Page 1

English version


T

he Magazine has always been a non-exhaus ve summary of Jeunialissime’s ac ons, as well as the major points that marked the year.

A survey conducted with CONERELA + revealed that many young people were deser ng churches because they felt discriminated against and s gma zed.

This edi on focuses on the inter-self and the existen al and spiritual issues posed by young LGBTIQ +, certainly, but also all young people in general, in search of their iden ty. We hope that the tes mony chosen this year will be a source of comfort and inspira on for you.

To decant the situa on, this year we have, in partnership with CONERELA +, brought together some religious leaders and some representa ves of the LGBTIQ community to discuss this issue. You will discover what results in this edi on.

You will discover, in this edi on, how the young people who a end our debates answer the important and structuring ques ons for them.

Discover also the Reverend JIDE MACAULAY, who is openly gay and runs the HOUSE OF RAINBOW structure. Our interview with him will help you make the bridge with all the issues and will allow you to make a fairer opinion.

Religion and even more spirituality is very important for every individual whoever he or she is. Unfortunately, religion tends to be the main determinant in whether or not individuals accept their sexual orienta on or gender iden ty.

We really hope that this edi on will have a strong impact in our goal of building a be er future with our differences.

With regard to homosexual and bisexual people, religious groups publicly express their rejec on of homosexuality and associate sexual behavior of the same sex with Satanism. For example, in Bukavu, a Catholic Church radio sta on runs a program every Saturday, encouraging the community to hate homosexuals and bisexuals. How can a young person from these communi es have good mental health and rapport with religion or spirituality in this type of environment?

Good reading !

Scaly Kep’na President of Jeunialissime


COVER Photo : Ajamu Photography UK Model : Rév. Jide Macaulay

Page

4

OUR DEBATES IS IT IMPORTANT TO COME OUT ? ARE WE HOMOSEXUALS FOR LIFE ? CAN HOMOSEXUALS EXPERIENCE A SPIRITUAL APPROACH?

LOOK AT 2017 NEWS

Page

12

RELIGIOUS LEADERS AND THE LGBTI COMMUNITY ON THE ROAD OF A COLLABORATION

Page

15

TESTIMONY LESBIAN AND CHRISTIAN, I’VE HELD FAITH

INTERVIEW WITH... REVEREND JIDE MACAULAY OF HOUSE OF RAINBOW

Page

17


OUR DEBATES

«A priest from my ward told my father that I am gay. I was chased out of the house and since then I have no fixed place to spend my nights. My future is threatened because we can not stand my studies when I just started university.» Mardoché «I’m coming out step by step. But being already financially self-sufficient helps to overcome retalia ons. Some members of my family are aware, they do not agree with my sexual orienta on, but no one is able to impose anything on me. They rather provide the effort to take me as I am.» Ernest

M

4

any young Kinois have already heard about the term coming out, in television series or in reports without really knowing its meaning. It was therefore deemed appropriate to share what everyone understood by that. Defini ons flocked on both sides, each according to his understanding spoke without fear of taunts. A coming out is the fact of announcing a homosexual or bisexual sexual orienta on, or even a transgender iden ty. And this announcement is made by the person concerned. Otherwise, we are talking about ou ng. More broadly, coming out can mean an affirma on of someone’s identy. Some mes they say «get out of the closet». This marks an exit from his hiding place, a revela on and self-acceptance as we are. A er clarifica on, those who came out shared their experiences. Those who lived it well did not hesitate to praise the benefits and benefits. «My coming out was not caused by anyone. But my family suspected me of being lesbian. I have long denied. I just didn’t stand the pressure and I ended up cracking. This has not been easy. I was s ll a student. At the slightest misstep on my part, I was a acked on this ground. I was not rejected but I suffered from this period. Today I am independent, I live be er my coming out. The coming out allows me to be true to myself.» Danielle

The image of this step is not always peaceful as these few tes monies illustrate it. For some, it was hard and for others a li le less. Outside of Danielle and Ernest, many young homosexuals find themselves in the case of Mardoché who was chased from family and since then he no longer studies because his father decided to no longer support his scholarship fees. While he deeply desires to be important to society. Many people are neither psychologically nor financially prepared to this step that has a lot of consequences. The story of Mardoché led to the conclusion that there’s no need to come out of the closet as long as you’re not ready. But in many ways, this step allows to leave a phase of anxiety where we’re constantly afraid of being unmasked. We have firts to analyze the situa on that we’re in. Financial autonomy is important before making the decision to come out. Many others would like to live openly their sexuxal orienta on or gender iden ty in front of their loved ones, but the condi ons in which they are don’t guarantee their future. There are some who dare to make the leap, but many refuse to lose privileges, respect and love of their love ones. Coming out, let’s no ce it, is therefore rela vely important phase, but not necessary. It’s important to know that we’re supposed to come out for ourselves, not for someone else.


