Thursday, March 6, 2008

"Tearing Down Walls/Building Up Hope"

"Unfinished World/Unfinished Calling"
"Tearing Down Walls/Building Up Hope"

By The Reverend Rowland Jide Macaulay

“It is commonly said in Africa, “It is better to have the corpse of my child, than for me to accept that my child is gay”. As far as Africans are concerned, homosexuality is an abuse of traditional values.

Homosexuality is seen as a sign of western sexual corruption and immorality. Some African families believe that homosexuality is a result of occult activity and also that it is a curable disability”

– Reverend Rowland Jide Macaulay.

I am Rev Rowland Jide Macaulay, I was ordained minister of the gospel in 1998, a Christian Theologian, a dynamic and an inspirational speaker, poet, pastor and preacher, the author of “Poetry Inspired” published 2001 the UK, Pocket Devotional for LGBT Christians, holds a degree in law and masters degree in theology. Became a qualified clergy with the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches in July 2005, Founding Pastor of House Of Rainbow, Lagos Nigeria..
Since 1994, after a gruesome separation and painful divorce from my ex-wife, my experience of coming out as a gay man has been a stage by stage journey. I want to share my journey with homosexual men and women, I want parents, friends, families of homosexual and heterosexual people to know that, to my knowledge no one turns gay in a world that is dangerously homophobic, more painfully is that many homosexual persons suffer homophobia from their own family members, who claimed unconditional love until the moment they where informed of our sexual orientation, many gays and lesbians, often suffer alone.

I come from a family who based our outlook on life on a strict Christian upbringing. My father is a leading theologian, expert of the bible and the Principal of a leading Bible University in Nigeria, we continue to find ways to reconcile the bitterness around my coming out as gay and the same goes for my siblings. My mother who is separated from my father continues to be a loving mother and a peacemaker.

I no longer apologise for being openly gay, I want my radical message of love and liberation to reach all people, including countries with a complicated culture, custom and society such as Nigeria, Jamaica, Cameroon, Guyana etc.

I have encountered people that feel that they are better than me, in religious and secular environments, they are first to judge and condemn. If they must judge me, they should judge me for whom I hate, not for whom I love, and I hate no one. I leave the judgment to God, the Great I Am, the wonderful counsellor, the prince of peace, the lily of the valley, the Alpha and Omega. I was born homosexual and I would die homosexual.

The Church – A Struggle For Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual And Transgender people.

The spiritual needs of gays and lesbians is no less than that of heterosexuals, we all need our spiritual families and support, most often the churches close their doors on us, we are called sinners, abomination and an outcast, we are often marginalised in prayers and subjected to inhumane exorcism.

We need a new era of faith religious groups that would celebrate same sex unions, so that many more gays and lesbians can be proud to celebrate their sexuality in a loving union.

The punishment by the Christian faith community can be more devastating with longer term damage. There should be more gay and lesbian spiritual support groups, offering counselling, prayer and support.

In 2004, the problematic relationship of the Christian church and homosexuality was linked with derogatory comments by African statesmen and clergymen. Whilst they were making the headlines, the basic human rights of gays and lesbians continue to be violated.

Lesbians and gay men, like me, struggle to affirm our identity because we have often been expected to deny our sexuality for the sake of surviving in our spiritual communities.

There are no fringe benefits for being a Black African man on this planet, there are no privileges for black skin, when you add homosexuality to the equation, this become a recipe for derision, malice, and outright hatred. It doesn’t have to be like this and this is what I want all gay men and lesbian women to understand.

Many homosexual people never reach their full potential for fear of their sexual identity being discovered. They often use drugs, alcohol and nicotine to medicate themselves. I call on everyone to stand and deal with the ramification of being homosexual. Please don’t be your own worst enemy. Allow excellence in everything you do to be the weapon that tears down the walls erected by this homophobic society.

My destiny is a life of joy and happiness, I am proud of who I am, I never advocate for people to come out unless they are confident and happy to do so. There are huge risks in coming out as gay or lesbian, the consequences can be tragic. But for me there has been the inner joy I cherish, because when people compliment me, they compliment God, it is greater than being in the closet. I happened to have reached a turning point in my life where I could no longer be silent, starting with a response to the Nigerian religious leaders and government in 2003.

Throughout human history, different cultures have known same sex erotic sexual interaction and have varied in different cultures, ranging from absolute prohibition of same-sex relations to their approval in certain social circles. We live in an unfinished world, we have an unfinished calling, we must work together to tear down the walls of homophobia and build a wall of hope for all people.

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