SILENCE = CONSENT

Posts tagged “rebirth

Stay Woke w/ Tuan N’Gai feat. Kevin E. Taylor

Pastor Kevin E. Taylor is one of the most exciting preachers I’ve ever heard.  He’s an author, activist, teacher, inspiration and overall genuinely great person.  Listen to our conversation and find out for yourself.

Stay Woke 004 – Kevin E. Taylor.

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Thanks for Helping me Coming Out

I CAME OUT ON NATIONAL TELEVISION!  It was November 2001 and I’d published my first book, “Will I Go To Heaven? The Black Gay Spiritual Dilemma.”  A week after I’d launched my first website, I got a phone call from T. Faye Griffin of BET’s talk show, “Oh Drama!”  I was SHOCKED.  She told me they were doing a show on homosexuality and the Bible and she’d heard of my book and wanted to me to be “the gay guest” on the show.

She informed me that there were three hosts, Kym Whitley, Mari Marrow and Vanessa Bell Calloway.  There would be other guests on the show (Patrik Ian Polk and Rockmond Dunbar) promoting a new movie called “Punks” and there would be an actor on the show (Chaz Lamar Shepard) who believed homosexuality is a sin.  We would both have the opportunity to present our views, and that’s how the show would work.  I was EXCITED!

I asked her how did BET hear about my book as it had only been out a week.  She said they’d asked a local pastor in Los Angeles to do the show (let’s call him “L.A. Pastor), but he was already booked elsewhere the day of the taping.  He told her, “I can’t do it, but there’s a young man who just released an exciting new book called ‘Will I Go To Heaven?’, I think he’d be an asset to the show and would do the subject justice.”  So she researched and found me.

To this day, I don’t know who the pastor was, but I’d like to say, “Thank You!” I don’t know how you even knew about me or the book, but you changed my life.  I thank GOD for you.  I wish I knew your name because I’d try to find you, take you to dinner… SOMETHING to express my gratitude.  I wonder where I would be had you referred someone else to the show.  Eleven years later, I wonder if I’d be who I am had things been different?  Would Operation: REBIRTH be the movement it is?  Would I be seen in some circles as a leader and activist?  Would I have had the opportunities that have been afforded me?

The most memorable thing about the show was after we finished taping, Kym Whitley came to me and said, “Thank you for humanizing the gay community for us today.  You weren’t the stereotype we see all the time.  People will see black gay men differently because of you. You taught us a great deal.  Good luck with your book.”  I’ll never forget that moment or how it made me feel.  I realized not only did I just come out, but I opened a few eyes by doing so.  I walked away from that experience feeling like I really could make a difference in people’s lives.

In the past I’ve said had i known what the show was about, I wouldn’t have done it.  But today, I realize that experience was a part of the plan for my life.  In hindsight, after all the backlash, including losing dear friends, after family members choosing to have “nothing to do with me because of my sin,” my coming out the way I did freed me in the most profound way.  It laid the foundation for the work I do today.  I’m able to be “Tuan N’Gai” because GOD used Mr. L.A. Pastor to create the platform for me.

So once again, on National Coming Out Day, 2012 I’d like to say to the “L.A Pastor” who wasn’t able to appear on “Oh, Drama!” that day, I’d like to say “Thank you so much!”  I hope one day I can say it in person.  You changed my life and I’m forever grateful.  You made it possible for me to come out.  Because of you I have been able to say or do something to make a difference.  I pray to be used to open the door for someone much like you did for me.


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.


My Wife, My Whore, My Baby Mama

“He said he wants me to be his wife, his whore, and the mother of his children. Then he proposed to me.”  That is something a young lady said on her Facebook page.  She was happy.  Celebrating her new engagement.  But, like clockwork, a firestorm of negative comments rang out from empowered black women.  She was accused of having low self-esteem.  She was berated for letting a man talk to her like that.  How DARE she revel in male misogyny and set the black female struggle back 50 years!  Why did she think it was a compliment?  Why did so many people congratulate her like she had accomplished something great?  I mean, since when did “whore” become a compliment or an aspiration?  Right?

