Leviticus: Faggot

Album: Peace Beyond Passion (1996)

Songfacts®:

  • Ndegéocello wrote this about the way she feels organized religion treats women, gays, and minorities. An openly bisexual (or as she calls it, "sexually functional with both genders") black woman, Ndegéocello often infused her songs with social commentary. In this song, she describes a man who is rejected by his devout mother because she doesn't approve of his gay lifestyle.
  • Leviticus - which does not appear in the lyrics - is the third book of the Bible; it contains passages that antigay protesters often cite when denouncing homosexuality, including 20:13, which states, "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death."

    Ndegéocello grew up in a religious household and she says it was hard for her parents when they learned about her sexuality. She converted to Islam at one point, but later dissociated from organized religion, calling it "mind control."
  • Ndegéocello has said that the 1974 Funkedelic song "Jimmy's Got A Little Bit Of Bitch In Him," which is about a quirky gay man, was an influence on this track.
  • After releasing the Peace Beyond Passion album, Ndegéocello took a more observational approach to her songwriting, focusing on the grooves and cutting back on political or social commentary. A very private person, she is reluctant to talk about her very personal songs like this one, but did confirm in our 2014 interview that it was about a real person that she knew.

Comments: 1

  • Mike from Berkeley, CaLeviticus in the Bible is one of three law books in the Bible. The others are Numbers and Deuteronomy. The book of Leviticus mainly focuses on the laws the Levites, who were the priests among the tribes of Israel. Levites were descendants of Levi. Levi was a son of Jacob, who was renamed Israel by God. All the tribes were named after the sons of Israel. Moses, his sister Miriam and Aaron were all Levites. The job of maintaining the tabernacle(place of worship)was given to Levites. Only descendants of Aaron could become priests.
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