Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


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



by Max Smith

This article shared 2529 times since Fri Sep 1, 2006
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

In May 1986, 12 men met at the home of art therapist Clifford Rawlins to talk. The group didn't have a name, any type of organization or an agenda, but they knew they wanted to talk. What they talked about that Sunday ranged from the isolation they faced as Black gay men to the alarming number of brothers dying of AIDS, to the lack of institutions available to help them cope.

Philadelphia writer Michael A. Oatis recorded this formation of what was to become ADODI in a 1987 article, A Voice in Our Wilderness, in BLACK/OUT, a journal published quarterly at that time by The National Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays. Luckily, a copy of that article was available and was distributed to about 75 men aged 21 to 81 who attended the ADODI's 20th anniversary at Pearlstone Retreat and Conference Center in Reisterstown, Md., Aug. 2-6.

The article went on to say Rawlins realized that he was really onto something greater. He realized, too, that he had really only barely scratched the surface of a deeply felt need of these men to relate their experiences in an attempt to cope, to find community and, ultimately, to rise above their individual problems. Rawlins decided to continue the meetings to give that need the chance for expression and satisfaction.

From that meeting the word spread, and the idea grew in Rawlins' mind. Over the course of the summer, attendance varied, but by October of 1986 there were at least 15 men coming by the house every Sunday. Sometimes the meetings were casual and relaxed as we exchanged anecdotes about the b-boys or the clubs. However, the mood was somber or even tearful while someone was regretting the missed opportunity to say 'goodbye' to a dying friend or to say 'I love you' to a future one.

In late October, nine members of the Philadelphia group participated in a weekend retreat with a similar group of men from New York City in upstate New York. It was at this retreat that the word 'ADODI' was first used in connection with the group. It came up in a group discussion involving our socialization as gay men. One person had taken exception to being identified as 'gay.' He felt that 'gay' described a lifestyle that he no longer lived or condoned, and wanted some other descriptive term for himself. Another participant, well-read in African history and culture, suggested the word ADODI.

For the Philadelphia group, this was a pivotal moment. They had been searching for an appropriate name, and now it looked as if they'd found it. It was further explained that ADODI was actually a Portuguese word derived from the Yoruba language of West Africa that means 'homosexual Black men.' Moreover, it had a long spiritual heritage and tradition as well, being associated with the Santeria religion and the goddess Yemaya. [ NOTE: In 1986 ADODI Philadelphia member Joseph Beam edited and published A Black Gay Anthology: In The Life. Red Bone Press published a 20th-anniversary re-release of that book in August. ]

From that point, the Philadelphia group, now known as ADODI, continued to grow and prosper under the influence of Rawlins and five others who formed a core group. They assumed the responsibility of guiding the group's course; selecting material for group discussions; scheduling workshops and speakers; and promoting the group's interest to the LGBT community. By January 1987, membership doubled and included men from New Jersey and Delaware. The Metropolitan Community Church in Philadelphia awarded Rawlins the Humanitarian of the Year award for 1987 and ADODI was nominated for an award by the local gay press.

During the first 10 years of ADODI, two similar groups existed in Chicago. One—which had no name—was formed by a group of friends at Fosters, a bar that existed on North Broadway in the mid-'80s; it was led by the late Chester Lyles. The other was called Group Dialogue, and met in the homes of members, who lived mainly on the South Side; it had a dinner-and-discussion format. Individuals from both Chicago groups attended subsequent annual ADODI retreats. By 1994, they and other retreat participants set up ADODI chapters in Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C.

In 2006, ADODI celebrates 20 years of coming together to build community and carrying the spirit of community wherever we go. We institute standards of behavior that allow us to continue to live in community. In society, they are called laws; in ADODI, we call them principles. The six principles of ADODI have evolved over the years, been clarified and been updated. The original intent behind them has remained constant—we apply the principles to remain committed to the process of our mutual growth. Regardless of whether we are in or out of the closet or whether we are politically active or active in social clubs, we must care about the physical, spiritual and emotional well-being of ourselves and others in order to continue to live, love and, possibly, open our minds to seeing things through a different lens.

The six principles of ADODI are:

1. Spiritual guidance: We seek alignment with the divine energy that unites and centers all our spirits at the beginning and closing of all we do. This principle supports our commitment to integrate spirit and genuine love in all of our actions. It also reminds us to respect and recognize diverse communication styles while preserving a clear sense of purpose.

2. Honesty, openness and clarity: We stand personally responsible for communicating thoughts and feelings in a sincere and concise manner. We clearly and fully articulate our ideas, suggestions, insights and needs, while being mindful of our body language. This principle supports our commitment to genuine connection, authentic intimacy and community.

3. Sensitivity to feelings: We utilize active listening as a means of respect, acknowledgement and validation of the feelings or viewpoints expressed and implied by our brothers, whether or not we agree with them. This principle supports our commitment to an affirming and loving spiritual community.

4. Carefronting: We reach out to support and assist each other in a caring and effective manner. When coming face to face with each other around sensitive and challenging issues, we always address each other from a place of love and openness to facilitate healing and intimacy, as opposed to aggression and antagonism, which lead to hurt and distance. This principle supports our commitment to a community of healing, empowerment and mutual support.

5. Resolution: We take collective care, within the bounds of all we do, to allow space for individual members to achieve closure on matters discussed while honoring the process and time constraints. If necessary, we can establish a specified time and setting where unresolved matters can be further explored. This principle supports our commitment to a welcoming and affirming community.

6. The Five A's—Acknowledge, Appreciate, Affirm, Accept and Aché: We use the five A's as ideal dynamics when responding to each other. Aché is a term of closure essentially meaning 'amen.'

ADODI Chicago meets the first Saturday of each month at 333 S. State at 2 p.m.

Comments? Concerns? E-mail .

This article shared 2529 times since Fri Sep 1, 2006
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Gay News

Bishops approve paper that falls short of denying Communion to pro-choice Biden 2021-11-18
--From a press release - On Nov. 17, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted overwhelmingly to approve a document that fell short of refusing Holy Communion to President Joe Biden or others who support abortion rights—something conservatives in the Church ...

Gay News

Hell in a Handbag Productions to present Christmas Dearest 2021-11-12
--From a press release - Book & Lyrics David Cerda Music by David Cerda and Scott Lamberty. Directed by Derek Van Barham. Nov. 27 — Dec. 31, 2021 at Ebenezer Lutheran Churchz CHICAGO (November 11, 2021) — Hell in a Handbag ...

Gay News

Believe Out Loud multi-faith statement decries Texas' anti trans youth law 2021-11-02
--From a press release - DALLAS, Texas (Nov. 2, 2021) — A national coalition of 37 organizations and more than 171 individuals have endorsed a multi-faith statement of solidarity with transgender children in Texas, after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Foster-parent case, stars speak out, Texas youth, 'Queer Eye,' HIV 2021-10-17
- Americans United for Separation of Church and State and Lambda Legal, together with the law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), along ...

Gay News

OP-ED The Black church was one of R. Kelly's enablers 2021-10-13
- The long-awaited justice for R. Kelly's survivors finally came last month when a New York federal jury found him guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking. For nearly 30 years, underage Black girls and their families have ...

Gay News

Urban Village Church hosting drag worship service, Pride prom Oct. 10 2021-10-04
- On Sunday, Oct. 10, Urban Village Church (UVC) will host a drag worship service at its Wicker Park site, 1012 N. Noble St. Worship begins at 10:30 a.m. (CST) with performances from local drag artists, including ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Thirteen Days 2021-09-29
- Thirteen Days. adapted by Brian Pastor from the book by Robert F. Kennedy At: City Lit Theatre at Edgewater Presbyterian Church, 1030 West Bryn Mawr Ave., Tickets: $27-$32. Runs through: Oct. 24 Palace Intrigue has been ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Carl Bean dies, LGBT History Month, military events, Dykes on Bikes 2021-09-19
- Archbishop Carl Bean—an openly gay former Motown singer, longtime AIDS activist and leader in the LGBTQ church movement—died at age 77, The New York Daily News reported. In a statement entitled "The Giant Sleeps," the Unity ...

Gay News

Former bishop who pushed for LGBTQ+ inclusion dies at 90 2021-09-19
- Retired Newark Bishop John Shelby Spong—a best-selling author and cleric known for his progressive theology and his support of women and LGBTQ+ clergy in The Episcopal Church—has died at age 90, Episcopal News Service reported. "It ...

Gay News

Affirming Powerhouse Church establishes permanent home in Chicago 2021-09-18
- Powerhouse Church has come a long way in a decade. Out Pastor Keith McQueen recently told Windy City Times about the church's history. "We actually started in Indianapolis in 2012, and after a series of supernatural ...

Gay News

Pope again refuses to bless same-sex marriages 2021-09-18
- Pope Francis told reporters recently on a return flight from Hungary that the Catholic Church is unable to bless same-sex marriages because marriage is a divine sacrament between a man and a woman, per The Advocate. ...

Gay News

Catholic theologians urge protections for LGBTQ+ people 2021-09-14
- More than 750 of the nation's leading Catholic theologians, church leaders, scholars, educators and writers have joined New Ways Ministry in voicing support for nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people, according to a New Ways press release. ...

Gay News

Wisconsin priest resigns over allegations of 'improper behavior' 2021-07-21
- Citing allegations of "possible improper behavior," the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) announced the resignation of its top administrative official: Monsignor Jeffrey Burrill, who previously served in Wisconsin, the ...

Gay News

WORLD Historic ruling, Pope Francis, photo contest, Methodist Church 2021-07-04
- In a first-of-its-kind decision in Latin America, The Inter-American Court of Human Rights found the Honduran state guilty of the extrajudicial execution of transgender activist Vicky Hernandez, which occurred June 28-29, 2009, according to The Washington ...

Gay News

NCLR campaign to highlight LGBTQ-welcoming faith-based service providers 2021-06-16
--From a press release - SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Today, the National Center for Lesbian Rights launched the "We Serve with Love" campaign, which seeks to demonstrate that faith-based service organizations and programs are ready to serve low-income LGBTQ people and ...


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.