Monday, August 29, 2016

2016 Presidential Election Voter Registration Deadlines

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If you're planning on voting in our upcoming presidential election, better get busy and make sure you're registered to do so.

Some of the deadline dates are coming up fast.   Here's the list of voter registration deadlines for US states  and territories.  This is the last possible day you can register in these states and territories.

In North Dakota you aren't required to register. but you must be a US citizen, 18 years old by Election Day.  live at your address by October 9, not be in jail or prison for a felony conviction, not be considered mentally incompetent by a court and have acceptable forms of ID to do so in person or by mail.


The Northern Marianas is the first one on the list with a September 9 voter registration deadline day, and Puerto Rico follows 10 days later with a September 19 registration deadline day.


October 8 in  Mississippi, South Carolina and the US Virgin Islands,

October 9 in Alaska, Rhode Island

October 10 in American Samoa, Arizona, Arkansas and Hawaii

October 11 is deadline day for eleven states that includes Texas.   For those of you live in the Lone Star State, you need to make that registration happen and have that blue voter registration card by this date. 

The other ten states in which you need to handle your electoral registration business by this date are Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.    Florida,  Georgia, New Mexico, Ohio and Pennsylvania are 2016 swing states, and so if you wish to determine who the next POTUS will be, get busy getting registered.

October 12 in Missouri

October 14 in New York, North Carolina and Oklahoma.  

So peeps in the Tarheel State, if you want to kick Pat My Crotch out of the governor's mansion along with the unjust GOP controlled NC legislature, have until this date to register for the election.

October 14 in Delaware

October 17 in Virginia.

October 18 in Kansas, Minnesota  Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon and West Virginia

October 19 in Massachusetts

October 24 in Alabama, California and South Dakota

October 28 in Guam, Nebraska

October 31 in Washington     So if you peeps living there don't want the horrifying prospect of a President Donald Tump, you must be registered in your state by this date.


November 1 is the deadline for Utah   The Beehive State is one of the surprise states in play in Election 2016.

November 2 in Vermont

November 3 in Maryland

November 8 is Election Day, and these states and territories have same day registration.  Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Busy H-Town Saturday

Saturday was a busy one for me as I attended two events that were fortunately happening only a mile apart.

I was asked by Rhys Caraway to present an award that went to Phoebe Van Cleefe at the #BlackQueerMagic Empowerment Brunch that was held in the shadow of downtown Houston at St, John's UNC.and sponsored by Young Black Voices.

That even started at 12:30 PM, and after we got our grub on, the awards presentation started with much of activist Houston in the room for this event..

Awards were also presented to Jason Black, Mike Webb, Aurora Gray and Fran Watson in addition to two Bayard Rustin Scholarships that was emceed by Harrison Gray.

After spending an enjoyable two hours there Dee Dee Watters and I headed over to the HSPVA campus that's still in Montrose for now for a 30th anniversary celebration for Bering Omega House.

The current campus. Credit: sgcrawf via Flickr Commons
What many people don't realize is that Houston was one of the early Ground Zero's for the HIV epidemic that broke out in 1981 with the nastier HTLV-1 virus

Indigent terminally ill AIDS patients were finding themselves once they were discharged from the various Houston hospitals with no place to go.  Omega House was founded by then 76 year old retired Montessori teacher Eleanor Munger in 1986 to fill that critical care gap and give indigent people suffering with AIDS die with dignity.  

With $10,000 in seed money from Christ Church Cathedral, Munger opened the four bed all volunteer run facility with the mission to compassionately care for terminally ill AIDS patients in their final stages that could no longer be cared for by the traditional medical establishment.

It was the first residential hospice in Texas, and it recently merged with Houston Area Community Services.  Bering Omega House and celebrated its 30th year of existence with a short program in HSPVA's Denny Theater in which longtime workers there recalled the early days of its existence.

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Munger passed away in 2004 at age 92, but the residential hospice she founded is still very much a part of the community.  Some of the peeps who were at the Empowerment Brunch with us also took time like Dee Dee and I did to spend a few moment at that ceremony that began at 4 PM, and also included a tour of the facility.

It was a long day, but it's always good to see my Houston community peeps.and spend some quality time with them, especially since I've  piled up a lot of frequent flier miles this year.

And I couldn't think of a better way to spend my day than to celebrate the achievements of some of our young activists and the 30th anniversary of a critical institution in our community.

Federal Judge Rules UNC Can't Enforce Unjust HB2 Potty Provisions

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Had more good news for transkind happen on Friday when we got an unexpected HB2 ruling in North Carolina that went our way.

US District Judge Thomas Schroeder (GW Bush appointee) issued a surprising 83 page ruling in our favor and in favor of the three trans plaintiffs that filed a lawsuit challenging Hate Bill 2's anti-trans provisions as violations of Title IX.

