Thursday, April 28, 2016

BTAC 2016 Day 3 Highlights

After an amazing display of talent at TransManifest last night that inclued, lip sync, several spoken word, , it`s Thursday.  
The highly anticipated events taking place today are the keynote speeches by Mister Cris and Dora Santana and later tonight, the Mr. and Ms. Black Trans International pageants at 7 PM in which the new BTAC royalty will be crowned to represent us..

There will also be two morning blocks and an afternoon block of seminar programming to fill out the rest of this third day of Black Trans Advocacy Conference Programming.

What Women REALLY Fear In The Bathroom

Besides/right wing Republican pervs like Dennis Hastert, Josh Duggar and countless others around the country, this iswhat women fear more in the bathrooms than their trans sisters.

Yep, running out of toilet paper.

You ignorati really need to get over your facts free hatred of trans folks.  I and the trans community are getting sick and tired of being sick and tired of being your political punching bags and our lives are not up for a societal debate

So flush that transphobia you`re peddling as soon as possible.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

100 Days To Rio!

One of my fave sporting events for many reasons is the Olympic Games be it the summer or winter versions of it.   I'm definitely looking forward to the August 5 of the Rio Games this summer.

We are now 100 days from watching the opening ceremonies at Maracana Stadium, and the Olympic flame was lit on April 21 in Greece and is now making its way across Greece enroute to a handoff ceremony schedule to happen today in Athens.  

After the torch is handed off to the Brazilian organizers, it will head to IOC headquarters in Switzerland and the Olympic Museum in Lausanne before heading to Geneva and the UN Office there.

From there it will take flight to Brasilia, Brazil's capital where the torch rally will start on May 3 and hit 300 cities, all 26 Brazilian state capitals and the Brazilian Federal District before it gets to Rio de Janeiro on August 5 for the first ever Olympic Games held on the South American continent.

And can't wait to see who the Brazilians select to light the Olympic cauldron and what creative way they come up with to do so.

BTAC 2016 Day 2 Highlights

The first full day of BTAC 2016 seminars starts at 9:15 AM CDT.   We'll also have the BTAC Career Clinic and the opening of the vendor area.

Th topics of the seminars in the AM block are 'Creating Healthy Masculinity', 'Ways Of Coping With Stress', 'Gaining and Maintaining Employment For Trans People', 'Behind The Scenes Pageantry Preparation On and Off Stage' and 'Life Choices'.

I'm moderating one on Black Trans History at 2:15 PM as part of the Black Trans Community Summit, with Part 2 starting at 3:30 PM will be a round table discussion on issues of importance to our community.  

For those of you wishing you were here in Dallas with us,  you can check out the days events at the hashtag #BTAC2016.

This day closes with Trans Manifest Live starting at 9 PM

Clinton Gets 4 Out Of 5 Northeastern States

The race for the Democratic party nomination may not be officially over until June 14, but Sec. Hillary Clinton took four out of five northeastern states to get another step closer to clinching the nomination. .

Sanders only win was in Rhode Island, which was a semi closed primary state that he won  55%-43%.   The other states were closed primaries with predictable results.   Clinton narrowly won Connecticut by six points, , Delaware and the big prizes of Maryland (118 delegates) and Pennsylvania (210).

Three states she won by blowout, which is bad news once again for a Sanders campaign desperately trying to cut into her large delegate lead   She won Maryland, with its large African-American population by 30 points, Delaware by 20 points and Pennsylvania by 12 points

The obese opera singer may not be singing the 'It's Over" aria, but is definitely doing sound checks.

Next up is the Indiana primary on May 3 in which 92 delegates will be up for grabs.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

BTAC Condemns Lt Gov. Patrick`s Call For TX Anti-Trans Hate Law

The 2016 edition of the Black Trans Advocacy Conference kicked off in Dallas today, but attendees were dismayed to hear that Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick (R) signaled during a press conference that he would be supportive of a HB 2 style hate bill in the Lone Star State.  It`s not surprising since Patrick supported and contributed to the HERO repeal forces.  

The Black Trans Advocacy Conference this afternoon issued a statement condemning Lt Governor Patrick`s comments attempt to peddle anti trans hatred in Texas.

***


The Black Trans Advocacy Conference condemns Lt. Governor Dan Patrick`s statement that he would support removing human rights protections for all Texans with an HB2 style bill.

We find it particularly egregious that you would cynically use hatred of trans people to do so in an election year.

"I fail to understand why our lieutenant governor would wish to take this regressive step backward," said BTAC executive director Carter Brown. "Trans Texans are your neighbors, business owners, employees, taxpayers, family members,  husbands, wives, and people raising children."

"It is time to move Texas forward, not follow North Carolina down the divisive, economy destroying nouveau Jim Crow path they wish to take our beloved state."

BTAC 2016 Day 1 Highlights

Been waiting for this day since I left Dallas last year after the conclusion of last year's conference to go back to my end of I-45.   It's now time for the 5th annual Black Trans Advocacy Conference, and we're doing so from a new hotel, the Marriott Dallas/Addison Quorum after two years at the Doubletree Campbell Center.

New hotel means we have a new area of town to learn in terms of what is available nearby, and one in terms of how it's laid out.

We get started at 1 PM CDT with our opening plenary session and orientation, with our first seminar of BTAC 2016 starting at 2:30 PM entitled 'Sharing The Light Of Love Through Spirituality' with presented Jade Lenore.

At 7 PM will be the BTAC 2016 Opening Ceremony followed at 8:15 PM by a Grand Akanni for the brothers and masculine identified attendees moderated by Carter Brown and a Grand Ayombi for the ladies and feminine identified attendees moderated by Dee Dee Watters.

And if the weather holds up, at 10 PM we're going bowling tonight at Bowlmor Lanes..      .

You can also follow the action at #BTAC2016.

Five Critical NE Presidential Primary Contests Tdoay

It's the last political stand for Bernie Sanders in this 2016 Democratic primary season as the election calendar takes up to five northeastern US states than if Hillary Clinton sweeps them, could be the death knell for he Sanders campaign.

Primaries will be taking place in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.that are worth a total of 463 delegates available.  The big prizes are Connecticut with 71 delegates, Maryland with 118 delegates, and Pennsylvania with 210 delegates.    Delaware has 31 delegates and Rhode Island with 33 delegates available

And in mounting bad news for the Sanders campaign, Sanders trails in all five states and all with the exception of Rhode Island are closed primaries.   Rhode Island is a semi-closed primary state.

The other problem they have is that three states, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland have large African-American populations, with African-American voters making up 30% of Maryland's electorate.   Rhode Island has a 22% Latino population, another group that Sanders has had difficulty connecting with.

We'll see if the Clinton campaign gets their sweep today, or if by some miracle Sanders at least gets a win out of this group of states that aren't a good fit for him.

Monday, April 25, 2016

In The BTAC 2016 House!

Hey Dallas, Moni's on your end of I-45 until Sunday for the 5th annual Black Trans Advocacy Conference and Awards Gala starting today and running until May 1

 It's my fourth one since 2013 when I was honored to be the first trans feminine person to do a keynote when they opened the conference to trans feminine participation.  .

This year's 2016 keynote speeches will be delivered given by Dora Santana and Mister Cris, and y'all still have time to join us for all the fun.

NEWBTWI
Since it falls so close to my May 4 birthday, I treat BTAC like an extended birthday celebration, since my birthdays the last few years have tended to be quiet contemplative days.


But back to talking about this year's edition of BTAC.   This year we are at a new hotel, the Dallas Addison Marriott Quorum at the Galleria, after several years at the Doubletree Campbell Center.  I loved the old hotel because it had a Whataburger and 7-Eleven in easy walking distance and it was literally on the DART Orange and  Red light rail lines.  The West Coasters liked it for the Inn-and Out Burger that was up the street.

A new hotel means we have a new neighborhood and part of the Metroplex to explore and find out what amenities are nearby. We trade North Park Mall for the Dallas Galleria and being closer to DFW Airport instead of Love Field.  If Louis Mitchell makes it again this year, he's probably going to love the new hotel because of the Starbucks in the lobby.

The one thing that doesn't change is the the Trans Manifest, the Black Trans Advocacy Pageants, our Awards Gala, the Black Diamond Ball and our Family Fun Day and Reunion Picnic.

BTAC also provides me and all its attendees the chance to network, hang out with my trans siblings, their supportive family members and our supportive allies.  It's reuniting with old friends, making new ones, and discussing during this week what we need to do to be the change we wish to be in the world.

Going to be an interesting next few days.

Getting On The Bus-To BTAC 2016

Well, if my Megabus pulled out of the station on time, Dee Dee Watters and I should be speeding up I-45 north to Dallas for the fifth annual Black Trans Advocacy Conference and what I jokingly call; 'Moni's Extended Birthday Week Celebration'

The last two years, BTAC has ended either on or near my Cuatro de Mayo birthday, but this year it's going to end three days short of it on May 1.

Still won't stop me from enjoying this 2016 edition of the Black Trans Advocacy Conference and taking in everything this unique conference in Dallas has to offer.it.

See y'all in four hours Dallas, give or take the traffic.  

Rep. Donna Edwards Fighting To Win A US Senate Seat

One of the races that will be eagerly watched tomorrow besides the presidential contests in the fierce Democratic primary battle in Maryland for the US Senate seat of retiring Senator Barbara Mikulski (D).

It pits Rep Chris Van Hollen and Rep. Donna Edwards against each other in the race to succeed the longest serving woman senator.   The other thing happening in this race is that Rep. Edwards is seeking to become only the second Black female US senator ever elected and the first since Carol Moseley Braun was elected to represent Illinois in 1992, but lost her reelction bid six years later...

This US Senate primary race is also high stakes because in heavily Democratic Maryland, winning the primary makes you the odds on favorite to win the general election on November 8.

While Van Hollen has outraised her 10-1 and has his supporters on Capitol Hill, EMILY's List has backed her.  Turns out Mikulski was the first female candidate the group backed when it was founded, and they would love to see the retiring five term senator replace by another woman.

Black female lawmakers are adamant about having one of their own among the ranks of the 20 women who are currently holding US Senate seats.   California Attorney General Kamala Harris is also running for the Us Senate to replace Sen. Barbara Boxer (D), who is also retiring this year.

 "To hell with the aspirations of centuries of people in Maryland, a place where Harriet Tubman came from," said Democratic Rep. Gwen Moore of Wisconsin, an Edwards backer in the Congressional Black Caucus, bridling at Democratic establishment support for Van Hollen. "To hell with that. I mean, he looks like a senator."


"I can tell you that it matters, and it matters a lot, for women to be elected to Congress,"  Rep. Moore added, noting that no Black woman has served in the Senate since Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois lost her re-election bid more than 15 years ago. "There's nobody who's an African-American woman in there at all."

Edwards is determined to be that Black woman serving in the US Senate and making some history in the process, but step one of that process is winning the primary on Tuesday.   

So hope she makes it happen.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Don't Believe The Hype -It Isn't Trans Folks You Need To Fear In Your Bathrooms

We're the prey, not the predators.  

That point is increasing getting through to reality based America despite all the lies broadcast at max volume from the Rethuiglican Noise Machine.  Despite their best efforts of the Republican Party, FOX Noise, right wing talk radio, conservafool certified hate groups like the Family Research Council, and fundamentalist churches like the Southern Baptists and the Roman Catholic Church, this attempt to dehumanize and other trans people will fail.

The sad part is that the GOP is doing this as Ted Cruz his reprehensibly doing, for November 8 political advantage.   The Rethuglicans are desperately trying to divert attention from the fact they are the ones passing the unjust anti-civil rights measures in a state near you to cover up the fact they suck at governing our states and the nation..

Thank God the Texas legislature isn't in session until January, but i'm already getting ready to do battle the the Lone Star Forces of Intolerance seeking to spread trans hate in my state.

To drive home the point that we trans peeps aren't the problem, here's a guest  post from Yunus Coldman that I saw on his Facebook page that deserves to be signal boosted.

And now, here's Yunus Coldman

***

Don't buy into the hype or the fear people. The overwhelming stats show that child molesters do not consider themselves trans anything, gender fluid, etc. they are self admittedly, and enraged if otherwise labeled, with few exceptions, heterosexual men.

The two alleged incidences that have occurred happened after the idea of dressing up in female clothing was provided by the fearmongers. These perverts are not transgender women (who are women whether you like it or not) therefore the data still holds firm that there are and have never been such occurrences committed by people of trans experience. These are the facts. Child molesters mostly disguise themselves as cousins, uncles, friend of the family, religious figures and senators.
I will also add if you want protection for your children in restrooms it will most likely be from the trans community. After all, trans women are the ones who are most likely attacked in restrooms ... And every place else for that matter. They don't want it happening to anyone else especially children.
Off my soapbox. Good night

***.

Let my people pee and live in human rights dignity.

