Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Shut Up Fool Of The Year

It's New Year's Day for you folks on the other side of the International Date Line, but on my side of it we're 12 hours away in the US Central time zone from 2013's arrival..

One of the more popular features on my blog is the weekly Shut Up Fool Awards in which I shine a bright spotlight on the fool, fools or group of fools who deserve to be called out on their bull feces and jaw dropping unrepentant ignorance.

There are some folks however who did so repeatedly to the point they were consistently foolish over the calendar year.  Before y'all get your party on later tonight (or are recovering from your New Year's Eve partying) I want you to do so with the knowledge of who won the TransGriot 2012 Shut Up Fool of The Year Award.

Will it be former Rep. Allen West?  Mitt Romney?   Rep. Michele Bachmann?  Former Rep. Joe Walsh?  Rush Limbaugh?  Donald Chump Trump?  Rep Paul Ryan?  Rep Louie Gohmert?  Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL)?  Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ)?  Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX)?  Or will it be a group award for the first time for Fox Noise?  The Republican Party?   The Romney Campaign Team?

This year fool will join such winners as Michael Steele (2009), Sarah Palin (2010) and Herman Cain (2011).

The envelope please.

It was a tight race this year, but I have to give it to Willard Mitt Romney.  Thanks to you TransGriot readers for helping me sort it out and for the nominations.

Mittens was a long running WTF when it came to his latest presidential campaign run.  From his 47% comment, shamelessly contorting himself and proving he would do and say (or not say) anything to live at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, liking being able to fire people, pissing off our British cousins on the eve of the London Games during his international tour; playing himself during the second debate with President Obama, claiming Russia was our Number One geopolitical foe, having surrogates from Hades like John Sununu and after he got his butt kicked November 6, his son claiming he didn't want to be POTUS despite spending over a billion of his and other people's money for it.

Mitt took being a fool to new levels, and he did so in front of billions of people.  

Our Shut Up Fool of the Year for 2012 is Mitt Romney.   Congratulations and Shut up Fool!


2012 International Trans Year In Review

Just as the African-American trans community  made some great strides in 2012, there was remarkable  progress made for trans human rights internationally and many of the folks making news were transgender people.

Let's get the bad news out of the way first.   We continue to see far too many transwomen die due to anti-trans violence, with the major hotspots being Latin America, the United States and Turkey.  We once again memorialized our fallen sisters during the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Where we saw major progress was politically.  In Poland Anna Grodzka became only the third transperson to be elected to her national legislative body in October 2011 and took her seat a month later.   In Thailand Yollada 'Nok' Suanyok on May 27 became the highest ranking trans politician in the 'Land of Smiles' when she won an election in her home province.   Adela Hernandez won office in Cuba.

Groundbreaking trans candidates ran for office in various countries in 2012 as well.  Diana Sanchez Barrios became the first ever to do so in Mexico when she filed to run for a seat in Mexico City's July 1 Municipal Assembly elections.

Argentina passed a groundbreaking Gender Identity Law in May by wide margins in both houses of its national legislature that was signed by President Cristina Fernandez and took effect on June 4.  Activists in Chile are trying to pass a similar law in their nation. 

There's also been positive movement on trans rights issues in Australia and the Philippines.  There was a UN vote that condemned extrajudicial killings that for the first time ever included ones based on sexual orientation and gender identity. 

Trans rights laws advanced on the Canadian provincial level in Ontario, Manitoba and Nova Scotia, while C-279, the federal trans rights law continues to make steady progress as it passed its second reading phase on a 150-132 vote despite determined opposition by some Conservative MP's. 

There was Canada's Jenna Talackova giving us an unexpected win when her fight to enter the Miss Canada Universe pageant resulted in the demise of the bogus 'natural born woman' rule and the Miss Universe pageant system despite transphobic resistance from national pageant holdouts like Mexico and Venezuela opening their competition to trans women in 2013.

Speaking of pageants, the Philippines finally got their long awaited triumph in the Miss International Queen trans one when Kevin Balot became the first transpinay to bring that title home after years of frustration. 

Trans models such as Brazil's trio of Lea T, Carol Marra and Felipa Tavares, Valentijn de Hingh of the Netherlands and gender bender Andrej Pejic are rocking runways, but the trans model is not a new phenomenon.  it's just the fashion world has rediscovered it in 2012.

We're still fighting for our trans marriage rights with Malta's Joanne Cassar's case going before the European Court of Human Rights, Ms W losing another round in Hong Kong, and Nikki Araguz still fighting in Texas.

