Assassination by Tongue:
A Black Gay/Lesbian Self-Defense Mechanism
It has the power to wound yet the capacity to heal. It has the power
to kill but the authority to resurrect. It is the most powerful
weapon used to tear down a child of God yet the most influential tool
used to uplift him, enabling him to fly. It is the human tongue, the
pink tornado; a curse for many and a blessing for others.
The Bible repeatedly speaks to the misuse of our tongues and its
unruly nature. These scriptures speak volumes but unfortunately are
often overlooked by as our uncontrollably pink tornados spins out of
control into the lives of many.
In James 3:8 the tongue is described as an "unruly evil, full of
deadly poison" and in the 10th verse it states that "out of the same
mouth proceedth blessing and cursing." In James 1:26, it describes
that a man who "seem to be religious and bridelth not his tongue but
deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is in vain."
In other words, no matter how much you shout hallelujah in church and
can memorize and quote scripture; if you cannot control your tongue,
everything that about your praise and worship is false, phony, and in
vain, all because of that tiny member (James 3:5) called the tongue.
We already know that black folks can destroy and decimate one another
with our critical tongue far quicker and more intense than our racist
enemies. The same holds true for the black gay/lesbian community as
well. As a minority of a minority, we often call each other
everything under the sun but a child of God.
In fact some of us take great pride and joy in our abilities
to "read" people; hence the term snap finger queen comes into play.
There are many of us who use our tongues to pull down each other as
if we were crabs in a pot of scalding water.
Consequently, as black gay/lesbian Christians, are we truly
representing Christ with our tongues? Can Christ truly be seen in us
and shine through us behind the flapping of our pink tongues?
Is it really necessary for gay brothers to refer to one other
as "bitches and hoes??" Is it really necessary to judge and ridicule
another brother because of the smallness of his penis? Is it really
necessary to place negative labels upon someone who is a bottom,
older in age or even physically unattractive by calling him a "slut,
a troll, or a whore?"
Did Jesus use similar words to the woman at the well who had been
married five times and was currently living with another man who
wasn't her husband (John 4:11-29)? Did Jesus call her names? Did he
call her a "whore?" Did Jesus ridicule her by telling her she can't
keep her legs closed? No, he did not. Jesus offered water that
would give her everlasting life.
So is it really necessary to refer to a masculine lesbian as being
a "bulldager or a pit bull" and an effeminate gay man as a "punk,
queen or a faggot??" Must we also refer to an overweight gay man as
either a "cub or chub" and a person who's smaller than he who dates
him as a "cub or chub chaser?" Even further, if a gay man is super-
committed to church activity or sings in the church choir, why is he
labeled as a "church queen??"
Why do we also viciously attack those who interracially date,
referring to them as "snow or vanilla queens??" These are human
beings we're speaking about, spiritual beings who were created in
God's image (Genesis 1:27) as a "workmanship created in Christ Jesus
unto good works, which God hath before ordained(Ephesians 2:10)."
So when we refer to one another other as bitches, sluts, and whores,
we are actually saying that what God has created and ordained in his
image and in Christ is whorish or sluttish. In fact, we absolutely
refuse to see the Jesus in that person. All we see is what we want to
label them as being.
Sadly, we often forget that as gays/lesbians that the majority of
society refuses to see the Jesus in us as well. They absolutely
refuse to see what God has ordained in and for our lives too.
Instead all they desire to see is what we do in the bedroom and thus
view us only as debased sexual deviants.
Do any of the words we use to label one another reflect Christ? Do
they uplift and heal?? Do they encourage and inspire?? Do they
bridge the gap of understanding between each other?? The answer of
course is no!!
A typical excuse used by some is that "when I call you a bitch or a
hoe, I really mean it as a term of endearment. I'm only playing, I
really don't mean it." Well words are sharper than any sword can
be. If you really are a friend, why do you take the risk of hurting
another and then smiling in their face? Did Jesus do that?? No he
did not, so why do you?
So what's the cause??
What's behind the acid tongue of the black gay/lesbian community?
What are the root causes behind our vicious labeling, stereotyping
and irresponsible tongues? Well, there are three major reasons:
1. From childhood we quickly learned how to physically and verbally
defend ourselves from bullies who taunted us for being everything
from fat, skinny, poor, ugly to gay/lesbian.
There are so many of us who had to constantly fight our way out of
childhood, that we learned how to verbally attack before being
attacked ourselves. In fact we either anticipated or reacted so
viciously with our tongues that it became a self-defense mechanism in
order to shut-down, embarrass, and hurt our attackers. We learned how
to say hurtful things with such a convincing facial expression and
tone of voice that we too became bullies in our own right.
Sadly, far too many of us have taken on the same self-defense
mentality well into our adulthood and inflict the same type of pain
we felt as children onto others. There's an old saying that states
that "hurting people hurt other people." The wounded will wound
other people. Mostly this happens unintentionally and without any
2. Another reason why many in the black gay/lesbian community have
trouble with their unbridled tongues is a direct result of
homophobia. There are far too many who struggle with their
sexuality. They do not have the peace or joy that others have found
through their spiritual reconciliation.
When we don't feel secure with ourselves, we lash out at others. We
also lash out at the "church queens" who are forever in church. We
lash out at every person who seemingly has reconciliation or is
happier living their gay/lesbian lives. In actuality, we want what
they have, but inwardly it still feels wrong to us. We needlessly
toil and suffer because we don't feel whole, complete and truly
accepted before God.
Finally, we often lash out at those who remind us of ourselves,
because we hate to see the truth as it stands before us in the mirror
or as a reflection from somebody else. Homophobia or the simply put,
fear is a spirit of the Enemy. It is not of God (2 Timothy: 1:7).
So what's the solution??
1. The solution is humble prayer, mediation, and study. We must ask
God for his guidance in controlling our tongues, our emotions, and
tempers as they are reflected in what we say with our tongues.
We must also pray for a healing. Remember that "hurting people will
hurt other people." We must heal our past wounds and hurts to ensure
that only a scar remains and not the infection or the pain.
Jesus is the healing ointment. He provides the path and direction
for us to follow, but we must yield, bend, given in, and submit our
lives, our hearts, but most of all our tongues to transformation.
It will not happen overnight, but it can happen if you desire for it
to happen. You must want the change to occur and seek it out for it
to happen. We must let go and let God. Let go of bitterness, un-
forgiveness, pain, and the tears of yesteryear to fall forward in
Finally we must remember that although the tongue is a "fire, a world
of iniquity…. that defileth the whole body and setteth on fire the
course of nature; (James 3:6)", we as Christians have power to
control it!! That's wonderful news and its news that we all need to
share with one another!
L. Davis is author of "Black, Gay & Christian" and
reached at http://blackgaychristian.com
Copyright © by the author
All Rights Reserved
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