Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01



New Black: African-American perspective on MD's marriage
by Jason Carson Wilson

This article shared 6214 times since Wed Apr 30, 2014
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Marriage equality continues making its way across the nation. That includes, of course, here in Illinois. Maryland fought for—and successfully secured the right to get married—in November 2012. A documentary, The New Black, chronicles the campaign for equality from an African-American perspective, and that movie was part of a film festival April 26.

"Thank God [that it was made]," Dr. Donique McIntosh said. "I think, for too long, a lot of the narrative has been that the Black church has this monolithic voice, when it comes to sexuality [and] when it comes to same-sex marriage."

People packed the Chicago Theological Seminary fourth-floor chapel to watch the fifth offering of the Trinity United Church of Christ Prison Ministry-sponsored ( In ) Justice For All Film Festival on April 26.

McIntosh participated in a lively panel discussion, which Trinity UCC's pastor, the Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, Jr., moderated. Moss, whose family counted gay civil rights icon Bayard Rustin a friend, noted what prompted his coming out as an ally.

"I made my statement out of frustration and passion," he said.

Moss said, as pondered his stance, his parents asked him for what his generation stood. He only came to one conclusion.

"This is an issue of rights," Moss said.

The discernment and decision-making process allowed him to uncover a queer family secret. Moss learned a transgender man had cared for his grandmother. That man's compassion, according to Moss' parents, allowed her to live a longer life.

"When I made the statement, my father stood up in the pulpit with me," he said.

The Rev. Phyllis Pennese of Pillar of Love Fellowship United Church of Christ, the Rev. Charles Straight of Faith United Methodist Church and Roderick Hawkins of Chicago Urban League joined McIntosh on the panel.

Hawkins, whose organization took part in Illinois' marriage-equality campaign, had already seen the film a few times. That didn't dampen his excitement about seeing it one more time.

"You could sympathize with every character in this film," Hawkins said. "I'm always excited to see it."

The New Black ended with celebrating Maryland's marriage-equality victory. For Straight, a gay Black man, witnessing that victory—and the Land of Lincoln's victory—represents a beginning.

"This is a great way to see the work that has to be done," he said. "It really helped me."

The film had a profound impact on Pennese, an out lesbian. It almost seemed biographical.

"It makes me want to both shout and weep," she said. "It's about the soul and the heart of my life."

Discussion transition from reactions to the film to how predominantly White conservative evangelical churches co-opted the Black church's message. Panelists pondered how to combat it. Straight said coming out "changes the dialogue."

"There's never a time that we shouldn't be 'pro-who were,'" he said.

Straight stressed battling against the "choose to be gay" narrative is imperative. With that said, Cohen noted that locating allies is also important. Penesse said we shouldn't allow ourselves to be injured with our sword.

"We don't allow them to use the tools in our arsenal against us," she said, noting conservatives' focus on the family. "We always worked outside the box as far as the family was concerned."

Pennese, however, isn't planning to debate vehement opponents. The 57-year-old, who came out at age 18, shared one life lesson she views as valuable.

"I have long learned not to expend my energy where it is futile," Pennese said.

Hawkins somewhat echoed her sentiments. He said he'd rather deal with those who are evolved or have evolved. Now, that marriage equality has come to Illinois, he said, Black churches should now ponder one question: Where do we go from here? And, Hawkins said it'd be good to give anti-gay forces a heads up.

"Warn the oppressor [that] change is coming," he said. "It's going to happen."

Pennese said there's only one way to change attitudes and perspectives.

"People's minds change, when their hearts change," she said.

Effecting change involves challenge. Straight said, when challenging anti-gay rhetoric, using the opposition's language is best. McIntosh said reclaiming the Black church's heritage is necessary. Straight had a strong reaction.

"It's not reclaiming [the heritage]," he said, "because we never did it."

Straight noted the Black church rejected gay civil rights leader Bayard Rustin. Hawkins spoke to what drew Black people to the Black church.

"We started because there was no other place to go," he said, noting that there are "Open and Affirming" options now.

"Open and Affirming" is the United Church of Christ's movement, begun in 1985, in part, to welcome LGBT people into its houses of worship.

Hawkins said some Christians try to put themselves closer to God by putting others down. Penesse said others believe 'sharing" their God makes him or her less valuable. Moss gave his take on what's driving White evangelicals to oppose marriage equality.

"In order for the Right to maintain power, there has to be an 'other,'" he said.

Moss said they're searching for cracks in the Black community, in order to divide the community. He cited a film, "God Save Uganda," which chronicled White evangelicals' successful effort to "colonize" Uganda and get anti-gay legislation passed. Straight stressed the need for being alert and observant.

