01 November 2007

The Miseducation of Donnie McClurkin (Part Three)

Donnie McClurkin

The interview continues:

Clay Cane: How long were you guys being sexual?

"Rob": Off and on for three years, 2001 to 2004. During this time (was) really the height of his anti-Gay rants. (His) book came out, he made comments, (and) he told The New York Times (that) he’s counseling adolescent boys to convert them from homosexuality.

Clay Cane: Would you hear about these rants?

"Rob": Every time I’d read an article in Ebony or Jet (magazines), or whatever, I’d . . . get upset, and we’d always have an argument about it . . . I said, “It’s crazy! What you’re doing is crazy. You’re writing this stuff, but yet you’re still doing it!” I said, “I have a problem with that. What’s wrong with you?” He said, “I have a problem.”

Clay Cane: What do you think he meant by “I have a problem”?

"Rob": It’s something he just can’t control. He feels that he has to say that to please people. He said, “I don’t want people to believe that I’m still doing it.” Some of the stuff he said (was): “I’m not in the mood to play with those who are trying to kill our children.” This is what he said in 2002 on the Christian Broadcasting Network! Some of the other Gospel artists . . .

Clay Cane: If they’re not homophobic I don’t want to know their (names).

"Rob": They’re not. They are Gay, (and) they would be p*ssed, livid . . . (they'd say) "Did you hear what 'Crazy' said?" It would be widespread. "Did you hear what he said? He’s mentally ill . . . " That was the thing they’d always say: "I love him, he’s a talented man, but he’s crazy, and he’s confused."

I was livid when I read this part of the interview! Anybody who grew up in the Black church knows that there's a sizable presence of Lesbians and Gay men on the Gospel circuit. It's whispered about all the time! The most famous closeted Gospel singer was the late Reverend James Cleveland, whose illness and subsequent death from AIDS in 1991 finally revealed the secret he'd kept for years. So I knew about closeted Gospel singers, but I never thought any of them had pride in themselves as Gay people! I certainly never suspected any of them were upset by the anti-Gay rhetoric that permeates their industry.

What good does it do for these stars to rail privately against hypocrites like Donnie McClurkin and stay hidden in their closets? And how do we advance the struggle for Gay Rights by keeping their secrets? Clay Cane thinks the identities of Gay Gospel artists should be protected because they're "not homophobic." I beg to differ! The definition of "homophobia" is "fear of homosexuality", and that describes their attitude to a tee!

Actually, they're worse than homophobic; they're accomodationists. Nothing but damn Uncle Toms and Aunt Jemimahs, grinning in the face of the slavemaster and disparaging him behind his back, for all the good it does! Their moral cowardice enables heterosexist bigotry, and frankly, so does Clay Cane's willingness to join their conspiracy of silence.

Clay Cane: Was he actively trying to stop having sex with men?

"Rob": Yeah, I believe so, because of the tears . . . (I heard) him cry. I believe he was really fighting something . . . he did say one time (that) it’s something that can lie dormant, (and) you don’t have to act upon (being Gay). Even though it’s in you, you don’t have to act upon it. He said, “I’m just hoping that God will just continue to keep me strong.”

Is that what he calls living a lie . . . being strong? The poor man seems to be so mixed-up psychologically, he doesn't even know how to ask God for deliverance from his pain! A word of caution about the following quote: It's of a more explicit nature than I usually allow on this blog. I'm presenting it here because of what it can teach us about the mentality of closeted clergy:

Clay Cane: You’ve kind of touched on this, but in my experiences, people who are sexually repressed (are) very over-the-top sexually, "freaky" . . . would that be fair to say about him?

"Rob": (Sex) was very involved, rough, sweaty and vocal . . . I guess it’s just the talk, “Whose p*ssy is this? Tell me . . ." (He was) yelling it . . . it was . . . almost like he was being raped.

Clay Cane: Was he completely sober and clear-minded during sex?

"Rob": Yes, but he was addicted to sex.

