Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08



by Max Smith

This article shared 2595 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 2595 times since Fri Sep 1, 2006
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Gay News

'The Black Church and the LGBTQ+ Community' panel on July 7 2022-07-03
- The Pride in the Pews event "'Don't Ask, Don't Tell': The Black Church and the LGBTQ+ Community" will take place Thursday, July 7, 5:30-7 p.m., at First Presbyterian Church of Chicago, 6400 S. Kimbark Ave. The ...

Gay News

Controversial pastor Rev. James Meeks announces retirement 2022-06-20
- Salem Baptist Church Senior Pastor Rev. James Meeks announced he is retiring next January. The church has more than 9,000 members, according to its website. The vision statement is that Salem is "a multi-generational church focused ...

Gay News

Pride Flag arsons raise alarm, church leaders say 2022-06-19
-- From a Metropolitan Community Church press release - The intentional burning of two LGBT Pride flags in Baltimore earlier this week resulted in three people being seriously injured and significant damage to multiple homes, and leaders of the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) are expressing ...

Gay News

Catholic publisher cancels Chicago theologian's 'Queer God de Amor' book 2022-06-13
- On June 9, New Ways Ministry received the following statement by Miguel Diaz, a former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See and the John Courtney Murray, S.J., University Chair in Public Service at Loyola University Chicago. ...

Gay News

VIEWPOINT: LETTERS Pride: Remembering who we are 2022-05-30
- The LGBTQAI community echoes the mantra of secular society: Happiness comes from sex, money and power. Life is too busy with work and leisure to have time for religion and/or values. During this period of Pride ...

Gay News

Church of Scotland votes to allow same-sex marriages 2022-05-28
- The Church of Scotland has voted to allow same-sex marriages after recent warnings that its historical opposition had increased the church's decline toward irrelevance, The Guardian reported. The church's general assembly voted 274-136 to allow it ...

Gay News

VIEWS Another 'Handmaid's Tale,' or sex and the supreme Catholics 2022-05-24
- Amy Vivian Coney Barrett was confirmed as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court by the U.S. Senate on Oct. 26, 2020. Barrett is only the fifth woman ever to serve on the Court. She is also the sixth Catholic ...

Gay News

Report: Southern Baptist Convention leaders mishandled allegations of sexual abuse 2022-05-23
- A bombshell report stated that leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) mishandled allegations of sexual abuse, intimidated victims and their advocates, and resisted attempts at reform over the course ...

Gay News

NATIONAL New York synod, Danica Roem, legal action, Pride news, PFLAG 2022-05-15
- The Metropolitan New York Synod (MNYS), the regional body of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, announced Christopher Vergara as its newly elected vice president, according to a press release. Vergara is the first openly gay ...

Gay News

LGBTQ Religious Archives Network holds 'AIDS, Activism and American Christianity' webinar 2022-05-12
- LGBTQ Religious Archives Network (LGBTQ-RAN) held an "AIDS, Activism and American Christianity: A Conversation" virtual webinar on May 5. The event focused on Christian activism during the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s and ...

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

LGBTQ Catholic resource Outreach launches 2022-05-02
- Outreach—a new website designed to help LGBTQ Catholics, their families and friends, and those who minister to them in the church—has launched. Outreach will publish news stories and essays from around the world; offer a resource ...

Gay News

United Methodist Church splitting over LGBTQ acceptance 2022-05-02
- Theologically conservative Methodists have broken away from the United Methodist Church (UMC) over LGBTQ acceptance. According to a item, the breakaway denomination, called the Global Methodist Church, formed because ...

Gay News

Chicago Archdiocese settles with sex-abuse accusers 2022-04-27
- A settlement has been reached between the Archdiocese of Chicago and five people who accused five separate priests of sexual abuse—including a high-profile priest who passed away in 2019, ABC ...

Gay News

WORLD Conference canceled, Catholic event, India bills, Gertrude Stein 2022-04-10
- The United Kingdom canceled its first-ever international LGBTQ+ conference after a boycott by more than 100 organizations, the BBC reported. "Safe To Be Me" was scheduled to take place in London in June to promote LGBTQ+ ...


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.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
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     
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.