 42 restrictions which were imposed by former President Donald Trump, to deny asylum seekers their basic, protected rights. It would be a mistake for Democrats ...


Gay News

VIEWS The closing of civil society: Russia and the U.S., or fear the queer! 2022-04-23
- Putin's invasion of Ukraine has made manifest the fragility of civil society in Russia and the strength of civil society in Ukraine. It has also once again focused an intense spotlight on our own civil society. ...


Gay News

LETTERS A difference in opinion about Vatican document 2022-04-07
- I am responding to DignityUSA Executive Director Marianne Duddy-Burks, who issued a press release that Windy City Times published. A newly released document from the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education could trigger a new wave of ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT Mixed reactions to Will Smith's slap 2022-04-05
- By now, everyone has seen or heard about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars for making a tasteless and misogynistic joke about his wife's short hair resembling Demi Moore's buzzcut in the 1997 movie ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT On A Scale of 1 to 10: Sex, Religion, Power, Politics--A Public Meditation 2022-04-03
- QUESTION: "On a scale of one to 10, how faithful would you say you are, in terms of religion?"—U.S Sen. Lindsey Graham (R), South Carolina RESPONSE: "… there's no religious test in the Constitution under Article ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT For Elise, I promise to advocate to ban the trans/gay panic defense 2022-03-29
- Elise is dead. We don't yet know how or why. But Elise is dead, and my heart is breaking. Trans activist Elise Malary was an inspiration for me. She was the driving force behind the legislation ...


Gay News

VIEWS Putin's war and anti-queer Christian nationalism 2022-03-15
- —'Don't Say Gay' bill clears Florida Senate awaiting signature of Governor Ron De Santis (March 08, 2022). —Texas attorney general Ken Paxton issues legal opinion classifying gender-affirming medical care for ...


Gay News

VIEWS Bannon, the Catholic vote and our democracy 2022-02-20
- "I don't want anybody to take their eye off the ball for what we do every day... We're taking down the Biden regime." Stephen K. Bannon speaking to reporters as he turned himself over to federal ...


Gay News

Social commentator Fran Lebowitz at Auditorium Theatre April 15 2022-02-16
- Social commentator, satirist and author Fran Lebowitz will be at Chicago's Auditorium Theater, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Dr., on Friday, April 15, at 7:30 p.m. Lebowitz essays and interviews offer her acerbic views on current ...


Gay News

LETTER Love is the road to healing 2022-02-15
- I am writing this letter to the editor in response to the press release that was printed in the present online issue of Windy City Times. The press release ("Program for LGBTQ people/families pushed by Archdiocese ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT: FDA must lift discriminatory blood-donor policy 2022-01-26
- With the nation's blood supply at its lowest point in a decade, and the American Red Cross declaring its first-ever national blood crisis earlier this month, it is time for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT Who is my neighbor? 2022-01-20
- The notion of functioning as a Good Samaritan is one that transcends any particular faith tradition. The idea of humans treating humans in a humane way sounds so simple, yet history and modernity are replete with ...


Gay News

Failure to enact Freedom to Vote is a blow to vulnerable groups 2022-01-20
-- From a press release - From Kierra Johnson, Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund: "The failure to enact the Freedom to Vote, John R. Lewis Act is a profound blow to our Democracy. The inability to ensure ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.