Archbishop And Former Motown Recording Artist Carl Bean Dies At 77

088397.CA.1010.gay.cc    Archbishop Carl Bean is greeted by church member Armond Anderson Bell during the service Sunday, Oct. 10, 2004. Archbishop Bean started a church for black, gay Christians, the United Fellowship of Christ Church in Los Angeles. PHOTO CREDIT: ^^^/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images  (Photo by Carlos Chavez/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Archbishop And Former Motown Recording Artist Carl Bean Dies At 77

He was known for the hit song “I Was Born This Way.”

PUBLISHED ON : SEPTEMBER 8, 2021 / 11:13 AM

Written by BET Staff

Activist, former Motown recording artist and Archbishop Carl Bean has died at 77 years old, according to the LA Sentinel

Bean founded the Minority AIDS Project in 1985. In 1982, he established Unity Fellowship Church, one of the first Black churches for the LGBTQ community. 

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The Baltimore native signed to Motown in the 1970s and was openly in gay during a time when it was rare for a Black male artist to be unapologetically so. In 1977, he released his version of the classic “I Was Born This Way,” which would become an anthem for the LGBTQ movement.

Carl Bean’s cause of death is not known at this time. 

(Photo by Carlos Chavez/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

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