JAI

Black & Gay in the Church: I Told My Bishop that “I Love Bottoms” and This is What Happened

Black & Gay in the Church: I Told My Bishop that “I Love Bottoms” and This is What Happened
I made the intention, last week, amidst some personal turmoil, to change.  At the time, someone who was extremely close to me had betrayed me, one of my business deals wasn’t going the direction I had hoped, and my professional outlook–the one I thought was becoming more clear–was now filled with confusion.

But in those moments, the times when life is throwing the kitchen sink at you, the opportunity is to become more centered and find the you inside the storm.  We get so sidetracked when life gets off the rails by figuring out our way through.  When really, we simply need to decide what is the next best move.  What is one thing I can do to get back on track, then repeat?

The remedy to these moments of turmoil for me has always been insightful conversation.  I believe my grace space in life is being able to tell stories.  My story, or help others tell theirs, I love being able express what’s really in our hearts in a way that grows us forward.  Then God blessed me with a conversation with my pastor, Bishop O. C. Allen, III.

Coming from Texas where I was a member at the Potter’s House then Cosmopolitan Congregation of Dallas, and then having grown up Church of Christ, I’ve always been at odds with how to effectively build a relationship with my minister.  Somewhere between having my shit together, and seek ye first the Kingdom of God, I’ve always felt like he (or she) was always a little more holy than my “sex is an analogy for life” life would allow.  But Bishop Allen is different.

Coming from Los Angeles, then Pastor Oliver Clyde Allen, III, founded the Vision Church with one goal: to help people fix themselves.  Many of us, as he’s accounted during his sermons, believe the problems at the intersection of gay and Jesus are with the church.  But the church, as Bishop explains, is just people.  And anything that involves people is flawed.  His church, now in its eleventh year, is endeavoring to (1) accept people flaws and all, the church included, and (2) present Jesus in a way that is as flaw-free as flawed people can.  His flaws and all approach to spirit is what drew me to Vision, and to this breakfast.

It’s because bottoms run the world.

Bishop and I were talking.  He knows I come from a long resume of sex blogging, and I know he comes from a long resume of Jesus.  So he posed a question that escapes me, but my answer was clear. “It’s because bottoms run the world.”  Bishop sat a little taller, eyebrows grew on his forehead before he leaned closer to me asking, “What do you mean?”

Have you ever thought about what it takes to bottom.  When we hook-up, the bottom probably opens his home, his bedroom, his bed, and ultimately his body to us for the purpose of our pleasure.  He supports our bullshit and baggage, our mommy and daddy issues, our bills due, masculinity complexes, internalized stigma, homophobia and the like on his back.  Everything known and unknown that we present to the world, bottoms accept, allow, and help us heal from, if only for a moment.  He wraps us in the cradle of his womb for one moment of clarity.  Without bottoms, I’ll say, we’d be fcked.

The the other-ing of bottoms is more indicative of our insecurity than it is of their power.

No other cultural institution does more for us than bottoms.  And to think we cast them aside as too fem, too loose, hoes, sluts, and all the other names we call them.  The the other-ing of bottoms is more indicative of our insecurity than it is of their power.  It takes power to be vulnerable enough to allow a man into your most sacred of spaces.  Power to hold him up and allow him to be more than what he even thinks of himself.  It takes power to keep us safe, or content, or even just keep our balls empty.  It takes preparation and power.  Bottoms, my friend, run the world.

As I explained all this to Bishop Allen, I thought he was going to chastise me for being a sexually active gay human.  Deep inside, although Bishop hadn’t said anything of the sort, I saw his cloth and his calling and thought he’d surely have a biblical response.  He didn’t.  He agreed and engaged.  He had commentary and dialogue with me that deepened my belief in myself, my thoughts, him and the God he served.  He became less of a Bishop (and all that title implies) and became a real person.  My Bishop is my homeboy and he knows I love bottoms.

Share This Articles
  • paulmsmith

    I can readily appreciate the philosophical crucible that the bottom holds for you. Like you said, “… When we hook-up, the bottom probably opens his home, his bedroom, his bed, and ultimately his body to us for the purpose of our pleasure. He supports our bullshit and baggage, our mommy and daddy issues, our bills due, masculinity complexes, internalized stigma, homophobia and the like on his back. Everything known and unknown that we present to the world, bottoms accept, allow, and help us heal from, if only for a moment. He wraps us in the cradle of his womb for one moment of clarity”. but, what does the bottom receive in return. If he merely accepts allows and heals you, what do you offer back to him.

  • Ronald Wesby

    “I like bottoms”… why tell that to your Pastor ? Is your Pastor suppose to think, “he’s not really gay, he’s a top?”. Why not just explain to your Pastor…if you feel the need to do so, that you are a SGL man that love men. I love the way they walk, talk make me feel; they give me “LIFE”. “I LIVE FOR THEM”, I believe that a Bishop or Pastor understand what a “BOTTOM” mean in a SGL relationship, but it seems to be the angle here. Meaning seems important to him that the pastor know that he’s not a bottom. There is another angle to this: “Bottoms” aren’t all fems, many SGL men love “masculine-bottoms” w, many of them are versatile and can’t get it many times at home .

%d bloggers like this: