Monday, May 31, 2010

2010 French Open Williams Watch-Little Sis In Quarters

World Number 1 ranked Serena Williams not surprisingly is the lone American woman standing in the singles competition at the 2010 French Open.

She began her second week in Paris as the French Open's Number one seed by stepping onto Court Philippe Chatrier and taking out Israel's Shahar Peer in straight sets 6-2, 6-2 to move on to the quarterfinals.

She will face Aussie Samantha Stosur, a 2009 French Open semifinalist who upset four time French Open champ Justine Henin 1-6, 6-2, 6-4 over on Court Suzanne Lenglen to end Henin's French Open win streak.

Meanwhile, the Williams express hasn't dropped a set as they roll through the 2010 Roland Garros doubles competition. They moved on to the doubles semifinal with a 6-2, 6-3 straight set demolition over the duo of Maria Kirilenko of Russia and Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland.

Team Williams faces fellow American Liezel Huber and Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain. Garrigues along with Virginia Ruano won last year's French Open doubles title.

Here's hoping that the Williams sisters make it to their first French Open doubles final since 1999.

Memorial Day 2010

Today is Memorial Day in the States, and outside of the fact the Indy 500 took place yesterday, we take this day to remember all the service men and women who have died in service for our country. It's also considered the unofficial start to the summer season here in the States as well.

This Memorial Day sees what might be Congress finally going down the road of taking out an unjust law and repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'

Contrary to what most conservafools think, TBLG peeps served with honor and distinction in our nation's military. Some of them paid the ultimate price as well.

So as you're celebrating the start of the summer holiday season, take a moment to remember all of our people who died so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we enjoy, but have the ability to petition our government for redress of grievances.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

2010 French Open Williams Watch-Big Sis Out In Singles

We have one less Williams sister playing tennis in the Roland Garros women's singles draw.

Number Two seeded Big Sis was upset by Russia's Nadia Petrova 4-6, 3-6 to put Venus' attempt to win her first French Open singles title to a screeching halt.

She's still playing tennis in Paris, but it will only be doubles with Serena until hopefully June 3.

Venus did get a little redemption by teaming with Little Sis to beat the Czech Republic's duo of Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka in straight sets 6-1, 6-2.

Team Williams moves on to the quarterfinals in their bid to win their first French Open doubles title since 1999. They will take on the duo of Maria Kirilenko of Russia and Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland.

Speaking of Little Sis, Serena's quest to win her first French Open singles title since 2002 is still alive.

She plays her fourth round match against Israel's Shahar Peer. If she gets past Peer, she gets the winner of the Justine Henin-Samantha Stosur match.

Isis Update

Isis put a comment on her Facebook page recently that she would be appearing on the Tyra Show soon. haven't seen it yet, so I either missed it or it's been rescheduled. If it's been rescheduled, definitely will be on the lookout for it to see what my sis has been up to these days. You'll have to check your local TV listings to see what time the show comes on in your area.

Isis has been doing some wonderful things since her emergence on Cycle 11 of America's Next Top Model She's become a role model and eloquent voice for many transwomen of color regardless of our ages.

I had the pleasure of interviewing her on the Womanist Musings Blogtalkradio podcast, which is on hiatus until I get resettled here and Renee finishes a major project.

But I do want to take a moment to give a shoutout to my sis. Isis is evolving before our eyes into a beautiful, confident and sexy woman, and that's a wonderful thing to witness.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Trans No Makeup Zone

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There's an interesting discussion going on at Womanist Musings about makeup in reaction to the No Makeup Zone Today show episode. I'm going to toss in another angle of this makeup debate, from a transwoman's point of view.

One o the things we are constantly dealing with in addition to the usual baggage women deal with in terms of the beauty standard is also our insecurities about whether were accepted as women, period.

Those concerns are elevated or depressed based on whether or not you've had GRS, race, class and how long you've been living in the feminine gender role.

And that's even before we start talking about makeup issues.

My sisters fall along the makeup continuum from being either militantly anti-makeup to embracing it.

While we know that makeup is only a tool we use to enhance our femininity and our overall feminine presentation, it takes on a heightened importance for a transwoman. The more feminine we look to the average person, the better because it draws less attention to us.

That's a major concern when it's in the back of your mind that a transwoman is killed somewhere on this planet every three to four days. .

We know how to expertly put on that other face to the point where ciswomen are asking us for makeup tips.

Personally, I'm in the 'I like wearing it' camp. I own makeup books by Emmy Award winning makeup artist Reggie Wells and Sam Fine. I'm always experimenting with new ways of perfecting and polishing my look and use a mix of budget and Fashion Fair products that I discovered through trial and error work for me.

