Tuesday, May 03, 2016

ConGRADulations Trans Class of 2016!

TransGriot Note:  The graduation photo is of Sharron Cooks, who is graduating from college later this month.  Thanks Sharron for allowing your photo to grace this post and congrats to you and all out 2016 trans grads for achieving a major life goal. 

With the calendar page flipping to May, it also means that in addition to prom season, we will soon see the invites going out for high school and collegiate graduations around the country and hearing bands play Pomp and Circumstance as grads walk across the stage in their caps and gowns..

Many of the folks walking across those stages later this month to get their diplomas are members of our trans family.  Some are making the jump from middle school to high school.  Others are taking the next evolutionary educational step from high school to college, and others like Sharron are in the collegiate ranks about to earn their bachelors, masters or other post graduate degrees.

Landon after being named Homecoming Queen Saturday. (Grady Reid/KCTV)
Some made history during their senior year like Landon Patterson, who became Missouri's first ever transfeminine homecoming queen, and Capri Culpepper, who won a 2014 lawsuit against the South Carolina DMV allowing her to take her femme drivers license picture.

She was a finalist for homecoming queen at her high school and Culpepper recently testified last month in opposition against South Carolina's anti-trans potty hate bill.

So proud of our trans younglings.  The trans kids are in many cases the ones successfully fighting the oppressors tooth and nail for their own trans liberation.

On the way to those graduation ceremonies celebrating their academic and other accomplishments, some of our trans family members endured drama inside and outside the classrooms in addition to hitting the books to get that knowledge. I also know of a few who dropped out of high school because they were fed up with the bullying, but decided to go back and finish what they started and get their GED's.

Congratulations to those of you who went that route and successfully passed the tests to do so.

It's not easy getting an education while trans, and our haters are trying to make it harder for you to do so. You deserve the utmost love and respect for making the investment in yourselves to do so.

The best revenge you can get on your tormentors is to if possible, live your life out and proud in the school setting while getting your education.  If that's not possible for you and your preference is the non disclosed route so that you can get your paper in peace, then handle your educational business.

Lambda Legal and the ACLU are standing by if you have haters trying to prevent you from expressing yourself at your prom, your graduation ceremony, or object to your same gender prom date.  The law is on your side, so call the local chapters of these orgs in enough time to help you out and defend your rights..

Congrats to you Trans Class of 2016 members .  Your trans family is immensely proud of you, and will be standing by to ensure that you get through this month with minimal drama.  .

ConGRADulations, Trans Class of 2016!

Indiana Presidential Primary Election Today

The Hoosier State gets a chance today to weigh in on the contentious Democratic Primary race between former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders.

And just as a reminder who I'm supporting in this Democratic presidential primary race and why I made that decision, it's the real Democrat, not the DINO..

But back to the post concerning this Indiana primary that kicks off in a few hours.

There are 92 delegates up for grabs on the Democratic side, and after Clinton took four out of five Northeastern states last week to pump up her already sizable delegate lead, she needs only 221 more delegates to reach the 2394 delegates necessary to clinch the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination and sing the 'It's over' aria for the Sanders campaign..

She's more than ready to pivot to the general election and get to whacking on the presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, but Sanders is still trying to hang on until the June 7 California primary.

But first we have to handle our electoral business in Indiana, and the Democratic race is close Clinton leads by 4% points over Sanders, but that is within the margin of poll error in a state that not only has an open primary, but is predominately white (72%). but has a 17% Latino population and a 13% Black one.

Handle your electoral business Indiana, and we'll check out the results later tonight.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Moni's Post BTAC 2016 Thoughts

I'm back at Casa de Monica after spending an amazing week hanging with my chosen family at the 2016 edition of the Black Trans Advocacy Conference in Dallas.

It was the fifth anniversary edition of this event, and it was a week in which I got to share the same space with old friends and make acquaintances with new cis and trans friends from around the country and increasingly the world.  This year we had attendees from Brazil and Jamaica, and I hope we continue to draw more people from the African Diaspora to the Black Trans Advocacy Conference..

