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:
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.
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 Blackplanet.com--who 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 Blackplanet.com. Let me know when you can.
She responds with:
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: Religion, Sexuality