I'm also aware of the fact that I'm considered a role model for the African descended trans community. My appearance has to be on point when I do presentations and speeches. I never know when I step into a room whether this might be a person's first encounter with a professional African-American transperson and I want that interaction to be a positive one. So looking my gender best includes putting my other face on.

So do I feel different in my bareface than I do when I'm 'in face'? Yep.

I'm fortunate that in addition to having a tall and thin body build, I have a relatively androgynous face with high cheekbones and naturally long eyelashes.

Makeup enhances what I have. But some of my transsisters aren't so lucky.

I like the way I look when it's done, I feel more confident when I walk out the door and that translates into me being more confident in my ability to blend in with other ciswomen and society.

As to being more comfortable with going without it? That's an ongoing process.

2010 French Open Williams Watch-Little Sis Survives To Fourth Round

Serena had to put on the hard hat for her Court Philippe Chatrier match against Russian teen Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

It didn't look that way at first as she only took 28 minutes to win the first set 6-1. But after Serena had to call the trainer out for some medical issues, Pavlyuchenkova took advantage of Serena's troubles. She flipped the script in the second set to win it by an identical 6-1 count in 34 minutes to even the match.

Serena regrouped, took a deep breath and subdued Pavlyuchenkova 6-2 in the decisive third set to punch her ticket to the fourth round and her match with Israel's Shahar Peer. The win ensured that Little Sis will keep the world No.1 ranking after Roland Garros.

“I just ran out of a little energy out there,” Williams said. “Just fighting a cold and fighting sickness. But, you know, I’m just feeling better and getting ready for doubles.”

Meanwhile, Big Sis is rested and gets to play Russia's Nadia Petrova in her fourth round match.

The good news for Serena was that she didn't have to expend any extra energy in that doubles match against Hantuchova and Wozniacki. It was won in a walkover, so the Number one ranked Williams sisters will take on the Czech Republic's duo of Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka in their next doubles match.

Friday, May 28, 2010

2010 French Open Williams Watch-On To Third Round!

Little Sis had to wait an additional day to punch her ticket into the third round of the 2010 French Open singles tournament, but was all business when she stepped onto the court for her second round match with Germany's Julia Georges.

The tournament Number One seed dispatched Georges in a 6-1, 6-1 straight set demolition that only took 55 minutes. Serena takes on Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in her third round singles match.

Meanwhile tournament Number Two seeded Big Sis took out Spain's Arantxa Perra Santonia 6-2, 6-4 on Tuesday and beat Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 6-3, 6-4 in her third round match to advance to the fourth round of the French Open singles draw.

Their next doubles match has the number one doubles seeds taking on the Czech Republic's Daniela Hantchuova and Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark.

Houston Trans Community Preparing For Hurricane Season

The start of hurricane season is fast approaching, and with memories fresh in our minds about how several trans Katrina evacuees were mistreated in area shelters in 2005, the Houston TG Center is getting prepared to avoid a repeat of that scenario.

Because some of our community members are estranged or separated from our families, it impacts our abilities to expeditiously react to an oncoming storm or to recover from and rebuild our lives after it has made landfall.

The Houston TG Center is compiling a list of people willing to house trans evacuees in their homes in the vent of an evacuation.

If you need more info, follow this link to the TG Center blog.

Shut Up Fool! Awards-DADT's Going Down Edition

It's Memorial Day weekend, and fittingly the House voted late last night to begin the process to repeal DADT with the Senate on course to do the same.

I'm glad to see that unjust law being erased from our legal books, nut there are more than a few others Congress needs to work on.

It's Friday, and that means it's time to shine an unblinking spotlight on the fool, fools or group of fools who have distinguished themselves by exhibiting mind numbing levels of stupidity this week.

As usual we had many worthy candidates this week. The usual triumvirate of O'Reilly, Hannity and Palin. Megyn Kelly of Faux News. Michelle Malkin, Cliff Kincaid of the Orwellian-named Accuracy in Media for this falsehood filled May 25 column attacking gays in the military. Ann Coulter...

But this week's winner is Glenn Beck. Yeah, yeah I know. He says something stupid and disgusting on an almost hourly basis.

But I had to whack him for attacking and mocking Malia and Sasha Obama's intelligence.

Malia and Sasha collectively have more intelligence and common sense that all of Beck's viewers.

Glenn Beck, shut the HELL up fool.

House On Track To Repeal DADT

The House of Representatives voted 234-194 on an amendment that paves the way for a House vote to repeal the controversial 17 year old 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' military policy aimed at gays in the military.

It followed an 16-12 Senate Armed Services Committee vote that paves the way for the Senate to vote to repeal the policy as well.

The House amendment to repeal the controversial policy was offered by Iraq war veteran Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA) in the House's version of the defense authorization bill.

