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December 27, 2005


No wonder people in the church are so confused about homosexuality. Our "leaders" are a few bananas short of a bunch on this one. Bishop Noel Jones answers a reader of Gospel Today Magazine about Tyler Perry, church drag and homosexuality:
In response to your article on Tyler Perry (GT Mar/Apr '05), I have some questions and I'm a little confused on the church viewpoint when it comes to Tyler Perry dressing up as a woman. I was sitting at home watching Tyler Perry being interviewed on TBN by Juanita Bynum; I was so shocked that pastors and ministers all over this country have embraced this man who dresses in drag. I have seen and heard so many pastors and ministers condemn homosexuality and lesbianism. So, what makes it different for Mr. Perry, as compared to RuPaul (the famous drag queen)?
Don't get me wrong, I am very happy and proud of Tyler Perry for making it big. But it seems to be a double standard in the Body of Christ. If you are rich, then it is OK to be a drag queen and make fun of the church in your plays. I see you featured him in Gospel Today. What does a man dressing in drag and playing a foul-mouthed old lady have to do with the Gospel (Is it because he has a few church scenes and they sing a few Gospel songs)? If RuPaul did a so-called "spiritual play," would it be OK for him to dress in drag? Would pastors and ministers embrace him? -Charles, Oakland, CA

I have the privilege of being the pastor of many of the leading young actors in the country. Chris Tucker played a gay in the Fifth Element acting alongside Bruce Willis and others. Chris now wishes he had never done it, and I do not know why he feels that way. I thought his portrayal of a gay man was phenomenal, particularly because Chris is a straight man. His acting skills are incredible.

I do not think that I could play this type of role convincingly, even after being around my own gay brother for over 50 years. Yet, my younger brother, who is an astounding comedian/actor, mimics a gay man with such ease and hilarity that you would laugh until you fell out of your chair. Ironically, my younger brother is 285 pounds of proportioned protoplasm and is straight. In fact, this younger brother of mine trains with another member of the City of Refuge, the heavyweight champion of the world. Do I condone my brother's gay lifestyle, the answer is "No." But I endure it, and we laugh about it in the midst of praying for a change in his life. The question becomes, "Does my gay brother have more influence on my straight brother's life than mine? The answer is "Yes."

[Full response in the Nov/Dec issue of Gospel Today.]


Robert said...

Minor factual correction -
the role played by Chris Tucker in "Fifth Element", while flamboyant to an extent almost indescribable in prose, is not (apparently) gay, as he blatantly macks at least one female character and shows no sexual interest in any male characters.

From what I've read in interviews he's done since, Tucker's main disappointment with the role was that it was a minor role within an ensemble, whereas his goal in subsequent movies has been to play more prominent roles - e.g., Rush Hour.

DL Foster said...

Thanks, I wasnt aware of that. Fith Element is a fave of mine and I never once thought that the eccentric character he played was gay. I think Tucker did a phenomenal job in that. I just think the Bishop's answer was weird to say the least.