“It doesn’t matter how long a person has been homosexual or how they previously identified, any person can, based on their own self-determining desires, change what they choose to change.” DL Foster
As a straight ally, addressing extreme antigay behavior in the black community since 2005, I have had the displeasure of having contact with Rev. DL Foster the “ex-gay” founder of the highly offensive Gay Christian Movement Watch. In our one and only phone conversation two years ago, Foster shared with me that he has about as much compassion and for me and other pro gays as he has for road kill lying dead on the highways of Georgia. It is that type of behavior that caused both Exodus International and PFOX to distance themselves from Foster. This behavior has caused many to view Foster as a laughing stock and someone who is simply irrelevant.
DL Foster has a secret, he is no longer irrelevant.
Yes DL Foster the same man who claims to be ex-gay and yet does not claim to be straight, is making an impact in the black community. For those in the black church who feel as though their sexual orientation and their faith can’t live under the same roof, DL is a hero, a father figure and a mentor. As we celebrate the decline of Exodus Int., the reality of marriage equality, and the dethrone of the religious right as a political force, we must not abandon the black same gender loving and LGBT communities.
We must not forget about the black SGL/LGBT community which is now the target of the “ex-gay” industry.
Who holds the bulls-eye?
It is not Exodus, not Desert Stream, and not even the new Exodus breakaway Restored Hope Network that are making the black community their number one target. No, it is the “irrelevant” one DL Foster, who is slowly doing what the once mighty Exodus could never do; successfully recruit African Americans.
DL has become a pied piper to those who want out of the reality of their sexual orientation. Led by sexual repression and religious based heterosexism in the black church, they seek to change the unchangeable by turning to DL Foster and his Overcomers Network. According to their website Overcomers Network (ON) founded this year, “is a vibrant, growing global fellowship comprised on men and women from the US and numerous foreign countries who trust Jesus Christ as the only source of freedom from homosexuality, lesbianism, transgenderism, bisexuality, gender confusion, pornography and other forms of sexual immorality that inhibit the glory of God from shining through their lives.” With seven locations in Orlando, Dallas, Columbus, GA., Mobile, AL, Columbus, OH, Atlanta, Chattanooga, TN, and Los Angeles; DL Foster has taken his self-hate and denial one man show to a major city near you.
Gone are the days when DL Foster was merely a lone deranged man with a video camera and internet access. Although to some he is still deranged, he is no longer alone thanks to social media including youtube where he has connected with others such as James Perryman of I AM Free Project who called Foster one of the nation’s leading voices on the issue of homosexuality. Perryman is half right, DL Foster is not a leading voice; he is the leading voice of what happens when we deny our sexual orientation and allow that denial and self-hate to guide us.
Over the next couple of months I will continue to cover the “ex-gay” movement and religious based homophobia in the black community. As we take this journey we will sadly see that it starts with DL Foster the “irrelevant” one.
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Rev. Gerald Palmer, MSW