"When I served in Baghdad, my team did not care whether a fellow soldier was straight or gay," Murphy said. "Could they do their job so that everybody in our unit could come home safely. With our military fighting two wars, why on earth would we tell over13,500 able-bodied Americans that their services are not needed."

President Obama said in a statement that he was "pleased" by the House vote.

"This legislation will help make our Armed Forces even stronger and more inclusive by allowing gay and lesbian soldiers to serve honestly and with integrity,"

And I'm happy to see an odious unjust law going down.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

St. Louis Alderman Introduces Bill To Add Gender Identity To Existing Nondiscrimination Law

St. Louis may be on the verge of becoming the next metropolis to add 'gender identity and expression' to its nondiscrimination policy.

Alderman Shane Cohn introduced Board Bill 67 to precisely that on May 21.

St. Louis' City Ordinance 67119 was approved on June 13, 2006 and makes it illegal to discriminate in regard to housing, employment, education, services, public accommodations, and real property transactions regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry, or legal source of income.

Alderman Cohn’s bill would add Gender Identity and Expression, which is defined as an inner sense of being a specific gender, or the expression, intended or unintended, of a gender identity by verbal statement, appearance, or mannerisms, or other gender-related characteristics of an individual with or without regard to the individual's designated sex at birth.

So those of you in the St. Louis area who support civil rights coverage for trans people, time to get busy. Call your alderperson and ask them to support Board Bill 67.

And yes, Moni's going to help you find out who that person is by clicking on this link.

Black Men-Stop Contributing To The Transphobic Disrespecting Of Black Women

I was checking out my Louisville play nephew Jaison Gardiner's Facebook feed when he started a thread discussing Fantasia.

He's a big fan of hers (and Wendy Williams) and asserted during this discussion that Fantasia is one of the most talented winners American Idol has unearthed during its time on the air.

We were debating that proposition when the thread was interrupted by one of his commenters making a crack comparing Fantasia's looks to gospel call and response rapper Kirk Franklin.

Of course, you know I brought the pain on that one. Nephew deleted the comment in question, and I'll have mercy on the guilty by not further embarrassing him. the transphobic crack... our sisters get enough disrespect about their femininity and their looks vis a vis the vanilla flavored beauty standard without Black men, who are supposed to be our swords and shields and defenders, contributing to that disrespect

One of the things that really pisses me off in terms of the disrespect leveled at African-American women is how quickly Black men pile on.

It doesn't matter whether the Black woman in question is 5'2" or 6"2", if she isn't 'feminine enough' in the beholder's eyes, the transphobic comments freely flow from their mouths.

Ask Ciara, the Williams Sisters, writer Kola Boof, Wendy Williams and a distressingly long list of African-American ciswomen how fast the 'that's a man' shade gets deployed against them.

And sadly, the people leading the charge are Black men.

News flash boys, you're disrespecting the mothers of civilization when you do so. You are also breathing air on this planet because you were conceived, carried to term in her womb and given birth to by a Black woman. You better recognize and respect that fact.

I'm compelled to point out the obvious once again to some of y'all that transwoman does not equal 'NFL linebacker in a dress'. Some of my transsisters are stunningly beautiful women.

Beautiful enough that some have walked runways from New York to Milan, competed on America's Next Top Model and gotten high dollar contracts to model in advertising campaigns.

As I stated in the Facebook comment and it bears repeating, Black women take enough crap from society being compared to a vanilla beauty standard that wasn't designed or created with us in mind.

The last people on this planet that need to be joining in on the attacking of Black womanhood, and using transphobic insults to do so is Black men.

'Soul Train' Gets New Ownership-Where The New Shows At?

Must See TV when I was growing up was getting up at 7 AM on Saturday morning to watch my favorite cartoons, then flipping the channel at noon to watch Soul Train.

The hippest trip in America was my peeps version of American Bandstand. It was where me and my friends tuned in to catch up on the latest dances and see my favorite R&B and soul artists.

From 1970 until the 2005-2006 television season we were treated to new episodes and the iconic Soul Train Dancers.

They are so ingrained in African-American culture that In Living Color parodied them during its run.

And what party or African-American wedding did you attend over the last few decades that at one point or another didn't break out at the reception into an impromptu Soul Train line?

There was an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air that showed Vivian and Phil's engagement on an episode of Soul Train and reappearance during their wedding anniversary along with the kids on a Soul Train episode.

Well, that iconic slice of my youth has new owners. Show creator and long time host Don Cornelius sold the show in June 2008 to a Los Angeles based production company called MadVision Entertainment.

MadVision's plan at the time was to open up the show’s archives for older consumers as well as to create a new version of the program for younger ones.

“The series has never been shown on DVD, and it’s not been utilized on video-on-demand or mobile or Internet platforms,” Peter Griffith, a co-founder of MadVision, said. “There are many opportunities that we are exploring.

While the new Soul Train shows haven't materialized yet in the two years since the deal, it does have a website.

Could there be new episodes of Soul Train on the horizon? I certainly hope so.

WPATH Response To DSM V Revisions

Transpeople around the world have rightfully been concerned about the ongoing DSM V revisions.

The concern has been heightened about what shape those revisions would take thanks to two enemies of the trans community with specious theories about us being placed on that panel.

WPATH, The World Professional Association for Transgender Health, formerly known as HBIGDA, put together a committee to review some of the stuff the DSM V working group came up with.

You can check it out by following this link.

WPATH Press Statement issued May 26.

The WPATH Board of Directors strongly urges the de-psychopathologization of gender variance worldwide. The expression of gender characteristics, including identities, that are not stereotypically associated with one’s assigned sex at birth is a common and culturally-diverse human phenomenon which should not be judged as inherently pathological or negative.

The psychopathologlization of gender characteristics and identities reinforces or can prompt stigma, making prejudice and discrimination more likely, rendering transgender and transsexual people more vulnerable to social and legal marginalization and exclusion, and increasing risks to mental and physical well-being. WPATH urges governmental and medical professional organizations to review their policies and practices to eliminate stigma toward gender-variant people.”

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Loving Myself More

While checking my Facebook comments earlier today, I was struck by this one from my sis Laverne Cox. She said, 'Today I am going to work on loving myself more'.

With all the shame and guilt thrown at us along with the disapproval from many of the societal institutions arrayed against us, it is a challenge at times to be the women we know we are, even with someone who looks as good as her.

When you toss in the fact that African-American women are far too often considered vis a vis the vanilla flavored beauty standard as the 'unwoman', it is even more of an uphill climb for African descended transwomen to maintain a healthy self esteem and self image.

We African descended transwomen not only have to battle the ugliness that the world hurls at us and Black ciswomen in general, but also have to deal with elements of our own families and our community taking self esteem shattering potshots at us as well.

As an old African-American saying goes, 'Nobody will think you're somebody, if you don't think so yourself.'

So yes, it's important for me and every African descended trans woman to not only think we're somebody, but stand tall, proud and know we ARE somebody as well.

We must consistently work on loving myself more. We have to do a better job of sharing and spreading that love amongst our African descended transsisters as well.

If you're fortunate enough to have a loyal cis African descended sister as a friend, bring her into the love loop as well.

Because if we don't do so on a regular basis and show love and respect for our chocolate transsisters, who will?

Another PR Transwoman Found Dead

Seems like I just posted about Ashley Santiago being killed in her home a month ago.

Now comes word that Puerto Rican police are investigating another murder involving a transwoman who was reported as last being seen alive on May 20.

38 year old Angie González Oquendo, was found strangled to death with an electrical cord in her Caguas, PR home on May 24.

Carlos H. Cruz Burgos, director of the Caguas’ Criminal Investigation Corps, told El Nuevo Día he believes González was killed later that day.

Police discovered González’s body after reports from neighbors about a foul odor coming from her home. Investigators told Nuevo Día they continue to treat the case as either a hate crime or a case of domestic violence.

González’s father told Primera Hora he suspects his daughter’s boyfriend killed her.

Pedro Julio Serrano of the National Lesbian & Gay Task Force told the same newspaper he thinks local authorities should continue on the hate crime investigation track.

"At the very least, I suspect that a crime could have been committed by prejudice against the victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity," he said. "The authorities have an obligation under the law to investigate this hate angle."

And bring Angie, Michell Galindo's and Ashley Santiago's killers to justice.

Speaking of Ashley Santiago, according to Primero Hora her alleged killer Antonio Márquez recently turned himself in to authorities and confessed to her murder.

Hallelujah, Marquez is now awaiting prosecution for killing Santiago.

At any rate, the way transpeople are being killed this year, looks like we are going to be reading a long list of Latina, African-American and other POC names when it's time for our TDOR 2010 remembrances in November.

DART Board Votes Down Trans Protections

You may recall me posting in March about a situation in which a transwoman employed as a DART bus driver for 20 years had not only been discriminated against, but for some reason DART attorneys contested her name change order and reversed it.

The hits just keep on coming from DART.

Thanks to the Instant Tea blog of the Dallas Voice, was made aware of the DART Board of Directors meeting that took place last night.

The board voted 6-5 against adding trans protections to the agency’s nondiscrimination policy, according to Rafael McDonnell, a spokesman for Resource Center Dallas who attended the meeting.

McDonnell reported that the DART board, acting as the committee of the whole, initially voted 6-5 to approve the proposal to add gender identity to DART’s nondiscrimination policy.

But then one board member, Pamela Dunlop Gates of Dallas, switched her vote and asked DART attorneys to clarify definitions for “gender identity” and “genetic information,” another proposed addition to the policy.

McDonnell said Tuesday’s vote means the proposal must come back to the committee of the whole in June, after the attorneys come up with definitions.

If approved by the committee of the whole, the proposal would then go to the regular DART board at a later date. McDonnell said a DART staff member characterized Tuesday’s negative vote to him as a “speed bump” or “a hiccup.”

“It doesn’t mean that it’s dead,” McDonnell said. “I wouldn’t even say that it means it’s on life support. It means it’s taking a little longer to go through the process process. I’m disappointed in that. I got up and told the board members, ‘I respect the fact that you have questions, here’s my phone number.’”

McDonnell also encouraged people in the LGBT community to get involved.

“We anticipated there would be some no votes,” he said. “I think if you live in the DART service area, you need to be contacting your representative on the DART board and urge them to vote for it.”

Alright TBLG peeps in Dallas and the DART service area, Rafael McDonnell is on the money here. Time for you to get busy being the agents of your own liberation.

Here's the phone number for the DART administrative office. 214-749-3278.

Here's the list of the DART board members and the cities they represent

And when you call, don't be nekulturny like the teabaggers and the Religious Reich, be respectful.

Yes, even to Pamela Dunlop Gates.

Face And Figure ATL Battle

Been a while since I posted some ballroom community video. Hey, they are my sisters, too!

This video is from the September 2008 Chanel Ball conducted in Atlanta. As I continue to find interesting video from the ballroom community, I'll post it on TransGriot


KFA Supports ENDA

TransGriot Note: One of my former colleagues in Da Ville, Nick Wilkerson, wrote this letter that was published in Sunday's Courier-Journal.

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA, (H.R. 3017) would prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. This is hardly a radical notion since already 40 percent of the U.S. population is protected from such discrimination by virtue of laws in 12 states and over 100 localities. Over a million Kentuckians are protected through local ordinances in Covington, Lexington and Louisville, thanks to the combined efforts of the Kentucky Fairness Alliance, our allies (such as the Fairness Campaign) and fair-minded individuals.

However, federal legislation is still needed since those Americans who are most vulnerable to discrimination tend to reside in the states, cities and rural areas that have not enacted such laws. We have certainly found that to be true here in Kentucky. Without such protection, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers can be fired without recourse simply for who they are.

ENDA addresses many objections by exempting the armed forces, religious institutions and employers with fewer than 15 employees.

Kentuckians have consistently demonstrated that they believe in fairness. As long ago as 1999, a survey by Decision Research found that nearly 73 percent of all Kentuckians believed that this type of employment discrimination was wrong. Once again, Kentuckians demonstrated that they are "ahead" of most of their legislators in their respect for basic human rights.

ENDA currently has 202 co-sponsors in the U.S. House, including Rep. John Yarmuth of Louisville. While this is a great indication of widespread support, ENDA currently is stuck in the House Education and Labor Committee.

All fair-minded Kentuckians in the 3rd District need to contact Yarmuth to thank him for his support of ENDA. Also, please urge him to add his voice to those in Congress requesting the leadership of the House to bring ENDA to a vote prior to the Memorial Day recess. Please let your voices in support of ENDA be heard now.

To learn more about ENDA, visit

Board Member
Kentucky Fairness Alliance

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

So Far, So Good In Paris

The 2010 edition of the French Open so far has gotten off to a great start for my fave tennis playing sisters.

Serena had to work a little in her 7-6, 6-2 opening round match against Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland. She won the first set in a 7-2 tiebreaker before getting it in gear and rolling to a straight set victory.

Big Sis had an easier time and did so in a self-designed black corset inspired tennis outfit that's getting more worldwide attention and discussion around the globe than the 6-3, 6-3 straight set beatdown she dished out to Patty Schnyder of Switzerland.

The best thing about that match was that Venus' knees weren't wrapped in miles of tape and she showed no signs off the leg problems that plagued her last season.

She was in a more conventionally dressed outfit in her and Little Sis' opening round doubles match with Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium and Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand.

They rolled Flipkens and Tanasugarn in straight sets 6-0, 6-1 to secure their place in the doubles tournament second round.

Number one seeded Serena takes on Julia Georges of Germany in the second round, while Number two seeded Venus takes on Spain's Arantxa Perra Santonia.

Their next doubles match has the number one doubles seeds taking on the Czech Republic's Daniela Hantchuova and Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark.

Happy Birthday Pam 'Foxy' Grier

Today is Pamela Suzette Grier's birthday, and I have much love for her as one of my beauty icons.

I'll also be celebrating Pam's birthday by picking up a copy of her autobiography 'Foxy' assuming it's available in my friendly neighborhood bookstore.

Pam is still doing her thing acting and hopefully will do a book tour so I can get her autograph.

Don't Get Mad At The Messenger-Get Mad At The Injustice

'The answer to injustice is not to silence the critic, but to end the injustice.' Paul Robeson July 8, 1965

Obviously there's a lot of peeps who haven't read that Robeson quote, and many of them are in our TBLG subset of society.

I have seen far too many instances in our community in which someone raises questions about or critiques an issue, and they get viciously attacked.

It's happened to Jasmyne Cannick (and still does) thanks to her LA Times post Prop 8 op-ed, her outspoken criticism of Shirley Q. Liquor's minstrel show and being unapologetically Black.

My Project writing mate Yasmin Nair experienced it because she questioned the gay community groupthink on marriage equality being the primary organizing principle for obtaining rights coverage despite its now 0-34 record at the ballot box.

Ashley Love was attacked for leading the protests concerning the TOTWK movie and pointing out how gay men repeatedly led the charge in erasing, misrepresenting, negatively stereotyping, dehumanizing, and attacking our images.

Lord knows I've had the wrath of the GL community come down on me for calling out the post Prop 8 racism in the gay community among other subjects.

But don't get mad at the messenger for having the courage to speak out about an unpopular subject. It's time to get mad at the injustice the messenger is bringing to your attention, and deal with it.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Screwed By You

TransGriot Note: as the clock ticks down to the weekly broken promised ENDA vote we suspect ain't gonna happen because it's an election year, we get more frustrated as our trans cousins in Canada may be on the verge of getting comprehensive coverage in their nation's civil rights laws.

So yeah, time for another song rewrite. Fire up the iPod's and sing along with Moni's fresh new lyrics.

Screwed By You
Sung to the tune of 'Looking For You' by Kirk Franklin

For all the trans people in the struggle
If you think Congress has forgotten about you
It's an election year, you betcha
Let's go

Ain't got no car
Ain't got no house
Ain't got no job
So sorry, boo

Come one

I've been down so long,
I've been hurting so long,
With ENDA's passage we thought transpeeps would catch a break today
It was hard to see, delayed rights for me
I couldn't believe it would last always
But night after night, (Night after night, Night after night)
I pray Lord for the trans community
Then late at night I read in the blogging letters it's not gonna get better

Don't cha know that
I'm tired of being screwed by you
Full civil rights nothing else will satisfy me
I need ENDA passed now, boo
If we work for change no one can take rights away from you

Life ain't so good to us
We had a mighty long wait
Pass ENDA now, boo
Come on

All my enemies, came at once for me
And some of them are peeps that we considered as our friends
All the while we knew
We had trans sellouts, too
We're no closer to trans rights than when we first began
HRC you are, (HRC you are, HRC you are)
You're not the civil rights org you claim to be
Wherever you are
I'll be picketing near you
NCTE screw you, too

(Chorus 2x)
Don't cha know that
I'm tired of being screwed by you
Full civil rights nothing else will satisfy me
I need ENDA passed now, boo
If we work for change no one can take rights away from you

Don't cha know that
I'm tired of being screwed by you
Full civil rights nothing else will satisfy me
I need ENDA passed now, boo
If we work for change no one can take rights away from you

Here we go now
Here we go now
Don't stop now
In the front now
Not the back now
Don't stop now
Here we go now
Let's lobby now

Oh,oh Oh,oh,oh
That's for our struggle
Oh,oh Oh,oh,oh
That's for our pain
Oh,oh Oh,oh,oh
That's for unemployed trans people
Oh,oh Oh,oh,oh
Come on and sing it with us y'all

HRC you are, (HRC you are, HRC you are)
You're not the civil rights org you claim to be
Wherever you are
I'll be picketing near you
NCTE screw you, too

[Chorus 2x]
Don't cha know that
I'm tired of being screwed by you
Full civil rights nothing else will satisfy me
I need ENDA passed now, boo
If we work for change no one can take rights away from you

Don't cha know that
I'm tired of being screwed by you
Full civil rights nothing else will satisfy me
I need ENDA passed now, boo
If we work for change no one can take rights away from you

Oh,oh Oh,oh,oh (oh,oh,o)
Oh,oh Oh,oh,oh (oh,oh,o)
Oh,oh Oh,oh,oh (oh,oh,o)
Oh,oh Oh,oh,oh (oh,oh,o)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

2010 French Open

New year at Stade Roland Garros, same old question as to whether the Williams sisters will break their string of bad luck at this tournament and win it.

It's time for the 2010 French Open, the tennis world's second major tournament. It starts today and runs through June 8.

