Friday, July 20, 2018

Keisha Wells Case Update

A woman is the second transgender woman killed in Cleveland in four months.
We have an update in the Keisha Wells murder case in Cleveland.

Wells was found dead in an apartment building  parking lot at 7 AM EDT from a gunshot wound to the abdomen back on June 24.   She had gone to a local bar called Cocktails that evening in Cleveland's Cudell neighborhood.

Eleven shell casings along with a leopard print shoe, a wig and a sweatshirt were also recovered at the scene. 

The person arrested was 27 year old James Butler, a homeless man who helped the shooter move Wells' body from his car, dump it after she was killed and clean the shooter's car.   Butler subsequently told his mother about the crime, and Butler's mother called Cleveland PD to report it.

Butler has been charged with complicity with aggravated murder, and an arrest warrant was issued for him on June 27. 

They are still looking for the shooter in the Wells case, and hopefully once Butler is in police custody, he can give CPD the info they need that will result to the capture and prosecution of the shooter who killed Keisha Wells.. 

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Number 15- Rest In Peace Sasha Garden

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Sadly I have another trans murder to report.  We head to Orlando, FL for the latest trans person to join the ancestors too soon

The latest person we will be memorializing in November is 27 year old Sasha Garden.   Her Facebook page states that she is from Milwaukee, WI.

And yeah, as you probably guessed, Sasha was deadnamed and horribly disrespected by the local Orlando media and WFTV 9 reporters Ty  Russell and Kevin Williams.   

Read, watch and learn Orlando media, Ty Russell and Kevin Williams, on how to properly and RESPECTFULLY cover a trans person's murder.

We Black trans women are beyond sick and tired of being sick and tired of 'being disrespected in life and in death.

Her body was found at approximately 5 AM EDT behind the Reserve at Lake Buchanan Apartments located at Rio Grande and Holden Ave just east of Orange Blossom Trail.  Orange County Sheriff's Department investigators are presuming she didn't live in the complex where her body was found. 

Coroners arrived on the scene at approximately 8:45 AM as Orange County sheriffs began to canvass the area for information.

Garden is the 15th trans person killed in the US this year, and the ninth African American trans and GNC person we have lost to anti-trans violence in 2018. 

I'm going to say it again because I'm really angry about it right now.

Sasha's Black trans life mattered.  I and my Black trans siblings are getting really sick of media disrespect of dead Black trans women.  It pisses me off even more when it comes from my own people

Rant over, back to the post

This is an active investigation, so if you have information that will lead to the arrest, conviction and incarceration of her killer, you are asked to call OCSD at 407- 254-7000

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I'll call out the jacked up reporting later.   As of his moment no word from my Orlando area trans family of a vigil or memorial service, but will pass that info along once I receive it.

Rest in power and peace, Sasha.  Your life was taken away from us way too soon.  Your trans family will not rest until the waste of DNA who committed this crime is brought to justice . 

Pose Gets Renewed For A Second Season!

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We're not quite done with Season 1 of the FX series Pose that has trans actor,s writers and producers, but we do know that we will have more episodes of it to watch when this current 12 show run is over.

This show set in the late 1980's is earning tens across the board from the ballroom community, people who watch the show and television critics .

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It also gets a TransGriot high five as well for the accuracy in telling our trans stories   Some of these episodes have hit extremely close to home as I've sat down to watch them
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Pose was picked up by FX for a second season that will start in 2019. 

Congratulations to this groundbreaking series that has five trans main characters played by MJ Rodriguez, Dominique Jackson, Indya Moore, Hailie Sahar and Angelica Ross, trans writers in Our Lady J, choreography by Leiomy Maldonado and a trans producer in Janet Mock.

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Even better, we get to see some of our trans actors pop up in guest roles like Trace Lysette did in a recent episode.   Leiomy Maldonado also popped up with a guest appearance in an early episode

For those of you who have cable, you can check Pose out either on demand or on Sundays on FX at 8 PM CDT.
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I'm also looking forward to seeing what happens between the Houses of Evangelista, Abundance and Ferocity.   I'm also looking forward to watching the evolution of all my fave characters on this groundbreaking show.

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This is #MustSeeTransTV, so keep supporting Pose, give the actors some love, and thank FX for giving it a broadcast home through 2019.

Why The Lack Of TransGriot Posts? - Life

If you regular readers have noticed, I haven't been posting much on TransGriot lately for a good reason.  Life got in the way for the last two months

I had to find a new place to live at the end of May, and I hate moving to the point where the thought of it literally depresses and overwhelms me.  But knowing I had to handle my moving business combined with Dee Dee Watters gently nudging this Taurus into action got me out of it and on task.

I spent much of the month of June searching for a new place.  I finally found one with the help of an apartment locator I liked, signed the lease and moved on July 6. 

