Milk and Semen: Concepts Possibly Equated in Unconsciosu
To The Seminal Truth? Table of Content.
The Construction of Machismo in Cuba: Torre
Spirituality and Gay Males
The African-American Gay Experience

Feeling the Spirit in the Dark: Expanding Notions of the Sacred in the African-American Gay Community by E. Patrick Johnson (1998). "In this essay I shall focus on how African-American gays have attempted to reconcile the spirit and the flesh by moving from 'place to space.' Drawing heavily upon Michel de Certeau's formulation of place and space, Vivian M. Patraka argues that 'place refers to a prescripted performance of interpretation, while space produces sites for multiple performances of interpretation, which situate/produce the spectator as historical subject' (100)" (p. 399).

"As we saw in Aretha Franklin's song, these black bodies in motion conjure and inspire not only a "holy" spirit, but a sensuous and sexual one as well. When congregants "feel the spirit," their bodies are flung into motion in ways that transform the sacred body into a very secular body, a body that weds the spiritual with the sexual. Within the context of the sacred "place" of the church, however, the sexual/sensual body is both invisible and foregrounded, shunned and gazed upon, denigrated and enjoyed... Nowhere is this false dichotomy foregrounded more than within the traditional African-American worship service itself. The entire church service may be likened to a sexual encounter: there is flirting, petting, foreplay, orgasm, and post-coital bliss." (p. 401).

"Removed from the homophobic, guilt-ridden, and self-hating rhetoric of many black churches, the gay night club has become an alternative space in which African-American gay men can express their spirituality as well as their sexuality. By incorporating sacred traditions found in African-American culture and infusing them in the secular space of the gay night club, African-American gay men have created a self-validating environment in which they possess sexual agency on the one hand, and are possessed by the spirit on the other." (p. 406).

"The DJ's preaching, along with the repetitive beat of the music, works us into a frenzy... In the event described above, body and soul coalesced--flesh and spirit were wed. In other words, feeling the spirit in the dark became a process through which the spirit was made manifest through the flesh or through an enactment of what Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa call a 'theory in the flesh'" (p. 408-9).

"...because the church cannot and will not provide an affirming environment for African-American gay men to express their sexuality as well as their spirituality, the night club becomes an alternative 'sanctuary.' In Hartford, Connecticut, for instance, 'Sanctuary' is the name of a gay night club, publicly transgressing what that place traditionally signifies" (p. 411).

Spirituality? - "Moreover, the homophobic, guilt-ridden, and oppressive rhetoric of the black church leads to self-hatred, low self-esteem, and in some cases, suicide, for those gay members who cannot come to terms with their sexuality within the confining place of the church. In those instances where one's homosexuality is known, the church embraces that member only if he is willing to "exorcise" his gayness. This kind of backhanded acceptance maintains the hegemony of heterosexuality as Christ-like, as well as reinforces the notion of homosexuality as an abomination" (p. 413).

Milk and Semen: Concepts Possibly Equated in Unconsciosu
The Construction of Machismo in Cuba: Torre

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