Thursday, August 27, 2015

Tired Of The Black Cis Community Denying Our Humanity

"To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity."
Nelson Mandela

One of the things I'm really getting sick of is people who share my ethnic heritage reciting right wing anti-trans talking points.

The latest example of that comes from the head of the Houston Black Area Democrats (HBAD), Edward Pollard, who is catching heat for their endorsement of HERO hatin' Council Member Michael Kubosh.

I woke up this morning thinking about the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) and was wondering if gender identity is protected as a class, why isn't age identity or race identity protected as well. If a person was was 50 but identified themself as 21 and put that on her job app, shouldn't she be protected too from discrimination? Or what about a college kid who got a scholarship to a public school for being Asian but was really Hispanic, shouldn't he be protected too? What are your thoughts on age and race identity? ‪#‎mondaymorningthoughts‬

WTF?  Let me spell this out for you.  HERO protects from discrimination in 15 categories that include , race , sex, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial status, marital status, military status, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, and pregnancy.

In the cased of discrimination reported to the City of Houston from May 28. 2014 until January 15, 2015, 54% of the complaints were based on race.  17% were gender, 15% age, 4% for disability and national origin,, and 2% veteran's status.  

Where did sexual orientation and gender ID complaints rank?   4% of the complaints the OIG's office received cited that as a factor.

But let's get back to what I really wanted to gripe about in terms of elements of the so call Black community leadership denying the humanity of Black trans Houstonians

But first, need to do a little Trans 101 and explain the concept of gender identity to you, The short version is it's a person's inner sense of being male or female and how they project and express that to the world.   If your gender identity happens to line up neatly with the body you are walking Planet Earth on, and that makes you cisgender.   Mine didn't, and that makes me transgender.  

Gender identity is not, Edward, that jacked up convoluted crap you regurgitated on Monday. 

I'm beyond sick and tired along with Black trans Houstonians of Black cis people reciting a long go debunked right wing talking point.  If you want to know what it's like to walk in my pumps or my Black trans brother's shoes, then ASK us.

Bottom line is for you to stop lying about our lives, and stop denying our humanity.   You can't spell Black lives matter without the 'T', and I and Black trans people around the country are not going to let you forget it.

Houston Trans Vigil

Was honored to participate in a vigil at Hermann Park honoring the lives of the 17 trans women we have lost in 2015.   The vigil was organized by Ashton Woods and in addition to myself being one of the speakers, Dee Dee Watters and Brenda Langer also said a few words along with Woods to close out the event that started at 6 PM and was covered by one local news station.

You can't spell #BlackLivesMatter without the 'T", and my short speech was geared toward  reminding people about that simple fact.   I also reminded people that those who wish to deny our human rights, like our HERO hatin' opponents, are denying our very humanity.

I also called out the Houston media for lying about transpeople and peddling that debunked bathroom lie and expressed my fears  that the anti-trans negativity being sowed by the faith based oppressors may manifest itself into anti-trans violence aimed at Houston trans people

I also reminded people that we are still trying to get a WH petition calling for a federal investigation of the anti-trans violence leading to our murders to the 100K mark.  It is as of this writing well short of the 100K signatures it needs by September 9, and this is a short term way to show support for the trans communities of color..

We closed it out by saying the names of the 17 trans women murdered before going back to our lives and hoping that our allies in attendance do their part to help squash anti-trans rhetoric and disinformation in their influence circles. .

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Maybe If...

Guest Post by Vanessa Victoria.   This was originally on her Facebook page, and it needed to be shared and signal boosted.

