Liberation is not free. It’s just that simple. Liberation costs blood, sweat, tears, and even human life. Liberation combined with disobedience cost Moses and the children of Israel 40 years of wondering in the wilderness. Liberation cost Jesus Christ his life and over 1,900 years later it cost Martin Luther King Jr. his as well.
Liberation is a continual struggle not a static state of being. Liberation is freedom and freedom gives birth to growth; spiritual, intellectual, and social. The liberation of Black gays/lesbians has a cost as well. There’s a very steep payment for the freedoms which many of us enjoy and scores of other black gays/lesbian desperately long for in their secret shame and dark denial.
The liberation of black gays/lesbians will cost many of us our reputations among the people we desire to please the most (i.e. family, friends, clergy, co-workers, neighbors). However, please remember that our reputation is based upon what man thinks of us, but our character is based solely upon what God thinks of us. Hallelujah for that fact!!!
The liberation of black gays/lesbians will cost some of us our strength, energy and resilience, but Jesus has already said “come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”
The liberation of black gay/lesbians will cost many of us our faith and confidence causing us to become fearful of what we could lose, but the word says that “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and of love, and of a sound mind.”
The liberation of black gays/lesbians will cost some of us our personal relationships as our sexuality will cause conflict, arguments, and confusion, but scripture tells us that “God is not the author of confusion but of peace.”
Hence, we should rise above the confusion and do what the Psalmist encourages us to do which is to “depart from evil, and do good; seek peace and to pursue it.” Confusion is of the Enemy, peace is of God.
Liberation is not free nor is it easy to obtain. The ruling majority will never voluntarily, happily, or freely give up its power (i.e. Pastor/Bishop, Big Mama, Deacon Self-Righteous and his lovely wife Deaconess Heaven-Bound Self-Righteous).
Remember that white slave owners did not willingly free their slaves. Instead they waged a bloody four year war to prevent from giving up their power. Remember that advocates of Jim Crowe laws did not willingly lobby legislators to strike down their own laws. Instead it took years of civil protests, unrest, violence and murder for old laws to be struck down and new ones to be enacted.
Spiritual and Social liberation of black gay/lesbians will take time, courage, faith, study, education, energy and of course, lots and lots of prayer!! It will require taking a stand when needed, speaking loudly when required, and rising above the controversy and past internal shame to proudly say that you’re Black, Gay/Lesbian and Christian; and created undeniably in God’s image.
The process of liberation will also require you to study the word for YOURSELF in order to fully understand and comprehend the spiritual meaning behind God’s words within the original linguistic context, cultural background and interpretative foundation upon which it boldly stands.
Liberation is a continual struggle not a static state of being. It can be gained and lost. It can be obtained and seized. It can be hard fought and then foolishly taken for granted until jeopardized again.
Liberation can be very elusive but never concrete. Liberation is here today and potentially gone tomorrow. Liberation is not for ostriches who hide their heads in the sand. It’s neither for those who hide behind “marriages of convenience” nor for those who preach sermons of hate while getting their same-gender groove on in the park.
Liberation is for those who choose to follow the path of Jesus and defy the norm. Liberation is for those who seek to be just like Jesus, but not for those who seek to be like the technical, Pharisaic zealots who prefer to memorize scripture instead of living it.
Liberation is for those who seek to spiritually grow in God leaning totally upon HIS understanding and never upon their own. Liberation is for those who are obedient and not for those who are disobedient. Liberation is for those who love God with all their heart, mind and soul.
Lastly, liberation is for you me and you, but most importantly liberation never has been and never will be free.
Herndon L. Davis is author of the book Black, Gay & Christian: An Inspirational Guidebook to Daily Living, published in 2004.