Though I understand the people who disagreed with his choice of words, I have to say I disagree with it.  This is a relationship between a man and HIS woman; a woman and HER man.  Who the HELL are outsiders to tell them what is and is not appropriate in their relationship?  Who died and made anyone else’s opinion relevant to their thing?  If this young lady wasn’t offended, because the word isn’t a negative one within the bonds of her engagement, I think everyone else should just get somewhere and SADDOWN!

I honestly think he was telling her, “Baby, all I need, I’ve found in you.  You are just ALL the woman I need.  For a home-cooked meal and clean house, I can come home to you.  For all the low-down, gutter-butt, freak nasty pornographic fantasies I want fulfilled in the bedroom that I can’t share with anyone else, I know you got me.  There is no other woman I want to bear my seed.  You are EVERY woman to me!”

I think the young man exercised maturity and had the balls to freely say what he loves about her in the most vulnerable and uncensored way.  What’s wrong with that?  If more people had the type of relationship where they were safe and free to say exactly what they felt, HOW they felt it without the threat or fear of judgement, we just may have a better society.  The world needs this type of honesty.  Furthermore, what’s wrong with having a wife (or partner) who is so sexually uninhibited they satisfy every little sexual fetish you have?  What’s wrong with that?

The way I see it, the women who were going in on this young lady were jealous.  They weren’t empowered women at all. They were bitter, insecure, hurt and angry women who probably are in need of a 15-minute toe curling, body-rocking orgasm their damn selves!  When you violently berate others because they don’t agree with your point of view, or don’t know the whole story, that’s not empowerment boo boo, you really need to get off your high horse and live a little.  Maybe if you weren’t so uptight, and were free enough to be someone’s personal whore, you might be getting wifed up to.


Who is Left to Love the Black Woman?

“All the good black men are either dead, married, gay, in jail or waiting to be born,” is something I heard a young lady say in a bible study once.  We were discussing the possibility of some of us in the class never getting married.  Before making this statement, she told the pastor he needed to come up with some programs so some of the women in the class could have the hope of getting married.  She then went on to give a dramatic speech called “Who Is Left to Love the Black Woman?”

I was very offended.  And the whole time she was giving her lil’ speech, I was lookin’ at Mz. Lady like she’d bumped her head.  After her speech, the pastor asked if any of the men in the class would like to respond.  So, you KNOW I raised my hand right?  And the pastor just shook his head, because he KNEW what was coming.

I stood up in front of the class, cleared my throat, and said, “I don’t think the problem here is ‘who’s left to love the black woman, but rather who is qualified!”  I also told Mz. Lady that she owed every man in the class an apology because ALL OF US in the class thought of ourselves as good men.

These days, what IS a good man?  Everyone has their own idea of what makes a man “good,” so it’s difficult to set a concrete definition.  When asked that question, most of the single men I know say they consider themselves good men.

So, if so many people (straight women and gay men) are looking for ‘good men’, why are so many presumed good men single?  Maybe the people who say they are looking for a good man, aren’t  really looking for a good man at all.  Most are seeking out “good-looking men” and are disappointed when they find that those who they think are good-looking often lack the characteristics they say they want in a man.  The truth is, most will totally overlook a man of character if he doesn’t personify what society says is beautiful or successful.  Even if the man is only trying to be a friend, he still faces rejection based on his looks.

My late Big Mama used to say, “baby, you don’t throw away a diamond because it’s given to you in a paper bag, and not a velvet box….a diamond is still a diamond no matter what it may be wrapped in.”  Big Mama knew that a good man couldn’t be measured or judged by what he has or how he looks.  A good man can only be judged by his character.  Now I’m not naïve to the fact that what we see gets our attention.  But it seems that what we see is the most important thing.  We value things that are temporal.  Good looks fade or can be destroyed.  Money and material things are fleeting and can be taken away.  But a strong and noble character is something that is invaluable and will stand the test of time.

So to all those women and men, who say they’re looking for a good man, remember that a good man (a diamond) is still a good man (a diamond) regardless of how he may be wrapped.  Think about it, that man of character that you’ve overlooked because you’re “just not attracted to him” may be the friend or partner you’ve been looking for all along.  Learn how to see people with more than just your eyes.  Maybe the problem is not a shortage of eligible candidates, but your inability to recognize a good man when you see him.

 

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.