The ruling in Cassar v Malta should be released sometime in 2013.

Speaking of trans court rulings, our Muslim Malaysian transsisters suffered an adverse ruling when four of them challenged Section 66 of the country's Islamic criminal law code.that bars Muslim men from dressing or posing as women.   It is being used to harass trans women  by Islamic fundamentalists and they unfortunately lost the suit.   

There was major concern expressed from the international trans community when Guatemalan trans activist Fernanda Milan was facing deportation from Denmark in September.   Her case is now being reviewed by Danish authorities after a wave of international protests. 

PC Air, the Thai startup airline famous for having trans flight attendants, hit some business turbulence in October.  It's lone Airbus 310-222 was stuck at Seoul's Incheon airport because the company has not paid its overdue airport charges and fuel fees due to a dispute with its South Korean agent.

The dispute stranded 400 people total at Incheon and in Bangkok, and PC Air was forced to suspend charter service until they can satisfy the Thai Transport Ministry that the incident won't be repeated.

There were some interesting developments in 2012 from continental Africa trans wise as well. 

There was the not so nice one of the Ugandan parliament's misguided attempts to pass an Anti-Homosexuality Act pimped by American based right wing fundie Christian zealots and fronted by David Bahati.   The bill does have a clause that would deleteriously affect transpeople living in Uganda.

It was nice to hear about the story of Titica, one of Angola's rising popular music stars who happens to be a girl like us.

She s a rising star in the Angolan music genre called kuduro, which is a fusion of rap and techno music.  She was named the best kuduro artist of 2011, is a regular on radio and television there and has performed at a Divas concert in front of Angolan president Jose Eduardo dos Santos

Nigerian Mia Nikasimo continues to speak out along with other African activists like Kenya's Audrey Mbugua and Uganda's Victor Mukasa about the plight of transpeople in the 66 nations on the second largest continent on our planet.

And unfortunately, another Olympiad came and went in London without an open trans athlete as American Keelin Godsey fell just short of making the US Olympic team despite his lifetime best hammer throw.

Hopefully when the nations of the world gather in Sochi in 2014 and Rio in 2016, there will be a trans athlete proudly marching into the stadium during the opening ceremony.

Internationally, trans human rights are on the march and our visibility is increasing along with the positive public publicity.  There is still a lot of work to do in various areas of the world to eradicate anti-trans prejudice and anti-trans violence in 2013, but the international trans community is making it happen.

I hope I have more positive news to report when we get to the end of 2013.

Happy New Year 2013*

It's still New Year's Eve on my side of the International Date Line and we're a few hours away from the crystal ball drop in New York's Times Square and our local New Year's Eve event that happens at Discovery Green downtown.

KC and the Sunshine Band is the entertainment scheduled for it, but unfortunately rain is in our forecast for tonight, so I may end up watching it on television instead of standing in Discovery Green holding my umbrella and fighting off the chill. .

Speaking of television, New Year's Rocking Eve just won't be the same to me without Dick Clark.  But as my mascot for the Shut Up Fool Awards would say, enough jibber-jabber.   

Wanted to take a moment to thank y'all for reading TransGriot and wish you readers and all my friends and international trans family on the western side of the Date Line a Happy New Year!. 

Hope 2013 is a fantastic year for all of us and for the advancement of trans human rights in your respective nations.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 Texans Watch-Limping Into The Playoffs

When the Texans beat the Tennessee Traitors 24-10 in Nashville on December 2, they were 11-1 and looking like a dominating lock for the AFC's number one seed. 

But after today's 28-16 loss in Indy to the Colts and wins by New England and Denver they slid all the way to the number three seed and a NFL Wild Card weekend deja vu matchup at Reliant Stadium on Saturday with the Cincinnati Bengals.

And my hometown NFL ballers have no one to blame for it but themselves after failing to handle their NFL business down the stretch dropping a winnable game against the Vikings last week and going 1-3 to make their playoff trek harder.   To add to the bitterness of this loss Texans fans feel, the all time franchise losing streak in Indianapolis has grown to 0-11.   

The Colts got their head coach Chuck Pagano back after leaving to battle a treatable form of leukemia and were playing at a more determined energy level than the Texans.   My hometown NFL ballers just needed a win to clinch the number one seed throughout the entire AFC playoffs, end that futility streak at Lucas Oil Stadium and its now demolished predecessor the RCA Dome.

The Texans trailed at halftime 14-6, but took the opening kickoff and scored their lone TD of the day on a 13 yard Arian Foster run to narrow the deficit to 14-13.   After the Bulls on Parade defense forced a three and out and they drove for the field goal to give them a 16-14 lead with 5:50 left in the third quarter, the Texans promptly relinquished it after getting burned on a 101 kickoff return by Deji Karim to put the Colts up 21-16.

After putting the Colts in a 3rd and 23 hole,Andrew Luck dropped a deep ball between three Texan defenders to a streaking TY Hilton for a 70 yard TD strike to seal the Colts 28-16 win and make people in Denver and New England very happy and bring up bad memories and frustrating visions for longtime Houston NFL fans of failed Oilers playoff runs of the past. 

Oh well, at least the Cowboys will be watching us on TV in the playoffs again thanks to RG3 and the Redskins beating that butt.

The last NFL team to lose 3 out of their last 4 games but still make it to the Super Bowl was the 2009 New Orleans Saints.  We all know what happened once the playoffs started..    

This Texans team says they want to make positive Houston NFL history for this city.  We want to believe them and would love for it to happen.  

But if the Texans don't get their collective offensive and defensive acts together by Saturday and get back to being that dominating team we saw at the beginning of the season and know they have the talent to be, the only way they'll be watching the Super Bowl is on TV or buying a ticket to the Mercedes Benz Superdome despite their franchise record 12 wins.  

2012 TransGriot NFL Picks-Week 17

Last week of the 2012 NFL regular season and all of the games are being played on Sunday.   

Many of them have playoff ramifications.  Some teams are playing for NFL playoff seedings or just to make the playoffs.  Others have players and coaches trying to impress since it will be the last games in their current NFL locales. 

They are auditioning either for their own coaches and owners or the coaches and owners of other teams so they will be collecting a fat NFL paycheck for the 2013 season. 

All Kansas City and Jacksonville are playing for the number one and number two picks in the 2013 NFL draft and which team gets which pick.

Speaking of playing for NFL seedings, my hometown NFL ballers stunk up Reliant Stadium last week and now find themselves in a must win game against the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium to clinch the number one seed throughout the AFC playoffs and that precious week off.   If they lose to the Colts, they could potentially slide all the way to the number three seed.  I'd rather be playing Denver or New England at Reliant, not there in January.

Me and Mr. Watts are still tied after 16 weeks of picking games.  I thought the 49ers would play a more competitive game than they actually did but correctly picked the Saints taking out the Cowboys even if they did need overtime and a holy roller style fumble recovery to do so .  Mike changed his pick in time for the Jets-Chargers game otherwise I'd have a one game lead on him going into today.

This it is.  Drama once again in the final week of our 2012 NFL prognostication contest just like last year..  Which one of us will be the winner?  Or will we tie for it once again?

Mike's Week 17 picks are here, mine are in underlined bold print.  . 

Week 16 records 
TransGriot  12-4
Mike Watts 12-4

2012 Season Records
TransGriot  152-87-1
Mike Watts 152-87-1

Week 17

Sunday, December 30

Jets at Bills
Ravens at Bengals
Browns at Steelers
Texans at Colts
Jaguars at Titans
Eagles at Giants
Bears at Lions
Buccaneers at Falcons
Panthers at Saints

Sunday Afternoon

Dolphins at Patriots
Packers at Vikings
Chiefs at Broncos
Raiders at Chargers
Cardinals at 49ers
Rams at Seahawks

Sunday Night
Cowboys at Redskins

BBC Documentary- Ladyboys

The Land of Smiles best looking girls it is said are the ones that were born as boys.  This BBC documentary follows some of the girls like us who live their lives there and a behind the scenes look at last year's miss International Queen Pageant in Episode 2.. 

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Episode 5

Episode 6

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Trans Teen, Beauty Queen

I posted in the wake of Jenna Talackova's attempt to win Miss Canada Universe and make it to Miss Universe 2012 the story of Jackie Green's attempt to win Miss England

Documentary cameras were following her quest to do so, and here it is.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Live Long And Prosper, Nichelle Nichols!

Today is the 80th birthday of iconic actress and space enthusiast Nichelle Nichols who was born on this date in Robbins, IL in 1932.

All us Trekkies know of her most famous role as Lt. Nyota Uhura of Star Trek and have heard the story of how she nearly quit the show after the first season but was convinced to stay by a Star Trek fan by the name of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. 

