Sunday, March 31, 2013

Chicago Trans 100 Kickoff Event Live Feed

If you're in the TransGriot's shoes and couldn't be in Chicago (or Phoenix darn it), or couldn't get tickets for the sold out Trans 100 Launch Event featuring the talents of KOKUMO, Janet Mock, Dr Kortney Ryan Ziegler, Namoli Brennet and Joe Stevens, now you can be in the room.

When the Trans 100 event starts at 7 PM CDT it will have a live feed you can watch.  You knew Moni was going to make it easy on you TransGriot readers to find it, so just click on this link to watch the action LIVE from the Mayne Stage.

And yep, I'm wondering myself who will be the folks on the initial Trans 100 List.   Looking forward to the day when we get to see multiple national and international trans lists.

You can tune in tonight to find out the 100 trans people who were honored for the inaugural US list. 

Conversations With Tona Brown Video Series

The multi-talented Tona Brown has started posting interviews of various people in the trans community and others that pique her interest on her YouTube channel. 

She calls the segment 'Conversations With Tona Brown' and if you're wondering when your favorite blogger is scheduled to do one, it's going to happen the next time I'm in the Washington DC area.

These are wonderful interview which are not only shedding light on these two longtime Baltimore area activists, they are capturing a historical moment in time for future generations of trans people and frankly deserve a wider audience.    

Here are some of the interviews she's done already with Cydne Kimbrough. and Monica Stevens

Cydne Kimbrough Part 1


Cydne Kimbrough Part 2

Monica Stevens Part 1

Monica Stevens Part 2

This Week In The 2013 Texas Lege-Week Ending March 29

With our GOP controlled legislature in session and capable of much mischief until May, we much be vigilant and keep an eye on what the heck they are doing.  

Thank goodness we have Equality Texas' Daniel Williams doing all that hard work, breaking down what's happening and making it easier for us to stay informed .

And now, here's Daniel!

Smith College's Trans Hypocrisy
Transteen Calliope Wong being rejected for admission twice by the prestigious all women's* school Smith College located in Northampton, MA has blown up and caused conversation all over the Net.  It wasn't grades or her SAT scores that caused the collegiate application rejections for this high school senior, it was her trans feminine status. 

Smith's admissions office told Wong the FAFSA designation makes her ineligible based on Smith's policy that applications and supporting papers consistently reflect that the student is female.

Wong's paperwork to Smith, including transcripts and references, identifies her as female.  But the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form from the U.S. Department of Education marks her as male.   The state of Connecticut will not allow her to change the gender code on her birth certificate unless she has GRS, and she can't  change the gender code on the FAFSA form until her birth certificate is changed. 

Can you say Catch 22 boys and girls?  As Bet Power wrote in a March 20 Advocate comment thread on this story, "Trans people should not be compelled to undergo sexual reassignment surgery in order to change our gender ID legally to our proper gender! Our bodies are NOT the point. Our MINDS are."  

Needless to say the Whyte Womyn Gone Wyld trans oppressors are jumping up and down about it spouting their usual hateful claptrap.  In order to keep your blood pressure from rising when you read it I won't waste my time or yours linking to their hateosphere to highlight the usual vanillacentirc privileged potpourri of virulent transphobia. 

But the rejection of Wong by the college looks even more hypocritical in light of the fact that Smith College allows transmen to stay on campus if they transition after enrollment.

It's also galling in the fact that Smith has a social justice mission to educate women, but yet continues to deny that trans women are part of that mission and bar access to trans women who are qualified to go there.

"No one should have to go through what I went through, Wong told the NewYork Daily News via email. “Schools should be focused on building our next generation of leaders, not discriminating against them."

Smith has admitted only female students since it opened its doors in 1875 due to the lack of higher education opportunities for women.  Wong, elements of the trans community and our allies believe Smith seized on the FAFSA code as their excuse to deny Wong admission. 

Calliope published an email exchange on her Tumblr with Jon O’Bergh, Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of the US Department of Education, which appears to bolster her's and the trans community's perception of events and challenges Smith's decision.  It stated that “The FAFSA sex reported is only used for Selective Service purposes. Neither FAFSA nor the Department of Education cross-checks sex information with Social Security,”.

“Smith College could choose to accept me or at least process my application, if the administrators wanted to. Smith is not bound by any kind of federal mandate…Thus, Smith College’s decision not to process my application based on my FAFSA sex marker is at Smith’s sole discretion. Their hand was not forced; they chose this. Smith College is fully capable of reviewing my application and making an admissions decision for me based on my credentials. Just—it’s so simple, really. This is obvious discrimination on Smith’s part.

Of course Smith says otherwise.   Laurie Fenlason, Smith's vice president for public affairs, said the school does not comment on the status or admissibility of individual applicants. But she added, "Every application to Smith is treated on a case-by-case basis, and application materials must reflect female identity."

Fenlason is claiming the school has legal concerns over changing its admissions policies and concerned they could lose federal funding under Title IX, a law that bans sexual discrimination in education but exempts single-sex institutions.

"Title IX is an important factor in our consideration but not the only one," she said. "Smith is focusing on the broader policy challenge of how to be inclusive and supportive of transgender students while being faithful to the mission of a women's college."

Yeah Smith, we get the point that applicants to Smith need to be female bodied and presenting as female.  That's not in dispute.  But for Smith to seize on the FAFSA form as your reason for twice denying Calliope Wong's application makes the school look hypocritical and shady not to mention transphobic.   It's also morally repugnant that Smith appears to be using the groundbreaking Title IX law as your excuse to exclude qualified transwomen admittance into the school.

Smith alums don't like it and neither do we trans women and our allies.  In addition to a supportive photo project that has popped up, a Facebook group has been created called Trans Women Belong At Smith College for supportive alums, trans people and allies who support the admission of trans women on campus.  .  

This issue isn't going away.  Trans people are transitioning as early as ages 5 and 6.   Those trans kids will grow up to become trans teens who one day will matriculate on someone's college campus.  Some of those trans teens may be trans feminine students who could be prospective students wishing to attend your campus one day.

Calliope, transwomen and our allies are determined to continue fighting to ensure those transkids if they have the grades and wish to do so when it's time to select a college have that option to attend a college such as Smith..

So Smith College you have a choice.  Will you willingly work on changing your admissions policies so they aren't blatantly discriminatory to trans feminine students?  Or will you have to create them in the wake of losing a trans discrimination lawsuit?

It's your call.    

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Rewriting The All-Time TransGriot Traffic Record Books

One of the things I've been happy about during this sometimes sad week for me was seeing my all time TransGriot traffic records spike to record levels.

My traffic is starting to recover from the hit it took when Computer Prime died last month and it has been fluctuating between the 3,500-5,000 hits per day range.

The 'Why The Transgender Community Hates HRC' post I wrote back in 2007 went viral this week and as a result of people and a few major blogs linking to it,  my traffic zoomed to unprecedented levels in the seven year history of this blog.  

And yes people, I am currently working on a sequel to that post.

Starting on March 25, the old one day all time traffic record of 9678 that was set on April 3 of last year was obliterated when 18,990 people surfed over to the blog on that day.  

The next day, March 26 saw that new standard fall when 39,027 peeps surfed by TransGriot.   Even with the Easter weekend approaching on March 27 I had a total of 28,893 people visit the blog that day and on March 28 another 14,756 people stopped by my cyberhome.  Even though yesterday was Good Friday, had 8,550 people surf by to check out my writing . 

So thanks TransGriot readers for an amazing record-breaking few days that has totally reshuffled my all time top five TransGriot traffic days.   And for those of you who are just being introduced to my blog during this period, I invite you to stop by more often.

Who Will Be On The Initial Trans 100 List?

The initial Trans 100 List will debut with kickoff events in Chicago and Phoenix, and after a tough week with trans people being attacked, HRC pissing off the trans community with the flag flap at the SCOTUS rally, an unjust bill advancing in Arizona and Whyte Womyn Going Wyld, it'll be nice to have some positive news concerning our community for a change.

Really looking forward to seeing who the curators finally chose to grace the initial list after sorting through the 500 nominations submitted. 

I understand I was one of the people nominated so we'll see if I made the final cut.

Thanks to This Is H.O.W. and We Happy Trans for bringing Antonia D'orsay's idea that Jen Richards liked to life and all the people who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to wade through those nominations and come up the final list.

I'm glad this is going to be an annual list, especially since we trans folks and our contributions tend to be ignored far too often when LGBT ones are put together that are heavily LG centric with a B thrown in as an afterthought.

I'm looking forward to the day when folks in other countries compile their own Trans 100 type lists so the people that do the trans human rights work in their nations get the recognition they deserve for it.

Looking forward to tomorrow when the Trans 100 List is revealed.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Shut Up Fool Awards-Let's Play Ball Edition

The 2013 Major League Baseball season is about to kick off this weekend, and for my hometown baseball team it's a season that will usher in many changes. 

The Astros will start the season with a new owner, new uniforms, a new logo and playing ball for the first time in their 51 year history as an American League franchise.  

They have been placed in the American League's West Division and will start their season off Sunday against the 2010 and 2011 American League champions and instate I-45 rival the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park.

So let's segue into what y'all really surfed over here for, to find out what fool, fools or group of fools earned this week's Shut Up Fool award nods.  

And in honor of the 2013 Major League Baseball season about to jump off, I'm going to do it baseball style this week.

Strike one goes to all the Whyte Womym Gone Wyld who posted their special brand of trans hate on SistersTalk radio site concerning MichFest and who attempted to hijack the #GirlsLikeUs Twitter hashtag.

Strike Two goes to Rep. Don Young (R-AK) who used an anti-Latino racial slur during a local radio interview.   Yep, that GOP outreach is really working for y'all isn't it?

Strike Three goes to Gov Rick Perry (R-TX) for referring to gay activists as intolerant during a Faith and family rally in Austin in support of keeping DOMA on the books.  Um dude, you've been in that chair since 2001   It';s past time for your butt to go next year.

Second Out of the inning goes to the homophobes and transphobes in the Texas A&M Student Senate for continuing their quest to kill the LGBT Center on campus.   Hate is NOT an Aggie value, but I guess y'all forgot that. 

Third Out of the inning goes to the Towson University leadership for not cracking sown on the White Students Union, their SPLC-certified hate group on campus who announced plans to do nighttime patrols on campus.    That's a lawsuit waiting to happen.

This week's Shut Up Fool winner is Robert Zimmerman, the brother of Goerge Zimmerman, who is awaiting the June 10 start of hios trial for killing Trayvon Martin.   He went on a racist Twitter rant calling Black teens 'killers'.

Um Robert, do the names Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold ring a bell? (Columbine HS shooters) Kip Kinkel? Mitchell Johnson and Andrew Golden?   These are the killer white teens involved in notorious high school shootings.

Robert Zimmerman, shut the hell up fool!

Thank You For Your Kind Words

As many of you are aware of, my family is going through a difficult time with the passing of  my father last week 

The funeral is set for tomorrow March 30, 2013 and for those of you in the Houston area, it will be held at the Christian Rescue Mission Community Church 3229-A Hadley St, Houston TX 77004  

(713) 659-7750 is the church phone number. 

Visitation will be from 9-11 AM CDT on Saturday with the service starting immediately afterwards from 11-12 noon

Thanks to those of you who have lifted me and my family up in prayer, expressed your condolences and continue to send warm thoughts our way.   I also thank those of you who have e-mailed me, called, sent me Facebook messages public and private, and sent cards.   It meant a lot to me to hear from you during this time, and I deeply appreciate it.  .

Moni's SistersTalk Radio Interview

Genia and I have tried to set up an interview on her and Andrea's SistersTalk Radio show on BlogTalkRadio for at least a year but haven't been able to make the timing work for both of us until last night  

With TERF's and transphobic comments running wild on her MichFest thread, she contacted me for my very definite opinions on MichFest.

During the interview I gave some of the historical context and backstory that expresses itself in the frequent transphobic eruptions and virulent hatred the white supremacist TERF's have for girls like us.

Enough jibber-jabber, here's the link to the SistersTalk Radio interview with Genia.

Hope you enjoy it.

HRC, You Have A Problem

I'm sure that the truth will come out about what really happened at that rally today, but note Human Rights Campaign, you still have a very long and tough road to travel before you even begin to get some positive cred back and you have zero room for errors, misspeaking, or mistakes.   TransGriot. 'What The Hell Happened In DC Today?'  March 27, 2013

Well, looks like we can take the 'alleged' label off the incident that was described in yesterday's post about the SCOTUS rally because someone has come forward to comment on it.

That someone who has come forward is a biggie.  It's Jerame Davis, the executive director of the National Stonewall Democrats.

Jerame wrote on his Facebook page Wednesday that he witnessed the incident, and the only flag out of the community affinity flags that was targeted for removal was the trans one.

HRC is mishandling this situation. While not directly, they are essentially calling me and John M. Becker liars when we were actually direct witnesses to all of this occurring, unlike the folks putting out the statement.

No other flags were asked to be removed from the shot. There were pride flags, American flags, and marriage equality flags all on display. I had a flag of my own. And at one point, organizers directed a person with a pride flag to block someone who was hijacking the media with pictures of dead young gays who were victims of discrimination.

It disappoints me greatly that HRC has chosen the circle-the-wagons-and-deny tactic once again when there were multiple witnesses to what happened. Shameful.

John M. Becker had this to say about it on his Facebook page.

Jerame and I attended the rally together and as he pointed out earlier today, both of us saw this happen. I cannot verify the word-for-word accuracy of the quote in this blog post as I was just out of earshot in that loud and exciting environment, but regardless of whether the words spoken were as blunt as the writer alleges or couched in nicer-sounding language, the sentiment and intent were unmistakable. This greatly dismayed me and others nearby, and we affirmed the flag holder and encouraged him to stand his ground. I'm so glad he did.

I'm sure the staffer was acting out of a misplaced sense of caution in that excruciatingly high-pressure environment -- and I'm equally sure it was not HRC's intent to exclude or deeply offend, but regardless of the circumstances, people *felt* excluded and *were* deeply offended. HRC really should apologize for this regrettable incident before it casts any larger a shadow on an otherwise beautiful event.

Instead, HRC is going into their standard playbook whenever they get caught dissing the trans community and it's witnessed by someone NOT from the trans community:  deny it

“It is a not true to suggest that any person or organization was told their flag was less important than another – this did not occur and no HRC staff member would ever tolerate such behavior. To be clear, it is the position of the Human Rights Campaign that marriage is an issue that affects everyone in the LGBT community.

QNotes published the full statement in this Matt Comer article.

So in effect, HRC Communications Director Michael Cole-Schwartz is basically calling Jerame and John liars.  Damn, I hope and pray somebody comes up with video from the rally for this.

But right now HRC, you have a problem.  As I said in yesterday's post, you had zero room for errors, misspeaking, or mistakes and this incident is the equivalent of pouring gasoline on a smoldering fire.  That white hot fire of anger, especially within the trans community with whom you had little to zero trust and credibility with anyway, is about to burn your organization in multiple ways.  

You may be about to witness the restarting of HRC gala protests a la 2007-2008 by trans community activists and our allies in a city near you and another dropoff in donations, and that's just the opening salvos in how this kerfluffle could probably play out.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Whyte Womyn Gone Wyld Hatin' On #Girlslikeus Twitter Tag

The #Girlslikeus Twitter hashtag created by Janet Mock celebrated its one year anniversary yesterday and as usual, any time we create something positive for our trans feminine community, the Whyte Women Gone Wyld as they have for the last 40 years have disco danced over to dip nasty cups of vanillacentric hate in our Kool-Aid.

For whatever reason, they're mad because nobody wants to see them on TV, interview them on the radio or they can't get vacation time to go to MichFest, the TERF's (trans exclusionary exterminationalist radical feminists) are hustling over to their computers, dipping into their white supremacist heritage and posting nasty messages on the #girlslikeus Twitter hashtag aimed at Janet Mock. 

They are going to their tired tactics of attempting to provoke a trans community response they'll trumpet on their (should have been declared by the Southern Poverty Law Center as hate sites) low hit count hive mind websites as 'proof' they are the 'innocent victims' being attacked.

Yeah, you're 'innocent victims' all right. Y'all been watching too much Fox Noise.  It has also not escaped my attention how you're resorting to aiming racist comments at Janet as well, a woman who has far more dignity and class in her pinky fingers than the whole rotten rabble of you.  

Hey TERF's don't start none, won't be none. You crying white women's tears because I'm publicly calling your asses out (ho hum, again) about your nekulturny behavior won't work in this situation because y'all started it. 

And y'all know how much I gleefully enjoy nuking trolls, especially passive-aggressive racist ones spouting trans exterminationalist claptrap. 

Duck and cover, fools.    

It's also hilarious to me that despite all your hatred, misgendering slanderous speech, quasi-scientific papers designed to deny us human rights, demonizing us, lying to politicians with the goal of cutting us out of human rights legislation and the other foul crap you've done over the last 40 years in the name of feminism, and still we trans women rise as the arc of the moral universe continues to bend toward justice for trans women everywhere.

And what's even more hilarious to me is that even your own fellow haters like Julie Bindel are calling y'all 'rabid maniacs' and distancing themselves from you.

So what we need our trans allies and transpeople around the world to do is take a moment out of your day to piss off a TERF and tweet something positive on the #girlslikeus Twitter hashtag in support of trans women. 

What Gay Marriage WON'T Do

TransGriot Note: Elements of us in the Black trans and same gender loving communities are lukewarm about 'marriage equality' for many of the reasons being articulated here in this guest post by Denny Upkins.
I truly hate Gay Marriage.

Not because I don’t agree with it because I do believe in Marriage Equality or any other form of equality but because it never fails to bring the WORST out of white peepul as we’ve witnessed by some of the people on my “friends list.

If it’s not white LGBTQs falsely blaming blacks and Latinos and playing Lynch the Coloreds over that Prop 8 fallout, it’s the Straight White Allies who now think they are experts on social justice, homophobia, and Civil Rights in the span of 3 minutes simply because they reposted a meme and changed a Facebook pic.

Most of them also fail to realize that the dynamics facing queer POC's and trans people and the dynamics facing cis white queers is as different as night and day.

And yet they feel qualified to whitesplain to me how Gay Marriage is the End All Be All Cure All and that once it passes, all of my issues will be a distant memory.

Let me be clear, I want Gay Marriage to happen one day. Hell I wouldn’t mind getting married. But even on my most optimistic day, there are some things I realize Gay Marriage WILL NOT do for me or you or anyone else.

Gay Marriage will not make you look edgy and hip

Gay Marriage will not bring about sunny days of spring

Gay Marriage will not go better with Coke

Gay Marriage will not make you look five pounds thinner

Gay Marriage will not repopulate the planet with unicorns

Gay Marriage will not put a tiger in your tank

Gay Marriage will not taste better than Green Eggs and Ham

Gay Marriage will not fight germs that cause bad breath

Gay Marriage will not fight unemployment

Gay Marriage will not repair our economy

Gay Marriage will not end racism, or transphobia.

Gay Marriage will not save you a lot of money on your car insurance. Okay maybe a little but not that much anyway.

Gay Marriage will not bring about world peace.

Gay Marriage will not end bullying.

Gay Marriage will not teach you how to properly do the Harlem Shake. In fact, let it go.

Gay Marriage won’t stop me from being fired from my job.

Gay Marriage won’t protect me from getting bashed and murdered. My Smith & Weston on the other hand, is another story entirely.

Gay Marriage will not win you the lottery.

Gay Marriage won’t stop us from being viewed as pedophiles.

Gay Marriage will not end queer teen suicide

Gay Marriage will not end queer teen homelessness

Gay Marriage will not make you look progressive

And if not being able to register at Neiman-Marcus is the worst oppression you have to deal with in your day to day, you’ll forgive me if I don’t have a single fuck to give about you or your “oppression.”

Gay Marriage will not teach the breeders to accept the queers. Because the sad reality is at the end of the day, no matter how much they smile and claim they’re down for the cause, most of them still want us dead.

Whose Beloved Community? Black Civil And LGBT Right Movements

TransGriot Note: This Call for Proposals was forwarded to me by Ovid Amorson and looks like it's right in my activist wheelhouse.   This will be one tremendous conference at Emory University in the ATL on March 27-29 focused on the Black Civil and LGBT Rights Movements and I'm definitely interested in going or participating in it.

An international conference at Emory University, March 27-29, 2014

Call for Proposals: Review of proposals begins June 17, 2013. Notification of acceptance will be no later than September 15, 2013.

The role of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in both race-based and sexuality-based civil rights movements is frequently rendered invisible as a result of prevailing national narratives that present (presumed white) LGBT communities and (presumed straight) Black communities as opposing forces.  In recent years, however, an increasing number of scholars and activists have produced work seeking to make visible the vital points of intersection and contention among the U.S. Civil Rights movement, the LGBT equality movement, and Black LGBT communities.  This work is shaped by questions related to identity formation, intersectionality, tokenism, marriage equality, the role of religion and “respectability” in African American communities, the emergence of the South as a center of Black LGBT life in the U.S., HIV/AIDS and its continuing effect on African American communities, the proliferation of a prison-industrial complex unprepared for its LGBT population, and the appropriation of the civil rights movement by the right.  This conference seeks to make visible and critically engage the points of convergence and divergence between these two historic, overlapping, yet distinct social movements that continue to transform civil society, law, and the academy.

We encourage paper and panel proposals on a wide range of topics including, but not exclusively encompassing, the following:         
  • The legacy of the Civil Rights Movement
  • Identifications and disidentifications with “movements”
  • Black LGBT leaders and popular figures, historical and contemporary
  • Literary, artistic and popular culture engagements with Black LGBT identities
  • Inclusion and marginalization of transgender and bisexual identities in Black LGBT communities/politics
  • Intersections with other post-1960s civil rights movements (other racial groups, people with disabilities, women, etc.)
  • Black LGBT activism in relation to work in other LGBT communities of color
  • Racial diversity in White-led LGBT organizations
  • Law and politics
  • Black queer politics of space
  • Public health
  • Memory, mourning, trauma, and resilience
  • Black LGBT families
  • Marriage equality movements
  • Sexuality and respectability
  • Class and elitism
  • Sexism, classism, and other “isms” in the Black LGBT movement
  • Black masculinity in LGBT communities
  • Black feminism in LGBT communities
  • Intergenerational issues
  • Intersections between public advocacy/policy and academia
  • Intersections of U.S. Civil Rights with Black queer Atlantic political movements
  • The future of Black queer studies
  • Teaching Black LGBT history, Black queer studies, etc.
  • Black LGBT university populations
  • LGBT issues and Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Each submission must include a cover page with paper titles, presenters, their affiliations, and a current email contact, along with a maximum two-page c.v. of each presenter.  For individual papers, please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words. For panels, submit an overall abstract of no more than 500 words and individual paper descriptions of no more than 250 words each. Please submit materials via email to

This conference is generously supported by the Arcus Foundation and Emory University

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What The Hell Happened In DC Today?

I had an enjoyable day at HCC-Southeast kicking Trans 101 knowledge this afternoon to a predominately Latin@ and African-American student audience and after arriving home around 4:30 PM CDT took a nap. 

When I awakened at approximately 7:30 PM CDT I discovered when I perused my Facebook postings elements of the trans community were pissed off.  Interest in my 'Why The Transgender Community Hates HRC' essay post has gone viral to the point that I obliterated my all time single day hit count record on March 26 with 39,027 hits and there is a level of anger at the Human Rights Campaign I haven't seen since former Rep. Barney Frank stripped trans people out of ENDA combined with  Joe Solmonese getting caught misspeaking lying at the 2007 Southern Comfort Conference in the ATL.

And yes, looking like I'm going to have to get busy finishing that sequel to the 2007 essay that I tentatively titled 'Why The Trans Community Loathes HRC'. 

Marriage equality activists in front of Surpeme CourtThe big unconfirmed rumor I'm hearing that is stoking the fresh wave of anger in elements of the trans community is that it is being alleged a group of transpeople at today's Washington DC Marriage Equality rally were supportively waving the trans community flag and were told by someone presumed to be an HRC staffer or someone connected with the event to stop doing so.  The person is also alleged to have said according to the rumor spreading on the Net that "Marriage Equality is not a transgender issue."

Okay, if you were or know the person the alleged incident happened to and you have video of the alleged incident to prove it happened, come out of the shadows and talk to a reporter and get it on the record.  If you have the video or pics of the alleged incident, that needs to be posted ASAP.  

If it didn't happen that way, then you're about to earn a Shut Up Fool award nomination.  As far as I'm concerned in terms of flags, this is the only flag that should have been flown at the SCOTUS rally, anyway.   

What heightens my skepticism about this incident is the graphic refers to HRC as the Human Rights COALITION.  HRC is the Human Rights CAMPAIGN.   The lack of video in an era when just about everyone and their grandmother on this planet is armed with cellphones with videotaping capability also has me in 'things that make you go hmm' mode. 

But HRC, let's be real.  While you have made some incremental progress in terms of improving your image in the community, there is still smoldering trans anger about being thrown under the ENDA bus in 2007 coupled with your long negative history of trans oppression that has many of us (TransGriot included) looking at you with side-eyed suspicion.   The perception of overemphasis on marriage equality to the exclusion of other more pressing issues on the GLBT rights menu such as ENDA, immigration reform, trans human rights, and HIV/AIDS just to name a few issues combined with leadership ranks that look like a Republican party convention haven't helped either. 

Don't even get me started talking about what the perceptions of the non-white trans and SGL community are concerning HRC and the marriage equality issue.

But as to the comment that marriage isn't a transgender issue, my response is you're kidding me, right? 

It is when trans marriages are the collateral damage from the predominately vanillacentric privileged push for same gender marriage.  

I support marriage equality and want to see DOMA die but I'm lukewarm about it.   I have to note that trans people had the ability to get married to their cis partners until the 1996 passage of DOMA and the 2003 GL full court press for gay marriage started having a deleterious effect on trans people's ability to get married.

Think I'm kidding about that?  Ask my Lone Star State homegirls Christie Lee Littleton and Nikki Araguz, Ms W in Hong Kong, Joanne Cassar in Malta or Kimah Nelson and Jason Stenson  in New York City.

I'm sure that the truth will come out about what really happened at that rally today, but note Human Rights Campaign, you still have a very long and tough road to travel before you even begin to get some positive cred back and you have zero room for errors, misspeaking, or mistakes.

Trans 100 Kickoff Event In Chicago Sunday

Too bad I can't be there for this one, but for those of you in the Chicagoland area, you'll get an opportunity to roll over to the Mayne Stage on March 31 and see Janet Mock, Dr Kortney Ryan Ziegler, performances by Namoli Brennet and Joe Stevens in the The Trans 100 List Kickoff Event. 

It's being hosted by Kokumo and runs from 7-9 PM CDT and it's free, but you'll need to register because my sources tell me seats are going fast.  

March 31 happens to also be the Trans Day of Visibility and this event is commemorating the launch of the Trans 100 List that is a joint effort of Phoenix based This Is How and We Happy Trans.

Looking forward to it.   Hey, I'm curious to know who made the inaugural list,.too 

#GirlsLikeUs Turns One

A space created by and for trans* women with the purpose of connecting, upLIFTing one another, and sharing resources and stories. It reaches across generations and color, location and socioeconomic standing, established by @janetmock in March 2012 to empower trans women to live visibly and connect in sisterhood and solidarity.  Happy birthday to the #GirlsLikeUs hashtag and campaign that Janet Mock created  which turns a year old today.  It's the Twitter hashtag that grew up quickly to become a pride based movement.  

It was March 27, 2012, during the contentious fight Jenna Talackova waged to bring down the odious 'natural born woman' rule being used to bar transwomen from competing in pageants that Janet Mock first used the #GirlsLikeUs Twitter hashtag in a tweet linked to a petition supporting Jenna.

We know that Jenna's fight to take down that rule was successful and she proudly walked the stage as a contestant in the Miss Canada Universe pageant a few weeks later.  That battle Jenna and transwomen around the planet waged in support of her also opened the doors for other girls like us to compete in Miss Universe pageant system events around the world (despite a few transphobic holdouts) starting this year.

From that March 27 first use of it the #Girlslikeus hashtag took off and went viral to the point that as an enthusiastic supporter of the campaign, I weave it into my TransGriot posts from time to time when I want to have a change of pace phrase to describe us instead of just trans woman. 

Although it's a campaign created by a Black trans woman, she's created it for all of us and I hope the trans brothers do something similar.  Janet made that clear in a subsequent post she wrote on her blog and a May 15, 2012 tweet about the #Girlslikeus campaign.

is for ALL trans women, regardless of color, but all who lend their voice to amplify ours knows that intersectionality matters.

Happy first birthday, #GirlsLikeUs. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

'The Face' Model Devyn, Is Apparently So Light Skinned, She's International and Not Black

The latest guest post from Renee of Womanist Musings

Women of colour have always had a hard time in the modelling industry.  There have always been a few who have managed to have a successful career like Alec Wek, Naomi Campbell and Iman but by enlarge, despite their obvious beauty, their race has been a stumbling block rather than an asset.  The fact that population demographics are clearly changing, has not effected the fashion industries commitment to ensuring that White women, continue to be representative of womanhood.  This is not only racist but damaging to young women of colour.  Some cope with this racist treatment by internalizing negative concepts about their race.  The following is a clip from The Face, a reality show which appears on Oxygen.

transcript is below the fold

Wendy Williams: So, let's just get right into it, you guys are competing to the face of Alta. Devyn what do you have that Ebony doesn't have?

Devyn: I feel like I have the international look and I have a story that can relate to everyone.

Judge: She did good. She answered well

Wendy Wiliams: Ebony, you're only 21

Ebony: Yes Maam

Wendy Williams: And you have two children.

Ebony: yes

Wendy Williams: A 2 year old and a 4 year old and two babies fathers.

Ebony: Yes, I do. My children's fathers are the best dads ever.  They love their kids so much and they support me.

Wendy Williams: Are you still with either one of the babies fathers?

Ebony: I am not, but we're very close friends. It didn't work I was young

Wendy Williams: (laughs) Mercy

Ebony: and I am so glad that I went through it, because I know better now.

Judge: She's stirring it up

Judge 2: Wendy?

Judge: Yeah

Judge 3: Of course, that's her job.

Wendy Williams: Devyn, what's it like to be a black girl model?

Devyn: I don't really consider myself as a Black girl model. I know what my ethnicity is but I'm fair skinned and I feel like I have an international look.

Wendy Williams: You don't feel Black?

Devyn: No, that's not what I said whatsoever.

Naomi Campbell: What the fuck does she mean? That's a disgrace; she's a Black girl

Devyn: As soon as I finish answering my question, all I hear is Naomi bug out.  I'm scared out of my pants. I feel like I could have screwed it up for team Carolina.
Despite knowing her ethnicity, Devyn does not feel Black because she is light skinned.  Devyn is well aware that for the most part, light skin has a long history of providing opportunities for Black women which have long been denied darker skinned women.  This is not to say that light skinned women don't suffer from racism but that light skin functions as a privilege, thereby reducing the amount of racism that a Black woman has to face.  To be clear, this is not a case of someone who is bi-racial choosing to identify as both sets of her identity but a Black woman actively choosing to deny her Blackness because she thinks it will help her get ahead. It's misguided and clearly evidences the degree that she has internalized negative ideas about Blackness.

It clearly did not escape Devyn's notice that she was up against the dark skinned Ebony and this why she sought to engage in colorism to press an advantage.  Colorism has divided entire families, with darker skinned child made to feel less valued and loved. Colorism is a bane upon communities of colour and is a direct result of White supremacy.  Whiteness has falsely created a so-called elite definition of Blackness to encourage Blacks to fight for the scraps from it's table, even as it ensures that true equality is always out of reach.  Though Campbell is obviously a success in her chosen career, her reaction speaks volumes.  It was absolutely clear that through her comments, Devyn sought to place herself above her, despite Campbell's success and obvious achievement by nature of her lighter skin. She may have only intentionally meant her comments as an attack on Ebony, but the speak to a revulsion of all darker skinned women.  Just as White people can throw a slur to quickly change the dynamics of a conversation and assert power, light skinned people can do the same, though obviously with less personal profit because of a shared identity of Blackness.

