Christian singer backs ‘equity’
A singer scheduled to perform at Bermuda's first gay Pride celebration tomorrow said she had been bombarded with criticism after she agreed to appear at the event.
Joy T. Barnum said she was determined to perform at the event, to be held in Victoria Park, Hamilton, despite hostility from people she knew, who told her they were “disappointed” by her decision.
She added: “The comments were coming from all areas, church members, friends, family, saying they don't want it forced down their throat.
Ms Barnum, who performs in church on a regular basis, said: “No one is forcing anything down their throats.
“That phrase disturbs me on so many levels.
She added: “I was getting messages saying that people are disappointed in me because God loves the person, but he hates the sin. I just feel like that text is overused, and in the wrong way.
“When somebody is divorced and all the things that the Bible says about being divorced, then you technically shouldn't be able to function in society. But we all know that we have progressed since then.
“I believe in equity, I believe in love and if you preach love then you should actually live it. It is not my concern what somebody does that doesn't involve me.”
Ms Barnum said: “I had not one reservation about performing at the parade.
“I am absolutely looking forward to it. It is all going to be uplifting.”
She told her critics: “On May 24, if I don't go to the parade, I don't go to the parade. You can totally not come.
“You can totally not participate or watch anything to do with it and it will be just like any other day in your life.”
Ms Barnum admitted that the criticism had affected her, although she still loved the people who were against her decision to perform. She said: “It hurts. I am not a robot; when people say stuff like that it hurts.”
She added: “My goal in life is to see how much harder I can love. That is my whole goal.”
Ms Barnum said: “They are my friends and my family members; they are people who I adore in every other aspect of their lives. They are amazing and it's the same with them. They love me and they just let me know that they are disappointed with me.
“It is not like they told me they will never speak to me; they called me to let me know that they are disappointed in my choice.”
Ms Barnum discussed her experience on Facebook. She added: “What was really enlightening were posts online from some Christians who are going to be at the parade because God is love and they support it.”
Ms Barnum is scheduled to perform in the park at 10.15am and 1.30pm.