Ministers on the down low
A talk with J.L. King
Lately, there have been quite a few gay churches being established all over the country. Homosexual pastors are leading huge congregations and preaching a message of love and acceptance. But there is still a population of pastors preaching that classic fire and brimstone, “God hates gays” message that has created a secret community of Christian homosexuals, including other ministers.
OurWeekly had a talk with J.L. King, famous author of “On the Down Low,” a riveting revelation of the secret lives of men. As a man who used to live on the down low, he offers a unique depiction of an underground world, where a married man leads a life only known to him and his secret lover. He also reveals in his book the secret lives of some Black ministers.
King says down low brothers are not those men who fit the profile of a flamboyant gay man. He says they are masculine, husbands and fathers who think, walk, and talk like other heterosexual men. Anyone can be a down low brother. This is what he had to say:
OurWeekly (OW): Why do ministers do it?
J.L. King (King): “Nobody chooses their sexuality. You have ministers who feel in all their heart and soul that they are men of God, but God created them—these creatures of having desires of same sex. I have a lot of minister friends who fight and argue with God and cry and seek out guidance and ask God to forgive them and remove the desire. When they come off the pulpit, when they pull off the church parking lot, they’re still men who have desires, sexual desires. They are not immune from being human.”
He says many of the men he interacted with in his down low life were ministers. The African American community in general is homophobic and much of the homosexual condemnation comes from the pulpit, creating an atmosphere of shame and secrecy among homosexual churchgoers. King believes if the Black community begins to love Black Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) brothers and sisters, the down low behavior will begin to dissipate.
OW: How prevalent is down low behavior?
King: “You can’t quantify it. There is an underground network of pastors. There are pastors that will go to parties, that will leave Los Angeles, go to Philadelphia, and have a network of pastors and they will all get a hotel room and have sex with [their friends] the whole entire weekend while the church thinks the pastor is doing a revival in Philadelphia.”
According to King, down low pastors who condemn homosexuality over the pulpit, but live double lives with male lovers, are often walking under the guise of an armor bearer, assistant, driver, or deacon. He says pastors use their power, clout, and church-earned money to live their down low lives.
OW: Is there a solution?
King: “There is never going to be a solution until we are allowed to be who we are. There are gay churches popping up all over the country that are being headed by gay pastors who left their traditional church because they refused to sit there and listen and talk about how God don’t like gays. Those straight pastors on the DL will never give up the profits of being a pastor, the tax-free lifestyle, the dinners at Mama’s house, the Cadillac, and all that. Why would they want to give that up if they can have the best of both worlds?”
King recently produced a DVD guide called “Top 10 Signs of a Man on the Down Low” that helps women, men, fathers, and mothers identify a man who may be living a secret life. King is a realist and understands down low behavior happens and is happening in the church. His concern at this point is the protection of women and young people to prevent heartbreak, sexual infidelity, and health issues. He wants the church to stop preaching gay hate over the pulpit.
Through the DVD, King hopes to change and save lives and begin the healing process within the church and Black community. The feature includes interviews with men, including a minister who is on the down low and those who have divorced that life style. King gives advice to women about what to look for in men. The DVD is set to launch in June, but pre-ordering is available by emailing King at email@example.com.