Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Modern LGBTQIA+ Trailblazers Panel This Thursday

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Since it's Pride, I usually get a chance to do a panel discussion or two during this seminal historic month for the LGBTQIA+ community.

On Thursday I'm one of the participants in a panel discussion presented by the Sharpstown Democrats for their Evening Extra series.

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This one is entitled Modern LGBTQIA+ Trailblazers, and features me along with Fran Watson, Mo Cortez, and Jim Kovach.   The panel is being moderated by Kris Banks and it is scheduled to run from 6:30 -9:30 PM CDT.

Thanks to Erik Manning and the Sharpstown Democrats for putting it together and inviting me to participate in it.

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Location of this discussion is the Bayland Park Community Center at 6400 Bissonnet St in Southwest Houston just past Hillcroft Ave.

Hope to see you there, because it is probably going to be an interesting and informative discussion.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Houston Puts In Bid For 2020 DNC Convention

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Houston City Council voted 15-1 to formally put in a bid to land the 2020 Democratic National Convention after being asked to do so by the Democratic Party.

The last time we hosted a DNC was 1928.  That led to the construction of the Sam Houston Coliseum, which was eventually demolished to make room for the Hobby Center.

Image result for democratic partyHouston was also host city for the 1992 Republican Convention at the Astrodome in which Pat Buchanan made his infamous 'culture war' speech.

Houston joins seven other cities, Atlanta, Birmingham, Denver, Miami Beach, Milwaukee, New York and San Francisco in competing for the coveted convention.

The DNC had previously sent out letters to a longer list of cities to gauge their interest in hosting the event.  Birmingham and New York were considered as host cities in 2016, but were passed over for the eventual winner Charlotte.

The winning city will be announced in January 2019

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Sunny Hostin Makes Conservafools Look Bad On 'The View'

I was one of the peeps calling for Raven Symone to be replaced on The View by a thinking sister, and was happy to hear that former federal prosecutor and legal analyst Sunny Hostin got that chair.

Newt Gingrich and Meghan McCain must have forgotten that part of Sunny's background when they tried to peddle their kill the investigation talking points to the audience of The View and got royally embarrassed by her.

Then again, what Gingrich and McCain did was commit an all too common mistake of the conservative movement.  They misunderestimate the intellect of Black women until it's too late, and end up looking foolish or worse in the process. 

Bet they'll think twice before they try that on another sister again.

Monday, June 04, 2018

Number 12- Rest In Power Antash'a English

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I received the news about this while I was in the beginning stages of being waylaid by an illness that kept me miserable all weekend   This is worse than me being sick because we have lost another trans sister.

We have now suffered our 12th murder of the year of a trans person.  For the second time this year it has happened in Jacksonville, FL 

She is 38 year old Antash'a Devine Sherrington English, who is originally from Albany, GA. 

English died of a gunshot wound in a local hospital after being found during the early morning hours on Friday between two abandoned homes in the 1500 block of Ella Street.

English was for nearly ten years a featured performer at the InCahoots nightclub in the city and was known and loved in the community and as a multiple titleholder in the trans pageantry circuit

She had also been living as her unapologetic trans self for over 20 years.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office however, misgendered her when they announced her death,

According to a neighbor who didn't wish to be identified, someone driving by in a grey car and wearing a grey hoodie shot at her multiple times.

In addition to being the 12th person we have lost to anti- trans violence, she is now the SIXTH African-American trans or GNC person we have lost in 2018 .

And as already noted, she was under age 40. 

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office stated her death is an active murder investigation  JSO is looking for any information or tips that will help solve this case.   Call them at 904-630-0500 or email JSOCrimeTips@JaxSheriff.org. To remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward of up to $3,000 for tips that lead to an arrest, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.

The local community is having on June 7 a candlelight vigil starting at 7:30 PM EDT to remember Antash'a.   The vigil will be followed by a benefit show at InCahoots starting at 9:30 PM EDT.

All proceeds for the benefit show will go to help English's family defray burial expenses.