It's an event that has the feel of a giant family reunion, but it's one in which we get to learn, laugh and love each other in a world that is being stirred up for crass political reasons to become more irrationally hostile to all trans people.  

It was sad we had to spend time putting out a press release condemning Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick (R) for pimping anti-trans hate in the Lone Star State mere hours before our conference kicked off..

But we refused to let the transphobic devils suck the joy out of this conference.

BTAC is a gigantic raised clenched Black fist debunking the notion that Black trans people don't exist.  It is the middle finger to all those who would seek to harm and oppress us.  It is an unapologetically Black trans focused space and conference that is also welcome to all who wish to attend and hang with us.  

BTAC is your family beckoning to those of you to come, get your hug and the welcoming love you deserve that the world and at times your own blood families fail to properly give you at times.  It's having fun and enjoying each other's company whether we are in the host hotel or out and about in the world trying to legislate us out of existence.

It's where we went to the correct bathrooms for an entire week and nothing happened in this hotel except us pooping, peeing and washing our hands when we were done.

It's remembering our ancestors who paved the way, the people we've lost, and the folks who wanted to be there but circumstances kept them away from us this time.  Know that you are loved by your BTAC family, we missed you at BTAC 2016, and hope you're blessed to be with us in 2017.

BTAC is where you can unapologetically be your fabulous Black trans selves.  It's sharing a meal with people who are like you and allies who unconditionally support us..  It's displaying your talent at TransManifest Live.  It's strutting your stuff on the Black Diamond Ball runway as you get tens across the board from the judges.  It's being crowned the king and queen of the BTIPS pageant system by last year's royalty.

It's exchanging information, hugs and heartfelt stories not only in the seminars but as you chill in each others rooms, in the hospitality suite or in the lobby area with other hotel guests and staff.  It's celebrating the start of love connections made at past and this year's BTAC conference.

It's getting dressed up for the Awards Gala and being recognized by your BTAC family for the work you do not only inside the organization, but to advance the human rights of our entire community even if the rest of the world ignores your substantive contributions to doing so.

BTAC is where your voice matters and you get to role model the change you wish to see in the world.

It's also a conference in which peeps find out I write and spit spoken word poetry, can step up my fashion game when necessary, I don't bite when you approach me to say hello, I have a wicked sense of humor, and I play a take no prisoners trash talking game of dominoes while others are doing the same thing when they play whatever card game du jour that is going on at the time.

You have been warned for next year, peeps thinking about coming to challenge the Queen of the Dominoes table. And if it hadn't been raining too hard Tuesday night, y'all would've found out I can bowl.

And trans haters, it's where we gleefully blow up your lies about what it means to be an unapologetically Black trans person or an unapologetic ally to our community..

It's also a conference in which by the time it reached the closing brunch on Sunday, I and everyone else there is sad it's over.

We are all painfully aware as we gather together one last time for that closing brunch it will be another 365 days before we're blessed to be in the company of these amazing people we've spent a fab week with in the same BTAC space

And this year I missed the brunch because I had to leave early to catch my 2:50 PM Megabus back to Houston.  I and Dee had to depressingly watch as everyone else attending it got dropped off by the hotel shuttle bus at Blue Mesa and we stayed on enroute to DART's Addison Transit Center.

So yes, while BTAC 2016 is one for the history books, already looking forward to next year, and hope those of you who missed it this year will join us for BTAC 2017. .

And when the date and location for BTAC 2017 is announced, you will definitely see it on these TransGriot pages.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

President Obama Dropping The Mic At The WH Correspondent's Dinner

Last night before I headed downstairs from my room to the Black Diamond Ball, I took some time to check out the live broadcast of the White House Correspondent's Dinner because it will be the last time I'll get to see the coolest POTUS of my lifetime do so.  

It was the last appearance of President Obama at the 'Nerd Prom' as the White House Correspondents Dinner is jokingly nicknamed, and it will be one we remember for a long time because he literally dropped to mic when he was done.