While searching for that new Casa Moni, it necessitated me moving around a lot during the month of June while engaged in that apartment search.  I was trying to find a place that fit my budget and my move parameters of being near public transportation and not near a known Houston flood zone.

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The luxury apartments have been springing up like weeds over the last few years all over the Houston area and especially inside Loop 610 were not on my list at this time.

I would have rather found a spot inside the Loop, but those peeps frantically building the luxury units seem to have forgotten that many people  can't afford to spend $1000-$1500 a month or more for a one bedroom place no matter how many mind blowing amenities are crammed into these inside the Loop units in prime locations.

It's also seems to be a primal reaction that when you have instability in your housing situation, nothing else matters until you get that satisfactorily resolved, and that's the headspace I've been in since late May.

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So while I was looking outside the Loop and in some cases Beltway 8 for a new place, two different Galleria area Air BnB's were my temporary homes.  I also ended up in two westside hotels when a glitch developed with the start of my electric service that kept me from moving into my new place on July 1. 

One of the moves to a hotel happened mere hours after I returned to Houston from the BTAC Leadership Institute in New Orleans.

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So yep, been dealing with life throwing curveballs at me for the last month.   While I was blessed to be able to have people looking out for me and be able to stay in a Air BnB while looking for a new spot, I was well aware of other people who may not have been so fortunate, and I'm profoundly thankful for that blessing. 

And while I was in the second Air BnB, discovered a wonderful seafood place across the street from while I was staying at the one on Fountain View.

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Once I finally moved into my new place in Houston's Westchase area, it was not only getting acclimated to a new neighborhood, but moving stuff from my storage space  near downtown Houston.   That is a task I'm still trying to complete as of this writing.  It was choosing an electric company, then setting up electric service.   Same for which cable service I would be watching in my new place.

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I had help from many people along the way.  From the Houston community peeps who helped me move stuff out of my storage space to everyone here and around the country who bought me housewarming gifts on my registry I have put to good use.   A few even dropped some change on my PayPal to help me with moving expenses.

I thank you all for what you have done (and continue to do) to help a sister out.

Now that I have a 14 month lease on this place, I can put down some roots and go back to focusing on giving TransGriot the attention it deserves and engaging in some activist stuff.

Frankly, moving every six months as I have been doing since October 2014 was getting frustrating, and contributing to my reluctance to get involved in more community actions .   I'm also looking forward to meeting my neighbors and exploring this new neighborhood.

So if you've been wondering why I haven't been publishing on my usual daily schedule, now you know.   Life got in the way.

Karen Kendra Holmes TedX Talk

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Karen Kendra Holmes is a safety office for the federal government, serves in the Maryland National Guard and is one of our award winning advocates. 

She was named in 2017 as one of the 'Top 50 Transgender Americans You Need To Know', and BTAC honored her with the Monica Roberts Advocacy Award that same year.

This is her TedX talk entitled '40 Years and Wandering No More'


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Happy 100th Birthday Nelson Mandela!

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"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others' 
-Nelson Mandela 

Today would have been the 100th birthday of former South African president and human rights warrior Nelson Mandela, who died December 5, 2013 at age 95. 

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You TransGriot readers are probably aware of his remarkable life story.   His fight against an unjust and racist apartheid system that led to him being imprisoned for 27 years of his life before being released in 1990.   He became the first Black president of South Africa in 1994 and served until 1999. 

And he was admired and respected around the world.  While he would humbly say "I was not a messiah, but an ordinary man who had become a leader because of extraordinary circumstances ", the rest of the world saw him as a global icon and a leader in the same territory as the Rev Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and Mahatma Gandhi.

We sill have his words to peruse, do some hard solid thinking about, and most importantly live by, especially on this day.  .        

Another Frustrating Day With The Texas DPS

One of the things I have not been happy about since I came back home is the Texas Department of Public Safety (our Texas state troopers) consolidating offices into this mega center concept and putting them far off the beaten METRO path in the 'burbs or a long bus ride from the hood and barrio.

Had another negative experience with the DPS yesterday.

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Since I've recently moved, I now have 30 days to update my Texas ID to the new Westchase area address.  I set yesterday aside to accomplish that task.   The nearest DPS Mega Center to me is six miles away from my new digs on S. Gessner, about 15 minutes by car but an hour by METRO bus. 

Interestingly enough, that Mega Center, which has lots of nonwhite folks using it because of the composition of the nearby surrounding neighborhoods, is closed for a renovation that started May 24 and is scheduled for completion November 30. 

The S Gessner location is also considered one of the busiest in the state of Texas. The other Mega Center is even farther north (12.9 miles) on Veterans Memorial, and two I won't be able to access near The Woodlands, and in Rosenberg in Fort Bend County. 

That leaves on the METRO bus accessible list the DPS Dacoma office in NW Houston near Northwest Mall and one that just opened off Old Galveston Rd 22 miles on the far southeast side of town from moi.   I'm having to go in person to do the address change because I don't have a printer right now in order to do so online. 

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So after getting up early Monday morning in order to catch three buses to get to the Dacoma location, I get off  at the stop for the DPS office to see a line wrapped three quarters of the way around the building just to enter it.   Needless to say the heat index for Houston that say was predicted to reach triple digits and it was close to noon when I got there.

So after resigning myself to a long wait, I got in line.   I was there about ten minutes when three DPS employees came out to ask if anyone was in line for renewals or to get a new license.

I told the employees I was there for a change of address, to which she responded "We don't do those at this location, you have to go to a MegaCenter." 

I responded, "That would have been nice to know before I took three buses to get to this location."

She then handed me a flyer with the addresses of the two Mega Centers that that I already knew were light years in bus travel time from my current location in NW Houston, so since I had other things to try to accomplish I headed in the direction of my bank branch in the Galleria area cursing my buzzard's luck and once again dealing with the impact of the voter suppression apparatus that DPS Mega Centers are part of. 

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Past time the DPS puts one of those Drivers License Mega Centers closer to downtown well inside the city limits of our major cities instead of near the freaking 'burbs.  But then again it would defeat the Texas GOP  purpose of putting a roadblock in being able to use the Motor Voter Law to be able to register to vote.

Trust I will get it done.  But right now I'm pissed that i couldn't get it done yesterday when I had set time aside to accomplish that task.   

Thursday, July 12, 2018

2018 Williams Watch - Serena's In The 'Williamsdon' Ladies Finals

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Serena Williams so far is having a wonderful business trip to London.   Because of a jacked up WTA rule, she lost her world number one ranking while she was on maternity leave and started ranked 453 in the world. 

After the French Open, whose organizers declined to exercise their prerogative to assign her a seed, she stormed her way to the fourth round at Roland Garros before she had to withdraw because of a muscle injury in her serving arm.  .

Williams was given a number 25 seed by Wimbledon tournament organizers that appears to be at this point way too low.  They forgot that the All England Club since 2000 has been hers and Venus' personal tennis playground, and she's proven it so far. that she's probably back at her Serena level A+ game.

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Considering the way she's playing at the moment, she might be back as the world's number one ranked player by the time the US Open happens, and hopefully after Saturday, in possession of another Venus (Williams) Rosewater Dish. 

She's won her 20th consecutive match at Wimbledon and is in her 10th Wimbledon ladies final after beating Camila Giorgi of Italy in three sets on Monday and Julia Goerges of Germany.   

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Serena in that match dropped the first set in that quarterfinal match to Giorgi,,but came storming back to post a 3-6, 6-3,6-4 win to punch her ticket to the semifinals to face the 13th seeded Goerges.

Goerges looked like at the start that she was going to hang with Little Sis, but with the first set tied at 2-2, Serena won the next four games to close out the first set. 

The second set had the same pattern.  Goerges was tied at 2-2, then stepped it up to Serena A+ level to take a 5-3 lead and have the opportunity to close it out on her serve. 

The best match closer in the tennis business failed to do that.  Williams went down in this game 0-40, got it back to 30-40 before a wicked Goerges crosscourt forehand handcuffed her for the service break that Goerges needed to get back to 4-5 with a chance to tie the set.

Goerges promptly handed that service break back to Serena, going down 0-40 and setting Little Sis up with three match points.  This time The Closer handled her business and finished off this game and the match in 1 hour and 30 minutes, 6-2, 6-4.

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Serena faces Angelique Kerber in the Saturday ladies singles final, who she has a 6-2 record against.   
Williams is not only attempting to capture her eight Wimbledon title, she's also trying to become only the fourth mom to win a Grand Slam tournament.

And yeah, should she handle her business against Kerber, it would be Williams' 24th career Grand Slam title, which would tie her Margaret Court's homophobic behind.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Hell Naw, We're Not Gonna Be Nice To Y'all!

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Republicans, did you fools think you were going to be able to oppress, disrespect and abuse the human rights and humanity of people and they were just going to take it?

Y'all been watching too much FOX Noise.  It was just a matter of time before people got tired of your antics and started pushing back. 

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You conservafools had it coming.  Frankly, I'm surprised it took this long.   But then again, stuff don't start happening until white peeps start feeling the GOP pain that non-white peeps have been dealing with for decades.

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So yes, it warms the cockles of my yellow dog Democratic liberal heart to see Mitch McConnell getting protested everywhere he goes in Louisville.  Racist Stephen Miller getting flipped the bird.  Steve Bannon getting called out. and Sarah Suckabee Sanders getting a taste of what she supported happening for LGBT people in terms of recently being denied service at a restaurant, and Trump administration staffers not being able to buy a date.

