SILENCE = CONSENT

Posts tagged “tuan

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.


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.


George Zimmerman’s Death Would Be GOD’S Plan

Okay so let me see if I understand this correctly… It was “GOD’S plan” for George Zimmerman to stalk and murder Trayvon Martin?  It makes perfect sense that he’d say that.  His “GOD” is the same one that the Ku Klux Klan and so many other so-called Christians in AmeriKKKa worship.

Personally, it makes me angry for people to do evil and then say somehow GOD planned it, told them to do it, or had something to do with it.  Light has no parts of darkness other than to get rid of it.  I hardly think a GOD who we are taught is love, would plan or allow anyone to terrorize and kill anyone else.  This thing called George Zimmerman (yes, I said THING) is EVIL and trying to beat a murder charge.  Plain and simple.

I call bullshit on his fake-ass apology too.  Since when do people do “GOD’S will” and apologize for it?Did anybody in the beloved Bible these AmeriKKKans supposedly read ever “apologize” for carrying out GOD’S plan?  One would think if a person was obeying the orders of GOD, they are doing what is right, or holy.  Why apologize for doing the right thing?  I mean, the plan of GOD is always righteous and holy… right?

It must be his GOD’S plan for him to be a liar as well.  Instead of being a punk ass liar, George Zimmerman should have just said, “I SHOT THAT NIGGER AND I’D DO IT AGAIN!”  At least that would have been honest.  I may not agree with him, but I do respect honesty.  It takes courage.

George should be dropped off in the Inglewood neighborhood of Chicago with money pinned to his chest, forced to scream “I SHOOT NIGGERS”, stalked, made to fear for his life, chased, beaten and shot to death. And as he is being terrorized and murdered, he should be repeatedly reminded it was GOD’S plan for him to die that way. The infallible Bible says, “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”.  And we should ALL obey the Bible… right.

Bottom line, an innocent kid is dead at the hands of a man who says he’d do it again.  Whether George Zimmerman goes to prison or dies a horrible and violent death, we are never getting Trayvon Martin back.


Frank Ocean: Say You’re Bi, and the Queers will Buy

Last night I had the opportunity to listen to Frank Ocean’s cd “Channel Orange”.  As I listened to the his lyrics, his voice, his passion, all sorts of questions started to run through my head.

Did he ever come out as gay or bisexual?  Did he ever say anything more than, “I was in love with a man”?  Is his courageous transparency about his personal life his way of reaching out to young people who are dealing with issues surrounding their sexuality?  Is he a trailblazer who is changing the rabidly homophobic landscape of hip hop and R&B music?  Is he being forced to be a “gay role model”?  Was he simply just creatively telling his story, or is all of the hubbub over this cd a clever marketing plan called “Say you’re bi, and queers will buy”?

Personally, I appreciate Frank’s artistry, his creativity and his courage.  I applaud his lyricism.  I celebrate his being open and honest about such a personal experience.  It takes a level of intestinal fortitude most black men don’t have.  In a social climate where hyper-masculinity abounds, and outright hatred and disrespect for anything feminine outside of meeting the sexual needs of irrationally afraid little boys in men’s clothes, Frank Ocean made a move that for many would ruin their careers.

But for me, it’s hard to tell if Mr. Ocean is truly an artist who has a message.  I suppose I will just have to wait and see what happens after all the fairy dust settles.  I’d like to think this talented young man lives his life with boldness and integrity.  It would be refreshing to find out that there are prominent  people in the hip hop and R&B music scenes, who when around their fellow artists, will stand up and check them on their ignorant homophobia.  He could actually be knocking down the walls that have kept people like Mz. Fontaine. Katastrophe, DaLyrical, Tori Fixx, Deep Dickollective, Deadlee and countless others from experiencing main stream acceptance for being brilliant artists.

Me being me, I have to question if Frank Ocean’s “I was in love with a man” revelation him just being authentically Frank, or if he is being used by a clever marketing machine to pimp the LGBTQ community for their dollars.


