“Gospel music is gay music”, says lesbian Bishop Yvette Flunder. She thinks that 90 per cent of gospel performers have been or are gay.

Although these are only opinions, history surprisingly backs her up.

 

 

 

 

  • Gospel singer/preacher, Alex Bradford was openly gay. His song “I was born this way” was the first gay liberation dance club hit.

Gospel singer Alex Bradford's SP cover for "Too Close to Heaven"

  • After the death of the “King of gospel”, Reverend James Cleveland, stories emerged of his gay sexual trysts and his so-called “homosexual choir”. It is rumoured that his 1991 death was caused by AIDS and not heart failure like it was originally reported.

The "King of gospel", Rev Cleveland James

  • Little Richard admitted to having homosexual affairs in his past, but stopped after he became a Christian. The self-proclaimed “omnisexual” claimed that homosexuality was “contagious”.
Rock and roll star turned evangelist turned rock and roll star turned evangelist and rock and roll star, Little Richard

Rock and roll star turned evangelist, turned rock and roll star turned evangelist and rock and roll star, Little Richard

  • Gospel music singer, Donnie McClurkin was raped at a young age by his uncle and his uncle’s son. After struggling with the “curse” of homosexuality Donnie McClurkin is now “saved and sanctified”.

The "ex-gay", saved and sanctified Donnie McClurkin

A more recent and perhaps more flamboyant example is former gospel singer Tonéx (pronounced Toe-Nay) now repackaged as B Slade. Tonéx was to gospel music what Lady Gaga is to pop. His music was a fusion of pop, jazz, funk, R’n’B, rock, electro- you name it he used it. He achieved critical acclamation winning six Stellar awards, one GMA award and was nominated for two Grammys.

The Lady Gaga of gospel music, Tonéx

Through the span of his successful 14 year gospel career his sexuality was questioned because of his flamboyant dress sense and music style. He added fuel to the fire when he released the 2007 expletive-laden song The Naked Truth. Bear in mind that he was still a gospel artist at this point have a look at some of his lyrics:
But now I stand with both my middle fingers, stuck right up.
Yup, I did it, I made it, The genius, the faggot.
The weirdo, the homo, the hobo, the magnet.
cause’ I keep drawing your ass back, you want to see more.
Give me three years, and I’ll spark a revival bigger then William J. Seymour. Baptizing all the people that your ass can’t reach.
Use my hands to grab a basin, and wash my enemies feet.
Don’t judge a tree, by its fruit, you gotta go to the root.
There’s nothing y’all can say to me, it’s to late get out, you just a ?????.
Your city is like the smog in L.A. I’m not Gay, I’m a real man, come see me, I’m Tonex nigga.
(And I’m the naked truth x2)
Come see me money.
I already done, lost everything, I already lost everything, so I’m crazy.
That’s right, That’s right, I got your faggot. I got your bitch.
I got your rumors, I got your switch.
It’s that preacher that touched me when I was fucking six.
Did you know that?

Album cover "The Naked Truth"

In the same song he admitted that “Jesus Christ was the light” and that he had scripture Acts 2:38 tattooed to his arm. Suffice to say this song caused huge controversy within the gospel industry but in an attempt to save his gospel  career Tonéx wrote an apology letter on his Myspace page for the song. In in it he said:

This was not meant to bring a reproach , but it was meant to bring closure to one of the darkest chapters of my life from whence I came out alive, thank God.

I would like to publically apologize for any action deed or word that may have caused breach, embarrassment, or shame to the legacy of our great organization P.A.W. and to any other Denominations that have done their best to support me even if they didn’t understand me.

I justify nothing, but I repent for anything that may have caused some to stumble. Indeed, I did tell the “Naked” truth but the bible also does state that “all things are lawful but not expedient.”

The world experienced my purging, my therapy session and the release of puss, vomit, anger, and rage that all humans have the propensity to demonstrate — I do not ask a pardon for the Sin, only for the anger and discouragement and resentment that came from years of misappropriated slander toward myself and my family.In other words, things just honestly came to a head and busted.

In an interview on The Lexi Show in 2009, Tonéx admitted to being “attracted to men”. Still under his gospel stage name he talked about growing up in a strict denomination of Christianity, the PAW sect. According to Tonéx women wore skirts down to the floor, wore no make-up and did not show the neck. But he definitely broke out of those boundaries with some of the looks he sported during his career.

This interview to me was the beginning of the end of his gospel career. A year after he retired Tonéx repackaged himself as secular artist B Slade. He said that his music still had “spirituality” in it but is nowhere near the levels that he went to during his early career.

This is clearly a man who has been trying to break free all his life. From a young age he knew he was gay, but he insists that him being molested did not have any part to play in his choice. But he kept silent and even got married. His marriage to Yvette Williams lasted a few years and he said he enjoyed having sex with her. claiming the reason they stayed together for so many years was because they had a “great sex life”.

Tonéx and ex-wife Yvette Williams

 

B Slade told essence.com that the difference between him and Tonéx is that B Slade is “recording activist” and Tonéx is a “recording artist”. Since leaving the gospel industry he admits to having more freedom and does not rule out the option of marrying as a gay man.

In an article for the New Yorker Kalefa Sanneh wrote, “Gospel music has offered generations of same-gender-loving singers a place to call home, in exchange for their obedience, or their silence.”

Restrictions and secrecy seems to be a common theme throughout the lives of these gospel artists. Many grew up in churches under strict rules but full of scandal, is it any wonder why so many of them break out to such extremes? Many associate the church with hypocrisy, all these men sang one thing but behind closed doors it was another story. At least Tonéx tried to reconcile his sexuality with his faith, but was heavily criticised for doing so which only succeeded in driving him away.

This is not a question of whether you can be Christian and gay, but this is more a question of how we allow people to be themselves so there is no need to run away from the church. Clearly homosexuality is present in the church but what shouldn’t be is homophobia. People struggle with all sorts but as Tonéx says, “The church has completely faggotised anybody who is gay, sends them to hell over the pulpit and the church literally screams hooray. Yet we celebrate the pastor who has the clean record and the clean look but yet he’s still doing the same thing same gender-loving people are doing but yet he has ‘the look’.”

He believes that God loves everybody and that there are “Holy Ghost filled, fire baptised gay people”.  As controversial as his statement is I agree with him, everyone has skeletons in their closet yet Jesus came for everyone regardless of what they did, are doing or will do. John 8:7 [NIV] says “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone…” The act, to you, may or may not be wrong but Jesus still loves that person in the same way He loves the  heterosexual church-goer. Let’s not demonise people but imitate the love and grace that God shows each and everyone of us everyday.

Here’s the controversial interview:

 

 

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3 Responses

  1. FAB to be Black: Gay, Proud and Christian? -FAB BLOG | All Adult News

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  2. FAB to be Black: Gay, Proud and Christian? -FAB BLOG | All Adult News

    […] 6, 2011. Gospel music is gay music, says lesbian Bishop Yvette Flunder. She thinks that 90 per cent Full news story This entry was posted in Top Adult News and tagged black gallery gay man, black gay man picture, […]

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  3. Eze Brooks

    The caption above Alex Bradford’s picture should be corrected. Professor Alex Bradford never openly proclaimed to be gay. He did not record “I Was Born This Way”. Archbishop Carl Bean recorded “I Was Born This Way”.

    Reply

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