The other matter I would like to address in this video, is the obvious slut shaming of Devyn by Wendy (you can't pay me enough to support a fellow Black woman) Williams.  Wendy of course shied away from using the word slut but by working hard to ensure that Ebony had to justify her reproductive choices, Williams might as well have.  In a world in which women's reproductive choices are always questioned (note: especially true when it comes to women of colour) Wendy sought to construct her as a hyper sexualized Jezebel.  At the end of the day, why does it matter how many children Ebony has, or who the father is?  Wendy's questions were not just "stirring things up", as the judge said, but directly designed to shame.  I can completely understand the shock and even disgust regarding Devyn's comments, but why are so few people speaking out about the inappropriate nature of Williams' questions?
The truth of the matter is that until Devyn defined herself as international and not Black, her light skinned body bought her an unspoken privilege.  It's not an accident that these to women were seated next to each other in competition.  It is also no accident that Devyn was given the clearly softball question and Williams sought to go for the jugular when she questioned Ebony.  The very nature of Williams' choice of questions reveals that she also has internalized patriarchal values of what constitutes a so-called good woman, as well as colourism.  Even in an interaction of all Black women, race and sexism are always omnipresent

Trans 101 Panel Featuring The TransGriot At HCC-Southeast Tomorrow

This time tomorrow I'll be in the Angela Morales building on the HCC-Southeast campus preparing to do a Trans 101 panel.

For those of you in the Houston area interested in attending it an seeing the TransGriot in action, it will take place from 1-2:30 PM.

The HCC-Southeast campus is located at 6815 Rustic St just off the Gulf Fwy (I-45) near the Woodridge exit.

Hope to see many of your readers who can attend there


Shouldn't Need To Show ID To Pee

TransGriot Note:  When I'm upset or pissed about something, I express it sometimes with my poetry.  Been a while since I've written one about an issue that deeply angered me enough to get to the point I'm spitting rhyming lines. 

SB 1432, the Arizona unjust 'Papers to Pee' bill qualifies as a catalyst for this latest poetic creation.

An MKR Poem

For sixty years we've been free
As transpeople to go and pee
In the bathroom that matches our identity
And this wasn't a problem until recently

Now you haters wanna jack with that tranquility
Because we're gaining trans human rights equality
Used a tactic from the white supremacist dustbin of history
And attacked trans people's humanity

Radical feminist fools and sacrilegious right wing shills
Labeling trans rights laws 'bathroom bills'
Heaping upon transpeeps around the nation
A massive helping of discrimination.

Arizona legislator John Kavanagh
Took the trans hate one step too far
With the unjust bill that's cis tyranny
And would force trans people to show papers to pee

Whether you're a trans mister or miss
All we need to do in the bathroom is poop or piss
So Kavanagh please explain to me
Why transpeople need to show an ID to pee?

As is being trans isn't a big enough life stressor
Now comes this GOP legislative oppressor
Six months in jail and a $2,500 fine
For using the bathroom?  Are you out of your mind?

Is this the way the GOP wields legislative clout?
Is this the 'small government' you rail about?
Seems like conservatives aren't having fun
Unless they're actively hating and oppressing someone

Kavanagh needs to step back and chill
And spike this oppressive and unjust bill
Because it's obvious to everyone who yearns to be free
That you shouldn't need to show ID to pee    

Jamaican Girls Like Us Standing Up For Their Rights In Ad Campaign

We Are Jamaicans - WhitneyThose of us in the US and elsewhere across the African Diaspora have watched in horror the last few years as our Jamaican trans sisters have been brutalized and mistreated for daring to live as their true selves.

J-FLAG back on January 17 launched the We Are Jamaicans video campaign which seeks to encourage respect and understanding for transgender, bisexual, lesbian and gay  (TBLG ) people on that island nation and raise awareness about BTLG identity and the community.

Two of the people who are taking part in that J-FLAG sponsored campaign are girls like us Whitney and Tiana Miller

What you ladies are and always will be in addition to being Jamaican is part of the diverse mosaic of human life.  Thank you for stepping up to courageously tell your stories and being willing to be visible representatives for the Jamaican trans community in this important GLBT rights ad campaign. 

NBJC Supreme Court Rally For Marriage Equality

The Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments March 26-27 on two cases that could potentially lead to the demise of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Prop 8. 

Hollingsworth v. Perry, the challenge to California's Proposition 8 will be argued today and United States v. Windsor, the case challenging the unjust Defense of Marriage Act, is scheduled Wednesday, March 27.

Events have been organized inside I-495 and in all 50 states to rally for marriage equality and the N
ational Black Justice Coalition will be at the Supreme Court along with its United For Marriage coalition partners 

The NBJC team and volunteers will join a coalition of supporters of marriage equality on the steps of the Supreme Court at 8:30 AM EDT on both days of the hearings at 1 First St. NE in Washington, D.C.

NBJC Executive Director and CEO, Sharon Lettman-Hicks, will be addressing attendees at the Wednesday, March 27 rally.

Wear RED to show your solidarity!

Together we will stand up for our love and show the nation that all Americans deserve to be treated fairly and equally under the law - no matter who they love.   All we need are five or more Supreme court justices to realize the same thing.  NBJC asks that you spread the word on Twitter with the hashtag #UnitedforMarriage.

For those of you in the Washington D.C. area or planning to hang out and watch history unfold, the nearest Washington Metro station is Union Station for the Red Line and Capitol South for the Blue and Orange lines. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring anything you'd need to be outside

Monday, March 25, 2013

Trans Inclusion In The Military Panel Discussion

As I, the Transgender American Veterans Association, and a host of other people and organizations continue to point out, the 2011 repeal of DADT doesn't include the trans portion of the community.  

Trans people still have to hide who they are if they want to remain in the military, and for those of us who already transitioned, we can pay taxes, but are not allowed to sign up at the armed forces recruiting centers to serve our country. 

That's fundamentally unfair, insulting and cuts off to patriotic trans people an employment avenue many cis people use to get a paycheck, skills, education and training for the civilian workforce when they leave the service.

On March 20 a panel discussion on the topic of transgender inclusion in the military. was held at Pennsylvania's Gettysburg Collge in which TAVA's founding president Monica Helms took part. 

here's the video from that panel discussion.

Let us American transpeople openly serve our country like the transpeople of six nations can do in theirs.

More 'Ask A Trans Attracted Man' Videos

Troy is a self described 'trans-attracted' brother who recently started a YouTube channel dedicated to discussing the issue. 

