Saturday, November 30, 2013

Hawaiian Trans Teen Missing

I'll slam the KITV-TV peeps about the misgendering in their report later, but first tings first, lets find the child.  Every second past 48 hours that this child continues to remain missing increases the chances she won't be found.

Christian Kukahiko was last seen at her home November 9 at approximately 3 PM local time at her home in Maunawili.

She is 15 years old, approximately 6 feet tall and 230 pounds,  She has black hair with red highlights and a tattoo on her lower back with her last name "Kukahiko."

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call CrimeStoppers at (808) 955-8300, or *CRIME on your cellular phone. Free cellular calls are provided by AT&T, Nextel Hawaii, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless Hawaii, Mobi PCS, and Hawaiian Telcom. The public may now send anonymous text and web tips. Text "CS808" plus your message to 274637 or CRIMES.

Now a note to KITV-TV and the media.

Per the AP Stylebook:

transgender-Use the pronoun preferred by the individuals who have acquired the physical characteristics of the opposite sex or present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth.
If that preference is not expressed, use the pronoun consistent with the individuals live publicly.

Looks like Chris has acquired the characteristics and outward presentation of a young female, and should be addressed as SHE or with other feminine pronouns.   Granted there may be family members that stubbornly say otherwise, but those of us NOT in Chris' family may only know her by a femme name or feminine pronouns. 

Referring to a person we know in the trans community only by female presentation, name and femme pronouns by a masculine name and the wrong pronouns will draw quizzical looks from us, slow your investigation down, and may separate you from vital information you may need that is available in out trans community to help solve this case.  

So yeah, KITV-TV, get busy changing the pronouns to conform to AP Stylebook guidelines.

According to my friend and Hawaiian resident Laurie Cicotello, there is no new information in this case. 

She also expressed the fear that is shared by many people on and off the islands (myself included) that because of the recent 55 day special session to pass marriage equality that stirred up much anti-TBLG hatred on the island, someone may have seen her and decided to take out their rage and frustration concerning this issue on her.

I hope and pray that's not the case and Chris returns home for Christmas.   But will keep you TransGriot readers posted concerning any developments in this missing trans teen case.   

Lolo's One Step Closer To Going To Sochi

I love Lolo Jones and still feel for her when I see that video of her hitting that second to last hurdle on her way to what looked like a legacy cementing gold medal performance in the 100m hurdles final at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and failing to place. 

She gracefully handled that tremendous disappointment and busted her butt to make the Olympic team again in 2012 only to finish in fourth place in London behind her silver and bronze medal winning teammates Dawn Harper and Kellie Wells in the 100m women's hurdle final won in Olympic record time by Australia's Sally Pearson.

At age 31 Lolo Jones is still chasing Olympic gold, although at a different time of year and in a different event.  This is the second year that Jones has competed in bobsled as a push athlete, and she and fellow sprinter Lauryn Williams were recently named to the nine member USA Women's Bobsled team for the upcoming FIBT World Cup event later today in Calgary.  

She has also added 30 pounds to her previously 130 pound frame in order to help her in her quest to make the USA Bobsled team bound for Sochi. 

American bob team Jazmine Fenlator, right, and Lolo Jones climb in to their sled during the United States women's bobsled team trials Friday, Oct. 25, 2013, in Park City, Utah. Fenlator and Jones came in third place. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)Jones and Williams will be joining Emily Azevedo, Katie Eberling, Aja Evans and Kristi Koplin as sled pushers, with Elana Meyers, Jamie Greubel and Jazmine Fenlator serving as drivers.

Depending on the results in this World Cup event the USA could qualify as many as three two woman sleds for Sochi.  The team will also be named in mid to late January, so this is an opportunity for Jones to make one last impression on the powers that be in the US Bobsled and Skeleton Federation before that selection happens. 

In case you're wondering about the prospects for Jones should she make the team of medaling in Sochi, there is a precedent for a track athlete crossing over into the sport and experiencing success in it.

After several failed attempts to make the US Olympic track team Vonetta Flowers at the urging of her husband tried and embraced the sport.  In the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games she and her driver Jill Bakken won gold in the inaugural two women bobsled event.  With the win Flowers made history by becoming the first African descended athlete ever to win a gold medal at the Winter Olympics.  Two years later Flowers would earn a bronze medal at the FIBT World Championships at Konigsee, Germany.

During Jones' rookie season on the FIBT World Cup circuit she did medal in three races.  So she does have an excellent chance at making this team, attempting to match Vonetta Flowers and getting that Olympc gold medal that has eluded her so far in the Summer Games.


Bonnie N. Davenport DC's First Trans Cop

This post is probably going to come as a surprise to some people who have seen the long history of transphobic shenanigans emanating from DC Metro Police officers, but once upon a time the DC Metro Police Department had on its force a trans police officer by the name of Bonnie Nora Davenport.

She was born in Buffalo, NY. in 1943, was an Air Force veteran and studied at American University and George Washington University ,  

Bonnie was an eight year veteran of the DC police force when she made the trip to Trinidad, CO and had her SRS performed by Dr. Stanley Biber.   In 1979 she became the first and so far only trans cop on the Metro DC force when she was certified to return to duty.

Bonnie eventually served for 20 years on the DC Metro Police until she retired in 1991.  She got married to Earl O'Neal who preceded her in death..

This trailblazing police officer passed away at her home in Fredonia, NY on the morning of November 17, 2009.  

Hopefully there will be another transperson who joins the DC Metro Police force and carries on her legacy because frankly, they could use some trans police officers now on their force.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Shut Up Fool Awards-Carving Up Jive Turkeys Edition

(Burp) I'm still full from my Thanksgiving grub out yesterday and still have a few days worth of food in the fridge I brought home from Mom's house to pig out on when I get hungry later today.. 

Some of you were probably hitting the malls or strip centers to go take advantage of your day after Thanksgiving shopping. (I hate the term 'Black Friday')

You'll note I brought back a term from my 70's teen years to name this edition of this week's Shut Up Fool awards. 

So what's a jive turkey?   If you got called a 'jive turkey' back in the disco era, it wasn't complimentary.   It meant they were insinuating you were stupid, you didn't know what the hell you were talking about, or  BSed your way through situations.

Hmm, perfect term to name an after Thanksgiving Shut Up Fool Awards post don't you think?  

So let's get right to discovering what jive turkey or jive turkeys I get to carve up this week.

Honorable Mention Number one are the 13 retailers who used to be closed on Thanksgiving Day who opened for Thanksgiving this year simply because they have six less shopping days for Christmas because Turkey Day falling late this year.

And to the people in the comment sections trying to justify ruining the holidays of retail employees by trying to equate it to working as a first responder or in the hospitality or travel industry, bull feces.   A hospital, fire station, police station or airport being open on Thanksgiving is a societal necessity.  Wal-Mart or Best Buy being open so you can get a TV at $50 off isn't.

Honorable Mention Number two is DeKalb County, GA who had “slave” listed as an occupational choice in a new online juror questionnaire. 

Honorable Mention Number three is Gun Owners of America Executive Director Larry Pratt.  This Pharisee recently went off the gun nut deep end and claimed he had found firearms in the Bible, and it was proof that God was “judging” unarmed Americans and “blessing” the gun owners.

Yeah, right.   You fetishistic gun owners will do and say anything to justify your paranoid gun culture lifestyle including making up Scripture as you go along.       

