In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with syndicated religion columnist Reverend Irene Monroe whose columns appear in 43 cities across the country and in the U.K. Monroe states that her columns are an interdisciplinary approach drawing on critical race theory, African American, gay and religious studies. As a religion columnist she tries to inform the public of the role religion plays in discrimination against LGBT people. Since homophobia is consistently acted upon “in the name of religion,” she aims to highlight how religious intolerance and fundamentalism not only shatters the goal of American democracy but also aids in perpetuating other forms of oppression such as racism, sexism, classism and anti-Semitism. We talked to her about this and how Obama’s second term will effect the future of our LGBT civil rights.
When asked what her personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights, Monroe stated, “My commitment to the LGBT community begins with me. It’s sort of like how do I with my multiple identities, you know Afro American, lesbian, religious on a good day, how do I live those intersections with integrity? One of the things I found out getting involved with various organizations at the beginning, and they have changed enormously I must say from where they started and where I’ve started with them, they look at these issues in a much more integrated way which is one of the reasons GLAD gave me the Spirit of Justice Award and to shed light on the many intersections of oppression and how do we do that with not only integrity but bring a lot more people in our struggle, which we would be much better off doing. So I felt with GLAD for instance bringing how do you reach out to the Afro American community in a way that not only speaks about particular needs, but also speaks to their particular cultural ways of expressing or wanting to be expressed around issues that not only impact them but also impacts the LGBT community. Too often as you know the black community has felt like they’ve been 'pimped', that’s the terminology that they’ve used, by the LGBT community. So it’s been ways of how to make those connections.”
Rev. Monroe is the 2012 recipient of the GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders) Spirit of Justice Award. She’s a graduate from Wellesley College and Union Theological Seminary at Columbia University and served as a pastor at an African-American church before coming to Harvard Divinity School for her doctorate as a Ford Fellow. Monroe, a Huffington blogger, was chosen by MSNBC as "10 Black women you should know." Monroe has also been profiled in O, Oprah Magazine and CNNs Paula Zahn Now and "CNN Headline News." She lives with her partner in Cambridge Massachusetts.
For More Info: irenemonroe.com