Monday, May 04, 2015

Happy Birthday To Moni!

Well TransGriot readers, I've made it through another 365 days on this space rock to celebrate another Cuatro De Mayo.

The lead up to today was spent with by BTAC family, and they kept me busy so I didn't go into deep brooding an introspective mode like I had a chance to do on the bus ride back down I-45 south to Houston.

I'm a Kennedy Baby celebrating another birthday, but I couldn't help thing about the trans people who won't reach my age.and it saddened me.

We've made some amazing progress as a community over the last few years, and I want to be around to see what happens 10, 15, 30 and 25 years from now.

And yes, living long and prospering despite everything the conservahaters and TERFs are trying to do is our best revenge.

Thanks to all of you who are or will be sending me birthday greetings, e-cards, cash in my blog tip jar, and everything else y'all are doing to let me know y'all love and care about me.

So as for what the heck I'm going to do for this birthday is an open question, but one thing I'll be damned sure be doing is reveling in the day that I took my first breath inside the borders of this state, and look forward to what happens 366 days from now.

Happy birthday to Moni!   Hope I'm blessed to celebrate many more of them.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

BTAC 2015-Last Day

This is the saddest day of the Black Trans Advocacy Conference for me, the last one.

After spending several days up on the northern end of I-45, seeing old friends, making new ones and building community, it's time for me to go back to Houston and my life there.

But before I do that, I get to say goodbye to my trans brothers and trans sisters, their spouses, our allies and my BTAC family.

In addition to the closing ceremony that officially ends the convention, we'll have the traditional farewell brunch at Blue Mesa.

After that delicious community building exercise, Moni hits the DART Rail Red Line to catch her Megabus back to Houston and commence another 365 day wait for the fifth edition of the Black Trans Advocacy Conference.

And y'all know to check my TransGriot pages for the dates of the 2016 edition of the Black Trans Advocacy Conference.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

BTAC-Day 4

It's Saturday, and time for Family Fun Day at BTAC.

But before we head to the Austin Ranch near DFW Airport for some great food and spending some quality time with each other, first are the closed session for transmen, transwomen, ciswomen and MCC/Butch Aggressives that will start at 9:15 AM CDT and last until we roll over to the Austin Ranch from the hiotel at 12:30 PM.

Then after a day of fun and community building, it'll be time once again for the Black Diamond Ball that starts at 10 PM CDT.

The ball will be held at the 2816 Commerce Event Center in Deep Ellum, and the address of course if you wish to attend is in the name of the building, 2816 Commerce St.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Shut Up Fool Awards- Moni's At BTAC 2015 Edition

Been up here in Dallas since April 28 for
the fourth annual editionm of the Black Trans Advocacy Conference.

This conference is one of my faves because it happens to fall very close to my birthday and doubles as my birthday weekend celebratory event.

Well, without further dela6y, let's get to this week's SUF Awards.

Honorable mention number one is Rush Limbaugh.   OxyContinin Man parted his lips to state that riots will happenas long as Black keep voting for Democrats.

Let's remix that comment shall we?    Riots will continue to happen as long as unarmed Black people continue to suffer death by po-po and go unpunished for it.

Honorable mentuion number is Josh Duggar, who clamed if Talabaptists aren't allowed top discriminate, then you are discriminating against 'Christians'

Really?   Dude, your white privileged ass wouldn't know discrimination if it slapped you in the face.  I'm getting sick of you people wanting to oppress people.

Honorable mention number three is Maryland State Delegate Pat McDonough (R) actually said that parents of kids who let their kids protest the death by po-po of Freddie Gray should have their food stamps taken away.

He doubled down on his racism by suggesting a study be done of the mindset of 'thug nation'

Hety Pat, your pointed hood is showing.

Honorable mention number four is US Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX) who said that what is going on in Baltimore is because of too many gay marriages.

WTF?   What iis going on in Baltimore is because of systenmic racism tolerated by too many white male Republicans like you.

This week's Shut Up Fool winner is TX Governor Greg Abbott.  

Greg's sucking up to the batturd crazy wing of the Texas GOP by ordering the Texas State Militia to monitor the US military duirng to Jade Helm 15 exericses to forestall a 'miltary takeover of the Lone Star State.

You can't make this stuff uop people. 

But instead of debunking this Conservaidiocy, he's cosigning it.

Greg Abbott, shut up fool

BTAC 2015-Day 3

My third day at BTAC, and the calendar has flipped to my favorite month in May.

Tonight's big event is the Awards Gala, but before I handle my BTAC business of handing out this year's Monica Robeerts Advocacy Award, have a seminar at 9:15 AM with Espy Bronw entitled 'Sis To Cis'.

It's one in which we continue the conversation we started last year between Black cis and trans women, and should be as infornmative and fun as it was last year.

And yes the peeps keep rolling in for the homestreatch of this year's Black Trans Advocacy Conference.   You can continue to check the Twitter hashtag #BTAC2015 for all the happenings.