Off my electronic soapbox concerning this subject for now as well
.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Congratulations On Making History Again, Fran!

It's been a history making 2016 already for attorney and human rights advocate Fran Watson, who is the current president of the Houston LGBT Political Caucus among the other things she's a part of in H-town.

Fran not only became the first African-American woman to hold the position back in January, the native Houstonian was also honored this year with a proclamation by Mayor Sylvester Turner declaring January 27 as Fran Watson Day!

Last night Fran made some more local LGBT history by becoming the first African-American woman in 23 years elected to be a Houston Pride Parade Female Grand Marshal and only the second ever..

The Rev. Carolyn Mobley was the first African-American female Houston Pride Grand Marshal, and she accomplished that feat back in 1993.

In the 2016 Female Grand Marshal race there were two additional outstanding candidates in Lynette Ross and Melissa Vivanco, so it was a tough choice for peeps voting this year..  

That was also the case in the Male Grand Marshal race in which Lou Weaver was vying to become the first ever trans masculine Grand Marshal, and Brad Pritchett and Paul Guillory were also running for it.  .

We've had two trans feminine ones in Phyllis Frye and Jenifer Rene Pool.

Brad Odom was elected 2016 Grand Marshal Male and in another tough choice race for 2016 Grand Marshal Ally, Dena Gray was elected over another deserving nominee in former HISD school board trustee Juliet. Stipeche.

Houston Pride Week will be June 19-26, with the Pride Festival and parade for the second consecutive year in Downtown Houston.


TransGriot Note:  photo of Fran by Eric Edward Schell

Sarah's Committing A Revolutionary Act In NC

Y'all know I have much love and respect for Sarah McBride, who I first met when she was a White House intern back in 2011 and have watched her grow into an amazing person and advocate.

While transiting North Carolina Thursday, she committed a revolutionary act.  She took this selfie in the women's restroom at the airport after using it, and posted this accompanying truth filled comment on her page that deserves to get signal boosted.

And now for your TransGriot reading pleasure, here's Sarah:

***

Here I am using a women's restroom in North Carolina that I'm technically barred from being in. 

They say I'm a pervert.

They say I'm a man dressed as a woman.
They say I'm a threat to their children.
They say I'm confused.
They say I'm dangerous.
And they say accepting me as the person I have fought my life to be seen as reflects the downfall of a once great nation.

I'm just a person. We are all just people. Trying to pee in peace. Trying to live our lives as fully and authentically as possible. Barring me from this restroom doesn't help anyone. And allowing me to continue to use this bathroom - just without fear of discrimination and harassment - doesn't hurt anyone.

Stop this. We are good people. #repealhb2

***

We can only hope that the conservatives and fundamentalists 'Christians pushing this anti-trans hatred for Republican political advantage are listening.  So far they aren't and are being obstinate in their resistance to repealing Hate Bill 2, but economic boycotts and negative worldwide publicity seem to be getting their attention.

So are posts like this that point out the ridiculous, unjust and dehumanizing nature of proposing laws and policies that demonize and entire class of people.

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Trans Kids Grow Up So Fast Don't They?

Jazz Jennings
While perusing my Facebook feed I noted the pic of Jazz behind the wheel of a car and her mom Jeanette mentioning hat she'd just gotten her learner's permit.

On Monday season 7 of Royal Pains became available, and I finally got to watch the episode featuring Nicole Maines, who is about to enter college this fall..

Sadie, who wrote in 2013 at the time her 'Dream For The World' Letter that became at the time I published it the most read post on TransGriot, is now a 16 year old high school student, and was happy to see on her mom's Facebook page a picture of her smiling face and her long brown hair.

It's just a reminder post that the trans kids are growing up so fast.  Seems like a lifetime ago we first saw six year old Jazz, and now here she is not only coming off a GLAAD award win for the reality show featuring her and her family and now another book.

transgender homecoming king Mel Gonzales Texas Sugar Land
Locally I've been blessed to meet the next generation of trans kids in the Houston area, and they are positioning themselves to do some amazing things.   Mel Gonzales, who made history as the first trans masculine homecoming king in Texas and was part of the team that helped us kill those Texas anti-trans bills, is now in college.

