Conversations around southern dinner tables are always colorful. One Sunday, I remember sitting with my family to talk about the sudden departure of one of the leaders of our Southern Baptist church. I didn’t understand what was being said at first. Throughout the course of dinner, I slowly began to realize that he got banished because he liked men. I had a feeling he wasn’t alone.
I experienced attraction to men in high school. I thought about going to talk to my youth minister about the multiple manifestations of my sexuality. When I heard him joke around about cutting your penis off if your gay, I knew I wouldn’t be making that appointment. I still wonder about his sexuality from time to time.
During college, I was involved in large Southern Baptist church ministries. I was always suspect and weary of those who protested the loudest. Some years later, I now know that most of them were just putting on their own brands of closeted shows.
I attended the most prestigious seminary in the Southern Baptist Convention, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. During my time there, my Southern Baptist pastor and mentor came out to me on his deathbed. I also knew plenty of students who were closeted and many of them presently serve Southern Baptist churches. One of my closest friends consistently talked about getting hit on by a member of the Board of Trustees in the seminary gym. If you wanted to stay closeted at our school, there were plenty of people very willing to keep your secrets. Looking back, I truly believe that I now know more closeted Southern Baptist pastors than I do straight ones.
Over the years, I have listened to sexuality rumors swirl around some of the most prominent pastors in the Southern Baptist Convention. I have no doubt that many are true. I also remain in relationship with numerous Southern Baptist bloggers and writers that remain closeted. With Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd’s latest pronouncement that the Southern Baptist Convention is declaring “spiritual warfare” on gay marriage, I have to wonder if he has examined his own soul or even looked around the room. Make no mistake Brother Ronnie, the queens run the convention.