Honorable mention number four is French ELLE fashion editor Jeanne Deroo, who mde herself look like a fool and posted a picture of herself on Instagram in blackface.

What I have to say about is basically encapsulated in my July 7 'I Repeat: White People Doing Blackface Drag Is Not Acceptable, Period!' post.
"North American Black people have a zero tolerance policy toward any manifestation of white people in blackface, whether it is maliciously racist or not.

We don't care if you are a drag performer, a model doing a high fashion photo shoot, somebody doing so as a badly thought out Halloween costume or drunken white college kids perpetuating negative stereotypes of African descended people in the name of fun and frivolity. You need to get it through your vanillacentric privileged minds blackface is offensive to African descended people and there is no justification in our chococentric minds for doing so."
And Jeanne, that blackface look on you is not chic nor fashion forward, it was tres tacky.
Kathy SvensonThis week's Shut Up Fool award winner is Katherine Svenson, the transphobic Delta County, CO school board member who parted her lips to say trans kids need castration before they are allowed near bathrooms.  

It also turned out Kathy (surprise, surprise) has connections to anti-TBLG groups like Phyllis Schafly's Eagle Forum and is the founder of an anti-BTLG group called TellASIA.

Never mind the fact the issue has already been decided because Colorado is one of 17 states along with the District of Columbia that outlaw discrimination based on gender identity, and the Colorado Civil Rights Division on June 17 already ruled on this matter in favor of trans students in the Coy Mathis case.

Trans haters gotta hate...   

Katherine Svenson, Shut Up you jive turkey, er fool!  
On June 17, 2013, the Colorado Division of Civil Rights issued a ruling which makes Svenson’s fears rooted in extremist talking-points irrelevant. Additionally, the Florence, Colorado School Board just dismissed the Pacific Justice Institute’s claims that trans kids harass non-trans kids by their mere presence. - See more at:

I Repeat, Can Y'all Stop Hatin' On Transwomen During This 2013 Holiday Season?

I wrote a post back in 2009 rhetorically asking if the world could (or would) stop hatin' on transwomen during that holiday season and two years later did the same.

Such a deceptively simple request to ask to be treated with dignity and respect for at least a month, but so rarely happens.

Well, I'm going to go sit on Santa's lap and ask for that Christmas wish to be granted.

For the 2013 holiday season, I would like for not one transperson to be killed or injured.

For the 2013 holiday season I'd like to not have to read hate speech or misgendering comments about us coming from friends, frenemies and foes
For the 2013 holiday season I'd like to not see a positive story about us on the Net have a comment thread attached to it with an avalanche of hateful, ignorant and transphobic comments.

For the 2013 holiday season, can we transwomen simply be able to live our daily lives without drama?

TransGriot Update:  Did this song rewrite in 2011 that goes perfectly with this post entitled 'Stop Hatin' Us On Christmas Day'.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

What I'm Thankful For In 2013

At this moment I'm chilling at my mom's house and probably have a turkey wing (left side) stuck in my mouth along with the other food Mom and my sis Latoya prepared for me, the family and friends who stop by the house to scarf it up on this day and spend time with us. 

When I sit down for a moment and peruse it, I do have a lot of things and blessings to be thankful for in 2013.  The obvious ones are I'm still standing 6 feet above my beloved Texas soil and I'm in reasonably good health.  I could stand to lose a few pounds, but whose counting calories on this day and on the upcoming Festival of Conspicuous Consumerism (Christmas Day) when it takes place in just 28 days?

I'm thankful for my award winning and internationally read blog that has garnered over 5.2 million hits since I started it on New Year's Day 2006.   It has provided me with a powerful platform to express myself, get things done, advocate for positive change and uplift a people who need it. 

I'm thankful for everyone who showers me with love on this day and every day.  I'm thankful that you emphatically let me know you have my back and sincerely want to see me become the best person I can be. I'm thankful to the people who not only expand my cognitive horizons, expose me to new ideas and ways to think about things, but respectfully challenge my world views so that I don't slide into as my little sis Jordana calls it, 'lazy thought' territory.

I'm thankful for my cis sisters who have opened their hearts and their arms wide to welcome me into the sisterhood over the last 19 years.  Many you have given me a swift kick in the butt when I needed it over the years, helped me along my own evolutionary path to womanhood, as my homegirls (and you know who you are) pushed me to be better and helped me become the quality Black woman I want and continue to seek to be.   

I'm thankful I have the
love and respect of my trans community.  You let me know when I'm out and about whether interacting with you in person, at TBLG community events, on college campuses, in our phone or chat conversations or at conferences how much you appreciate the fighting I've done for trans human rights on our behalf since 1998

I'm thankful to you trans brothers who showered me with love in Dallas and have continued to do so post-BTMI as I observe your evolution into becoming the leaders and men we knew you were capable of becoming.  

Sen. Leticia van de Putte, D-San Antonio announces her candidacy for Lt. Governor at San Antonio College on November 23, 2013.I'm thankful that Barack Obama is still our president until 2017, Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte are running for governor and lieutenant governor of Texas next year and Annise Parker is Houston's mayor until 2016.  

I'm even thankful for my haters, who know who they are.  Y'all motivate me to do the things you say I can't do, be the person you say I can't be, and despite you  actively working to oppose my efforts to accomplish those tasks, I still rise.

So yes, I have a lot to be thankful for today and in the remaining days of 2013.  I hope 2014 is even better..

Road To Creating Change 2014 Houston Diary- Emotional Rollercoaster

As you TransGriot readers know I'm co-chair of the Racial Diversity Committee, one of the subcommittees that's part of the organizing process for our upcoming Creating Change Conference that will be talking place in Houston January 29-February 2.

I've been documenting since May what it's like to have a ringside seat for and be part of the team of people doing the organizing work in the host city to put together a major national conference like Creating Change.

Well, in this edition of my Creating Change 2014 Diary me and my fellow Host Committee have been riding a rollercoaster ride of emotions.   We see our convention date is rapidly approaching, we're excited about that, but realize that we still have a lot of work ahead of us before it happens.

But first up was a night to have some fun.  On October 19 we kicked up our heels, cowboy boots and other fashion forward footwear at the Creating Change Pre-Convention Celebration event that was held at Neon Boots, a large GLBT country western bar on the northwest side of town.   It was a Creating Change 2014 local promotion event open to all volunteers, guests and people wanting to know more about this conference that is mere weeks away at this writing from happening.

When planning a major conference, there are some elements of it that are out of your local control.   There are aspects of it that Creating Change National decides such as who our plenary keynote speakers are going to be and which seminar proposals get accepted.  We have no idea or control over what the weather is going to be like for those days we have scheduled for the conference.  But as an FYI for you Creating Change conference attendees, Houston's average temperature in January ranges from 43-64 degrees F.

Don't want to jinx us by mentioning what our average rainfall number is for January.

The other major thing we didn't have a whole lot of control over as a Host Committee besides us voting in it was our mayoral election.   One reason Creating Change is here is because with 2.2 million people in it, Houston (the fourth largest city in the US) is the largest city in the United States and in the state of Texas run by a gay mayor.  

But Mayor Annise Parker was going to have to run for her third and final term during the fall while we were planning this conference.  Our worst nightmare as the Host Committee that nagged at us through the summer and fall was she not getting reelected and having someone in that chair taking the oath of office at the Wortham Center on January 1, 2014 that was hostile to our community.

