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I Was Born This Way: A Gay Preacher's Journey through Gospel Music, Disco Stardom, and a Ministry in Christ Hardcover – Bargain Price, June 1, 2010
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"There is a wonderful gospel song entitled, "How I Got Over," which I believe exemplifies the life of Archbishop Carl Bean.This book is an amazing testimony of one man's journey to find himself, and in doing so he became one of the heroes of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered movement, as well as being a major crusader for the fight against HIV/AIDS. Carl's story will make you laugh and cry. He tells of his life with an honesty that will, I'm sure, shock some readers, but you will not be able to put this book down until the end."
--Reverend Troy D. Perry, Founder of the Metropolitan Community Churches
“Sometimes hilarious, sometimes horrifying, always illuminating, I Was Born This Way will become a light in the darkness for many readers. It could not be more welcome.
--Anthony Heilbut, author of The Gospel Sound: Good News and Bad Times
"Bean has certainly led a one-of-a-kind life, and his fast-moving, engaging memoir illuminates the 1960s and ’70s gospel world and provides the rare perspective of a homosexual minister....The message is insightful and often powerful. A worthy memoir from a truly unique individual."
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Top Customer Reviews
“I Was Born This Way” is more than a song by Lady Gaga. “I Was Born This Way” was 1977 hit song by Carl Bean about being proud to be "Gay" that came out well ahead of the Village People.
Though Bean didn't write the song, its infectious hook - "I'm happy, I'm carefree and I'm gay" - synthesized the attitude he needed to overcome a brutal childhood marred by sex abuse and a short career as a gospel singer that devolved into wilderness years of poverty and homelessness. Eventually, this black boy from Baltimore reemerged as an AIDS activist and the founder of the Unity Fellowship of Christ Church that he founded five years after the release of his version of the “I Was Born This Way” song.
"While suffering, these people asked for my hand," Archbishop Bean writes of his AIDS ministry, one of the first to reach out to HIV-positive minorities sidelined by the homophobia of many churches. "These encounters showed me the transcendence of the divine." The Village People's "YMCA" might get more airplay, but Bean doesn't need a construction worker outfit to build a moving narrative.
Archbishop Bean: “God is love, and love is for everyone.”
This is a memoir filled with seemingly insurmountable problems in his life, which he handles with great faith ... not necessarily just faith in God, but faith in good people to help a fellow man. An uplifting, spirited story of an extraordinary individual who found his calling and personal fulfillment. Especially recommended for fans of gospel or early R&B singers, many of whom are an intergral part of the story. Four stars out of five.
If you love biographies and enjoy reading about the ups and downs of people, "I Was Born This Way" will satisfy your thirst. As a gay man I especially enjoyed reading this book about a man growing up in the very conservative 1940's and 1950's and realizing that no matter how hard I may have had it, homosexual men like Bean are an example that if you have faith and believe in yourself you can and will survive.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is an eye opener on many levels. This testament of Archbishop Bean life is an example of Love, Life and Liberation in God! Read morePublished on March 8, 2011 by JosephV
i have only read the first few chapters of the book. It is well written and compelling. I only know of Carl Bean because of his ground breaking house song "I was born this way. Read morePublished on February 20, 2011 by Mr7
I remember dancing to this song at the disco so many years ago. I had no idea who Carl Bean was. All I knew was the beat was catchy and the lyrics very appropriate. Read morePublished on December 15, 2010 by D. Gordon
A wonderful,very insightful, informative account of the Archbishops journey and his life. It spans the Gospel Music era, includes the Aids Crisis and the formation of the Ministry.Published on July 15, 2010 by Shane D