FOR LIFE ? I

n Kinshasa, capital of the Democra c Republic of Congo, there are a lot of young people who are not able to understand their condi on as homosexuals, they don’t know how to put words on what they feel and what they really are. Many young homosexuals think that their «condi on» is only transient, that it is only a stage of life, that will eventually escape them or that they will be able to «go out» at some point in their life. Hence, among other reasons, the need for our gatherings, our deba ng sessions. ‘‘I’m 20 years old and I don’t plan to stay lesbian a er my 25th birthday. I intend to get married with a man and to start a family.’’ J.J These considera ons did not come out by anchance. Many aspects of our society, of our immediate environment and myths surrounding the very no on of homosexuality or outright sexual diversity make a significant influence on the way the LGBT community perceives itself. ‘‘My father once told my mother not to worry too much for me, that it was only a mistake of youth which would inevitably end up happening.’’ C. Currently, a phenomen named SHOWBIZ is raging. This name iden fies the fact that young men have sex with men as a business, a source of money... Some people are not gays or lesbians but they just sleep with people of the same sex just for money. And that does not help the society to perceive differently homosexuality. Because by the way, our society iden fies homosexuality as a work and not a statet of being, an innate condi on.

OUR DEBATES

ARE WE HOMOSEXUALS

As much as heterosexuality or homosexuality, any sexual orienta on can be defini ve or scalable. It depends on the cases. We talk about evolu on because very o en it could be the result of a need to rediscover oneself, to explore something new. And that this quest is born a click. Many heterosexuals repressing their homosexual side, having tried something new, have finished as bissexuals or outright homosexuals. The same logic is therefore applied cable for homosexuals. We talk about fluidity. Sexual orienta on would be fluid. In addi on, sleep with a sex person opposite does not make you a heterosexual one. Similarly, sleep with a person ot the same sex does not make you a homosexual. Sexual prac ce does not define a sexual orienta on. And so he was told to J.J that no longer having homosexual prac ces as she predicts would not make her a straight so far. But what would she decide, who knows, to live in denial. Social percep ons can condi on someone to believe that he has «become» heterosexual and thus con nue to lie to escape discrimina on and s gma za on. Because the no on of orienta on sexuality is much deeper than a sexual aspect. In the end, there are homosexuals for life, just as there are who have seen their sexuality evolve, migrate to something else. Some persons discover later that they are heterosexual while others are realizing just as late as they are homosexuals.

5


OUR DEBATES

W

hat do you understand about the no on of spirituality? Can we disnguish spirituality from religion?

What do you think of the compa bility between spirituality and any sexual orienta on different from heterosexuality? Do people in the LGBTIQ community have the right to access a form of spirituality?

6

We understand that in many areas, prejudices and myths, among other unfounded reasons, are the source of this confusion. Here are the reacons of some par cipants to one of our exchanges :

‘‘Spirituality, according to my understanding, is the fact of being in communion and in harmony with the world around us’’ Masema ‘‘For me, spirituality refers to respect and love for others’’ Naija ‘‘Spirituality is the fact of being in communion with God by observing His established Laws and Principles’’ Paul

Did you know that spirituality meant immateriality in the fourteenth century? In pre-colonial Africa, spirituality was associated with the existence of invisible forces, ancestors that served as a bridge between the divine and men or the visible world. On the other hand, religion can today be defined as a «recogni on by the human being of a higher being / principle of which his des ny depends; intellectual and moral a tude that results At the whim of cultural movements and cultural cross-fer liza on, the no on of spirituality as it is known at the base has merged into what religion is. Nevertheless, humanity seeks to redefine this term to avoid amalgam, given a growing interest in spirituality. For it must be said, spirituality is not a religion, governed by very specific dogmas. The true spirituality is not biased, it is free and leads us to a double evolu on: that of the heart and that of the spirit. Its ul mate goal is self-knowledge. The path to spirituality is essen ally individual On the other hand, religion is stagnant and would prevent to evolve on a personal way, because res ng on established principles, therefore to which to conform. No resemblance between all religions. In religion, «you must believe, without doub ng, without ques oning, all that they advance. In contrast, spirituality is a con nual ques oning, a ques oning, of what we think we know, «as Daniel Roch tells us in an excerpt to read on norja.net/lavie/html/la_demarche_spirituelle.html). ‘‘LGBT people would be good in the legi macy of undertaking