How ironic, if true: The very thing McClurkin speaks out against so vociferously has (allegedly) become a secret addiction for him. The old "forbidden fruit" syndrome! It's classic closet-case behavior.

Clay Cane: There are so many Gay people in the Gospel music industry. Why did he have to be so . . . so like he was?

"Rob": It seems like every time he was attacked in the media, or word was getting around (about him), it just seemed like it made him even madder . . . one lady wrote an article (called) “The Sins of Donnie McClurkin”, (and) I mean, it was scathing . . . every time somebody would do that, he would counter-attack. The articles (and) the hearsay would make him just go crazy, and he was not fun to be around. One time we met, and it was him sitting in a bed Indian-style, and me sitting in the hotel chair looking at TV. No sex, no nothing . . .

Clay Cane: You did care about him to a certain extent?

"Rob": Yeah, and I know he cared about me. (I'd) get calls, you know: “I need someone to talk to. I'm lonely, I’m so lonely.” I felt sorry (for him) . . . it was sincere.

Clay Cane: What made the relationship stop?

"Rob": It was the hot-and-cold (treatment). One day (he'd) send (me) an email or a text message saying "meet me here" or "can I come there". Then (I'd) see (him) at an event, and (he'd) totally ignore (me), walk past (me). . . (he'd) be totally cold . . . on the phone, or (he wouldn't) take (my) messages. Not that I was some scorned person or anything, but it was just so extreme! It all related to (weaning) himself off of men. (His) church had now gotten up to maybe . . . 1,000 (members).

Clay Cane: (How) did it finally stop?

"Rob": We had planned a meeting and he said, “I’m going to stop putting you through this, and I’m going to stop putting myself through this.” (It was) December 2004 . . . he said, “I have to do the right thing, it’s becoming a problem; I have to be all I need to be to my church, my people. I have to be real (about) what I’m saying, to what you’re reading (in Scripture).” He said, “It’s like (I'm) an ex-drug user . . . (I'm) in recovery, in a sense.” He always did look at it like he was in some (kind) of recovery. “As long as I’m not acting upon it, I’m okay. Yes, deep down, I probably am Gay, but as long as I’m not acting on it . . . ”

Do tell! You stop being Gay when you stop having sex with men? Dude's got the "ex-Gay" rhetoric down pat!

Clay Cane: Tell me about the last time you saw him.

"Rob": It was March 2007; I was at a restaurant in Manhattan. I was at a table with a good friend who started a production company. This very effeminate guy came in, cute . . . he was sitting there waiting for his guest. I’m talking to my friend, and he says,  "Somebody is approaching you" . . . someone puts his arm around me, and I stand up . . . it’s him. We hugged, and then he introduced me to the person.

Clay Cane: This is the person who was very effeminate?

"Rob": Very!

Clay Cane: In your mind, obviously Gay?

"Rob": Yeah, obviously, to anyone . . . we went back to eat, but he was uncomfortable. He moved all the way (over) in the corner. The person I was with said, “You two were involved?” He didn’t know anything . . . I never confirmed it.

Clay Cane: Did he tell you why he was there with the guy?

"Rob": Later, we did talk, and he said, “OK, that was someone I’m counseling.”

"Counseling" . . . yeah!  I'm so sure! Horizontal counseling, no doubt! This alleged episode would be amusing if it weren't so pitiful.

Clay Cane: Now, he’s obviously going to know this is you (being interviewed). You don’t think so?

"Rob": You know, the reason why I don’t think so is because . . . I know there are others! I think he’s going to be confused. He’s going to say, "Either it was this one, that one, or that one." You know? There were others.

I don't doubt it! But I wonder if all of McClurkin's sexual encounters were/are safe? If he did have sex with "Rob", did he use protection? Does he ever use protection? Clay Cane doesn't appear to have asked about that. If I had to bet, I'd say no! It sounds like Donnie McClurkin may be acting out suicidal impulses in bed. The behavior described here is nothing if not self-destructive. The man seems to be hurtling toward a very public downfall!

"The Miseducation of Donnie McClurkin" concludes with Part Four.

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