Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Transphobic Media Strikes Again...WYFF-TV Flips Gender Script

TransGriot Note: I'm deleting the reference to Rachelle's old male name

Okay people, why do I have to keep repeating this part of the AP Stylebook on how to write about and cover trans people almost like a fracking mantra?

transgender-Use the pronoun preferred by the individuals who have acquired the physical characteristics of the opposite sex or present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth.

If that preference is not expressed, use the pronoun consistent with the way the individuals live publicly.

WYFF-TV in Greenville, SC got it right when they initially reported the story about the brutal attack of Rachelle Williams by her boyfriend on July 15.

Deputies: Woman Kidnapped, Choked, Beaten

Deputies have made an arrest in a brutal assault in Anderson County.

Anderson County Sheriff’s investigators said at about 4 p.m. Tuesday, deputies responded to an apartment on Continental Street in response to a 911 call that a woman had been assaulted.

Deputies found Rochelle Williams, 34, in a bedroom with head injuries. She was immediately transported to AnMed where she was still being treated Wednesday. Investigators said Williams was choked with a telephone cord and beaten in the head.

Investigators said they identified Demetrius Antonio Hawkins, 21, who lived with Williams, as the suspect.

Just 48 hours later, the headline in the story changes to this:

Family: Transsexual Son Beaten By Partner

Why? Because of this comment by Rachelle's mother which outed her child as trans.

The mother of the victim said, "Why did you do this to my son?"

After the hearing, News 4's Sean Muserallo asked Betty Tomlinson why she referred to her child as her son because investigators said the victim in the case was a woman. Tomlinson explained that her son lives as a woman and goes by Rachelle Williams

Tomlinson said her son is not a post-op transsexual.

Telesia Simpson, Rachelle's sister, said her brother moved into an apartment with Hawkins more than eight months ago. She said she was shocked by the assault and did not know of any friction between the two.

Ms. Tomlinson and Ms. Simpson, if you love and respect Rachelle as you say and looks like you do, please stop referring to her using male pronouns.

I know that's hard, but do it for your child.

I'm pissed about the fact that the minute Rachelle got outed as a transwoman, the incorrect pronouns in the WYFF-TV story come out.

Time for some more 'ejumacation' on another crucial point in interacting with transpeople respectfully.

Transmen are referred to with male pronouns, transwomen with female pronouns irregardless of genital status.

Back The Hell Up Off The NAACP

'The most famous initials in America are the NAACP. The most written about voluntary association in America is the NAACP. The most damned group of citizens is the NAACP.'

Langston Hughes uttered those words in 1960 while receiving his Spingarn Medal, and five decades later they are still right on target.

Over its 100 plus year history, the NAACP has become the most written about, most reviled by conservatives organization and the most recognized acronym on the planet.

I'm glad to see NAACP President Benjamin Jealous starting to take it in directions I've wanted to see it go for years such as calling out the conservative movement and its racism.

He's also starting to point out out that hello, there are Black folks who happen to be TBLG people as well and the NAACP needs to be more proactive in fighting for their civil rights as well.

One birthday gift me and my siblings used to receive on a regular basis when we were growing up were youth memberships in the NAACP.

I've been a member of the organization at various points in my life, and thanks to the recent stand they've taken against the Tea Klux Klan and other moves they have been made to modernize the organization and its message, I'm about to rejoin the ranks of card carrying NAACP members.

It's a stand that has resulted in the Tea Klux Klan proving the NAACP's point with their sheeple calling in death threats to the organization's offices and being vilified in conservamedia.

Unlike the conservatrolls swarming the NAACP's FB page, I'm well aware of the NAACP's proud history.

The NAACP's legal wing headed by legendary attorneys Charles Houston and later future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall attacked the specious legal underpinnings of Jim Crow segregation over several decades. They fought to pass an anti-lynching law, desegregate the military, and during World War II ensured that African-American workers were hired for the jobs that opened up in defense plants around the nation.

The NAACP has been our sword and shield on Capitol Hill in terms of helping lead the charge to enact the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the 1968 Fair Housing Act, the 1991 Civil Rights Restoration Act and the 2002 Help America Vote Act, the most current reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act, the just passed bill to reduce crack and powder cocaine sentencing disparities among countless others.

Their Legislative Civil Rights Report Cards let us definitively know who our congressional friends and foes are on the Hill.

Is it any wonder why the conservafools want to take it down like they did ACORN?

Not no, but hell no will we as a community allow that to happen.