Maybe if…
Maybe if every man who has ever hired a trans escort, if every boy who has ever beat off to trans porn, if the millions who fetishize our bodies, who press us against hotel windows, who lay with us in our beds, if the men who adore me and my sisters, but only behind closed doors, would STAND THE FUCK UP AND SPEAK OUT…maybe 17 Transgender Women, wouldn't have gotten murdered in 2015.
Maybe if all of you who read this, our allies and friends and colleagues and family, would call out when others make jokes at our expense, even when we’re not around, if you’d tell advertisers and producers and journalists and writers and comics that you’re not okay with them making trans women nothing but the punchline of jokes or tragic tossaways, that you know us, that we’re not disposable….maybe groups of people would stop feeling so free to harass me and my sisters, maybe crowds wouldn’t just laugh when a man spits at me, or just watch when two young men chase me down the street yelling “shemale”…maybe if you ALL stood up and said enough, maybe a young woman just being herself wouldn’t be beat to death in the streets of the supposedly best place on earth to just be yourself.

Maybe if all the gay men who act as if equality means marriage, if all the white feminists who only serve those that look like them, if all the queers who drop “TWOC” like a shibboleth but don’t know or talk to or walk beside any actual trans women of color…maybe if all of you saw what was happening here and how your actions allow it, how every moment of silence, of waiting for people of color to start the conversation about race …maybe these women could have enjoyed a few more years of being beautiful among us.
It happened because our men won’t admit they love us, because our friends aren’t speaking out against the thousand little dehumanizing actions of others, because our own “LGBT” community isn’t comfortable talking about race and class.

Ask A Trans Attracted Man: Trans Murders

Been a while since I've had a video up from Troy, and in this one he's commenting on the far too frequent murders of Black trans women.

You can check out Troy's other videos on his YouTube channel.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Upcoming Must See Trans TV- The 'Transgender In America' Show On HLN

I'd talked about it in terms of the O'Bannon women being on this show, and now the preview videos are finally coming out.

On August 26 and 27 HLN's  Dr Drew show will be broadcasting over two nights a Transgender In America show in front of an all-trans audience starting at 8 PM CDT.

You may wish to set your DVR's for this one, and here's the preview video of the upcoming broacast .

Once again, the Transgender In America show will be broadcast on HLN, and I'm looking forward to seeing what people I know show up not only as the guests on the show, but in the studio audience.,

Why Is This Trans WH Petition Lagging In Getting The Necessary 100K Signatures?

When a White House petition posted on January 3 in honor of the departed Leelah Alcorn called for the passage of Leelah's Law to ban all conversion therapy aimed at TBLG Americans, it easily garnered its over 100,000 signatures, and got a WH response from Valerie Jarrett

Now we have a Fran Watson created White House petition posted on August 10 calling for the federal government to investigate the anti-trans violence that leads to the unacceptable slaughter of trans women of color.  

And how close are we to hitting that 100,000 signature threshold that we need to reach by September 10?   As of this writing, it has only 4735 signatures, well short of the number needed.

Ii this signature rate doesn't ramp up soon, we are probably NOT going to hit that 100,000 signature target required by September 10 to get an official White House response on this .

 And that's irritating and depressing to the trans communities of color reeling from the off the charts murders and anti-trans rhetoric being aimed at us.   I have no doubts if the racial composition of the trans murder victims was switched, and it was overwhelmingly white trans women under 30 being eviscerated, this would be 'State of Emergency' news and we would have already hit that signature target.

But since its predominately Black and Latina trans women, note it's now August 25 and we haven't even gotten to 50,000 signatures, much less 10,000.

This disappointing response is sending us in Trans POC World and our allies the unmistakable impression that All Trans Lives Don't Matter, and that the lives of the 17 murdered trans women of color we've lost in 2015 don't matter as much as one non-POC teen that committed suicide.  

The differing signature rates between the WH Leelah's Law petition and the current one aimed at trying to get action on a trans issue that overwhelmingly affects trans women of color is striking and a problematic look.  

So come on trans community and allies.  How about you showing as much love for murdered non-white trans women as you did for Leelah Alcorn earlier this year?  Black Lives Matter, how about you 
encouraging people to sign this WH petition?    Where you at NAACP?  Congressional Black Caucus?