He Ain’t Man Enough for Me

Image“I just don’t know if I can be in a relationship with him,” is what my friend said as we talked about his PNB (that’s Potential New Boyfriend).  And when I asked him why, he went on to say, “he’s just too effeminate for me.  I need somebody who is gonna be a real man.”

After that conversation, I thought about how many times I’ve talked to people who were once excited about meeting a PNB either on the internet or by phone. But after they met him in person, the story drastically changed.  They were disappointed because the man who they thought could be the love of their life turned out to be “a big ol’ girl.”  The tone of their voices when they give the details of how he walked, talked, or was too animated with his conversation indicates how disgusted they are that they were duped again by someone who presented themselves as masculine on the net or on the phone but in reality was not as masculine as the image they projected.  It’s almost sad to think that people still believe the notion that masculine = top and feminine = bottom.  Don’t EVEN get me started on the numerous profiles on any group, club or chat where people insist that if you are gonna hit them up you “must be masculine” or “straight-acting”.

So what’s the deal with “effeminate men”?  And why do we have such hatred for them?  I mean, are they any less man or less real than anyone else?  Why are they undesirable? And why is it not a positive thing to meet a man who has wholly embraced his feminine side and is unashamed of it? Furthermore, why do so many effeminate men loathe effeminacy in other men?

I met a man from the United Kingdom a while back.  In our lengthy conversations, he taught me so much about how different people in Europe think versus how we think in America.  He told me, “T, it’s not uncommon for men in the UK to think of American men as brutish or barbaric.  And it’s strange that what you all call `effeminate’ we just consider it to be sophisticated unless it’s like over the top or something.”  He went on to say how most people in the UK have a live and let live attitude.  As long as people are respectful of each other, nobody really bothers anyone else.  His saying that made me to seek out other people from different parts of the world and ask them about what is considered masculine or effeminate in their cultures.  It amazed me how the definition of masculinity and femininity varies from place to place.

The truth of the matter (in my humble opinion) is masculinity and femininity are opposites on the same human spectrum.  And even though some of us can’t accept it, ALL OF US fall somewhere between the two and not necessarily on one polar extreme or the other.  We all come from a man and a woman, masculinity and femininity lives inside all of us.

Being a same gender loving man, I know that what we call masculinity can be sexy.  It’s attractive.  But I submit that often times the most “masculine” man is not necessarily a “real” man.  My father taught me that a real man loves God, himself, and others.  A real man takes care of his responsibilities.  He is respectful.  He’s trustworthy.  He honors his word. He has a kind heart and is faithful.  He’s strong enough to be gentle and sensitive.  He stands up and is willing to fight for what he believes in and is unashamed.  He’s unafraid to take the road less traveled and is able to be independent.

After thinking about it for a minute, I discovered that most of the men I know who possess the qualities my daddy taught me to have are not considered the most masculine.  The so-called masculine men are more often those who are so uncomfortable with who they are they’d rather lie or die than call themselves gay in public.  They will not boldly stand up and make their voices heard when it’s needed for fear of someone knowing that they are attracted to the same gender.  But who is often the first in line to stand in protest when injustice rears its ugly head?  Who is often unashamed of who they are and will not lie about their identity?  Who is often strong enough and unafraid to be who they are no matter what?  In my experience, those who we call effeminate are the ones who seem to possess the characteristics of “real men.”

Now, I’m not saying that traditionally masculine men can’t be real men.  Nor am I saying that who we call effeminate are all men of noble character.  The point I’m trying to make is it’s important that we not try to define each other with some binary either/or system. It does us all an injustice.  We need to learn how to accept and embrace each other.  Look at each other and judge each other by “the content of character” (thank you Dr. King).

And when it comes to relationships, just how do we know that the very man we’ve prayed and asked God for; the one who will love, respect, be faithful and honest with us isn’t a man who falls closer to the feminine side of the human spectrum than we think he should?  Why can’t we embrace each other in spite of the one of the many things that diversifies us?  When will we learn the importance of stretching out just a little bit and learning from people who are a little bit different from us?  We just might be surprised when we discover that we really aren’t all very different.  I mean, we ARE all brothers…right?