It turned out our fears were well founded.  Although we knew that Mayor Parker had done an excellent job leading our city, elections can be unpredictable at times.  We had Ben Hall, one of Mayor Parker's major challengers deciding to pander to the anti-gay haters late in the campaign in a desperate bid to make up the double digit deficit he was facing.  It also pissed us off because when he was trying to get the Houston GLBT Caucus mayoral endorsement, Hall said he supported adding sexual orientation and gender identity to our city's non-discrimination ordinance, then did a 180 on that.

Fortunately for us Hall did his Mitt Romney impression while early voting was still transpiring, so we had time to handle our electoral business as a community and punish him at the polls.  But we still had to hold our breath until Election Day arrived on November 5.

We got to exhale and celebrate as Annise won with 57% of ours and our fellow Houstonian's votes to win without a runoff.   It ensured that when you show up in H-town for Creating Change, our city will still be run by Mayor Parker, a former attendee of Creating Change.  We're working on getting her to come by the Hilton Americas to say hello to y'all.   I'm hoping she'll be doing so since she made it clear when we were bidding for the conference she wanted it here.   

There was finite disappointment handed to the Houston trans community in this election cycle.  Jenifer Rene Pool missed getting into the runoff for the at-large Position 3 City Council seat she was running for by an agonizing 1,125 votes. 

That unfortunately ended her second bid to become the first out trans person ever elected to Houston City Council, but she's already let us know that she's going to make another run at it in 2015.    

So when we gathered at the Montrose Center for our November 10 Host Committee meeting, we were relieved that one of our nagging planning headaches was off our checklist and gleefully celebrating the fact that Annise would be our mayor until January 1, 2016.

As we waited for the Host Committee meeting to start, a transformer in the area blew out, subsequently knocking out power in the neighborhood and the Montrose Center building that hosts our meetings for almost two hours.   I joked when it happened that we probably wouldn't get power back until after the meeting was over and that's exactly what happened.   

As the Montrose Center building staff scrambled into action to provide us and the other community organizations hosting meetings in the darkened building at the time mini lights to give us some semblance of illumination, we soldiered on with our Host Committee business, issued subcommittee reports and greeted CC National's Russell Roybal.   

Overseeing Creating Change is one of his supervisory responsibilities and he was in H-town along with the IT director to not only convey to us what Sue Hyde told us last month in terms of H-town setting the CC organizing bar to unprecedented levels and congratulate us for our hard work, he also let us know who one of our keynote speakers would be and the folks who would be receiving awards at our event. The awards part I have to keep quiet about for now, but I can talk about who one of the keynote speakers will be. 

And peeps, I get to see my homegirl Laverne Cox again.  I met her during the National Black Justice Coalition's 2012 OUT on the Hill conference when I was part of the trans feminine panel discussion she moderated before she blew up in Orange Is The New Black    So I'm looking forward to along with the rest of the Houston Host Committee in welcoming her to my hometown and hearing her keynote speech. 

We're also trying to get another major Texas political speaker here for you besides our mayor. 

Russell also advised us that Task Force ED Rea Carey's State of the Movement speech would be carried live on C-SPAN.  He also let us know that people would begin to be notified about whether their panel discussions they submitted would be accepted or rejected, and I was part of two proposals.   One was accepted, the other was rejected.  I will be doing a panel discussion at CC14, and when they set the schedule I'll let y'all know which one and what time.

Our subcommittees were busy submitting our budgets proposals before the hard 6 PM CST November 15 submission deadline.  We also discovered the subcommittees were only getting $500 to spend, so we had to revise our plans to do what we'd wanted to do in our suites to fit that budgetary hard number.   I got to sit in on the Trans* and Gender Diversity subcommittee meeting November 14 and watch them go through the process, then had to get with my Racial Diversity subcommittee Chair Melissa Meadows the next morning and do the same thing for our committee.

We're still wanting to have barbecue in our Racial Diversity Suite, but because of the lower than expected hard budget number it'll be for one night instead of the two we'd originally planned.

We have just two Creating Change Houston Host Committee planning meetings left on December 3 and January 7 and we are now mere weeks away from rolling out the rainbow carpet and welcoming y'all to Creating Change Houston 2014.   

And I and my fellow Host Committee members can't wait to see y'all at the Hilton Americas.

Now if we can get that Chamber of Commerce weather we're wanting, sunny, cool 50-60 degrees and not a cloud in the sky, we'll be happy. 

Happy Turkey Day 2013

Today is Thanksgiving Day, which we give thanks for all the blessings that we have received this year and spend time with family and loved ones.

One of the blessings I have received is your love and support for my blog.   You tell me when I'm out and about in the community just how much you appreciate what I do.

And I thank those of you who from time to time will drop change on the TransGriot Tip Jar.
The holidays are usually the toughest time for trans and LGB pees who may be estranged from their blood families, so let's be extra vigilant during this time of year to reach out to out TBLG peeps who may be emotionally vulnerable.

For those of you who aren't around your families and lamenting that, don't.   The best way to deal with that situation is create your own family chock full of the people who love, honor and appreciate you in their lives. During this holiday season break bread with your chosen family and create holiday memories with them..

And if you're feeling down or depressed, call someone.   Suicide is never the answer.  Your best revenge is to live your life and be radically successful at it in terms you define.

So Happy Thanksgiving Day!    I'm going to take the day off to hang out with the peeps who love and appreciate me, and will be back tomorrow to carve up some jive turkeys in my weekly Shut Up Fool post.

But if I feel moved to write something  or some breaking news happens that I must get out there, you'll see something today on the blog. 

But until then, see ya tomorrow.     

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Democrat's Guide To Politically Handling Your GOP Uncle

I've been fortunate to grow up in a yellow dog Democratic family so I never had this problem.  For me when the talk comes to politics at the holiday dinner table, even with my chosen family up in Da Ville, we spent our time bashing the Republican Party before we moved on to other subjects.

But for those of you who dread the holiday season because you have to go back to towns chock full of relatives and people who actually believe everything Fox Noise and Rush Limbaugh tell them and relish the opportunity to mess with you as one of the few 'libruls' in the family tree, the holidays can be a frustrating experience.

You grit your teeth as your uncle rants about the latest anti-Obama conspiracy theory, or you resist the urge to rip your cousin's hair out when she starts defending the GOP War on Women, or chew out your smarmy collegiate Young Conservative nephew talking about the Affirmative Action Bake Sale they're having on his campus soon. .

Fear not fellow liberal-progressives, the Democratic Party feels your holday pain and has come to the rescue with your handy talking points called The Democrat's Guile To Talking Politics With Your Republican Uncle

You can easily reference them on your way to Conservafool Hell to rebut, crush and utterly demolish their latest conservafool talking points in addition to all the facts based info you have already committed to memory over the years. . 

And yeah, you know they have already been fed their talking points by their conservanews bubble and are just gleefully waiting for you to hit town to unleash them on you, so you need to be prepared.

This holiday season you get to enjoy your Thanksgiving meal and win the political info war at the dinner table at the same time.

2013 TransGriot NFL Predictions Week 13's Thanksgiving weekend, and in addition to all your fave holiday foods on the menu is also a nice serving of NFL football.   Putting the picks up a day early because one of the Thanksgiving NFL tilts kicks off at 11 AM CST.