Sign it and share it...Talk this petition up and also get people to understand why this is important to get 100K signatures for it so we can hit and exceed the signature target before that September 10 deadline. 

The clock's ticking.

JCPS Finally Passes Trans Policy Expansion!

Last night some old Louisville human rights business I'd been working on since 2007 and had to unhappily leave undone when I moved in 2010 was finally completed!

By a nearly unanimous 6-1 vote, the Jefferson County Public School Board in Louisville voted to expand the JCPS  anti-harassment and non discrimination policies to includes  added gender identity and expression to the district's non discrimination and anti-bullying policies.

And the wonderful Bluegrass State news news had me doing the happy dance deep in the heart of Southeast Texas.

It was a process that Mike Slaton and I along with a team of people had been fighting for back in 2007, and I was bitterly disappointed when the gender identity and expression language was cut in favor of adding sexual orientation only

JCPS is Kentucky's largest school district, with 101,000+ students, 172 schools, and 6,400+ teachers, With this near unanimous vote, JCPS becomes only the second school district in the state to add gender identity to its non-discrimination and bullying and harassment policies.

The Fayette County Public School Board in Lexington approved a similar policy in July 2012.

As Metro Louisville Human Relations Commissioner Dawn Wilson said in a statement on her Facebook page," Tonight, the ghost of 2007 was finally laid to rest.  No outside opposition. Room supportive. As the education chair of the Louisville Human Relations Commission I applaud the JCPS board for passing 6-1 gender ID and expression to the school policy!

The chair of GLSEN Bluegrass was also pleased with what transpired at the Van Hoose Education Center last night.
“We are pleased to see JCPS pass this policy and join Fayette County as the only two school districts in the state with fully inclusive policies that protect students regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity,” said Zoey Peach, chair of GLSEN Bluegrass. “With the knowledge that they are protected from bullying and discrimination, these policies will ensure a safe and affirming school climate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students in these schools.” 

And I'm happy for the trans JCPS students and employees the expansion of this policy will protect. . 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Trans Class of 2016, Have A Wonderful School Year!

Seeing the pictures of my niece and other kids dressed for school on my Facebook feed reminded me that the 2015-16 school year has started.   Students across the country have either started their schooling like my niece, are moving to the next levels like middle school, high school or college or in grad schools.

Among the students headed to our nation's schools, colleges and universities are trans students.  

As always, if peeps try to give you problems about your trans status in the school setting, there are organizations like GLSEN, Lambda Legal and the ACLU will be standing by along with local activists to ensure  your right to be you, participate in school activities and events while working toward completing your education.

I and your trans elders are proud of you members of the Trans Class of 2016, and know that over time, you will do amazing things that will continue to justify our faith in investing in your success.  

I know there are some of you who will make some trans history along the way, while others will impress and inspire us with your determination to fight for your human rights.

Hope you will have a wonderful, drama free school year and have the opportunity to have fun, make new friends and get your learn on.

TransGriot Note: Young lady in the photo is Canadian trans kid Tracey Wilson 

The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Logo Revealed

2020 Summer Olympics logo.svg
While we are still counting down toward the start of the 2016 Rio Games next year, we already know what city will be hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics.

It's Tokyo, and the Games of the XXXII Olympiad will take place from July 24 to August 9

The countdown to the 2020 Games will begin when Rio's mayor during the closing ceremonies  for next yer's games hands off the Antwerp Olympic flag to Tokyo's mayor, and in preparation for hosting the games for the second time since 1964, the 2020 games logo has been released

It was created by award winning designer Kenjiro Sato with the goal of symbolizing the unifying power of the Games.   It is based on a stylized letter ;T', which is the first letter in the words, Tokyo, Tomorrow and Team.

The black color of the central column of the stylized 'T' represents diversity.  The red color in the circle represents the power of every beating heart, in addition to representing the rising sun at the center of the Japanese national flag.

