Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Computer Prime Is Dead

Well, after seven years of faithful service and a rebuild, my desktop computer died on me yesterday.   Time of death was approximately 2:25 PM  Monday afternoon.  

Yeah, it sucks because I'm still working on my speech for the upcoming Black Transmen, Inc conference in Dallas, but I look at it as I was fortunate my computer lasted this long. 

So until I get it replaced and raise the funds to do so, looks like I'll be making a several block walk to the HPL Young Branch to post stuff on TransGriot and keep up with what's happening online.

I do have a PayPal button on the left hand margin of my TransGriot blog if y'all wanna help a sistah out and get her back online as expeditiously as possible.

Oh well, I did say during the LGBT Media Convening I needed to lose some of my Christmas holiday weight I put on.

2013 LGBT Media Journalists Convening-Moni's Whirlwind Philly Weekend

Was a lot of things going on this weekend at the 2013 LGBT Media Convening.   It was wonderful being in the room and finally getting to either meet many of the people in the LGBT blogging realm I know already from prior events or connect with them for the first time ever. 

While that was the highlight of the trip, we were actually there to do more than just hang out at the hotel bar.   We were there in the Loews Philadelphia Hotel to get our learn on about several issues so that we could have a better information base on which to write about these issues and how they impact our community. 

Well, it wouldn't be a Moni TBLG event trip without me having some kind of airline drama story to tell you

After a relatively smooth, quick and cramped ride on a commuter American Eagle jet to DFW, I went from my Terminal B-15 arrival gate to C-16 via the Skytrain connector to my PHL connecting flight.   Plane finally arrives about 30 minutes before departure, it's a full flight inbound and after everyone is off we're still sitting there clicking past our original 11:25 AM CST departure time with no gate announcement.

Just I get up and saunter to the podium to ask the gate agent what's up with that, they announce that maintenance has discovered an antenna problem on our Super 80 that will take the plane out of service and we're moving to C-10.

Note to AA DFW gate agent working Friday's flight:.  Making announcements will keep customers from being PO'ed at you.   Nobody likes sitting there without info and not everything can be found out on  a smartphone that is related to our specific flight.  The folks that give us a call still have to get the info from you and the peeps at the airport.  You also have to presume that not everyone has a phone or the up to the moment information you have (or don't have).   Even saying a short "maintenance is investigating a problem and as soon at they advise me I'll pass that info on to you" spiel will help.alleviate anxiety.

They quickly swap us out to another aircraft, and projected departure time is now an hour later    That plane gets to DFW at 12:05 PM, it's full, we eventually board it, but Catering didn't get the memo we'd moved..

So as we're sitting on the plane we're advised by the captain that we're waiting for catering to handle their business since they didn't get the memo about the PHL gate change.  To make it worse only one person is on the truck, the driver of it who can't back it off the coach galley without a wingman.

After that issue gets resolved and they cater first class we finally push off the gate around 12:50 PM and get airborne a few moments later.   While the flight was delayed the captain advised us he could make up the unexpected delay time because we had a tailwind.

He wasn't kidding.  My original arrival time into PHL was supposed to be 3:40 PM EST.and we pulled into gate A-7 at 4:35 PM   But by the time I got off the plane and got to the Terminal A SEPTA train station I just missed the 4:43 train with the next one not leaving the from the airport back to Philadelphia until 5:13 PM.   

The next one arrives,  I head to the hotel from the Market East station and arrive at the desk just as a few other attendees are in line or just arriving as well from their train rides to check into their rooms.   First persons I see are Andres Duque from Blabbeando, Jamillah King from Colorlines and Faith Cheltanham from BiNet USA.  I'm still amazed at times just how much love I get from bloggers other peeps in the community, and this event was no different as word quickly spread the TransGriot was in the LGBT Media Journalists house. 

After dashing upstairs to my 19th floor room to shower and change for the welcome reception dinner at Comcast Center, I come back downstairs to run into Rebecca Juro, Bamby Salcedo and Kelli Busey.  We had an animated conversation on the short bus ride over to the 40 plus story headquarters building of Comcast and  its cavernous main lobby with a state of the art video board.

The reception was on the 44th floor of the building and after a few moments we headed to our assigned seating to eat.   I was seated next to Sean Bugg of Metroweekly, and when he discovered I'd lived in Louisville for almost nine years that triggered some discussion between us and our other dinner companions about Kentucky politics before we moved to the welcomes from Bil Browning, Ruben Mendiola and Matt Foreman and the remarks from David Mixner and Cleve Jones to close out the event.  

I got into an interesting discussion with Cleve Jones about the transgender term (he doesn't like it) and why it's necessary before picking up my Tastykakes and heading back to the hotel..

Saturday morning dawned cloudy and gray, but I wasn't going outside.  Most of this day for me and the other 70 plus attendees of the 2013 LGBT Media Journalists Convening would be spent in the Washington Room.  In addition to the conversations we'd have with each other during breakfast and the breaks, we'd be soaking up the knowledge from the five scheduled sessions on topics ranging from immigration and how it affects the LGBT community, labor issues, getting beyond Trans 101, and thinking internationally about LGBT issues.we were scheduled for.

I was seated next to Ileana Jimenez of Feminist Teacher and had some interesting conversations with her and the people surrounding me like Buzzfeed's Chris Geidner and EJ Graff of American Prospect until the first session got ready to start. 

After the welcome from Bil, at 9 AM as we ate breakfast, we dove right into to the first session moderated by Matt Foreman entitled LGBT Issues in the Age Of Immigration Reform.   The participants were via Skype Shuya Ohno of the National Immigration Forum, Bamby Salcedo from the Trans-Latina Coalition and Lavi Soloway
of The DOMA Project.  

When it was Bamby's turn to speak, she recounted her story about how she ended up in ICE detention days after she went to court to get her name legally changed and some of the horrific crap our trans Latina sisters deal with in that situation form being locked up with male detainees to verbal and sexual harassment and assault.

