considering lowering the voting age to 16 just in time for the 2020 election.
DC Council member Charles Allen (D-Ward 6) introduced the measure in large part because he was impressed by the recent March For Our Lives in DC and the ongoing eloquence of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas students.
The proposed voting age change has majority support on the DC council (7 members out of 13), and will probably pass if it comes to a vote.
But why stop in DC? Let's lower the voting age to 16 across the United States. 16 year olds in many cases are more cognizant of the issues that affect them than their elders twice or three times their age in many cases.
It's not unusual for me to see our TBLGQ World teens leading the charge for the expansion of trans (and everybody's) human rights and being eloquent voices for other policy issues of concern to them.
If you think I'm kidding about that, does Jazz Jennings ring a bell?
It also hasn't surprised me that the MSD students in the wake of the mass shooting on their campus have been kicking butt and have the NRA, the Republican Party and right wing media on the defensive.
I was 14 when Jimmy Carter got elected POTUS. I would have loved to have been able to vote in that 1976 presidential election instead of holding up a sign and marching through my neighborhood with several other kids imploring people to vote for him.
I turned 16 in 1978. Had I been eligible to do so, I definitely would have done my part to keep Bill Clements out of the Texas governor's chair. One of my presents I received for my 18th birthday in 1980 was a voter registration card.
It's also a good idea for democracy. The earlier you get someone to start consistently voting, the more it becomes a lifelong practice.
So yes, I'm down with 16 year olds voting, and the sooner we pass this policy change, the better. .
Thursday, April 19, 2018
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
As you know, I do a lot of writing through my blog, TransGriot (which just won a GLAAD Media Award, making history as the first time a trans person has won for Best Blog!) But what you may not know is that I'm a Board Member and key leader in Trans United Fund, a trans-led organization working to build political power for trans and nonbinary people across the country.
One of the main ways we build this power is electing transformative trans leaders. We are decisive in electing trans leaders because when we do that, there are more trans people who see ourselves reflected in leadership, and more people of our communities who believe they can run. When they do run, they come to Trans United Fund as the go-to organization for help in their races, and we need the resources to help them win.
Will you stand up and help build political power that our communities need with me and Trans United Fund? Whether it's in your budget to give $15 or $150, every dollar makes a difference in the lives of trans people like me, and our ability to join the decision making tables where decisions about us are made. Nothing about us, without us!
In this environment, with a presidential administration which is actively hostile towards trans people, it is crucial that we elect trans folks to public office at all levels of government. It is critical to elect trans people to office not only to defend against the attacks of the opposition but to advance our interests, rights, and needs in decision making bodies at the local, state and national level.. As a trans-led, trans-run organization, run by a majority of trans people of color like myself, Trans United Fund has proven that we have the best interests of trans people at heart. We are actively working to build political power across the country by building a diverse coalition of leaders across different identities, experiences, and backgrounds.
And that's exactly the group we need leading this charge to make change right now.
Join us and our work and pitch in now: we can go so much farther together.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
In season two's ten episodes they will tackle the
Will we see more 'Defamation', the show's parody of Scandal? Good question.
It's one that will be answered on May 4
I definitely had a problem with him appearing on NRA-TV and making the loud and wrong comment that 'Wakanda Had Guns' along with him being there with an anti-Black org in the first place.
Dude, go watch Black Panther again
Anyway, here's the interview for those of you who missed ir.
Monday, April 16, 2018
But like Charlie Brown's failed attempts to kick that football, the Texas Log Cabin Republicans keep trying and failing .
What they keep failing at is having a booth at the Texas Republican State Convention. For the last 20 years they have tried to get that booth, while other GOP party affinity groups get theirs with no problem .The Texas Log Cabin Sellouts keep getting kicked in the teeth and smiling after it happens for the whole world to see.
This time the State Republican Executive Committee debated for two hours before they came up with the inevitable no. While they had some supporters, they were dwarfed by the faux faith based TBLGQ bigots in the room
the Texas Republicans passed a platform that endorses the scientifically debunked reparative therapy for gay people.
Texas and national Log Cabin Republicans, when are you going to leave a party that has made it clear they don't want you?