While the emblem has gotten some mixed reviews since it was unveiled at a public event in Tokyo on July 24, five years before the date of the opening ceremonies of the Games.  While some have criticized it, others have praised it, and the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee likes it.

But the logo unveiling is just another reminder that we'll soon be enjoying Summer Olympics action on less than a year, and the chatter about Rio Olympic favorites will only get louder over the next few months.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Moving Again.....

Survey for Women – My Escape from Blackistan
Moni's in the process of moving to a new place this weekend, so I'll probably be offline for most of the weekend.

Since I never really unpacked most of my stuff from the last move July 1,  shouldn't take me as long to get set up in the new place.   Once I get my computer access back up, I can start posting thing with the goal of having everything back to normal by Monday.

See y'all on the 24th unless we have something happening this  weekend that compels me to whip out the tablet and compile a quick post commenting on it.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Shut Up Fool Awards- Leaving Casa De Slumlord Edition

After a few weeks of unhappy living at a place that was less than satisfactory and dealing with a landlord  unwilling to fix the problems like  no electricity in the three bedrooms and half the living room, but still wanting their rent on time, (you know what my answer to that was) ,me and my lovely roommate are saying goodbye and good riddance to this abominable abode at 7881 Gallahad St  and moving on up to better digs.

And it doesn't look as nice as it does in this picture,

Note to old landlord:  Never piss off a blogger.  All you had to do was pick up your phone instead of ducking and dodging us since July 8 and we could have settled this lemon situation,

Our new place will be in a nicer neighborhood and ours for the next six months.  Dee Dee and I already eyeballed it two weeks ago, and if we like life in it we'll happily extend the lease for a little while longer.

Both of us are just ready to turn this lemon situation around and have some stability in our housing situations so we can go about doing the work of the community and living our lives.

But first things first is moving the hell up out of here.   And while me and Dee Dee are handling that business, I'm well aware of the fact it's Friday, so y'all can peruse this week's edition of the TransGriot Shut Up Fool Awards as I get my move on.

Honorable mention number one is a group award to the Houston media, for continuing to slime the HERO as a 'gay rights ordinace.

Honorable mention number two is a group award for One Million Moms, which is a conservafool white male run group that is getting this callout for daring to slime my little sis Jazz Jennings.

Honorable mention number three is Andrea Lafferty, who said that parent who allow their children to transition are 'committing the ultimate form of child abuse'

Naw it's forcing your child to grow us as a right wing conservative Christian....but I digress.

Honorable mention number four is Donald Trump, who commented that the two brothers who beat up and urinated on a homeless Latino man in his name 'want America to be great again'.

And what would make America great again is you zipping your lying lips and going to Bosley's to get a hair replacement.

Honorable mention number five is Creflo Dollar.   He's still whining about his plan to get his flock to buy him a $65 million dollar jet getting roasted on Black Twitter and everywhere else in the media. So this wannabee Rev. Ike is trying to gaslight his congregation into buying him a jet and claiming his critics don't 'understand God or the Bible."

Oh I understand God and the Bible quite well, Dollar Bill Creflo.   Show me what part of the Bible that has a scripture that reads, "The flock shalt buy thine minister a new jet."

Honorable mention number six is  Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller (R) who exhibited Proven Conservative Racist Leadership by suggesting that nukes are the solution to dealing with Muslim terrorists

This week's Shut Up Fool Winner is Jan Mickleson.    The Iowa conservative radio talker opened his mouth and something racist came out of it.

He suggested on his radio show that Latino undocumented immigrant not only self deport, but the ones that remained be used as 'wards of the state' to and used as lave labor to build that Mexican border fence the conservafools are so fixated on.

Y'all keep proving every thing you peeps flap your gums that you not only want to repeal the 20th Century, but you wish to bring back slavery.

You also keep proving to the world that the only people that matter to the GOP and the conservative movement are other white conservative males.

Jan Mickleson, shut up fool!

