It's no secret that neophyte ex-lesbian Christians like Cothran generally suffered from feelings of inferiority before finding Jesus, and, unfortunately for the rest of us, enjoy feeling superior after finding Jesus. Thanks to a bastardized interpretation of Christianity, they lose sight of Jesus through the forest of their newly sprung and exaggerated self-importance, and instead of spreading Christ's message, they manipulate scripture to serve their own purposes. Believed sanctioned by God to save the souls of all who don't jibe with their egoistically engineered ideology, they refuse to accept that what they call "ministering" is absolute condemnation.
Granted, Venus is Cothran's magazine, and she's free to "minister" through it as she pleases, but what causes a woman who was once passionate about human rights and dignity to demoralize the very people she once emboldened?
The answer, according to some in the gay and lesbian community, is greed.
Immediately following Cothran's announcement, the gay media reported that Venus and her other magazine, Kitchen Table News, were both in dire financial straights. The Rev. Irene Monroe, a lesbian who once wrote for Venus and who now writes for a number of gay and lesbian publications, has been among the most vocal about her suspicion of Cothran's motives. In a March 1 editorial for In Newsweekly, she wrote:
Venus' loyal readership had hoped the magazine would do for its queer population what revered publications like Ebony and Jet magazines did for all people of the African Diaspora â€” that is, change society's negative and misinformed perceptions about us.
But as a fledgling magazine with the threat of folding always hanging over its head, Cothran opted to take financial support from black churches funded by white right-wing Christian organizations that emphasize "reparative therapies." In fact, she opted to be her own magazine's "ex-gay" poster girl, rather than let the magazine fold. And with her 4-year-old publication, Kitchen Table News, funded by black church support, Cothran has not only sold her soul for paltry pieces of silver and gold, but she has also sold out the African-American LGBTQ community for her ravenous desire to save her magazine by any means possible.
That sentiment was echoed in letters sent to Cothran, included one posted on Venus magazine's website and signed by "Members of New Jersey's LGBT Community":
We are well aware that you changed Venus magazine because it didn't make any money. â€¦ Hence it is perfectly obvious that you are playing to your grandstands. You clearly know your market and have decided to tailor your life to fit your economic necessities.
Cothran quickly denied the allegations. "Venus has managed to pay for itself AND Kitchen Table News," she wrote in response. "As for support from black churches, we have been and continue to be avoided them financially. Support given usually comes in the form of an ad, here or there, but they are few and far between."
But Monroe didn't buy it:
What Cothran isn't telling us is that not only is she getting financial support from black churches, but they have helped her land anti-HIV ads from big pharmaceutical companies like Bristol-Myers Squibb and Abbott Laboratories that pay for half the cost of the magazine, with the other half paid for by the black churches promoting "ex-gay" ads targeted to the African-American LGBTQ community. One of these ads features Rev. Carla Thomas Royster, founder and pastor of Blessed Redeemer Church in Burlington, N.J. The ad states, "Only God brings us out of the closet: An uncensored testimony of one woman's struggle with life and a lesbian spirit."