I also wonder what happened with trans kids who were in the news cycle like Andy Moreno in Dallas back in 2010 when she was fighting to become the first trans feminine homecoming queen at North Dallas High.     I do wonder how her life is transpiring along with other trans masculine and trans feminine teens who briefly popped up in the news and now have faded from the spotlight..

Our trans kids are growing up fast, and that means we trans elders have to fight tooth and nail to ensure that the world they will one day interact with as adults will be a better one than the one we had to deal with when we were their age.

And the cool thing is at times, they are fighting right alongside us to make that better world happen.

Shut Up Fool Awards- Body Slamming Stupidity Edition

Photo courtesy Joanie "Chyna" Laurer Facebook page.
The other well known person who died yesterday was former WWE champion wrestler Joanie 'Chyna' Laurer, who was found dead in her Redondo Beach, CA home yesterday.of a suspected overdose at age 45.

She was a trailblazer in her own right, being the only female wrestler to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship belt  twice during her WWE stint from 1997-2001 and holding the WWE women's championship for 243 days in 2001 before she left the organization..

But it's time to body slam and pile drive some off the charts ignorance and call out some fools in this week's edition of the TransGriot Shut Up Fool Awards

Honorable mention number one is a group award to all the BernBots whining about 'voter suppression' in the wake of Hillary spanking Bernie's azz in New York.    

You failing to know the election rules in New York State, change your registrations in time while knowing that it is a closed primary for Democrats only is not 'voter suppression'.  Talk to Black and Latinx voters and we can tell you what real voter suppression looks like.

Honorable mention number two is Spartanburg County SC Sheriff Chuck Wright, who dragged out the old tired charge comparing the NAACP to the Ku Klan Klan.

You're kidding me right?   The NAACP never assassinated civil rights leaders, murdered civil rights workers, bombed people's churches and homes, or attacked non-violent protesters.   That's the Klan.  But then again, you probably already know that because some of your officers probably wear those pointed hoods on the weekends

Honorable mention number three is Joe Arpaio, the AZ sheriff who falsely tweeted that Prince died of a drug overdose.   Really, fool?  You've been standing outside in that Arizona desert sun too long.  Will be so glad when Maricopa County voters kick your azz out of office.

Honorable mention number four is Kristi Merritt, for accomplishing the double dip of using racism and transphobia to support HB 2.

Honorable mention number five for Uncle Ben Carson, who cooned it up for his conservamassas by opposing replacing Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill with Harriet Tubman

This week's SUF loser winner is Ted Cruz.   The junior senator from Alberta is now doubling down on using transphobia to resuscitate his dying presidential campaign

In addition to kicking a trans teen out of one of his hate rallies, he seized on an opportunity to inject more toxic transphobic hate into the atmosphere by unleashing a transphobic commercial  to attack Donald Trump.

Once again America, as a proud Texan, I implore you to please not let this transphobic dominionist idiot get anywhere near the White House, much less the GOP nomination.

Oh yeah..., Ted Cruz, shut up fool!

NBA Warns NC The 2017 NBA All Star Game Is In Danger

The price of transphobic bigotry keeps getting higher for North Carolina in the wake of the unjust Hate Bill 2 being passed and their refusal to repeal it.

Add the NBA to the list of corporations, conventions, and entertainers who have canceled plans to host events in the Tarheel State or bring jobs to it.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver sent a warning shot to North Carolina alerting them that the 2017 NBA All-Star Game will be moved from Charlotte if HB 2 is not repealed.


"We've been, I think, crystal clear that a change in the law is necessary to play in the type of environment that we think is appropriate for a celebratory NBA event, said Silver. "But that we did have some time and if the view of the people who were allied with us, in terms of a change, the view of the people on the ground in North Carolina was that the situation would best be served by us not setting a deadline, then we would not set a deadline at this time."
Translation.  Better bust a move North Carolina legislature on repealing Hate Bill 2 or face losing the 2017 NBA All Star Game and the potential millions it will bring your state's economy.

One of the things that has been bugging me in this situation is the silence of Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan concerning the hate bill that has been unleashed upon his home state.  But then again, he was silent during the 1990 Jesse Helms-Harvey Gantt US senate race, so I wasn't expecting any miracles there.

Charlotte homeboy and Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry has said more words on the human rights issue than Mute Mike ever has.

We'll stay tuned to see if the NBA backs up the warning with concrete action if the GOP-controlled North Carolina legislature continues to obstinately dig in its heels and refuse to act on Hate Bill 2