It's sad and pathetic that you continue to shill for people who continue to do everything possible to oppress this community
Friday, April 13, 2018
I'm here as the NHL playoffs are happening, and it's all about the Vegas Golden Knights, the NHL expansion club that won the Pacific Division in their inaugural season and are know locked ina playoff series against the Los Angeles Kings.
LA is a mere 263 miles down I-15 from Las Vegas, so this playoff series is already intense because no matter what the sport, everybody wants to Beat LA in it .
I have something else I'm doing in town besides watching hockey or heading to the casino. This is a business trip, and I'm here for the Working Families Party Spring School and get my learn on.
It's also Friday and that means I have to conduct my usual TransGriot business of calling out a fool, for group of fools out.
This week's Shut Up Fool winner is Taylor Swift
As a longtime Earth Wind and Fire fan, I was ready to regurgitate my breakfast when Swift tried it and Pat Booned a classic song that probably has Maurice White spinning in his grave because she did so.
What possessed her to even do so?
This is the original for those of you who aren't aware of it or have been in isolation for the last 40 years.
I'll spare you Swift's WTF version of September.
Umm Taylor, stay in your lane, because you damned sure didn't have the chops to 'sang' (not sing) this iconic in Black America song.
And naw, boo boo kitty, don't think Moni or Black America forgot you remained mute when the opportunity to call out her
Taylor Swift, shut up fool, and never desecrate one of our seminal songs with you alleged singing ever again.
The GLAAD Media Awards were held in Los Angeles last night, and was surprised to learn from Fiona Dawson that my third nomination for Outstanding Blog was finally the charm and that I've won the 2018 Outstanding Blog award.
Thanks to all of you who have congratulated me (and they are still rolling in as I write this) for the win in a category that had several wonderful and equally deserving winners.
Thanks GLAAD for bestowing me with this honor and honoring the hard work I put into it since January 2006 to make it a go to source for news and commentary about the trans community and other subjects I enjoy commenting about
Thursday, April 12, 2018
But it's not a vacation, it's actually a business trip. I'm here for the Working Families Party Spring School along with some of my colleagues from Trans United Fund.
In case you're wondering who and what is that group, the Working Families Party is a progressive organization founded in New York in 1998 by a coalition of labor unions, civic organizations, and advocacy groups.
They are a growing progressive organization dedicated to fighting for an economy that works for all of us, not just the 1% billionaires and a democracy in which every voice matters. Working Families now has chapters in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Oregon and Washington DC
The policies they are pushing for are a livable wage, affordable housing, raising the minimum wage, universal single payer health care, better public schools, and more investment in public services.
This Spring School is a multi day training that is happening here, and it's going to be interesting to see what other persons and organizations are here and what transpires over the next few days until I head back to the Lone Star State.
I get to travel out of IAH on United. I get to not only see my former coworkers who haven't retired yet, I also get to walk through Terminal C and E exactly one week after my transiversary.
I decided to go through Las Vegas. I had a 45 minute layover, and I knew about the slot machines in the McCarran International terminal waiting to relieve you of more cash. I had every intention of sitting there, exercising my Taurean willpower and resisting the temptation to play until my flight boarded.
That only lasted 10 minutes, so I ended up playing one of the nearby quarter slot machines.
My luck was even better on the America West flight. The head flight attendant on this trip was one I helped non- rev on one of my CAL flights two weeks earlier. She raved to her crewmates about the service I'd provided for her at my gate, and was determined to return the favor. Her America West crew spoiled me rotten on that flight to Portland even though I was in the back with a row to myself.
On the way back to IAH I had a much longer layover in Vegas for my Continental redeye back to Houston, so once again I killed some time by playing the airport quarter slot machines.
It only took me only $1.25 of play this time to hit for a $15 payday. I immediately quit while I was ahead of the game and took my winnings to grab something to eat in the airport food court before it was time to board my plane back home.
It took 21 years, but this time I get to leave the airport and stay in the city for the first time. It had always been on my domestic trip bucket list, but never got the opportunity to take it as an employee.
Now I get to go to Vegas for a multiday training and also stay in a hotel on the famed Las Vegas Strip. I also have two cousins who live there that hopefully I'll get some quality time with before I have to come back to Texas on Sunday
See y'all in a few hours Las Vegas,
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
The UH Graduate College of Social Work gets to well deservedly pop its collar over the fact that it was just named one of the top 25 Social Work colleges in the nation!