Week 12 was another sub-.500 one for me (arrgh) no thanks to the Texans ninth straight loss to Jacksonville,  the unexpected 26-26 tie between Minnesota and Green Bay and Denver blowing a big halftime lead to lose to New England.  

While Mr Watts took Week 12 honors, I had company in the sub.500 week ranks as Mr. Blake joined me.  

As far as my fave NFL squad goes, the only thing they are in the running for is the number one draft pick and after this Jacksonville loss, Gary Kubiak probably better be updating his resume.  It gets worse with New England coming to Reliant on Sunday.  

Okay, time to get to the Week 13 NFL action..  Everyone's playing so we have 16 games this week.  As usual my picks are in underlined bold print in this crazy 2013 NFL season while Eli's and Mike's are here.

Week 12 Results
TransGriot      6-7-1
Eli Blake        6-7-1
Mike Watts    8-5-1

2013 Season Record
TransGriot      96-79-1
Eli                  110-65-1
Mike              108-67-1

NFL Week 13

Thanksgiving Day Games
Green Bay at Detroit
Oakland at Dallas
Pittsburgh at Baltimore

Sunday Noon Games
Tennessee at Indianapolis
Jacksonville at Cleveland
Tampa Bay at Carolina
Chicago at Minnesota
New England at Houston
Arizona at Philadelphia
Miami at NY Jets

Sunday Afternoon Games
Atlanta at Buffalo
St. Louis at San Francisco
Cincinnati at San Diego
Denver at Kansas City

Sunday Night game
NY Giants at Washington

Monday Night Game
New Orleans at Seattle

Texas Is Not Just For Conservative White People

They'll say that little old Leticia Rosa San Miguel Van de Putte from the barrio will never become Lieutenant Governor. And they'll say that even though they're going after the Hispanic vote. Well, take my word for it, since I'm an actual Hispanic: you can't successfully fight for the Hispanic vote unless you're willing to fight for Hispanic families.
--Sen. Leticia Van de Putte 

Well, it's official.  After that Saturday announcement speech in San Antonio which Sen. Leticia Van de Putte blistered the Republicans who have had a stranglehold on this state's politics for 20 years too long, she traveled up I-35 to Austin yesterday to file the paperwork to officially run for lieutenant governor of Texas!

For the first time in my birth state in a long time, we have some terrific candidates with name recognition at the top of the Democratic ticket that literally scare the crap out of Texas Teapublicans.  Sen Wendy Davis and Sen. Leticia Van de Putte are a glaring contrast to the same old same old failed GOP white male neo-fascist leadership.    In the GOP primaries for governor and lieutenant governor there are multiple candidates jockeying to see who can do the best job of pandering to the most extreme elements of their GOP base while ignoring the fact that Texas is not of, by and for conservative White people. 

There's 26.1 million people in the Lone Star State, and those of us on the liberal-progressive side also love the 268,581 sq. miles of territory and the diverse cities we call home.  Some of those 26.1 million Texans happen to be trans, bi, lesbian and gay and love this state as much as you cisgender straight people do. 

Contrary to the charge du jour being flung around in Texas conservafool circles that we liberal-progressive Texans want this state to be California, that is categorically false.   

We want Texas to be BETTER than California.  

We like to brag that our state is the biggest and best at everything we do, but with you Republicans running it into the ground for the last 20 years we definitely can't make that claim anymore.

We're tired of seeing our roads and infrastructure crumbling, the billions being taken out of public schools, the GOP Culture Wars on women, the poor, the middle class, non-white Texans, immigrants and the TBLG community. We're tired of seeing the 'bidness' friendly policies and pay-to-play politics that lead to lax regulation, workers dying in plant explosions and our air getting more polluted by the day in GOP Texas.

We BTLG Texans are also tired of being your Teapublican political punching bags so you can keep your grip on power.  We're punching back 

You're fearful of the bitter political backlash your conservafool policies that attack anyone that is non-white or not a rich white male in this state have engendered amongst all liberal-progressive Texans.  You GOP peeps know your failed conservative policies aren't working and no amount of FOX Noise and conservative talk radio chatter or spin can cover that up.

While you Republican pols make it harder for non-white people and perceived liberal voters to cast ballots to kick you out of office, all you do is piss us off and make us more determined to do so.

LVP was right in her speech.  This is about what type of Texas we are going to leave to our kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews.  And I'm all about at this point making sure that my nieces and nephews have a progressive Texas to grow up, live and work in like I did until 1994..

And yeah, you conservafools need to be scared because I'm not happy either with how things have transpired in my home state since that date. 

I'm also one of the African-American Texans you Republicans pissed off because of that voter suppression law.  I'm pissed because it not only has taken me over 5 months to get my TDL, because of that bull feces I missed the 2013 mayoral election in my hometown. 

That's okay, my political revenge will be served up at the voting booth next November.  I also know time and demographics are on my side. It's past time for Texas to go back to its progressive political roots and I'm looking forward to being part of the voting coalition that will make that a reality.  

Texas has been a majority-minority population state since 2009, and despite your political machinations, corporate money, gerrymandering and obfuscations, Texas will eventually turn purple and back to blue.

And as people wake up to the reality that 'proven conservative leadership' is code for 'let's screw stuff up and blame it on the Democrats', and those scare tactics don't work on anybody but your bamboozled sheeple, reality based Texans who want our government to solve problems and efficiently run the Lone Star State will put people in charge of our state government who don't hate government like you Teapublicans do.  

It's past time the Lone Star State's politics and governmental policy priorities reflected that.

Texas is not just of, by and for conservative White people.  But you'll find that out soon enough. 

Diamond Stylz-I Am Diamond Stylz

You've seen me post many of Diamond's videos on my blog about various subjects because my Houston homegirl has the same gravitas in the video blogging world as I do on the blogging side of things.

Now I get to post this one in which she tells you a little about herself and her video blog.

Armani Nicole Davenport Turns Herself In

Armani Nicole DavenportI wrote earlier this month about Armani Nicole Davenport, our Dallas area pageant sister who was wanted by the New Orleans Police for an October 24 silicone pumping session  that went badly and sent one of the two people pumped with a substance that was less than medical grade silicone to a local hospital.

A warrant was issued for her arrest, and she turned herself in on November 6 to New Orleans PD.  She was booked into the New Orleans Parish Prison and her bail was set at $50,000.

The person who rejected the pumping concoction was still hospitalized at the time Davenport turned herself in to NOPD.   She was in critical condition but improving as of that November 6 date.

Davenport is facing a charge of negligent injuring, of which if she is convicted of it will face six months in jail and a $5,000 fine. 

And I will be keeping up with what transpires in this latest silicone pumping case. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Trans Flight Attendant Elected To Presidency Of Her Union Local

 Audrey Gauthier was elected president of CUPE 4041, the Air Transat base in Montreal.When I was in the airline business, there were rumors that we had four trans flight attendants working for our carrier at the time I was becoming the first out Black trans person working at Continental Airlines in 1994.

One of those flight attendants was allegedly based in Honolulu, while the other three were alleged to be flying routes out of our other domestic bases besides Houston.  Depending on where they were based, they may have crossed my path because I worked the departure gates at IAH and I have no idea if they worked my flights or not because they didn't reveal their status to my very out self.   

