SILENCE = CONSENT

Posts tagged “equality

False Witness

I would like to report our progress to you.  I was supposed to be hand-delivering the 1000+ signatures we’ve collected on our petition to William (Bill) Owens and the Coalition of African-American Pastors this weekend.  Unfortunately, plans have changed.  Over the last couple days, I have gotten some information that exposes Rev. Bill Owens and the Coalition of African-American Pastors as nothing more than a fraud.

First, we’ve discovered that Rev. Owens’ “Metropolitan Institutional Church” does not exist.  He isn’t a pastor.  There’s no church to where we can deliver the petitions.

His claim to have been a civil rights leader is false.  There is no evidence nor personal remembrances from long term Nashville residents that he participated in any civil rights demonstration in Nashville from 1958 – 1961.

Rev. Owens’ claim that CAAP has 3800+ members can not be substantiated.  Research has shown that there are only 20 members of this so-called organization.  Most of the members are independent churches that aren’t affiliated with any reputable denomination.

Rev. Owens’ reported ties with the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church are false.  The AME church disclaimed any knowledge of Rev. William Owens, and alluded he was not a real pastor by publicly stating, “Contrary to the report, neither the AME Church nor its leadership is involved with or partnering with the Coalition of African-American Pastors.”

CAAP’s claim that they aren’t affiliated with any political group is false.  Not only is CAAP funded through such organizations as the National Organization for Marriage, but they are also tied to The Arlington Group, who describes themselves as “a coalition of leaders from the pro-family community, that develops and executes national and grassroots strategies to: protect the traditional institution of marriage, increase respect for every human life, limit judicial activism, and act on other moral issues of concern.”

Other questionable information given by Bill Owens is whether or not he truly earned his degrees in education and theology, and if so, from where?  Lastly, exactly how much money DID he and other black pastors get paid to LIE to the American people in effort to split the vote?

This new information does not change our goal to continue reaching out to refocus our collaborative energies toward healing the divide in the community and not allowing our diversity to be used as a wedge issue. Operation: REBIRTH will be sending a letter to all the ministers involved with CAAP with every signature on the petition attached.  This letter will ask all of them to participate in a meeting with LGBT leaders from across the country. We will also be sending a hard copy of the petition to the post office box listed on the CAAP website via Certified Mail, requiring signature confirmation.  That way we’ll know they have received all the signatures.  We will keep you updated on our progress.

 

Tuan N’Gai is Co-Founder of the Operation: REBIRTH Movement.  He’s the author of “Will I Go To Heaven? The Black Gay Spiritual Dilemma,” “Little Brown Boy’s Blues,” and a contributor to the New York Times Best Seller, “It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living.” He lives in Chicago, Illinois.


Is This Your Pastor? – Rev. Bill Owens, Memphis, TN

It’s no secret that Rev. Bill Owens, Pastor of the Metropolitan Institutional Church in Memphis, TN and founder of the Coalition of African-American Pastors (CAAP) is very vocal about his disdain for marriage equality for the LGBT community.  He, in his far-fetched point of view, has gone on record as saying, “Two people of the same gender having sex is like a human having sex with a dog.”  REALLY?

The good Reverend is now known as the National Organization for Marriage’s “liaison” to the Black Community  (liaison is code for Porch Monkey).  In fact, instead of organizing the Black Community to fight against Voter ID/Suppression laws, police brutality, drugs, violent crimes, lack of education, high unemployment and the disproportionate number of Black men in the prison system, the Coalition of African-American Pastors (CAAP) is rallying for 100,000 signatures on a petition to stand against President Obama in this election because of his personal views on marriage equality.  Doesn’t our community have bigger fish to fry than trying to keep the LGBT community from having the right to get married?  When has equality ever hurt any community?

Rev. Owens has been quoted as saying, “I didn’t march one inch, one foot, one yard, for a man to marry a man, and a woman to marry a woman.”  Huffington Post revealed that there is little evidence to show he participated in ANY Civil Rights Protest.  WAKE UP CALL!!!

