Not Quite Coming Out of the Closet

Last month, I wrote about Venus Magazine, which catered to African-American gays and lesbians. Then, its publisher Charlene Cothran found God and supposedly stopped being gay. As a result, Cothran changed the magazine’s mission to helping those who also wanted to become straight.

Apparently, some Christian media folks are upset this didn’t receive more coverage. Kelly Boggs, the editor of the Baptist Message, said this:

Imagine a prominent conservative Christian publicly announcing that he has renounced heterosexuality and will henceforth and forever be homosexual… Try as I might, I cannot, for the life of me, imagine the mainstream press failing to report such news. Instead, there would be a media firestorm.

Dan Savage writes at length this week about why Cothran didn’t receive more coverage. Essentially, he says, it’s because she never actually made the conversion. He cites an interview she did with freelance journalist Clay Cane. The full interview is here, but here are the excerpts that Savage uses:

So, what about you now really makes you heterosexual?

Charlene: Nothing… My prayer was not fix me, repair me and make me straight—that was not my prayer. My prayer was God make me whole in every sense of the word….

Are you saying that you are not heterosexual?

Charlene: I am saying that I am celibate right now. I’m not saying there won’t ever be a man in my life. You’re asking me about where I am and that’s all I can speak to. Today I am celibate… But… there is one thing I can say and one thing I will go on record and say—I will never be entangled with the bondage of lesbianism again…

Are you physically attracted to men?

Charlene: [Pauses.] I am physically attracted to the spirit of Christ right now…

Are you still attracted to women, or is that attraction completely gone?

Charlene: I would say after 29 years of walking in the sin of lesbianism that if the devil were going to try and tempt me that he’s probably not going to send a football player, if you will, because that didn’t do it for me. You follow me?

Yes, Charlene, we follow you. If the devil is going to tempt your ass, he’d better send Halle Berry and not William “Refrigerator” Perry. Because you’re not attracted to men. Except Jesus—and you’re not even attracted to the hot body (and blood?) of Christ, just to His “spirit.”

Um, Kelly Boggs? The mainstream media is ignoring Cothran because there’s nothing much to see here. Just another silly, insecure homo undone by the zap put on her head by her family (Cothran was disowned when she came out 20 years ago) and the faith in which she was raised. The celibate Cothran hasn’t been liberated from her homosexuality, just from the possibility of an intimate adult relationship. Getting right with her fictional bogeyman of a savior didn’t make Cothran straight. She’s still a ‘mo—a slow ‘mo, but a ‘mo.



[tags]atheist, atheism, Venus Magazine, African-American, gay, lesbian, Charlene Cothran, God, Kelly Boggs, Baptist Message, Christian, homosexual, Dan Savage, Clay Cane, Christ, Halle Berry, William “Refrigerator” Perry[/tags]

  • HappyNat

    Charlene: [Pauses.] I am physically attracted to the spirit of Christ right now…

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! that is perfect . . . .

  • http://inthenuts.blogspot.com King Aardvark

    There’s more waffling from Cothran there than in a box of Eggos.

    So is the magazine still going to be about helping homosexual people become straight? If Cothran can’t do it and doesn’t know how, what’s the actual content of the mag going to be? “Homosexuality is a SIN! You’re all SINNERS! Guilt, guilt, guilt, guilt, guilt. What? You say you can’t find the opposite sex attractive? Ok, um, just become celebate now.” I don’t imagine that being a very popular magazine.

  • Prokop

    Are you still attracted to women, or is that attraction completely gone?

    Charlene: I would say after 29 years of walking in the sin of lesbianism that if the devil were going to try and tempt me that he’s probably not going to send a football player, if you will, because that didn’t do it for me. You follow me?

    That sounds more like a bad breakup tempered with a slight spate of religion than a genuine conversion.

  • Richard Wade

    It is much easier to stifle or deny one’s sexuality than it is to re-orient it. Many people who are conflicted about their sexual orientation as well as penalized socially for it will try this, neglecting an important part of their humanity in order to avoid the pain of the bigotry they have internalized.

    Cothran is trying to live the half life of a celibate, just as a nun or monk might. To claim that she is re-oriented rather than merely supressed is not credible. Her answers are full of evasion and equivocation, like a politician faced with pointed questions answering that he believes in Mom, apple pie and the American flag.

    If this is going to be the main message of her magazine it won’t last another year.

  • http://mollishka.blogspot.com mollishka

    Sounds like this is a big fat case of one side defining “homosexuality” to mean the act of same-gendered sex and the other side definiing it to mean same-gendered attraction.

  • Logos

    Dang, Hemant how did you beat me to this one?

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Hemant

    Dang, Hemant how did you beat me to this one?

    I’m just that fast :)

  • Pingback: Friendly Atheist » If You Want to Become Straight, Edit a Gay Magazine


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