Yesterday, Sunday the 12th of August 2007, at around 5pm, I took my first communion as a pre-op transsexual female, at a worship service organized by the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) at the Grand Olympic Hotel. I left the service getting to know a few new friends; and also getting some mixed feelings. I always choose to maintain some sense of neutrality in what I say, maintaining balance when there are attacks on any specific parties, and having honesty in what I say. However, because of the sensitivity of the issues involved, I will choose not to disclose some of the results of my digging into the MCC history.
I arrived early at 1.30pm to catch a glimpse of Rev Ou Yang, hoping to have a short chat with him. Unfortunately, we did not talk much as he had to prepare for the worship service. But one person I never thought I would finally get to meet was there. Rev Bishop Yap Kim Hao! I gave my appreciation to him for his talk during the dialogue about homosexuality last month. We both shared about Edmund Smith and Real Love Ministry, and he asked me to meet him in Singapore when I have the chance. An ultimate experience indeed! The Pelangi Pride Centre members were also present, and I got to know one of their core leaders.
The worship service started as any other at 2pm. There was of course the usual praise and worship session, led by some members of the Free Community Church Singapore, who came in support of MCC.. Then it dawned to me that I am the only transgender around. But I do not care, really, I came to seek God. Then after the praise and worship session, when Rev Ou Yang took the stand my heart got chewed. Rev Ou Yang, quoted the LGT, as "gay brothers, lesbian sisters, and transgendered folks". The word transgendered popped up again in notes of the hymn 'Once we were not a people'.
That really shook me. Folks? Transgendered? If the MCC had existed since 1968, surely they know that there are distinctions within the transgender umbrella term than to use 'folks', how about transgender sisters and brothers. And as as sure as homosexuals are not homosexualed, gayed or lesbianed, and I am not transsexualed; surely no one can be transgendered, as if some rock fell upon all of us in past tense and we all became somethinged. That is the thing that is strange about labels, just like the words 'ladyboy' (boy identitfied term) and 'shemale' (transsexual porn star coin term); a lot of the sisters will be actually be using the wrong terms to described themselves if it becomes generalised by places such as MCC.
(I have checked out the transgender resources at the MCC http://www.mccchurch.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Resources/Transgender/Transgender_Resource.htm. It seems okay to me, so I am surprised at such an error.)
Anyway, two friends of mine had warned me about going. One told me it is a commercialized militant church, another told me I am going to be alone and buried in a huge homosexual group. I do not wish to share on the former, but yes, I am surrounded by gays and lesbians all around me. It is not exactly a place I should be, especially after I realised transsexual issues are burried within gay and lesbian pride. But nevertheless, I absolutely am happy with the introduction given by Rev Pat Bumgardner, and the meaningful sermon given by Rev Elder Troy D Perry. He shares about God's calling, his experiences during the breakout of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and others. Then after the Holy Communion, it was Rev Bishop Yap to close with the Benediction.
The worship service ended with a press conference. I managed to get some contacts from the Pelangi Pride Centre, Rev Bishop Yap, and some independent groups. Some were for Rev Ou Yang, while others are against it. Most of the gays and lesbians there, as usual, did not know what to do with me. But at least, some are willing to assist me in my cause. Most importantly, I am now in full contact with Rev Ou Yang. He will be leaving a day after a pending proposed dinner with some of the Christian LGT groups, which I may arrange for him to clear the air and allow us to question him. The church is already divided in this issue.
My reservations, besides the continuous use of the word 'transgendered', would probably be the all inclusive stance by MCC. It's founder, Rev Elder Troy D. Perry have some affiliations with the Mormon church. In 1990 he wrote a letter of affirmation to them: http://www.affirmation.org/voices/making_a_difference.shtml. As I know, the term 'Elder' is only given to a Prophet (Mormons believe there are existence of other Prophets on the earth, please correct me if I am wrong). I do not know of his stance now, but when Rev Bumgarder introduced him as a 'Prophet', something just sticks out as just not right. This and a host of other things I managed to find out from the Net.
Anyway, I decided to dish out all my questions out for Rev Ou Yang to answer. And I believe a lot of you would like to know more about him, his life, his stance, his ministry and his beliefs. So I am opening up this topic into an interview. If there are any of you out there who wish to ask him anything at all, please e-mail to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, stating your name or group, where you are from and contacts. Annonymous people would not be entertained. I have my own life to live, so please only ask important questions. If you wish to have a private conversation with him, you can also e-mail to me, and I will pass the word to him perhaps have him contact you personally. God Bless.