I'm also one day closer to Cuatro De Mayo

Congratulations To The Trans Class Of 2015

Addison Rose VincentWith the calendar turning another page to May thoughts turn to prom season and the graduation ceremonies that will be taking place all over the country.

Hopefully our trans grads will be able to do so as their true selves and we won't have the drama we've had the last few years at some high schools.

For those who wish to give you shade about attending prom and graduation as yourselves, Lambda Legal, GLSEN, the ACLU and other orgs are standing by with information and help so you can do so without unnecessary drama.

But I especially want to tip the graduation cap to our trans grads who have persevered to get those educations, sometimes under trying circumstances.

Congrats to Addie, L'lerret, Atlantis and all my other trans brothers and trans sisters getting ready to step off their collegiate campuses and step into that different off campus world.

transgender homecoming king Mel Gonzales Texas Sugar LandFor those of you who made it through that at times shade filled world of high school, congratulations!

Some of you made trans history while matriculating on your various campuses, while others of you can't wait to get off of those campuses.  

For those of you leaving elementary to go to middle school, or middle school to high school, good luck and know that your trans elders love and support you as you make that jump to the next level.

For those of you taking that higher education leap forward, I hope you were successful in getting into whatever colleges you applied for.

I applaud you for taking the steps to get an education you will need to not only successfully compete in a highly technologically advanced world, but your heart moves you to advance the cause of our community's human rights at the same time.

Then again, whatever you choose to do is fine by me, as long as you're happy doing so./

Congrats Trans*  Class of 2015.    May you be megasuccessful in whatever you choose to do with your lives.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

BTAC 2015-Day 2

Still in Dallas at the Doubletree Campbell Center for the Black Trans Advocacy Conference for my second full day here.

The highlights today will be the keynote speeches by Tiq Milan and Miss major Griffin Gracy.
|The Black Trans Interrnational Pageants will happen later tonight, and many of the seminaras have a health and wellness theme such as Healthcare Hallelujah Trans* Health And The Affordable Care Act  to 'Exploring HIV Health Risks Among Transmen'

I'm also having a blast getting to spend quality time with the trans brothers and the trans sisters I know and geeting acquainted with the trans brothers and trans sisters I'm just meeting for the first time

And love seeing my Dallas fam in Rafael McDonnell and Nell Gaither.

I still find it ironic that Diamond Stylz and I live less than 5 miles from each other in Houston, buit i have to bring my butt to BTAC or some other conference to spend quality time with her.

But she knows I love her to death.   And if you feeling down, you won't be after getting hugged by our BTAC First Lady Espy Brown.

There were some amazing conversations taking place here yesterday in our seminars, at dinner and in the hotel lobby.  

And definitely need to step away from the front desk and those sinfully delicious cookies.

Need More TBLG Cultural Competency On HBCU Campuses

Last Thursday night I got a chance to cross something else off my activist bucket list.

I got the opportunity to do a panel discussion on an HBCU campus.  The fact it was Texas Southern University, where I have extensive family ties, made it even more special.

It's the beginning of an ongoing conversation on trans and SGL issues that needed to happen.

And in the wake of the Jenner 20/20 interview, one of the things that I've was pondering on the way to Dallas for BTAC is what can we do in Black Trans World to get our people to realize we Black trans folks are part of the Black community, and our issues are Black community issues.

TSU is one of 106 HBCU campuses in the United States, and sadly only 21% of them have full time LGBTQ organizations on campus.  Only three have gender identity and expression in their non discrimination statements.   Only three (Bowie State, North Carolina Central and Fayetteville State ) have  LGBT centers on their campuses.  

HBCU's better recognize that LGBT African-Americans are not only aren't going away, when it's time for us to choose a college to matriculate at, we are going to look at attending HBCU's to further our collegiate education.  But in order to do so, HBCU campuses are going to have to become more culturally competent in order to get Black trans, bi and SGL students to consider matriculating there.

If they don't start considering doing that or refuse to do so, being a HBCU will not be enough to draw them away from other college campuses that do make their campuses safe for trans. bi and SGL students to matriculate on and proudly promote it..

It's past time for HBCU's to start having those conversations, and if it is BTMI, BTWI and TPOCC that facilitates those conversations on the HBCU campuses around the nation, then that's all good, too

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Happy 80th Birthday April Ashley!

Across The Pond today is the milestone birthday of one of our trans community icons.  Today April Ashley, MBE was born on this date 80 years ago in Liverpool, England.  

No wonder I love her.   She's a fellow Taurus!

She had a challenging childhood and grew up to become one of the first people in Great Britain to undergo SRS with Dr. Georges Bourou in Casablanca, Morocco in 1960.

VariousShe was a Vogue fashion model, worked at the famed LeCarrousel trans club in Paris in which she rubbed elbows with Ernest Hemingway, Jean Paul Sartre and Bob Hope, was an actress, and enjoyed the romantic attention of actor Peter O'Toole and famed painters Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso.

She has also worked tirelessly to advance the human rights of trans people in Great Britain and awarded her MBE in 2012.

In September 2013 the year long April Ashley: Portrait of A Lady exhibit opened at the Museum of Liverpool focused on her amazing life.