Black people need to wake up, ESPECIALLY the people who attend this man’s church.  As my grandmother used to say, “something in the milk ain’t clean.”  I’m not going to say that Rev. Owens is a bad person.  I won’t do the same things he does to the LGBT community by saying he should be condemned to hell because he’s a bold-faced liar, even though the very Bible he reads says, “These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:  A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren” – Proverbs 6:16-19.

What I will ask is what is Rev. Owen’s motivation for this anti-gay crusade?  Has NOM paid him to take this public stance like they paid other so-called leaders?  What motivates an elder, a leader in the community to sell out his own people? Could it be $20,000 or 15 minutes of fame?  Maybe he’s gay and is using this to work out his own deliverance (it doesn’t work, ask the Republicans who’ve done it).

In the vein of Pentecostals who believe everything is a spirit or demon, “it sounds like he has a Judas spirit to me.”  His calling the President “Judas” is classic transference.  He’s trying to make himself feel better about his issues by accusing someone else of what ails him.

We cannot allow Rev. Owens or anyone else to divide us and distract us from the issues that are really hurting us.  Now is the time for justice and unity.  Marriage equality, like racism, isn’t a black issue.  It’s the issue for those who profit from a system of oppression in this country.  They are willing to use their money and the name of GOD to continue in their corruption.  Unfortunately, pastors like Rev. Bill Owens have forgotten that LGBT people are an integral part of the Black community.  Hell, his generation raised us.

Tuan N’Gai is Co-Founder of the Operation: REBIRTH Movement. He’s the author of “Will I Go To Heaven? The Black Gay Spiritual Dilemma,” “Little Brown Boy’s Blues,” and a contributor to the New York Times Best Seller, “It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living.” He lives in Chicago, Illinois.


NOM-Funded Coalition of African American Pastors Seek to Split the Black Vote

Operation: REBIRTH has asked the Coalition of African-American Pastors to attend a September 5th meeting to discuss unifying the Black Community and how Marriage Equality is being used to split the Black vote.  A petition is also in circulation to raise awareness about the issue.

It is important now more than ever that we, the African-American community, not be divided over our diversity, but that we unify on the issues that make us the same. The significance of this meeting is crucial in that it will show those who are profiting from sowing seeds of discord to further their own political agenda, that they will not be allowed to manipulate our community  in this manner.

 

Tuan N’Gai is Co-Founder of the Operation: REBIRTH Movement.  He’s the author of “Will I Go To Heaven? The Black Gay Spiritual Dilemma,” “Little Brown Boy’s Blues,” and a contributor to the New York Times Best Seller, “It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living.” He lives in Chicago, Illinois.


About to Get My Head Cut Off

Image

I’ve been trying to figure out a nice way to express what I’m feeling inside. I’m once again facing the fear that I won’t be liked if I say what I truly feel, the way I truly feel it.  I’m afraid of being harshly judged, or even worse, not being heard at all if I dare to set myself free from this prison of silence.  I guess, I’ve lived here so long, it’s become second nature.  I’m used to having to compromise my own feelings so everyone else can be comfortable.

But if I’m going to grow, and conquer the fear, I have to confront it head on.  It’s not going anywhere any other way.  Sometimes I feel like I’m John the Baptist, and it’s only a matter of time before I’m beheaded for speaking the truth… or at least the truth as I see it.

Since moving to Chicago, I have heard daily reports of young Black men killing people.  One weekend, more than 40 were shot.  More recently, 15 shot in one day. We are being exterminated by our own sons, brothers, cousins, uncles… and for the young ones, our fathers.  I mean, what the fuck has these kids so angry?

I understand poverty is a bitch.  The economy has everybody in a vice grip but, REALLY?  It’s so bad we kill ourselves?  These young, misguided warriors are killing each other over “turf” they don’t even own!  They have no mortgage, or no deed to ANYTHING.  They “feel disrespected” because someone accidentally bumped into them in the store or at the club.  Here’s one… “someone disrespected they bitch.”  Or, someone has a pair of sneaks they want, and instead of getting a fuckin job, and working so they can buy them for themselves (like real men do), they bust someone over the head, or kill them.  Just for the latest Jordans.