In addition to making American television history with th first interracial kiss, in the later Star Trek movies her character was subsequently promoted to Commander in the movies involving the original cast.

She has been an inspiration for people of my generation and subsequent ones to not only follow their dreams, but reach for the stars.  

She was Dr. Mae Jemison's inspiration to become a NASA astronaut and was recruited by her during the 70's when Nichols worked for NASA as part of a program to not only encourage African-American youth to consider math and science careers but recruit women and minority astronauts.

Two of the people she recruited, Charles Bolden and Lori Garver are the current administrator and Deputy Administrators of NASA.

She also recruited Dr. Sally Ride, Col Guion Bluford, Dr Ronald McNair and Dr Judith Resnik

She has served since the 1980's on the Board of Governors for the National Space Society and is considered part of the NASA family.    She and many of her Star Trek castmates were on hand when the space shuttle Enterprise was christened.

Whoopi Goldberg was inspired to become an actress because of her and there are numerous women born in the late 60's and 70's who are named Nichelle or have it as a middle name.

Live long and prosper Nichelle, and happy milestone birthday!

Black Trans Year In Review 2012

Transpeople were in the news in 2012, and Black transpeople played major roles in not only making it but  also making some trans history in the process.

Our year did get off to a negative start with the murders during the 2011 holiday season of two of our young transsisters. Shellie Hilliard in Detroit was brutally killed in late October and Dee Dee Pearson was shot to death on Christmas Eve in Kansas City.   The new year was barely five weeks old when Washington DC's Deoni Jones was stabbed at a bus stop in February.    The murderers of Hilliard and Pearson were caught and eventually brought to justice during 2012 while Deoni Jones' killer Gary Niles Montgomery's trial will start June 10..  

Hilliard's killer Qasim Raqib was sentenced to 25-40 years March 26 and Pearson's killer Kenyan Jones got 30 years.  Unfortunately the persons who killed Chicago's Paige Clay and Tiffany Gooden, Detroit's Coko Williams and Oakland's Brandy Martell have yet to be brought to justice.

Speaking of justice, CeCe McDonald stood her ground against transphobic Minnesota white supremacist Jonathan Schmitz and friends who unfortunately died in the incident they started.  She was until May 2012 the only person facing charges and received a plea bargained 41 months in jail for it.   Molly Shannon Flaherty, who instigated the incident still has yet to be punished for it.

The Marsha P. Johnson case was reopened by the Manhattan DA's office 20 years after her death was controversially ruled a suicide.

Victoria Carmen White's alleged killer Alrashim Chambers got away with murdering her when an Essex County jury acquitted him May 25.   A few months later I posted an article from Chambers trial foreman Dennis Heffernan explaining their reasons for doing so.

We also observed the ten year anniversaries of the execution style killing of transteens Stephanie Thomas and Ukea Davis in Washington DC (whose killers still haven't been brought to justice) and the mysterious death of Nizah Morris in Philadelphia. 

We also marked ten years since the passing of pioneering trans man Alexander John Goodrum on October 3.

There was also an ugly New York incident that garnered headlines in September in which the boyfriend of transwoman Jalisa Griffen was slashed by a transphobe at a Greenwich Village McDonald's.  

Former DC police officer Kenneth Furr was convicted in October for an ugly August 2011 incident in which he fired his service weapon at three trans women and their companions in NW Washington.  He is due to be sentenced in January 2013.  

While the infuriating pattern of trans women of color being messed with, disproportionately killed due to anti-trans violence or not receiving justice continues, major strides happened for the Black trans community in 2012.  

Janet Mock made TheGrio's 100 People Making History Today list in January among some of the other awards and accolades she's garnered. 
Janet also started the #girlslikeus Twitter campaign as well as continuing work on her eagerly anticipated autobiography.

The inaugural March 29-April 1 Black Transmen's conference happened in Dallas with Rev. Louis Mitchell as its keynote speaker.  The second one will take place March 13-18 in Dallas

That wasn't Rev. Mitchell's only keynote.  He was also at the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference in June giving their keynote address as well.

Earline Budd was nominated for and sworn in to a seat on the Washington DC Commission on Human Rights along with another trans woman.  DC also began an anti-trans discrimination campaign with posters featuring a Black trans woman and Black trans man. 

A first in the Midwest trans pride event was organized by Kokumo in July. 

The Trans Persons of Color Coalition (TPOCC) continued its rise as the national organization representing the interests of transpeople of color. It was visible at events such as the PTHC, the TransFaith In Color conference in Charlotte that I keynoted and OUT on the Hill.

