Kim Burrell and the Sin Olympics

Four days into 2017 and we've already seen the downfall of two vocal divas. But while Mariah Carey's epic New Year's Eve snafu may--and if I'm saying may, you know that performance was flaming hot piece of trash--end up as a stumbling block on the road to another Emancipation of Mimi-style comeback, Kim Burrell is on some whole other bullshit.

For those not in the know, video of the gospel singer (and, knowing self-aggrandizing church folks, likely self-proclaimed prophetess) referring to gays and lesbians as perverted during a sermon at a Houston church has gone viral.

That perverted homosexual spirit, and the spirit of delusion and confusion, it has deceived many men and women,” said Burrell. “You as a man, you open your mouth and take a man’s penis in your face — you are perverted. You are a woman and will shake your face in another woman’s breast, you are perverted."

If you're more of audio learner than a visual one, I'll let this fool tell you...

Of course once the dragging commenced, Burrell tried to clean up her mess with a non-apology apology full of classic Christian double-speak. She wasn't speaking on the LGBT community, just know 'cause you gotta love the sinner but hate the sin and video editing is an attack of the enemy and ***grabs barf bag*** oh I'll let her tell it again.

First off, let me say I'm happy Ellen decided to say "fuck that" and revoked Kim's guest spot on her show. And I happy to see black celebrities like Janelle Monae, Yolanda Adams, and Pharrell as well as activists like Deray McKesson condemning her remarks, as it strikes a blow to those who still think black equals being homophobic.

That said--and step back, 'cause mama's hoppin' on her soapbox--it both saddens and pisses me off that black LGBT folks and many of our allies are still doing the same goddamn two step when it comes to addressing religious-based homophobia. By two step, I mean the one where we slide to the left and say "______________ is a bigot, and his/her words don't describe my God," then slide to the right and say "My sin is no greater than your sin."

*Lets out exasperated sigh, then sips tea* I get it. I spent all of my childhood, adolescence and half of my twenties sitting in church pews. behind keyboards and in choir stands, and heard and chorded (that's church musician speak for when you accompany the pastor's emo breakdown at the end of a sermon) to all manner of Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve-style lunacy. I truly believed my sexuality was a sin, a thorn in my side, and was hell-bent on getting "delivered." Believe me, I get it.

I eventually chose common sense over delusion and came out, but like other LGBT people I know, I would either say or nod my head in agreement as another well-intentioned person said homosexuality was "no greater" than any other sin, that it was "no worse" than lying or adultery.

Of course I've since become an atheist and could give less than a fuck about what the Bible, Quran or Dianetics has to say about my black gay ass, and one lovely result (of many) of becoming an infidel is that I no longer feel compelled to do cognitive backflips to reconcile my sexuality and any sort of faith belief. But religious or not, ya'll we've got to stop this mealy-mouth shit. Being gay, bi or trans is not the same as being an alcoholic or a liar. Our sexuality and gender identities--our very being--and our relationships should not be viewed as slightly less heinous than being a murderer. Straight folks would never describe their orientation or relationships as wrong or sinful. So why are we continuing to sell ourselves short?

I can't think of any black person living in the 21st century who would ever, eva, eva, EVA, sit in anyone's pew and be told their skin color is inherently evil (though quiet as it's kept that gospel "truth" was preached at one time). For us, melanin trumps religion. Those of us who are black and LGBT, as well as our allies, need to take the same position regarding our sexuality and gender identity. Any belief system that says who you are is inherently flawed does not deserve your time, talents or coins. Period.

To end this screed on a shady note, I hope Kim's been brushing up on her hair and makeup skills. 'Cause without a rainbow squad to have your back, you can end up in these streets looking like:

Or like

Watch out for those edges girl!