Monday, June 26, 2017

SB 4 Federal Court Hearing Today

Protestors gather in front of the Federal Courthouse in San Antonio to voice their opposition to SB 4, on Monday June 26, 2017. Photo: Bob Owen, San Antonio Express-News / San Antonio Express-News
The first round of federal court hearing in the fight to kill the unjust and racist SB 4 law before it takes effect September 1 is happening in San Antonio.

The hearing on whether to grant a preliminary injunction preventing SB 4 from taking effect while the court case plays out starting at 9:30 AM with over 1000 people from Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and other parts of the state gathering to protest it.

The case will be heard over the next two days in Chief District Judge Orlando Garcia's court ( Clinton appointee), and the Department of (in) Justice has already filed a brief supporting the unjust law.

Elections matter people.

Now we have to wait and see how the legal arguments play out and what happens over the next few days in San Antonio.     

Loving 'Riverdale'

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As you long time TransGriot readers know I'm a huge fan of the Archie comics, and have written several posts about some interesting gender related developments in that iconic cartoon universe.

I was intrigued when the CW broadcast its first season of Riverdale, based on the iconic characters back in January.   But because I was busy with a lot of community events and fighting the GOP flavored transphobic evil emanating out of Austin I didn't get to watch the initial 13 episode run.

Riverdale hit Netflix on May 18, but I finally got a chance to binge watch it this weekend, and I can see now why it got rave reviews from television critics.

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This is definitely not your parents and grandparents Archie cartoon.  It basically shook up and blew up the classic love triangle between Archie, Betty and Veronica and in many cases everything you know from Archie canon about the characters.

The show starts with Archie getting busy with Geraldine Grundy, the school's music teacher during the summer.  Yeah, they went there.   Archie is also seen dating Valerie Brown and escorting Cheryl Blossom to one of her family events before he eventually starts the relationship with Veronica,

Girl next door Betty is not only shown to have a dark side and dates Jughead, Veronica in this show is moving to Riverdale from New York and is trying to be less mean girl than she was.

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In addition to focusing the Season One storyline on who killed Riverdale queen bee Cheryl Blossom's twin brother Jason, the show is set in a contemporary time period.

Many of the beloved Archie characters you know are part of this show like Kevin Keller, Chuck Clayton, Moose Mason, and Ethel Muggs  The characters also all have deep secrets and backstories that get revealed as the show moves through those thirteen episodes that lead to a shocking whodunit.

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They also flipped the casting script on many of those beloved characters.   Veronica Lodge and her family are Latinx.   Josie and the Pussycats are not only all African American, but Josie's mother Sierra McCoy is the mayor of Riverdale played by Robin Givens.

Pops Tate, the owner of the town's 24 hour diner Pop's Chok'lit Shoppe and RHS principal Mr. Weatherbee are also African American.  Reggie Mantle and Dilton Doiley are Asian.

Geraldine Grundy also became a yoder woman instead of a senior.

Since I mentioned Robin Givens is in it, other recognizable actors you'll see in it are Luke Perry playing Archie's father Fred Andrews, Madchen Amick playing Alice Cooper, and Molly Ringwald playing Mary Andrews.

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Riverdale has already been renewed for a second season slated to start on the CW in October, and in Season 2 we'll not only see Sabrina Spellman enter this show, but also Hiram Lodge, played by Mark Consuelos.

The show also ended with a cliffhanger that if you haven't seen it, I'll let you head to Netflix to watch and won't spoil it for you

Friday, June 23, 2017

Leiomy's Nike 'Be True' Commercial

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Was happy to hear about and see the Nike commercial that vogue icon and dancer Leiomy Maldonado recently was featured in

The Bronx native is so well known in the dance world there's a signature dance move she created called the Leiomy Lolly that both Beyonce and Willow Smith have borrowed for their videos.

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The 'Wonder Woman of Vogue' has stayed busy since that appearance as the leader of the Vogue Evolution team on the America's Best Dance Crew show back in 2009.

In addition to this Nike commercial, she's was also recently featured in this high energy one for Kimpton Hotels and their 'Let's Never Stop Dancing' campaign.



Image result for Leiomy NikeSo I was exceedingly pleased and proud to see her in this Nike commercial to promote their Be True' line in which she was not only recognized as the legendary trailblazing talent she is, but also as an athlete.

Because lets be real, you have to be in serious shape to do the things she does on a dance floor and look good as she does doing it.

I'm also proud of seeing a trans woman of color and trans Latina featured in this Nike commercial, and I'm so looking forward to meeting this legendary woman someday.

Enough jibber jabber from me, here's the ad.





Dallas Cowboys Chances Of Hosting 2018 NFL Draft In Possible Jeopardy If TX Trans Hate Bill Passes

AT&T Stadium is shown before an NFL divisional playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
If the Texas GOP transphobes are successful during the upcoming Special Oppression Session in passing HB 2899, their Trans Hate Bill, one of the first casualties of that legislation may be the Dallas Cowboys chances of hosting the 2018 NFL Draft.

After 50 years of hosting the NFL Draft in New York, the NFL decided to start moving it around again to different cities.  Chicago hosted it in 2015 and 2016, and it was Philadelphia's turn to do so back in April.

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There were 22 teams and cities including Canton, OH interested in hosting the 2018 NFL Draft, which is scheduled to happen April 26-28.

Sixteen of them sent representatives to observe the draft happenings in Philadelphia and get a fell for how the event is run, with several subsequently putting in bids with the league for the event/

But Dallas is considered the frontrunner when the NFL makes its decision in August.

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The Cowboys made their pitch to the NFL back in April to host the draft at two sites.  AT&T Stadium for the first two days and at The Star, their new $1.5 billion corporate headquarters and practice facility currently being built in suburban Frisco, TX for the last day of it.  

But the Cowboys are now casting a nervous eye down I-35 south toward Austin as the July 18 Special Oppression Session date gets closer.  


The NFL made it clear in comments it made during the regular session a few months ago that if Texas passed the anti-trans SB 6, it would impact the state's two NFL franchises in the Cowboys and the Houston Texans ability to host future Super Bowls or other league events.

That prompted a retaliatory salvo aimed at the NFL from a pissed off Gov. Abbott (R), so as of now the NFL and the Cowboys have been silent about their thoughts as the calendar draws closer to the start date of the special session.

But we'll see in a few weeks if the Texas Republican Party is willing and stupid enough to piss off the NFL and Jerry Jones to pass HB 2899 and if they go there, what the NFL (and Jerry Jones) will do in response.

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I would rather have the opportunity to check out some of the NFL Draft related activities during next year's BTAC, but whether that happens depends on what the Texas GOP majority does..

Thursday, June 22, 2017

TransGriot Perv Watch- Guess Who Wasn't Caught In This Houston Area Child Predator Sting?

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Police and sheriff departments across the Houston area recently conducted an online sting operation that lasted two months,  netted sixteen arrests and was geared toward ferreting out child predators.

Police participating in 'Operation Broken Heart' arrested thirteen men who were busted as they attempted to have sex with children they met online.   Another three men were arrested and charged with state and federal crimes that included possession, distribution and promotion of child pornography.

Two of those 13 people busted included a now former Alief ISD police officer Robert Haney and Juan Pena, a registered sex offender.

So how many Houston area trans people were caught in that sting?    ZERO

An FYI Moment for you.  There have been far more Republican politicians and pastors busted in these stings across the country than there have been the trans folks they demonize.

Marinate on that point as we approach the upcoming Texas special oppression session and the GOP Noise Machine starts turning up the volume on the anti-trans hatred in their attempt to pass anti-trans legislation that failed in the regular session because it was a bad law..

And note that all these arrested menz were not only not in drag, but are #StillNotTrans.

Dear Transphobic People- Message To Transphobic Black Cis Women

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Dear Transphobic People:
Today I'm going  to have to call out some of the very women that I have spent years defending in Black cis women.   Specifically, the Black cis feminine transphobes in our midst.

Y'all are really feeling froggy lately.   First it was Chimamanda Adichie with her transphobic BS that she doubled down on that I and other trans women had to call out, and ,now we have Stacey Patton letting loose with her anti-trans screeds.

Let me repeat the words of Raquel Willis from her March 13, 2017 The Root  'Trans Women Are Women.  This Isn't A Debate'  article one more time loud enough for you chocolate transphobes to hear;

'Just as it was wrong for womanhood to be narrowly defined within the hegemonic white woman’s experience, so, too, is it wrong for womanhood to be defined as the hegemonic cisgender woman’s experience. Cis women may be the majority, but that hardly means their experience the only valid one.

And Moni approves of this message.  

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Black Trans women are women.  Black trans women intersectionally show up and show out for everyone's human rights struggles, but when it's your turn to show up for us, you're MIA or regurgitating the same disco era TERF crap created by white fauxminists.

Miss us with your chocolate flavored wannabe TERF intolerance.

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It's sad that some of you Black cis women give more respect and love to Tyler Perry dressed as Madea, up to and including using female pronouns for him while dressed in drag, than you do the Black trans women living in the same 'hood with you.
   
It's bad enough that we Black trans women are literally being slaughtered in the streets, white TERF's and fauxminists have been attacking our femininity and humanity since the 70's and you have been cricket chirping silent about that.

Black trans women are not your enemy Black cis feminine transphobes, and you need to check yourselves and recognize that.

We don't need you piling on and attacking our humanity.  We Black trans women have enough on our human rights plates right now dealing with people trying to kill us, the attacks on us coming from the conservative movement, Republican legislators, elements of the LG community, the TERF's, and the Roman Catholic, Southern Baptist and white evangelical churches.

We are struggling just to have our voices heard in Trans World since trans femininity has been discussed ever since Christine Jorgensen stepped off the plane in February 1953 from a white lens.

We Black trans women don't want and need that transphobic crap from y'all and we ain't having it.   Neither are we tolerating the knee -jerk transphobia coming from your ranks.

The bottom line that should concern you as it does us is that Black femininity has been under attack since our ancestors got that first unwanted free boat ride from Africa to what later became the United States in 1619.    We would rather be spending our valuable time building sisterhood with you, fighting all comers who dare attack and demonize Black femininity, and working together to solve the issues that plague all Black women.

Think about that before you part your lips to say transphobic crap or share a transphobic TERF post..


TransGriot Note: TERF is an acronym for Trans Exclusionary (or Exterminationalist) Radical Feminist.   Yeah, some of the predominately white TERF's have gone there and called for our genocidal extermination.

I'll Be At The 2017 Houston Pride Parade, But...

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It wasn't quite was I was hoping for when I decided to run for the Houston Pride Parade female Grand Marshal.   When our nighttime Pride parade kicks off on Saturday I'll be in it at the start of it as one of the pride parade flag bearers.

As to why we have our parade at night?   It does get a little warm here in late June.

Been asked by a few people since we are now in the middle of Pride Week in H-town am I disappointed I wasn't elected grand marshal this year?  

Do the Astros have the best record in the major leagues?  

And let's be real, I've been blessed with a nice run lately in scooping up awards and honors, and BTAC gives out an award named for me.  Can't win them all.  

And not making that Houston Pride history this year means I have something to shoot for later.

But back to talking about the parade.  I marched with the Organization Latinas de Trans en Texas last year  and when the call came on Sunday I was mulling over offers from three different groups to march with them in the upcoming parade.

So in this year's parade I;m one of the flag bearers.   As for next year, we'll see.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Houston City Council Votes To Join SB 4 Lawsuit

People with United We Dream celebrate after council members voted to join the lawsuit against SB4 during a City Council meeting at City Hall Wednesday, June 21, 2017, in Houston. Photo: Godofredo A. Vasquez, Houston Chronicle / Godofredo A. Vasquez
After a contentious city council public session yesterday that featured over 200 impassioned speakers, several state legislators along with weeks of grassroots pressure to do the right thing, they Houston City Council finally got off the sidelines and into the legal game on SB 4.

Houston is home to according to the Pew Research Center the third largest population of undocumented immigrants in the US behind New York and Los Angeles.

On a 10-6 vote with one abstention in CM Jack Christie, Council voted to join the lawsuit filed by Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, El Paso County, several local governments, and nonprofit organizations in a  consolidated suit against the state of Texas over its racist and unjust SB 4 law that gets a hearing on Monday in San Antonio.

Mayor Sylvester Turner said prior to the vote," This it not an issue of our choosing, but when it ends up on your plate, you have to address it

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Mayor Turner was one of the ten YES votes in addition to Councilmembers Dwight Boykins, Karla Cisneros, Ellen Cohen, Jerry Davis, Amanda Edwards, Robert Gallegos, Larry Green, Mike Laster and David Robinson.

Voting NO in opposition to joining the lawsuit were Councilmembers Mike Knox, Michael Kubosh, Steve Le, Dave Martin, Greg Travis and Brenda Stardig.

It was also laughable to hear the conservative councilmembers hypocritically whine about taking laws you don't like to court when you lose legislatively because that's exactly what they did to stymie implementation of and eventually kill the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance.

The vote came after the majority of the citizens who came to City Hall yesterday to offer five hours of testimony, urged council to join the lawsuit.

SB 4 was recently signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott (R) an allow police if they stop someone to inquire about their immigration status.   It also threatens sheriffs and police chiefs who refuse federal requests to hold immigrants detained for other alleged crimes with jail time and fines for non-compliance with the unjust law.

Unless SB 4 is declared unconstitutional in federal or state court, it will take effect on September 1.

Here's hoping that happens.

The 2017 Shut Up Fool Of The Year Race- Midyear Review

It's June, and as you longtime readers know, every year on New Year's Eve I choose a TransGriot Shut Up Fool  of the Year.

Last year Donald Trump became the first ever repeat winner of the TransGriot Shut Up Fool Awards, and so far may be cruising toward the threepeat.

But there's a long list of contenders for this award and a lot of opportunities between now and December 31 for the fools to reveal themselves.

In my home state, there's Lt. Gov Dan 'Potty Mouth' Patrick, Gov Greg Abbott , Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R), Steven Hotze, Jonathan Saenz, Dave Welch,  state Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr  (DINO) and perennial contender Rep Louie Gohmert (R)

From north of the border is Canadian Sen.  Don Plett

There's also Ted Nugent, Wayne laPierre, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Tucker Carlson, Jeffrey Lord, Omarosa, Ben carson, Betsy DeVos, Sean Spicer, Kellyanne Conway, Susan Sarandon, Bernie Sanders and Caitlyn Jenner.

Will other fools rise to the occasion between now and December 31, 2017?    You can count on it.

I Am Jazz Season 3 Starts June 28

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.Well, y';all know how much I love Jazz Jennings and her mom Jeanette, and had the pleasure of meeting the entire family with the exception of her dad back in 2012.

While I'm not a big fan of reality TV shows, I An Jazz is one of the few that I will watch, and Season 3 of this two time GLAAD Award winning show gets cranked up on June 28.

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Our fave trans teen gets to go on dates, is shown dealing with the trials and tribulations of being a teen, turning 16 and is seen on The Blaze studio set taking on conservative Tomi Lahren.

She also gets some unexpected transition related news that you'll get to see during this season.

So it's almost time to watch all the interesting twists and turns of Jazz's amazing life and it all starts on TLC on June 28  


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Handle Your Election Business, GA 6

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Today is the runoff election in the Georgia 6th Congressional District between Democratic Candidate Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel.

Last month Ossoff just missed winning this congressional seat outright on April 18, getting 48% of the vote to Handel's 18% in a crowded field,  This was a seat that was once held by Newt Gingrich for 20 years and hasn't been held by a Democrat since Jimmy Carter lived in the White House.

And both sides want it badly.   The Democrats want it because it'll put them one seat closet to taking back control of the House in 2018 along with the psychic satisfaction of taking away a seat that once was a GOP bastion.    The Republicans are just as determined to keep it, and that has resulted in both sides spending $56 million in this race.

After all the ads, the campaign stops in the district, the ground games and canvassing for both sides being unleashed, it's all in the hands of the GA 6 voters to decide who gets the seat and momentum toward the 2018 midterm elections as the nation and national news media awaits the results.

So if you live in the GA 6th Congressional District, go handle your electoral business .  This one is extremely close and your vote could decide this election.   You have until 7 PM EDT to cast it, so go do so and take a few friends to the polls with you.

Handle your election business GA 6.