Trans Women. Stop Hatin' On Your Trans Sisters

In a time in which trans women are being killed at record rates and we trans people are fighting for recognition of our humanity,  our human rights are under assault from haters who are using the legislative process to try to criminalize our trans lives, haters like the TERFs are attacking us because they are let's be real, straight up evil vanillacentric privileged wenches, and the conservative moment because they need somebody new to hate on after their catastrophic loss on marriage equality ,one of the things that pisses me off is when I see it is elements of the trans community hating on other trans sisters.

And it needs to stop

So what is hatin' , for the context of discussion in this post? 

*Hatin' is when you disparage another sister for no reason other than because you're jealous of her.

Hatin' is when you engage in non-constructive criticism or throw unwanted and unjustified shady comments at your trans sister 

*Hatin' is deliberately outing her and putting her in a potentially dangerous situation in which she could be assaulted or killed.

*Hatin' is any action on your part specifically designed to negatively impact her life like outing her at her job to a boss or co-worker that you know is transphobic and you are aware of the fact she is low to know she is low to non -disclosed about her trans status on that job.

*Hatin' is colluding with the enemies of the trans community like conservafools and TERFs to impede the human rights progress of the trans community for your personal gain, comfort or you just wanna be a nekulturny azzhole...
There are many of my sisters who are successful, accomplished women and they look damned fly when handling their business.  To borrow the line from Melissa De Souza's Shelby character in the movie The Best Man Holiday, 'Don't hate, emulate'

When I see see my sisters at a White House event, Eden Lane on CNN, Janet Mock on MSNBC guest hosting the Melissa Harris-Perry Show, Laverne Cox's face on ESSENCE and other magazines, Geena Rocero and Isis King strutting down catwalks, Jazz and her family on TLC, Ruby Corado running her now three year old center in DC, Angelica Ross handling her TransTech business, Precious Davis searching for the perfect wedding dress as she and her fiance Myles role model what Black trans folks in love with each other looks like, and Nikki Araguz Loyd and her business partner Meagan Gillett stylishly handling her Gallery Girls business, why should I be hatin' on that? 

There are many trans women in this community that  I admire and look up to for many reasons   All of us are beautiful and have qualities that make us so.  The women I admire and look up to them not only for their beauty, their intelligence, their creative talents, their trailblazing leadership qualities, their on  fleek sense of style,  or some combination of all of the above, they also add into that mix of qualities being genuinely good people  . 

I see these women, some of who I am proud to call my friends, what they have
accomplished, and I'm inspired to step up my own personal game.  Instead of hatin' you should be taking notes and trying to replicate what she did to arrive at that point of succuss you are so green with envy about.  

Is it your trans sister's fault if she hit the genetic lottery and her family DNA hormones were extremely good to her? Or she busted her ass to get her education?  She has amazing music talent that she has worked hard to hone?  That she has a significant other who loves her?   That she she's working in a nice job?  

#StopTheShade because frankly, in this critical moment for our community,  we don't need trans sisters hatin' on each other.  We have more than enough cis folks out there ready and willing to line up to not only hate on  us and challenge our very humanity, but who are willing to take that hatred to the next level and oppress and kill us.

We also have serious human rights work ahead of us that will take all of us working as a unified team doing different tasks to make real the promises of democracy for transkind.

So keep that in mind the next time you wish to pop the top on that Haterade and spit it back out at another trans sister.  .

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Been Nominated For 2015 OutSmart Reader's Choice Awards

Was surprised to learn that in the latest edition of the OutSmart Gayest and Greatest Readers Choice Awards has started the online voting process yesterday and will run until September 5.

In 2014 I won two of the Reader's Choice Awards  in the Favorite Blogger (Female) and Favorite  Tweeter (Female).categories and was a finalist for the Most Prominent LGBT Female Activist award. 

