Clay Cane is a New York City-based writer who is recognized for his contributions in journalism. Clay is a regular contributor for various print and online publications such as The Advocate and He is the author of the highly anticipated novel Ball-Shaped World, which is a fictionalized account of the black and Latino ballroom scene. Also, he is the Entertainment Editor at and a member of New York Film Critics Online. He can be reached at

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    Wednesday, April 25, 2007

    Psycho Christians Protesting VA Tech Funerals
    The psycho Christians are at it again and this time they are attacking the victims of the Virginia Tech shootings. Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) made a name for itself by protesting funerals of soldiers who perished in Iraq and Matthew Sheppard's funeral. The coo-coo for the coco puffs manaicas are lead by demon seed Fred Helps, who believes that the United States is headed for complete and utter destruction due to its acceptance of homosexuality (Ryan Clark, the second victim of the massacre, identified as gay)...really?

    Did I miss something in one of Bush's State of the Union babbles?

    Was a law passed I didn't know about?

    Did the thirty-three states that can fire you because you are gay suddenly have a change of heart?

    Someone please tell me immediately if the United States has accepted homosexuality because if that is the case I can get started on my marriage and divorce -- you know, by this age the straights already got those two out of the way.

    Fred Helps' devil's spawn, otherwise known as his daughter, had this reasoning why the shootings happened at VA Tech, “The evidence is they were not Christian. God does not do that to his servants. You don’t need to look any further for evidence those people are in hell.”

    Fascinating...these Christians soldiers are some vicious kitties. They are only responsible for some of the most major atrocities on the planet such as West African slavery, colonization in Africa, genocide of Native Americans, etc. I always wonder how those good-Christian white folk (of course not all!) were able to wipe out languages, religions, cultures and ethnicities. They were soldiers! Guns, germs and steel had nothing to do with their success...just being Christian.

    As I have said before, religious people seem to be the most angriest people on the planet. Every religious figure I know are always pissed off...Reverend Al Sharpton, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Pat Robertson all seem incredibly angry, loud and reactionary. Aren't you supposed to be filled with the love of Christ? Isn't there a calmness that comes with a spiritual connection? I guess not...

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    Posted by Clay :: 12:00 AM :: 14 comments


    Friday, April 20, 2007

    Jaleel White: Surviving Hollywood

    When hearing the name Jaleel White you might not know he is a television icon. However, when hearing the name Steve Urkel you remember the walk, talk and delivery of the legendary character from the hit television series Family Matters from 1989-1998. Not since JJ from Good Times did an African-American character from a sitcom have such a comedic affect across the globe. There was the unforgettable catch phrase “Did I do that?”, Steve Urkel dolls, Halloween costumes and most people identified the hit sitcom as “The Steve Urkel Show” rather than Family Matters. Once the show ended it seemed Jaleel White vanished, until those pesky rumors bolted across the internet in June 2005, one being that he committed suicide with a note reading, “Did I do that?”—pretty vicious, but Jaleel is alive and well.

    Jaleel White graduated from UCLA in 2001 and was a guest-star on the UPN sitcom Half & Half. At 29-years-old White is still making a mark in Hollywood starring in the straight to DVD movie Who Made the Potatoe Salad? with Eddie Griffin (Undercover Brother, Scary Movie 3), which is in stores now. In addition, he had a role in the Oscar winning film Dreamgirls, which is available on DVD May 1st. In a one-on-one interview Jaleel White discusses his upcoming projects, African-Americans on television, surviving Hollywood and much more.

    It seems like you’ve been gone for awhile. What’s been going on in the last couple years?
    Jaleel: I pretty much just kind of stopped acting [Laughs]—I’m fortunate to have success at a young age, but I’ve been quietly doing film projects and I guess they are all starting to come out now. Beyond that I have my own business interests and I work as a writer with Imagine Entertainment.

    Let’s talk about Family Matters for a minute—when the show came out there were very few shows about African-Americans. What do you think about the African-American shows that are out there now?
    Jaleel: The African-American shows that I see out there—I cheer on everybody, I really cheer them on. I love Everybody Hates Chris; Tichina Arnold is brilliant, I hope somebody acknowledges her work one day.

    Many child stars say how it’s hard to be embraced after doing a popular sitcom. Considering the popularity of Steve Urkel has it been challenging to transition into Hollywood?
    Jaleel: I don’t think my transition has been harder than anyone else’s. I’m going to be really real with you; it’s probably been easier because I didn’t need any money—that’s more important than anything. We really didn’t get much publicity for the show’s success that we experienced and that was good. My mother wanted that, she wanted me to be as normal of a kid as possible. There are basically two things that are going to determine whether or not a young child performer has a fighting chance at maturing to some type of well-rounded adulthood—one, do the parents have careers separate a part from the kid? Two, how well was the kid compensated? I’m lucky in both of those departments, and don’t forget our show was on for nine years. It’s weird sometimes, I’ll see at least in the internet world myself getting compared to people who did not make primetime paychecks at all. It’s one of those issues, you have to turn the other cheek and keep it moving, but hey everybody’s trying to get to some level in their career. You know, like, “Oh this guy’s great at comedy but can he do drama?”, “This guy does this but can he do that?”, etc. At the end of day you just got to keep it pushing. Fortunately, I got time on my side, I’m 29-years-old. It’s funny I’ve been getting hired for roles now that are actually in charge of things [Laughs]—they’re cops or they’re dentists and I think that’s just one of those things that come with age. People just really forget I was the baby of the bunch when I was doing my job from twelve to twenty-one.

    Do you embrace the Steve Urkel character, or do you wish you could put it behind you?
    Jaleel: I love him…for me it’s like talking about homeruns I hit in high school. Any dude sitting in a bar trying to impress a girl with homeruns he did in high school—he needs to get a life! [Laughs] So, you know, I’m proud of those homeruns!

    There’s a long history of child stars becoming victims of fame. How did you not become one of those victims and stand here today being successful?
    Jaleel: Again, parents that had their own career path—financially they can tell the kids what they need hear, when they need to hear it. Having been compensated well and that was the result of working with good producers. That’s what people need to understand too—there’s a very job like side to Hollywood. Do your job like anybody going to work and if you work for somebody that is a class act, respects you and pays their people well, you’ll benefit from that. Anybody for the most part who was ever a star on T.G.I.F. across the board lived a pretty privileged existence in television.

    You’ve been in the industry for a long time. Do you think it’s gotten easier for black actors in Hollywood since when you first started?
    Jaleel: I don’t know…that is a tough question—the entertainment industry itself has ballooned where every single person you run into has headshots and wants to be in the business. It’s actually sometimes kind of cool to be a minority because if you have any talent you stand a greater chance of getting noticed. We’re in a world right now where every person has some type of cross to bear, like at UCLA we lost affirmative action so because of it, if you’re an African-American kid you aren’t getting into the school now—you have like 90 African-Americans in the undergrad program—that’s frightening! Before you just had to be the best of the best when it comes to African-Americans, just like Dreamgirls—there’s nothing of any color within two months of that project that’s going to take any attention, or spotlight away from it. It’s a rare opportunity, but the production value is going to support all of the talents of the individuals—that means supporting like you wouldn’t believe. That’s one situation where it’s like, a lot of movies duked it out in December—Dreamgirls didn’t duke it out with nobody.

    Would you ever do a Family Matters reunion?
    Jaleel: Nah…

    A few months ago there were a lot of rumors on the internet, one that you committed suicide. How did you deal with that?
    My phone basically exploded in the month of June. I was actually going to a Yankees game in New York when it started…you know, the internet is the land of the sucker punch—what can you say? Sucks, people do things, start rumors and there’s no way to trace how it happened from where it began. To be quite honest, I really didn’t want to address this when it happened, but of course I knew the minute I had things coming out people were going to ask me these questions so…all I’ll say is I really appreciate the love that was shown to me by a lot of people. When I say I received a lot of phone calls, I received a lot…so that was nice in that regard. What can I say? Now if it would’ve affected my bank account I would’ve been pissed! [Laughs] So, I’m still here! Obviously, I'm here—people were like, weren’t you pissed? No, I was very annoyed!