He did such a bang up job it was a tough follow up act for The Daily Show's Larry Wilmore.

Yeah, we're definitely going to miss this president when he hands over the office to his successor on January 20, whoever she is..

Here's the video of his White House Correspondents Dinner speech for those of you who missed it

BTAC 2016 Final Day Highlights

Our week in Dallas for the Black Trans Advocacy Conference ended far too soon, and now we'll have to say goodbye to each other until next year.

BTAC 2016 has been an amazing event.   In its fifth anniversary year, we moved to a new hotel and broke our attendance record.  We had far more first time attendees this year and international attendees from Brazil and Jamaica..

The international attendees is a pattern I personally love and want to see continue.  The international attendees expand and add another level to the discussions we're having when it comes to being Black and trans.

For those of us who are still in the DFW area or at the hotel, we get the chance to meet up at Blue Mesa for our Farewell Brunch starting at 12 noon CDT.  We talk about the amazing week we had, share one last meal together, and lay some organizational groundwork for BTAC 2017.

Unfortunately, I'm going to have to miss it since my Megabus is leaving for Houston at 2:50 PM, but I'll be thinking about everyone on the ride back down to my end of I-45 and eagerly anticipating the dates for BTAC 2017

Saturday, April 30, 2016

BTAC 2016 Day 5 Highlights

The Awards Gala was off the chain last night, and loved the caramel cheesecake we had for dessert.

Today we trade being dressed to the nines for casual clothes and a little family fun.  We leave the cozy space of our host hotel for a few hours to take on the open spaces of the Circle R Ranch in nearby Flower Mound, TX.

Hope the barbecue is on point.  

Once we return to the hotel and get some chill out time from our day trip, the 5th Anniversary Closing Ceremony Party will commence capped off by the Black Diamond Ball.

We'll have people walking the various categories seeking to impress our distinguished panel of judges and get perfect tens.across the board.     .  

Friday, April 29, 2016

Shut Up Fool Awards- Moni's In The BTAC 2016 House Edition

I'm in the Dallas 'burbs for my fourth consecutive Black Trans Advocacy Conference.   Got my sweat equity shift at the registration desk done yesterday, presented my panel on Wednesday, and was part of the Black Trans Community Summit on Wednesday as well.

I'm thoroughly enjoying myself at what I call my extended birthday celebrating because this conference falls so close to my May 4 birthday.

Been pleased to not only see old friends like Dora and Yusuf who met at BTAC and are celebrating their first anniversary together, I'm happy to see that we have a lot of first time attendees from around the country, along with a trans bother from Jamaica at #BTAC2016.

I hope the neophyte attendees are also enjoying this event as much as I am.

When we reconvene for ‪#‎BTAC2017‬, I challenge Houston`s Black trans men to show up, participate and hang out with their national and international trans family.   This conference is just a four hour drive up I-45 from us and I and your Houston trans sisters would love to see more of you stepping up and representing H-town's trans masculine community.   It can't be just Houston's Black trans women alone representing our city and all Black trans peeps inside Beltway 8. 

Now that I'm off my BTAC soapbox, let's get to the usual Friday business at hand of calling fools out..

Since I have a long list of fools and some BTAC business to handle, will just select one fool this week and not post the long nomination list of (dis) honorable mention contenders for our weekly SUF title..

This week's Shut Up Fool Award goes to one of my home grown fools in Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick (R)    Despite the fact that North Carolina has been getting major negative international blowback for the unjust anti human rights Hate Bill 2 they hastily passed to stick it to the city of Charlotte and the trans community, Patrick announced in a Wednesday press conference he would support bringing that idiocy to the Lone Star State

Really?  What crystal meth have you been smoking?   Not no but hell no!   No GOP sponsored ALEC hate in my home state.   Sick of you white male Teapublicans wanting to oppress people.

And oh yeah..Dan Patrick, shut up fool!.

