Louisville, KY, February 25, 2016 (Newswire.com) - On Saturday, February 27, 2016 Rev. Derek Terry (www.RevDerek.com) will present a workshop entitled "Spirituality & Sexuality: Black, Gay, and Christian" at the 43rd National Conference on the Black Family in America sponsored by The University Of Louisville. This is the first time that LGBT issues will be addressed at the National Conference on the Black Family in America. The presentation is designed to report how the black church has influenced black culture and how the beliefs and teachings on homosexuality impact same gender loving individuals. Rev. Derek argues that the stigmatization of gay people leads to higher suicide rates of LGBT populations, and higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases and infections among black populations as well.
In October of 2015, the Oprah Winfrey Networked Aired an episode of the award winning Iyanla, FIx My Life show where ordained minister Rev. Derek Terry stood before a congregation of his community, church, and family and spoke the words, "I am a black, gay, man who ministers." (See the article featured in Gawker for more info). This episode garnered some of the highest ratings in the show's five season history. Recently, CNN's featured Rev. Derek on Great Big Story, to catch up with him and his current congregation (full feature story here).
"Culturally speaking, the black community in America is often still hesitant to discuss and address the reality of same gender loving individuals within our families and communities. Therefore, often times we just ignore the gay elephant in the room and adopt a 'don't ask; don't tell' mentality. Actually, I believe that the black community originated the 'don't ask; don't tell' idea." Explains Rev. Terry. "It is now 2016, not 1956! We must move beyond avoidance and have real legitimate conversations about how the black culture and black religious ideas impact the physical and emotional h
Rev. Derek Terry, Pastor & Activist
"Culturally speaking, the black community in America is still hesitant to discuss and address the reality of same gender loving individuals within our families and communities. Therefore, often times we just ignore the gay elephant in the room and adopt a don't ask; don't tell mentality. Actually, I believe that the black community originated the don't ask; don't tell idea." Explains Rev. Derek. "It is now 2016, not 1956! We must move beyond avoidance and have real legitimate conversations about how black religious ideas and black culture impact the physical and emotional health of same gender loving individuals. We can no longer ignore, avoid, or try to simply pray the gay away. We must have productive conversations."
More On Rev. Derek: Since coming out on national television, Rev Derek continues to live walking in his truth. He has amassed an ever growing and thriving following on social media that he affectionately refers to as his on-line congregation (Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/Youtube/Snapchat/Periscope). He is also the founder of the hashtag, #BlastTheStigma, which encourages individuals to post positive images that attack typically stigmatized communities especially those within the LGBT community of color. Rev. Derek recently Released his first book, God Loves Me and So Do I, (2015 RDTM Publishing). Rev. Derek also works to help LGBTQ college students of color across the country because he understands that LGBTQ students of color have different needs than their white counterparts. Most notably, Rev. Derek has helped establish a scholarship fund for black LGBT students at the University of Louisville. On May 6, 2016 in Louisville, KY he will host the inaugural Kentucky Derby Scholarship Shake, a fundraiser gala to raise money for the Dawn Wilson Scholarship Fund for Black LGBT students at the University of Louisville. Rev. Derek travels throughout the country motivating and encouraging individuals to unashamedly and unapologetically walk in the full truth of who they are as they are. He is currently the pastor of the St. Peter's United Church of Christ in Cincinnati, Ohio and also leads a community service based mission in Louisville, KY- The Community Empowerment Center.
For more information on the 43rd National Conference on the Black Family in America visit www.louisville.edu/culturalcenter/bfc