53 Prospect Park W
From our Intern Clergy Leader, Jé Exodus Hooper: Homosexuality in the Black church could be considered by many an intersectionality of the sacred and profane. Secularist and the religious community agree on the antithetical positionality of the persistently egregious tensions between their respective communities. For those who find themselves at the crossroads of identifying as black, Christian and same-gender loving, compartmentalizing these aspects of oneself provides an illusion of safety. This means rarely existing in a truly authentic manner, fully disclosing oneself, but frequently showing-up in a partially present demeanor.
Paradoxically, it seems that the black church, in its dogmatic heterosexism, would provide a limited safer space for those who do not conform to heterosexist ideas of sexuality and gender performance that is sermonized within the same walls. Limited safer space indicates that the LGBT community is provided with more liberties in the music scene but not fully authorized to outwardly display genuine sexual expression. Boundaries for appropriate behavior are relaxed but not fully removed; again, tensions between the sacred and profane appear.
Our guest speaker on this topic in our Summer Series on The Arts and Social Justice is Ryan Hill of Richmond, Virginia, who has been a creative, analytical lover of humankind. Living a life of actively helping people, Ryan has assisted others via fitness and nutrition, served as mentor and counselor, been a financial advisor, and is currently embarking on additional education to offer spiritual guidance within the community. Having a career in finance for more than 15 years, he now plans to integrate the physical, spiritual, emotional, and financial into a practice of offering holistic services to the disenfranchised. A lover of music, art, and the human spirit, Ryan desires to implement the arts in every aspect of life creating an atmosphere leading where creativity aids in the healing process.