Black Lesbian Publisher No Longer A Lesbian

This story apparently broke a few months ago, but is only now making it’s way into the mainstream media. It seems Venus Magazine publisher Charlene Cothran has found Jesus and realized the error of her formerly lesbianic ways. It all started back in 2004, when Cothran joined her queer comrades at Chicago’s gay pride event, when she realized that she “doesn’t belong” with the gays. Thus, last October, she released a statement, effectively rescinding years of lesbianism:

…I must come out of the closet again. I have recently experienced the power of change that came over me once I completely surrendered to the teachings of Jesus Christ. As a believe of the word of God, I fully accept and have always known that same-sex relationships are not what God intended for us…

With her change, Cothran said that her 13-year old magazine – one of the few for lesbians of color – will take a new, less homo-centric direction…

Amy Wooten from Windy City Times reports that Cothran’s new message will “encourage, educate and assist those who desire to leave a life of homosexuality.” She went on to insist that she’s not looking to represent the ex-gay movement, but hopes to be a mouthpiece for the ultimate publisher: Jesus Christ.

Though the magazine will take on a new voice, Cothran insists there hasn’t been any drop in circulation, nor does she think it necessary:

My target audience is the same. Why would I change that? And so for me to abandon the name and have somebody else pick it up and go on? That would be against my mission… The responsibility that I now have is that those people that are connected to it receive a different message. I will not change the name. I have not changed the distribution points. I have not changed the subscribers who have paid for it in the past but are still getting it. We built this business over 13 years to target Black, gay households and communities and outlets. That is still where we are going, but with a new message.

Cothran maintains the magazine will not condemn homosexuality. Rather, it’ll issue subtle religiously-minded messages until readers realize they’re total fucking sinners or simply cancel their subscriptions. Which ever comes first.

It’s also worth noting that the Venus Magazine website no longer archives the pub’s gay history. It’s kind of like a journalistic rapture.

(We lifted that cover from our new friend Jasmyne Cannick’s website. She’s been on top of this shit since October. She’s one industrious lesbian, that one.)

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  • Paul Edwards

    Ah ahahahahaha! Yeah, good luck with that new direction! Seriously though, I smell “cult”. Anyone else?

  • nystudman

    She’s fat and ugly. She probably wasn’t getting any. Hate to break it to her, but her bruthas ain’t gonna be any more datable than her sistahs were!

  • Chris

    I’m pretty sure that link you have up for Venus Magazine is for a different magazine called VenusZine. I followed the link and it looks like a general women’s culture/music magazine, not a publication aimed at African-American gays or “ex-gays.” I can’t imagine that magazine putting Cat Power on its cover, anyways.

  • Kevin

    Man, why oh why are the lesbians so fickle?

  • Patrick

    I actually find it quite amusing that Queerty posted the wrong link to Venus. Here’s the correct link, boys –

  • Jonathon

    Sad. She will be out of business within the year.

    “Ex-gay” = what a joke. She’ll be back to her Sapphic ways before it’s all said and done.

  • Paul Raposo

    So, she got embroiled with a couple of religious WOMEN and decided she’s now STRAIGHT? How long before those three are in a coochie muching orgy?

  • Ellen

    Hey—-Chris is right: is different than Both are Chicago-based, but Venus Zine is definitely pro-girl (and pro-gay girl): cool, crafty, bitchy.

    Long live Venus Zine!

  • David Moore

    I remember this conniving con artist from her days in Atlanta when she intially started this “publication,” naming it after a recently deceased African-American lesbian activist in the community (who was much loved and is probably now turning over in her grave), “procurring” a photograph of her from the publication I worked for at the time and using it on her cover without permission. As I recall, the numbers were always WAY inflated and I was never able to come across copies of her magazine ANYWHERE or anybody who could confirm they even had a subscription. Even though Charlene claimed the publication was intially a tribute to a fallen comrade and later a resouce for the African-American lesbian community — her efforts always felt like nothing more than “Look at ME! It’s ME! Pay attention to ME! Seems that part of her mission hasn’t changed. At least we can rest assurred she got her latest cover shot legitimately — since it is HER, after all. Wouldja’ just look at ME?! I put myself on the cover of my own magazine to show you how to leave that pesky homosexuality behind. Listen to ME!

  • William Haner

    I wish her well. She has found a new life in Jesus and she obviously made her own choice to do that? Why be bitter? We all struggle with many things and if Jesus can help her, than God bless her.

  • Ochi

    A friend sent this article to me. I tried to remain silent but after reading many of the comments as a black woman I had to weigh in. I am not you and have no idea of the hell you must be living in. It is clear to me that your life has been filled with some sort of misery, self-hatred, and low self-esteem by virtue of the comments in the article. I won’t waste time arguing whether being gay is natural or not, whether it’s a choice or not. The fact is we are human beings and have a right to the same liberties as anyone else. Unfortunately, you have buckled to the pressured and I won’t judge you. What I will say is you are only lying to yourself. If you were ever truely indeed same gender loving no amount of prayer, fasting, or separation will ever change who you really are inside. Being gay is not about who you have sex with or the type of sex you engage in. If that were the case then all heterosexuals would be gay. We all engage in oral, anal, and vaginal sex. :o) You can never engage in sex with a woman for the rest of your life and that will not change who you are inside. You will simply be lonely and miserable. If the God you serve truely loves you then you are loved no matter who you are, no matter who you love. Love is not a sin. Your sin is that you do no love and honor who you are. Now you turn on the community and people who have loved, cared for, and nutured you in this shameless, public display of disloyalty. We or at least I am not against heterosexuals after all without them I would not be here. I am against hypocrites. Isn’t there enough of that in our society? If you are happy then I am happy for you. True happiness doesn’t mean tearing down others to build up yourself. If any of us are unhappy we can make whatever changes we need to. This is not a spiritual matter it’s all about religious politics and you are merely a pawn.

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