Thursday, January 19, 2017

Last Full Day Of The Obama Adminstration

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Note I didn't say 'potentially'. I have the confidence to say that he WILL be a great president. If we were going to have a first Black president I like my African descended brothers and sisters wanted him or her to be the best and brightest member of our community. Hopefully at the end of his second term, the nation will be lamenting the fact that we couldn't elect him to a third term.-TransGriot  February 28, 2009 'Why Barack Obama Will Be A Great President 


It doesn't end until 12:01 PM EST tomorrow, but today sadly is the last day of the historic administration of President Barack Hussein Obama.

The POTUS had his final press conference yesterday which i didn't get to see because i was traveling, but it probably was a blessing in disguise because I probably would have started crying during it.



He talks about the role of the press and the Chelsea Manning pardon among other subjects, and for those of you who have asked me about my feelings about Manning, I'm pondering it and you'll see it in a later TransGriot post.

Back to this one.   I'm going to miss this president for a lot of reasons, but the most important one was here was a man who was born nine months before I was, shares my African heritage, and excelled in the office despite many challenges and a Republican Party unified in racist opposition to him that gleefully wanted him to fail.

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This is also a man who had a scandal free administration, and made me feel as though my country was in good hands with him in the Oval Office.   He also made me feel for the first time in my life unabashedly proud of my president and this country.

He has also been the best president ever when it comes to not only acknowledging we trans folks exist, but expanding and defending our human rights.

I'm also going to miss our lovely FLOTUS, who Michelle, who made history of her own in becoming the first African-American woman ever to be the First Lady, and did so with style, dignity and class even as people irrationally hated on her.

We also go the pleasure of watching your your daughters Sasha and Malia grow up into amazing young women.

Mr. President, thanks for eight amazing years, and wish it could have been longer.  I confidently wrote eight years ago that you would be an outstanding president and you have made me look like a genius for saying it.

Mr. President, thanks for eight wonderful years that have flown by.  Unfortunately some idiot that claims he's going to Make America Great Hate Again takes over at 12:01 PM tomorrow

#CC17 Day One

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Good morning from the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection as they love to say about Philadelphia!  I'm back here again inside its city limits to attend another major TBLGQ community event in Creating Change and while I handle my business, I'm also going to be in reporter mode for it for those of you who either chose not to or couldn't come to #CC17.

It officially started yesterday, but there have been pre conference events since Monday

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Today's big happenings at #CC17 and the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown are the day long institutes on various topic taking place in the host hotel.  There are also many TBLGQ organizations who are taking advantage of the fact that many of our leaders are gathered here to have their organizational board meetings

As for what I'm up to today besides being in reporter mode and just talking to various peeps I know in BTLGQ World, In addition to speaking at the Trans United Fund event later tonight at Philadelphia City Hall,  I'm also taking part in the National Black Justice Coalition's The Black Institute during its 10:00 AM EST programming block

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But the highlight of the night will be the opening Creating Change plenary session from 8-10 PM that features NC NAACP President Rev Dr. William Barber II and his eagerly anticipated keynote address.

Bet you wish you'd come now.

You can follow the #CC17 hashtag on Twiiter, this blog or my TransGriot Twitter handle to check out my commentary about all the CC17 happenings while I'm here.

You can also check out the Creating Change website for various highlighted videos and


Trans United Fund Is In The #CC17 House!

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One of the major reasons I'm up in Philadelphia for this year's edition of Creating Change is because I'm on the leadership team for the Trans United Fund.   It's a now year old multicultural trans led organization that seeks to borrow my sister in the movement Sharon Lettman Hicks of NBJC's words, Own Our Power.

That's vital at a pivotal moment in our trans movement's history in which we not only are the focus of coordinated attacks upon our humanity and human rights by the Republican Party the conservative movement, the TERF's and fundamentalists, we have predominately gay run orgs that are not responding well to this coordinated attack.   Frankly one of the reasons they haven't is because they don't have a large enough cadre of trans people, and especially trans people of color sitting at the leadership tables of their orgs to help them coordinate the strategies that will be successful in beating the right wingers.