My favorite tennis playing siblings, unlike their dominance at 'Williams'-don, have combined to win this Grand Slam event only once, with Serena knocking off Venus to take the 2002 French Open title.

In doubles their title drought is even longer, with their only title on the red clay coming in 1999.

To make their singles quest a little tougher, unretired three time champ Justine Henin is back and holds a 21 match win streak here. She is also in Serena's half of the bracket.

Little Sis was seeded Number 1 for Friday's women's draw while Big Sis was seeded Number 2. If both of them manage to survive their fortnight in Paris, they would face each other in the finals.

So will Serena finally break through, win the French Open and position herself to capture a Grand Slam? Will Big Sis win her first French Open singles title?

Or will the Williams sisters buzzard's luck in Paris continue?

Good luck ladies!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Propaganda We'll Teach Y'all

TransGriot Note: It's song rewrite time. I'm so disgusted over the TX State Board of Education's 'Conservatism Uber Education' whitewashing of social studies curriculum that when I heard this song while flipping through various radio stations, another rewrite was born.

So fire up the iPod and sing to the remixed lyrics.

The Propaganda We'll Teach Y'all
sung to the tune of 'Another Brick in the Wall Part 2 by Pink Floyd

We need right wing education
We need conservative thought control
No Black or Brown history in Texas classrooms
Liberals leave them kids alone
Hey! Liberals! Leave them kids alone!
All in all it's just the propaganda we'll teach y'all.
All in all it's just the propaganda we'll teach y'all.

We need right wing education
We need conservative thought control
No Black or Brown history in Texas classrooms
Liberals leave them kids alone
Hey! Liberals! Leave them kids alone!
All in all it's just the propaganda we'll teach y'all.
All in all it's just the propaganda we'll teach y'all.

"Wrong, say it again!"
"If you don't learn this, you won't vote Republican.
How can you love Texas if what we teach you don't repeat?"
"You! Yes, you behind the protest sign, stand still liberal!"

Statements From The White House and State Department On Malawi Couple

TransGriot Note: Statements from the White House and the State Department about the sentencing of the Malawian couple to 14 years hard labor for being in love.

Note that the White House and State Department get the identity component right, but some of our gay allies can't.

From the White House:

Statement by the Press Secretary on Court Ruling in Malawi

The United States strongly condemns the conviction and harsh sentencing of Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga in Malawi. The criminalization of sexual orientation and gender identity is unconscionable, and this case mars the human rights record of Malawi. We urge Malawi and all countries to stop using sexual orientation or gender identity as the basis for arrest, detention, or execution.

From the State Department:

U.S. Appalled by Sentencing of Couple in Malawi
Philip J. Crowley
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs Washington, DC
May 20, 2010


The United States is appalled by the conviction and sentencing of Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza to 14 years in jail with hard labor under Malawian law for violating Malawi Penal Code Chapter 15, Section 153 and 156, under which they had been charged with “carnal knowledge against the order of nature” and “gross indecency.” The conviction and sentencing are a significant step backward for the Government of Malawi’s human rights record. Malawi must abide by its human rights obligations.

We view the criminalization of sexual orientation and gender identity and sentencing to 14 years hard labor as a deeply troubling violation of human rights. Decriminalization of homosexuality is integral to the continued protection of universal human rights in Malawi. It is also crucial to the urgent need to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS – a fight in which the United States is closely allied with the Malawian people.

We remain disturbed by harassment, persecution, and exclusion based on sexual orientation or gender identity wherever it occurs. The State Department will continue to stand against any efforts to marginalize, criminalize, and penalize members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans-gender community worldwide. We urge Malawi and all countries with similar laws to take the necessary measures to ensure that sexual orientation or gender identity may under no circumstances be the basis for criminal penalites, in particular arrests, detentions, or executions.

The Texas Education Massacre

There are probably those of you who read this blog and wonder or even possibly get sick of me railing about voting.

I will consistently say it until I'm placed six feet below my beloved Texas soil that it matters that you vote in every election cycle.

It is never a option for a minority group to sit out an election. You must pay attention to every race on the ballot as well, not just the big congressional, state legislative, city and presidential races.

This week's disgusting shenanigans in Austin are a prime example why I continue to rant about how important elections are.

The Texas State Board of Education had a contentious meeting in our state capital of Austin concerning the once a decade overhaul of the Texas public school social studies curriculum standards.

The hearing rooms were not only been packed with parents and educators who don't want conservadoctrine shoved down their kids throats, the protests outside the building have been just as lively. It also brought the leaders of the NAACP and LULAC to speak before the board as well.

While I have one of my high school classmates representing us on the SBOE in Lawrence Allen, Jr., unfortunately he, Mavis Knight of Dallas, Mary Helen Berlanga, Rene Nunez, and Rick Agosto are outgunned by a 10-5 all white Republican majority.