It jumped fifteen spots to now be ranked at number 24, and congrats to Dean Dettlaff and his team for their hard work to get it there. I also like the fact that the UH GCSW has a social justice mission as part of its vision statement.
Today I get to spend a few hours chilling with them at their annual scholarship luncheon, and their guest speaker for it is an old friend of mine in Laverne Cox.
Some awards will also be given out during this luncheon as well .
Yes, I know her. Met her during a 2012 OUT on the Hill when she was the moderator for that all Black trans feminine panel I was on with Rev Carmarion Anderson, Danielle King and Valerie Spencer.
Back to the post.
The 30 story hotel owned by billionaire UH Board of Regents chair Tilman Fertitta is so swanky it has its own Rolls Royce showroom.
Go Coogs, and see y'all in a few hours.
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Those alarming needs assessment results in the late 90's early 2000's woke people up to the reality that HIV had a transgender face and was another problem we needed to tackle.
National Transgender HIV Testing Day (NTHTD) is a day set aside to recognize the importance of HIV testing and increasing awareness and focus on HIV prevention and treatment efforts among transgender and gender non-binary people.
HIV testing can be an effective prevention tool that actively engages trans people in supporting sexual health and wellness while empowering us to make informed health choices that will help improve our lives. HIV testing among trans populations also allows health care providers to identify those who are HIV positive and to begin treatment efforts sooner, leading to better health outcomes and reduced possibility of HIV transmission.
Many organizations that serve trans population will have local testing events, so there should be a local organization doing an NTHTD testing event near you.
Monday, April 09, 2018
Thanks to the folks at Koncept Kit, your wish has come true!
I'm now doing a show called TransGriot Weekly with Monica Roberts in which I talk about trans and other news issues locally, in Texas, the US and internationally.
Like the blog, I'll also comment about things that grab my attention, and yes, I'll do a Video Shut Up Fool Award on a biweekly basis.
And as the show grows and evolves, I'll look at along with the production team at doing interviews as well.
The best part is I'm having a lot of fun doing so..
You can find the show's Facebook page, like it abd check out the video episodes I've done so far at this link.
And yes, once you've seen them, share them as well.
Sunday, April 08, 2018
"I know sex work to be work. It's not something I need to tiptoe around. It's not a radical statement, it's a fact."
In the wake of the passage of SESTA, the Stop Enablings Sex Traffickers Act on a 97-2 vote by the Senate, one of the consequences of its passage and expected signature into law by 45 is that several
websites that our trans community who are sex workers depend on to pay their bills, shut down or took down those sections of their websites to avoid potential lawsuit from sex trafficking victims. .
As Janet and others have repeatedly stated, and I agree with that sentiment, sex work is work.
Your trans family doing sex work to survive is STILL your trans family, and I'm not liking the sanctimonious comments coming from some peeps on the Net that they 'need to get a real job'.
What makes you think these folks haven't tried that? Anti-trans discrimination in employment is real, even in TBLGQ World If you think I'm kidding about that, check the 2015 US Trans Survey and look at the unemployment statistics.
If you don't like the fact some trans folks have to do that to live and pay bills, I have a suggestion for you. The next time a lobby day is held in your locale, get off your azz, go to your state capitol and lobby your legislators to pass non-discrimination bills that prohibit discrimination against transgender and gender variant people.Implore businesses and organizations to hire qualified trans people. If you're a big baller and shot caller and have influence on hiring decisions, suggest that the folks making hiring decision add trans people to their mix of diverse candidates for open job positions.What we will not do today or at any time in the future is shame other trans people who are engaged in sex work to pay the bills.
You want to get your jollies shaming and screaming at someone, do it at the politicians who refuse to pass non discrimination laws that cover gender identity discrimination so they CAN if they wish to do so get and keep the 'real jobs' you screech about.
I repeat, the folks who engage in sex work are still and will always be your trans family and deserve your respect and empathy, not derision. Save that derision for the people who gleefully oppress us.
So TransWorld, stop bashing trans sex workers who are simply trying to live their lives to the best of their ability.
Friday, April 06, 2018
2017 also happened to be the deadliest year on record for TBLGQ murders in Brazil.