He wants to do his part to erase the stigma that surrounds cis brothers who date trans women, blow up the misconceptions that girls like us have about the brothers who are man enough to step to us for that potential long term relationship and 'ejumacate' everybody at the same time.

And I repeat, being attracted to a trans woman or having a short or long-term relationship with her doesn't make you cis boys gay.

His channel has two previous videos and he also did an interview with Diamond Stylz on the subject at her video blog. 

I present for your viewing pleasure TransGriot readers the third and fourth videos of his YouTube  'Ask A Trans Attracted Man' channel.

Part 3

Part 4


Sunday, March 24, 2013

GLAAD Officially Standing Up For Trans People

Got to see an interesting announcement happen while watching this morning's episode of the 2013 GLAAD Media Award winning Melissa Harris-Perry show with a panel that included Janet Mock and Mel Wymore.

Melissa Harris-Perry received the award in the Outstanding TV Journalism – Newsmagazine category for a segment entitled "Being Transgender in America."

GLAAD announced that the organization has formally dropped the 'Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation' from its name and will be known going forward as GLAAD, the LGBT media advocacy organization.   With the name change comes a renewed commitment to incorporate transgender people as well as allies from diverse backgrounds in GLAAD's work to shape the media narrative and build public support for LGBT people.

I took part in GLAAD's People of Color Media Institute last summer in New York, and was thrilled to hear the news about this change and making it clear they are standing up for trans people.

"I was happy to hear GLAAD has committed to prioritize trans issues," Laverne Cox, an actress and transgender advocate told "They really need to be."

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

"It is a natural progression that reflects the work GLAAD's staff is already leading," said GLAAD's spokesperson Wilson Cruz. "We respect and honor the full name that the organization was founded with, but GLAAD's work has expanded beyond fighting defamation to changing the culture. Our commitment to marriage equality, employment nondiscrimination, and other LGBT issues is stronger than ever, and now our name reflects our work on transgender issues as well as our work with allies."

TLC's Masen Davis Discusses Unjust Arizona Transphobic Bill

Transpeople have been using gender appropriate public restrooms for six decades.  But because the trans human rights movement has been successful over the last few years passing laws and the Forces of Intolerance have no justifiable reason to oppose them, the right wingers and their radical feminist allies have gone to a tactic straight from the segregationist playbook in terms of 'fear and smear' over the bathroom.

Arizona Republifool legislator John Kavanagh has taken it to the extreme by proposing a draconian unjust 'Your Papers Before You Potty' bill.    Transgender Law Center Executive Director Masen Davis discusses it on MSNBC.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Janet Mock Appearing On Sunday's Melissa Harris Perry Show!

So when will trans persons of color be invited to participate in a Melissa Harris Perry show discussion?  Will that happen sometime before this decade is over? 

TransGriot February 13, 2013 'When Will POC Transpeople Be Invited To MHP?' 
As you TransGriot readers are aware of I've been quite vocal about the lack of trans POC people appearing on this GLAAD award nominated show (and countless others) to talk about trans issues (and other issues of the day including LGBT community ones) from our perspective.

So I was beyond happy to read that Janet Mock will be in the #nerdland studios tomorrow morning taking part in the discussion on what lies beyond the marriage equality fight.

Alright Janet!   So deliriously happy that you'll be our POC trans community's first representative on the Melissa Harris Perry show   I know you'll do a wonderful job.  

Now MHP show, was that so hard?    All us trans POC folks were asking for is the visibility and the opportunity to show that trans persons of color are more than just 'tragic transsexuals'.

Trans masculine and trans feminine POC peeps are more than capable of holding our own in a policy discussion.    We trans persons of color not only needed to see ourselves represented on the MHP set and television screens across America, so did our LGBT peers and the cis people inside and outside our communities who don't believe that thoughtful, intelligent talking head trans persons of color exist..

Looking forward to tuning in tomorrow with the rest of America to check out the latest edition of #nerdland and see a beautiful and talented girl like me as part of the panel.  I also hope that we see more trans POC's on future #nerdland shows as well

This Week In The Texas Lege 2013-Week Ending March 22

It's time for the latest edition of Daniel Williams' reports on what our GOP dominated Texas legislature is up to in Austin for the week ending March 22

And now, here's Equality Texas Field Organizer Daniel Williams with the latest Texas Lege news.

Barack-etology 2013

Well, you've seen my NCAA brackets for the 2013 men's and women's tournaments which have already taken a hit on the men's side with New Mexico being upset by Harvard (score one for Eli Blake) and Georgetown's shocking loss.  

But my Final Four teams on my men's and women's brackets are still alive for now.

Here's what President Obama had to say about the 2013 NCAA men's and women's tournaments.

The NCAA women's tournament


The NCAA men's tournament

Friday, March 22, 2013

South Korean Court Rules Trans People Can Change Gender Markers Without SRS

Some positive news on the international trans human rights front coming out of South Korea.  

On March 15 the Seoul Western District Court ruled in a case brought by five trans masculine individuals that trans individuals could change their legal gender status without undergoing genital surgery

The Seoul Western District Court ruled in favor of accepting the requests from the five trans men to have their family register listing altered to be classified as male. None of the five has undergone operations to surgically alter their genitalia.

The five trans men filed their request in December, arguing that the demand for surgery to conform to the changed gender status constituted the main barrier to approvals and violated the spirit of the legal gender modification system, which is to guarantee the Constitutional rights of transgender people.

Of course the five transmen were thrilled about the landmark ruling.

Despite the South Korean Supreme Court ruling in June 2006 that transpeople in that nation have the right to alter their legal gender status, in the guidelines they subsequently drafted one of the requirements was that individuals have to possess 'external genitalia of the opposite sex from their biological one' in order to do so.

Last January, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health sent an opinion to Seoul Western District Court arguing that genital surgery should not be a requirement because it is not medically necessary and is a difficult procedure with a strong risk of side effects and other negative consequences.

It's another good day for the advancement of trans human rights not only in South Korea, but internationally as well. 

Shut Up Fool Awards-March Madness 2013 Edition

The annual college basketball feast known as March Madness has started in arenas all over the United States.  The men's tourney kicked off on Tuesday with 68 teams vying to be the last one standing in Atlanta. Tomorrow the road to New Orleans begins for the 64 women's teams playing to see who will be the NCAA national champion when the final games are played.

And it's Friday, so that means it's time for us to see what fool, fools, or group of fools exhibited championship level arrogance and stupidity this week.

And since this is the March Madness edition, we'll have four finalists and the championship fool or fools.