OUR DEBATES

a spiritual step, since the search for our iden ty can lead us on this path personal quest’’, says Cleo, a par cipant To commit oneself to a spiritual process involves embarking on a road that can help those who be er understand their inner nature. It’s learning how to improve with effort and self-awareness. It is a choice operated in full consciousness. Many young homosexuals wonder if they have the right to take a spiritual step. Well ! Whether rich, poor, believer, atheist, hetero or belonging to the LGBT community, every individual has the right to claim a spiritual step. For there is no dogma, no rule that is necessary, except love for oneself and one’s neighbor. ‘‘Man is not a religious being, at the base, but it’s rather a being spiritual. And homosexuals are part of the human race’’

In a spiritual process, medita on is o en used. Because it allows to reach an awakening of consciousness. And this awakening of consciousness does not depend on a religious principle. What makes every human being, no ma er what his belief, no ma er what his social class, no ma er his financial situa on, no ma er his sexual orienta on, can claim to a spiritual step. Since spirituality, in view of the above, does not interfere with sexual orienta on. So, as surprising as it may seem to some, we can reconcile a spiritual life and a different sexuality.

7


The radio show that braves 8

TABOOS

Launched in 2014, the Jeuniafrica project has strengthened over me. A er building the capacity of young reporters, the radio programs produced do not just go online on soundcloud anymore. They are also broadcast on a radio sta on, the RTVS1, frequency 89.0MHz. Since 2016, the programs in Lingala are intended exclusively for the listeners Kinois to be er bring us closer to the public. Those in French con nue to be posted on soundcloud. The team currently has a dozen young reporters. They are divided into two groups to cover both types of programs. Jeuniafrica gives the voice to the young people of Kinshasa to talk about these problems that are hers. It is also a show that aims to change the way young heterosexuals look at their LGBTI brothers and sisters. Online broadcasts are to be heard on

h p://soundcloud.com/jeunialissime


9


Children’s Radio Founda on gives voice to youth in more 10 African countries, through radio waves. In Ivory Coast, Liberia, Republic of South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and the Democra c Republic of Congo CRF is working hard to amplify the voice of youth. In Kinshasa, in addi on to working with the young Jeuniafrica reporters (the Jeunialissime radio project), the FIU supervises street children by allowing them to deal with issues aec ng them on a daily basis, through programs produced and presented by themselves.


Opening Ceremony of the 19th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) Photo credit : David Zamblé

The presence of Jeunialissime at the 19th Interna onal Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA), held in December 2017 in Abidjan, was made possible thanks to the collabora on with Children’s Radio Founda on. Two young reporters were sent on the spot, on behalf of the Jeuniafrica project. The video «Bringing out the voices of LGBTI Youth in Kinshasa, Democra c Republic of Congo» is to be seen and reviewed on www.vimeo.com. To find out more, visit their website h p://childrensradiofounda on.org

11


LOOK AT 2017 NEWS he 2015 UNAIDS report reveals that the rate of the HIV epidemic is reduced. To be er eradicate this pandemic, we must not leave anyone beside the fight, regardless of their physical, socio-cultural or sexual orienta on. However, ignorance of the needs of the key popula on in general, as well as the s gma and discrimina on of LGBTIQ in par cular, is one of the major obstacles, not only in preven ng new HIV infec ons, but also in mi ga ng the impact of AIDS, providing adequate care, support and treatment.

