Presented by Union Theological Seminary and A Mile In My Shoes
in collaboration with NYC Black Pride, Harlem Pride, Gay Men of African Descent, LGBT Faith Leaders of African Descent,
Rivers at Rehoboth, Union’s Office of the President, Office of Student Life, and Fierce – the Caucus for Queer People of Color
Reception to follow in the Social Hall.
PLEASE NOTE: Due to tremendous interest in this event, registration is now closed.
Panel Discussion Moderator:
Dr. Josef Sorett, Assistant Professor of Religion & African-American Studies, Columbia University
Panel Discussion Panelists:
- Edgar Rivera Colon, PhD, Praxis/Kairos Community Research & Mobilization Consultants
- Bishop Yvette Flunder, MDiv, DMin; City of Refuge (The Fellowship)
- Rev. Melvin Miller, MDiv Student, Union; Fort Washington Collegiate Church
- Frank Leon Roberts, NYU PhD Candidate & Adjunct Professor at NYU, The New School & Hunter College
- Germono Toussaint, Founder/Artistic Director of A Mile In My Shoes, Inc.
- Bali White, MSW; PhD Student, Howard University; HIV Prevention Coordinator at Hetrick-Martin Institute
Members of Actors Equity:
- André De Shields
- Count Stovall
- Harriett D. Foy
- Clinton Roane
- Paul Perroni
- Dr. Gary Dorrien, Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics, Union Theological Seminary
- Rev. Dr. Eboni Marshall Turman, ’05, ‘10, Visiting Professor of Christian Social Ethics, Hood Theological Seminary
The Anointed, written by Germono Toussaint engages a discourse about sexuality, spirituality and theology in the Black church. It was inspired by interviews with prominent same gender-loving, GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender) Black church leaders, namely: Bishop Yvette Flunder, Bishop Wyatt Greenlee, Rev. Kevin Taylor, Pastor Joseph Tolton, and Marques Moore. Moore is a survivor of several ex-gay ministries (“ministries that were created to restore GLBT persons trapped in sexual and relational sin”).
The Anointed is part of a larger thesis project of Michael Roberson examining systemic homophobia in the Black church stemming from religious dogma that institutionalizes homophobia in Black communities.
Roberson’s thesis asserts that homophobic messages, spewing from the Black pulpit leave indelible marks of pain, misery and damage on the collective soul, spirit and material bodies of the Black GLBT community, and directly impact the health disparities of this community, particularly, Black gay men. The question is: how are Black gay men expected to protect their lives when they have been told by the Black church and community at large that they are an abomination unto God?
This event will attempt to engage this question by bringing heightened awareness of the historical trauma inflicted on Black GLBT individuals by the homophobic hegemony intrinsic in Black church experience and to encourage enlightened conversation that will advance healing for Black GLBT people and within the Black community.