So as a former airline person I was happy to hear about the groundbreaking and historic win of girl like us flight attendant Audrey Gauthier.   Back on November 1 she was elected president of CUPE Local 4041, and represents Air Transat flight attendants based in Montreal

With that win she became the first open trans person to elected to lead a union local in Canada and possibly the world.   But Gauthier downplayed the historic achievement. 
“I’m proud to be the first transsexual member elected president of a local, and for LGBTTI rights it’s something that’s important, but our members don’t really see me as different. They just see me as a woman, period,” she said.  

Gauthier.added, “I was elected to unite people. My goal is to build a strong relationship between the local and our component.”

Congratulations and may you have much success in accoplishing that goal as you fly the friendly Canadian skies. 

I Like Sports And I Need To Write About Sports

When I'm out and about in our community and the subject turns to what I write about on TransGriot, I have people tell me that they love it when the Shut Up Fool Awards pop up every Friday.  They are appreciative of the hard work I put in and long hours to keep up with all things trans here and around the world.

They enjoy my Ten Questions interviews and love it that I break down politics and how it impacts this community as well.  They love my Black trans history posts and for the most part me discussing race and class and how it affects our TBLG community.   They love my motivational posts and also want to hear my views and analysis on whatever subject I feel like talking about.   

But every now and then I get some pushback as to why I discuss sports on this blog.  

Well, frankly, because it's my blog and if I want to talk sports on it, I can.   Second, because TBLG sports fans exist, I'm one of them and they need love and content to read, too.  I write about my local Houston teams.   I have opinions I want to express about developments in the collegiate and professional ranks from time to time.   And because female athletes don't get much ink or love in an arena dominated by male sports writers, I'll comment on developments in women's sports that pique my interest.

Far too often female athletes and their athletic achievements are belittled by male sports writers and male sports fans.  Women's sports leagues like the WNBA, women's international sports and women's collegiate sports are seen as not deserving of media attention like 'the menz.' until some controversy pops up

If we don't talk about female athletes, their accomplishments and the issues that impact them, who will?  

I like discussing my fave tennis playing siblings the Williams Sisters, who get far too much disrespect from the media, their fellow players and knuckle dragging racist idiots in comment threads despite having Tennis Hall of Fame level careers. 

Serena and Venus will always get love here and when deserved, some WTF's.  And yes, the 2014 Australian Open starts January 13-26.      

Third, keeping up with all things trans means that I need to be talking about trans athletes, our history and how developments in the sports world like the LGBT Sports Coalition and Nike LGBT Sports Summits affect our community. 

As Kye Allums, Fallon Fox, Michelle Dumaresq, Christina Kahrl, Keelin Godsey  and others prove, trans people are also breaking ground and making history in the sports world as Renee Richards once did when she sued the USTA in 1976 for the right to play in the US open and won.  

As a blog that seeks to chronicle trans people making history, that means you readers need to see their stories.  They are also trailblazing leaders and pioneers in the sports world that are busting stereotypes about us and they deserve our community's love, understanding, appreciation and support.

Speaking of stereotypes, just as we do so as a community when it comes to doing Trans 101 mythbusting about transpeople in the rest of society, there is just as much disinformation, mythbusting and Trans 101 that needs to be done about transpeople in the sports world.  

There are also sports related issues that we need as a community to be paying attention to and be able to discuss authoritatively like the NCAA rules for trans athletes.  We need to be able to talk about the International Olympic Committee's Stockholm Consensus that allow trans people to compete in the Olympic Games.   We need to be aware about Jazz's successful two year fight with the US Soccer Association to allow trans kids to play and be working on getting FIFA to allow trans athletes to play on international soccer teams like cis people can.  

We also need to as a community need to be keeping up with the states that allow trans kids to compete at the high school level in the gender they present to the world and fight for their right to compete.   

I also see the parallels between transpeople making groundbreaking strides in athletic competition and the African-American human rights struggle.   It's no accident that with the successes of Jesse Owens in the 1936 Olympic Games, boxer Joe Louis, and Jackie Robinson smashing baseball's color line in 1947 among our countless other sporting achievements that African-Americans also gained increased acceptance of our humanity and advancement in our human rights struggle. 

I submit that as more out trans athletes make their mark in the sporting world, we'll see less hatred and drama directed at us as a community as a result of their athletic competition success, and it will pave the way for other trans athletes to exceed what the pioneers accomplished. 

Christina KahrlWe transpeeps not only increasingly play the games, we have people like Christina Kahrl, who is breaking ground by writing about the athletes who play them as an columnist and a member of the Baseball Writers Hall of Fame.  

I have TBLG sports fans and trans athletes who thank me for writing about them, standing up for their humanity against the transphobic haters and using my TransGriot platform to talk about being a sports personality who happens to be trans.   That will continue because trans athletes have an important role to play in our ongoing trans human rights struggle.

Trans athletes not only excel on the field of play to prove we can do so just like any other cis person, we love the various games we play.   As they play the games they love, they demolish stereotypes and advance trans human rights at the same time for all of us, even for you trans peeps who hate sports.   

So yeah, I like sports, I write about sports and need to continue doing so.   

Monday, November 25, 2013

Trans Younglings, Imagine Growing Old, Not Dying Young

Was perusing my Facebook wall and noticed a post from a young African-American trans person in which she expressed her joy about turning 24 next month.  What saddened me and motivated me to write this post is that she admitted that if you'd asked her ten years ago, she didn't think she would live to see that age.

While she cried about the prospect of reaching her upcoming 24th birthday on December 7,  I was saddened to hear that to the point of shedding tears that too many of our young people believe they won't reach that age.   

And that dynamic needs to change.

Growing up I looked forward to milestone birthdays.  I eagerly looked forward to turning 18 because you were not only considered to legally be an adult, it signified that I could finally vote in elections.  You could also at the time of my 18th birthday in 1980 legally drink at the time in Texas.

I also looked forward to my 21st birthday as well.  

There was also a meme going around at the time that one in four Black male children would not live to see their 30th birthday.  Maybe it was my Taurus stubborn streak talking, but I was determined to not give in to such defeatist thinking. 

I not only made it my mission to be around God willing for my 30th birthday in 1992, but wanted to see the dawn of the 21st century and the year 2000 eight years later.  

I wanted to make it to my 40th, 50th, 60th and 70th birthdays in addition to being the best Moni I can be.  

As someone who works hard to push trans human rights forward, I want to see the results of this hard work I and countless others are doing to plant those civil rights trees for you trans younglings.  I have to be alive to not only do the work, but see those trans civil rights trees take root and grow as a result of that work. 

I make the choices and attempt to do my best to not put myself in negative situations that could result in a premature end to my life.  Sometimes stuff and life events happen that are beyond your control and you have to make snap decisions as you're in the moment that could have an impact positively or negatively on your life.  But the things I can control, I try my best to do so.

But that doesn't mean I cut all fun out of my life either.  Ask the peeps who were at the 2012 OUT on the Hill how good my dancing abilities are.    I did my share of partying back in the day and mass consumption of alcohol.  But I also strove to never put myself in the position of being so drunk that I didn't know what zip code I was in.  If I did get drunk, I either slept it off at a trusted friend's house or did so with a designated driver beside me in the club to drive my drunk behind home when we left.

I'm also cognizant of my surroundings, a quality that's even more important as someone navigating society in a feminine body.  I learned once that failure to be aware of that at all times or an ill timed lapse in judgment can result in bodily injury, sexual assault or death.   TDOR's remind me every year that we do have people who irrationally hate us enough to kill us.