Monday, June 19, 2017

2017 Texas Lege Liberal To Conservative Analysis

Since we're less than 30 days from the start of our Texas Lege Special Oppression Session, time to start doing our homework and preparation for when we finally get to the Pink Dome and see the folks who are really on our side and who are a waste of our valuable time to talk to.

The Texas Tribune recently compiled a left to right political analysis of the Texas House and Texas Senate to find who are our most liberal and conservative legislators in both parties.

It's an analysis that will come in quite handy if you're planning to lobby under the Pink Dome this summer during the upcoming Special Oppression Session that starts July18.

It'll help you peeps who haven't been paying close attention to who these peeps are or where their politics fall.   It also give some of you planning to run for the state House or Senate the ammo you need or confirmation enough of their political orientation to run against some of those Texas legislative and senate peeps in 2018.

So let's start with the Texas Senate.

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In our 31 member senate that has a 20-11 GOP majority, the most liberal member was state Sen. Sylvia Garcia (D-Houston), and the most conservafool, oops conservative was Sen. Van Taylor (R-Plano)

The most conservative Democratic senator was drum roll please, Sen Eddie Lucio, Jr (DINO-Brownsville)  and the least conservative Republican one was Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo)

Moving on to the Texas House

In our 150 member Texas House that has a 94-56 GOP Majority, Rep. Lina Ortega (D-El Paso is the most liberal House member, and the most conservative House member is a tie between Briscoe Cain (R-Deer Park), Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford) and not surprising (Matt Rinaldi (R-Irving)

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All three are members of the twelve member Texas Oppression Freedom Caucus that caused so much trouble in the latter days of the 2017 regular session.

The most conservative Democratic House legislators was a tie between Rep Joe Pickett (D-El Paso) and Ryan Guillen (D-Rio Grande City) and the least conservative state rep was Rep. Sarah Davis (R-Houston)

Davis still pissed off a lot of people in her liberal leaning district with that affirmative SB 4  vote

And it also illustrates why the Republican caucus had some entertaining and contentious intra-party squabbles during that last session, because in effect, they are basically split into two groups, the Centrist Conservatives and the Tea Klux Klan-Movement Conservatives.  

So hope this post was helpful in getting you to understand where the legislative and senate players stand ideologically in advance of July 18.
 

Juneteenth 2017- Moni's Message To My Texas Black Trans Family

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While we fought off anti-trans legislation in our state this time, the transphobes will try it again in 2017, and we need to start preparing now to deal with that.   --TransGriot  June 19, 2015


Today is Juneteenth, the day that Union Major General Gordon Granger read General Order Number 3 that freed all Texas slaves.   For the last several years I have been writing a post aimed at Texas Black transpeople on this emancipation day with undeniable Texas roots.

Don't know why I didn't write my traditional Juneteenth post last year, but I did write 76 posts that month, and it was a presidential election year, so it probably got put on the back burner with all the breaking news that was happening at that time and i never got around to writing it.

But it's a year later, and I made sure this Juneteenth post would happen this year,

We Texas Black transpeople find ourselves on this date having to prep to fight for our humanity and human rights in a Texas Special Oppression Session that starts in four weeks.

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We also are in Black Trans Texas on this Juneteenth mourning the loss of one of San Antonio transsisters in Kenne McFadden, who unfortunately became the 12th transperson we've lost in 2017 to anti-trans violence back in April just before we held the Black Trans Advocacy Conference later that month.

Due to Kenne being misgendered, we only found out about her death two weeks ago.


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But there are positive things I can talk about in terms of another successful BTAC conference in Dallas in which we broke another attendance record and had people from Brazil and Jamaica in attendance in addition to people from Alabama, California, DC, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Tennessee, New York, Washington state, and Wisconsin joining their trans Texas cousins from Dallas, Houston and Austin for our weeklong event

I'd like to see more trans masculine representation from Houston in addition to more of my trans sisters from H-town come to BTAC next year.   We also would like to see more diversity at our Afrocentric event.  The dates for next year's conference are April 23-29, so start saving your money now to be there.