T 12

In the DRC, the report of the 2016 survey on the s gma za on and discrimina on of LGBITIQ in religious circles in the city of Kinshasa shows that 53% of religious leaders sƟgmaƟze and discriminate against people with sexual diversity. Either they are driven out of places of worship; either the faithful refuse to sit by their side or shake their hands. Some LGBTI people have decided not to go to places of worship, or have even become atheists; others wanted to commit suicide. This a tude further weakens LGBTI people with HIV / AIDS. It is in this context that a dialogue was organized from 18 to 20 September 2017 in the city of Kinshasa between religious leaders and the LGBTIQ community, in order to be er understand and eliminate, in the context of HIV / AIDS, the challenges of s gma and discrimina on in religious circles. It was a moment of frank, sincere exchanges, free expression without taboos and mutual tolerance. A moment in which par cipants began to search for common ground, a construc ve solu on that

could lead to collabora on between religious leaders and members of the LGBTIQ community. It was a ended by 32 people, coming from diverse backgrounds: • a representa ve of the Ministry of Jus ce and Human Rights; • a representa ve of the Mul sectoral Program for the Fight Against AIDS (PNMLS); • a representa ve of the Network of Organizaons of People Living with HIV (UCOP +); • ten religious leaders from various religious denomina ons (Catholic, Islam, revival, kimbanguists ...); • ten people from the LGBTIQ community; • two representa ves of the networks of religious leaders (CONERELA + and INERLA +); • two representa ves of the human rights NGO (FADHUC); • a representa ve of United Na ons agencies (UNDP); • an interna onal NGO (Elizabeth Glaser Foundaon); • a representa ve of EHAIA; • two representa ves of the NGO Defenses of Persons with Sexual Diversity.

Expecta ons The expecta ons shared by all par es represented were the following: • Exchange on the s gma and discrimina on of LGBTIQ in religious denomina ons; • Expand the coopera on of religious leaders and the LGBTIQ community; • Effec ve integra on of LGBTIQ in religious communi es; • Clear myths about LGBT;


family. Therefore it has been pointed out that almost all of what is said about this community is either false or non-applicable to a whole community.

Fears

Common recommenda ons

Par cipants expressed several fears; however, the greatest was to s gma ze or to be discriminated in the course of these exchanges. Other fears that have been men oned have been men oned : • Tackling people with sexual diversity instead of a acking HIV; • Disclosure of LGBTIQ HIV Status and Privacy Exposure; • Lack of compassion for LGBTIQ; • Disagreements between religious leaders and LGBTIQ.

Common areas of work between LGBTIQ and religious leaders have been iden fied. Reflec on was made on the proposals to concre ze the expecta ons of all par cipants in the dialogue, the recommenda ons, as well as the elabora on of the declara on of commitment and the se ng up of 3 working groups. LGBTIQ and religious leaders have agreed to collaborate and work together by making the following recommenda ons: • Organize conferences, seminars and scien fic days on topics related to LGBTIQ and gender in faith communi es; • Pastoral sensi za on and accompaniment; • Associate LGBTIQ with church and ecclesias cal ac vi es; • Advocate for LGBTIQ love and rallying speeches; • Advocate with religious leaders and the faithful; • Fight against self-s gma za on, s gma and discrimina on of LGBTIQ; • Cons tute a team (focal point) of religious leaders of LGBTIQ rights defenses; • Organize open houses for the recogni on of the existence of LGBTIQ; • Train and inform members of religious denomina ons of the existence of people with gender diversity; • Struggle for the family integra on of LGBTIQ rejected by members of their families.

Barriers Several situa ons have been considered as obstacles to the success of the objec ves and expected results during and a er the dialogue: • Non-acceptance of LGBTIQ within religious denomina ons because of their sexual orientaon; • Refusal or non-knowledge of same-sex marriage; • S gma and discrimina on of people with sexual diversity.

Consequences It has been men oned that the rejec on of LGBTIQs and PLHIV leads to: • self-blame; • family division • underes ma on; • frustra on; • suicide or an a empt to commit suicide; • self-s gma za on • s gma; • discrimina on.

Myths and beliefs Lots of prejudices surround the issue of LGBTI people, and these are so entrenched in our memory that they become convic ons. Some were men oned, namely: there are no chaste/virgin homosexuals, LGBTI is a satanic and mys cal movement that has come from the «whites» and wants to conquer the planet, Lesbians go to other women because they have had amorous disappointments with the men, homosexuals are all atheists, LGBT people are abnormal and carry misfortunes in the

The working group Par cipants wishing to contribute to the success of this ini a ve in the working group freely expressed their views. In total, the group formed counts for a departure 12 members. 4 represent religious denomina ons, 4 others on behalf of the LGBTIQ community, 2 are part of the CONERELA + coordina on, 1 is from the Ministry of Jus ce and 1 represen ng Human Rights Organiza ons. These three days of exchanges between religious leaders and people of sexual diversity si ng side by side and speaking openly is a first in the history of the Democra c Republic of Congo. These exchanges ended in a very warm atmosphere, all pledging to con nue these exchanges even in

LOOK AT 2017 NEWS

• Understand LGBT beliefs about their sexual orienta on; • Exit and implement results and work tracking tools.