Trans younglings, all the slings and arrows and trans hate we expose ourselves to is ultimately for your benefit.  Hell, it does me or no one else any good to fight for the trans human rights laws and policies this community needs if you second decade of the 21st century transwomen or the ones behind you aren't around to enjoy their benefits because you have this misguided belief you won't live to see 30. 

We want you to be able to live your lives to their full potential and make your most expansive dreams come true. But that can't happen if you're not walking on this plane of existence to do so or you robbed this community of your future greatness and talents because you took your life while going through a depressingly rough patch in it.

Getting to be my age is a wonderful, constantly evolving experience.  I enjoy being the mentor for you I didn't have.  There is life beyond age 24.  Life for transpeople is getting better.  It many not be changing as fast as we'd like, but there is ample visible evidence the arc of the moral universe is bending towards justice for trans people. Some of the things you're seeing today were in our wildest dreams territory for trans people when I transitioned in 1994 and we pushed this in conditions far more hostile than you see today.

And don't forget what we did trans human rights warriors did in the 90's-early 2k's was based on the struggles and work our sisters did like Christine Jorgensen, April Ashley, Coccinelle, and Phyllis Frye who put themselves in the public eye in the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's.   They built on the work of the trans women who were at the Cooper's Donuts riots in LA, the 1965 Dewey's Lunch Counter Sit-In that occurred in Philly, the 1966 Compton's Cafeteria Riot and Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P Johnson at Stonewall in 1969.

What will life be like for transpeople in 2024?  2034?  2044?  2054?  Some of you reading this post may have the answer to that question. 

You may become the first trans governor of a state.  The trans doctor who comes up with a cure for cancer.  An astronaut who walks on Mars.   Perform at Carnegie Hall.   The next trans state legislator or first trans mayor of a major city.  Come up with the next great business idea that creates jobs for all of us.  Become the first trans Olympian.  When the medical technology develops to that point you may even be able to give birth to your own children should you desire that or even come up with the breakthroughs that make it happen.  You may even become the first trans president of the US, a US senator, a federal judge or congressmember.

You may witness the time when the TDOR's are no longer needed. 

ut just like Cheryl Courtney-Evans, Miss Major, Tracie Jada O'Brien, Sharyn Grayson, Gloria Allen and others are around to be mentors to me and trans women of my Baby Boomer and beyond trans generations, and I am proudly mentoring your generation of trans women, you will inevitably get older and eventually be the mentors of the mid and late 21st century trans women now transitioning in the elementary, middle, high schools and colleges right now or just being born.    

But you have to be alive to live long enough to be able to properly mentor those trans younglings when the time comes for you to take on that role.   
So please trans younglings, be determined to live long fabulous lives.   Imagine growing old, not dying young.  It's also your best revenge to all the people who reviled you when you were younger to have a more happy and successful life than their miserable ones. 

TransGriot Note: Pics are Cheryl Courtney-Evans, me with Miss Major, Tracie Jada O'Brien, and Sylvia Rivera.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Two Texas TDOR's In 24 Hours

I'm usually pretty busy when November 20th approaches and it's time for the Transgender Day Of Remembrance memorial events to take place here and elsewhere around the world.   Between the radio interviews, op-ed posts and articles, panel discussions and keynote speech requests it can and does get hectic and potentially overwhelming for me during this and any TDOR period

But I had never tried to pull off participating in two TDOR events in the same cycle until this year.

I had gotten the invitation to come to the San Antonio TDOR when Lauryn Farris came to Houston for the Texas Transgender Non Discrimination Summit (TTNS) last summer.  I already knew Rev. Carmarion Anderson was their keynote speaker and it was scheduled for November 21, so no big deal.   I always enjoy spending quality time around her and definitely wanted to be there to see her speak. 

I was planning at the time to just go, chill and be in the San Antonio TDOR audience watching Carmarion and keeping my butt in the background.  I wanted to let others get their well deserved recognition and attention.    
But when Dee Dee Watters approached me in early October about participating in the first ever African-American trans organized TDOR event in Houston, I wanted to be part of that historic event but I was already committed to being in San Antonio on November 21 for their TDOR.  I'd also backed it up by as soon as the booking window opened up for it by purchasing the round trip Megabus ticket (for $2.50) to San Antonio.  

No TransGriot readers, that's not a typo.  I got that San Antonio Megabus roundtrip for $2.50. It got even more interesting when Lauryn asked me to take a more active role in their TDOR since I was already headed there and speak at their event. 

Dee Dee WattersDee Dee wasn't giving up either. She asked me again to participate in the TDOR she was planning, and once I found out she'd scheduled the Houston African-American TDOR event for November 20, it set up the interesting situation for me of literally participating in two Texas TDOR's 24 hours apart on opposite ends of I-10.

Part one of this two TDOR's in 24 hours scenario started on Wednesday night as I approached St. Luke the Evangelist Episcopal Church in the shadows of the Texas Southern University campus.

It was a perfect venue for this first ever African-American trans organized TDOR event.  For a first time TDOR it drew 40 people which I was extremely pleased about.  I had a role in it as a reader, but the major credit for pulling this off goes to Dee Dee Watters who organized it.

Dee Dee also had as part of the program a monologue she performed along with the musicians, poetry readings, spoken word and commentary that comprised the programming for this inaugural event.

I've already been told this African-American organized TDOR is going to happen next year and hope people in the Houston African-American trans community and our allies come out in even larger numbers next year to support it because frankly, they need to.   

The next morning I was up bright and early to catch my 8:15 AM Megabus heading west on I-10 to San Antonio to attend and take part in their TDOR for the first time.   My homegirl Rev. Carmarion Anderson was coming down I-35 to be the keynote speaker for this year's event and I would get to close out the programming part of it as the final speaker of the evening, behind her and legendary local activist Graciela Sanchez.. 

I spent an enjoyable day after I arrived with Lauryn Farris and Carmarion before we headed over to the MCC San Antonio church to handle out TDOR business San Antonio style.

I was surprised to see the globetrotting Cristan Williams there, who had literally just come back from the Left Coast after leading a protest against the transphobic hatemongers of the Pacific Justice Institute and drove to the Alamo City for their event.   I was also happy to finally meet another member of the 'Can We Talk For Real' radio team in Ina Anthony, who spent the event seated next to me.

The interesting thing about the San Antonio TDOR event is they start with the reading of the names, then go into their programming.  
So after the reading of the names of the departed, the tribute to the beloved on both ends of I-10 late Michelle Myers (which was why Cristan was there to represent herself and the Houston community), Carmarion's rousing keynote and Graciela's equally moving speech, I had to close it out. 

I got to discuss moving forward past this day, and I focused on politics and what we needed to do as a community after we left that church.   It was a well received speech as I discovered during the reception afterwards which I was happy about.  

I also got to meet with many people in the San Antonio trans and LGB community, allies, activists and politicians.  One interesting situation occurred in which I was talking to a woman who has a trans child.  While we were in the middle of that conversation a member of the local PFLAG chapter took the opportunity to introduce herself to me.  I took that moment and introduced her to the mother of the trans child.  That jump started a conversation about what she needed to know between the two and connected the mom to San Antonio PFLAG.  