To make it even more unfortunate, five of the Republicans have a far right wing agenda that has nothing to do with promoting the education of 4.7 million Texas schoolchildren, but everything to do with conservative indoctrination of them. Many of that 'Gang of Five' aren't even educators.

It was a point that Republican Rod Paige, the former U.S. Secretary of Education under President George W. Bush, made when he ripped the new curriculum on Wednesday.

"We have allowed ideology to drive and define the standards of our curriculum in Texas."

The 'Gang of Five' have ignored education experts in cramming through a curriculum that is a naked attempt to whitewash minorities out of history.

They want to commit crimes against history such as excising Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, rename the triangular slave trade 'the Atlantic trade', downplay the Civil Rights Movement, the existence and history of Latinos and women's suffrage moments while elevating Phyllis Schafly and the rise of conservatism.

“We might as well say Hispanics don’t exist,” said board member Mary Helen Berlanga (D). “We have hidden information, we have tried to cover up a lot of information. I guess there are people that have a difficult time with the truth.”

"I feel that I have let down the students in our state.”

Fortunately there are educators and other persons in the Lone Star State pissed off enough to where they decided to run for the SBOE and unseat the 'Gang of Five'. Don McLeroy, the most outspoken conservafool on the SBOE has already gone down to defeat to a more moderate person in the March GOP primary.

The various Democratic SBOE candidates have already pledged they will revisit the issue should they be successful in the upcoming November elections in getting on the board.

The misguided standards will be effective for the 2013-2014 school year. If you're a parent of a Black or Brown child, better plan on teaching your child a lot of Black and Latino history this summer and throughout the school year to counteract the conservalies they'll be fed.

The partisan hijinks have gotten the attention of state legislators, who may move to rein in the power of the SBOE when the Lege opens for 'bidness' in January 2011.

"They have ignored historians and teachers, allowing ideological activists to push the culture war further into our classrooms." said Rep. Mike Villareal, (D-San Antonio) "They fail to understand that we don't want liberal textbooks or conservative textbooks. We want excellent textbooks, written by historians instead of activists."

May I add, Rep. Villareal, we Texas of all ideological stripes want historically accurate textbooks as well.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Malawian 'Gay' Couple Isn't A 'Gay' Couple

I'd been hearing much about the Malawian couple that has been sentenced to 14 years hard labor for their relationship.

I'd been asked why I haven't commented on it yet, and one of the reasons was that I wanted more information on the issue before I do so. There are times I'd rather get it right than posting it 'right now'. My intuition was also telling me there was more to this story than the first sensational headlines warranted.

Well, thanks to South Africa's Gender DynamiX and Pinay TG, I have another interesting piece to tell you about.

Tiwonge Chimbalanga, one of the people involved, identifies as trans.

Peep the press release:

Today activists the world over protested the conviction of two gay men in Malawi. Even though activists from many different political persuasions joined hands in a protest in Cape Town today, local transgender activists are highlighting the fact that Tiwonge Chimbalanga clearly expresses a female identity.

According to Ian Swartz from OSISA (Open Society Institute of Southern Africa) Tiwonge Chimbalanga sees herself as a woman. “Tiwonge so clearly identifies as a woman and she has expressed her identity as such more often than not. I think if she knew the word Transgender she would come home to a world of understanding of herself” he said recently after visiting the couple in prison.

A local activist who calls her “Aunty Tiwo” visited her too and to him she said: “I am just a woman who loves my man. I’d rather remain in prison than to be released into a world where I am kept away from Steven”

“Advocating for Transgender people’s rights in most African countries is problematic for us” says Robert Hamblin advocacy manager for SA Transgender organization Gender DynamiX. “Gender variant identities are not acknowledged and just about any sexual minority is called gay or homosexual. This is because a person is assigned a gender based on their genitals, despite how they self identify.”

Gender DynamiX stood together with other activists today in a protest called by Social Justice Coalition (SJC). SJC was joined by LGBTI organizations protesting the conviction of these two people. The group of activists urged the SA government to negotiate the release of the couple and to offer them asylum in South Africa. The group also demanded that the SA government end the continued silence about human rights abuses against sexual minorities on the rest of the continent.

Gender DynamiX condemns the conviction of Steven Mongeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga. We call on the South African government, as the only state in Africa to recognize equality for sexual minorities, to uphold the South African constitution by offering asylum to the couple.

“Even though the identities of Tiwonge and Steven are misunderstood by the world we stand together with gay and lesbian activists in their work to try and get justice for our trans sister and her partner.” Says Tebogo Nkoana outreach officer at Gender DynamiX.

Robert Hamblin: