Sunday, July 21, 2019

Houston Puts In Bid For 2023 World Pride!

Image result for houston world pride 2023 candidates
I got a small taste of WorldPride when I made that quick trip to New York last month to participate in the opening ceremony for it at Barclays Center.   There's now a possibility that I may get to stay in my H-town backyard and participate in a WorldPride. 

So what's WorldPride?   It's an international Pride event sponsored by InterPride, the international organization that represents and is composed of producer organizations of TBLGQ community pride events from around the globe. 

WorldPride is generally a month long and is comprised of parades, panel discussions, parties and other events that celebrate the TBLGQ community.

Image result for world pride 2019 nyc
The first one was held in Rome in 2000, and since then has held in Jerusalem  (2006),  London (2012), Toronto (2014), Madrid (2017)  and the just completed one in New York for the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion 

It was the first time that WorldPride was ever held in the US, and New York successfully handled their business, drawing over 5 million attendees for it.   



Image result for world Pride 2021
WorldPride will next be held in Copenhagen, Denmark and Malmo, Sweden from August 12-22, 2021 to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Christine Jorgensen's successful GCS in 1951 and the 50th anniversary of the 1971 founding of the Danish chapter of the Gay Liberation Front.

The EuroGames will also be held in the two cities during WorldPride.

Pride Houston, Inc.
Pride Houston, our local group that coordinates our local pride event, has put together a bid to host the 2023 WorldPride event.   We have the fourth largest pride event in the United States (after New York, LA and Chicago), are the fourth largest city in the US (at least until we leapfrog Chicago to become the third largest after the 2020 census) and the only one that  has a nighttime parade.

Houston will be competing to get the WorldPride bid against Sydney, Australia and Montreal, Canada.   Pride Houston will have a 30 minute presentation to make at the InterPride annual meeting being held in Athens, Greece this October in order to secure it.

Image result for Lorin Roberts
Houston Pride President and CEO Lorin Roberts (yep, my cousin) believes that we can do so. 

"We're Houston, where everything is bigger and better. Our main thing when it comes to this bid, is that even though we're a small town in the south of the U.S., you can see the world when you come to Houston," Roberts said in an ABC13 interview .

The theme for our Houston WorldPride 2023 bid is 
"Come to Houston, See the World, Feel Your Pride."   We are considered one of the most diverse cities in the United States, and only New York has more international consulates than we do.   
"We're trying to win this thing because we see so much in Houston as a Pride organization and within our community, that we just want to share with the rest of the world," Roberts said.

If we get WorldPride 2023, it would also be happening during the 45th anniversary of Pride Houston's formation and the 20th anniversary of the Lawrence v Texas SCOTUS case that declared sodomy laws unconstitutional in Texas  and a dozen US states. .

Good luck, and hope it does happen for us.   Would love to experience a WorldPride without having to leave Texas to do it .

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Number 12- Rest In Power And Peace Denali Berries Stuckey

Image may contain: 1 person, closeup
Was distressed to hear while attending a BTAC leadership training in Dallas about the way too soon loss of another young Black trans woman.  We head to North Charleston, SC for the latest news.

Thanks to Marcus Yasir Ross and Taliyah Cassadine Smith for alerting me to this latest death.

North Charleston PD officers responded to a 4:05 AM EDT call of a body lying on the side of the road at 2721 Carner Avenue.  They arrived at the scene to find 29 year old Denali Berries Stuckey dead from a gunshot wound

And as you probably guessed. local media misgendered her in their reporting.

North Charleston PD is still investigating the crime.   As of this writing NCPD has no suspects or persons of interest in the case.   If you have any information that will lead to an arrest and conviction, please call NCPD Crime Stoppers at 843-554-1111 or the NCPD Tip line at 843-607-2076.

Image may contain: 1 person, closeup
Stuckey is the 12th trans woman to die this year in the US, with all of the known victims so far being African American.  She is also the 8th one under age 30 to be killed in 2019.

As of yet no word about whether there will be a vigil or memorial service for our trans sibling.  If one is organized, I will pass that info along as soon as I receive it. 

Rest in power and peace, Denali.   Hoping that the person who killed you  is swiftly caught and punished to the full extent of the law. 

Moni's Thoughts On The 'Trans People Are Sacred' Billboard In Detroit

No photo description available.
The 110th annual NAACP convention is taking place in Detroit starting today, and I'm loving a pic of this billboard that popped up in east Detroit that states 'Trans People Are Sacred'.

In a time in which we have a presidential misadministration that is openly hostile to trans people and gleefully being egged on by evilgelicals to be as cruel as possible to our community , this billboard is a timely reminder of our humanity

And yeah, let me say it once again and make it clear where I stand with Dolt 45.  The Trump misadministration is the worst ever for the trans community.

I also find it interesting this billboard popped us just as the NAACP  convention has arrived in town.  It's my hope and prayer that some of the expected 10,000 delegates to the NAACP convention not only see this billboard, but ponder the fact that our community's oldest civil rights organization has been way too silent on the violence being aimed at Black trans people.

Image result for naacp detroit 2019
Black trans America has noticed that deafening silence and your cricket chirping response to it.   We need you to say from the floor of your convention that Black Trans Lives Matter and then follow it up with action.

Trans people are indeed sacred.   Our trans kids are even more sacred to us.   It's past time you treat us that way.

But to echo what my Texas homegirl Anna Nguyen said when I posted this pic on my Facebook page, I'd just be happy with trans people just being considered human. 