Judge Schroeder granted a temporary injunction against the University of North Carolina's attempt to enforce HB 2 against trans Tarheel students and a trans UNC employee that he unfortunately said only applies to the three plaintiffs in the case.

The Carcano v McCrory case goes to trial in November, and in what has to be additional bad news for the North Carolina GOP transphobes, Judge Schroeder stated he expects that the plaintiffs will succeed in proving their claim that  HB 2 is a violation of the Title IX law that bars sex discrimination in schools.

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"Today is a great day for me and hopefully this is the start to chipping away at the injustice of HB 2 that is harming thousands of other transgender people who call North Carolina home," said Joaquin Carcano, the lead plaintiffs in this case in a statement released by the ACLU.

"Today, the tightness I have felt in my chest every day since HB 2 passed has eased.  But the fight is not over: we will not rest until this discriminatory law is defeated," Carcano added.  

But evil never sleeps, and the right-wing hatemongers and GOP trans oppressors who passed Hate Bill 2  are determined to continue the fight to oppress trans people as their latest brief they filed in the Carcano case suggests.

Image result for anti-HB 2 North Carolina memesHowever, Judge Schroeder is still reserving judgment on the other parts of their claim that he will make a final ruling on in November.

And FYI, in the 4th Circuit, despite the unjust ruling that came out of Wichita Falls last week by another GW Bush appointee, the positive ruling made in April in the Grimm v Gloucester County case at the 4th Circuit appeals level is the controlling precedent.

I'm also cautiously optimistic after reading the opinion Judge Schroeder issued and this money quote that grabbed my attention:

Defendants argue that separating facility users by biological sex serves prophylactically to avoid the opportunity for sexual predators to prey on persons in vulnerable places. However, the individual transgender Plaintiffs have used facilities corresponding with their gender identity for over a year without posing a safety threat to anyone … Moreover, on the current record, there is no evidence that transgender individuals overall are any more likely to engage in predatory behaviors than other segments of the population. In light of this, there is little reason to believe that allowing the individual transgender Plaintiffs to use partitioned, multiple occupancy bathrooms corresponding with their gender identities, as well as UNC to seek to accommodate use of similar showers and changing facilities, will pose any threat to public safety, which will continue to be protected by the sustained validity of peeping, indecent exposure, and trespass laws. And although Defendants argue that a preliminary injunction will thwart enforcement of such safety laws by allowing non-transgender predators to exploit the opportunity to cross-dress and prey on others ...,the unrefuted evidence in the current record suggests that jurisdictions that have adopted accommodating bathroom access policies have not observed subsequent increases in crime …

We'll see if this is exactly what happens in a few months, but if it does, it's music to my ears and music to the ears of the ACLU, ACLU-NC, Lambda Legal, Equality North Carolina and the Department of Justice, who has also filed their own lawsuit seeking to strike down HB2.

2016 Williams Watch- US Open Starts Today

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After a surprising exit in the Rio Olympic singles and doubles tournament, Serena Williams enters New York and this edition of the 2016 US Open with an eye toward winning the title that she shockingly lost last year in the semifinals just shy of a calendar year Grand Slam.

It's the last tennis Grand Slam tourney of the year, and she's still not happy about the one that got away.   So look out all you peeps playing against her starting today and over the next two weeks,

Serena's still ranked number one in the world, is the number one seed in this edition of the US Open and number one in our hearts.   She and Venus step on the Flushing Meadows grounds of a USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center that has undergone some major changes,

This will be the first open in which Arthur Ashe Stadium as part of the $550 million dollar renovation to the USTA National Tennis Center will have a retractable roof to cover the main stadium court like the Aussie Open and Wimbledon have had for years over their main Grand Slam tournament venues.  Louis Armstrong Stadium will also have a roof enclosing it once it is reconstructed and its current 10,200 seating capacity is increased to 15,000 by the 2018 Open.

Unlike the Australian Open and Wimbledon, the US Open officials plans are to only close the Ashe Stadium roof for rain, not extreme heat.  We'll see how long that lasts.

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A brand new 8000 seat Grandstand Court will also make its debut at this tournament, and for those of you in the New York area planning on attending it this year, you'll be happy to know that the National Tennis Center grounds were also redesigned to improve foot traffic,

But back to talking about the US Open which will run until September 11.   Serena will start her pursuit of her record seventh US Open title title and 23rd major title with a tough opening round match versus Russia's Ekaterina Makarova.  

Should she win that one, it's on to the second round to face the winner of the Antonia Lottner- Vania King match

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Venus was the Williams sister that surprisingly took home a medal from Rio, a silver that she won in the mixed doubles tournament with Rajeev Ram.   She's seeded sixth in this edition of the US Open and unfortunately is in the same half of the draw as Little Sis.

She will open up first round play in a match with Kateryna Kozlova of Ukraine, and would face the winner of the Julia Gorger-Yanina Wickmayer match in the second round.

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And in case you're wondering if Venus and Serena were entered in the US Open doubles, nope they aren't.

Best of luck to my fave tennis playing siblings in this last tennis Grand Slam of 2016.

Friday, August 26, 2016

TransGriot Perv Watch- Jacksonville Oppressor Kenneth Adkins Busted On Two Molestation Charges

Kenneth Anthon Adkins  Glynn County Detention Center

It's been a while since I wrote a TransGriot Perv Watch post, and this one is too delicious and chock full of schadenfreude to not talk about another #stillnottrans anti-trans hypocrite.

If you were keeping your eye on what happened earlier this year in Jacksonville, FL when they tried literally a month after HERO went down in right wing instigated flames and failed to pass an HRO amendment that added sexual orientation and gender identity that , you would have heard me mention the name of Kenneth Adkins.

Adkins was the Brunswick, GA based megachurch pastor who was meddling in Jacksonville human rights business as the out of town frontman for the white evangelicals and GOP activists opposing the Jacksonville HRO.  He helped stir up so much negativity about the HRO that the Jacksonville City Council caved and pulled it in February.

Adkins also declared in the wake of the Pulse nightclub mass shooting in Orlando that the 'homosexuals got what they deserved'.

Thanks to a tip from one of my longtime TransGriot readers in Brenda Lunger, I was pointed to this story on the  'Joe My God' blog that announced the arrest of Adkins this morning by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation  (GBI).

The 56 year old pastor is cooling his heels in the Glynn County Jail after turning himself at 9 AM EDT this morning.   He is accused of one count of aggravated child molestation and another count of
child molestation that allegedly occurred in 2010 in a vehicle, his church, and the victim's home.

The investigation according to a GBI press release and reporting from the Florida Times-Union is ongoing.

And we'll be watching to see how it turns out.

Shut Up Fool Awards- Rio Olympic Withdrawal Edition

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It's been almost a week since the Olympic flame was extinguished at the Maracana Stadium on Sunday to close out the Rio Olympic Games and literally pass the hosting torch to Tokyo for 2020.

Image result for Marlene de Castro Olympic closing ceremoniesAfter 19 days of competition in which we won so much that Donald Trump couldn't even muster a single tweet congratulating our diverse USA Olympic team for winning 121 medals to lead all nations, I was suffering from an acute case of Olympic withdrawal on Monday and Tuesday.

It started with that twinge of sadness I felt when I watched the moving images of the Olympic flame be extinguished as Brazilian singer Marlene de Castro sang a hauntingly beautiful song with misting water flowing in the background as the wind powered sculpture designed by Anthony Howe that made for a cool effect in contrast with the Olympic cauldron stopped moving at the same moment the flame went out.

The next morning, the cold reality the Games were over hit me as I tuned on the TV, and instead of eagerly watching the athletes of the world competing for gold, silver and bronze medals, I was back to the real world of a contentious US presidential election and the news rudely reminding me that my community's human rights were under a legal attack unfortunately led by my indicted Texas GOP AG Ken Paxton.

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Well, the start of the 2020 Tokyo Games is scheduled for July 24, 2020.  That's only 1426 days from now as I write this post.

Today is also Friday, and that means it's time to call out the fool, fools or groups of fools who have uttered Olympic sized baldfaced lies, made WTF statements, and exhibited brazen hypocrisy.

Yep, it's time for this week's version of the TransGriot Shut Up Fool Awards      

Honorable mention number one is a group award for every conservative pundit this week trying to cosign Donald Trump's ridiculous claim that Hillary Clinton is a bigot.

Thanks to all the Black and Latinx media pundits that had no problem calling out the idiocy like Angela Rye and Charles Blow.  

I have a lifetime of experience spotting bigots along with every non-white American, and we can pretty much unanimously say that's it's hypocritical and WTF worthy for Donald Trump's bigoted and racist behind to be accusing someone else who has the long positive civil rights track record Clinton has of bigotry

Honorable mention number two is Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R), who left a Democratic state lawmaker a derogatory unhinged recorded message under the assumption that state Rep Drew Gattine (D) had called him a racist.

Hey, if he did, he's only telling the truth about you, so why are you getting so pissed off about it?  

Honorable mention number three is another example of sterling GOP leadership in North Carolina lieutenant governor Dan Forest, who offered his loud and wrong opinion on our trans lives.

Honorable mention number four we go across The Pond to Nice, France, where the Nice po-po's are gleefully oppressing Muslim women by enforcing their burkini ban that has now gone to the French courts to challenge its .

Honorable mention number five is Sigourney Coyle, who exhibited an acute case of faith -based transphobia when she claimed that she would fail gym class if she was 'forced' to dress out in front of a trans feminine student

Yeah right.  That trans feminine student is more concerned about being treated with dignity and respect than worrying about what you look like in your underwear when you change into your gyn clothes.

And you're proving the old political science joke about Pennsylvania to be true in your case.   It's Pittsburgh in the west, Philadelphia in the east, and Alabama in the middle.

Honorable mention number six is Atlanta based megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar, who is in the news for his latest effort in faith based prosperity gospel coonery by claiming 'God told me to endorse Donald Trump '

And y'all wanna know why I can't stand these sellout 'minsters' like Dollar that are nothing more than Rev, Ike on steroids.

Honorable mention number seven  goes to GOP federal Judge Reed O'Connor for oppressing trans people across the USA just before the first day of school started with his unjust injunction. .

Elections matter trans community and allies, and especially presidential elections.

The POTUS picks not only the SCOTUS, but the federal judge you'll be depending on to rule in your favor in any federal discrimination cases you file.

Image result for Ken paxtonThis week's Shut Up Fool winner is our indicted Texas attorney general Ken Paxton.(R)  

This trans oppressor not only filed suit to fight the DOE/DOJ Dear Colleague letter that simply states you cannot discriminate against trans students and they are covered under Title IX,, the same day he accepted a dinner invitation from Amber Briggle and her transgender child, he filed another federal lawsuit to deny transgender people medical coverage.  .

As I've said repeatedly, love my home state of Texas, hate the GOP conservative azzholes and trans oppressors who run it

Oh yeah, Ken Paxton, shut up fool!

Bryanna's Started Law School!

In case you peeps were wondering what's happening with Bryanna Jenkins, my amazing sis who is starting her 1L year at DePaul University Law School, she's moved from Baltimore to Chicago, is getting acclimated to the Windy City, and is immersing herself in her law school studies.

Bryanna also hit her fundraising goal before she left Baltimore, and she thanks all of you who contributed to it for your support.

Major props to you Bryanna as your unapologetic Black trans self  embarks upon furthering your education and making your dream of becoming an attorney come true.

 At a time when it seems as though anti-trans lawsuits are being filed by transphobic Republican red state attorney generals at a breakneck pace, your entrance into law school is coming at a critical juncture in our community's history.

And it doesn't hurt that you are entering law school well versed in the issues that impact Black trans World.

As you're probably aware from our people's distinguished history, it was our legal warriors like Charles Houston and a fellow Baltimorean who later served on the Supreme Court in Justice Thurgood Marshall that helped dismantle Jim Crow segregation and advance the human rights of our African-American community in the federal court system.

I not only applaud you for doing so, I'm bursting at the seams proud of you for doing so.

We have needed more trans women of color attorneys to join the outstanding cadre of trans attorneys we a;ready have doing amazing things, and so glad you have started the journey to join their distinguished ranks.

Good luck in this 1L semester!

#Black Queer Magic Empowerment Brunch Tomorrow

Tomorrow afternoon the Young Black Voices group will present their Empowerment Brunch that serves to honor Houston area Black LGBTQ community leaders that are empowering at the intersections of their identities.

They are also honoring the 2016 Bayard Rustin Scholars during this complimentary brunch that is being held at St. John's United Methodist Church.  

I've been asked to present an award to one of the honorees, and I'm looking forward to seeing this person again and meeting all of the 2016 award winners.

If you wish to attend, St John's UMC is located at 2019 Crawford St in the heart of downtown Houston, and will start at 12:30 PM

Looking forward to seeing everyone there.

Hillary Clinton Calls Out Trump For 'Steady Stream Of Bigotry'

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Hillary Clinton put Donald Trump on blast during a speech in Reno, Nevada on race relations that rebutted Trump's ludicrous charge that Clinton was a bigot.

Stop projecting, Donald.

Clinton didn't call him a bigot, but made it clear without uttering his name that she was talking about the Republican nominee. She  came armed in this Reno speech with numerous examples of Trump's bigotry during this campaign and in his personal life.

"There's always been a paranoid fringe in our politics, a lot of it arising from racial resentment. But it's never had the nominee of the major party stoking it. encouraging it, and giving it a national megaphone until now." Clinton said in her speech.

Here's the link to that speech if you missed it.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Trump's Disrespectful 'Black Outreach' DOA In Black America

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Faced with polls showing he is losing white female voters he needs to even have a prayer of competing against Sec. Hillary Clinton, the new Trump campaign team rolled out a 'Black outreach' that is as cynical, racist and disrespectful to us as the Attwater 'Southern Strategy' was.

Trump has for the last few days been reciting a 'What do you have to lose?' talking point in pitching his train wreck of a campaign to Black voters from white suburbia '

What do we have to lose in Black America?   The more accurate question is what will we gain by giving our precious votes to Donald Trump?

Donald Trump at a rally in Ottumwa, Iowa (Evan Guest/Flickr)
Absolutely nothing.

That pitch was DOA even if white conservative pundits and Republican operatives love it.  The problem is we peeped Trump's racist game a long time ago, and you conservafools keep thinking that Black people are as gullible and stupid as your base is.

News flash, we aren't.   We know this tone deaf to us so-called outreach is only geared toward getting white folks who want to vote for Trump but are hesitant to do so not only because of the racist anti- Black, Latinx and Muslim rhetoric coming out of his mouth on the campaign trail, but because of the unrepentant Confederate flag waving racists, bitter bigots and white supremacists who have embraced his campaign and are buying the 'Make America Great Again' snake oil he's selling.

As Bernie Sanders found out a few months ago, we Black voters have long memories, and will punish your azz at the polls for any sign of disrespect, no matter how long ago it was.

We Black Americans have a long list of grievances to punish Trump for, starting with the 1973 DOJ lawsuit for violations of the Fair Housing Act aimed at our people.

Image result for dump donald trump memesThere was also Trump's racist rhetoric and actions during the 1989 Central Park Five case that resulted in these Black kids being jailed despite all the evidence pointing to them being innocent and not being exonerated until the actual perpetrator of the rape.

Black women haven't forgotten how Trump opened his mouth in 1992 to slime Desiree Washington in Mike Tyson's defense during the Indiana rape case in which he was eventually convicted.  

Then there's Trump's more recent racist crime in our eyes of being the Birther In Chief leading the ludicrous attacks on President Obama's birth certificate.

And don't even get me started about what Black LGBTQ people think of Trump.  That's another post.

So do you think we Black Americans want this man who became the Republican nominee because of white resentment politics on steroids to succeed the first African-American US president he spent several years demonizing?

Hell No!  Black America is gearing up to make sure that on November 8 we do our part to ensure we hear the words 'President -elect Hillary Clinton' on that date.

UH Will Name Renovated Hofheinz Pavilion After Tillman Fertitta

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Hofheinz Pavilion has been the on campus home for the University of Houston Cougar basketball team since it opened in 1970.   While growing up here I got to attend several concerts held there like the Jackson 5 and Prince, along with a few Houston Rockets games after they moved here from San Diego in 1971.  It was the Rockets home arena for four seasons until The Summit was completed in 1975.

When Hofheinz Pavilion opened it had a seating bowl that could hold 10,000 fans, but after 1998 renovations that added luxury boxes to the top of the seating bowl along with an alcove honoring NBA Hall of Famer and Cougar alum Elvin Hayes, the seating capacity after the removal of seats to facilitate construction of the boxes was reduced to 8,479.

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The building was named for Irene 'Dene' and Judge Roy Hofheinz (yep, the same Judge Hofheinz that got the Astrodome built) and a prominent politician and philanthropist in Houston, after they donated $1.5 million to help complete construction of it

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With an eye on positioning UH to be included into a Power Five conference in the next round of Power Five conference expansion or their ultimate goal (along with Cougar alums) of joining the Big XII, money has been invested in upgrading the athletic facilities in recent years.

The opening of TDECU Stadium in 2014 was part of that, and the football stadium is designed so that an upper deck can be added to increase its capacity when necessary.  

<div class='meta'><div class='origin-logo' data-origin='KTRK'></div><span class='caption-text' data-credit='University of Houston'>The University of Houston releases artist renderings of what the former Hofheinz Pavilion will look like.</span></div>
With that football stadium issue being resolved along with the opening of the METRORail Purple Line that passes the stadium and the western and southern half of the campus, in 2010 a $60 million renovation to the aging Hofheinz Pavilion was announced complete with a naming rights deal to a then anonymous donor.

The sticking point became the naming rights of the arena that the Hofheinz family contended belonged to them in perpetuity because of the original 1969 donation with the stipulation the area be named for Hofheinz.  The Hofheinz family was also not happy they found out about it in a news report, and both sides filed lawsuits to resolve the issue.

Image result for UH Hofheinz Pavilion plazaA press conference was held this morning announcing a settlement to the naming rights kerfuffle, in which a plaza bearing the name and a bronze statue of Judge Hofheinz  in front of the renovated area that will be named starting in the 2018-19 season the Fertitta Center, after Houston entrepreneur and Landry's, Inc owner Tillman Fertitta.

Fertitta donated $20 million to the project. that is scheduled to be completed by the 2018-2019 season and sits on the UH Board of Regents as its chairman.

In addition, UH will petition the city of Houston to name the portion of Holman Street that runs in front of the renovated arena between Cullen Blvd and Scott St for Judge Hofheinz and make his papers available in the school's library and in the UH alumni center adjacent to the renovated arena.

"We know our father would want the athletic department at UH to prosper", said Fred Hofheinz, who served as Houston's mayor from 1974-1978.  "So we know he would support this move."

As for UH being announced as the newest member of the Big XII conference, that's still to be determined..

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

LGBT Health Summit At U of L Med School Coming Soon!

One of the issues that continues to plague our LGBTQ community across the country is finding culturally competent health care in our various locales we reside in..

In my old stomping grounds of Louisville, which unfortunately has the LGBTQ hatemongering Southern Baptist Theological Seminary inside the city limits, it's probably a factor in why the University of Louisville's LGBT Center is fielding calls from LGBTQ Louisvillians and residents all over the Kentuckiana area on a daily basis who are searching for doctors and health care providers willing to respectfully treat LGBTQ patients.

eQuality at UofLTo address these issues, the University of Louisville  as part of their eQuality Project will host a LGBTQ Health Summit on September 12 at the UofL School of Medicine.  

It's sponsored by the U of L School of Medicine Office of Undergraduate Medical Education, Office for Community Engagement and Diversity, and the U of L LGBT Center

"Historically, LGBTQ health has not been part of any health care or medical school curriculum," said Suzanne Kingery  MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at UofL. "It is only recently that a handful of medical schools, with UofL at the forefront, have started to do this kind of training. This health summit is a wonderful opportunity for health care providers to learn about LGBTQ care so they can provide affirming care for their patients and follow best practices."

The LGBTQ Health Summit will begin at 8:30 AM EDT on that September 12 date at the School of Medicine , and early registration is encouraged for those of you health care providers wishing to attend..

Moni's Heading To Cali For The September 8 GLAAD Gala San Francisco

San Francisco GLAAD Gala 2016
The Air Marshal is headed back to the Bay Area for the first time since I was there in Oakland in 2013 for the first TransH4CK.

Sorry East Bay and Oaktown peeps, going to be on the other side of the Bay for this visit.  Going there attend the GLAAD Gala San Francisco that's happening on September 8, so this is your heads up Left Coast I'm coming.

So what's GLAAD Gala San Francisco all about?   It's celebrating digital media innovators who are moving LGBTQ acceptance forward.  At times it isn't moving as fast as we would like it to go, but the froward momentum is undeniable enough to where our conservative opponents are fighting us tooth and nail to stop it and failing as usual.

The event is being hosted by The Talk's Aisha Tyler, and looking forward to being there even if it's an in and out trip.  

A stop at the nearest Ghirardelli's chocolate outlet will be mandatory (preferably either the milk chocolate or caramel squares), and looking forward to seeing as many of my peeps in the area as possible.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

2016 Presidential Debate Schedule

After Labor Day passes, we will be in the critical homestretch phase of the 2016 presidential campaign.  Many folks who have been either casually following it or tuned it our completely, will with the November 8 election day looming on the horizon, start paying attention to the election and the candidates.

The presidential and vice presidential debates organized by the nonprofit Commission on Presidential Debates will be one of the ways that still undecided voters get the information that will help them decide who will be taking the oath of office to become our 45th president on January 20.

There will be three presidential debates between Democratic nominee Sec. Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump and one vice presidential debate between Sen Tim Kaine (D) and Gov. Mike Pence (R).

As for third party candidates, they will have to meet certain predetermined criteria as set out by the CPD before they will be allowed to participate.

The debates will last 90 minutes, and moderators will be selected soon. We already know the debate sites and formats, and here they are.

The first debate between Clinton and Trump is scheduled to take place on September 26 on the Hofstra University campus in Hempstead, NY.

That will be followed by the only vice presidential debate on October 4 on the Longwood University campus in Farmville, VA.

The second presidential debate will take place October 9 on the Washington University campus in St Louis, and will be a town hall format.

The final presidential debate will take place on October 19 on the University of Nevada- Las Vegas campus in las Vegas, NV

The designated backup site for the 2016 presidential debates is Belmont University in Nashville, TN.

One thing I do hope the the CPD does take into consideration is to have someone other than white male or female journalists as debate moderators.  There are plenty of non-white journalists who can handle debate moderation, and it's past time that Black and Latino journalists had the opportunity to do so.

The last Black person to moderate a presidential debate was Carole Simpson back in 1992.  Yes Gwen Ifill has moderated two debates in 2004 and 2008, but they were vice presidential ones.

It is past time to give a non white journalist the opportunity to moderate a presidential debate, and that needs to happen this year.

Historic US Senate Election In California

When California voters go to the polls on November 8, they will have to choose a successor for the retiring senator Barbara Boxer (D).  They will also have the pleasure of choosing between two candidates who are not only seeing to succeed Sen. Boxer, but make some electoral history themselves.

Thanks to California's jungle primary system, the top two candidates, regardless of party move on to the general election.  After the votes were counted on June 7, two Democratic women ended up in the top two slots for the open California US senate seat.

California voters will get to choose between their current attorney general Kamala Harris or Rep. Loretta Sanchez.  

Rep Sanchez is seeking to become the first Latina ever elected to the US Senate, while Attorney General Harris is seeking to become only the second African-American woman and first woman of south Asian heritage to be elected to the US Senate.

It's also a battle of northern Cali vs southern Cali. Harris was born in Oakland, grew up in Berkeley, was a deputy district attorney for Alameda County, the district attorney for the City and County of San Francisco before becoming California's Attorney General in 2011.

And as the child and sibling of AKA's I'm happy to point out she's a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Sanchez was born in Lynwood, and has since 2003 represented the Orange County centered 47th Congressional District.

This is going to be a fascinating campaign to watch.  While it is wonderful that another accomplished woman will succeed the beloved Sen. Boxer, we are going to have when this election is over one community disappointed because one of these eminently qualified women didn't get into the US Senate.

Whichever one of these women wins, they will inherit by default a national women of color constituency that extends far beyond the borders of the state of California.

May the best US Senate candidate win, and represent the state of California, our communities and the nation as well.

Monday, August 22, 2016

PFLAG Statement on Unjust Texas vs. United States Case

PFLAG National Executive Director Jody M. Huckaby has issued the following statement concerning the unjust injunction issued by GW Bush appointed US District Judge Reed O'Connor in the Texas vs United States case..

The injunction issued today by US District Judge Reed O'Connor in Texas v. United States puts transgender students even further in harm's way.  Thousands of PFLAG families across the country are already having to navigate school environments that marginalize their trans kids; this ruling only adds fuel to the discriminatory fire.  
 The unfounded fears of a few should not and must not outweigh the safety and dignity of transgender students, who simply want to learn in a secure and welcoming environment, as all students do.
School administrators have a responsibility to create such an environment for all students who walk through their doors, and this injunction does not bar them from implementing inclusive policies to do so.  

Thanks Jody and PFLAG for having the trans community's backs as standup allies even when it wasn't the cool thing to do, and while this ruling stinks, knowing that our allies are standing with us to help us fight it on behalf of our trans kids is comforting to us as trans elders and parents of trans kids.

Unjust Injunction Granted In Texas vs United States Trans Rights Case

The transphobic oppressors won a round in federal district court as US District Judge Reed O'Connor, a known anti-LGBT rights oppressor and GW Bush judicial appointee issued a preliminary nationwide injunction Sunday against the federal government's DOE/DOJ guidance to public schools regarding their legal responsibility to allow transgender students to use the same restrooms as other cisgender students.

Translation: the current jacked up status quo is in place until the lawsuit flied by my indicted attorney general works its way through the federal court system.  The federal government can appeal the injunction and request a stay of it if they wish to the appellate court or the SCOTUS.

All elections at every level of government matter.  Presidential elections matter because they get to select SCOTUS and federal judges.  If you're pissed off about this ruling, keep that in mind on November 8.

Lambda Legal, the ACLU of Texas, the Transgender Law Center, the GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) and National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) had submitted a joint friend of the court amicus brief in the lawsuit by Texas and 10 other Republican controlled states subsequently joined by two others against the United States, the Departments of Education, Justice and Labor and several federal officials

Those organizations issued a joint statement shortly after Judge O'Connor's unjust ruling.:
A ruling by a single judge in one circuit cannot and does not undo the years of clear legal precedent nationwide establishing that transgender students have the right to go to school without being singled out for discrimination. This unfortunate and premature ruling may, however, confuse school districts that are simply trying to support their students, including their transgender students.
 So let us make it clear to those districts: your obligations under the law have not changed, and you are still not only allowed but required to treat transgender students fairly.
The scope of this injunction has no effect on the ability of other courts or lawyers representing transgender people to continue to rely on the federal government’s interpretations of Title IX or on prior decisions that have reached similar conclusions about the scope of federal sex discrimination laws. 
The court’s misguided decision targets a small, vulnerable group of young people – transgender elementary and high school students – for potential continued harassment, stigma and abuse.
Those five civil rights organizations pointed out that Judge O'Connor failed to consider the interests of the transgender students the federal laws sought to protect,  and pledged "We will continue to file lawsuits representing transgender students and litigate them to the fullest extent of the law-regardless of what happens with this particular federal guidance."

Chuck Smith, the CEO of Equality Texas also expressed his organization's disappointed over the unjust ruling.

We are disappointed by the ruling, but despite this setback, we are hopeful and know that the civil rights of all students will ultimately prevail. 
Transgender Texans, and in particular transgender kids, must be afforded the most basic dignity to use the restroom. Paxton’s actions seek to punish and harm transgender students who have done nothing wrong. 
We will continue to fight with the parents of these children until “ALL” children do not face discrimination and are treated equally under the law.
An injunction doesn't change what existing law is. It would only apply to the DOJ's issuance of its interpretation. So schools still need to comply with the law. Title IX and VII still prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex.
This decision does nothing to prevent school districts to work with parents on an individual basis to ensure they are protected in school and do not face bullying, alienation or discrimination.
In the ruling, Judge O’Conner said, “the difficult policy issue is not a subject of his order.” We believe this civil rights issue will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The band of trans oppressor states joining together to gleefully oppress trans students in addition to my home state of Texas, includes Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky (through its GOP Gov. Matt Bevin) Louisiana, Mississippi, (through its GOP Gov. Phil Bryant ), Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.   Other plaintiffs seeking to oppress trans students are the  Arizona Department of Education, the Heber-Overgaard Unified School District in Arizona, Harrold ISD in Texas and Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R)

The good news is that many of these plaintiffs are in the Fourth, Sixth, Ninth and Eleventh Circuits which have already issued binding appellate rulings that are consistent with the guidance of the federal agencies.

This is just the opening rounds of this court battle.  I'm positive there is going to be a day coming soon that I will have good news to report when it comes to this Texas v United States case and common sense and justice will prevail.

Happy 2016-17 School Year To My Trans And LGB Siblings

HISD and other school districts in the Houston area started classes today, and I'm thinking about this in the wake of my niece Kacielyn and one of the many transkids I know like Kai starting kindergarten today.

Kai's mom Kimberly Shappley has been fighting a battle with the Pearland ISD to get then to see the error of their transphobic ways and not discriminate against her daughter.

They are taking their lead from their transphobic superintendent Dr John Kelly and being obstinate about forcing a trans feminine child into bathrooms with cisgender boys, so Shappley may have to escalate the fight for her daughter's freedom, liberty and human rights to the legal system.

It's also a reminder of the DOE/DOJ Dear Colleague letter that is being contested in federal court by a group of ten states led by my indicted GOP Texas attorney general who is indulging his oppressor gene.

Back to this school year post.

While this school year is already shaping up to be a contentious one for trans kind, it's also one of great possibilities for you as well.  In addition to kids like Kai starting their school years in kindergarten, some are making the jump to middle school.  Others of you are starting high school or heading into your senior year, and some of you are heading off to college or into your last year of college.

And major props to those of you who are in grad school or law school.

Landon after being named Homecoming Queen Saturday. (Grady Reid/KCTV)Some of you before this year is over may have the opportunity to make some trans history along the way and become your school's (or your state's) first ever trans masculine or trans feminine homecoming kings or queens, or winning prom king or queen.

Some of you may choose to excel or compete in sports or other activities as your true selves, while others of you will be more concerned with simply handling your academic business and making friends along the way.

Whatever way you choose to handle your school business, know that your trans elders support you, and stand ready along with several organizations like Lambda Legal, the ACLU, GLSEN, GLAD and the Department of Justice to ensure your Title IX human rights are covered.

Best of luck to all of you and hope this is a successful 2016-17 academic year for all of you.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Racist White Supremacists Show Up At Houston NAACP HQ

White Lives Matter protested in front of the NAACP office in Third Ward on Sunday. Photo: Darla Guillen/Houston Chronicle
While many of us were at church or chilling out today, the local area white supremacists, feeling froggy because their man Donald Trump is running for president, decided to leap out of their suburban 'hoods and desecrate Third Ward with their presence.  

They showed up in front of the Houston NAACP headquarters on Wheeler Ave bearing guns, Confederate flags and White Lives Matter signs for a Sunday afternoon protest

Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 8.35.05 PMThey claimed they weren't racist (dead giveaway) and weren't there to instigate or cause trouble, but the Confederate flag, guns and 'White Lives Matter' signs in addition to showing up in front of NAACP headquarters in the heart of the predominately Black Third Ward on a Sunday said otherwise.

They also spouted the laughably usual right wing bull feces claiming that Black Lives Matter is 'a terrorist organization' while wearing Trump 2016 t-shirts and hats.

They were also carrying a '14 Words' sign, which is a dog whistle to other white supremacists.

So what are those '14 Words'?

Fourteen Words is a reference to the white supremacist slogan: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children."

It also can refer to a different 14-word slogan in white supremacist circles that states "Because the beauty of the White Aryan woman must not perish from the earth."

NAACP president Cornell Brooks tweeted that 'We an not intimidated' by White Lives Matter' protesters.  And how ironic the white supremacist ignorati are protesting a human rights organization in the NAACP that was founded predominately by white people in 1909?

The Houston Black Lives Matter Chapter said in an official statement concerning the protest:

It came to our attention earlier this week that there would be a "White Lives Matter" protest today. While it is always tempting to go and challenge those White people who come out and attack our movement, it is more important that we teach Black people that ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬. People like these White supremacists are a waste of space and time, their minds are already made up and so are ours, What would we need to discuss with them?
 The hard truth is that the Houston Police Department has been waiting to pounce on us. The situation would have endangered us in a way that dishonors why one would die for the liberation of Black bodies. The moment we would have arrived, they would have protected those white folks who came to a Black community to protest not just BLM but all Black people and perpetuate the racism that has always been part of their ideology.
Hate is a powerful thing, but only IF you give it power and narrative.  

This mess today is why Trump, the GOP and the white supremacists who support him must suffer an utterly crushing electoral defeat on November 8.