The NAACP has a 100 plus year track record of passing legislation that helps all Americans in addition to fighting racism. The Tea Klux Klan and the conservative movement only pays lip service to that. They talk a good game, but they are woefully short on longterm follow through.

By the way conservafools, it's not just African Americans who are members of the NAACP. It ws a multicultural group of people who founded the organization in 1909

But if you weren't watching Faux news till your brains rotted you'd know that.

But then again, you already know that, and will just write and broadcast lies about it anyway.

Thank God there are far more 'ejumacated' people of all ethnicities in this country that already know the truth about the NAACP, are aware of its history, the work it has done and its ongoing mission in its now second century of work.

So keep hatin' on the NAACP like you always have, conservafools. This drama is nothing new. You have assassinated its leaders in regional chapters like Medgar Evers. You passed laws like you did in Alabama to try to legislate it out of existence. You have demonized and denigrated it in conservative and white supremacist circles for decades just like your right wing talker and sheeple are doing now, and still the NAACP survives and thrives.

As a proud, soon to be card carrying NAACP American, I say with all deepest sincerity,

Conservafools, back the hell up off the NAACP.

Open Letter To Michfest Attendees

TransGriot note: The 'womyn born womyn' policy has been a contentious issue for decades between some elements the trans community and the feminists who created and sponsor the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival.

The 35th anniversary edition of Michfest will be taking place August 3-8 in Hart, MI.

This is an open letter by Annie Danger to her feminist friends who claim they support transwomen but then surreptitiously bounce to the 650 wooded site called 'The Land'.

An Open Letter to My Friends Who Go to Michfest
By Annie Danger

Dear you,

I want to talk about the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival. Rather, I’m feeling like I have to bring up this conversation and push it forward and I’m pretty frustrated with that because, well, I don’t want to have to talk about the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival. I understand and respect that it is important to you. I know you love it, and I am asking you to do more loving, not less.

I feel like I have to bring it up because I feel pretty shitty that so many of my friends attend and how they do or do not talk to me about it. Perhaps you are one of those friends?

To note: I do not want to start a fight. I am making a request for greater engagement with the curious politics of coalition building and alliance. I understand this is a complex-feeling issue with a lot of history. This may be a call out, but it is with a revolutionary ethic of love that I send it. In this ethic, I do my best to drive my activism and my life with a difficult and powerful combination of respect, recognition, honest and open communication, affection, commitment, and trust for all people in this world. Especially my allies.

This letter comes from trying to put my years of resent through this filter of loving: I feel hurt and I am writing because want to trust that you have my back as a transwoman. I am having a hard time separating your attendance of MWMF and your silence with me about this issue from your level of respect for me; for my body. I don’t want to feel this way and I am willing to do the work to let go of a decade of resent, but I need your help. Will you help me?

I have spent a lot of time trying to make this letter driven by more than anger and resent. When you go to Michigan, I push you away. I keep you at arm’s length as an ally of transwomen. As an ally of me. What I hear is that the festival is a powerful and welcoming other planet where women’s lives, pains, struggles, and hopes are more commonly understood. This is allegedly a place of healing based on welcoming. A harsh toke for me: This is a place where I, on a body level even more than a political one, am profoundly unwelcome.

There is no place I’ve ever been where my transsexual woman body and my experience of gender feel fully safe, wanted, welcome, supported, normalized, trusted, trustworthy. There are many places I call home, but not any I automatically trust--mine is a body in question. There is very little safe space for transwomen. Not even at queer land, where we are often wanted in the abstract but not so much welcomed in practice. People don’t seem to know how to think about transwomen. And for us to make a squawk about our treatment often runs the risk of being called out as misuse of the male privilege we were raised with. To be woman enough to share womyn’s spaces, we must be good girls—we must be quiet.

So here we are, 35 years into the MWMF and nearly 11 years into my life as an out, hormone-enhanced transsexual. I have spent this decade- plus fairly actively turning my back on the arguments around Michigan because it was simply not my fight: I cannot imagine going there and feeling safe. Even the naming of womyn with a ‘y’: I respect and understand the place from which this nomenclature comes. But it must also be said that it drips gender essentialism in its disassociation from male language, tells me I am not important there, not a priority.