Dandara was taken out of her home in Fortaleza, stripped, beaten, kicked, stoned and mocked by the killers as she pleaded for her life. She had transphobic and homophobic slurs hurled at her before she was thrown into a wheelbarrow and carted off. to be shot to death.
Justice was finally served in that case as five of the eight participants in this heinous crime received a combined 83 years in jail .
Francisco Jose Monteiro de Oliveira, Jr. who shot dos Santos, was given 21 years in prison. Jean Victor Silva Oliveira, who attacked her with a wooden board, received a 16 year prison sentence.
Rafael Alves da Silva Paiva, who was filed repeatedly kicking Dandara, was also sentenced to 16 years in jail along with Francisco Gabriel dos Reis. Isaias da Silva Camurca was sentenced to 14 years and 6 months for his part in the attack on our trans sister, beating her with flip flops.
Jean Oliveira and Paivi are appealing their sentences on the basis of their actions weren't decisive in causing Dandara's death.
Incredibly all of the men tried make the claim that while they attacked her, they weren't responsible for her death.
Francisco Oliveira after being sentenced tried to apologize to Dandara's relatives, claiming that he'd committed the crime because he was deluded and he'd learned he has to have love in his heart.
You were right about the deluded part. But the date you needed to have love in your heart was on February 15, 2017, not when your azz is about to do 21 years in prison from murdering another human being.
In the discussion we're talking about our frustrations with getting slimed, backstabbed, disrespected and slandered by the communities we are trying to serve to the best of our ability.
We are also discussing the shady two bit three block 'activists' who are only in it for their 15 minutes of fame or who actively work to undermine the people who are successfully doing the work for whatever reason.
Being a human rights warrior is a tough job and can take a toll on you if you're not practicing regular self care The doctor who did the autopsy on the Rev. Dr Martin Luther King shortly after his assassination 50 years ago noted that Dr King, despite being only 39 years old at the time of his death, had the heart of a 60 year old in large part due to all the stress he was under being the principal leader of the African American Civil Rights Movement.
"We need live revolutionaries, not dead martyrs".
As someone who has spent 20 years of my more than a half century on this planet fighting for the human rights of transgender humans and other people, I understand how the petty BS in the activism ranks can can drive a person with a heart full of love for their people and a desire to make a better world for everyone walk away from it.
I actually stepped away for two years from national work after I got backstabbed on a 2002 NTAC initiative by a white trans woman that would have if we had gotten the opportunity to execute what was discussed in that Marietta, GA meeting advanced Trans 101 knowledge and info about the Black trans community to the Congressional Black Caucus, Southern Christian Leadership Conference and national NAACP much earlier.
So yeah, I feel y'all when the discussion turns to being backstabbed by other morally bankrupt activists who are in it for their 15 minutes of fame or selfish reasons.
But know that the 'activists' who choose that crabs in a barrel approach to build their activist platform will fail. Backstabbing your way to prominence may work to get you where you wish to go in the short term, but in the long run it you will have zero credibility, will make a lot of enemies in the process, and karma will get you sooner or later.
Activism at its core, is building working relationships and partnerships with diverse groups of people or organizations that you can reliably call on to help you solve problems when you need it.
I have also witnessed in my 20 years 'activists' who are committing repeated civil rights malpractice but want to prevent more competent leaders from rising to successfully do the work the haters don't have the skill set to do.
I've had happen in my 20 years of activism the hurtful thing of trans people running away from me because they are afraid of being outed as trans if they are seen standing next to my unapologetically Black trans activist behind.
I've seen the idiotic online comments from peeps slamming activists stating we should 'stop stirring up trouble' because it's 'causing problems' in their low/ no disclosure lives, and if we activists would just stop 'stirring up trouble' the haters would leave us (and them) alone.
But those same people attacking us, like the ones running away from me and other trans activists, when they get into trouble are the first ones blowing up my phone trying to call me and other activists demanding help to solve their problem when anti-trans discrimination kicks them in the rear.
You don't get your humanity and human rights respected unless you repeatedly demand it and relentlessly fight for it.
And if you haven't noticed, we have an incompetent orange white supremacist with his tiny hands on the nuke launch button in the White House. In this critical time for American democracy, activists are needed now more than ever if it is to survive this crisis.
We are the people who through our efforts, shine a light on the issues of the day, and facilitate the conversations that help move society toward being better for all parties.
So it's past time to start appreciating the people who do that work instead of sliming them.
2018 has now moved into April, and that means I'm on countdown to another Cuatro de Mayo celebration.
But lets get to our usual Friday business of calling out fools, idiots, hypocrites and arrogant people who are operating with WTF level chutzpah.
It's time for this week's edition of the TransGriot Shut Up Fool Awards.
I'm just going straight to this week's winner.
Florida state rep Kimberly Daniels (D-Jacksonville) is a controversial former Jacksonville City Council member who is now serving her first term as a Florida state legislator.
Homegirl seems to have gotten her legislative duties confused with her evangelical preaching day job. The state of Florida's government is based on its constitution, not the Bible. Not only does the separation of church and state matter, faith based ignorance has no place in our legislative process.
I can't trust a Black woman to lead who doesn't know this basic fact. Neither can I trust a Black woman to lead who has made anti Semitic statements. Daniels is quoted as saying that "You can talk about the Holocaust, but the Jews own everything:.
During her closing statement for this bill, she went full Aunt Jemima and thanked God for slavery..
Nope, this is NOT an April Fools joke. Note today's date.
"I thank God for slavery. If it wasn't for slavery I might be somewhere in Africa worshiping a tree."
Oh hell no.. Somebody in Jacksonville please run in the Democratic primary against her.
Rep. Kimberly Daniels, shut up fool!
Wednesday, April 04, 2018
The anti-trans hate group the Alaska Family Council had managed to get a proposition on the ballot that if it had passed, would have stripped the trans protetctions from the city's LGBTQ rights law passed in 2015 by the Anchorage Assembly. Proposition 1 would have also barred transgender people from using the facilities and locker rooms that matched their gender presentation, even if they had changed their identity documents.
Translation: The Alaska Family Council haters were trying to pass a nastier Last Frontier version of North Carolina's HB 2.
It was also going to be the first time that the city of Anchorage would attempt to use a mail-in ballot for a civic election, and turnout was expected to be high. Anchorage is also the largest city in the state of Alaska .
The Yes on 1 haters raised $128,000 to spend on their scampaign to $800,000 for the Fair Anchorage coalition. Fair Anchorage not only had more money, they learned the lessons from the failed HERO defense fight here in H-town and attacked the bathroom predator myth head on.
Meanwhile the Yes on 1 side was committing the cardinal sin in Alaskan politics of using a non-Alaskan in their commercials.
In addition to ads from Alaska' native community, who have felt the sting of discrimination themselves, advocating for their trans neighbors and urging a NO vote, Fair Anchorage also had local trans people in their commercials and engaged in their coalition of groups fighting this latest trans rights battle.
That predictably deployed trans predator lie by the YES on 1 trans oppressors was also blown up not only in this ad featuring an APD officer, but a statement from the Fair Anchorage campaign that quoted firefighters, former state reps and a former police spokesperson.
It also pointed out that a YES vote would be bad for Anchorage.
“While backers of Prop 1 claim they're advocating for public safety, nothing could be further from the truth," Mike Stumbaugh, president of Anchorage Firefighters Union Local 1264, said, according to the press release issued by Kati Ward, Fair Anchorage campaign manager. "And in the 200-plus cities and 18 states with laws nearly identical to Anchorage's nondiscrimination law, the results have been the same: Protecting transgender people is not a threat to public safety — here in Anchorage or anywhere else in the country."
Over 40 Anchorage based businesses also opposed the passage of Proposition 1 as bad for business and the city reputation.
Fair Anchorage not only aggressively tackled and demolished the predator myth, they also took on and demolished another of the right wing's favorite lies in claiming that by letting transgender women poop and pee in women's restrooms, cisgender women's safety was compromised.
And here's one of the NO on 1 ads that featured a trans person and their parent
35,054 ballots (17.4% of the city's voters) had already been returned before the April 3 deadline. With all the ballots counted, Proposition 1 was defeated by a 53%-46% margin.
Congrats to the Fair Anchorage coalition for decisively beating the Alaska Family Council haters.
That's wonderful news considering Massachusetts is facing its own looming trans rights election this November.
It also lends credence to what I have been saying in terms of transphobia becoming less of a winning issue for Republicans and the conservative movement