13


LOOK AT 2017 NEWS

other se ngs. Some religious leaders have made a commitment to invite LGBTI people to a end their churches. Other religious leaders wanted confiden ality in their commitment. At the end, the coordinator of CONERELA + wisely asked and advised par cipants to «keep confidenality about the iden ty of religious leaders, since the LGBTIQ theme is s ll sensi ve in the Congolese religious community. This confiden ality will allow both par es to achieve the set objec ves.»

«These exchanges are a good start because there are some points of convergence, despite the sensitivity on the LGBTIQ thematic in our religious communities», a religious leader

14

«Although the Qur’an is silent about the positivity of the LGBTIQ theme, we will look for a plot to inject this concept into Islam», an Imam «LGBTIQs and PLWAs are people with talents who can serve God in the church or in our places of worship», a member of the LGBTIQ community « It’s the first time in my life to sit next to someone who claims to be gay and that has changed the way I see LGBTIQ », a religious leader « Religious leaders shall accept homosexuals as they are in churches », a religious leader


TESTIMONY

&

LesbiAN CHRISTIAN,

I’ve held faith

M

y name is Nokuthula Dhladhla, born in Soweto, but my family moved back to Charlestown in KwaZuluNatal in the year 2000. I am the oldest daughter in a family of 5. I grew up in a Chris an family. We a ended Church Christ, Where I gave my life to God at the age of 10. I was bap zed when I was 16 years and was ac vely involved.

ne evil so I keep it to myself. I prayed hard fas ng to a point that I was ashamed because nothing was changing. In my early twen es a girl started to come to our church, she was open about her sexuality but she was not embracing it though. She asked for prayers and we became friends as I could iden fy with her struggles. One day the church found out about my sexuality and that was the worse day of my life because everything that I knew about the loving God I was taught changes into this monster God I didn’t know. I was told that God didn’t love me, God hated me and I needed to change so that God will love me again. I was prayed for months, beaten up, humiliated and made to feel like I was the worse sinner of them all by the church that I grew up in and par cipated in now I was an outcast.

I a ended my high school in Sijabulule High School in Katlehong. I have a Cer ficate in Theology 1998 from Rhema Bible school and a 3 days short course – Urban ministry – Pretoria University 2008. Other trainings: SAVE training tool on HIV, gender and sexuality by INERELA, training and resource development- created in the image of God by IAM, One Body material – on human sexuality, the inclusive church and image of Godin the face of HIV and AIDS by Nordic – Foccisa. I am currently doing a 6 weeks course, ‘Guardians of Faith: Women and the History of the Chris an Church’ with Catherine of ‘‘At some Siena College. I was ordained in to full me ministry in 1998 in Metropolitan Community Churches that was based in USA as a Pastor of Hope and Unity Metropolitan Community Church that was based in Johannesburg.

point I used to believe that I was demon possessed and I was dirty, I needed God to change me. If I didn’t change, I was going to burn in hell, That is what I was told and I didn’t want that to happen to me.’’

My journey in discovering my iden ty as a lesbian woman, begins when I was in my late teen years. I was not sure what was happening and what is it that I was feeling. I couldn’t share this with anyone because in my church the preaching was clear that homosexuality was an abomina on to God and it was evil. So, sharing what I was feeling was not an op on because then I will be seen as someo-

In the mixed of that experience I was also gang raped and when my church found out about it, I was then told that God was punishing me because I didn’t want to change and I deserve everything that has happened to me. That hurt me more than

15


TESTIMONY

16

anything that I have experience in my life at that me. I didn’t have anyone and the place that I used to think was safe for me, the church turns out to be a very scary place. I then took a decision that I was divorcing God and the church, I couldn’t con nue loving God who didn’t care but punishes me and I couldn’t understand because all I knew was that I was created in His image why all this is happening now. The worse thing in all this my family didn’t say anything and it was just so painful. I was an embarrassment to them, the church and God.

many LGBTI people who had experience hate and discrimina on through the church, disowned by families and lesbian women who has experience correc ve rape that led to them infected by HIV. I have to be there for them through the hurt and pain as they go through the process of healing, realizing that I can use my experience that I have encounter in the past to help anyone to build their self-esteem and to bring change by le ng them know that God loves them regardless. Now I understand the verse that say “everything works together for our good” no ma er how bad the situaon is like. What was meant to destroy me in the past works together for my good and the good of others. That is what inspired the work that I do.