So I disengaged. I became silent. There are a lot more pressing issues, in general or specifically about trans-inlcusion and the safety of transwomen, than trying to get a bunch of terrified separatists to let me pay them to camp in their woods and attend their party. And when more and more friends kept going, and when you proceeded for years to forget that it is an issue for me—to chat all about it like it was just someplace I didn’t happen to go; to tell me you wished you could get me there and never go much further than that; to discuss my absence while at the festival but not much of why—I proceeded to turn my back in small ways on you, too. Just the tiniest, most pernicious ways: silent distrusts, people held so close, but at arm’s length when it comes to recognizing and caring for my life, my struggle as a transwoman, or my body. And now I feel pushed, finally, to say something because my lover is going. My love. And because of this, I am struggling to believe she really sees and loves my trans body because of it. She is in this conversation with me--she carries me well in her heart. This letter is also the outgrowth my struggle to trust her on this. I trust her so deeply, but this issue has always been a dangerous place for me.

I am also speaking up because, in only the most technical of senses, I could finally go: I can purchase a ticket as an out transsexual woman (though one cannot find that information on the MWMF website). I have considered going. I have had hours and hours of conversations recently—with decade-long Michfest workers, with transwoman friends and their lovers, with women’s-movement organizers who have never been to MWMF, and with those who know me best—about this possibility and I have come to a very solid conclusion: I have no moving reason to put myself through that emotional shredder. I cannot go there and not interact with this issue of trans-exclusion. It is on my body. To go and try to have fun, to do anything but loud and firey activism about this issue would be to leave my body. To disassociate further from a body I fight daily to be in.

And, yes, this issue of my friends at Michigan is a trigger point for a whole world full of transphobia. I feel your attendance with all the weight of a decade of distrust around trans issues. My experience of transwomanhood is one that runs a baseline of distrust: I do not tend to expect anyone except for other transwomen (not genderqueers, not my queers, not trans men) to really see or make room for trans women. But I do hope they would. I am asking for help: I want to build this trust. I am tired of crying alone and feeling like I have to take care of transwomen because no one but transwomen is willing to really take a stand for us. I want to build this coalition. I want this tired old issue to move in new, healing directions. I want to let go of all this resent. I want us to be a stronger, smarter community. But reaching a hand out on my end requires so much clear, concerted effort on your end. Show me you are as committed as I am to justice around this issue. I am tired of ignoring this issue.

For all of us there are a lot of different contexts to this struggle: so many needs to meet, so many ways to talk strategy, so many enormous feelings to unpack and source. I know I have work to do here, too: it is my work to be willing to take each hand that reaches out. But under all the complicated ways to have this discussion, I keep feeling horrible about your support of this institution. I don’t want to. I respect that it is powerful and I do my best to remember that it is powerful in ways I simply cannot imagine. I know you do some sort of work on behalf of trans issues while inside the festival, but I do not know what it is and you do not tell me much about it. From the outside, I have not seen much in the way of results. What I hear about from you is all the fun times, amazing things to learn, deep connections, healing, and fucking that happens. You are much better at letting me know that part. I hear from you your defenses but not your explanations. I am writing this because I want more. I want you to actually show me that you have my back.

I understand that change is slow. That there are changes afoot. I understand that you may feel there is important strategy to being as quiet as you are. But I am writing to remind you that in the meantime, I need you to show me that you respect the very real issue of transwomen’s lives. Change may be slow, but I need to know that it is nonetheless coming as fast as is possible. Right now I don't believe that.

I want to say, I am deeply disinterested in shame or guilt (although I do accept apology). I am interested in sharing strategy and in developing new tactics. I am interested in action. I have an enormously hard time leaving behind the base politics of "going" or "not going": it still feels a little like treason to me for people to just go and not address the complications. This letter is my attempt to move forward: Attending the festival is not, necessarily, the issue. Attending while treating trans issues as a side note is what feels so hard. My body and my struggle are not side notes for me, but I am not the one who can change this festival. This shift, more present and possible than ever, starts with you.

I am not, necessarily, asking you to not attend. I am asking you to answer, with action that I can see, this: How is this more than just a party in the woods? What does it mean that you can go and I cannot? I cannot forget that my body is not valid there. You cannot remain silent with me about this and expect me to trust you.

I am asking you for proactive communication. I am saying that by the simple act of going to this place, you are engaging this issue of trans inclusion. So please stop feeling funny and being mostly quiet about it. Please restrain yourself from feeling defensive and instead engage me on this before I have to engage you again. That may not involve calling me to discuss this. I am asking you to show me you are my ally. I am asking you to speak up. I am asking you to make transwomen visible in this place where we are made invisible. I am asking you to be loud and loving and creative. I am asking you to rock the boat. I am asking you to prove me wrong: find many ways to show transwomen that we are welcome there.

I hear many people who attend are in support of trans women attending, but I do not feel welcome. The culture of separatism amongst the organizers and the legacy of this bigotry are much stronger than the words “I really think most people would want you there.” This is not your fault, but if you are going to go there and remain close to me, I am requesting that you make it your issue in a much more visible way.

Please do things while you’re there that show me that you really respect my body. My life. My womanhood. Please let me know about them. Please be willing to push harder. Please show me I can trust you to have my back. Please, if you’re willing: stand up, step it up, and be a louder ally. I do not want more antagonism: I am not asking you to hate MWMF. I am asking you to love me as much as you love this festival. I am asking you to love us both. Loudly.

Annie Danger

Chelsea's Getting Married!

Chelsea Clinton, that is.

Has it been that long since the teenaged Chelsea entered the White House back in 1993 with her parents and the right wingers who hated her father Bill with a foaming mouth passion immediately started attacking her?

Chelsea has grown up to become a woman with more class and substance in her pinky finger than all the right wing estrogen based lifeforms put together.

And she does resemble Hillary a little, doesn't she?

In a few hours in upstate New York Chelsea will be getting married to investment banker Marc Mezvinsky. She met him 14 years ago while attending Stanford and the couple has been engaged since November.

Best of luck to both of them, and may they have a long, happy and healthy marriage.

Theresa Sparks For Six Campaign Kickoff Event Today

Hmm, seems like this election cycle has seen more activity than ever before from trans candidates running for elective office.

Since you know I believe it's past time we started getting our own peeps elected to public office, I'm proud to make you aware of another trans person you'll be scouring the November 2 election news for the results of her political race.

The folks in the Bay Area already know who she is, but say hello rest of the nation and loyal TransGriot readers to Theresa Sparks.

If the name sounds familiar to you, she was the former President of the San Francisco Police Commission board in addition to being very active in the local community there.

She's running to represent District 6 on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and is jumping off her campaign for that position with a kickoff event starting at 10 AM-12 Noon PDT at the Passion Café.

The address is 28 6th Street in San Francisco, CA.

Theresa commented on her FB page about her campaign:

'This campaign is about making history and more about helping to move San Francisco forward. This campaign is about jobs, the economy and helping to rebuild the City without sacrificing the values that make San Francisco great.'

You can keep up with her campaign with the Sparks for 6 FB page or her website.

Good luck Theresa and may you add the title of Supervisor to your list of accomplishments on November 2.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Thank You Again Rep. Weiner!

This people, is what I mean when I say Democrats need to show some backbone and start calling out the GOP right wing bullies on aregular basis.

Thank you Rep. Weiner!

Texans Start Training Camp

The 2010 edition of the Houston Texans started training camp today on the heels of a 9-7 record, their first winning record in franchise history. It has every one in town wondering if this is the year they finally make the NFL playoffs?

There are heightened expectations amongst the fans, management and Texans players combined with a season opening game in 43 days against a team that has been the Texans AFC South Division nemesis since joining the league in 2002, the Indianapolis Colts.

But if they want to make the playoffs, much less get to a Super Bowl, they are going to have to find a way to consistently beat the Colts.

Our 2010 Trans Candidates Websites

Since we have several trans candidates running for office this election cycle, thought I'd make it easy for you TransGriot readers to peruse their websites and hopefully donate to their campaigns.

It is the next phase of our civil rights struggle in getting people like us in the trenches helping make the laws that affect us and helping kill the bad ones.

Our candidates can always use the money, and it doesn't have to be a large amount, although they'd definitely appreciate it. $5's, $10's and $20's add up quickly as well.

Sorry, non-US trans peeps, y'all can only give us moral support in these endeavors.

Victoria Kolakowski
Running for Alameda County CA Superior Court Judge

Brittany Novotny
Running for Oklahoma State House District 84

Dr. Dana Beyer
Running for the Maryland House of Delegates District 18

Theresa Sparks
Running for San Francisco Board of Supervisors District 6

Dr. Beyer still has a September 14 primary fight to deal with on the Democratic side with five other candidates. So for you peeps living in that district, she will need some help to get to the general election.

And for 'errbody' else, please make certain you are registered to vote for the November 2 election and on Election Day, please do so.

For you Republicans who are wondering why I'm not putting Donna Milo on this post? Since she isn't claiming us as transpeople, why should I?

Is Nikki Araguz The Trans Claudette Colvin?

After the initial flurry of media hype, activity, and initial court rulings being handed down last Friday, things seem to have settled down as both sides hunker down and prepare for the legal battle ahead.

But I've been dealing with the unsettling feeling over the last few days that I'm watching history replay itself.

Some of the things I've been concerned about over the last week is the revelations that Nikki appeared on the Jerry Springer Show in 1995, has admitted to not being forthcoming during her deposition in the custody case, and having details about a criminal conviction come out.

That's not the kind of stuff you want to hear as a member of a marginalized group when your ability to overturn an odious law rests on one particular individual.

The reason I'm apprehensive about these developments lies in me recalling the events in the African-American civil rights movement leading up to the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

I'm firing up the DeLorean time machine and taking a trip back through history and time to March 2, 1955.

A young Montgomery, AL high school student named Claudette Colvin is still thinking about a paper she'd written earlier in the day while taking her bus trip home after her school day ended.

The subject of the school paper? It was about the prohibition for Black people to try on white clothes in local department stores.

She's sitting in the Black section of a rapidly filling bus when she and two other people are ordered by driver Robert W. Cleere to give up their seats to a white woman because there were none left in the white section of it.

The 15 year old Colvin refused to do so, and was arrested and forcibly dragged off the bus by two Montgomery police officers while yelling "It's my constitutional right!"

At the time then NAACP Montgomery chapter president Edgar D. Nixon was looking for a person they could use as a test case to break the back of the bus segregation law. After Colvin's father posted bail, community leaders vowed to help them with the case and began raising money on her behalf.

Colvin was also active in the NAACP's Youth Division and was advised by none other than Rosa Parks.

Then came the 'upon further review' moments. During their investigation on whether Colvin would be a suitable person for a test case, some concerns were expressed about Colvin's lower class background and living in the poorest neighborhood in Montgomery. The Montgomery police also accused Colvin of 'spewing curse words' during the arrest which she denied, saying that the obscenities were leveled at her.

Despite that, many local Black leaders wanted to push ahead with Colvin as the plaintiff in a case challenging the law they hoped they could litigate all the way to the Supreme Court.

While that debate was raging amongst Montgomery's Black leaders, Colvin became pregnant by a much older man. Fearful they would lose the support of sympathetic white allies, that the white dominated press and segregationist lawyers would use the pregnancy to undermine Colvin's status as the aggrieved party and the moral legitimacy of any subsequent bus boycott, the leaders decided to wait for a plaintiff with 'unimpeachable character' to base their future actions on.

Rosa Parks stated about that decision, "If the white press got ahold of that information, they would have had a field day. They'd call her a bad girl, and her case wouldn't have a chance. So the decision was made to wait until we had a plaintiff who was more upstanding before we went ahead and invested any more time, effort, and money."

Nine months later that 'upstanding plaintiff' ironically became Rosa Parks, and the rest is history.

Colvin was tried for violating the segregation laws and sentenced to probation. The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. told her he was "proud" of her; most people referred to her as "the girl in the bus thing."

But, and there is a but here, "She was not considered a good spokeswoman for the cause. She was a teenager. She was outspoken," author Phillip Hoose said.

"The NAACP was looking for an icon, and they thought I'd be militant," Colvin recalled in a New York Daily News interview decades later. "Then they got Angela Davis."

Colvin's courageous act wasn't in vain. On May 11, 1956 she and three other African-American women, Aurelia Browder, Susie McDonald and Mary Louise Smith testified in a federal lawsuit that became the Browder v. Gayle case.

The three-judge panel ruled on June 19, 1956 that Montgomery segregation codes "deny and deprive plaintiffs and other Negro citizens similarly situated of the equal protection of the laws and due process of law secured by the Fourteenth Amendment." The court essentially decided that the precedent of the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case could be applied to Browder.

While attorneys decided not to include her in the case that eventually wound its way to the Supreme Court, her testimony in Browder v. Gayle resulted in the Court declaring bus desegregation unconstitutional in November 1956. The Supremes refused to hear an appeal of that decision one month later.

Now let's bring this discussion back to the 21st century.

Does the Araguz case have the potential to overturn Littleton? Maybe.

In any potentially precedent setting case, would we rather have a trans plaintiff with 'unimpeachable character', a relatively pristine record, post-surgical, documentation in order, and an attractive, media savvy one that people would see as a sympathetic figure in the case?

In a perfect world, yes. But the reality is we don't live in that perfect world, and we have to dance sometimes with the plaintiffs we get.

As trans people, we face a hostile world with people who don't always treat us with dignity and respect. Any one of us at any time could find ourselves in a situation that could potentially make us plaintiffs in a legal case.

That legal case depending on the circumstances, could also affect the lives of trans people in our state, around the country and potentially the world.

And sometimes a person you may not think is the perfect plaintiff may be the one that gives you the ruling that improves the lives for everyone in your marginalized group.

While there are some character issues the prosecution will try to exploit, the bottom line is that Nikki is the wronged party here.

One thing that does instill some confidence is that Nikki has on her side an attorney in Phyllis Frye well versed in the law and how it affects transpeople in this upcoming legal battle.

On the opposing side is a prosecuting attorney with a questionable history that's trying to rerun the Littleton v. Prange playbook.

But until that final ruling comes down, I'm still going to be along with many people in the trans community nervous about what transpires in that Wharton, TX courtroom.

Shut Up Fool! Awards- I'm Ready For Some Football Edition

In a few hours my favorite NFL starts training camp over at their training complex by Reliant Stadium.

Like everyone else in town I'm wondering if this Texans team can finally do the one thing no other Texans squad has ever done: Make the NFL playoffs.

Meanwhile while we're waiting for the NFL season to start, they played the other football in Reliant Stadium Wednesday night. Houston hosted the MLS All Star Game to a sellout crowd of 70,000 people as the MLS All Stars played Manchester United.

They got toasted by Manchester United 5-2, but the MLS goal scorers had Houston Dynamo connections. Brian Ching scored in the 63rd minute to narrow the deficit to 2-1. Then former Dynamo player Dwayne DeRosario scored in the 90th minute with an assist from Ching to close out the lopsided match.

Now let's go from kicks in the grass to see who needs to be kicked in their azz for exhibiting MLS type behavior- Major League Stupidity

This week's winner is a group award, and it goes to the peeps whose broadcast motto should be, "we distort, BS and lie."

FOX News gets it this week for all the 24/7 race baiting they've done against the president, Shirley Sherrod, the NAACP...

Fair and balanced my azz.

FOX News, shut the HELL up, racist fools!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ke$ha, We Need To Talk

Yeah, I know you're trying to raise your OQ (Outrageousness Quotient) vis a vis your competition such as Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, but statements like this only leave us questioning your Intelligence Quotient.

"Freaks are what make everything mildly more interesting in life but with trannies, they make me want to be a better woman. I see these men who have way better bodies than I do, more beautiful faces, better complexions, beautiful makeup, and they're more fun than any person I've met in my life. They make me feel like I'm not a very good woman."

First of all pop tart, 'tranny' is a derogatory term to many people in our community.

Just an FYI to you. Trans women are WOMEN, not men. The sooner you get that concept burned into your brain, the better so you can avoid the TransGriot, our allies and the rest of the trans community calling you out on it next time.

We just had to take another more pothole filled obstacle strewn road to get to the point where our physical bodies match our gender identity.

We transpeople are here on Planet Earth to live our lives as part of the diverse mosaic of human life. Yes, some of my transsisters are so stunningly beautiful even I get a little envious at times when I check them out. Others are just ordinary women that fade into the background living their lives, and some would have a hard time as my Kentucky friends would say, 'passing in a coal mine at midnight'.

We are fun to be around, but we aren't 'freaks', 'men' or 'trannies'.

Ke$ha, one of the things we transwomen have learned in terms of the feminine journey is that an evolving woman recognizes the areas where she is deficient, and expeditiously makes those corrections and improvements in her life.

One area where you are woefully deficient is knowledge about trans people and our lives. When it comes to transwomen of color, even if we are drop dead gorgeous, we still don't get called or considered 'beautiful'.

If you're feeling a little insecure and self conscious about your body issues, please deal with them without using language that is insulting to the trans community.

Nikki Araguz Update 6 - Umm...About That 'Texas Law' Meme

One of the things that I'm seeing repeatedly pop up in posts and stories about the ongoing Araguz case inside and outside the TBLG community is this recurring meme that the 1999 Littleton v Prange case is settled Texas law.

No, it isn't

The GOP dominated Texas Supreme Court did not rule on the Littleton case as a Fox 26 News legal analyst incorrectly stated.

They refused to do so in order to cover Junior's behind during his 2000 presidential run.

This comment from a MetroWeekly story about the case also got my attention:

According to Texas' laws, though, transgender people are deemed to remain the same gender as their original birth certificate despite gender reassignment procedures.

No, we're not.

Just thought I point that out as a transgender Texan.

Translatina Showing In DC

Translatina is a 90 minute documentary that was three years in the making, took 100 hours of filming and contains interviews from people in 15 nations.

The documentary has been selected for five international festivals and it chronicles the challenges faced by Latin American trans women in accessing work, education, justice, health care, and other basic services in the region.

The Spanish language film with English subtitles also showcases the efforts of Latin American transgender organizations are starting to dialogue with governments in the region to demand justice and services for trans women.

For those of you in the Washington DC metro areawho wish to see it, you may head over to the Pan American Health Organization later today and check out their screening of Translatina

PAHO is located at 525 Twenty-third Street, N.W., and the screening will run from 6:00 to 8:30 PM EDT. After a welcoming ceremony, they will serve refreshments before beginning the film.

Here's the trailer for it, of which sections of it aren't workplace viewer friendly.

The screening is sponsored by the group Latin@s En Accion. If you need more info about it you can call Ruby Corado at (202) 506-0894

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Federal Judge Smacks Down Parts Of The SB 1070 'Hate On Latinos' Law

Federal U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton earlier today gave the 'Hate On Latinos' law a serious legal smackdown.

"The Court by no means disregards Arizona's interests in controlling illegal immigration and addressing the concurrent problems with crime, including the trafficking of humans, drugs, guns and money," Bolton wrote. "Even though Arizona's interests may be consistent with those of the federal government, it is not in the public interest for Arizona to enforce preempted laws."

SB 1070 will still take effect at midnight, but Judge Bolton's ruling blocks implementation of the most controversial and odious parts of it.

Judge Bolton delayed the parts of the law that required immigrants to carry their papers at all times. SB 1070 took aim at day laborers by making it illegal for undocumented workers to solicit employment in public places. Judge Bolton also blocked officers from making warrantless arrests of suspected illegal immigrants.

Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard (D) is running for governor and was put in the awkward position of having to defend a law he opposed and had this to say about the ruling.

"Rather than providing the leadership Arizona needs to solve the immigration problem, Jan Brewer signed a bill she could not defend in court which has led to boycotts, jeopardized our tourism industry and polarized our state. "It is time to look beyond election year grandstanding and begin to repair the damage to Arizona's image and economy."

Judge Bolton was appointed by President Clinton and of course the 'activist judge' sniping has already begun by the right wing. Gov. Jan Brewer has already indicated the state will appeal.

But this was just round one of a legal tussle over this bill that will probably end up being decided by the Supreme Court.

But score one for our side.

2nd Annual LA TG Film Fest Coming Soon

The second annual TG Film Fest will be held at the LA Gay and Lesbian Center's Renberg Theater on August 28th, 2010

The festival kicks off at 11:30 AM PDT and runs until 9 PM. The TG Film Fest will feature four ninety minute screenings of trans themed films.

The films being presented this year include one that I had the pleasure of seeing during last year's U of L Pride Festival. It's a short film by Calpernia Addams and Andrea James called Transproofed.

Transpoofed will be part of the short films being show at 7:30 PM.

Another interesting movie that will be part of the 2010 is a Todd Holland film called The Believers, which is about the 2004 Outmusic award winning San Francisco based Transcendence Gospel Choir.

Suggested donation is $20, but people without funds will not be turned away. Outside the theater, in the center's courtyard there will be a DJ and live performances from 11:30 AM to 9 PM and vendors selling art and crafts.

The LA Gay and Lesbian Center is located at 1125 N. McCadden Place in Hollywood, CA.

Thank You, Keith!

Keith Olbermann tells it like it T-I-S is about the Sherrod affair and the piss poor panicked reactions of the left in response to the Right Wing Noise Machine faux controversy.

Proud Member Of ABW Sorority, Inc.

So what does ABW stand for?

Besides being the name of a wonderful thought provoking blog, ABW is the abbreviation for one of the sobriquets that is hurled at me or any other sistah by YT that dares call out whiteness, tell the truth about the unfairness inherent in the current system or talk about about how it affects our lives or simply expresses an opinion that runs counter to prevailing groupthink.

Angry Black Woman.

Well, if that's the case, consider me a proud dues paying member of the Angry Black Women Sorority, Inc. Lambda Lambda Lambda chapter.

You can consider me the president of the Lambda Lambda Lambda chapter and I pledged during the Spring 1994 semester.

Now as a member of Angry Black Women Sorority, Incorporated I received when I went over love of myself and every millimeter of my fine brown curves, reminders that we come in twenty plus variations of skin color that range from vanilla creme to ebony black and the wide and creative variety of hairstyles we wear.

We're also taught during our pledge period love for my sisters and our people, and pride in my people's history and accomplishments.

That pride in my people's history and accomplishments does not translate to 'I hate white people' rhetoric because you are uncomfortable with me pointing out some harsh truths about our contentious history in the Americas and across the Diaspora with whiteness.

As the president of Lambda Lambda Lambda chapter I have to deal with the racist attitudes within the GLBT community that cause friction and impede us from working together to vanquish the anti-GLBT Forces of Intolerance.

I have to constantly point out that transwomen of African descent exist. We have been and will continue to be thoughtful, stereotype busting creative leaders inside and outside the various communities we intersect with.

That point also has to be forcefully made at times within the African American family as well.

We ABW members point out that the feminine journey for a Black woman has special complication thanks to being considered the 'unwoman' and centuries of negative propaganda aimed at her. Our service projects are designed to uplift her and the race at the same time.

It's past time y'all stopped listening to christopimps in $1000 suits who are doing the bidding of white fundamentalists in injecting poisonous 'hate the gays' rhetoric in our community.

Y'all need to recognize and realize that we are and will always be just as Black as you are.

And it's my job and other ABW sorors to ensure you never forget that and to ensure that you treat all chocolate flavored sisters, trans, gay or cis with respect and dignity.

It's A Texas Thang, Y'all Wouldn't Understand

One of the things that constantly surprises people who have observed our right wing fools in action over the last two decades is why any TBLG person would want to live in the Lone Star State?

I'm a fourth generation Texan on my father's side of the family and a third generation one on my mother's side of the family. I love the 268,820 square miles (696,200 square kilometers for my international readers) of south central US territory it covers just as much or even more than the average Faux News watching right winger without a clue.

It's fashionable in liberal progressive circles to beat up on Texas and Texans in general because many are still angry about the George W. Bush mispresidency and the eight long years of conservadamage it wrought on our country.

I must point out that not all of Texas' 24.7 million residents lock step agree with the Texas GOP, the conservafool controlled State Board of Indoctrination or its racist, homophobic and transphobic agenda, much less cast precious ballots for it. We've seen firsthand the damage that unchecked 'proven conservative leadership' can do.

I will point out that many of you liberals who call yourselves Greens enabled Dubya by casting enough votes for Ralph Nader in 2000 to get Dubya close enough to be selected by the Supremes, even after we progressive Texans warned you what would happen if Junior made it to the White House instead of then Vice President Al Gore.

But I digress.

Is Texas perfect? Not by a long shot. It can be and should be better that it is right now. Because we love this state, its culture, its traditions and all of the things we hold dear as denizens of the second largest state in the Union, we think it's worth fighting for.

The legacies of liberal-progressive Texans such as Governor Ann Richards, Billie Carr, Rep. Barbara Jordan, Rep. Mickey Leland, Molly Ivins, Sen. Ralph Yarborough, Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and present and future Texas liberals compel us to fight for the heart and soul of the Lone Star State. It's increasing share of the Electoral College vote and restoring fairness and equality for all Texans demands that we do.

And yes, the fact that its population is already trending majority-minority doesn't hurt either in turning it back to the progressive direction it was historically run on until the GOP got total control in 1995.

While it isn't turning soon enough for you peeps along I-5, I-95 and inside I-495, it took us a while to get into this mess, and it has been a long hard slog back.

That means we GLBT Texas who want to see progressive change inside our borders have to stay and openly fight tooth and nail for it, not cut and run to a so called coastal gay mecca that in some cases can be worse than the so called red state we left behind.

Besides, I can't get Blue Bell ice cream, Frenchy's chicken, Shipley's Donuts or Whataburgers in southern California or the Northeast corridor.

May I point out to you Texas bashers GLBT division that my hometown is now ably run by Mayor Annise D. Parker. There are three living IFGE Trinity Award winners that reside inside its borders and some of the early trans community leadership was epicentered in Houston.

One of the early must go to trans events was the Texas T Party in the San Antonio area. Phyllis and ICTLEP used to host an annual trans law conference in the mid 90's in Houston. The Austin and Dallas-Ft Worth areas are battling to see which metropolis is the most gay friendly and have passed GLBT protective ordinances.

But Houston trumps them both with the first openly gay mayor elected to a major Texas city and a US Top 5 population city.

Just thought I'd rub that in.

But having The Intolerant Enemy in our faces 24/7/365 (366 in a leap year) keeps us focused. We don't have time for the internecine warfare that roils other GLBT communities. You also have to get creative in terms of coming up with airtight arguments that will sway even a conservative leaning pol to vote for your civil rights.

But just like you GLBT peeps on the coasts love the areas you live in, we BTLG Texans love our state as well. The diversity of its population and its culture. The urban sophistication of Dallas, Austin and Houston. San Antonio and El Paso's blends of culture. The state fair in Dallas. Football in the fall, be it high school, college or pro.

Did I mention the barbecue and pecan pie?

Well, it's a Texas thang, y'all wouldn't understand.