I was first introduced to Tonex’s music in 1999/2000. Thinking about it…it’s kind of a pun of sorts because his eccentric style reminded me of a gospel version of Prince. “Personal Jesus” and “Why” rocked my world. Check this out…
His vocals are sick and his eccentric style and sound was more than I bargained for from a “gospel” artist. I pressed repeat as often as I could tolerate just to go deeper into a place of worship. He was courageous in his approach to music and unmoved by how the naysayers responded. He had the ear of Generation X and subsequently captured the attention of those we were grooming in ministry. Years would pass and Tonex seemed not to catch a break in the industry. No matter how popular he seemed to US, it appeared that he wasn’t impressing upon the industry his urgency. That always seemed to baffle me because he was so apparently talented. But it felt like the more he tried to press into a well structured industry of close knit artists, the further away he faded.
I think I have a clearer understanding now.
Tonex was battling some demons that aren’t easily whooped with the average shabach. He was wrestling with his sexuality and according to him, the spirit of homosexuality had befriended him when he was 2 or 3 – he was molested. That’s a whole other topic of discussion. But the more the industry pushed him away, the intensity of his battle became that much more public. It was visible, audible and sometimes embarrassing. And like so many men who toss and turn with whether or not they want to admit to themselves that they are gay (like the person I was once married), Tonex did what many of them do – knowing the area of their struggle – and married a woman. Now…everything I’m about to say from this point is speculation based upon what I know about the down low and what I know about the mindset of the man who feels the need to lie to a woman in order to make their lives appear normal.
Let me back up. The reason I even thought to write this post is because of the blog that Oretha Winston posted on 11/24, “Donnie McClurkin Controversy Spreads.” When I watched the youth convocation that Donnie McClurkin preached, he mentioned Tonex and that, he was “wrong in what he said.” Now…I had been hearing little bits of this and that about Tonex but I had never heard from the horses mouth that which had been rumored. So…I pulled up an interview of Tonex on youtube with Darian and got it right from the source. Here is the first segment:
I’ll save my comments until you see the second video…
There are several installments to this interview but I think you get the point. Now here’s where I have major issue and trust…this is in no way transference as much as it is truth from a woman who was deceived from a Tonex type to the 100th degree. If you heard, Darian asked him, why did you marry a woman when you knew since you were a little boy that you were attracted to men. His answer was completely selfish – as is that spirit that breeds under the surface of men who are on the down low, “Oh…I actually fell in love…love does some crazy things.” Bull! I don’t buy it from you Tonex, I don’t buy it from the person that deceived me or anyone else. I conclude that Tonex married this woman because he wanted his life to look NORMAL. At the time, he seemed to be struggling for public acceptance and what better way to present yourself than in the wholeness of what appears to be a healthy union. He married her for himself. It had nothing to do with how much he “loved” her or not. Truth be told, if he really loved her, he would have left her the hell alone. I’m just saying. Everything becomes about him, them…I – I – I. “I’m always gonna have an affinity for woman…just the way that they look, their swag, their personality but on an emotional level, I connect better with men.” When I first heard those words I wanted to scream. Yes…when you saw his wife…she had swag, they matched – if you will. So basically he risked her emotions for his own narcissistic pleasure and when he was done – like a chewed up piece of gum – he spit her out and decided to embark upon that which brings him emotional joy…men. What an embarrassment. And to try and justify this behavior with descriptions that categorize the biblical interpretation of relationship (that God intended) as archaeic and such is blasphemous in it’s own right. Don’t make the word of God convenient. The entire interview felt so convoluted. He has made himself out to be some type of hero who has to endure this thorn for those without a voice. Garbage. You are living this lifestyle – now open to the viewers – because you want to, bottom line. For nothing more than your own pleasure. So stop it already with the, “I’m doing this for the people” theology!!
Tonex and others can try as they will to make excuses for men on the down low, but there is no excuse for putting someone else’s life at risk for the sake of your own ego. My prayers go out to his ex-wife, whom I share a common bond…one that binds us emotionally in ways many will never know and praise God for that. I can imagine the inner turmoil she experienced, questioning herself and desperately trying to put the pieces of her inner woman back together to mend that which that spirit tried to destroy. Whether their situation was a discovery or confession, it doesn’t change the fact that this woman has had to repair. And trust me…it ain’t easy. God IS a provider but it ain’t easy. The great thing is…when He wants it done…it’s done! No if’s, and’s or but’s about it…done. I pray her strength and that God would use her as a voice in the wind.
As for Tonex (and the Tonex types)…kick rocks dude. You should have just been straight up with your woman from the jump instead of making a public spectacle out of you and her. If you knew since the age of 2 or 3 what your preference was, why bother? You KNEW she wasn’t your type. She had neither penis nor testosterone. So you could have just been her best friend. Why go through the drama of, “I do’s” and all of that jazz and this wasn’t someone who did it for you emotionally. What’s with all of the games? Your eloquence and escatological study of the word doesn’t impress me. What would impress me is when men who love men would be strong enough to say, “No” to the female ass and swag (even if it hurts her feelings) and live your life as you see it best. Hopefully accountability and the truth of God’s word would be the turn around for you but not at the expense of HER.
The reality is, I’m suggesting sane behavior to a spirit that has no desire nor capability to do right. I just wish men who are, “same gender loving” and have no intention on embracing a long term relationship with a woman that is healthy and whole would man-up and leave these women alone. That’s my prayer. Knock it off already!
R.I.P. LC ~ a woman who died because a brother with AIDS thought she had swag.
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