Our first finalist is Arizona State Senator John Kavanagh (R) for his attempt to pass the unjust Your Trans Papers To Pee SB1432 bill.  

Our second finalist courtesy of a nomination from Denny Upkins is Consequences from Love & Hip Hop for his White Skin is the Right Skin shuckin & jivin nonsense.

Our third finalist is our least fave Whyte Radfem Womyn Gone Wyld that we all know and loathe in Catherine 'Cockroach' or 'Bug' Brennan for her latest unhinged hate on transpeeps screed that Dyssonance eviscerated.  

Our fourth finalist is Michelle Shocked who unleashed an anti-gay onstage rant (NSFW, and triggering language) in San Francisco of all places while she was on stage.  Now that she's shocked, shocked (pun intended) about the backlash coming her way and tour dates and being cancelled with the quickness, she's trying to deny she said it.

And this week's winner is.....Michelle Shocked.  That's giant sucking sound you hear is your music career going down the toilet.   Let your fundie friends support you now. 

Take it away Mr T.


Moni's 2013 NCAA Women's B-Ball Bracket

In honor of Women's History Month, in 2008 I started doing an NCAA women's tournament bracket similar to what I was doing for the men. 

My readers who are women's basketball fans like me loved the idea so much I've continued what has become an anticipated TransGriot tradition in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Unlike the menz, The Lone Star State is well represented in this edition of the NCAA women's tournament, and one of the teams involved just happens to be the defending champs.  Baylor compiled an unprecedented  40-0 unbeaten record enroute to knocking off Skylar Diggins led Notre Dame for the 2012 NCAA women's basketball title and keep that trophy in Texas.   The other Lone Star State schools besides 32-1 Baylor participating in this 64 team tourney are SEC tournament champ Texas A&M, SWAC tourney champ Prairie View A&M and Texas Tech. 

Prairie View has the misfortune of once again facing the overall number one seeded Lady Bears and Brittney Griner in the opening round of the tournament.

Speaking of the Lady Bears, can they send my Houston homegirl Brittney Griner out in her senior year a winner as a repeat NCAA champion?  Will she dunk in the title game or sometime during the tournament? 

Will Chiney Ogwumike and her Stanford teammates spoil the title coronation and hang another loss on the Lady Bears?  

Will Skylar Diggins and Notre Dame in her senior year finally get the NCAA title she and the Fighting Irish have come so close to winning twice? 

Does UConn have a long NCAA title run in them?  Or will some new contender to the women's basketball throne spring some upsets that send them all the way to New Orleans?

The road to the 2013 NCAA Women's Final Four in New Orleans starts on March 23 with the title game happening April 7-9 

Oklahoma City Region

Ist Round
Baylor, Florida State, Louisville, Purdue, Oklahoma, UCLA, Syracuse, Tennessee

 Sweet 16
Baylor, Louisville, Oklahoma, Tennessee

Elite Eight
Baylor, Tennessee

Oklahoma City Region Champion 

Spokane Region

1st Round
Stanford, Villanova, Iowa State, Georgia, LSU, Penn State, Texas Tech, California 

Sweet 16
Stanford, Iowa State, LSU, California

Elite Eight
Stanford, LSU

Spokane Region Champion

Norfolk Region

1st Round
Notre Dame, Miami, Colorado, South Carolina, Nebraska, Texas A&M , Oklahoma State, Duke

Sweet 16
Notre Dame, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Duke

Elite Eight
Notre Dame, Texas A&M

Norfolk Region Champion
Notre Dame
Bridgeport Region

1st Round
Connecticut, Vanderbilt, Michigan St., Maryland, Delaware, North Carolina, Dayton, Kentucky  

Sweet 16
Connecticut, Maryland, North Carolina, Kentucky

Elite Eight
Connecticut, Kentucky

Bridgeport Region Champion
Final Four Teams
Baylor, Stanford, Notre Dame,Connecticut

Championship Game
Baylor, Notre Dame

2013 NCAA Champion


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Claude 'Rick' Roberts, Jr 1941-2013

Was at the Houston hospice today when my father passed away at 12 noon CDT.

Didn't talk about it much on the blog, but my dad is a Black radio and Houston radio legend. 

He's also one of the reasons why I have the public speaking skills I do right now since everyone from my various schools to my home church had me standing at their podiums since I was age 6 MCing their programs.

Dad even had me doing a commercial promoting his morning drive time radio show when I was in second grade. 

Dad was a native Houstonian, and started his radio career at WBOK-AM in New Orleans.   He spent bulk of his radio career starting in 1967 in the Houston area at KYOK-AM as its program director and at KTSU-FM before he retired in 1993.

I had a ringside seat to much of the Houston Black radio world growing up.  KYOK had a ground breaking RV that served as a mobile broadcasting studio and I bounced around different areas of town to many of those remotes.  

There were also a few nights when he brought that vehicle to the house pre or post remote and I got to sleep in it.

I also got to see firsthand the major love and respect many people had for him inside and outside the community because he not only was a proud Black man who stood up for his beliefs and was willing to do more than just talk about them, he was a voice for the voiceless in H-town.  

And he was one heck of a play by play announcer  If ESPN had started a little earlier you probably would have heard him calling football and basketball games on that network.  As it was I did get to watch him call Texas Southern University and HISD football games from the Astrodome press box and see people like NFL Hall of Famers Walter Payton and Doug Williams play while happily sipping on my bottomless soda cup. .  

I was also constantly amazed by the people he knew on a first name basis inside and outside the Houston area in the radio, music and political arenas.  That's probably a major reason why I have the deep interest in politics and I do what I do as a human rights warrior. 

I'm comforted in the fact he didn't suffer when he passed away and his legacy in the industry will live long past the days when my family's tears have dried.

Many of his photos from his radio days are in the African American Archives of Music and Culture in their Black Radio collection housed at IU-Bloomington.  There have also been people writing tribute articles expressing how much he meant to them and their love for him..    

Speaking of love, thanks to all of you who have lifted my family and I up in prayer, kept us immersed in your positive thoughts, and have been there at various times when we needed it during this difficult period for us.  

My family still has heavy hearts and a difficult few days yet to navigate, but with your help we know we will. 

Well Dad, you're not suffering anymore.  Say hello to Grandmother Tama for me.

TransGriot Note:  First photo from the AAAMC archives is a 1974 one of Dad and Shaft's Richard Roundtree in KYOK's studio.  The second one is Dad, Michael Jackson (yep, the future King of Pop), Pluria Marshall, Jr and the teen TransGriot during a KYOK sponsored 'Meet The Jackson 5' event in August 1974.