It's past time that we had a diverse, multicultural national trans run and trans led organization like NTAC was when I was part of its founding leadership group in 1999.  It's a leadership vacuum in our rainbow TBLGQ ranks that TUF seeks to fill by working collectively to develop trans leadership at a national and grassroots level so that we can thrive as a community, not just survive.

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Later tonight the TransUnited Fund is hosting from 6:30-8:00 PM  at Philadelphia City Hall in which Andrea Jenkins, Danni Askini Sharron Cooks, DeShanna and Trinity Neal, and some award winning blogger y'all know along with our Emmy Award nominated MC Angelica Ross will be at the United.  Undaunted. Unstoppable  Fight Back 2017!  fundraiser event.

TUF is building trans political power and is needed and necessary at this time and has set a goal of raising $5000 for its needed and increasingly necessary work

Suggested donation is $10, but we'd definitely love to meet you and see as many folks in Room 201 that can attend.   If you can't you can always take a moment to support Trans United Fund's work to build trans political power.

Many of us TUF leaders will be out and about during #CC17 to take part in various Creating Change panel discussions and seminars.

Trans United Fund is in the #CC17 house, and we're glad to be here on behalf of our trans siblings who can't..

Moni's In The #CC17 House!

After a relatively uneventful trip for me on Delta from Houston through their mother hub of Atlanta to Philadelphia, and a 30 minute train ride from the airport to Center City,  I finally arrived in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection to take part in #CC17 and see if I can get a freebie Slurpee via my 7 Eleven app before I leave Saturday.

On the ATL-PHL leg when I boarded thought I saw longtime Atlanta trans advocate Dee Dee Chamblee.   It turned out when I finally got to the Marriott Philadelphia Downtown for that Trans United Fund meeting with Angelica Ross and Nikki Araguz Loyd that indeed it was her.

And yes, it was also great to see Arianna Lint, Bamby Salcedo, Ruby Corado, Jada Mercedes Cardona, Andrea Jenkins, Becky Juro, Kayley Whalen and Hayden Mora again.

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When our TUF meeting was over, I ran into Sunnivie Brydum as Nikki, Angelica and I were searching for a nearby restroom to commit the revolutionary act of peeing and pooping in before we took that group photo.  

After having a 20 minute convo with her and being introduced to her friend, we found it, handled our business, too a group photo, and then set off to go back to the DoubleTree where they were staying to retrieve my bags and get me set up in my hotel room at a different hotel for the night.

While passing the bar area, we ran into Cecilia Chung.  While talking to her, I got separated from Angelica and Nikki, so I made a beeline for the front door to try to catch up with them ,

That game plan took a detour when I ran into Ashton Woods, Geneva Musgrave, Omar Narvaez and finally met one of my longtime FB friends in Yunus Coldman while trying and spectacularly failing to tip out the front door of the Marriott undetected.    While I was talking to them, Hannah Simpson rolled up with Tamara Jeanne, followed by Crispin Torres and a friend of his and Bishop Allyson Abrams .

I finally break away from all those folks only to run into Isaiah Wilson from NBJC 100 feet from the Market Street door..  We start talking about the Black Institute and my part in it, and Curtis Lipscomb, another of our NBJC family members, walks in.

So I finally finish those hugs and convos, get out of the hotel, get to the 7 Eleven that's on the way back to the DoubleTree, procure and destroy my first Slurpee of this #CC17 run, and finally make it to the DoubleTree..

Hilton Garden Inn Philadelphia Center City Hotel, PA - Hotel Exterior Day
After spending some girl time with Nikki and Angelica in their room, I left with bags in tow but there was a snafu with my reservation at the Hilton Gardens that had to be cleared up before I could check in.  While waiting for Ruby, Louis Mitchell walks by the hotel while I'm sitting in the lobby after snagging a late night meal and heading back to his Air BNB spot    He keeps me company until Ruby arrives with Elle Hearns in tow.