I also had a serious chat with San Antonio city councilmember Diego Bernal.  I thanked him for his support of our community and his YES votes during their recent contentious non-discrimination ordinance fight.  
He gave me a message to take back to the peeps here in Houston, since we're about to embark on our own what promises to be contentious non-discrimination ordinance fight.    

And sorry, that message Councilmember Bernal asked me to pass on to my Houston peeps is in 'the trans revolution will not be televised or written about' territory.   Some things have to stay secret in order for them to become a reality.`   And yeah, I'm quite aware of the possibility that our loud and wrong enemies read this blog, too.

The temperature dropped 30 degrees after a cold front blew through town around 3 AM and fortunately I packed a long sleeved turtleneck shirt in my bag for the trip home.  I dozed off after we passed Seguin and after I awakened from my nap around Columbus got a chance to talk to San Antonio resident Mary Lozano.  When she discovered I had just spoken at the SATDOR, she asked me why there was such hateful rhetoric thrown around in that ordinance fight by alleged Christians because the anti-TBLG rhetoric bothered her as a Christian who lives her faith.

Since we had a hour until we arrived in Houston, I had enough time to do an impromptu Trans 101 and make a friend. I have her number and definitely will be staying in touch with her.

So now that this TDOR season is over, time to rest, reflect and recharge the batteries for the battles ahead and in the new year.  Sadly enough we may already have the first name for the 2014 TDOR list in the person of Jacqui Cowdrey

And I may need to consider going to the Dallas TDOR next year.  

Zoe's 2013 Cleveland TDOR Speech

AX118_6383_9-1.JPGCleveland's TDOR memorial ceremony had the added sorrow of remembering one of their own this year in the person of Cemia 'CeCe' Dove Acoff.
In addition to mourning her death when the news broke of it back in March, the Cleveland trans community then had to deal with their paper of record in the Cleveland Plain Dealer subsequently committing a journalistic hate crime against Cemia by grossly disrespecting her.

When people complained about it including me, instead of listening to what people from the community were pointing out and correcting their mistakes, the Plain Dealer took the opposite combative path and defiantly doubled down on the transphobic disrespect aimed at Cemia.

Andrey Bridges, the waste of DNA who committed the senseless crime was quickly arrested, subsequently convicted of murder, felonious assault, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse.   He will be serving a life sentence for it. 

There was even resolution between the Cleveland TBLG community and the Cleveland Plain Dealer.  After a letter was submitted requesting they cover the TDOR and do so with honesty and respect, the Plain Dealer agreed to not only cover the local TDOR , but meet with area activists to ensure that such grossly disrespectful coverage of a trans person never happens again. 

During their 2013 Cleveland TDOR, Zoe Renee Lapin, who organized one of the rallies held for Cemia  during that time person spoke to the assembled people at the memorial service. 

Here's her speech.


Realness isn't seen in your physical beauty but it's revealed through your heart. It isn't your ability to use one hand to give yourself a pat on the back and use the other to hold down others going through the same journey. It is your ability to look beyond the surfaces and empower your community. To be the greatest you that YOU can be, and then when you do that, do it again-but even better. The reality that your work is never over. The reality that this list gets longer and longer every year and yet the respect grows smaller and smaller.

Realness is realizing that "oddly dressed man found in pond" or "brutal murder marks the end of the fight for acceptance" is not appropriate, not ever. That until all of us are accepted and respected, we are all destroyed and neglected. That every "he, him, his, sir" that a transwoman gets is a direct attack to all of us. That every "her, ms, she, ma'am" that a transman gets is a direct attack to all of us. That every "it and thing" that a non-identifying person gets is a direct attack to all of us. Every drop of blood spilled, every tear shed, cannot exist in vain. That the time for silence is over and that the time for action has never been more prevalent.

My reality is that I am beautiful, my reality is that you are beautiful, our reality is that we are beautiful. And that when we come together in the name of equality, in the name of respect, in the name of our fallen-our cries will not fall upon closed minds and empty hearts. Realness is our ability to empower and encourage everyone from the young person living in the streets because they were forced out of their homes for manifesting their reality, to our elders, to everyone along the way.

Realness is if one of us makes noise, we all make noise, if one of us falls, we all have fallen. Realness is leaving none of us behind, in life and in death. The deceased before us have paid the price for their truth. The living in front of them must never forget them, we carry their names in our hearts and their vindication through our actions. Realness is realizing that Islan, Ce Ce, Ashley, Kelly, the unmentioned and the unknown, cannot continue to live their truths because of the ignorance and fear that propelled so many of their lives to a tragic halt. Realness is healing our wounds and healing the wounds of those around us. Realness is knowing that many in the outside world, even within our own community do not care about us. That we are a threat to their vision of equality, that we are a "burden" that they do not wish to bear.

As much as the term gay isn't a modifier of the entire lgbtq population, the slurs that some see endearing are not signs for our acceptance and validation. That the blood that landed on our footsteps is met with silence, but the bruises met on another are somehow unequal. That in Cleveland, we care more about pandering than we do the pandemic of inequality many of us face everyday. That we are told to all stand up for one cause, but have a seat for another. Your time will come, just wait. Wait...

Realness is the fact that the time is up. That our community cannot afford one more loss. That our family will not fall victim to your hand nor your words. That we ARE family. We are not in competition with each other. We must remain in harmony with one another. Our journeys may not be the same, but we are all in this race together. Our histories, our realities could not have made us any further apart-but I feel so close to each and every single one of you. Our realness, together, is our realness, together. We are our truth, we have manifested our reality. We are united, we embody those fallen and we shape the road ahead, and when we fall together-we rise together.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Run Leticia Run!

If I had an inkling at the time I booked my trip to San Antonio for their TDOR I could have stayed through the weekend and this next historical event was going to happen, I probably would have eagerly done so.

Texas state Senator Wendy Davis is already running for the governors chair of the Lone Star State and if the political chatter I heard while I was in San Antonio is accurate, there is going to be an announcement made that will make me,  Wendy Davis and liberal-progressive Texans very happy.

State Senator Leticia Van De Putte is having an event this morning at San Antonio College starting at 10 AM CST to announce her what many people suspect (myself included) decision to run for Lt. Governor of Texas and set up the all female Dream Team at the top of the Democratic party ticket.

Senator Van De Putte has served in the Texas legisalture since 1990  and first elected to the Texas Senate in a special election in 1999 to State Senate District 26 based in downtown San Antonio.  

During the recently concluded 83rd regular session of the Texas Legislature, she was elected President Pro Tem of the Texas Senate by her colleagues and had the privilege of serving as Governor for a Day (on my birthday).  The other cool thing about her is that she has been a enthusiastic ally for the trans community and one of her representatives was at the San Antonio TDOR Thursday night.   

The best part of this no lose scenario is unlike Sen. Davis, because Sen. Van De Putte wasn't scheduled to run for her Senate District 26 seat until 2016, she would not have to leave the Texas Senate if she chose to run for a statewide office. 

So if she's going to take her first shot at a statewide office and attempt to become the first ever Latina Lt Governor, this is the best opportunity to do so. 

We'll know for sure after 10 AM and I'll have the link to the webcast on this post, but all I have to say about it is Run Leticia Run!..

TransGriot Update: Yes, Leticia's running for Lt. Governor!