This makes me angry. I’m angry because it seems nobody is doing anything to stop it.  Those with the resources to provide services to our community are doing nothing!  And those of us who ARE trying to do something, we speak truth to power only to be written off as heretics.  When we present possible solutions to our problems, we are barely taken seriously if at all.  We are told that our possible solutions will not work without even giving them a try.  I guess if someone other than the “leading blacks” can get any attention or credit for doing something good in the community, is too much of a threat to their non-profit salaries.

Instead of doing something… ANYTHING, it’s easy to just pass the buck and place the blame.  It would be easy to blame the mothers.  We know where they are right?  In the club with THEIR mothers, seeing who can twerk the best. When they get drunk, their “men” instigate fights so they can proudly post their ratchedness on WorldStar Hip-Hop.  I mean, who doesn’t want to be on WorldStar?

We can blame the absent fathers too, right?  When “thug” is what it means to be a real black man, and when little boys are being beat (some to death) for the simple human act of crying, what do we expect?

How about we blame “the man” or “the system”.  We all know that the United States of Amerikkka is set up for blacks to always be second class.  Oh no, wait… i forgot… blacks are too lazy, shiftless and trifling to get up off their asses and do whatever it takes to help themselves.

LET’S BLAME THE CHURCH!  We have churches on every corner in our ‘hoods and they are POWERLESS.  We have MEGA CHURCHES!  Beautiful, pristine, gated, prosperous, state of the art MEGA CHURCHES that have all this Holy Ghost, and all this faith and power, but can’t do ANYTHING to serve the ‘hoods they sit in.  All this “good news” being preached, and our elderly are afraid to sit on their own porches.  We have al this anointing, and power to cast out devils, but our daughters are undercover ghetto porn stars.

I guess it stands to reason the churches are powerless when Qua’shawn is giving $100 or more of his dope money to his grandmother every week, she puts it in church every Sunday, and the pastor (who doesn’t live in the hood) is using said money to pay for his Escalade and to send his kids to college.  I mean, who gives a fuck that Qua’shawn, Malik and Pookie, who paid for the new church building, will be a convicted on drug charges, will NEVER be able to vote again, will spend time in jail, and will have no opportunities to do anything differently if and when he gets out?  But, Praise the Lord for the new sanctuary, right?  And the church doesn’t see this as a problem. The black church’s REAL problem is gay people wanting marriage equality.

What I’m saying is, instead of asking, “Who is gonna do something?”, we should be asking “What can I do?” Each of us has the power to do something.  We can call for more police patrols in our neighborhoods.  I mean, it works for the rich white people.  Are WE not paying more taxes than THEY are?  We can use the power of our vote to put pressure on our elected officials to do more on behalf of our neighborhoods.  We can organize neighborhood watches.  The church and do much more than than pray, like open their doors for youth programs.  The church can be a meeting place for the community organize and educate the community on how to preserve our neighborhoods and save our children.  We can do something constructive to get our kids off the streets.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.  We cannot afford for any more of our people to senselessly die.

Okay, I’m done. I put it as nicely as I could without editing out my passion.  I feel I’ve grown up a little bit.  I’m a little bit less afraid.  It feels good.  I finally got that off my chest.  I’m even putting some anti-violence programs together to propose to local churches and the police departments.  That’s SOMETHING, right?

 

Tuan N’Gai is the co-founder of Operation: REBIRTH, the author of “Will I Go To Heaven?  The Black Gay Spiritual Dilemma”, “Little Brown Boy’s Blues”, and contributor to the New York Times Best Seller, “It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying and Creating a Life Worth Living”


I CALL BULLSHIT!

Now that the warm and fuzzy “Kum Ba Yah” moment we had while remembering those who perished in the 9/11 tragedies is over, maybe the United States of Amerikkka can get back to the sexist, classist, racist, homophobic, divisive culture we know and love.

I call bullshit!  Amerikkka’s “we’re all one nation under GOD” pseudo-sentimentality during a national remembrance of 9/11 is about as sincere as knocking little old people over at Walmart during a black Friday  sale.  One Nation Under GOD me ass!