So how did your day go?   This also points out just how many people I do know in this community.

And remember peeps, this is just Day 1 for me.   Time to get some sleep so I can be fab for the busy day ahead of me and all the peeps I have yet to see who are here at #CC17  

 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Moni's Leaving On A Jet Plane -To Philadelphia

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This is my first trip of 2017, and I'll be heading to a place that I've gone to since 2012 almost as much as Washington DC in Philadelphia.

This time I'll be headed back to the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection for this year's edition of Creating Change, and as I talked about in last week's post about me going to #CC17, I was actually looking at not going this year after having attended three straight ones since we hosted Creating Change in Houston  in 2014.  

But here I am once again getting ready to board a plane bound for a Creating Change host city for the fourth straight year.  This time I'm on Delta, and will be going through Atlanta to get there.

So while I'm at #CC17, as always I'll be tweeting and writing about what I see, hear and experience while I'm in the #CC17 host hotel.

See y'all in a few hours.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Loving The Netflix 'One Day At A Time' Reboot

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I watched the Norman Lear produced CBS show One Day At A Time back during my teen years which aired from 1975-1984.   When I heard the show was coming back on Netflix with an interesting rebooted twist and Lear down with it, I was intrigued

I was even more ecstatic about it when I heard that Rita Moreno was one of the cast members and the revamped theme song 'This Is It' was being sung by Gloria Estefan to reflect the fact the family in this version is Cuban-American.

The Netflix version of this classic Norman Lear show debuted January 6 and features Justina Machado playing Penelope Alvarez, a nurse, Afghan War vet and single mom separated from her husband who left the Army, but is doing private security there.   Penelope is raising two teenage kids with the help and sometimes hindrance of her mother Lydia, played by Moreno..

It is set in Los Angeles now instead of Indianapolis like the original show, and the separated Penelope is raising a tween son and a feminist teenage daughter in another change from the original show instead of two teen girls .  

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 And yes, Dwayne Schneider, the building superintendent is in this version as well, played in hipster style by Todd Grinnell   Mackenzie Phillips from the original show makes a cameo appearance in one episode.

In addition to showcasing the dynamic of three generations living under one roof, the rebooted One Day At A Time also tackles issues in this first season such as immigration and deportation, religion, PTSD, the issues unique to female vets like Penelope, dealing with the VA bureaucracy, dating,.sex and a coming out story all with an unmistakable Latinx flavor.


The writing in this show is also up to the performances of this wonderful cast.

So if you're looking for something on Netflix to binge watch, check out the 13 episode first season of One Day At A Time.  You'll be happy you did.. .   .

Happy 53rd Birthday To Our Fab FLOTUS

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Today is the 53rd birthday of our fabulous FLOTUS Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama, who was born on this January date in Chicago in 1964.

This is (sniff sniff) the last birthday she will celebrate as our amazing First Lady, and I'm definitely not looking forward to seeing her go back to her civilian life this Friday after eight fabulous history making years

Like the POTUS said doing his farewell speech, you have represented our nation with dignity and class despite all the haters and the racist, misogynist and transmisogynist hatred thrown your way,.

You have been a wonderful possibility model for not only our youth, but myself/  We also deeply appreciate and love you in TBLGQ world for being an ally for our community..

Happy birthday Madame First Lady!   Looking forward to seeing what the next chapter in your life brings.
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2017 Williams Watch - The Australian Open Starts

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As you longtime TransGriot readers know, I'm a big tennis fan, and two of my fave players are the fabulous Williams Sisters

The first Grand Slam of the 2017 tennis season is already upon us in the Australian Open in Melbourne, and this will be an interesting one.

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It will run until January 29 in Melbourne and for the first time in several years, Serena Williams is not going to be the world's number one ranked player in the world going into a Grand Slam after tying Steffi Graf's record of holding it for 186 consecutive weeks.