Petition For SPLC To Monitor Gender Identity Watch As A Hate Group

Southern Poverty Law Center: Monitor Gender Identity Watch as a Hate GroupOne of the reasons that trans people have faced so much negativity in society is because the TERF's (trans exterminationalist radical feminists have been allowed until recently to spew their lies and disinformation unchecked.

And one of the most prolific and most dangerous of the bunch is The Bug, who I have had a few run ins with online myself and called out.for her reprehensible behavior.

Now the feminist community has finally had enough and are starting to condemn her as well. 

A petition is up asking that the Southern Poverty Law Center monitor the Bug's Gender Identity Watch as a hate site.   Hell, SPLC needs to go further and declare the entire TERF movement as a hate group but that's another post.

Anyway, if you peeps want to add your autographs to this petition that is seeking 1000 signatures for it,  here's the link to it.  International peeps are welcome to sign this one as well. 

TransGriot Update:  Gee, that was quick.   It hit its target before 10 PM CST last night, but the more signatures on the petition the merrier, so keep forwarding it to people and do your part to get SPLC to declare The Bug's scribbling there a hate site.

Friday, November 22, 2013

TDOR 2013 Message To My Houston Black Transpeeps

Dee Dee WattersSince the 2013 Transgender Day of Remembrance events are rapidly coming to an end, basically had to say a few things to my African-American transpeeps in Houston as I pondered the historic happening Wednesday night of the first ever Houston TDOR event organized and executed by an African-American transgender Houstonian. 

It was a rousing success with over 40 people in attendance at this historic first time ever event.  And nope, that distinction does not belong to me.  The well deserved props for this historic feat belong to Dee Dee Watters.  
She was motivated to act after hearing me gripe during one of our conversations a few months ago about our lack of representation at TDOR events in Houston and across the country.   It was her tough minded determination and elbow grease that led to what happened Wednesday night and led to me when it was over having a wide as Texas smile.  
All I did was simply advise and offer my help and thoughts on how to proceed when she needed it. 

For those of you who missed the first ever Transgender Day of Remembrance event ever in Houston with soul that was planned by an African American trans Houstonian, all I have to say is you missed a groundbreaking historical event.

It was held in the 97 year old
St. Luke the Evangelist Episcopal Church on Wheeler Street in the shadows of the Texas Southern University campus.  It's where the radically inclusive Progressive Open Door Christian Center holds its services.  That only added to the sense to me of just how appropriate this place was as the venue for this first ever Houston African-American TDOR event and I was proud on my small role in it. 

It had a kick butt monologue from Dee Dee entitled 'Love Who You Are'.   Spoken word readings from Tye West, Makai Bowie, Rev J. Nicole Mathis, and Latina transwoman Alexus Nicole Whitny.  A Maya Angelou poetry selection read by Lesa Jackson.  A dance selection to Beyonce's song 'Halo' by DePaul Cydney Norwood.   An acapella version of the 'Greatest Love of All' sung by Emanhi Fuqua, a musical selection by Nicolai Kirk      

And after the candle lighting, yes the Reading of the Names by AJ Bowie, Rev. Mathis, Darcy Mitchell and a certain award winning blogger y'all all know and we closed it by having the trans people who attended the event leading a march twice around the sanctuary singing a civil rights era freedom song.
You know next year's TDOR with soul will be even better because that's just how we do things.

I hope during the 2014 Black TDOR event and subsequent ones we actually see some of our African American community and business leaders, Black Greek letter organization members, politicians, thought leaders, clergy, pundits, family members, straight cis and SGL allies be in the house at future ones to pay their respects and support our Black trans community.

Frankly, they need to be there.  This year alone there were 12 African-American transpeople who died because of anti-trans violence, with the overwhelming majority of them (11) being African-American trans women.  Many of those people also died at the hands of other African-Americans.
Another group of people who need to be there to support this event now that we have a home for it is you Black trans Houstonians who couldn't make it this year.   If your azzes can show up at a pageant, the club, a party or a drag show, you damned sure need to have your Black, trans and proud faces in the place showing up, showing out, and standing up to be counted in support of a TDOR event organized by another Black trans woman. .

You've claimed and complained for years Black trans women inside and around Loop 610 you wanted a Houston event 'for the gurls'.  Now one exists, so what 'cha gonna do?  It's 
time for you to either put up or sit your azz down somewhere and have a nice tall sweet tea flavored glass of STFU. 

Time for y'all to support this Black TDOR event that is immersed in your cultural heritage.  Nurture it. Help it grow.  Share it with the rest of the Houston community.  And better yet, help Dee Dee plan next year's event.      

Houston Black trans men, here is your opportunity to step up, support your Houston trans sisters and emerging Houston, state and national leaders like Tye West and Dallas' Carter Brown .   

We need you Houston Black trans brothers getting busy developing and honing those leadership skills.  We Houston Black trans women need you to be in words, actions and deeds the fabulous brothers and leaders we know you are  

The Black cis community will also need you to step up to your A+ leadership game as well.  If you are serious about doing so and making that Black Trans Juneteenth happen, then I'm sure Carter and Tye would love to see your faces in the place in Dallas April 30-May 4 for BTAC 2014 and at other community events in H-town and beyond in 2014.

To borrow a phrase from my little sis Dee Dee, Real Talk time
.   As people step up to lead this community, just letting y'all know upfront shade throwers and agent provocateurs need not apply.for the job of building the Houston African-American trans community.

We'll get enough of that from peeps outside of it.   As a trans elder in this community if I even sense a hint of it I WILL call your azzes out because it is Nation Time, not Throwing Shade Time.  A
s I said back on Juneteenth and will repeat for your edification and 'ejumaction' here, we African descended Texas transpeople can no longer afford to muddle around for another wasted decade isolated, invisible to the world at large, ignorant about what's going on around us, and feeling impotent socially, emotionally, politically and economically. 
We have the opportunity now to do something about that situation now that we are getting the attention of the Houston Black cis community SGL and straight.   We have a chance to build something lasting here and for the sake of our fallen brothers and sisters we need to be tough minded enough to make it happen.. 

I am determined along with Dee Dee and other visionary leaders to not waste this God given opportunity paid for with the blood of our fallen sisters to do just that.

With the upcoming effort to get gender identity and sexual orientation added to the Houston non discrimination ordinance, we Black trans folks will play a key role in helping it get passed because the opponents will us ignorance, fear and hatred of trans people to 'scurr' people into opposing it.. 

But to build that Houston Black trans community some of you have told me repeatedly you want, we have to come out of the shadows and stop hiding.  As my sis Rev. Carmarion Anderson said in her San Antonio TDOR keynote last night, we have to be naked to the world. 

Translation, we have to be our authentic selves and be that in every space we proudly enter.  And one of the spaces we long ago needed to enter was the room in which the African-American family table is placed with the kente cloth covering the table and the kinara at the center of it. 

It's past time we claimed our seat at that table as visibly proud Black trans men and women. 

The only way we can do that is to be visible and say it loud, we are Black, trans and proud and don't care what you think about us living our truth and being the people God created us to be.

reverend lawrence richardson, shift UCCAs Pastor Lawrence T. Richardson reminds us, "God is love and you were made in the image of perfect Love. There is space for you in this world. There is space at your church, in your desired career, in your family, on sports teams…and it is time to take your space."

t's past time Houston Black trans community for us to take our space. 

Because visibility will lead to victories in our professional, political and personal lives, and be good for not only us as Black trans people, but for all the communities we intersect and interact with.