Rest in power and peace Antash'a.   It's our job to ensure that the memory of you life never fades from this planet and we don't rest until the person who killed you is caught, punished and doing time for it.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Allen ISD Refuses To Respect A Trans Teen's Identity At Graduation

jay Transgender Teen Says School Wont Use Name He Identifies With At Graduation
I'm not surprised given that after the Dodie's Place restaurant in that town gleefully engaged in transphobia to mark its restrooms, that I would hear about more transphobia rearing its ugly head in Allen, TX.

 Jay Alfie began his transition during his freshman year at Allen High School.  A few months ago he checked with school administrators and made the simple request that his chosen name be used at the graduation ceremony.

They told him that it wouldn't be possible because in their words, it had to be legally changed.

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Alfie's name change is pending, so his family is wondering why the Allen HS administrators are being so unreasonable about it

“It makes me feel sad that they’re not going to allow him to enjoy that last moment,” said Jorge Alfie. “What are we talking about here, 10 seconds? But it’s probably one of the 10 most important seconds of his life.”

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Every young person’s identity as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer should be honored, celebrated and supported. Allen High School should respect Jay Alfie’s identity and recognize him by his chosen name. To ’deadname’ a student as they cross the stage for graduation in front of their peers, friends, and family constitutes an act of abhorrent bullying and harassment,” Chuck Smith, CEO of Equality Texas, told NewNowNext.

“Alfie's sister has created a MoveOn petition that has nearly 5000 signatures that is simply asking for the Allen ISD to just announce Jay by his chosen name and not his dead name at his graduation..

We'll see this Friday if they do so, or just want to be transphobic bigots about it.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

2018 Williams Watch- It's French Open Time!

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The arrival of the month of May also means it's time for the second Grand Slam on the professional tennis calendar in the French Open

It starts tomorrow, and it's also the first Grand Slam tourney that Serena Williams will play in since she gave birth to her daughter Alexis back in September.   She was ranked number one in the world when she went on maternity leave, and is now ranked number 22 in the WTA rankings.

Knowing Little Sis, won't take her long to get back in the Top 10 or number one in the world

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She's chasing her fourth French Open title and her 24th Grand Slam title of her career.   But the terracotta clay courts of Stade Roland Garros are not her best surface, and as of yet she hasn't demonstrated she's back at playing Serena level tennis.

To add to the challenge she's facing, she's unseeded in this tournament and will start first round play against Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic.   Should she successfully clear that match, she'll face the winner of the Ashleigh Barty- Natalia Vikhlyantseva match.

Some of the seeded players in Little Sis' section of the bracket includes number 6 seeded Karolina Pliskova,   number 11 seed Juliana Gorges, number 17 seed Ashleigh Barty and number 28 seeded Maria Sharapova   

Image result for french open women's singles Venus williamsBut never underestimate Serena.   The French Open also has a pattern of many of the major seeds falling in the first two rounds.  If that pattern repeats itself and Serena is still standing as we reach Saturday, don't bet against holding up another Coupe Suzanne Lenglen when the tournament concludes on June 10 

Speaking of Top 10 players, one of them is her sister Venus Williams.  Big Sis is ranked number 9 in the WTA rankings, just above number 10 Sloane Stephens as she and Little Sis prepare for their business trip to Paris. 

Venus is also in search of her first French Open title since 2002.   She will start first round play against Qiang Wang of China.   If she handles her tennis business, she'll face in the second round the winner of the Petra Marcic-Yafan Wang match.

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Venus is also in the bottom half section of the draw that contains number 5 seed and 2017 French Open defending champ Jelena Ostapenko, number 22 seeded Johanna Konta, number 26 seeded Barbora Strycova and unseeded Yulia Putintseva and Victoria Azarenka. 

The Williams sisters will also play doubles in Paris, having been granted a wildcard entry into the doubles tournament.   They have won 14 Grand Slam doubles titles, with two of them occurring at the French Open in 1999 and 2010. 

The last time they played doubles at the French Open they fell in the third round in 2016 and in the first round in 2013. 

We'll see how they fare on this business trip to Paris in the singles and doubles draw.   

Moni's On KNON-FM's Lambda Weekly Tomorrow!

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Been a while since I was on Lambda Weekly, the radio show hosted by David Tafet, lerone Landis and the late Pati Fink on KNON-FM 89.3 in Dallas.

I get to do the show again at 1 PM CDT tomorrow.

