Darian Aaron, the Atlanta award-winning blogger and author of “When Love Takes Over: A Celebration of SGL Couples of Color,” discusses his religious upbringing in Alabama in the April issue of Ebony magazine that is dedicated to Whitney Houston.

“In my Bible Belt community, I’d heard plenty of anti-homosexual stories, and I didn’t know anyone who was openly gay. If I had mentioned my attraction, I would have been shunned. My feelings were also at odds with what I was taught as a Christian: Being gay is a sin. Whenever I heard that message, I questioned it, because something in my core told me it wasn’t true,” he says in the story posted in full on his website. The story is currently not found on Ebony’s website.

Struggling with the traditional church he was raised in, Aaron describes how he found a new Montgomery church that welcomed his as a gay man.

“Attending my new church was like having a weight lifted off my chest. I was free to commune with God as a whole human being. I could bring all of who I was to the altar and really worship Him. The whole experience deepened my relationship with Christ,” Aaron says.

“Spirituality shouldn’t hurt. When we go to church to worship God as gay Christians, we shouldn’t walk away feeling bruised and battered. My path has shown me a great alternative: church communities that welcome and even celebrate same-gender loving people,” he adds.

In an email, Aaron, who has also spoken to GA Voice about monogamy, said he grew up reading Ebony “and can never recall seeing an openly gay black man inside of the magazine or a positive story if and when a member of the LGBT community was represented. In short: this is a pretty big deal.”

Read more about how Aaron came out to his family, how they dealt with the news and more about his personal faith in the full story here.

Top photo: Darian Aaron (left) with CNN anchor Don Lemon at a book reading at the now defunct Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse. (by Dyana Bagby)

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