That's Angelique Kerber (for now), the defending Australian Open champ who is also the number one seed in this 2017 edition of the Aussie Open. Serena is now number two in the world and also and the number two seed while Venus starts this Australian Open as the number 13 seed.

Opening round play got underway yesterday and both my fave tennis playing siblings got through it to the second round.

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Venus had a tough opening round match with Ukraine's Kateryna Kozlova, but she prevailed for a 7-6 (7-5) and 7-5 straight set win   She's in the same half of the bracket as Kerber, so there's a possible clash brewing with Kerber should both keep winning.

Big Sis faces qualifier Stefanie Vogele of Switzerland, who upset Kurumi Nara of Japan, in the second round.
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Speaking of winning, second seed Serena started with a tough opening round match with Belinda Bencic of Switzerland.   Little Sis prevailed in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 and will face the Czech Republic's Lucie Safarova.

Are the Williams Sisters playing doubles in this Grand Slam?  Yes they are, and they are seeded 15th in the Australian Open doubles tournament    They will face the doubles duo of Timea Babos of Hungary and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia  ,

Can they take some more Grand Slam singles and doubles titles back home when their business trip to Melbourne is over?   We'll  see.  

Monday, January 16, 2017

About Kingian Love

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This is another one of Toni D'orsay's commentaries from her Facebook page that needs to be shared with the world, especially on this last King Day celebration with Barack Obama as our president.

And now, here's Toni

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So today I have been honoring a man who's life is, far too often, invoked as a condemnation of my efforts.
Of the efforts of any person of color, of any woman, of any disabled person, of any LGBT person.
"You are too vulgar, too confrontational, too angry, too egotistical, too masculine, too aggressive, too loud"
This is their words, their too and their much, and their too much of me in their head and in their eyes and in their face and space and I am just over and through and around and within them and that offends them into defends of their too and their much and their too much.
They start seeing me in my paleness, bleached by the dark and the hiding from the sun, and think me like them even as I call out my darkness and my difference and shed the things they put on me to reveal my many colored robe and all the truths within it.
Patchworked and frayed, like some country tune, my robe of many colors is cast in drab hue and cry and the then they see me only as the black one that deceives and lures and now they forget that I am more than one thing and so never so easily contained, oiled and slick from the failures of their own efforts to punish and silence me by drowning my brilliance in the darkness they concoct and convene and conveniently they tell themselves they can escape now.
"Be like King!" They extol and exhort and exhale and hex bring this marvel of a man as a shield for themselves, coopting and co-owning and appropriately appropriating the approximation of what they see as acceptable and allowable and apple pie a man with dark skin and a dream they breathe to lift themselves up and never my peoples, never my tribes, never my families.
They catch a drift and caricature the cacophony and complain about the noise like a short king to a wizard, hey man the peasants are revolting and you can say that again.
But hey, they are good and they are loving and you cannot grasp what love is without knowing what you are loving and like they have made me they are too thin and pale to grasp the color of love and the weight of it and burden of having to be the ones that love when all that is returned is hate.
Love is telling you that you are wrong, and love is you listening and asking and thinking and realizing that you are wrong.
If I say to you that need you need to step back and let that black or brown sister step up and you need to point to her and say hey, listen up, that is me being loving and me loving you and loving the work and yet you turn to me and you say that you cannot find a woman to lift up or that woman isn't deserving or good enough or useful enough or pretty enough or why don't you just say it plain and real that she ain't white enough you saltine looking piece of work.
Love does not mean you, with your newfound struggle, are better at this than we, for whom this struggle is as old as the blood and bone in our bodies, weaned on The Talk that you don't even have to have to have because to you the Talk is about sex and for us it is about living and how your code switching in your newfound world is stolen from we who have done it from the moment we learned that the world was out there.
If I tell you that rap is your poetry slam, your spoken word art and you roll your eyes at fuck tha police and can't tell a Run from a DMC and say yeah, but that ain't your jam I am gonna laugh.
Because who gave you your jam, but we?
You call it eggshells, correctness, politics, and what that is is you being careful not to be nonracist but to not show how fuckin racist you already are and how sleeping you are while we are woke and shaking in the middle of a long dark night you don't even know is there.
You think of me and you think of rambling lessons and crystalline posts that make you feel good or feel bad but make you feel without feeling it, and then I bust a piece of heart like this here and you blow it off and wonder why I don't just stick to shouting at windmills since my lance has been broken and my Pancho is a coffee bean you drink with a pretty label that says the right words even though we all sit in a nation where even a child makes more as an allowance than that coffee bean farmer does in a year.
I don't want your guilt. I want your blood, your sweat, your tears, your risking your job and family and hopes and dreams because that is what we risk walking down the street around you every day.
And now, no matter how many of you get this and cheer this and celebrate this know that it wasn't We who put hell in office.
It was you, and you are they, and we don't have the luxury and the privilege of saying but it was those bad ones.

