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LGBT Faith Leaders of African Descent Tell Their Stories

Wilhelmina Perry

A new Gallup survey found that  in the U.S., people of color are more likely to identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) than Caucasians. While only 3.2 percent of Caucasian-Americans say they are LGBT, 4.6 percent of African-Americans identify as LGBT along with 4 percent of Latinos and 4.3 percent of Asian-Americans.

Sharon J. Lettman-Hicks, Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), comments on the findings:

The findings in the Gallup survey reiterate that black LGBT people are Black, too, and LGBT people are not only black, but predominantly so.

The data tells us the truth that we see daily in our lives, families, churches and communities—a narrative quite different from the ones we witness in the media and in the political arena.

While it is easy to get lost in the rhetoric that pits “black” against “gay” or depicts the LGBT community as wealthy white gay men, failing to recognize that our black families are comprised of black LGBT parents, siblings, children, co-workers and friends is a failure to recognize the full Black narrative and our collective power. Radical right wing groups have been working overtime to “divide and conquer” the black vote during this critical election year, attempting to make marriage equality a “wedge issue.” But research continues to show that these groups are fighting a losing battle.

LGBT Faith Leaders of African Descent is an organization of LGBT and same gender loving people of African Descent and their allies formed to serve as ambassadors and educators to oppose discrimination, exclusion or intimidation of LGBT persons in society and particularly in church communities.

In one of their projects, faith leaders tell their stories. The project “grew out of our desire to see our faces, faces of color, on the many websites where same gender loving people are telling their stories. We wanted to offer balance and reality for all who seek assistance, guidance and hope as they struggle with being a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning individual.”

Two Stories from LGBT Faith Leaders of African Descent

Wilhelmina Perry

Wilhelmina Perry used her faith to see her through the loss of her partner of 30 years. Working through her grief, she rediscovered her faith and purpose for her life. Dr. Wilhelmina Perry is the convener of LGBT Faith Leaders of African Descent.

Pastor Joseph Tolton

Pastor Tolton is the National Minister of Global Justice of the Fellowship of Affirming Minitries. Elder Tolton also serves as the Pastor for Social Justice at Rivers@Rehoboth Church in Harlem.

Watch all the stories at LGBT Faith Leaders of African Descent.

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