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And naw Tomi Lahren, you can stop trying to lie on Rep Maxine Waters.   Your Propaganda Barbie azz got water thrown in your face in that Minneapolis two months ago.

The bottom line is that you conservafools have been doing this for decades to abortion doctors and anyone else y'all didn't like, and now that we're treating you the way you have been treating us, you want to call for 'civility'.

Civility?   Frack civility.   You didn't care about civility during the eight years of the Obama administration when you were calling him and his family everything but a child of God. 

You've done the same thing to Hillary Clinton since the 90's, and come to think of it, you attacked Bill Clinton and their daughter Chelsea since her teen years. |

Don't make Moni start pulling receipts to show the people the many ways you conservafools have sinned and are now whining about it. 

You conservafools are political bullies. The only way to deal with bullies and get them to leave you alone is to punch them in the ballot box nose on November 6..

Make them fell the political pain of losing the US house,Senate, state legislatures and eventually the White House.  SCOTUS we'll have to fix later.

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So cry all you want in conservative media about how mean the liberals are being to you conservsnowflakes.    This is past due payback for previous sins.

And hell naw we're not obligated to be nice to people who are gleefully trampling on our civil and human rights and think we're supposed to just sit in the corner and cry about the abuse.

No democracy, no peace to GOP oppressors.

2018 Williams Watch- It's "Williamsdon' Time!

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The third major on the professional tennis Grand Slam calendar started on July 2.  It is one that my fave tennis playing siblings have dominated so thoroughly since they joined the tour in 1999 that I call it 'Williamsdon'.

Venus and Serena Williams domination of this tournament is so awesome that during the 2000's, the only times someone not named Williams won Wimbledon in this decade was in 2004 and 2006.

Maria Sharapova Sharadopa upset Serena in the 2004 Wimbledon final, and Amelie Mauresmo beat Justine Henin in 2006 after Venus was upset in the third round and Serena was sidelined with a knee injury.

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Four times during the 2000's, the Williams sisters played each other for the Venus (Williams) Rosewater Dish in 2002, 2003, 2008 and 2009.

They even won Olympic gold in singles (Serena) and doubles during the 2012 London Games on those same All England Club grass courts

This latest edition of The Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club found Serena seeded 25th and big sis Venus entering this tournament seeded ninth..

Five time champ Venus started this edition of Wimbledon trying to repeat her run to the 2017 Wimbledon finals.  She started a troubling pattern in her opening round match with Johanna Larsson of Sweden in which she would drop her first set, then come storming back to win the match. 

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In her match versus Larsson, Big Sis dropped the first set in a tiebreaker 6-7 (3-7), then took the next two by 6-2 and 6-1 scores  to get to the second round match with Romania's Alexandra Dulgheru.   Once again, Venus dropped the first set 4-6, then came storming back to win the next two by 6-0 and 6-1 scores.

But sooner or later, playing three set matches and doing it the way Big Sis was will catch up with you against a better player, and it did in the third round against 20th seeded Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands.

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Venus once again dropped the first set in this match 2-6, then took the second set in a tiebreaker 7-6 (7-5).. She dropped the third set and the match 6-8 to exit the tournament.

She wasn't the only seeded player to have problems at the All England Club   Ten seeded players went out in the first round.  One of those peeps who had to sashay away from Centre Court in the first round was (heh heh heh) Maria Sharapova. 

Four other seeded players got dispatched in the second round, including 2017 Wimbledon defending champion Garbine Muguruza.  Eleven others joined Venus in the third round including tournament number one seed Simona Halep.

Image result for serena williams wimbledon 2018All this to say that Serena thanks to all those upsets has to be considered a favorite to win her eighth Wimbledon title and her 24th career Grand Slam title.

But first she has to play and get through the matches.

Little Sis faced Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands in the first round, and beat her in straight sets 7-5, 6-3.   Her second round opponent was qualifier  Viktoriya Tomova of Bulgaria, who like Rus, got sent packing in straight sets 6-1, 6-4.

Her third round match was more of a challenge in Kristina Mladenovic of France.   Serena had to work a bit for this one, but still beat her in straight sets 7-5, 7-6 (7-2) in the second set tiebreaker.

That sent Serena to the fourth round, where she will face another qualifier in Russia's Evgeniya Rodina. 

Should she successfully navigate that match, it would put her in the quarterfinals versus the winner of the Camila Giorgi-Ekaterina Makarova match. 

Definitely looking forward to seeing how this second week of 'Williamsdon' plays out.

TransGriot Update:  Serena beat Ridina 6-2, 6-1 to advance to the Ladies singles quarterfinal round and play Camila Giorgi of Italy.