BTAC 2016 Day 4 Highlights

All hail our new Black Trans International Pageant royalty that was crowned last night in Taliyah Cassadine and Dane Ray who will be repping the BTIPS system for 2016.

Darn this BTAC week week is going by so fast.

Today is our last full day of seminars with our main event being the Black Trans Advocacy Awards Gala starting at 8 PM.  I also get to find out who receives the award named for moi along with the others being passed out tonight..

Thursday, April 28, 2016

BTAC 2016 Day 3 Highlights

After an amazing display of talent at TransManifest last night that included lip sync, several spoken word performances, and a rapper, it`s Thursday at #BTAC2016.
The highly anticipated events taking place today are the keynote speeches by Mister Cris and Dora Santana and later tonight, the Mr. and Ms. Black Trans International pageants at 7 PM in which the new BTAC royalty will be crowned to represent us..

There will also be two morning blocks and an afternoon block of seminar programming to fill out the rest of this third day of Black Trans Advocacy Conference programming..

What Women REALLY Fear In The Bathroom

Besides right wing Republican pervs like Dennis Hastert, Josh Duggar and countless others around the country, this is what women fear more in the bathrooms than their trans sisters.

Yep, running out of toilet paper.

You ignorati really need to get over your facts free hatred of trans folks.  I and the trans community are getting sick and tired of being sick and tired of being your political punching bags and our lives are not up for a societal debate

So flush that transphobia you`re peddling as soon as possible.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

100 Days To Rio!

One of my fave sporting events for many reasons is the Olympic Games be it the summer or winter versions of it.   I'm definitely looking forward to the August 5 of the Rio Games this summer.

We are now 100 days from watching the opening ceremonies at Maracana Stadium, and the Olympic flame was lit on April 21 in Greece and is now making its way across Greece enroute to a handoff ceremony schedule to happen today in Athens.  

After the torch is handed off to the Brazilian organizers, it will head to IOC headquarters in Switzerland and the Olympic Museum in Lausanne before heading to Geneva and the UN Office there.

From there it will take flight to Brasilia, Brazil's capital where the torch rally will start on May 3 and hit 300 cities, all 26 Brazilian state capitals and the Brazilian Federal District before it gets to Rio de Janeiro on August 5 for the first ever Olympic Games held on the South American continent.

And can't wait to see who the Brazilians select to light the Olympic cauldron and what creative way they come up with to do so.

BTAC 2016 Day 2 Highlights

The first full day of BTAC 2016 seminars starts at 9:15 AM CDT.   We'll also have the BTAC Career Clinic and the opening of the vendor area.

Th topics of the seminars in the AM block are 'Creating Healthy Masculinity', 'Ways Of Coping With Stress', 'Gaining and Maintaining Employment For Trans People', 'Behind The Scenes Pageantry Preparation On and Off Stage' and 'Life Choices'.

I'm moderating one on Black Trans History at 2:15 PM as part of the Black Trans Community Summit, with Part 2 starting at 3:30 PM will be a round table discussion on issues of importance to our community.  

For those of you wishing you were here in Dallas with us,  you can check out the days events at the hashtag #BTAC2016.

This day closes with Trans Manifest Live starting at 9 PM

Clinton Gets 4 Out Of 5 Northeastern States

The race for the Democratic party nomination may not be officially over until June 14, but Sec. Hillary Clinton took four out of five northeastern states to get another step closer to clinching the nomination. .

Sanders only win was in Rhode Island, which was a semi closed primary state that he won  55%-43%.   The other states were closed primaries with predictable results.   Clinton narrowly won Connecticut by six points, , Delaware and the big prizes of Maryland (118 delegates) and Pennsylvania (210).

Three states she won by blowout, which is bad news once again for a Sanders campaign desperately trying to cut into her large delegate lead   She won Maryland, with its large African-American population by 30 points, Delaware by 20 points and Pennsylvania by 12 points

The obese opera singer may not be singing the 'It's Over" aria, but is definitely doing sound checks.

Next up is the Indiana primary on May 3 in which 92 delegates will be up for grabs.