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Being himself: Baptist minister comes out, now a Miami leader for LGBTQ rights – Miami Herald

In the LGBTQ community, there are many leaders but some stand out. One particular influencer is a minister who came out as a gay man at age 30 in 2015 — and has been making his mark in South Florida ever since.

“It was all because, again, the work of BMe,” said Benjamin ‘Brotha Ben’ Evans, co-founder and director for the Miami area BMe Community. “I was traveling the country, telling men and women to be themselves, bring your full self to the table. And all the while I was not bringing full myself to the table. I was hiding, living a double life. I love myself, despite of the black church, despite of the black community and despite of many communities’ hate for the LGBT community.”

A year ago, Evans was recognized with a SAVE Luminary of Equality Award for his work as a prominent voice in South Florida’s LGBTQ community.

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“Ben did a very courageous thing in 2015,” said Tony Lima, executive director of LGBTQ-rights group SAVE. “As a Baptist minister and a child of an African-American, religious family, he came out of the closet as gay, blazing in an article. I admire him for his candor and his strength. We needed his voice on the front lines of the fight for LGBTQ equality and he has done such an amazing job of speaking at countless rallies, events and hearings as a leader within our community. It is imperative that we help uplift black and brown queer voices within our community. It is also important for LGBTQ folks to reflect the [diversity] that makes up our vibrant community.”

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Being himself: Baptist minister comes out, now a Miami leader for LGBTQ rights – Miami Herald
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