That is all.


Realness

GENTLEMEN, START YOUR ENGINES, AND MAY THE BEST WOMAN WIN!

RuPaul’s Drag Race is one of my favorite shows on television.  Anyone who knows me will be able to attest to that fact.  I’m always intrigued by the Creativity, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent that most drag queens possess.  Their being able to transform and create the female illusion is the ultimate for me.  One of my favorite contestants this past season was Mariah Balenciaga.  HUN-T WAS FIERCE!!!  Mariah captured everything that is femininity and presented it with class, elegance and REALNESS.  To me, she pays true homage to the feminine.  To me, the realness factor is paramount.

One thing most drag queens have is quick whit and sharp tongues.  It’s really an endearing quality.  And I love the ones who “keep it real”.  Keeping it real, one would assume would be defined as one always having the courage to be truthful, to walk in integrity.  “Realness” would be a good thing.  In a perfect world, whether in full geech or in real life, being able to truly serve realness should be something we all aspire to.  But more often than not, like good drag, what is perceived as “realness” is just an illusion.  For some people, their realness is just as deep as the makeup and costumes they would wear to lipsinc for their lives.

In this day and age, it seems like people actually prefer illusion to realness.  What does it say about us?  Have people become so jaded that we’d rather present and celebrate illusions than living authentic lives?  Has “keeping it real” become an illusion itself?

Too often in gay culture, we see people say and do mean and hurtful things to other people.  It’s normal.  In fact the arrogance and cattiness is expected and seen as just a part of being gay.  But does it really have to be that way?  It’s one thing to read someone for pure filth because they are coming for you and you haven’t sent for them… that’s merely self defense.  But it’s quite another to just be mean and hateful.

Usually the mean and hateful queens are truly insecure little boys (or girls) who are trying to present the illusion that they are grand.  People who are ALWAYS in “reading mode” or are always catty are trying to hide something.  They are trying to hide the fact that what they are presenting is not reality.  In fact, their reality is too hard for THEM to deal with, so they treat others badly trying to make themselves feel better about their own lives.  It’s really sad when you think about it.  When it’s easier for a person to attempt to live their illusion than present a real person to the world, there’s a big problem.  It’s dangerous for the lines of realness and illusion to be blurred.

One thing about drag, when it’s done well, it’s very entertaining.  Being able to serve realness is indeed a beautiful thing.  And from what I understand, one can make MAD coins.  But when the music stops, when the deejay and the crowd goes home, and the lights go out, the illusion stops and real life begins.  Sure, we all have a persona that we present to the world.  Thing is, what we present to others should be the real us, not an illusion or a character we’ve created.  If one truly has the courage, keeping it real is more beautiful than any illusion will ever be.  If only more people understood that.

In the classic movie “To Wong Foo: Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar”, the late Ms. Vida Boheme taught us one valuable lesson that everyone must learn to live… REAL queens always use their powers for good, and in every situation, seek out the opportunity to help others.  THAT my dear, is better than the best illusion.  It’s realness at its finest.


Liberation

It’s not an act of liberation to lead a person

From one plantation to another and “call” them free

Yet it seems that is exactly what religion has done so effectively

People put a new spin on old dogma and “call” it liberating theology

The leaders and the people who follow it without question

Are bound in the worst type of slavery

Slaves unaware they live so unashamedly

Thinking they are free living lives without real integrity

Not knowing that if they continue in it

They will be destroyed in entirety

For slavery destroys all who participate in it

Slavery destroys all who participate in it

Slavery destroys all who participate in it

Slavery destroys all who participate in it

 

Truly liberated people do not

Or cannot lord over another

In an attempt to control their

Thoughts, beliefs, behaviors, or money

Truly liberated people understand the essence

Of love and truth

Both are free

Therefore they are free-ing

They exist without bondage

And bring liberty to those who seek and walk in them

Truly liberated people only seek

To free others in the name of God

The Great Emancipator who made them free

From the beginning

 

From “Little Brown Boy’s Blues.”  Get your signed copy at http://www.tuanngai.com