Saturday, April 16, 2016

Houston City Hall Vigil For Shante & Willie

As many of you TransGriot readers are aware of, a certain blogger y'all know along with many of my Houston area trans family, allies, and supporters gathered at the steps of City Hall to remember the people we just lost Sunday night in Shante Thompson and Willie Sims.

The vigil in addition to honoring Shante and Willie, also honored the Texas trans people we have lost in 2016.  It also called attention to the jacked up transphobic media coverage of the Thompson-Sims murders by ABC 13 and KPRC 2 in addition to issuing a call for Houston media to do better when it comes to respectfully covering trans issues.

Let me emphasize respectfully, since it seems that respect for trans Houstonians has been sorely  lacking in our local media ranks since HERO was first proposed back in April 2014.

And it's too bad my comments about the piss poor coverage got cut and didn't make the 10 PM news,  But hope those stations got the message I was happy to deliver that the Houston trans community is tired of their failure to adhere to the 2001 AP Stylebook guidelines for covering trans people.

We're also beyond sick and tired of trans Houstonians getting demonized by Houston media without a chance to properly respond to their problematic coverage.

That also extends to the men like Willie Sims who love us.  It's past time that the men who openly love us and don't give a rat's anus what you think are recognized inside and outside the trans community for having the courage to live in that truth.    We also need the men and women who love trans people to also be unapologetic in expressing their love and support of their trans partners, and with our human rights under attack, we need that to happen ASAP...

We were also pleased and proud to have Mayor Sylvester Turner say a few words before the vigil started to drive home the point that the lives of all Houstonians matter in the H-town he wishes to lead.

It was also nice to have members of Shante's family, HPD's assistant chief, Pastor Freedom Gulley, Precinct 1 Constable Alan Rosen, Harris County DA candidate Kim Ogg (D), Caucus president Fran Watson and other clergy and organizations there.      
The ceremony lasted just under an hour, and in addition to short speeches by Reagan White, myself and a family friend of Shante's, Pastor Gulley read a resolution on behalf of the TransSaints ministry calling for love and acceptance of trans people, along with a spoken.word dramatic performance by Dee Dee Watters, and a lantern release by Nikki Araguz Loyd and William Loyd to close out the vigil.  

Thanks not only to the organizers of this vigil, but I thank you for the opportunity to be a part of another opportunity to spend some quality time with my Houston trans family and the allies who love and support us.

I just wish it had happened under different circumstances.

Rest in power and peace Shante and Willie.  We will not rest until the perpetrators of this heinous crime are brought to justice.

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