In that moment I tried to kill myself by trying to commit suicide. But I didn’t die and that makes me upset. When I was taken to the hospital, the doctor who a ended me a er pumping out the I have also worked to help parents who have LGBTI pills from my tummy, gave me a hot clap. He asked children, as they also face s gma and discriminaon, some from churches that they belonged to why I wanted to kill myself, I am s ll young and have a life ahead of me no ma er what, God has and the community. It is not an easy journey for created me for a purpose and killing myself was them, one lesson I have learned in all this is that, not a purpose of God for my life. I must say that when we come out of the closet the parents go was a wakeup call for me. I was given a second back to the closet. It took my family 20 years and chance and I thank God that I didn’t die. From that it was just not easy. So, for even other parents it day, I embraced myself and accepted who God has is the journey, I learned that I have to reach peocreated me to be. I was full of hope. The hope was ple where they are and not judge how they feel all about knowing that God knew me before I was because this is the journey that we can travel toborn, God created me for a purpose and one of gether. it is to help other LGBTI Working with pastors and people who have been religious leaders have in the same situa on or ‘‘...I embraced myself and been a blessing sharing even worse, that was exaccepted my journey with them in ci ng. and facilita ng who God has created me to be.’’ dialogues workshops around issues In all this that I started of sexuality have been a to read my Bible finding joy. Even though I face verses that spoke to me. My excitement was beyond me, knowing that I was many rejec on and discrimina on from some, not a mistake but God’s crea on. The work that I do ques oning my calling as a pastor and my ordinaon. I learned that issues of sexuality are complex in the LGBTI community is inspired by my personal journey with the church and my faith that I have in and my duty is to journey with one pastor at the me and be open to journey with them no matGod. I learned forgiveness and love again, I had to forgive myself, family and the church so that I can ter how bad and difficult the journey is. God is the be able to heal and be able to help others in their one who can transform all of us. journeys. I have helped over the years people who have been lost, didn’t have anyone to talk to, was I am currently a Pastor of House of Prayer and an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry to those who Worship (HPW) which started in 2015 in Soweto. needed to cry, feet to travel with others in finding The church is the member of Deo – Gloria Apostothemselves and God, integra ng their sexuality lic Network of Churches that is based in Durban. It is the church that is welcoming for everyone. and their faith. Previously I was a Senior Pastor of Hope and Unity I have seen so many people changing and embra- MCC (HUMCC) since 1998-2010. cing themselves again, loving themselves. I met so


How do you define yourself? Rev. Jide : I define myself as «Dearly Beloved, child of the living God», I am the favourite gay child of God. I am a parent, African, Bri sh Nigerian, ordained Anglican Minister, chris an theologian and unapologe c openly gay. I am a DIVA which means Divinely Inspired Victoriously Anointed. It’s very rare to see an African reverend who claims to be gay, it takes a lot of courage. How do you live the external gaze on a daily basis? Rev. Jide : It’s rare because people like me do not live their authen c lives. They live a lie and hide the truth about themselves. The reality is that God and heaven is not bothered about your sexuality but more about your character. Love your neighbours as yourself. As a gay chris an when you love yourself you defy the odds of anyone ha ng you. When they do it’s a reflec on of their failures to love themselves. Whether you are a good person or bad, it’s not about how well you obey rules and laws but how excellent you live your life as a witness to charity and the needs of others. I live day by day expressing the love of God for me and sharing it with others. It’s a challenge but we are called to «...rather repay with a blessing for this is why we are called so that we may inherit a blessing.» My principle of acceptance is based on the affirma on in Psalm 139:13-15 : «For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you

INTERVIEW WITH...

