I thought National Coming Out Day happened in October. This is the third big coming out story this week and it's only Tuesday. First, the President of the Phoenix Suns comes out. Then CNN host Don Lemmon comes out. Now - former Villanova basketball player, Will Sheridan, comes out of the closet. I feel like the sun is shining just a little bit brighter today.
Monday, May 16, 2011
He has one ofthe greatest voices I've ever heard come out of a man. I remember the first time I ever heard the name "Tonex." I was watching Showtime at the Apollo. If you've ever seen the show you know it doesn't come on 'til like midnight. Anywho, someone introduced this young, new brother that was making waves in the gospel community. This man with long, flowing locks stepped up to the mic and started singing, "you are my personal Jesus . . ."
To say I was floored would be an understatement. This man could sang like nobody's business. I was so amazed by his voice that I immediately got up off the sofa, got dressed and went to the nearest 24 hour Walmart with the hopes that they might be carrying the CD by the phenomenal young man I had just witnessed.
Imagine the joy I felt when I learned that Tonex (after several very successful gospel albums) came out of the closet. To the shock of many within the faith community, after professing he was homosexual he refused to walk away from the Lord. Tonex stated he would continue to praise His name. Tonex would not let other people deny him God.
I loved this. I have to admit (growing up in Alabama which is in the heart of the Bible Belt) I was repeated told that homosexuality was an abomination. I realized I was gay at a very young age so imagine the identity issues I had when I realized I was the person my pastor was referring to.
It took me a long time to come to the conclusion that God loved me unconditionally. Being Gay is how God made me and I refuse to deny who I am just to make others comfortable. So I enjoy seeing others who are comfortable in who they are and do not allow themselves to be defined by others. Tonex is one of those individuals.
Now going my the name B. Slade in an effort to reach a new demographic, this man is still making phenomenal music. B. Slade is gay. B. Slade loves God. And because of these things B. Slade is a hero to me.
Today, May 16, is B. Slade's birthday so I want to scream loudly - Happy Birthday B. Slade. I admire you and I wish you many more years of success.
Below is Tonex singing one of my all time favorite songs . . . Restoration.