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Because Mama Moni will be ready to defend her domino championship

But beyond BTAC, we need and must continue the work we started in Dallas of continuing to build those connections with each other inside the Lone Star State.  In light of the politically motivated TX GOP attacks on us via SB 6 and HB 2899, that Lone Star Black trans community bonding is needed and necessary

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Something else that is necessary and needs to happen is for our Texas lawmakers, and especially those Black Texas lawmakers to see us walking the PInk Dome, in their Austin and district offices on a regular basis to let them know #TexasBlackTranspeopleExist and care about this state. .

While I know I'm good at it.  I don't want to continue to be one of the few Black trans faces walking the Capitol repping Black trans Texans.  Need some of y'all to step up now or in the next few years to be the leaders you are and I know with every fiber of my being you can and will be.

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We can multitask my Texas Black Trans family.  As we get through this Special Oppression Session and plan for the 2018 BTAC conference, we must be looking toward the future.

We must continue developing our leaders and continue the ongoing process of building working relationships with other trans and SGL groups.

We must continue working in an intersectional manner with other groups across the Lone Star State and the country on their issue concerns.

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We must strive to create a Texas in which our humanity and human rights are respected and protected because our Black trans kids are counting on us as their elders to do so.

We also need the parents of Texas Black trans folks to support their kids, and on our end do what we can to support the Texas Black Mama and Papa Bears when they do step up and out there to tell their stories.

Creating that type of Lone Star State for us may call for Black trans Texans, like our white trans counterparts here and across the country, contemplate running for public office like Althea Garrison did back in 1990.

I said this in the 2015 Juneteenth post, and it bears repeating two years later.

We also need to be as Black trans Texans involved in the life of straight and SGL Black America as well.  We need to show up and handle the community's business on issues of importance to ALL of us as Black Texans and Black Americans.

So up, up you mighty Black trans Texans!  Your community, your state, and your country need you to stand tall and represent.  


And that goes for me as well.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Rainbow Crosswalk Is Up In Houston!

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Just in time for Houston Pride Week is this first in Texas TBGLQ themed crosswalk went up at the corner of Westheimer and Taft streets in the Montrose gayborhood this weekend.

The site of the crosswalk was chosen to honor 21 year old Alex Hill, who was killed at that intersection by a hit and run driver in January 2016.   The traffic light control box is painted with a mural of Alex and his friends with a rainbow sunburst in the background.    

'While this project was initially requested by friends of Alex Hill,  the idea behind the crosswalk is to also honor  the support and friendship many people find in Houston's LGBT community," said Matthew Brollier, a member of the Houston Pride Crosswalk Committee in an OutSmart interview. "Hill's friends join countless Houstonians in encouraging the city to improve safety conditions for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers on its roadways,"

The $15,000 cost of the crosswalks were paid for by Pride Houston and will last for two and a half years.  A permanent rainbow crosswalk will be installed at the intersection when the Lower Westheimer reconstruction project gets completed by the city of Houston.
 

Happy Fathers Day, Papa Bears!

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I talk a lot about the amazing moms of trans kids that have earned the nickname 'Mama Bears' because they are fierce and determined advocates for their trans cubs.

But on this Father's Day, I want to highlight and give a shout out this Father's Day for the Papa Bears, the fathers of trans kids who are just as supportive and just as fiercely protective of their trans offspring as their moms are.

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I met the amazing Wayne Maines at the same time I met Jeanette Jennings, back during the 2012 Philly Trans Health Conference, and through both of them subsequently met their amazing trans daughters.   Every time I have a chance to spend some quality time with Wayne at PTHC, we have some long conversations about a wide range of issues in addition to trans politics.

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Since then I've gotten a chance to meet the Texas Papa Bears.    I've gotten to meet and know Aaron Richie and his family, and Dallas' Frank Gonzales and his family.   I'm looking forward to meeting Greg Lambert in the near future if I haven't done so already.

All three men were standing tall for their kids during the SB 6 and HB 2899 fights, and I bump into Aaron on a regular basis at various events in the Houston area.    

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And yes, there are Black Papa Bears in the person of J.R. Ford, Joseph Ghartey and Chris Neal who support their trans kids and provide them the unconditional love they need to survive and thrive in a hostile at times to trans kids world that is trying to assert despite all the evidence that they shouldn't exist.

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Happy Father's Day Papa Bears!  Thanks for all you do to not only help raise your kids, but in some cases are also sterling leadership examples that we trans elders can admire and follow.