Rev. Jide Macaulay

He is the founding Pastor and CEO of House Of Rainbow CIC. British-Nigerian born in London, a Christian minister since 1998, a dynamic and an inspirational speaker, author, poet, pastor and preacher, HIV+ activist, holds a degree in Law, masters degree in Theology and Post-graduate certificate in Pastoral Theology. Jide focuses his ministry on inclusion and reconciliation of sexuality, spirituality and human rights. He writes for various Christian and secular Journals. He has authored several books, Poetry Inspired 2001 and Pocket Devotion for LGBT Christians 2005, he has won several awards including the 2003 and 2007 Black LGBT Community Award for «Man of the Year» for his work helping people of faith. Shortlisted for the National Diversity Awards 2014, in the category for Positive Role Model. He served from 2007 to 2013 as Executive Board member and Co Chair of Pan Africa International Lesbians and Gay Association. He is currently Africa Regional Representative at the Global Interfaith Network, Board of Trustee at Kaleidoscope Trust UK, and a Trained Volunteer Champion at Afruca Children’s Charity.

when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth». What factors in your life led you to embrace this career? Rev. Jide : I don’t see being a clergy a career, I see it as a voca on. A voca on to do good and be part of something spectacular, beyond this world. Be there in the service of God towards humanity. When I was 13 years old, I have always known God is calling me to be a priest, but I also discovered the terrifying news of the literal interpreta on of the bible on homosexuality. So I struggled with God and my conscience. I love God and I so badly wanted to be right by God. But I was exposed to a culture of spiritual violence and religious homophobia. It was difficult to find the truth is such space and environment. I lived my life in fear and I even got married to a woman, because I wrongfully believe that this was the will of God. I know be er now that God adores me, just the way I am. And that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. What is the added value of House of Rainbow? Rev. Jide : The added value of House of Rainbow is in the understanding that we share a gospel of inclusion in order to bring those on the margin of society back to the church, especially lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender people. We have been vilified for centuries and ostracised by our own faith communi es. We have been called an abomina on only fit for hell. John 10:16 reminded us what Jesus said : «I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd».

17


INTERVIEW WITH...

What are your long-term and short-term projects for the DRC? Rev. Jide : We don’t have designated projects or agenda. House of Rainbow in DRC was a coincidence, we didn’t realised that there was so much need for a faith base community that is welcoming for LGBT people. We are listening to the needs of the people who are organising safe spaces and regular gathering and it is our hope to con nue to support these ini a ves. Chris an Parents and faith leaders have a pervasive understanding of homosexuality. The way that they abuse LGBT folks is unforgivable however, we believe God is calling us to a higher standard to be love and non judgemental.

18

The value of House of Rainbow is to raise the awareness that LGBT people are also children of God, to challenge faith communi es to research more about homosexuality. Our value also to bringing healing and reconcilia on to the LGBT people of faith and none that are hur ng. Enable families to accept their LGBT members as a precious and unique gi from God. The Democratic Republic of Congo is a country where sexual orientation issues conflict with religious expression and the political landscape and most part of society is of immediate condemnation but House Of Rainbow has opened an extension in the DRC, why? Rev. Jide : We believe quite strongly that sexuality does not conflict with ma ers of faith. But we must address this from an inclusive angle. The Bible was once used to jus fy slavery and oppression of women, children and people with disabili es. There is also a difference between religious expression and spirituality. Which for many LGBT people it’s an acceptable compromise. Unfortunately, many country laws prohibit same sex behaviours are considered inhumane and also religious communi es o en go against the ethos of their own beliefs which calls for peace, unity and love. Many country legisla ons are developed based on religious principles. If that is the case I believe that the government and society of DRC must look with equity the concerns for the welfare of LGBT ci zens.

What message do you have to give to young Congolese in general and young Congolese Christians in particular? Rev. Jide : God is love, we must realise that we are not in this world of our own choice. God is calling us in order to respond to a world that needs healing and compassion. Congolese Chris ans are people who know very well the atroci es against humanity when we take into account their history of abuses. There is a need to respond with care and love to ensure that LGBT people are welcomed in their spaces too.

Jide Rebirth Macaulay

@jidemacaulay


Informing public opinion and the community on the realities that mark the LGBTIs life. issuu.com/jeunialissime

19


jeunialissime@gmail.com jeunialissime.wordpress.com issuu.com/jeunialissime Š Jeunialissime 2017

Jeunialissime mag 2017 - English version  

This edition focuses on the inter-self and the existential and spiritual issues posed by young LGBTIQ +, certainly, but also all young peop...

Jeunialissime mag 2017 - English version  

This edition focuses on the inter-self and the existential and spiritual issues posed by young LGBTIQ +, certainly, but also all young peop...

Advertisement