For those of you who don't live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area or the broadcast range of KNON-FM, you can hear the show by going to the website and listening to the livestream of it  or downloading the phone app and listening to it that way.

No matter what way you do so, hope you tune in for it .

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Number 11- Rest In Power Gigi Pierce

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We've lost another trans person to a murder, and this time we head to the Pacific Northwest for this developing story.

28 year old Gigi Pierce of Boise, ID was shot and killed in downtown Portland, OR. late Monday evening following a disturbance between her and 33 year old Sophia Grace Adler.

Police arrived at the scene along SW 2nd Avenue between SW Ash Street and SW Arkeny Streets at 11:10 PM PDT to find Pierce lying mortally wounded on the sidewalk from a gunshot wound.

Pierce died at the scene after emergency responders administered first aid.

Adler remained at the scene and was subsequently arrested by Portland PD, taken to the Multnomah County Jail and booked on a murder charge. 

Police are not investigating this case as a potential hate crime at this time according to Portland police spokesperson Sgt. Chris Burley.

Adler's last know address was at the Salvation Army Harbor Light emergency shelter for women in downtown Portland less than a block from the crime scene.

Portland Police have released few details about the crime or whether the two women knew each other. If anyone has information, including video surveillance, they should contact Det. Vincent Cui at (503) 823-0449 or via email at vince.cui@portlandoregon.gov.

Unfortunately Gigi Pierce is now the 11th person we have lost this year to anti-trans violence.   Will be passing along more details in this case as I receive them.

Rest in power and peace Gigi.  Your trans family won't rest  until justice is served in this case.

No Justice, No 2018 NFL Prognostication

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You longtime TransGriot readers know I am such a huge NFL football fan that since 2010 on this blog I have been doing NFL prognostication posts that morphed into a season long competition with Michael Watts as to who is the best at doing so. 

Mr Watts after me winning back to back titles, finally won the 2017 season prognostication title and I was looking forward to the kickoff of this 2018 NFL season to take it back. 

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But after the NFL owners went full idiot and caved to Trump and their white supremacist fanbase by creating an unconstitutional rule that threatens to fine and penalize NFL players and team personnel for not standing for the national anthem, I have no choice but to take a stand on that.

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Prognostication is something I enjoy.  But last season was a slog for me in large part because I was conflicted about doing the prognostication while the NFL owners showed their white supremacist azzes, especially Bob McNair, the owner of my hometown NFL franchise,

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Far from explaining to your fans that NFL players are protesting injustice against American Americans and they are exercising their free speech rights, you are cowardly peddling the right wing lie that they are attacking veterans, the flag and whatever conservalie of the week you come up.

Why?  Because you wish to avoid having the uncomfortable conversation, and acknowledge that by you NFL owners dropping obscene amounts of money into Republican campaigns, you are accomplices in the persecution of Black people your players are protesting.
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If you don't rescind this obviously unconstitutuional rule designed to do nothing but muzzle the abilities of your players to express their constitutional right to protest, I'll have no choice but to sit out the 2018 NFL season in solidarity with the players you're racistly attempting to muzzle.

And I wouldn't be surprised to see a lawsuit hitting the courts soon on what is now a First Amendment free speech issue.
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Even people who cover the league see this for what it is.   A straight up admission that you NFLowners don't care about the Black players who make up the members of your teams or are truly listening to what these players to say about this social justice issue.

#NoJusticeNoNFLPrognostication   #NFLRacism   #NoCoercedPatriotism

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Patriotism should be a genuine expression of pride in your country and never forced on people.

That's a sign that you have a great country and a critical lesson you conservafools fail to understand. 

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You also fail to understand that dissent is the highest form of patriotism.  Criticizing the ills of your country so it can correct problems is the duty of all who consider themselves patriots     

Let's be real, far too often in my life my patriotism is conditional based on current events affecting my people and the answers to two questions: 

How do I feel about my country?   How does my country feel about me?

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And far too often I'm quite aware of the fact when I or any African American asks those questions, that a large percentage of my fellow Americans hate me and my people simply for existing, or daring to say why Black people feel the way we do about the USA.

No justice, no NFL prognostication..

Rest In Power Nicole Hall

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As many of you TransGriot readers are aware of, the severely decomposed body an unidentified Black trans woman was pulled out of White Rock Creek in Dallas on May 12.

