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October 06, 2006

Prominent black lesbian activist yields to Christ

The news is spreading quickly in the black gay community. Some have responded with shock, some with anger, still others with a guarded fear.

The reason: A prominent lesbian activist and gay community leader has given her life --and style-- to Christ and is refusing to be quiet about it.

Charlene Cothran, publisher and founder of VENUS magazine recently released her story via her magazine to the dismay of some homosexual activists. Titled "Redeemed!", Cothran tells how as a "proud card carrying lesbian" she was confronted by a female pastor with the truth about God's plan for her life. Like many (myself included) who initially resist truth about themselves, Cothran says she also hardened her heart and dug in, hoping to discourage the pastor from continued communication with her. She boldly told the pastor she was a lesbian.

"She reminded me that God's mercy allowed me to survive my experience as He developed my gifts, all as a part of His plan to lead others to Him.", wrote Cothran.

Cothran's conversion is significant because she was a cornerstone activist and pioneer publisher. VENUS, named after a Cothran's friend who was murdered by the woman's lesbian partner in 1993, was one the first national black gay magazines. VENUS promoted same sex marriage and helped to push the black coined term "same gender loving".
In August, Cothran was honored by New York Black Pride with the Langston Hughes award. She was one of 11 black "gay, lesbian and straight" individuals selected for "outstanding achievement". Also honored at the ceremony was actress Sheryl Lee Ralph and Rev. Al Sharpton.

Despite her secular notoriety, Cothran told me via email that she was looking forward and praying that God would open doors for her to deal with two particular aspects of homosexuality. Not only has she been transformed, but VENUS was transformed, too. Although the magazine retains its original name, its now aimed at helping men and women "in the life" get out if they want to.

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