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

Image result for Rio closing ceremony flame extinguished
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.

Image result for tokyo 2020 logo
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'

Image result for Hillary clinton calls out Trump for bigotry in Reno Speech
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

Image result for Donald Trump
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

Image result for UH press conference Fertitta Hofheinz
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.

Image result for Judge Roy Hofheinz
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

Image result for hofheinz pavilion uh
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.

2016 Olympics Watch- Darn, It's Over

The 2016 Rio Olympic Games are coming to a close today, and far from Donald Trump's loud and wrong assertion that the USA doesn't win anymore, that's all Team USA in all its diverse glory has been doing since the Games kicked off August 6 .

In many cases, they were historic wins in several sports like our first ever medals in the triathlon, or first medals of of any color in many sports in decades.

Team USA led all nations with 121 medals won, and 46 of them were gold.  The rest of the top five nations in the 2016 Rio Olympic medal count were Great Britain  (27 golds, 67 medals). China (26 golds, 70 medals) , Russia (19 golds, 56 total), and Germany (17 golds, 42 medals).

The closing ceremonies will happen starting at 7 PM CDT, and Simone Biles will be leading Team USA into the Maracana stadium as our flag bearer.  She's the first gymnast to be given that honor.

But after watching the competition in Rio play out over the last two weeks, I'm always sad when I see the Olympic flag come down from the flagpole where it has proudly flapped during the Games, get marched out of the stadium and the Olympic flame get extinguished.

This was also an interesting Olympics for me because I was in Washington DC when the opening ceremonies happened, watching some events from Chautauqua, and now back home in Houston for the closing ceremonies.

Fortunately because since 1992 the winter and summer Games are no longer contested in the same year, won't have to wait too long until Olympic sporting action happens again in just two short years in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The next summer games are in Tokyo, and will be interesting to see what happens for the Team USA Olympians that gather to compete four years from now in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

2016 Olympics Watch-Semenya Wins Gold!

Caster Semenya celebrates his gold medal run
Well haters, Caster Semenya handled her Olympic business and won the 800m gold that eluded her in London.  

Semenya won her race in a personal best time of 1:55:28, which is not only the best time run in the world in the 800m this year, it was also a South African national record.

What was even more delicious for me was that the silver and bronze medalists who finished behind the Olympic champion were also continental Africans.  Burundi's Francine Niyonsaba captured the silver and Kenya's Margaret Wambui took the bronze/

.And unfortunately, the same innuendo that has dogged Semenya since 2009 has popped up in Rio to shadow the silver and bronze medalists.

Niyonsaba took the lead in the race with 300m to go but Semenya unleashed her finishing kick with 150m left in the race to win

The haters can keep on pouting in the corner and trying to throw shade at the now 25 year old Semenya.  The 800m gold medal is still going back to South Africa with Caster,  

Congratulations, and see you in 2020 sis as you defend your title in Tokyo.

Playing A Transsexual In A Bad Movie Doesn't Make You An Expert On Our Sporting Lives

One of the things I and many trans persons get sick of is people who don't live our trans lives making loud and wrong commentary about them that is detrimental to our humanity as trans people and our international human rights cause.

The latest person to fall into that trap of flapping their loud and wrong gums about our lives is actress Michelle Rodriguez.  She's already catching flak from our community concerning an upcoming movie in which she plays a doublecrossed male assassin that gets kidnapped and given SRS against his will in a movie originally called Tomboy but has now been renamed (re)Assignment.

Still not going to deflect from the fact this looming transphobic trope filled disaster of a movie will be desecrating multiplexes soon, and Trans World will still be calling out the problems in it.

Michelle Rodriguez tweet on Caster Semenya
I'll deal with that transphobic trainwreck of a movie in another post.  What I need to do right now is address the WTF tweet that Rodriguez sent calling for a transgender category in the Olympic Games that was aimed at South African 800m runner Caster Semenya, who goes for gold later tonight.

The first problem with this tweet is it's conflating the issues of transgender participation in sports with the issue of hyperandrogenism, and is spreading misinformation to do so.

Let me state for the record Ms. Rodriguez since you obviously aren't aware of this fact, but the IOC since 2004 has allowed trans people to compete in the Olympic Games after consulting with medical experts from around the world familiar with transgender medical issues and transgender inclusion in world sport.    

The International Olympic Committee was obviously satisfied enough about what they  heard from the IOC Medical Commission concerning transgender sporting participation in the Games to issue the Stockholm Consensus that many international sporting federations use as their guidelines for transgender sporting participation in the sporting competitions they oversee.

The International Olympic Committee also in November 2015 refined those procedures and policies in the wake of the IOC Meeting On Sex Reassignment and Hyperandrogenism.

The NCAA also allows transgender athletes to participate in collegiate sports, and those rules are mirrored by 34 state high school sporting associations and counting.

Let me also point out for you as well Ms. Rodriguez and any other peeps believing the fallacy, that trans women after a year on estrogen and testosterone suppression hormone protocols lose whatever strength and endurance advantage stemming from going through a masculine puberty.

I played varsity tennis in high school and still play from time to time, and I noticed I lost speed on my serve as a result of being on hormones since 1994,

The fallacy that because I or any trans feminine athlete went through a masculine puberty I could go out and for example join the women's professional tennis tour and dominate it is ludicrous at best and would be demolished the nanosecond I stood on a tennis court with Serena Williams on the other side of it and had to face her 120 mph serve she would blast past me with boring regularity.

And with trans feminine kids transitioning at earlier ages, they will be going through FEMALE puberty, not a masculine one.  It's also a disservice and an insult to cisgender female athletes everywhere to falsely claim that a trans feminine athlete would simply take over their sport just because we transitioned.

I'm also disappointed Ms. Rodriguez as a fan of your acting career, a fellow woman of color and BTLG community member that you resorted to attacking Caster Semenya as your vehicle to slam trans Olympic participation.  

I'm tired of seeing the racist attacks on Semenya from white women mad that Semenya has run the fifth fastest time ever in the 800m, and alarmed about the perceived threat in their minds that she presents to their hold on a track event they have recently dominated.

The fact that Semenya was 18 and from South Africa when she ran that 1:55:49 time at the 2009 world championships, and would only get better with time and training has really 'scurred' them into action to stop her since they feared they couldn't beat her on the track.

The ongoing attacks since 2009 on Semenya's femininity and gender presentation also plays into the racist 'unwoman' trope that has plagued African descended women across the African Diaspora since slavery, and has been exacerbated by the fact she is in a same sex relationship..

Looks like Mariya Savinova, the Russian woman who won the gold in London in 2012 had to allegedly get her better athletic performance through chemistry to beat Semenya.

But back to talking about trans people and their Olympic Games participation.

The IOC has made it clear in 2004 and again in 2015 that I or any trans person who puts in the work in their chosen sport, meets the criteria from their international sporting body and their national Olympic Committee to qualify for their national Olympic team in their chosen sport will be allowed to participate in the Olympic Games.

I want to see trans women do more in the Olympics than just be part of the opening ceremonies, I want to see a trans women one day standing on a medal platform and competing and winning in their chosen sports.  The trans kids growing up today also need to see that happen in a future winter or summer games and I hope they do in the rest of my remaining time on Planet Earth.

Ms. Rodriguez, being a cisgender person playing a transsexual in a bad transsexual trope filled movie doesn't make you an expert on our sporting lives.

Being a trans person or trans ally that is cognizant of the issues that impact our lives, and has either the lived experience or has done the research to intelligently talk about it does.