Homosexual Religion

by Sipho Reed

I’m tired of hiding
Of slip and sliding
Trying
To pretend I’ve come out to my Christianity when I haven’t
I bring it up in conversation
Between studying and praying
But it judges me
Points to fake repentance and nudges me
Back into guilty closets
At age 8 I took out a loan for acceptance and I’m still paying deposits
I can’t remember a time when love wasn’t expensive
When falling for someone didn’t demand payments in friendships

I’m not out at church
So when someone asks me how my week has been
I can’t tell them about the way the room warms up a degree or two
Or changes its dull colour to sunrise hue
When she laughs
And this is not because I relish in rebellion and deceit
I’ve just had enough Conversations with Christianity to expect defeat:
You can take a horse to water but you can’t make it drink
Likewise
You can explain the cultural and contextual nuances of scripture to my Christianity
But you can’t make it think
And I get why:

I
Used to look like leather and whips
And lust licking its lips
And not stubbly fingertips
Inconspicuously playing guitar for worship every other Sunday
So this is new
But that’s okay
Whether or not it believes I was born this way
Because the true measure of faith
Is exhibited in the unconditional nature of its affection
And it doesn’t matter how you spin it
Love has never looked like rejection

So I’m coming out to my Christianity
Because I’m tired of hiding
Of slip and sliding
Trying
To pretend we’ve had this conversation
When we haven’t so let me start it by extending a salutation:
Hi
My name is Homosexuality and I’m rough around the edges
I’ve slit my wrists and hung from ceilings and jumped from ledges
Because of you
But you’re forgiven
My relationship with God is not merely rule driven
So I understand that you’re also a sinner saved by Grace
And I want to know that when I’m staring God in the Face
I can at least say I gave you the chance
You’re invited to my rainbow coloured party
And even if you don’t come
The music will be good
I never needed you to lose myself in the beautiful mystery of God’s dance

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Myesha Jenkins – Tribute

Botsotso would like to pay homage to Myesha Jenkins, the poet and promoter of poetry who died on Saturday, 05 September 2020. Myesha was a founder member of Feelah Sistah, the all-woman poetry group that in its time made such an impact. Thereafter, she was indefatigable in organising and strengthening poetry platforms on radio and for live performance/readings. Myesha’s work was included in two Botsotso productions – the anthology Isis X and the recording Roots and Branches. Her spirit as a politically conscious, jazz-loving artist lives on and is well expressed in her seminal poem Autobiography which was included in both these projects.

Click here to read Autobiography, a poem by Myesha Jenkins.

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