Ashley received a Lifetime Achievement honor during the 2014 European Diversity Awards.

Happy 80th birthday, April!   To me. April Ashley's life is a testament to living well being your best revenge as a trans person.  

And living long enough to celebrate eight decades on this planet definitely qualifies as living well.

BTAC 2015-Day 1

It's actually the third full day of the fourth annual Black Trans Advocacy Conference, but my first full one after my travel day from H-town.

I've always wnted to learn how to do grant writing, and one of the sessions I'll definitely be planning to attend is one entitled 'The Grant Development Process'.

There's also a social media one I'm interested in as I peruse the program offerings for today, Tiq Milan's 'Trans Advocacy Media Training', the Black Trans Community Summit and the TransManifest Open Mic to close out Wednesday's programming.

I wonder who I'll run into today?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

In Dallas For BTAC 2015

I've finally made it to the other end of I-45 in Dallas for the 2015 edition of the Black Trans Advocacy Conference.

It's not only one of my fave conference because it happens to fall around my Cuatro de Mayo birthday, I'm also here on business.

I'm chilling in my 18th floor room with a beautiful view of downtown Dallas.

It's business and pleasure.  I not only get an opportunity to get my learn on, I get to present the Monica Roberts Advocacy Award to this year's winner of it on May 1 as i creep closer to my birthday.

For those of you who couldn't make it, you can check out the BTAC action  on Twiiter via the #BTAC2015 hashtag.

I did get the chance to witness the beautiful opening ceremony for BTAC which included a libation ceremony in which we honored the ancestors inside and outside the trans community

And yes, so happy te Rockets handled their NBA business back home and beat the Mavericks, so I get to gloat for a moment while I'm inside the Dallas city limints.

Time for me to get ome beauty sleep and get ready for my first full day at BTAC 2015.

Rolling Toward Dallas For BTAC 2015

After attempting another day trip to Austin to handle some lobbying business, I'm boarding a Megabus in 45 minutes for the four hour trip up I-45 to Dallas for the 2015 edition of the Black Trans Advocacy Conference.

I love this fourth annual conference for multiple reasons.   It's one that takes place in my home state and in the city where my mom grew up.  It's one in which trans men from around the country are gathered.

And the best part is that it happens around my birthday, and I get spoiled by the trans brothers.

If this bus pulls out of here on time at 1:15 PM , I'll be getting to Dallas just in time for rush hour at 5:20 PM and my train ride to the convention hotel.

See y'all in a few hours BTAC family.

White People, Before You Start Throwing Racist Stones Over Baltimore, Check Yourselves

"It is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard."
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr,  'The Other America' , March 14, 1968

Yesterday afternoon the anger of the April 19 death of 25 year old Freddie Gray, who suffered a spinal cord injury while in Baltimore police custody exploded into a riot after his funeral.

As the rebellion played out on the nation's TV screens, a 10 PM-5 AM EST curfew was announced by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, a state of emergency was declared by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) and the Maryland National Guard was deployed, once again there were some white folks determined to show their Archie Bunker sides on social media.

I know you mofos ain't trying to talk trash about Black folks in Baltimore who are as Dr King pointed out in that 1968  'The Other America' speech mere weeks before his assassination,  are in violent rebellion mode once again because of being sick and tired of watching Black people die at the hands of predominately white police forces and them getting away with it, and feeling powerless to the point they feel this is the only way they can get attention.

And FOX Noise won't tell you this because they were busy race baiting as usual, but there was another march going on in West Baltimore yesterday that involved a group of local clergy.

Yeah, can you hear us now?   Baltimore has a history of police brutality aimed at communities of color to the point the city is paying thousands of dollars in settlements to the victims of it, a man had his spinal cord severed while in police custody back on April 12 and people are supposed to sing kumbaya about that?   If you're more concerned about property damage than non-white people being killed by police without retribution, then your moral compass needs some serious recalibration.

And I don't want to hear one syllable on social media or the media attacking the Black community for this when white people have rioted because their favorite sports teams won or lost and you are never called by society to take personal responsibility for your own fracked up behavior.

What is pissing me off is the racist invective getting launched in social media by smirking white folks drunk on vanillacentric privilege and ignorant of their own people's riot filled history.

So before you even think about hurling racist invective at Black people in rebellion over something that has been building for years in Baltimore , have a seat.

Happy Birthday Leiomy!

It's time to give a TransGriot birthday shout out to another fellow Taurus and one who I'm looking forward to meeting one day.

Happy birthday to Leiomy Maldonado, who if you'll turn the clock back to 2009, this #GirlLikeUs was making news back in the day as the leader of the Vogue Evolution team on the MTV show  America's Best Dance Crew.
Leiomy and Vogue Evolution were in the news as they made a five week run to capture the title on that show in its fourth season and the $100,000 prize that went with it.

Unfortunately Leiomy and the Vogue Evolution crew fell short of the final dance, but represented our community and the New York ballroom scene well.

Hope you have an amazing, blessings filled birthday Leiomy, and you get to celebrate many more of them..