That ran until our 10:30 AM break followed by our second session of the day entitled Thinking Global: LGBT Action On International Issues moderated by Matthew Rose and presented by Andrew Park and Mark Bromley of the Council for Global Equality

It gave us a more accurate picture of what was happening with the Ugandan 'kill The gays' bill, where it was in the law making process, and the anti-LGBT sentiment being deliberately stirred up in Eastern Europe because the North American based anti-gay groups are losing the Culture war they started here and want victories to pint to for their funders.

It also touched on the looming battle over the World Health Organization review of its ICD manual that insurance companies use for their diagnostic coding info for billing purposes..

Lunch came along with a visit from Philadelphia mayor Michael A. Nutter.   Mayor Nutter took some time out of his schedule as Houston mayor Annise Parker did last year to address the group and ask that Philadelphia be considered for future LGBT Media convenings..

Once he concluded his remarks he took some time to answer questions concerning his political future, the Nizah Morris case and where SEPTA was on the TransPass gender marker issue.

I had a conversation moments later with Philadelphia Director of LGBT affairs Gloria Casarez about the SEPTA trans pass developments, the Nizah Morris case, the Kyra Cordova one and getting police departments to follow the AP Stylebook rules when they give press conferences in trans murder cases. 

A Generation On The Move LGBT Aging discussion moderated by Mark Segal was happening while I was having the conversation with Gloria.   I did get to witness the last 15 minutes of it before we moved on to another break at 2:25 and the Rod McCollum moderated one entitled Moving Beyond Trans 101  that featured Mara Keisling and Allyson Robinson of OutserveSLDN.

It talked about the lack of diversity in the trans leadership ranks and how integrated the 'T' community is with the rest of the LGBT community and other issues.  Rod also called on me, Rebecca, Jos, Kelli and Bamby for our commentary as well on this topic

Our final session of the afternoon was moderated by Adele Starr covered LGBT Workers and the Labor Movement and featured presentations by Shane Larson of the Communications Workers of America and Lauree Hayden of the Service Employees International Union

It talked about the ways that unions through their collective bargaining laid the groundwork for marriage equality and other issues before that fascinating discussion wrapped up at 5:10 PM..

After some photos, I was going to join the trans contingent for dinner, but while on my way to my room to get my coat ran into Jan Christensen, the new president of the NGLJA.  The conversation we started I got so engrossed in forgot I was supposed to be headed to dinner with the trans fam.

Sorry about that ladies.   Next time.

I did show up at the other event at the Tavern on Camac for an hour before heading back to the hotel, getting my Slurpee at the 7-Eleven on my way back to the hotel and packing for my return travel to Texas.

Since I had an 11:25 AM departure from PHL, was bummed I missed the 9:45 AM brunch and the tour of rainbow Philly and a last chance to spend some quality time with my fellow journalists.

But I did enjoy my first trip to this LGBT journalist convening, and hope I get the opportunity next year to meet with everyone again..   



Monday, February 25, 2013

Oh Hell No! The Onion Disrespects Quvenzhane Wallis

Every now and then, despite me being more than aware of the Black Unwoman Meme constantly being aimed and deployed against all Black women cis and trans from birth throughout their lives, even I get shocked at times of just how low whiteness and white supremacy can go with it.

I'm usually ignoring Oscar night, but was paying attention because young Quivenzhane Wallis was up for a Best Supporting Actress for her role in the movie Beasts of the Southern Wild   I was shocked and angered to learn that the satrical paper The Onion had this to say about Quivenzhane.




It's Maya Wilkes time....What the hell is the The Onion doing (or whatever fool was tweeting for it last night)  calling an African-American 9 year old girl the c-word?

What the frack is wrong with you?  Did you ever aim that word at white female child stars such as Dakota Fanning?   So why would you ever think it's appropriate to do so at a Black girl?. 

We are talking about a 9 year old who not only had this disgusting tweet aimed at her, but was also on one of the biggest nights in her young life made the butt of a tasteless Seth McFarlane joke.

And I do not want to hear or see any comments trying to justify this BS, claim what The Onion did was 'just satire',  'nobody complained when (insert name of white actress) was called that disgusting term", or we're 'suppressing 'free speech' when we call. out this BS.

Free speech has consequences and is a two way street.   Calling any woman the c-word is not a joke   Just as whoever wrote that tweet has the right to say it for whatever mind-blowing reason they did so, they can't expect a community who has been dehumanized on a regular basis for over 400 years to sit silently when one of their daughters is disrespectfully attacked.


TransGriot Note: Renee of Womanist Musings not only her own commentary up about this, but has started a Change.org  petition to demand The Onion apologize for the reprehensible tweet.  Just deleting it and hoping this will blow over is not enough.

TransGriot Update:   The Onion's CEO has issued an apology to Quvenzhane Wallis.

Feb. 25, 2013
Dear Readers,
On behalf of The Onion, I offer my personal apology to Quvenzhan√© Wallis and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the tweet that was circulated last night during the Oscars. It was crude and offensive—not to mention inconsistent with The Onion's commitment to parody and satire, however biting.
No person should be subjected to such a senseless, humorless comment masquerading as satire.
The tweet was taken down within an hour of publication. We have instituted new and tighter Twitter procedures to ensure that this kind of mistake does not occur again.
In addition, we are taking immediate steps to discipline those individuals responsible.
Miss Wallis, you are young and talented and deserve better. All of us at The Onion are deeply sorry.
Sincerely,
Steve Hannah
CEO
The Onion




Sunday, February 24, 2013

The 2013 Shut Up Fool Lifetime Achievement Award Winners Are...

Glad you surfed by the blog to find out who would be the next five peeps to be given our illustrious award

Since we went through a presidential election year, we had plenty of candidates for the honor, but these five stood out.   Thanks for your nominations dear readers as well.

They will be retired from weekly Shut Up Fool consideration as the previous SUF Lifetime Achievement Award winners are unless they say or do something so monumentally stupid I have to call them out on it.

As our Shut Up Fool mascot would say, enough jibber-jabber, the envelopes please.


Our 2013 Shut Up Fool Lifetime Achievement Award Winners are....

Mitt Romney

John McCain

Sen Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC)

Supreme Court (In)Justice Clarence Thomas

Goodbye Philly-Hello Houston

Well, I'm headed back home after spending a wonderful weekend..here at the 2013 LGBT Media Journalists Convening.

It was my first one, and the cool part was being in the same space with fellow bloggers whose work I've long admired for the first time. 

I got a chance to make some new friends and see old ones.   Talking to Cleve Jones, one of our history makers Friday night at the welcoming reception was priceless.

It was nice to see Philadelphia mayor Michael Nuitter, and have the opportunity to talk to Gloria Casarez, the director of the Philadelphia office of LGBT Affairs.  

Our tweets at #LGBTmedia13  were the number one trending topic of Twitter for a few hours on Saturday, so you my wish o check out what different peeps were saying.   

It was a wonderful experience that I hope I'm blessed the be in the position to take advantage of once again.

But it's time to head back home better able to talk about the issues of immigration, again, labor, and international issues and incorporate that knowledge into the blog posts I write.   It will hopefully lead to some opportunities to  collaborate with other fellow journalists

But it's time to reluctantly say goodbye to Philadelphia and come back home to Houston.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Happy Birthday Kimberley And Diamond!

335853_862715084905_25169207_oWhen I checked my Facebook page noted that two of my fave ladies in the community are having birthdays today, so both of them are getting the TransGriot birthday shoutout treatment.. 

Kimberley McLeod is the creative force behind Elixher.com where some my posts will pop up from time to time. 

She's also the Director of Communications at the National Black Justice Coalition and was recently named (# 38) one of 50 Black LGBT People that Every Black LGBT Youth Should Know by National Youth Pride Services.

She's one of the people in the community I admire and is one smart and gorgeous lady I enjoy spending quality time talking to.

Happy birthday Kimberley!   


Today is also my Houston homegirl Diamond Stylz's birthday.

You know Diamond from her outstanding video blog that I post her insightful commentary videos from time to time here at TransGriot.

I also had the pleasure of finally meeting her during last year's TransFaith in Color Conference in Charlotte and spending some quality time getting to know this talented lady with a wicked sense of humor. 

Happy birthday Diamond to you as well!

May both you ladies have a blessings filled special day that is as beautiful as both of you are, and may you celebrate many more birthdays to come!

Friday, February 22, 2013

2013 LGBT Media Journalists Convening- Moni's Arrived!

Well, after my flight from the Lone Star State via Dallas got me here, riding the train to the hotel, checking into my room, getting a feel for the hotel layout, its amenities and the surrounding area finally taking a few moments to exhale.

I'm also getting adjusted to being back on Eastern standard time and preparing to enjoy this 2013 LGBT Media Journalist Convening.  

Moni's in the City of Brotherly Love again for the first time since 2008.  Philadelphia will always be special to me because it's where I received my IFGE Trinity Award back in 2006.

I'm excited to be here for this fourth annual event, head to the dinner and see which old friends in the blogging and LGBT media world are here and what new ones I can finally meet.

Meeting some Philadelphia area friends in the hotel lobby before I head back to the room and get ready for our 8 PM dinner and icebreaker event.

Will check with you peeps later.

Shut Up Fool Awards-Moni's Headed To Philly Again Edition

Even though I'm traveling today and in the air from DFW headed for Philadelphia as you read this, through the magic of my auto post feature I can still get you loyal TransGriot readers your weekly edition of the Shut Up Fool Awards

As usual we had a bumper crop of fools to deal with, so let's get busy.

Honorable mention number one goes to Ted Nugent, who in his February 20 WingNutDaily poured gasoline on the inflammatorily racist rant NRA prez Wayne LaPierre launched in terms of why people should be running to buy those guns.by claiming us Black folks are the only ones who don't realize that the Democrats are destroying America.

That's mighty white of you Ted, and wrong as usual.   It's people like you and your teabagger friends who are the internal enemies of the country the Founding Fathers warned us about. 

And we're a lot smarter than you poor deluded NRA board members realize.

Honorable mention number two goes to another family values Republican getting caught with his pants down, albeit three decades later in retired senator Pete Domenichi (R-NM).   Cheated on his wife and fathered a child in an affair with the daughter of then senator Paul Laxalt (R-NV)

Honorable mention number three goes to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) , for repeated lying and spin about how the president isn't leading and the looming sequester is the POTUS' fault, and yet he has the GOP senate on track to work only 129 days and can't control his own unruly and cantankerous Republican House majority  

You also bragged back in 2011 with the news cameras rolling you got 98% of what you wanted in the budget negotiations that set up the sequester in the first place.   That means you and your party own whatever drama the sequester causes once it kicks in, not the POTUS.

And our runaway winner this week is our racist baby slapper in Joe Rickey Hundley.    He's already paying for it in terms of losing his job as president of an airplane parts company, but the legal system hasn't had a crack at him yet.  

But he's already been tried and convicted in the court of public opinion for putting his hands on that toddler and uttering that racial slur at the child in the first place.

Joe Rickey Hudnley, Shut up Fool!

Leaving On A Jet Plane-To Philly

This is my first trip of the new year for a community event, but it's to a destination that is familiar to me. 

Unless my flight is delayed, I'm should be airborne at this point and headed to Philadelphia via DFW for the 2013 LGBT Writers Convening.  

I'll see you peeps in Dallas in a few weeks for the second Black Transmen, Inc Conference.

Really looking forward to this return trip to Philly and this chance to talk to and meet other LGBT writers, bloggers and social justice people.   Some I'm familiar with, others I'll be meeting for the first time

If I get some down time (or create some), I'll post my observations about it. 

If not, I'll take good notes and write it up in a post when I get back to Houston

Rush Talks Trans Issues

If you thought Moni was kidding about the Right Wing Noise Machine and their increasing interest in attacking transpeople that I briefly touched on in Wednesday's post,  here's Exhibit A of that. 

2010 Shut Up Fool Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Rush Limbaugh starts talking about trans people on his show and gets it wrong as usual.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

14th Annual Center For Black Equity Conference In Houston

It would be just my luck that this conference is hitting town the same weekend I'm heading to Philly for the LGBT writers convening, but for those of you in the Houston area that want to check out this event and the conference, they would be glad to have you there..  

The Center For Black Equity (CBE) will be having their 14th Annual Meeting in Houston, TX from February 22-24, 2013 at the Crown Plaza Houston Downtown Hotel.

The hotel is located at 1700 Smith Street.


The CBE was formerly known as the International Federation of Black Prides, and they and our local Black Pride event Houston Splash will be co-hosting a reception honoring Jason Black, Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis and the Emerging Leaders Program graduates.

It's a free event and there will be wine, soft drinks and food.   The CBE and Houston Splash would love for you to join them and Black LGBT activists from all over the United States and abroad to celebrate 14 years of building Black LGBT communities around the globe.

The reception will be held at the Houston Ballet building at 601 Preston St, Houston, Texas 77002.

For those of you in the Houston metro area, if you can stop by and give a warm Texas welcome to our out of town visitors here or the CBE conference and the Houston Splash folks, please do so. 

It's an opportunity for you to talk to them and the CBE international board members, and if you've ever attended Houston Splash, you get a chance to commend them on the job they are doing hosting our local Black pride event or give them suggestions. 

They would love to have your face in the place and at the conference. .

How Not To Ask Me To Join My Facebook Page

One of the things about being a person of color, especially a POC activist is you never know when and where the vanillacentic privileged idiocy is going to come from.

Believe it or not the latest chapter of somebody tripping and stepping to me was on my own Facebook page.

I have over 1600 people on my personal page and over 150 people trying to get on it. I'm not trying to hit my personal page limit yet, and after I cleaned out my page of TS separatists and their sympathizers back in 2011 because they couldn't behave themselves, I instituted a rule that if you had any of those known TS separatists on your Facebook friends list, I didn't know you, you put no reason for why you wanted to join my page, you left your profile info sketchy, or you didn't come recommended by someone I personally knew and had already admitted I wasn't adding you to my page.

Last night I received a personal Facebook message from Robyn Carolyn Montague wanting to know why I hadn't approved adding her to my page.

6:46pm
Robyn Carolyn Montague
Dear,

I had sent a friend request some time ago ... I find it odd that that request had as of yet not been approved. True, I do follow some of the lesser liked in our Community, but what better
way to follow other's opinions and rhetoric. If there is a specific issue that you have about me, that is understandable, but would like to hear that rather than guess.


Robyn


You can find it odd all you want.  There are some peeps that don't check their Facebook page every day, and I do have a life beyond this blog.

7:29pm
Monica Roberts

I tossed the TS separatists off my FB page after they started major drama on my FB page...anyone who had those folks on their FB friends list I was NOT approving at that time..


Note I didn't say she was a TS separatist, but I guess reading comprehension wasn't her strong suit in school.

7:36pm
Robyn Carolyn Montague

I am not a separtist dear ... I work for the Community, I am (really) on the streets working for our homeless, those without jobs ... I work for economic justice, not gay supremacy ...

Whatever you wish to believe ... At any rate, thank you for responding, I appreciate that ....

Much love
Robyn
My intuition is telling me something is up with this, so I throw her another bone to see where her head is at.

7:37pm
Monica Roberts

And I also get 20 to 30 requests to join my FB page per day it takes me time to sort through them...

I'm still handling my other online business when this message pops up

7:38pm

Robyn Carolyn Montague

And yes, Ashley, Teresa are all blocked, I watched them for as long as I could ... I sent the request a year ago ...

The Ashley and Teresa she's referring to are Ashley Love and Teresa Ellen Reeves, people I kicked to the Facebook curb during my WWBT purge.  So I go back to compiling a post I was working on, then this puzzling message comes up. 

7:50pm
Robyn Carolyn Montague

Never mind ... I will continue to follow you on Twitter ... you don't have to follow me ... my stuff there is about 'people' 'trans' and some of the humor I share, and the reality of life ... Yes I am privileged, white and trans ... I remind people of that all of the time ... I cannot share it in $ but do share it in the work I do ...

Not being confrontational (sp?) simply that I have for the most part, agree with you ....

I sign off of Facebook to go watch the 'Necessary Roughness' season 2 finale and catch up on the news of the day.  While I'm doing that check out the next message this vanillacentric privileged rhymes with itch sent me.

9:03pm
Robyn Carolyn Montague

ps ... you are a racist, too ...
I'm chilling out and watching 'Necessary Roughness' at that time in the living.   Nowhere close to my computer that is in my bedroom.

10:22pm
Robyn Carolyn Montague

You have lost all respect I had for you. you are no better than Ashley

I sign back into my computer a few enjoyable hours later to see that bull feces and resisted my first impulse to rip her a new anus.  She better be glad I'd had my Blue Bell Homemade in the Shade ice cream. 

Frankly my dear, I really don't care what the frack you think after you leveled that tired ass 'racist' charge at me.   

11:43pm
Monica Roberts

Bullying me isn't going to get you access to my Facebook page...in fact, you're making it less likely you'll be accepted on it..


So I post the conversation to my Facebook page and other peeps comment on it.   I didn't get around to blocking her and this message comes through

1:33am
Robyn Carolyn Montague


Ha ... speaking about bullying, hmmm ... who is the bully .... instead, you are quite the bully bitch ... I know all about you ... but instead, I remain qute the lady .... much unlike yourself (meaming attitude) ...

I woud like to meet you ....

***

I blocked her azz after that.   But now it's time to do the anus ripping  I declined to do last night.

Naw, trick, that's Ms Bitch to you, and you're about to find out how much of one I can be.

You're not a lady, you're another late transitioning asshole that still is carrying around that WMPesque attitude you spent much of your life marinating in.   You disrespect me, call me a racist and have the vanillacentric privileged gall to think I want to meet you?  

I doubt that you would have disrespected any white activist who has the same status level I do as you just did to me, and you're a prime example of what I talk about in terms of why POC  transpeople are loath to have anything to do with boorish transpeeps like you.  

Please, you're the one who is making an ass out of yourself begging to get on my Facebook page . BTW racism=prejudice plus systemic power, and if you'd retained any of your Sociology 101 you'd know that.

And naw, you don't know me, because if you did, you'd know better than to step to me in that disrespectful way you did last night and ensure you'll never join the ranks of the now 1,690 people and counting people who enjoy my Facebook posts.  The 1,690 people I have on my page now are people of intelligence, class, substance and style, qualities you failed to demonstrate with your passive-aggressive commentary.   

This is my Facebook page, my rules.  There are people who I've requested to be FB friends with that don't check their pages as frequently as I do and I had to wait weeks or months before I got cleared to join their pages.  

Ss what makes you think you're so special that I'm just supposed to drop whatever I'm doing and add your azz to my page?  Oh yeah, silly me, that white privilege you proudly proclaimed you have.  You better put down whatever hallucinogenic drugs you're smoking and leave me the hell alone.

You just became an example to the entire world of how not to ask someone to add them to their personal Facebook page.
 

NBJC's In The House!


The White House that is!

I'm going to be on the East Cost tomorrow, but unfortunately not at this event    Washington DC will see the arrival of over 200 Black college students and activists for the National Black Justice Coalition's Annual Black LGBT Emerging Leaders Day

It's taking place February 21-22. and is hosted by the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), in conjunction with the Human Rights Campaign and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.  Black LGBT Emerging Leaders Day is an opportunity for the rising young leadership stars aged 18-30 in our community to engage with stakeholders, share best practices, and learn more about how our government works for them.



Black LGBT Emerging Leaders Day will kick off with an informative caucus briefing at the U.S. Capitol. Attendees will participate in facilitated conversations around economic justice, anti-violence, safe and inclusive schools, homelessness, foster care, health and wellness, and grassroots organizing.

Later, they will participate in a policy briefing at the White House for Black LGBT Emerging Leaders. Participants will hear about President Obama's commitment to equal rights for all Americans and the important steps his Administration has taken to ensure health, well-being, security, justice, and equality for Black and LGBT Americans.

Emerging Leaders are also invited to experience an East Wing Tour. In the evening, attendees will celebrate the day's activities at a reception honoring their presence in the nation's capital.









Best of luck to all of you. Hope you enjoy a wonderful visit to Capitol Hill and the White House and the time bonding with each other.
Hope some of you can return in September for OUT on the Hill.

PFOX's 'Ex-Trans' Spokesperson Exposed

Now that the reparative therapy folks have been discredited to the point that some states are considering legislation to ban it, the ex-gay industry is scrambling to shift tactics and amend talking points in order to keep clocking those dollars from faith based groups and conservative donors. 

They are now setting their sights on targeting the trans community and separating desperate parents misinformed about trans issues from their hard earned cash by promising a 'cure' for transsexuality.

Yeah, right.  If these programs didn't work on gay and lesbian people to turn them straight, what make people think that same snake oil will work on transpeople, whose condition is just as brain hardwired as being gay or lesbian is? 

Sabrina Samone at TransMusePlanet has penned an expose that needs to be seen about her old trans mentor and former roommate who is how being pimped by PFOX as their spokesmodel. 

This post definitely needs to be signal boosted.

***

No one can deny being LGB or T is not a simple, easy life.  That not so easy life can seem near impossible to endure in the bible belt of America.  While I’ve blogged and celebrated stories of kids being accepted and protected by a families love, there are too many unheard stories of the opposite. The stories of parents abandoning and disowning a child due to them being Gay, Lesbian or Transgender, are too many and familiar.  What happens to that child beyond them being or not being embraced by an accepting, supportive lgbt community?  That desire to still have their parents’ love rarely dissipates. How does one psychologically and emotionally cope with the loss of the love of one’s parents?  When a parent has become deceased, there is a normal painful grieving process. How do you process a parent who remains alive yet as absent as one who has passed away?

Recently I received a news feed titled, ‘Former Transgender tells his story.’  I had seen these types of stories and politely deleted.  I’ve heard of the groups like Exodus that convert Gay men back to heterosexuals.  I remember when, Darrell (Kim Avis to me), first connected with them.  Usually the victims of these organizations backslide as it’s called.  They’re forgiven and re-entered into more intense therapy over and over again until, some form of self acceptance, regardless how painful, inevitably has to be reached.  Leaving scars of a life not spent  and yet tormented.

Since the Victorian age many in the name of science, medicine or religion, have tried in earnest to alter sexual attitudes in others deemed unnatural by the ones producing the procedures.  Today, we call it conversion therapy; a range of pseudo-scientific treatments that aim to change sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual. The American Psychiatric Association has condemned  psychiatric treatments such as reparative or conversion therapy. Many years ago, these treatments involved Electroconvulsive therapy (electro-shock), and continue to find support and funding from right-wing fundamentalist groups, despite evidence that being lgbt is not a mental disorder. The longstanding consensus of the behavioral and social sciences and the health and mental health professions is that homosexuality per se is a normal and positive variation of sexual orientation. Recently the association has modifies it’s standings on gender identity disorder as well.

In a society where many lgbt people are faced with discrimination; denied job advancement, bullied, have threats against their life and the potential loss of a parent’s love, it’s not too hard to see why a person lacking self acceptance would want to try to deny who they are, however impossible that can be.  The social needs in Maslow’s hierarchy include such things as love, acceptance and belonging.  At this level, the need for emotional relationships drives the human behavior. Whether denied or accepted, these needs are best achieved from: friendships, romantic attachments, family, social groups, community groups, churches and religious organizations.  For many lgbt that have not found positive influences, love from family or personal acceptance, many if not all of these needs can be lacking.  Regardless, the human behavior to possess these basic needs is never diminished.

Many in the Trans community referrers to mentors as; trans-mothers, drag mama, gay mom or hormone sisters.  In order to find a girl or boy that feels the same gender dysphoria as you, intentionally or not, friendships of common interest in transitioning are sought after.  These mentors you seek advice from sometimes take on a sort of mother or big sister role to you. That’s what Darrel aka Kim Avis became to me.  When I arrived in Florence, SC from Atlanta, I had already begun transitioning.  I became a local showgirl in a nearby gay bar as an outlet to my daily sixteen hour a day job as a C.N.A.  I met Kim one night after a show.  It being a small town with no other known Trans people, I was glad to see another girl like me.  She seemed from the beginning, extremely ecstatic to be making a new friend.  Immediately I wanted to know the names of local doctors she knew.  She took me later that month to her doctor who eventually became mine. I had made many friends both gay and straight as a showgirl there.  My family also lived only thirty minutes away in Hartsville, SC.  Quickly I noticed I seemed to be Kim’s only friend that she could be herself with.  Though she was fully developed at the time, she had returned to dressing as male due mainly by her family’s persistence.  She and I found refuge in common souls, so we eventually became roommates.

In the PFOX website article, she begins by saying she had started having same sex attraction by age 13 and that a bisexual male introduces her to “men” like her.  She states of being happy as she watched her body develop, becoming arrogant and being scared at the person she saw in the mirror.  She speaks without names, of a man on a hill that took her to a dark basement to inject silicone.  She seems to imply a degree of naivety about the entire situation.  She continues then to speak of the years passing and growing depressed.  Heartbroken of an abusive boyfriend that then later leaves her for a younger girl. She seemed to grow tired of the long process of getting herself made up in makeup, saying it became longer and longer to make myself look like a female and yet never was. She goes into briefly her drunken spiral of loneliness that leads her to find the people of PFOX who paid to have the dangerous silicone injected substance taken out of her therefore, removing her breast. She became a male again.

The problem with this story is the need to excuse self destructive nature on being transgender.  As roommates Kim and I spent many long evening talks about life and being transgender.  Religion was and is very important in our lives.  She often spoke of the heartbreak, now ten years later, of the young man she loved that abused her and left her for a young trans-girl that was also a friend of mine, Indigo.  Her long struggles with alcohol dating back to high school.  I was there to witness her popular local career as a hairdresser.  In order to convince her not to dress as a female, her parents bought her an upscale salon called La Rouge International. She accepted the idea to not dress and please her family.  She did as so many do, seek the love and acceptance of family. Not being who she wanted to be drove her deeper into addicted behavior overtime. I knew of the occasional cocaine addictions and how hair clients would pay in drugs.  Not having any issues at the time, her drug issues had not affected her life in a negative way yet, I decided we’d continue to be roommates and find another place.  By this time I was working two jobs, visiting family more and traveling the state doing gender illusion shows. I saw Kim less and less.  She was not welcomed at her families unless she was in male attire, so this would make her stay in the apartment alone.  Most in the lgbt local community kept a distance.  She was viewed by many as a little flighty or unstable.  I was noticing the drugs getting heavier and heavier which lead me to stay with family even more. One day I decided to call the landlord to have an issue in the apartment fixed and was informed rent had not been received in three months.  Since I was always on the road, the arrangement had been for Kim to drop off rent since the office was directly next door to her hair salon. This is when I knew the drugs had become more than just social and informed her family.  Gratefully I was reimbursed and with all information being told to the landlords was not to have any penalties placed on me.  Shortly after I was told by family of hers that she was in a rehab clinic in Virginia. I was happy she was receiving help.  I began to move on, began dating an artist when I started receiving packages from her about the Exodus programs on conversions of transgender people. I ignored this attempt and it only showed to me, another example of her constant search of some type of acceptance and belonging to something. I wished her well and ignored further attempts of communication.

I decided to write this because to me this showed the lengths groups like these will use sad vulnerable people that seek affection and a sense of belonging to expand their propaganda of bigotry.  I think of the possible young transgender boy/girl, whose family may see this as an opportunity to fix their gender dysphoric or gay child.  Being transgender wasn’t the issue with Kim to me and many that knew  her, but the lack of love, acceptance from family, a history of drug addiction and the inability to seek within herself a measure of self acceptance and love.  I’m not saying she is not happy or better off.  A friend from Lancaster, SC was always known to say, “Being transgender separates the boys from the women (mtf) and the girls from men (ftm).”  What she meant was this transgender life sometimes comes with a lot more about life than hormone replacement therapy. Not all will find families support or love.  Many want find a common supportive community.  Many have and will continue to find discrimination in workplaces and find long careers ended and long sought after careers denied.  It is true, not everyone on the journey of transcending genders will successfully transcend and that is ok.  Personal happiness and self fulfillment is the goal of every human being on earth.  But no institution should use the misfortunate attributes of a troubled person as evidence that leads to further bigotry and discrimination of others.  How many people will be lead to more self doubt, self hate and self destruction by unrealistic articles like the one PFOX has entrusted in their new found former transgender spokesperson?  Groups like these should be held responsible for the countless suicides of young teens. On their website PFOX says, Blanket approval is not responsible parenting or love. True love is loving in spite of our differences and treating each other with kindness and respect.”

PFOX, go tell that to the next parent of a gay, lesbian or transgender child that’s taken their life.  Part of loving someone in spite of our difference and treating each other with kindness and respect is to blanket anyone different than yourself with the same love and respect you have for yourself and that is something, I’d feel, any parent would be proud to see their child accomplish in life.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

'Necessary Roughness' Season 2 Finale Tonight

I'm a big fan of the USA Network cable show Necessary Roughness, which follows the exploits of Dr. Danielle Santino who is hired by the fictional New York Hawks team to handle their mental health issues and eventually becomes a renowned sports psychologist.

Callie Thorne's Dr Dani character is based on the real-life story of Dr. Donna Dannerfelser, who was hired by the New York Jets as their mental health specialist.

In last week's episode setting up tonight's season finale Callie Thorne did an anti-bullying PSA for GLSEN that was put together with the help of GLSEN's Andy Marra.  .

In tonight's finale, the Hawks players who is about to come out of the closet is the team's starting quarterback.  It's going to be interesting to see how this affects the team chemistry, especially since the Hawks are chugging along with a 7-2 record and there were already some phobic remarks being tossed around in the Hawks locker room..

It's also ironic that the same quarterback who was less than supportive of star wide receiver Terrence 'TK 'King when he was going through his struggles, is now in the position of having to ask TK to have his back as he tries to come out of the closet.




While that hasn't happened yet, the odds are that we have already had or have playing right now NFL players who are in the closet.  It  is only a matter of time before this fictional coming out becomes a reality. 
 
We'll see what happens on Necessary Roughness at 9 PM CST  when this show airs how it plays out.

First They Ignore You...

There is a famous Mahatma Gandhi quote that reads,“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

Been thinking about that quote in the context of the approach of my 15th anniversary as a trans activist this summer and my observation of just how true that quote has been in the time I've been in the trans rights movement.

Short of the Whyte Radfem Womyn Gone Wyld who have been fighting us since the 1970's and elements of the gay and lesbian community who continue to falsely claim we're not part of 'their community' , we've been ignored for the most part by the Religious Right and the conservative movement in general.    

But as transpeople began to revive their dormant human rights struggle in the mid 90's, become more assertive, and get some political success, we got their attention.

They tried mocking and making fun of us but the victories for trans rights kept piling up.  We now have over 180 jurisdictions and 15 states that have trans human rights protections on their legal books.  Increasingly nations such as Argentina are passing laws to recognize the human rights of their trans citizens..

Having out and proud trans people of all ethnic backgrounds and around the world has also been a major boon toward the sustained success we have had in the last 15 years in terms of getting our message out there and overcoming the shame, fear and guilt in our own ranks.  
 
   

Now that the tide is perceptively shifting to conservatives eventually losing their culture war against gays and lesbians, we trans people are getting the full attention of the Right Wing Culture War Machinery because they need a new enemy to fight and rally their sheeple around.

The Religious Right already got that project started by coming up with a new faith based attack line claiming that trans people are 'rebelling against God' by altering your body.

When all you Christians stop getting breast and butt implants, tummy tucks, Botox injections, nose jobs and other major plastic surgery that alters your bodies, then maybe I'll be inclined to listen.   But until then, read Matthew 19:12, listen to Pat Robertson's October 5, 1999 700 Club show , have a Coke and a smile (or whatever your fave carbonated beverage of choice is) and peddle that faith based transphobia somewhere else. 

The conservative movement picked up a tactic from the TERF's (trans exclusionary radical feminists) and the Jim Crow era by peddling the bathroom meme in their attempt to stop trans human rights laws from passing.  

The conservafool oppressors know they have no justified legal argument they can make to oppose trans human rights laws.   They also don't have a credible faith-based one they can deploy either, so the only tactic they have left is their tried and true fear and smear one.


They have deployed Fox Noise in their increasing attacks on trans people.   Now that the discredited reparative therapy people won't have gay and lesbian kids to pick on anymore and gouge their desperate heteronormative parents for money, guess whose kids will become their new targets now they are aware of the existence of trans youth.


It's just a matter of time before they start giving Jerry Leach and his Lexington, KY based Reality Resources a call and you see him on your FOX Noise television screens along with increased anti-trans Dr Keith Ablow sightings.  PFOX is deploying an 'ex-trans' spokesperson who surprise, surprise just happens to have my ethnic background.

But the bottom line is, we're winning.   We're winning because we have the moral high ground, have the increasing medical and scientific evidence to back us up, the statistics back our cause, we continue to gain public support for our just cause and we are on the correct side of the human rights argument.  

Our human rights win is inevitable no matter how much money, time, and propaganda the haters deploy to stop it.   We have a human rights win that is ours for the taking.
   But that win will become a reality only if we transpeople here in the United States and around the world are tough minded enough to push back even harder against all our trans oppressors lies. 

We have to be tough minded enough to continue to do the education, be out and proud about being trans, work to pass trans human rights laws, talk to the persuadeable middle and get transpeople and and our allies who believe in our human rights cause elected to office and keep them there  

And that final victory will be so sweet when we accomplish it.

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.  But only if you are tough minded enough to fight for that win against your oppressors.

The State Of The Black Trans Union 2013

While I was watching the State of the Union address I couldn't help but ponder in the aftermath of that speech the overall status of the African-American trans community and where it is several weeks into 2013.

So what is the State of the Black Trans Union through the eyes of the TransGriot?   A mixed bag.

We've made some strides on many fronts.  Two members of the record trans contingent that attended the 2012 Democratic natrional convention in Charlotte were TPOCC executive director Kylar Broadus and the president emeritus of the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition Dr. Marisa Richmond.

Kylar also became the first transperson of any ethnic background to give testimony to a US senate committee.  In Washington DC IFGE award winner Earline Budd was nominated for and became a DC Human Rights Commissioner.  We've have more role models become visible around the country such as Janet Mock,. Laverne Cox, Valerie Spencer, Dr Kortney Ryan Ziegler, Minister Carmarion Anderson, Isis King, Carter Brown, Danielle King. Diamond Stylz, Kokumo Kinetic and Cheryl Courtney Evans just to name a few.   

We have all these people (including myself) and other unheralded ones taking on leadership roles in our community.  Many are gaining local, national and sometimes international attention for it but as Ralph Ellison would say, yet we are still invisible to mainstream America. 

Ever since Christine Jorgensen 60 years ago this month stepped her stylishly dressed self on the tarmac at JFK airport the media light and the narrative has been predominately focused on white transwomen.   That still persists six decades later to the point that when CeCe McDonald, one of our own trans women was in trouble, the only person a talk show helmed by a Black woman sought out to talk about the case was a white one.

We are still disproportionately  along with our Latina sisters taking the brunt of the anti-trans murders, and 2013 is already off to a negative start with the killing of Milwaukee rapper Evon 'Yung LT' Young.   The New Year dawned with Sage Smith still missing and former DC Police officer Kenneth Furr receiving a get out of jail free card after being convicted on October 27 of wounding two trans women.   CeCe McDonald is in jail for standing her ground and defending herself while the people who killed Paige Clay and Brandy Martell are still free.

We are still grappling with an unemployment rate almost double the one cis African-Americans face at 27% and haven't had an African-American transperson elected to public office since 1992.  Outside of TPOCC, there are no African-American transpersons that I am aware of who are working in any major LGBT human rights organization.  

In our state and civic locales the LGBT orgs that purport to represent the entire community resemble Republican party convention halls and frustration is growing about that state of affairs.

We are still frustrated by a media blackout (pun intended) that hampers us from getting the attention we deserve to help shed a spotlight on the solvable problems in the African-American trans community that are also Black America's problems.

We are also beyond sick and tired of being sick and tired of the dynamic in the African-American community that gives far more unconditional love, respect and authenticity to the fictional Madea character Tyler Perry plays and RuPaul dressed in drag than the proud African-American trans women in their midst fighting for their human rights, dignity and humanity.  
.  
To borrow Maya Angelou's words, and still we rise.

The Trans Persons of Color Coalition contines to grow and solidify its standing as the go to organization for non-white transpeople.   The Black Transmen Inc, Conference I have the honor along with Kylar of doing a keynote speech for next month in Dallas is in its second year at a bigger hotel.  The TransFaith in Color conference in Charlotte continues to grow in size and positive reputation.

The National Black Justice Coalition also continues to make it clear to the Black transgender community that the 'T' is capitalized in LGBT when they speak of and include us in their advocacy and their programming..    

Speaking of our Black transmen, it has been a blessing and sincere joy to see them stepping up to share the leadership role in our community, do the organizing work that needs to be done and get their much deserved time in the media spotlight as they do so.

The upcoming March 31 unveiling of the first annual Trans 100 list will be the first step in giving recognition to those amazing leaders out there.   They run the gamut from our emerging youth to elder statespersons that give me hope that the future of our Black trans union will continue to improve in 2013 and beyond.

I also hope to see us in 2013 as we continue our effort to build a better, more cohesive African-American trans community, we also take some time to reach out to our trans brothers and sisters across the African Diaspora..  Their voices have been just as muted as ours have been here in the States and they are also struggling for the protection of their human rights and respect of their humanity in their various nations.

If they ask for our help, we must respond by respectfully asking our Diaspora cousins what's the best way for us in the West to do so and then follow through.  

So what's the state of the Black Trans Union?   A mixed bag that's not even close to where we need it to be, but is improving enough to give me hope that when i write this post in 2014 it will be better. 

The Upcoming 2013 Shut Up Fool Lifetime Achievement Awards

Since Oscar Awards weekend is fast approaching it's getting close to the time for me to reveal who will be the 2013 Shut Up Fool Lifetime Achievement Award honorees.

There are just fools among us who exhibit their stupidity and rank hypocrisy so often that a Shut Up Fool Weekly Award or a Shut Up Fool of the Year doesn't do them justice.   Onc they earn a Lifetime Achievement Award, they are retired from weekly Shut Up Fool Award consideration unless they say something so jacked up (a la Michele Bachmann) I just have to call them out on it.

I started giving out a Lifetime Achievement Award during Oscar Weekend, with Rush Limbaugh being honored with the first one in 2010

One wasn't enough, so I expanded it to five honorees in 2011 and here were the 2011 winners
Sarah Palin
Glenn Beck
Bill O'Reilly
Ann Coulter
Michele Bachmann

In 2012 the fools kept on coming, and these were the 2012 winners.    For the first time I gave out a group award as well. 

A group award for the Gendertrender radfem trans hate blog
Michelle Malkin
Dan Savage
Michael Savage
Chuck Knipp (AKA Shirley Q Liquor)


So who will take home a Shut Up Fool Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013?   When you get bored watching the Oscars, check out my blog at 8 PM CST to find out.




Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Petition Delivered To LA Times-Meeting Soon


I posted a story about Gender Justice LA along with other trans people in the LA area being more than a little pissed off  about the disrespectful reporting in their paper of record concerning a recent article by reporter Sam Quinones that disrespected the slain Cassidy Vickers.

Hannah Howard brought to my attention the effort to not only collect signatures on a petition to be delivered to the Los Angeles Times offices asking the paper to use more sensitivity and care when it comes to covering transgender people and trans issues, they were also seeking a meeting to discuss community concerns about that coverage.

"The use of male pronouns, birth names, and terms like 'men with women's breasts and clothes' to refer to transgender women brings up painful memories for many of us in the transgender community," the petition states.  "Throughout our lives, people refuse to acknowledge our gender identities, use our birth names and birth genders to refer to us against our will, and respond with varying degrees of harassment and violence when we protest."

The petition containing over 300 names was delivered on Friday, and the Times agreed to meet with community members and GLAAD to discuss those issues.

Will keep you posted on this unfolding story..


African, Trans* And Proud

As I keep repeating on this blog, being trans is part of the diverse mosaic of human life.   Trans people exist on every continent that humans inhabit, and that is also true of the second largest continent on planet Earth in Africa.   

A Transgender and Intersex Africa video project initiative is cranking up which backs up what I'm talking about. 

Transgender and Intersex Africa is a group for transgender people who are proud to be both African and Trans*.

They also emphatically point out to their detractors that being trans or Transgenderism is not a Western concept.


As they point out, they are not copying the West.   They are proud transpeople who know who they are!
As a matter of fact, some of the early pioneering European trans women such as Great Britain's April Ashley and France's Jacqueline-Charlotte Dufresnoy (AKA Coccinelle) went to Casablanca to have their surgeries done by Georges Bourou.  

Enjoy the first video in the series.