Remember this on the Day of the King, and know that love never tears down, that love can sting, and that love sometimes means discipline to show you a better way.
 

Actress Ivory Aquino Comes Out As Trans

I know I have some amazing trailblazing trans people in my life that I'm also blessed enough to call my friends.   One of those people is Cecilia Chung, who I happily discovered has actress Ivory Aquino playing her in the upcoming ABC miniseries When We Rise scheduled to be broadcast on February 27.

The cool thing about the actress playing Cecilia in this miniseries is that she is a girl like us.

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Ivory Aquino, who will play my homegirl in this ABC miniseries that is based on longtime gay activist Cleve Jones' memoir When We Rise: My Life In The Movement chronicling the TBLGQ rights movement in San Francisco., recently came out as trans.

The 26 year old transpinay always knew she wanted to act, but initially gave up on that dream because she felt there was no place in Hollywood or the acting world for someone like her.

Interestingly enough, when she auditioned for the role of Cecilia,, producer Dustin Lance Black was pissed at casting because they hadn't found any trans actresses for the role, and he was determined to cast a trans person in it.  

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Aquino came out publicly for the first time during the recent Television Critics Association conference.  She tearfully said in an interview that she can hardly believe that she's part of this project.

"You spend your whole life dreaming of these things,"she said. "And it's really humbling when your dreams come true."  

Looking forward to seeing you play Cecilia when this miniseries airs February 27-March2

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Happy Birthday Re.v Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr 2017

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Today would have been the 88th birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was born in Atlanta on this date in 1929.   The federal holiday is tomorrow

Dr King's birthday and holiday are falling as we are in the last week of the administration of the best president of my lifetime and a president who shares my ethnic heritage.    He is being succeeded on Friday by a boorish, nekulturny racist and sexist loudmouth who has less class than President Obama has in his pinky finger.

President Obama, and the country deserved better than what were about to get

Dr King if he were here would be appalled at the looming Trump presidency and the people that are filling leadership positions in it.   He would especially be alarmed, as his wife Coretta was back in 1986 that Jeff Sessions was nominated by this man to be our nation's attorney general.

In a time when it's hard for us to generate infinite hope in the face of the crushing disappointment of the November 8 election results, it's what we must do right now..   Our kids are counting on us to fight for them and the America we want to see harder than this conservafool nightmare the right wing fought hard for decades to make happen.  

We must resist the GOP tyranny and Twitler with every fiber of our beings and resolve to crush Trump's enormous ego still further by working our azzes off over the next four years to make him a one term president.

We also need to in liberal progressive world fight our common enemy instead of each other.  I need far left people to fight the Republicans harder than they do the Democrats.  We're not your enemy. The Republicans crapping on the Constitution are.   How about you deal with that reality?

Dr. King once said, 'The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

Looks like we're about to find out where a lot of people stand on both sides of the political aisle in this challenging and controversial moment of American history.