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In order to facilitate identification of our losts trans sister, the Dallas PD created a sketch of our trans sister in order to get public assistance in identifying the body.

Dallas PD asked anyone who had information that would help identify her to contact Detective Chaney with the DPD Homicide Unit at 214-671-3650

Our sis has finally been identified, and her name is Nicole Hall.   She was 39

The Dallas County Coroner has not yet determined a cause of death, so we can't officially call this a murder until that official determination is made by the coroner. 

Nicole was a Dallas native and involved in the local Dallas trans community.according to her longtime friend Shannon Walker. 

As we wait for the cause of death determination, a memorial vigil is being planned for Nicole that will take place on Saturday at 7 PM, with a location to be determined .

A Gofundme  has also been set up for her.  he goal is to raise $900 for her final expenses for transport, cremation and an urn for her ashes. .

Rest in power and peace Nicole.

Fran Watson Runoff Election TX State Senate Bid Falls Short

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One of the bummer results from last night's Texas party primary runoff election races is that Fran Watson's historic bid to become only the third African American woman to be elected a Texas state senator ended last night.

Had Watson won, she would have not only stayed on course to become the third African American woman state senator, she would have possibly become the first ever openly LGBT one in Texas history.

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Texas State Senate District 17 is split across three counties, Harris, Fort Bend and Brazoria.   Despite Watson taking an early lead by winning the Brazoria County portion of the district, the same didn't happen in Harris and Fort Bend counties. 

Rita Lucido will get the Democratic nomination for Senate District 17 and will get a rematch with the incumbent senator Joan Huffman (R).  Best of luck to her this fall.

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But I do wish to take a moment to congratulate Fran Watson for a job well done in her first campaign for public office.  She forced a runoff with the favored Lucido.  7,659 Texans voted for you across three counties in this runoff election  and 12,621 did so on March 6. 

Countless other #TeamFran people supported you in your historic bid to become a Texas senator along with several organizations .
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Fran. you didn't lose.   We Texans lost by not having a quality person like you repping Senate District 17 when the next Texas legislative session starts in January   We need more progressive leaning people and politicians who will put the people first.  We need your thoughtful, eloquent voice resonating in Texas senate hearings and the Texas senate chamber during floor debates.

I have no doubts that it will happen for you.   Unfortunately it wasn't last night.

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Fran, just a note from our history for you and everyone else to peruse.  Barbara Jordan (who you were frequently compared to) lost her first two bids for the Texas House in 1962 and 1964.   She eventually won that historic 1966 state Senate race and every campaign after that until she retired from Congress in 1978. 

Something great is in store for you.   It's going to be interesting to see exactly what that is.

Lupe Makes Texas History!

Dallas Sheriff Lupe Valdez addresses delegates on the fourth and final day of the Democratic National Convention at Wells Fargo Center on July 28, 2016, in Philadelphia.
I've voted for her twice, in the March 6 and May 22 primaries, and now I'll get a chance to proudly vote for her on November 6.

Former Dallas County sheriff  Lupe Valdez made history last night by becoming the first Latina and first openly gay person to win a major party primary for Texas governor.   

She captured 53.1% of the vote in beat Andrew White, the son of former Gov. Mark White who described himself as a conservative moderate Democrat.

Umm naw cuz, I'll pass on that.

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"Tonight is a victory for all of us who are fighting for a stronger and fairer Texas.  A tolerant and diverse Texas.  A Texas where the everyday person has a voice and a fair shot -just as I had." 

She stated her gubernatorial primary victory proved that no matter who you are, where you're from or who you love -- in this state you have a fighting chance.

Valdez now advances to take on incumbent governor Greg Abbott (R), who is sitting on a $40 million campaign war chest and a 24 year Republican winning streak that has to end sooner or later. 

Asked about what is being considered an uphill battle to become the state's first Democratic governor since the legendary Ann Richards held the seat from 1990-1994, she said to supporters, "I am constantly hearing that this is an uphill battle - tell me when I didn't have an uphill battle.  I'm getting darn good at uphill battles"

She had an uphill battle in becoming Dallas County sheriff, and eventually ended up serving four terms there.

Here's hoping Lupe Valdez shocks the world on November 6 as well.