In 2015 I was nominated in three categories:
Favorite LGBT Blogger
Favorite Female Community Hero
Most Prominent Female LGBT Activist 

While I deeply appreciate those nominations, especially the second consecutive nomination in the Most Prominent Female LGBT Activist category,  just curious as to why I didn't get one for Best LGBT Local Blog and why no trans, bi or lesbian woman was nominated in the Best LGBT Tweeter category despite many of us having very active twitter accounts?

I guess that's why they have write in voting in all the categories in question.

Congrats to everyone who was nominated, and just an FYI you can vote once a day until the September 5 closing date.   You don't have to be a Houston resident either, just register and you're good to go.

Here's the link to vote in the 2015 OutSmart Gayest and Greatest Reader's Choice Awards.

You can also vote early and often once per day until voting closes on September 5.

The Black Trans Visibility Conundrum

At this August 2015 date in Black trans history we are in the best of times and also the worst of times.  We have had unprecedented visibility in thanks to Janet Mock,  Laverne Cox and other veteran and emerging African American trans masculine and transfeminine leaders.  

There is Isis King and Arisce Wanzer following in the trailblazing footsteps of Tracy Africa Norman and repping us in the modeling world..Laverne Cox continues her Sophia Burset role on Orange Is The New Black while adding to an impressive list of magazine covers, getting attention and buzz about playing other roles and possible network show pilots and having groundbreaking things happen for her like becoming the first ever trans person to have a wax figure of themselves at Madame Tussaud's

Speaking of movies, we have documentary films in production profiling the lives of Miss major and Marsha P. Johnson.   Fallon Fox is in the women's MMA ranks kicking butt with a 5-1 record while also being featured in the Game Face documentary and a voice for trans inclusion inside and outside the sporting world as Black trans feminine trailblazers do their thing in other fields like Angelica Ross, Breanna Sinclaire and Tona Brown

The unprecedented visibility of Black trans women even extends in the entertainment world, with a groundbreaking Bold and the Beautiful soap opera storyline that features Maya Avant, a major character on the long running CBS soap played by cis actress Karla Mosley, being revealed as a trans woman in March.  .We have gotten to see since then the issues of that revelation not only affect Forrester Creations and her relationship with Rick, but for the first time see how this plays out in a Black family. 

Even our trans brothers are finally getting their long overdue time in the spotlight, with people like BTAC founder Carter Brown, Jevon Martin, Rev Lawrence T. Richardson, Kylar Broadus, Dr. Kai Greene, Dr. Van Bailey, and entrepreneurs like Dr Kortney Ziegler representing us in the tech world.

But the increased visibility has come with a price.   Last week we had an historically unprecedented situation in which five Black trans women across the country under age 35 lost their lives, three of them were announced on the same heartbreaking day.   Far too often and the people doing the killing are in many cases other cis African-Americans as our legacy organizations are cricket chirping silent about it..

And that needs to stop. Hey NAACP, Congressional Black Caucus and the Urban League,   #BlackTransLivesMatter, too.. 

We have ministers preaching anti-trans hate from their pulpits at the behest of white right wing fundamentalists and anti-LGBT activists that is deleteriously affecting us and translating into far too many of us drying so these sellouts can build conservative street cred.

That  sets up a conundrum for Black trans people and our cis allies to ponder.  While the increased visibility for Black trans people has been a mixed bag, it's also necessary to advance our trans human rights struggle.

We must have people willing to be visible and busting stereotypes while others continuously agitate for the systemic change we need.   We can't do that while hiding or suffering in silence.  Because the trans narrative has been framed from a vanillacentric perspective, we Black trans people need to be visible in order to break down the lies and stereotypes about us that have been spread in far too many quarters of the Black community.   Those lies and stereotypes have the deleterious effect of feeding the transphobia that leads to the anti-trans violence that kills us.

We've gone through tough times before, and we will get through them again.  We Black trans people have always been visionary leaders at the forefront of change for our people, and that pattern is no different in the second decade of the 21st century.  We have much to contribute to the Black community if just given the opportunity to do so.

The question is how soon will our people give us that chance to prove it/