Videos of the keynote speakers from the 2009 Anti-Heterosexism Conference are now available on the Soulforce website. Each segment is about 50 minutes long. I especially recommend Rev. Deborah Johnson’s sermon.
Here’s another clip (10 minutes) of her speaking at the 2007 Black Church Summit sponsored by the National Black Justice Coalition, a group that was also a co-sponsor of the Anti-Heterosexism Conference. She’s calling on the black church to use its moral authority on behalf of sexual minorities. Too often, she says, the church does the opposite. “There are no words to say what it does to the soul of a person to tell them they are an abomination in the eyes of God…At least as slaves we had a purpose in the universe, but they’re telling us that there’s not even a place for gay people…in God’s universe.” Later she asks, “Why do you have to sacrifice your authenticity, your integrity, the pure integration of your mind, body, and soul…for fear of excommunication from the church?”
That’s right, Rev. Deborah. It’s not just about sex. It’s about truth.
In the second half of this video, Rev. Dr. Michael Eric Dyson talks about the “symbolic queering” of black sexuality by the dominant white culture. The black community ought to be able to identify with sexual minorities because white culture has always taken a fearful and prurient interest in black heterosexuality as “other”. “Hating gay people is hating ourselves as black people.”