So, my bruthaz (masculine and effeminate): keep being who you are!  Don’t let anybody tell you that you are less than what you were created to be.  Let’s stop writing off bruthas as less than because they are a little different.  Learn from the diversity, don’t let it divide.  Embrace each other and celebrate our similarities.  Let’s continue to believe in our own greatness.  Let’s strive together to be the real men that this world is seems to need so desperately.

Tuan N’Gai is the co-founder of the Operation: REBIRTH Movement, 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.”  He currently lives in Chicago, IL.


Are You Afraid of My Blackness?

A young man I was mentoring called me to vent about what he perceived as a negative experience.  He was FURIOUS!!!  He was leaving a job interview in a building downtown when he was joined on the elevator by an older white woman.  Though he was professionally dressed, his “swagger” still seemed to show.

According to his account, when the elevator door closed the lady moved as close as she could on the other side of the elevator and clutched her purse, being sure to not make eye contact with him.  He said it was obvious she was afraid.  She honestly thought he would do something to her or try to take her purse.

He was livid that she would think that of him.  “Don’t nobody want that ol’ woman, her p***y, OR her dayum purse!” he said.  He rode the bus and walked home from his stop insulted that someone who didn’t even know him would thing that about him, and would make it known with their actions.

When he finished venting, I asked him to listen to what he told me.  I repeated, “The white woman got on the elevator. When the door closed, she retreated to the opposite side and clutched her purse. Why?  Because she was afraid of you.”

“Yeah”, he said.

I asked him, “when are you gonna realize the power you have?” When will you glory in the fact that as a young black man, your very presence is so intense that it intimidates people who aren’t as strong as you are, and it challenges their ignorance?”

“Dayum!  I didn’t think about it like that,” he responded.

Even though I was in a position to minister to him, this entire scenario was a lesson to me as well.  I should no longer view my blackness as a hindrance or curse. I should embrace and glory in it.  Hell, my blackness is more than beautiful…it’s downright powerful!   The fact that I’m a black man is a gift.  It’s a blessing.  It’s an honor that God saw fit to bestow.  It’s a reason to celebrate.  I also realized that my blackness is a call to responsibility.  The power that black men possess is one that should be used to bless the earth.  When I think of the intelligence and talent we possess, it makes me so proud to be who I am.  I just wish there were more black men who were vocal about their Black Pride.

The funny thing is how white people get afraid, offended and worried about black men having, vocalizing and displaying their pride.  It truly incites fear within their very souls.  I think that fear is a response to their internalized guilt for how we’ve been treated in the United States of Amerikkka.  I think Black Pride is such a bright light that it shows them their inferiority.  Maybe they are afraid because they know if we ever start to walk in all the greatness that lives within us, the white privilege bullshit will end, and the chickens will TRULY come home to roost.

It’s sad to think an entire generation of black men know nothing of their history.  They have no clue of the greatness that is manifested on the earth because of their presence.  I think knowing how Benjamin Banniker, a black man, contributed inventions that changed history would make them proud.  Knowing of Langston Hughes and James Baldwin, black men, giving us literature that transcends time would get them excited.  To know how the athletic accomplishments of Jackie Robinson, Reggie Jackson, Arthur Ashe, Mohammed Ali and Michael Jordan revolutionized sports forever is simply amazing.  To have knowledge of  Medgar Evers, Malcolm X,  Bayard Rustin, Dr. MLK,  and countless other civil rights icons would make them proud of their blackness.  To know of men like Thelonius Monk, James Cleveland, Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Prince and countless others who personify musical excellence and genius, would be an inspiration.

Having the opportunity to mentor younger black men has helped me realize that we, as a black men, cannot allow the fear or ignorance of others to make us think negative things about ourselves.  We cannot allow anyone but us to define who we are.  We cannot accept what the media says about black men as our personal truth, but rather present such a positive and powerful image they can’t help but tell the truth we want told.

It’s time we get back to teaching our sons, nephews and cousins about the greatness from whence they come.  We have to embrace the beauty in our diversity.  We can no longer use the evil perpetrated by white men as an excuse to dwell in mediocrity.  We have to accept our blackness as a “something extra” that God gave us to succeed, whether white men are afraid of it or not.