TPOCC executive director Kylar Broadus was making a lot of history in a busy 2012 for him. He because the first transperson of any ethnicity to testify at a US Senate hearing in June.  He was part of the DNC's platform committee and also became the first African-American trans man to attend a Democratic National Convention in September.   Dr Marisa Richmond was also in the house in Charlotte for her second DNC convention along with 11 other trans people.  

Kylar also was at the White House along with Dr Richmond and Washington DC Human rights Commissioner Earline Budd for a meeting with White House staffers on trans issues that took place during the TDOR.

Isis King blazed another groundbreaking trail as the first transwoman to appear in an American Apparel ad.

And yes, your favorite blogger did her part to make some trans history as well.   I got published in in March.  In June I was part of the first ever trans themed panel at Netroots Nation in Providence, RI.   In September I was honored to be one of the four trans women (the others were Danielle King, Rev. Carmarion Anderson and Valerie Spencer) taking part in a first ever town hall discussion during the 2012 OUT on the Hill that was moderated by Laverne Cox.  

A few hours later Laverne was part of a CBC-ALC panel discussing media.    

By the way, the upcoming 2013 OUT on the Hill  in September will have a trans masculine panel.

And unfortunately we're ending this year with our young transsister Sage Smith still missing.

Those were just some of the stories that were part of our Black trans year in review for 2012.   I hope this post is even longer and chock full of even more groundbreaking achievements for our community in the twelve months ahead.

Shut Up Fool Awards-Last Friday of 2012 Edition

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas Day and as you're aware of, we are rapidly cruising to the end of 2012.  On balance this was a not so bad year for me and I hope 2013 is an even better one.

Speaking of end of the year, this is the last Friday of 2012 and the last weekly Shut Up Fool award I will pass out.   Wow, seems like it was just yesterday I was writing the post welcoming everyone to 2012 and announcing our first Shut Up Fool weekly award winner for the year just 52 weeks ago. 

As for who will win the 2012 Shut Up Fool of the Year Award?  Check back with me on December 31. 

Now, let's get to work revealing what fool, fools or group of fools won this week's award spotlighting their rank ignorance, jaw dropping stupidity, and mind blowing hypocrisy.

Honorable mention number one is Pope Benedict XVI for continuing to hate on same gender marriage and now claiming that it's a wait for it, 'socialst plot'.  Lawrence O'Donnell blows that argument up.  

Honorable mention number two is a group award for the GOP.   I'd need another post to list their idiocy that earned them a group award this week.

Honorable mention number three goes to the NRA's Wayne LaPierre.  His solution to stop mass shootings is to arm teachers.   He said during an appearance on NBC's Meet The Press that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is have a good guy with a gun.   

Umm Wayne, how about making it harder for the bad guy to get the damned gun in the first place?

This week's winner is Italian Catholic priest Fr. Piero Corsi.    During his Christmas message posted to the door of his parish church in San Terenzo, Italy he asserted that women bring sexual violence and physical violence upon themselves.   

And y'all wonder why membership has been dripping in catholic congregations? 

Fr. Piero Corsi, shut up Fool!

Meet Tia Norfleet-NASCAR Driver

Move over Danica Patrick, there's another female driver about to hit the NASCAR circuit and she's a sistah.

She's 25 year old Tia Norfleet, the first and only African-American female driver in NASCAR.  She's the daughter of Bobby Norfleet, a NASCAR racer in the 90's who was mentored by legendary African-American racing pioneer Wendell Scott. 

Tia fell in love with racing early, and has competed in the drag racing and short track late models circuit in which she earned two top 15 finishes.

Her goal is to not only win the Daytona 500, but expand NASCAR's popularity beyond its current demographic base.  She also want to see more person of color get involved in NASCAR and become drivers, pit crew members and even engineers.

But I'll let Tia talk in this video.


Norfleet received her NASCAR racing license in August and for now hasn't released her racing schedule, but when she does, I might be tuning into a NASCAR race or two to watch my fellow Taurus' historic car number 34 compete instead of bypassing any channel that a NASCAR race is on now.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Trans Models-Been Here, Still Doing That

Since there are some peeps who have the misguided thought that trans models are a second decade of the 21st century phenomenon, just though it was time to drive home the point that trans models have been around since the 60's.

April Ashley

Tracy Africa Norman

Caroline Cossey

Choi Han Bit

Lauren Foster

Roberta Close

Chamila Askansa

Change Only Comes To Government When You Participate

I fail to understand liberals who misguidedly think that change will come to our government by not participating in it. 

Gee, how did sitting on your azzes and 'punishing the Democrats' work out for you in the 2010 midterms?  That's as delusional as the right wingers who think that cutting taxes on the wealthy and laissez-faire capitalism grows the economy and lifts people out of poverty.

I can tell you simply by perusing my people's history that you'd much rather be an active participant in any of the courts and the legislative bodies at the local, state and federal levels that are writing and interpreting the laws.   That lesson should be crystal clear for everyone who considers themselves to be on the liberal progressive side of the political spectrum considering what has happened at the state and national level since those disastrous 2010 midterms.   

It's why you vote in EVERY election for the party and candidates that reflect your values and policy stances. If you don't see that reflected in that political cycle's slate of candidates or your rep in your estimation isn't doing the job you sent them to do, then run for office your damned self. 

And while I'm on the subject of running for public office your damned selves, it's past time that transpeople up our human rights game to another level.   If we're going to have trans inclusive laws and policies that treat us with respect and dignity, we transpeeps need to be on the school boards, the county commissions, the city halls, the state legislatures and in Congress helping to write and enact them, not begging to be included.

If you don't participate in the system and get a seat at the table helping to write the laws that govern you, then don't get pissed off when the laws and policies that come out of the system you refuse to participate in don't reflect your values and policy stances.

TransGriot Note: The second photo is of Kim Coco Iwamoto of Hawaii, who ran for and twice won election to the Hawaii State Board of Education in 2006 and 2010.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Claudia Jordan and Tamar Braxton Throwing Transphobic Shade At Joseline Hernandez

One of the things the African American cisgender community needs to do a much better job of in 2013 is to stop perpetuating the black unwoman meme in our community and uttering shady transphobic comments at each other 

I was alerted by Janet Mock to this latest outbreak of transphobic shade being thrown and it was during the December 17 debut of the Tiny Tonight talk show on VH1. 

The show is hosted by Tameka 'Tiny' Harris and includes the rapper Trina, Tamar Braxton, and former Price is Right and Deal Or No Deal model Claudia Jordan.   Tiny described it as a next generation version of The View.  

If that's the level of conversation they are aiming for, they definitely missed the target badly in terms of reaching that level of intelligent discourse during their debut show. 

There was a discussion centered on the VH1 reality show Love and Hip Hop in which Tamar and Claudia began going down that tired transphobic 'Joseline Hernandez is a man' turf.

Of course, Joseline, who is justifiably tired of having her femininity attacked, struck back on Twitter and Kandi Burruss' 'Kandi Koated Nights' radio show by slamming Claudia and Tamar.

But yeah people, this is getting old.  We transwomen are sick and tired of being sick and tired of the 'that's a man' shade y'all like to throw at any woman that you ignorantly presume doesn't pass muster with the Black Femininity Police.

The shade starts at the 10:00 minute mark    Tamar should know better because she's had along with two of her sisters the same trans feminine status accusations hurled at her.

And you also need to consider the fact that Black transwomen are part of the target viewing audience for your show, and you are alienating us with this constant repetition of  this transphobic meme.

So no, y'all need to chill with that.  

Happy Kwanzaa 2012!

Haban Gari   What's the News?

Today is the first day of the seven nights of Kwanzaa which runs until January 1.   This is the 45th anniversary of the creation of the event by Dr. Maulana Karenga and the 2012 Kwanzaa theme is 'Kwanzaa, Us And the Well-Being of the World: A Courageous Questioning.'

For the last two years I've compiled Kwanzaa Black Trans Style posts and attempted to take the seven Nguzo Saba principles of the holiday and apply them in an interpretation that uplifts and inspires the African-American trans community.   

So what are those seven Nguzo Saba principles of Kwanzaa that are celebrated each night?    Glad you asked inquiring TransGriot readers. .

  • Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
  • Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.
  • Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers' and sisters' problems our problems, and to solve them together.
  • Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
  • Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
  • Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
  • Imani (Faith): To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
I decided not to do the Kwanzaa Black Trans Style posts this year, but what I will do is give you links to the compilation posts I compiled for Kwanzaa 2010 and Kwanzaa 2011   

I hope the 2010 and 2011 compilation posts contain something in them that not only give you food for thought, but inspire you to take positive action.   I hope they give you the impetus to not only do something as African descended trans people to stand up and help our shared African American community and any other one we interact with, but take stock in our own lives and how we can improve them for the benefit of our community.

I hope those posts also inspire my African descended transbrothers and transsisters to in their own ways and collectively do a better job of representing the African-American trans community and our people in a more positive way.

And may let the seven candles burning brightly on the Kinara burn these words and the words of my posts brightly into your hearts and minds. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Karmic Wheel Going In Both Directions For Two Miss USA Contestants

Remember back in June when the buzz and drama surrounding Jenna Talackova's participation in the Miss Canada Universe pageant was still on the minds of folks inside and outside the pageant world?

People were divided into two camps over the Miss Universe organization's decision to allow trans women to compete starting in 2013. 

That drama over trans women being allowed to compete showed up during the 2012 Miss USA pageant as Miss Rhode Island Olivia Culpo, one of the five finalists this year was asked a question on the trans pageant competition issue..

Would it be fair for a person born a man to be named Miss Universe after becoming a woman?

Her answer::  

"I do think it would be fair..." because "there are so many people who have a need to change for a happier life. I do accept that because I believe it's a free country."

Well, she went on to be named Miss USA and on December 19 became the first American in 15 years to be chosen Miss Universe since Hawaii's Brook Mahelani Lee won the title in 1997.

Meanwhile one of the transphobes on the other side of it, former Miss Pennsylvania Sheena Monnin, made these sour grapes tinged comments when she gave up her crown on June 5 after failing to make it into the Top 15.

"I refuse to be part of a pageant system that has so far and so completely removed itself from its foundational principles as to allow and support natural born males to compete in it. This goes against ever moral fiber of my being. I believe in integrity, high moral character, and fair play, none of which are part of this system any longer."

Miss Moral Fiber 2012 went on to put her pumps in her mouth and claim the Miss USA pageant was rigged.  Miss Universe organization officials asserted Monnin's allegations on Facebook and NBC's "Today" show cost them a $5 million fee from a potential 2013 sponsor.  The Donald sued after giving Monnin 24 hours to retract the statements.
 The case went to arbitration and Sheena Monnin now owes the Miss Universe organization $5 million dollars after she lost her defamation suit.   A judge found she did defame the organization and awarded damages. 

Hmm.   Let's compare and contrast shall we?   The transwoman you hated on (and by extension the worldwide trans community) made it to the Top 16 of her national pageant, tied for the Miss Congeniality award with three other women, and did so with dignity and class while having the world's media focused on her. 

Meanwhile you didn't even make it out of the preliminary rounds of the Miss USA pageant and showed no class while doing so.

Jenna Talackova and Olivia Culpo have more class in their pinky fingers than Sheena Monnin has in her entire nekulturny body, and the karmic wheel has smiled upon both of them. 

Meanwhile, we are observing in real time what the karmic wheel is doing unto Sheena.

Merry Christmas 2012 TransGriot Readers!

It's finally Christmas Day on our side of the International Date Line, and I want to wish all you TransGriot readers everywhere a very merry one.  Hope you receive everything you were looking for when it's time to open your presents. 

Of course, I got one of my Christmas presents back on November 6 when President Obama was re-elected and on Christmas Eve I received one in the mail from my Louisville roomies.  The other one is up to the Houston Texans, but they need to start handling their NFL business to make it happen.    

I'm also thankful and feeling blessed for all the love y'all shower me with throughout the year.     

I'm taking the day off from the blog to celebrate it with my family and I hope you are doing the same, whether it's your blood related or chosen family.  

And as your gift to me, I ask that you take a moment as you gather with the people who unconditionally love you, when it's time to pray at the dinner table or whenever you have a quiet moment to yourselves to do so,  say one not only for Miss Major who is spending this day in an Oakland hospital, but for the family of our missing trans sister Sage Smith and those families who lost trans loved ones during 2012..

Of course, if I'm moved to write something today, I'll post it. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Miss Major Spending Holiday In Hospital

Got word yesterday from Bobbie Jean Baker that Miss Major went into Kaiser Oakland hospital yesterday due to unknown causes.   

According to Bobbie Jean Miss Major is resting comfortably as of this moment. 

She's promised to keep me informed of what's happening with her, and I will pass those updates along to you as I receive them.

I'm just as interested as y'all are as to how our iconic transwoman is doing.

Being in the hospital sucks at any time, but it's got to be even more depressing when it's occurring during a major holiday.  

So when you peeps are saying your prayers tonight or before you have your holiday dinners, please pray for Miss Major to have a speedy recovery  

What's Wrong With USA Olympic Boxing?

While reading my Facebook comments the other night checked out one from my homegirl Arianna Inurritegui Lint noting how much she loves boxing in the wake of the Marquez-Pacquiao fight and Marquez knocking him the hell out.

That got me thinking about the recently conducted Summer Olympic Games and US boxing in general.

I wondered what's happened to the US in the sport and stumbled across this interesting Bleacher Report article from August 1 discussing the topic. 

One of the things I have been disappointed about when I've watched the Summer Olympics over the last decade and a half is the boxing team.  I've probably been spoiled by watching the dominating performances of the 1976 and 1984 US Olympic boxing teams and the knowledge that our great heavyweight champs such as Floyd Patterson (1952), Muhammad Ali (1960), Joe Frazier (1964) and George Foreman (1968) were Olympic champions.  Oscar De La Hoya (1992), David Reid (1996) and Andre Ward (2004) were also golden boys before winning titles in the professional ranks as well. 

The 2012 London Games was one which will live in US Olympic infamy because the men produced ZERO medals.  It was the women that upheld the proud USA boxing tradition.

Women's boxing was added to the Olympic competition program this year, and they produced the only US boxing medals of the London Games thanks to 17 year old Claressa Shields golden win and my fellow Houstonian Marlen Esparza winning a bronze medal in her weight class.

I've noted that since the 1988 Games and the implementation of a computerized scoring system to prevent people from getting victimized by questionable judging decisions has the consequence of encouraging what Teddy Atlas calls a 'fencing with gloves' style counterintuitive to the way Americans are taught to box, the teams haven't been as good.  

Maybe that's part of a drop off in talent, or what I suspect is the fallout from talented boxers like Roy Jones, Jr and Michael Carbajal in Seoul and Floyd Mayweather, Jr had happen in Atlanta in terms of being screwed by international boxing officials during those Olympic tournaments..    

There's less incentive for a talented US boxer to bust their behinds and slog through the amateur and international ranks for a chance at a Olympic gold medal if they are going to get screwed out of it by shady officiating.

Boxing has traditionally been seen as a way out of the 'hoods and barrios, and I believe another problem with US boxing besides the disorganization at the top  and the closing of many of those neighborhood gyms that trained kids is there's not as much emphasis on the Golden Gloves youth tournaments that develop our amateur boxers and potential Olympic champions.  

During the 70's and 80's I couldn't turn on the TV locally in Houston without seeing a public service commercial for the Progressive Amateur Boxing Association with its tagline of 'A kid can't open a knife or fire a gun with boxing gloves on'.   PABA boxers were highly competitive in local and Texas Golden Gloves competition which added to its appeal.  

And speaking of TV, yanking regular boxing matches off of network TV so that greedy boxing promoters could put them on pay-per- view cable also wasn't a wise move either.  You draw talent and interest to your sport by televising it, not restricting the number of people that can see it.  It's a contributing factor in why boxing is less relevant now and you have upstarts like MMA (mixed martial arts) and UFC bouts drawing huge ratings, growing international popularity and possible future Olympic medal status.

That breakdown in the US boxing developmental system is combined with some of our better athletes in the 'hoods focusing on other sports such as football and basketball and the rise of the Cubans as international boxing powers.

Granted, the USA with 49 gold medals and 110 medals all time is far and away the all-time Olympic competition medal leader but the Cubans with 34 golds and 67 total medals are number two, have a proud tradition of their own with three time Olympic champions Teofilo Stevenson (1972, 1976, 1980) and Felix Savon (1992, 1996, 2000) and probably would have caught the USA in total medals by now had Cuba not boycotted the 1984 and 1988 games.  

But there is some serious soul searching, self examination and reorganization that needs to happen at USA Boxing if our once proud program is going to get back to the business of putting our young men and now women in the best possible position of competing for and winning international championships and Olympic medals.

Merry Christmas 2012* TransGriot Readers

For those of you on the western side of the International Date Line, it is Christmas Day and I hope you are having a wonderful one.

Hope you got all the gifts you requested, have a full stomach from your Christmas meals and are enjoying the company of family and friends. 

And if you aren't with your blood family, hope you are in the company of people who love and adore you or chosen family.  

Thanks for all the love you peeps on the western side of the International Date Line shower me with during the year and taking the precious time out of your day to read my humble blog.   I deeply appreciate it.

Hope you have had a wonderful year and I pray 2013 will be just as remarkable.