"We've got to know what's going on," he said. "If you've never been my friend before, why [are] you my friend now?"

The film series runs through May 3. For more information, visit .

This article shared 6214 times since Wed Apr 30, 2014
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

8th Annual Black Alphabet Film Festival on Nov. 5-7
The 8th Annual Black Alphabet Film Festival (BAFF) will take place Nov. 5-7 at the University of Chicago's Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St. One of the longest running Black ...

Gay News

Brittany Devon meets a 'Platonic Girlfriend'
Queer, genderfluid actor Brittany Devon has created a brand new project to explore with Platonic Girlfriend. It is the story of a relationship between straight woman Alice and a queer, nonbinary person named Dev. Devon stars ...

Gay News

THEATER Out actor Dan Butler to be in 'When Harry Met Rehab'
Don Clark, a Chicago-based film/theater producer as well as co-owner of the Chicago Magic Lounge, will present the world premiere of When Harry Met Rehab—a comedy that takes sobriety seriously and is based loosely on the ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Boy Meets Boy,' Jennifer Hudson, 'SVU,' tennis honor, ABBA
Ariztical Entertainment is releasing the German movie Boy Meets Boy on DVD and VOD on Oct. 26. According to a press release, the plot of the 70-minute movie is as follows: "Harry has been partying for ...

Gay News

Broken Nose Theatre presenting Black LGBTQ drama 'Kingdom' Oct. 4-24
Broken Nose Theatre is launching its tenth season with an audio adaptation of its hit 2018 play Kingdom, written by resident playwright Michael Allen Harris and directed by Manny Buckley. Kingdom features ensemble members RjW Mays ...

Gay News

SPORTS Blackhawks tickets available Sept. 14; Pride Night on April 12
The Chicago Blackhawks announced that single-game tickets for the team's 2021-22 regular season at the United Center, 1901 W. Madison St., will go on sale to the general public on Tuesday, Sept. 14 at 12 p.m. ...

Gay News

MOVES Talking about 'Everybody's Talking About Jamie'
The new movie Everybody's Talking About Jamie tells the inspiring story of Jamie New, a young drag artist who overcomes hardship and homophobia in Sheffield, England. Out actor Max Harwood stars as New, who gets by ...

Gay News

Survivor shares the story of trauma and thriving in 'Untold'
WARNING: This article contains material of a graphic nature. Gina M. Garcia is finally sharing her story of thriving after trauma in her new docu-drama biography, Untold: This is My Story, which premieres Sept. 6 at ...

Gay News

MUSIC Laura Jane Grace gives good advice to future trans and queer artists
For one hour and 48 minutes, Laura Jane Grace will take listeners on a journey with the new Audible project Black Me Out. This transgender musician covers a great deal of territory in the session, from ...

Gay News

United Center to require COVID-19 vaccination or negative test to attend all events
--From a press release - The United Center will require all event attendees, including fans at Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks games, to present proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to gain access to the arena. The decision ...

Gay News

Controversial rapper DaBaby meets with Black HIV advocates
On Aug. 31, Black leaders from nine HIV organizations across the country announced they held a virtual, private meeting with rapper Jonathan "DaBaby" Kirk to discuss HIV facts and share personal stories of living and thriving ...

Gay News

HIV AT 40: Global activist Phill Wilson talks Chicago, the '80s and vaccines
Phill Wilson is one of the best-known HIV/AIDS activists/educators around the globe. The Chicago native was the co-founder of the National Black Lesbian and Gay Leadership Forum and the National Task Force on AIDS Prevention. He ...

Gay News

MOVIES Fall films harvest famous names for LGBTQ+ stories
The film industry is featuring world-renowned names like Lady Gaga, Truman Capote and Tammy Faye on the big screen this fall season. Award-winning musicals, true-life stories and far-out fiction are all part of the fun in ...

Gay News

MOVIES 'On Broadway' to open Sept. 10 in Highland Park
As theatergoers prepare for the return of Broadway after an unprecedented absence of 18 months, Kino Lorber is releasing Academy Award nominee Oren Jacoby's documentary On Broadway. The tribute to one of the most vibrant ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Billy Porter, 'Death Drop,' Brandi Carlile, vintage films, Gaga
Billy Porter will direct a queer teen comedy feature titled To Be Real for Amazon Studios, which is being helmed by Gabrielle Union's I'll Have Another Productions, noted. Porter, who is currently working on his ...


Copyright © 2021 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.








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.