    There are a lot of kids who want to get in the film or television industry—what’s your advice to them?
    Jaleel: Do what you love and know what you’re good at. Ultimately it’s not about what you want to do particularly in the beginning, it’s about what service can you provide for somebody else. At the end of day my primary success stems from two guys who were casting a role. I basically walked into that audition and adapted to that role in such a way that they got a really big response—bigger response than I expected. So, I don’t think people see acting for what it is in its earliest stages. There’s a big difference between being a mega movie star and a working actor in Hollywood. A working actor is what kind of character you want, what kind of character do you need—you’re not always going to like the character. You’re not in charge of anything, there’s nothing sexy about this business, get rid of all the glamour stuff. You know, you’re going to work so be good at what you do because the worst thing is to see people go through this stuff and you’re looking at them like, “Hey, you don’t have any place in this business.” I’ll end with this—I don’t know how good I am as an actor, I really don’t. I challenge myself anytime I get the opportunity but I can say this—I have been in many casts and I have yet to be the problem! [Laughs] You should know that as an actor …


    Posted by Clay :: 10:50 AM :: 5 comments


    Wednesday, April 18, 2007

    As we go on a media blitz with the "deadliest massacre in US History", there is so much coverage it is almost as if we are watching a Beyonce promotional tour.

    Isn't it interesting after all the ammunition exploding into Iraq, the deceptive Patriot Act, the color-coded anxiety alerts also known as terror alerts, "contagious" violence in hip-hop, poor Mexican immigrants invading our country, degenerate homosexuals—our threat to Americans is a 23-year-old man who was depressed? After all "they" claim to be doing to protect America we have the worst massacre in US history on a college campus in Virgini...this must be a "child left behind".

    Isn't this a terrorist attack? If the murderer was of Middle Eastern descent (wouldn't matter if he was Muslim or not) it would most definitely be labeled a terrorist attack. Do you think Cho Seung-Hui was inspired by President George W. Bush, "Smoke 'em out!" Seung-Hui left a note saying, “You made me do this”—I’m sure that’s what Bush said about the people of Iraq. Maybe Seung-Hui was inspired by the rock music he listened to, which his roommates discussed on CNN, such as Led Zeppelin, Nirvana and Collective Soul…oh, no; those artists are more artistically relevant than 50 Cent. Maybe he was a Communist (he is from Korea!) and left a note, which pointed out "rich kids," "debauchery" and "deceitful charlatans"...hmmmm, what media spin can be put on this stint?

    I'm just looking forward to the fabulous scare tactics that can be pulled with the "deadliest massacre in US History". Nonetheless, no one is going to deal with the main issues, like gun control in our violent country. I know—this never happens “here”, we aren’t in Haiti, the Congo in Africa, or a favela in Brazil…this isn’t a third-world country…yet. Check out the wonderful gun control laws in Virginia:

    1. No gun registration
    2. No mandatory waiting period to purchase weapons
    3. Limit of one gun purchase per month

    My heart goes out to all of the people who have been deeply affected by this act of violence. The victims have crossed all backgrounds--black, white, Latino, upper class, middle class, men, women, freshmen, seniors, straight and gay.


    Posted by Clay :: 11:07 AM :: 11 comments


    Tuesday, April 17, 2007

    Someone give 1990 their argument back...

    The redundant topic of censorship is in the spotlight again and usually when we debate censorship, black folks are at the forefront. I watched an episode of Oprah today with everyone on the stage calling for an end to derogatory images of women in hip-hop and the use of the word nigger, which they felt pollutes the black community. Oprah's guest demanded the music be stopped and they praised C. Delores Tucker who was on an anti-rap campaign in the '90's. Tomorrow, hip-hop artists will join the panel to defend their side.

    This reminds me of when 2 Live Crew was banned in 1990 due to their lewd lyrical content. History is repeating itself nearly twenty years later and it is frightening. Yes, there should be a change in the music...yes, we should have dialogue...yes, there should be a balance with hip-hop…yes, if you don’t want an artist to perform somewhere you should protest. Nonetheless, when you talk about “banning” Snoop Dogg (who has as much artistic credibility as one of Britney Spears' farts) for using the word "nigga"—who else will be banned? Mos Def, Common and other artists are considered "respectable" and also use the word "nigga" and bitch—what will happen to them? Suddenly we say, "Oh no, we didn't mean them—only the real savages." Who deems what is inappropriate? It won't be other black folks. Will it be the FCC Enforcer—also, known as the people who sealed the nail in the coffin of Janet Jackson's career? So, once again people in power will regulate what is and what isn't appropriate for black Americans. Here is a brief history of black artists/musicians being banned or censored in the USA:

    1954 - Michigan congresswoman Ruth Thompson introduced a bill in the House that would prohibit mailing any pornographic recording. The offense would be punishable by five years imprisonment and a $5,000 fine.

    1955 -
    Mobile, Alabama radio station received over 15,000 letters of complaint about the playing of "dirty records". The station promised that they would censor all controversial music, especially rhythm and blues.

    1956 - ABC Radio Network bans Billie Holiday's rendition of Cole Porter's "Love for Sale" from all of its stations because of its prostitution theme.

    1956 - Members of the White Citizens Council of Birmingham, Alabama, rush the stage at a Nat King Cole concert and attack the legendary performer due to the reaction of Birmingham's young teen girls to Nat's crooning--the council members confused Cole's music with newly popular and "oversexed" R&B.

    1958 - The management of St. Louis radio station had all rock & roll music banned from its play list. The disc jockeys gave every rock and roll record in the station library a "farewell spin" before smashing it to pieces.

    1965 - Jim Hendrix's single "How Would You Feel" is given little airplay on radio because of the song deals with the plight of blacks in America.

    1977 - The Reverend Jesse Jackson calls for bans against disco music from U.S. radio station, insisting the music promotes promiscuity and drug use.

    1984 - Rick Allen and his wife express concerns over a Prince album to their local PTA meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio. This action started the mid-80s music censorship movement that eventually results in the RIAA universal parental warning sticker.

    1985 - The title of Marvin Gaye's song "Sanctified Pussy" is changed to "Sanctified Lady" for a posthumous release, Dream of a Lifetime.

    1988 - The co-owner of Taking Home the Hits in Alexandria, Alabama, is arrested in June for selling 2 Live Crew's Move Somethin' to an undercover police officer.

    1989 - Officials at the FBI write to gangsta rap group N.W.A. In August, informing the performers that the bureau does not appreciate their song "Fuck Tha Police."

    1990 - Missouri legislators introduce a bill in January that forbids the sale of records containing lyrics that are violent, sexually explicit or perverse. Similar measures are introduced in 20 other states.

    1990 - A Tennessee judge rules that 2 Live Crew's Nasty As They Wanna Be and N.W.A.'s Straight Outta Compton are obscene under state law. Anyone arrested for selling the records could face fines from $10,000 to $100,000, depending upon the involvement of minors in the offense.

    1990 - In San Antonio, Texas, a record store owner is jailed for selling a copy of 2 Live Crew's Nasty As They Wanna Be to the twenty-year-old son of an anti-pornography activist.

    1990 - About two months after members of 2 Live Crew were arrested in a Florida nightclub for performing material from their controversial album Nasty As They Wanna Be, members of the New York rock band Too Much Joy are arrested in the same club for performing 2 Live Crew songs.

    1992 - The state of Oregon makes it illegal to display Ice Cube's image in any retail store.

    1992 - In July Ice-T drops the song "Cop Killer" from his Body Count album. One month after the album is released, police organizations across the country protest Ice-T, begin boycotting all Time-Warner products, and threaten to divest the Time-Warner stock owned by police pension funds.

    1997 - Three owners of Lyric Hall in Oxford, Mississippi, are arrested and handed six month jail terms for booking a performance by 2 Live Crew.

    1998C. Delores Tucker renews her call against rap music, this time joined by U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman. Examples of the group's targets include: Wu-Tang Clan, The Notorious B.I.G., Geto Boys, The Dogg Pound, Tupac Shakur, Gravediggaz, Cypress Hill, Lords of Acid, Black Crowes, and Blues Traveler.

    1999 - Police organizations across the country call for the cancellation of a sold-out concert scheduled for New Jersey's Continental Arena. The concert, featuring headliners Rage Against The Machine and the Beastie Boys, is a fundraiser for death-row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal.

    2000 - Loud Records succumbs to pressure from national video outlets to remove images of nooses around the necks of Dead Prez in the clip for their song “They Schools.” Group member M-1 objected, saying “This represents our people, poor and oppressed, trying to claim their right to a fair and just life. The U.S. education system has been the primary force behind the miseducation of our people.”

    Do people really want history to repeat itself? Some of these bans you might agree with, some you might not. However, even the most vapid, idiotic and stupid music should be allowed to be made. We cannot put decency codes on art because good taste is relative. I know people who think 50 Cent has incredible flow and storytelling ability--regardless of his coon babble.

    In 1998 "gangsta' rap" was banned then somehow rock/blues groups like the Black Crowes and Blues Traveler fell in the mix. In addition, I remember how mortified people were with N.W.A.—now their legendary song "Fuck Tha Police" is labeled a protest song.

    I am deeply confused how Imus' racist comments somehow turned to hip-hop. Especially considering Imus himself was the first one to compare his comments to hip-hop, a great diversion tactic that a man forty years in broadcasting knows too well—while we all conveniently forget the word jiggaboo was used. On Oprah Sharpton said he protested The Boondocks for using the word "nigga", but that show was great social commentary on black America, especially hip-hop.

    There should be an examination of race in America, not music in America. Words like "nigga" (reinvented and popularized by Richard Pryor--should we start blaming Pryor?) and "ho" are a part of the American lexicon. Talib Kweli, The Roots, Kanye West—even Queen Latifah—have all used bitch or nigga in their music. Not every artist who uses these negative words are minstrel shows who are disrespecting black women and black people. Those words and images are not the cause of poverty, drugs, violence, rape, STDs, pregnancy, abortion, poor education, racism, misogyny, homophobia, HIV/AIDS, SHOOTINGS (was the man who murdered over thirty people at Virginia Tech University listening to 50 Cent on his iPod while he blew people to bits?) or any other problem in America. The smokescreens are the signs of a huge wildfire.

    I truly admire the legendary quote, "I may detest what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

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    Posted by Clay :: 12:00 AM :: 8 comments


    Friday, April 13, 2007

    I’m getting a little scared. Ever since Janet's titty in 2004 it seems freedom of speech, expression and just being a dumb ass is going out Massa's window.

    Don Imus' comments were horrendous and offensive, however, this is turning into much more of a spectacle then it needs to be. There is this endless discussion about the effect Imus is having on these young black girls, blah, blah, blah...does that SURGED out white man take that much energy from the Rutgers Women's basketball team? I heard one of the girls crying, "That was the worst thing I've ever been called in my life!" Now, girl—are you really telling me as a black woman in America living on a college campus in New Jersey the worst thing you've ever been called is a nappy-headed ho? You are carrying…

    Last night the Rutgers basketball team met with Imus for three hours in the governor's office. You mean to tell me while children, who haven’t even made it to college, are being blown to bits in Newark the governor felt it was necessary to have this meeting in his mansion? While children in Camden are falling through the public school system like rodents out of the cracks of a KFC in New York City the governor said, “Oh, let’s meet with Don Imus and the wounded Rutgers basketball team? What a fabulous smokescreen for the several Rutgers students who got shipped to Iraq in the middle of their college years because they were on the ROTC scholarship!

    In the meeting the girls were supposedly sobbing, "Why did you do this to us! We want you to feel the way we feel" Oh, girl—get it together! I am sorry if I sound callous, but it seems a bit melodramatic. As I heard columnist Jason Whitlock say, “Don Imus, nor is any white man so powerful -- the white man is not God…it's a terrible message we're sending, these kids all over the country: Play the victim. We will put you on ‘Oprah’. We will celebrate you. Give you all this media attention. And we will make people come to the governor's office to apologize to you. It's repulsive to me. I'm nearly physically ill listening to this.” I can’t help but agree.

    Why isn't anyone mentioning that Imus’ co-host called them jiggaboos and Imus agreed? Ohhh...maybe because it is easier to pass the buck to hip-hop with a comment like "nappy-headed hos" versus jiggaboo. I've never heard hip-hop artists use jiggaboo as a slang...outside of School Daze I haven't heard that word used on a mainstream TV in my generation.

    Great transition…through all of the Imus babbles now everyone is criticizing hip-hop. I knew that card was going to be pulled the millisecond I head about Imus’ comments. Yes, I despise 90% of all mainstream hip-hop, yes, it is sexist, homophobic and violent, however, people are now justifying Imus' comments because 50 Cent says the same things.

    For me, the hip-hop analogy is completely off base, which Imus was the first one to bring up on the Today Show with Matt Lauer and Al Sharpton. 50 Cent and Akon cooning on their CDs with a parental advisory sticker on the cover is much different than a nationally syndicated radio talk show host who is on air for several hours a day, many days a week, for over twenty years and makes more money than any of those hip-hop artists. Conservative Amy Holmes is elated that Imus is fired and is also anti-hip-hop. She wants it stopped and calls it, "cheap cynical pornography". Now, people, mark my words—when conservatives start agreeing with a disadvantaged group there is something to be fear. When I hear Elizabeth Hassleback agreeing with Miss Al Sharpton I know something is a' brewin' because there is always an agenda.

    This is my fear...they are attacking Imus now but what about when the tables are turn and a black person is criticized for making a "prejudice" remark...if you think you've seen a hot lash on Imus they will foggle a person of color. While I think Janet's career is a wrap and probably would have phased out regardless of the Superbowl incident she was completely foggled because of her floppy titty. That is when the FCC turned into hypersensitive psychos and chose to monitor every idiot move on the planet. What if Barack Obama happens to make a "problematic" comment, they will attack him just as viciously and say, "Well, we did it to Imus—we have to do it Obama too!”

    All of this hypersensitivity about what people can and cannot say is truly scaring me. Now with hip-hop under fire (such an early '90's argument from the days of "gangsta' rap") I am becoming increasingly concerned. I remember when people hated N.W.A. and now it has been deamed groundbreaking! Yes, hip-hop is not intellectual stimulating, but as a former musician, I don't agree with anyone being censored. I don’t need to see intellectual critiques of 50 Cent on CNN. 50 Cent can barely hold a conversation—believe me, I interviewed him! Breaking down the negroidian foolishness of Akon? Yes, it is bad and it does have an effect on the black community…but I remember being in my late teens and rocking Lil’ Kim’s Hardcore CD, “I used be afraid of the dick, now I throw my lips to the shit, handle it like a real bitch…” Yes, it was vulgar and many people were in an uproar, however, it was an experience that I enjoyed listening to. Lil’ Kim says now she hates to perform that song and I can barely even listen to it anymore, but those were the times.

    You simply cannot blame hip-hop or criticize hip-hop because of Don Imus. Regardless of hip-hop those comments still would’ve been made—especially the word jiggaboo. Sorry people, vulgar music will not vanish. The blues was called the “devil’s music” because it talked about sex, spells, bisexuality, murder—this mortified many people. Yes, the blues is more relevant than mainstream hip-hop, but this is where uninteresting music is right now. Yes, we can critique it, but calling a ban on it, or Imus’ using hip-hop as a scapegoat to why he made those comments is foolish. Once again, why don’t we focus on jiggaboo, which is a horrible, offensive Klan term that is much worse than nappy-headed hos. However, like I said, you can’t pass the buck with jiggaboo, so we all conveniently ignore it.

    I really don’t care either way what happens to Imus but now he is fired…

    Why not fire George Bush?

    Why not fire Condoleezza Rice?

    Why not fire this corruption administration that has lied, wounded and killed more young people than Don Imus ever would?

    Labels: ,

    Posted by Clay :: 12:56 PM :: 9 comments


    Wednesday, April 11, 2007

    From the beginning I was unsure of my interview with ex-gay Charlene Cothran. Many people told me not to do the interview, but after deep consideration I thought it would be worth it. I was even unsure of her responses because no black media outlets covered her story and only one small gay media outlet in Chicago did a short interview with her. Many people didn't think this story was relevant and looked at her as a joke. Honestly, I didn’t even know much about Venus Magazine or Charlene Cothran—I only read one issue and that was with Jennifer Holliday years ago (actually I can't even remember if that was Venus, I think it was). I didn't know anything about Charlene's story and had to do a lot of research. I went in with no preconceived notions, maybe she was misinterpreted or misunderstood—it happens with religious people.

    This interview has been the most positive reaction toward any of posts/stories in my nearly two year blog history. All day yesterday I got emails from people asking, many of them my straight readers, how did I get through that…but I didn't feel like she was talking about me. I felt like she was talking about herself. I was linked to several sites and my favorite columnist of all time, Dan Savage from the legendary Village Voice, linked me on his site and even emailed me saying how much he liked the interview. The tons of positive responses I've gotten were great—not even one critical response...except from Charlene Cothran herself.

    Here is what Charlene posted on her "blog" about me:

    What Was Meant For Evil

    When celebrity journalist Clay Cain [who happens to be black and gay] asked for an interview back in October 2006, I declined. I knew that no matter what I said, there would be an attempt to discredit my testimony and portray me as ‘crazy’ and my convictions as invalid to gays. But God always causes us to triumph! I finally agreed to speak to Clay and I’m so glad that I did, for what was meant to discredit me has turned out for good! Words of life have been release via his vast gay network and

    I am very thankful to have simply shared the truth with his many readers. I feel it in my spirit that someone has been set free today. Someone looking for truth and peace; who will only hear it from someone like me who has walked the walk–has believed and come home!

    You see, He will use the talents of people whose beliefs have not yet lined up with His. He created, gifted and controls all of us, whether or not we acknowledge Him as God. Thank you Clay. Although you didn’t mean for it to happen, God has used your amazing gifts to advance His kingdom.

    Although it was meant to discredit the publisher and her testimony, it has gone out to tens of thousands of gay readers on his network. Someone has been set free! Thank God for you, Clay!

    Don't you love how she spelled my name C-A-I-N -- like Cain and Abel! lol First, originally I didn't ask Charlene Cothran for an interview. It isn't as simple as she "declined". CLIK Magazine asked me to interview her but she wanted to do the interview via email, which no good writer on the planet does and that is not an actual interview. I absolutely refused to do the interview via email. I sent her an email requesting to do the interview via phone, like any other normal person, and this was her response on October 5, 2006:


    Thank you for contacting me. CLIK has made me aware of your professionalism and your experience with regard to persoanlity profile-type interviews. I know you are a PRO. I'm concerned about my own LACK of experience with regard to BEING interviewed. Having an opportunity to process my own thoughts before responding is important to me because of the sensativity of the subject matter. This CANNOT come off as gay bashing.


    She goes on a long diatribe about her mission and why she needs an email interview. Obviously, she was extremely insecure about her own responses and "truth". The same day I responded with:

    Charlene -

    Thanks so much for your reply. CLIK and I have discussed the possibility of an email interview -- however, we both agreed if the interview is not via phone it is best for us not to do the interview....If you change your mind please feel free to contact me or CLIK.


    Clay Cane


    Charlene didn't "decline" to be interviewed—she wanted to do the interview, wanted the press, but via email because she knew when she opened her toxic mouth the stench of foolishness would burn the air. CLIK did contact me sometime in January saying they were interested in interviewing Charlene again and she would now do phone interviews--but CLIK contacted me shortly after and said they were no longer interested.

    From October till this past Friday I had no contact with Charlene Cothran. After a MySpace bulletin from
    Jasmyne Cannick about Charlene, which is really what inspired me, and the reasons I stated above—I decided that I would actually like to interview her on my site or maybe even weren't interested. My next contact with her would be this past Friday.

    Hi Charlene -

    I hope all is well. We exchanged emails a few months ago about doing an interview with CLIK Magazine that did not work out because you wanted to do it via email.

    Are you interested in doing a phone interview now? It would not be for CLIK, either for my web site or Let me know when you can.



    She responds with:

    Yes Clay,

    I regret not having had the courage to speak to you then. Life is a process. 10 AM ET on Monday, O.K.? Let me know. Confirm via email, for the interview you can call my cell at XXX-XXX-XXXX.

    Thanks for all,



    So, let's get this straight (no pun intended). I used Cothran's own words. I didn't twist, manipulate or forge a single comma to make her sound crazy. Even down to her "You follow me?" I let Cothran tell her story and remained extremely nonjudgmental. Yes, the interview I did with her has reached many people as she says, "It has gone out to tens of thousands of gay readers on his network. Someone has been set free!"
    No, not set free, thousands have been exposed to the madness. There is a small possibility that an insecure gay person might read the insanity of her own words and attempt "conversion"—however, preying on the weak is very easy...similar to a child molester preying on their innocent victims. Convert Keith Boykin then I'll believe you!

    Years ago a great teacher taught me if a vegan wants to win a persuasive argument or convert meat-eaters to vegan life they can't storm in saying, "You carnivores! How dare you eat living animals! Would you want to be eaten alive?! You are WRONG!" No one will listen through the yelling and "you are wrong" babbles. However, if you walk in and calmly offer something else then people might listen and a few might say—I will try to stop eating meat. Charlene doesn't know this talent of how to persuade—not saying if she did, it would work, but delivery is everything, at least you can have respect for the person. Well, now we know Charlene's story—we didn't before.
    Now more people clearly understand the contradictions, confusions, hate, judgments, anger and miseducation of Charlene Cothran, which didn't require any embellishments from me.

    I will say this—Charlene has not refuted one word of the interview so I don’t see how she could say I tried to make her sound crazy. She did email me asking to double check one of her responses and I did, confirming that is what she said word for word. So, I applaud her for sticking by her words, many celebrities would flake out. I wish her the best.
    Allah, Oshun, Buddha and all the other sinners still love her.

    Labels: ,

    Posted by Clay :: 12:08 AM :: 18 comments


    Tuesday, April 10, 2007


    The day of Pride, I’m standing there and there is a sea of people as far as the eye can see, panoramic view. All brown, men with men, women with women and instead of feeling this overwhelming sense of pride, I felt an overwhelming sense of sadness. The scripture came to me that this is that wide road leading to destruction. Here you are on this road, you don’t belong here…I’ve never gone to a gay pride event since that day.

    Those are the words of Charlene Cothran describing the beginning of the end of being a lesbian at Chicago Black Gay Pride in 2001. Cothran is the creator of the twelve-year old Venus magazine (named in honor of the late Venus Landin who was killed by her ex-partner in 1993) and self-proclaimed ex-gay who claims that you too can be heterosexual through Jesus Christ.

    People tend to look at ex-gays as “proof” that homosexuality is sin; proof that any gay person across the globe can change their sexuality. However, if these ex-gays have always looked at themselves through a heterosexist lens then it's not really proving much. Cothran has said, “As a believer of the word of God, I fully accept and have always known that same-sex relationships are not what God intended for us.” The fact that Cothran has converted to what she always thought was the “right” way, doesn't make her any more of an authority than a straight person who believes homosexuality is wrong. While reading this interview it is important to note: Cothran doesn’t have any added credibility because she had a black gay magazine and is a former lesbian. The real question is—was she just a self-hating lesbian the whole time?

    This is Cothran's first interview with a black media outlet (second non-religious media outlet in general). Many people told me I should not interview her, her story is not valid, she is a liar, there is nothing new about an ex-gay, she is doing this for profit, etc. Granted some of this interview is filled with clichés and rhetoric, however, I believe everyone's story is valid. When people tell their stories, their words speak for itself, which is exactly what this interview does for me. You have to know the level of vehemence that people put out there in the world.

    Religion often preys on the weak-minded in fear and doubt. James Baldwin once said "I was never a totally free human being because I was raised in a Christian culture." Religion is profitable, if you have guilt for who you are there is always room for redemption. Slaves had guilt for who they were so the idea of revolting was sinful—that slice of truth has been chalked up to revisionist history. Conversion has become part of the base of the (proto) fascist religious right, which is driving "conversions" and the desire to draw others into the fold.

    Truth is not egocentric. Ideas aren’t valid because of your emotional or personal experience. Making homosexuality a sin according to Christian theology is a claim of an idea. When the Bible is used to support a point there's immediately a line drawn. What's on one side is instantly assumed what's right, and what’s on the other side is assumed wrong. You're asserting an argument, and if you're starting an argument then you have to back it up with a rationale beyond just reflecting on your own life.

    Here is my interview with Charlene Cothran:

    At one point, you identified as a lesbian. How did you come to identify as a lesbian—what did it mean for you?
    Charlene: I came to identify as a lesbian—the language of you know, identify as a lesbian, really didn’t begin to become comfortable to me until I had sort of lived as a lesbian, but I hadn’t embraced all this language that we use now—still, I was well into my mid twenties. I remember the day and the hour I decided that I no longer wanted to be with guys or men, in terms of sexually and that was around the age of 19. When I moved to Atlanta that’s when I first saw there was a whole gay society. I didn’t know there were gay bars, there were gay clubs, gay friends and all that—it was just before, what I know now to be the gay movement. We were just beginning to talk about forming a gay pride organization. Back then I just had begun to become active during that time, or at least I was in the community, going to clubs, beginning to meet people who were talking about starting something in Atlanta, which is now of course very grown.

    What was the reaction from your family when you told them you were no longer heterosexual?
    It’s not just as cut and dry as I think you might be trying to indicate. It was a long term coming out process. From the time that I made an emotional decision, a mental decision—I’m not going to be with guys anymore, I didn’t go out and say, okay everyone, all my friends, I’m no longer heterosexual, I’m gay now. No, it took a long time for me to admit to myself that this really was who I am. In fact in my mind I remember thinking—okay, this is just what I’m deciding for now. Certainly, by the time I’m 30 years old, I guess, I’ll eventually somehow get married and have kids and do all things my mom expected me to do. You follow me? That was sort of in denial—I thought to myself that I would probably, somehow, end up back getting married, but right now I don’t want anything to do with guys, I just want to be with a girl. Years go by and you realize that…I remember when I turned 30 I was sobbing in a theatre at a gay woman's club in Atlanta, Georgia and I’m like, oh my God, I truly am a lesbian because I ain’t thinking about guys! Here I am 30 years old, nowhere near marriage or children, my mom is always asking me every time I come home when are you going to get married and at some point she started to ask me that less and less because she always knew. So, it was a longtime coming out process.

    You’ve said in previous interviews that you always felt it was wrong. So, when you look back in retrospective were you ever truly in love with a woman?
    Charlene: Oh, my God—of course! Several times! You know, I’m always amazed at people when they see me as "changed". It is a compliment to me when someone says, “You were never a lesbian in the first place”, because what they're really saying is—we can see you truly have changed. Since we don’t believe that's possible [Laughs]—you were never a lesbian in the first place! I will tell you that over a thirty year period there were at least four times when I was deeply in love. The last partnership that I had lasted ten years and people who know she and I together knew a dynamic couple, knew a couple who were connected at spirit, knew a couple who they really, truly thought was going to be together for twenty something years. We were that kind of couple. When we began to come a part people were devastated by it, but we respected one another so much and continued to be friends. Even after we broke up we still talked twice a day. People tried to say I never was a lesbian—believe me, I had the same kind of emotional connection that I know you identify with that defines what a gay and lesbian relationship is…it's not all about sex. I say that in every interview—it's not all about sex. Heterosexuals have this view that it's all about sex, no, it's not. Even when I got saved my pastor tried to tell me there is no love in that I said pastor, “You're wrong about that. I loved that woman.” Jesus saved me and changed me, but I loved her, don’t tell me that. I said, “This is why God called me because you don’t understand the experience.” I’ve lived it. I was in love.

    How long ago did that relationship end?
    Charlene: I would say nearly three years ago.

    You said in interviews that this all started when you were at Chicago Black Pride in 2001. After that, on your six year journey, at what point did you realize you were fully converted and no longer a lesbian?
    Charlene: In June…the day I told God to take it from me. The day I asked God, I said, you know what, I need and want to be in right standing with you again. I know this is not what you intended for us, not just for me, but for any of us. I know that I wasn’t born this way and I know that's not what you intended for us. I said, I can’t change myself, only you can do it and I’m asking you to do it. Now I’m going to get off my knees and walk as those it is done. That’s called faith.

    I think what many are saying, gay and straight, about your experience is that you are not saying, "I was a practicing lesbian, and now I love men because of Christ." You've said you are celibate. So, what about you now really makes you heterosexual?
    Charlene: Nothing. You’ve spoken a piece of truth. Right now I am completely satisfied with my walk, which is me and God. My prayer wasn’t—Lord make me heterosexual. My prayer was not fix me, repair me and make me straight—that was not my prayer. My prayer was God make me whole in every sense of the word, make me whole mentally, make me whole spiritually, make me whole completely! Take this mean tongue out of me, you know; I had this mean spirit where I could just take a person down on a few short comments. That was just as dynamic a change as the gay thing…make me whole financially, you send me plenty of provisions, but why is it that I don’t prioritize things the way I should at this stage in my life? Make me whole in every area. I asked God for complete wholeness. He doesn’t come to save a piece of you.

    Are you saying that you are not heterosexual?
    Charlene: I am saying that I am celibate right now. I’m not saying there won’t ever be a man in my life. You’re asking me about where I am and that's all I can speak to. Today I am celibate. Again, I don’t say I will never have a man in my life, I’m not saying I will never be married to a man. Who knows what the Lord has in store for me. But…there is one thing I can say and one thing I will go on record and sayI will never be entangled with the bondage of lesbianism again. You can put me on record for that and I know that people are going to be turning over every stone, looking and magnifying and trying to find some dirt. I invite you to continue to look and see if you can find something on me. I will never be entangled with lesbianism again! Right now I’m celibate, now, where the Lord's going to move me, what opportunity he's going to place in my path for me from here on—I don't know.

    Are you physically attracted to men?
    Charlene: [pauses] I am physically attracted to the spirit of Christ right now. You're trying to take me down a road that I won't go down right now.

    No, I’m just trying to ask the questions that I know people have been asking.
    Right now I’m in a place where I won’t even allow myself to think about attraction to men. Have I ever been attracted to a man? Yes. You follow me? Have I ever seen a man who is wonderful, great looking—yes. Right now I am working on building up my spirit man. That is all I am concerned about right now. I am not dating; I am not thinking about dating, I’m not praying for a husband. I don’t know where you're going with this—lots of people in my church ask me the same thing. Oh, you would turn heads if you would just—I'm not trying to turn heads, I’m just going to build up my spirit man and I’m going to allow the Lord to do the rest.

    Are you still attracted to women or is that attraction completely gone?
    Charlene: I would say after 29 years of walking in the sin of lesbianism that if the devil were going to try and tempt me that he's probably not going to send a football player, if you will, because that didn’t do it for me. You follow me? I’ve got sense enough to know if he tries to tempt me he's probably going to send something that resembled the thing that I was entangled with. You follow me? So, I’m very aware of that but that’s why I’m doing the spiritual work that I’m trying to do. That’s why I’m entrenched in spiritual work that I’m entrenched in because I know that with the ministry that God has given me, it requires a power if you will that exceeds what the ordinary Christian allows themselves to go through. I’ve got a hedge of spiritual protection around me so even for some reason I wasn’t praying like I should or whatever and it came up on me I know he's not going to send a man to test me because that didn’t do it for me for thirty years! He's going to try and send some woman. I will not be moved.

    When is the last time you were intimate with a woman?
    Charlene: Wow! You are really getting personal! [Laughs] Ummm, gosh, like I said, probably about three years ago.

    Oh, three years ago, so when you fully converted in June—
    Charlene: I was completely connected to my partner. I hope you don’t find this surprising, I was in love. We were basically, as most heterosexual couples considered themselves, committed. We were committed on that level so therefore sleeping outside of that commitment felt like you were cheating. You follow me? Who wants to feel like that when you know you might be hurting that person when you have hope for reconciliation, which at that time, three years ago, I did. I think secretly she did, but yet there were things we still couldn’t work out. So, neither one of us were willing to sleep outside of that ten year thing that we had. It must be a surprise that there wasn’t sleeping around like most gay men and a lot of young women dooh honey, she just wasn’t all that hot. Listen—I had something for ten years that I was trying to protect! In the meantime the Lord stepped in.

    I guess my question was after you broke up—were you dating, going out?
    Charlene: That's what I’m trying to tell you—you didn't hear a thing I said. Even after we broke up there was a hope for reconciliation. There was not wanting to spoil that ten year sexual commitment we had to one another—you follow me? We didn’t want to spoil in that in case we were going to get back together. We could still say I never slept with nobody but you. We didn’t want to interrupt that but during that time, spiritually, God was still working on me. It's been three years since I slept with a woman—she is the last woman I slept with.

    You said in one interview that in regards to homosexuality your mother “knew the devil had his hold.” Do you think homosexuality is the devil?
    Charlene: Yes I do, absolutely. I believe that homosexuality is a spirit. Anything that draws you away from what God is a spirit. The whole sexual explosion, this whole sexual deviance that we experience in the world is a spiritual warfare. In other words, this is not something that I believe we as people choose for ourselves as something that would edify us. I don’t believe that so many people believe they are actually born gay. In fact, for people who believe they are born gay—I have a couple questions for you...who told you? In order for you to believe something you had to have learned it. Who told you that you were born gay? That didn’t come from your parents. Was it another gay person? Probably. Was it a piece of TV? Probably. Or, did you just, "I discovered" I was born gay. Well, how did you discover it? Again, another gay person told you that or a piece of gay media told you that —it's a lie. You are not born gay.

    What do you think of those who are not religious or who believers of other faiths—if Jesus cannot be their answer to homosexuality, then what?
    Charlene: Well, again, we come back to a fundamental belief. I believe that Jesus is the answer for all people whether they've discovered it or not. I believe that at some point every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord. Whether you are Buddha, whether you are Muslim—whatever it is, I believe that all flesh will bow to Jesus Christ.

    Do you believe anybody that does not embrace Christ or doesn’t have any plans to embrace Christ—like Buddhists, Hindus, or Jews who don’t believe Christ is the Messiah, regardless of their culture background, are abominations?
    Charlene: I believe that they’re missing out on the wonderful grace and salvation that comes along with believing in Jesus Christ. I believe if they just give themselves an opportunity to hear the word that many will actually believe. I know many Muslims, who were firm out what they believe, but got sick and was given six months and who called in a priest! You follow me? They’ve got all this Jesus Christ is not the way stuff, but faced death's door and suddenly they pushed that Muslim stuff to the side and said—what must I do to be saved! I believe we need to pull back the layers from what people say they believe and always be willing to put Jesus Christ front because I can’t save anyone—all I can do is present what I know to be the truth and allow God. I am not calling people abominations; I’m saying they have not yet believed, that's all. They are loved by God just where they are, but they will be left without excuse. They won’t be able to go into eternity saying I didn’t know—oh God, had I only known! Oh gosh, had I only heard! They will be left without excuse because I am one of many being sent into the world to release the truth about Jesus Christ. Also, if they never heard that gospel—just seeing a tree grow, you know that there's a higher power than you and somehow that ought to make you seek out what that higher power is. In doing so—again, I just think that haven’t believe yet.

    What about people who are happy with their homosexuality and don't see an inconsistency with that and their faith?
    Charlene: Yes, those folks, I believe—I was one of them so I identify with you. If you're feeling so, oh, I’m a Christian and I’m gay at the same time and I’m absolutely happy where I am, I believe I’m going to heaven, God made me just like I am—you know, I was once like you. So, listen very carefully: God loves you just the way you are, but what He's waiting for is for you to love Him just the way He is. The way He is requires that we sacrifice ourselves and become more like Him. By the time we get to the end of our life we ought to be less like ourselves, less like all the stuff we claim to, all the stuff we want to do, all the stuff we don’t want to give up and we ought to be certainly more like Christ and Christian, which requires sacrifice. You can’t do what you want to do, all the sexual stuff you want to do, all the parks, all the clubs, you know, whatever it is! I feel like I’m just picking on homosexuality but there's a whole lot of stuff out there that's not homosexual that's just on the similar—that's another point I need to make. I think that gays will begin to drop their defenses when they really understand that the church believes that lying, cheating on spouse, just being an utterly uncouth person is being on the same level of sin as homosexuality. It's all the same level, but society wants to paint homosexuality as the most deviant, most terrible abomination—it’s not. God loves everybody.

    Suicide rates are high for gay teens. What do you think this idea of conversion has on young gay people?
    Charlene: The idea that homosexuality is sin?

    The idea that if you're 15 and your mother or father says we can make you not gay anymore. There are going to be young people that are going to hear your story and say—I wonder if I can do it.
    Charlene: I would say, number one, they cannot do it. Number two, parents should not say to them, oh, we can send you off to reparative therapy camp and change you from gay to straight. I have the opposing view to that. I’m being invited to conferences to present the opposing view. We have the same goal, for a kid not to go into homosexuality or not to stay in homosexuality, but I believe it's a spiritual warfare not a—let's go put you into therapy for several years and you're coming to come out straight. That has already been proven not to work. It's a spiritual warfare! It's a spirit and can only be corrected by the spirit of God, by the person who created you in the way he intended you to be. You can’t change yourself, your parents can’t change you, reparative therapy cannot change you—only a divine commitment, a sure enough commitment to Jesus Christ is the only thing that can change you. You should certainly want your entire life to be under the Christ umbrella. You should want everything that is not like him to be changing you in your life. Homosexuality is not like Him.

    Okay, let me rephrase the question. What do you think about a 15 year old whose parents say we're going to take you to church and change you? Not therapy but actual church.
    You're still not hearing me. Going to church is very different than a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Just going to church—oh, we're going to start going to church! There are billions in church, so-called Christians who have no personal relationship with Jesus Christ. They are there as a social club, you know, whatever it is because you want to say you belong somewhere. You're there for traditions, you they're because of religious purposes—religion is for people who are trying to find God. I'm talking about people who have found it!

    Do you think through Christ that gay teens can make themselves straight?
    Charlene: [pauses] I think anyone can give themselves to Jesus Christ and begin a journey to live exactly the way the Lord intended for us to live. And, yes, if that means being heterosexual—yes, that does mean being heterosexual then certainly, yes, it can happen. I’m not saying through church, I mean, through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Yes.

    What do you say to people that say your internalized homophobia won?
    Charlene: [Laughs] I can't answer every question that comes up in a mind of person who is struggling with how to stay in your sin and be comfortable—that would be my response. They are trying to figure out what response to come up with that will keep them comfortable where they are. I know that many people are uncomfortable that's why the gay community is so angry and so loud and so vocal because the truth tends to make you uncomfortable where you are. I understand that completely.

    There have been several reports that you are getting financial support from black churches funded by white right-wing Christian organizations—
    Charlene: Thanks to the Reverend Irene Monroe, and I would have to say she started out—it's really sad—she used to write for us. A woman, who is as well-educated, accomplished, published as she is certainly you would think can provide proof for what she is putting in her journalism. So, I’m going to ask her to provide that. She started out suggesting it early on when the story first broke. I didn’t send out any news releases, rebutting any of that so then she just got bolder and bolder with this lie. Now, in the last couple things I’ve seen that she's written, she's stating it as if she were reading some copy of a bill or something. I’m asking the Reverend Monroe and anyone else who is stating this in print, particularly Reverend Monroe, to provide proof of any sort that this is the case, which she cannot because it is a lie.

    Now that you are no longer gay and Venus magazine was built on the support of the black LGBT community and in honor of your ex-partner, Venus Landin, who was killed in 1993—
    Venus and I have never been partners, just good friends.

    Okay, but the magazine was built in her honor. Some people are saying why even continue the magazine? Why not stop the magazine all together, change the name—some have called it a slap in the face to keep Venus' name on the cover.
    Charlene: A lot of people who are saying that, number one, they didn’t even know Venus. I knew Venus quite well. She lived in my home for two years before she got hooked up with this partner, she moved out into that person's home. She saw that wasn't going to work out and moved back into my house. I helped her move back into my house. The night we picked up her was the night I know that woman planned to do her in. But, here's the thing, and again, I can only speak spiritually and that is Venus was shot the three times, one bullet hit her in the back and she begin to turn…one caught her on the side and then one caught her nearly in the front. So, she became in those last seconds of her life aware of the eminent danger that she was in. You follow me? She became aware that was probably the end. In her spirit I completely believe it is possible for anyone in their last spirit to cry out to God before your mouth even has time to move, your spirit—God is there. It's in your spirit, it's in her spirit, she had time in her mind to say Lord help me, save me. Venus, I believe was made whole instantly and is in heaven right now. I believe that. I believe that is completely possible. If that is the case then Venus is rejoicing that this publication is still named in her honor! However, if that is not the case there is a passage in scripture that describes a brother who went to another place where he did not want his brothers and sisters to come and said, “Oh my God give me a cool drink of water.” Let me go back and tell, warn my brothers and stuff, not to come here, but the Lord said, “Oh no, there's prophets and preachers and there's word left. If they won’t hear them, they certainly are not going to hear a ghost that comes back.” If that is the case then it is still appropriately named in her honor.

    Do you think if Venus didn't have that outcry that you talked you think that the late Venus Landin is in hell?
    I think that it is a strong possibility. I have no heaven or hell to put anyone in. One thing for sure, you need to be certain that you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. You need to be certain that you understand that homosexuality is not pleasing to Him before you leave here.

    You talked about in previous interviews going to funerals for people in the gay community. All those funerals that you went to in the past, those people who were part of the struggle that you were in for black LGBT people—you believe that they're in hell right now?
    Charlene: No, I do not. You know, here's the thing that I believe. I believe that with this particular question you are attempting to cast me in the role of God, I’m not God. You follow me? I have no way of knowing if any of those people—they're a lot of people that a preacher will stand up over them, oh, my God, this person was so wonderful their entire life—laid them out and painted a picture when in fact—we don't know! Only God! Only God knows. I’m thinking of one brother in particular—who was a very, very proud gay man, owned a house a couple doors down from me, and came down with HIV shortly after it had a name. His mom came to town and he grew up in certainly a very religious home and she took him back home with her when he got to the point where he just couldn’t make decisions on his own. He couldn’t fight her anymore. She moved him back to Virginia and we all wanted to go and continue to visit him in the hospital and she wouldn’t allow it. Back then I thought that was the most awful thing. I’m like, she is isolating him from us, his friends, we're the ones who would visit with him and comfort him. We're the people he knows—you're isolating him. She said to me on the phone once, I begged her, can I please come—we want to come. She said, “Charlene, I want my son to have time alone with God.” Back then, I’m telling you I thought—and this was the late ‘80’s—I thought it was the most awful thing. I said, “How could this woman call herself a Christian.” I’m telling you, when I hear that now in my mind and I remember it all the time—that mother did what she felt she had to do. I understand her so much more now, she wanted her son to just be alone with God his last two weeks on earth. Hoping that he would reconcile himself with just God—hoping that all the scripture that was taught to him as a child, he would come back and say, “Lord, I ain't got nobody else but me and you.” You want that for your child, the people you love. I want it for the people that I love, people that I love are the people I’ve marched with, served with.

    Part of the reason why I’m asking you that question and part of the reason why people want to know that question is because I’m trying to understand how deep this goes for you. Is it selective? If you believe that being gay is a sin does that go for Venus, does that go for your friend you just talked about?
    Charlene: It is a sin for everyone. I cannot say if Venus went to hell because I’m not God! Again, Venus' spirit could’ve called out to God in that instant. My brother, again, we weren't there in his last moments—it only takes a moment!

    I understand, but I think that some people feel like you're saying you're not God and you are saying you can't judge, but to some you are trying to sound like God, you are judging.
    I’m not judging—God speaks that in his word, homosexuality is sin. There is no comprise on that.

    Okay, let me ask you a Biblical question. You’ve said that you were delivered from homosexuality through the teachings of Jesus Christ. Now there's only four books that quote Jesus Christ—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. So, how did the teachings of Christ save you from homosexuality if Christ himself never mentioned it? In Matthew, Mark, Luke and John—Christ never mentioned homosexuality.
    Charlene: Here's the thing...when I asked God to come into my life, I never mentioned it either. Okay! [Laughs] When I said, Lord save me! I didn't say, save me from being a lesbian—I just said Lord save me! I didn’t mention it either. I knew in my spirit He would take it because it is not like Him. There's a lot of things that Christ did not speak of when he was here. He never—well, of course He wouldn’t have because crack cocaine wasn’t the thing of that day—He never talked about crack cocaine is a sin. There's a lot he didn’t speak of! That we still know are sin. I think that is a very narrow and very weak view, really, to say -- oh, Christ didn’t think about this, therefore, I can do it. It's a very un-Christ like view and comes from a person who does not have a personal relationship with Christ. That kind of view could only come from someone who does not believe in God.

    Is it possible you have your journey and homosexuality is obviously not right for you, but the world is so diverse and the world is so different—There are places in the world where they don’t really label sexuality…do you think it's possible being a lesbian wasn’t right for you, but it's completely possible for other people? It's their journey. No one should be criminalizing your journey, but one could also say you shouldn't be downing someone else's is journey. It wasn't right for you; do you think it's possible that it is right for them?
    Charlene: No, I will not agree with the statement that homosexuality is what is right for them. I will say homosexuality has become many people's journey, but I will say that what is right at the end of that journey is did they see it as wrong and did they see themselves reconciling with Christ. It's not right for anyone! Whether they believe that or not, it doesn’t change it from being the truth. It's not what God intended.

    Are you lonely?
    Charlene: Not at all! [Laughs] I was lonely when I was a lesbian.

    People have said you've lost all your friends, you even said your ex-girlfriend is really ill; she's gotten very sick over this. You were with this community for so long you developed this circle. I know that you have Christ but on a social level, on a sit down and having a bad day and calling one of your best friends, I know you can talk to Christ also, but are you lonely without having that?
    Charlene: I think I gave you an answer. I’m not lonely...I’ve had several bad days, which I’ve written about. The day that I sought out my advertisers, I felt responsible to let them know about the change and to see what it was going to mean for the bottom line of Venus. One particular executive said, I think it will be fine Charlene—in fact that turned out not be the case as things began to unfold. So that Monday morning when I got faxes canceling all of my corporate advertisers, which I spent twelve years building, that was a sad day in that I felt that my enemies appear to have won. They feel they have won. I said God if this is the truth I now must live in; I’m willing to sacrifice all that. I’m 50 years old, I’m not 25, and I know how to do a lot of things. I sold real estate for several years and was very good at it before I started publishing—fine. I’ll dust off my real estate license and go back to selling houses. If that’s what you want, as long as I don’t lose my connection to you, Lord. And, do you know He honored that? For three days nothing happened? The negative emails from the gay community...nothing happened, then on the third day…I’m telling you, it's on the web site...on the third day, just like resurrection…I came in here and sat down and thought to myself, you better get busy selling houses because the print version of Venus appears to be over. Out of nowhere I had hundreds of email saying this has changed my life, “Oh my God, can you help me?” Gays from all over the world! France, Australia—everywhere! We're writing to say you said the same thing I’ve always been thinking, but nobody every said it out loud. The Lord showed me this is the ministry I’m giving you and this is the tip of the iceberg and don’t you worry how I’m going to finance it. I’m still not worried about how he's going to finance it, right now He's just showing me people who need and want deliverance but there’s nobody, gay theology certainly is not going to help them and their mom and day old religion—fix yourself then you can come to church. That's not going to help.

    What do you say to people who think you are crazy?
    I say they thought Jesus Christ was crazy. Again, they must not be Christians. Anyone who has a true relationship with Jesus Christ—they thought all of us were crazy! [Laughs] That's a perquisite for being a true Christian! Particularly being a true prophet of God. People are going to think you're crazy—not may, possibly, going to think you're crazy—they're going to think your crazy!

    That was the last comment I was left with from Charlene and I would argue that in our society gays are considered the psychos and crazies any day over Christians—the most popular religion on the planet.

    Venus magazine can be reached at

    "Whenever I found religion in my life, I found strife, the attempt of one individual group to rule another in the name of God. The naked will to power seemed to always walk in the wake of a hymn. The business of saving souls had no ethics; every human relationship was shamelessly exploited." -- Richard Wright, 1944

    Check this out
    Ex-Gay Aftermath

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    Posted by Clay :: 12:00 AM :: 33 comments


    Friday, April 06, 2007

    Today is Good Friday! Well, I recently saw the bizarre documentary Jesus Camp, which is about the right-wing evangelist movement attempting to make the youngest of children into "God Warriors" at the famous summer camp Kids on Fire in North Dakota. The movie was deeply disturbing, seeing distraught children weeping at the fear of God, sin, cursing, and Harry Potter.

    One of the most uncomfortable scenes was a life-size cardboard cut out of President George W. Bush on a stage with little children stretching out their arms and screaming. The adults credit Bush for bringing God back to the White House and taught the kids they are the "chosen generation" to change the world against abortion and homosexuality.

    Some of the rhetoric these kids spoke was so sad and hateful, but everyone, especially the adults, felt like they were doing this in the name of goodness—regardless of the corrupt political agenda. There is a great scene with Ted Haggard denouncing homosexuality who would soon be outed as a gay man. This movie was shaking on so many levels and brought back memories...

    I went to a Jesus Camp once when I used to live in Washington State. Yes, a black boy like me trekked to a Jesus Camp. It was the summer of 1989 and my neighbors convinced my mom that I should go to this Christian camp for two weeks. My mother was far from a religious woman but our neighbors assured us it was just a camp run by Christians, not fanatical Bible beaters—Bible beaters never think they are fanatical.

    My best friend at the time was also going so I thought it might be fun--his parents actually convinced my mom to let me go. A group of about twenty kids went deep in the woods of Washington State to learn about the vengeance of God, sinful music (especially the Madonna and Prince music I would talk about to anyone who would listen), and anything under the blood-filled sun of Revelations. Well, those white folks scared the good-golly-Jim Crow-Jesus hell out of me!

    I remember our last night we were in a dark, carpeted basement…all of us sitting on metal folding chairs, there was a musty smell in the room making it feel like a dungeon. Being that it was the last night we were forced to confess our childlike sins…everyone was crying about Jesus and how when they get home they will never sin again because they didn’t want to burn... kids began reverberating, hollering and trembling with the supposed love of Christ. I couldn’t do much but watch because I was scared. When I got back home I cried for days to my mom that I didn’t want to burn in hell. I even considered throwing out all of my Prince and Madonna records -- I threatened to only listen to Amy Grant!

    Well, my mother called our “Christian” neighbors and proceeded to cuss them out so severely that I wasn’t allowed to speak to my best friend again—my mother and I were tawdry sinners and our neighbors were just spreading the love of Christ. Many of the things I saw in the movie Jesus Camp bore a strikingly resemblance to that time I was once spent at a Christian camp.

    Jesus Camp is 90% white and upper class, so the families had the resources to send their kids to these highly expensive camps—I was able to attend camp for free, I think it was the token Negro card. There is so much money put into these kids to make them “God Warriors”. The children are home schooled so one of the parents don’t work, buying endless Christian oriented books, movies and music. However, in the black community the resources to brainwash kids are not as accessible.

    I did attend a Jesus Camp of sorts in the black community. In my mid-teens my cousin became deeply involved in an underground church. She suddenly found the power of prayer and wanted me to join in on the fun. I was no more than fourteen and easily followed my favorite cousin. While I had been to the black church before, I had never been to something as underground as this “event” in someone’s apartment—a far cry from the ritzy Christian camp I attended three years before.

    Once again we were in a dark room and someone was screaming about the love of Christ. It was about ten people and the three guys who were there were queens for days! A black woman shrieked the word, gripping her Bible, shaking it at the ceiling and questioning if we wanted to burst into flames! Satan is everywhere! Everywhere! He’s gonna get ya’ if ya' don’t repent fo' yo' sins! REPENT CHILDREN OR BURN IN THE FURNACE OF HELL!” One by one everyone got "da' spirit"! Jumped, screamed, spoke in tongues and dropped to the dirty floor—which happened to have a few roaches on the floor gettin’ da’ spirit too!

    As I was looking around trying to act as if I was in deep prayer, I said to myself, God, I hope I don't have to do this. Suddenly, my cousin caught the spirit and withered around on the floor, softly moving her head back and forth and I knew why—she just got her hair done and no amount of spirit would ruin her fresh finger waves!

    There was me and one other girl left, I knew I didn't want to be the last one. It would be like being at school and getting picked last on the team, I didn't want people to think Christ picked me last!

    So, I said, whatever—spoke in tongues, throw my hands in the air and fell to the floor (scuffing my new, white Reebok!) and began shaking on the floor like a Patti LaBelle drag queen. My cousin hollered and grabbed onto me because I had finally got the spirit—she cried and held me to her bosom as if we were Jesus and Mary. Everyone was so proud that she brought me, I was special. We were implicitly ordered to give ten dollars to Jesus.

    I never came back.

    In November 2006 the Kids on Fire summer camp shut down due to outrage and protests after seeing the film Jesus Camp.

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    Posted by Clay :: 12:00 AM :: 9 comments


    Thursday, April 05, 2007

    Human Giant Tonight on MTV
    Human Giant is premiering tonight on MTV @ 10:30pm with Aziz Ansari, Rob Huebel (you know, “inconsiderate cell phone man” from the movies), Paul Scheer (Best Week Ever), and Jason Woliner. And to get everyone ready to go you can download a full episode for FREE on iTunes.

    This premiere episode has a special guest appearance by Ghostface Killah, who is teaching Aziz a lesson about manipulating the ticket system. Plus many other hilarious skits for your enjoyment.

    Get your cackle on and download it here!

    Here is a clip of the upcoming season!


    Posted by Clay :: 12:00 AM :: 0 comments

    Wednesday, April 04, 2007

    Grindhouse isn’t just an old school, double feature '70s-ish horror flick—it is an all-inclusive, tour de force of a corrupt movie going experience! Complete with grainy film, missing reels, over-the-top previews, sexy lesbians, ratings warnings--everything about this film says double feature at a trashy '70's drive-in. All you need is a two-door car with a cheap speaker stuffed in the window. As Oprah says, love is in the details—Quentin Tarantanio and Robert Rodriguez are detailed even down to the cheesy boob shots!

    Grindhouse begins with the non-stop bang, Project Terror, the story of a small town inundated with a deadly and extremely unattractive disease that is morphing the entire town into man-eating, zombie savages. Cherry, played by the always chichi Rose McGowan, is a stripper (McGowan's first scene is one of the best openings for a camp film that I have ever seen next to John Waters' Female Trouble) who lost her leg in a roadside accident. She falls into a deep depression and cries to her boyfriend Wray, played by Six Feet Under's Freddy Rodriguez, "I wanted to be a stand-up comedian!" After Wray replaces her dismembered limb with a fabulous machine gun, Cherry and an entourage of unexpected rebels fight back against the deranged zombies who could possibly take over the planet. Planet Terror also includes Fergie, Bruce Willis and Naveen Andrews from ABC's Lost in supporting roles--not cameos, but actual characters.

    Director Robert Rodriguez takes Planet Terror to the highest levels of camp, horror, bad taste and boob-a-licious extremes that one cannot help but to enjoy every millisecond of this tawdry flick. Yes, it is a satire on the decadently terrible films of the '70s, however, it still has a surprisingly engaging script that translates to a fickle 2007.

    Planet Terror does not take itself seriously and nearly yells back at the audience, "If you don't like it—f$%k you!" The screen wants to gross you out, make you scream, cover your eyes in laughter (and horror), never missing one gruesome, exploding zombie note. A great example of the perfect camp element is two girls dramatically splattered with blood and the next scene they are completely clean, hair blowing in the wind, make-up to perfection looking into the camera with their head cocked to the side and lips slightly parted. The audience was cheering and hollering—last time I heard that much applause was for Jennifer Hudson lip-synching "And I Am Telling You" in Dreamgirlsthis time it was well-deserved!

    Right before the second film we get a new set of tailors that were equally as brazen as Planet Terror. Thanksgiving (see clip below), directed by Eli Roth of Hostel, was disgustingly entertaining and arguably the best part of the entire movie, which I thought was nearly impossible to top after Planet Terror.

    About one hour and forty five minutes into Grindhouse Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof begins. Expectations are high; we know the madness of this crazy white man who loves black people. He has two women of color in lead roles, the insanely sexy Sydney Poitier (yes, Sidney Poitier’s daughter!) and Rosario Dawson. Well, sorry to tell you, but Death Proof lets us know that Grindhouse is not fool proof. Death Proof was a decaffeinated, cinematic bore that had a quarter of the audience walking out after about thirty exhausting minutes—this was a press screening and when the press (not even the general public) are walking out on a film there is a problem!

    Let me succinctly explain the humdrum plot of Death Proof: endless babbling, Rose McGowan (that's always a plus), a serial killer (Kurt Russell) with a stunt car who kills people, more talking, a drawn-out car crash, more chatter and it's over...what a yawner! Yes, Tarantino is known for these long monologues but in this film it was a waste of eco-friendly space. The motionless ten to fifteen minute diatribes from four girls who rant about sex, relationships and their boring love lives were painful—a bland, '70's version of Sex & the City but without Samantha!

    Outside of the clothes and the music the '70's movie theme vanished. The film was no longer grainy, Lindsay Lohan's pantiless name was mentioned and they were sending grammatically incorrect text messages. Death Proof took the audience out of Grindhouse and back in the drab, flavorless world of 2007 movies. Oh yeah, there is a great car chase scene, which was entertaining but even that scene was too long and unrealistic. By the time the film ended nearly half the theatre emptied out.

    Planet Terror was so strong (and thank God, the first movie) that it annihilates the bad in a bad way film of Death Proof. Now, I will say this, true to double feature form—the first movie is always better than the first. So, did Tarantino do this on purpose? I doubt it; double features can never be boring...trashy, campy and tawdry, but never boring. Death Proof seemed to take itself seriously as a great, dialogue-filled, horror movie, but that is not what you want at a double want non-stop production so if you get out of the car at the drive-in and buy some popcorn or tootsie rolls you will come back feeling like you didn't miss a want consistent drama is easy to follow even if you lose track of the plot after getting a want two for the price of one so you have enough gas money to drive to the local make-out section of your town! Isn't that what double-features are all about? Popcorn, tootsie rolls and cheap sex!

    Planet Terror: Tens across the board!
    Death Proof: One chop!

    Overall: 3/4 stars

    Grindhouse is in theatres nationwide Friday, April 6th.

    Here is the "fake trailer" for Thanksgiving. WARNING: This is extremely graphic and definitely rated R!


    Posted by Clay :: 12:00 AM :: 3 comments


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