And we need that to happen like yesterday

 

Friday, July 19, 2019

In The 2019 BTAC Leadership Institute House

Image may contain: 18 people, including Luc Malik Bensimon, Marie Kelly, Lain Littlejohn, Jékksyn Orilyn Ícaro, Emerson Jackson, Dee Dee Watters, Carter Brown, Espy Yé YO Brown, Monica Roberts and 4 others, people smiling
Last week I was in Philadelphia for Netroots Nation, now I've made another drive up I-45 with Dee Dee Watters and Diamond Stylz to attend the second annual BTAC Leadership Institute.

This time instead of having it in NOLA, we're having it in our headquarters city of Dallas.   Last year's event in New Orleans helped us tremendously in not only building a solid foundation for us to kick off our 2018-2019 programming year, it also had the benefits of allowing us to get to know each other better

Image result for wyndham dallas suites park central hotel
We had a board meeting yesterday at the Wyndham Dallas Suites in which we discussed BTAC coalition business, our upcoming 2019-2020 programming year and fundraising to pay for it.

Today at the Wyndham Dallas Suites starts our two days of training to level up, and I'm looking forward to it.

Also looking forward to seeing and spending quality time this weekend with my BTAC family

Trump Is A Racist, And So Are You If You Support Him

Like every rational African American, I supported and voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election because as I warned y'all repeatedly in the runup to that election,  Trump was historically bad  and unqualified to become POTUS.

Some of y'all were too caught up in your 'Bernie lost' fee fees to get over it and see the big political picture that I and many Black voters saw as November 8 loomed.

It was about the SCOTUS and the federal court system, stupid

Image result for nixon leaves office
Because of your lack of political vision, we are now navigating the worst presidency of my lifetime, and I was a teen during the Nixon years.

Black people have known for decades that Trump was a racist, and after his unwarranted attacks on four POC US congresswomen, some of y'all are finally shaking off the willful ignorance along with the media to call his racist azz out.

Image result for Trump texas women CNN
Now it's time for you folks who fell for the okey doke, voted for Trump and gleefully support him to come to grips with an unpleasant truth about yourselves.

Since you are enabling and unquestioningly defending his azz, that makes all you MAGA hat wearing white peeps and the 53% of white women who voted for Trump racists as well.

And before you go there, don't even part your conservalips to illogically call me 'racist' for calling out the racism I undeniably see. 

You don't like Moni saying that unpleasant truth about you?   Too damned bad.   You voted for and still support a man that David Duke endorsed.  With every passing day of this incompetent mispresidency he makes it clear he hates Black and non white people.

And y'all are eating up the oppression, hate speech and cruelty he aims at us.  Some of you are even engaging in it.

Spare me the whitesplaining about how saying 'go back to you country' is not racist because it is.

To me, the most disgusting Trump supporters are ones who are in the trans and SGL community.  That's a rant for another time.

Note to you Trumpettes and MAGAts.  I am not obligated as an American citizen to unquestioningly love this country.   That what you conservafools do.   I love my country enough to praise it when it does the right thing and when it's wrong, to use my First Amendment rights to speak truth to power and call BS out.
 
I love my country when it comes closer to living up to its democratic principles and I see people who look like me participating in governing it.  I want it to be better and always striving to evolving to be a more perfect union.

Image may contain: stripes
Trump and his ilk want a dark, white supremacist America that is the antithesis of the beloved community that the Rev Dr Martin Luther King talked about  Your racism is not patriotism, and the sooner you MAGAts grasp that concept, the better our country will be.

Trump is undeniably a racist.  Disagreeing with him doesn't make me un American.  It makes me a patriot. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

A Californian's Thoughts On Sen. Kamala Harris' Candidacy

Image may contain: 1 person, standing
I've been getting sick of hearing the borderline racist at times vitriol being aimed at Sen Kamala Harris and the BS 'Kamala is a cop' line.   I'm leaning toward supporting her in large part because I've been keeping an eye on her political ascent since 2010 and I'm tired of the anti-Kamala rhetoric.

Is her record perfect?  Nope.  Neither are the other 20 people running for the Democratic nomination either,

One of Harris' constituents, Viktor Kerney wrote this on his Facebook page explaining why he enthusiastically supports her 2020 candidacy for president.

 ***

So, someone asked me why I ride hard for Kamala Harris, especially since was a prosecutor. Well, I don’t see being a prosecutor a bad thing. I think people have to realize that a prosecutor is not a simple job, like working at Target. It takes someone who can make tough decisions and look at things through a critical lens. But here are my reasons...
Kamala has fought for people of color during her time as DA and AG in California. She’s worked on initiatives to get people back on track after being incarcerated, making sure the children had a proper education and opportunities to succeed. Yes, the truancy policy was not ideal, but with the research about children missing school and later becoming incarcerated, she had to do something.
Kamala is comfortable making tough decisions. I want a president who can make these decisions with proper caution.
Kamala’s policies for America helps middle-class workers as well as Black people. I’ve seen people say what is her Black agenda. It is my believe that the Black agenda is healthcare, jobs, education, shortening the pay gap and the ability to have home security.
She has a strong list of successful receipts through her time in office and a high approval from President Obama himself.
Kamala has fought the big banks, predators, corporations in the world to make life easier for her constituents.
She understands hard work and does not shy away from big tasks.
She understood that being a prosecutor will bring negative views about who she is. However she used her experience to improve criminal reform.
While there are many rumors about her record, the facts state that she has been successful. I encourage people to read her records from California.gov versus some blog post from these descendant of slaves (ADOS) or her rivals’ fan base.
She has taken on men like Trump and not afraid to call them out and hold them accountable. That’s what I want in president and I think she can do it.

Congrats Judge Watson!

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing
Y'all know I have much love and admiration for my trailblazing Houston activist sis Fran Watson.

She's an attorney and former head of the Houston GLBT Caucus.   She was also the first Black woman to head the Caucus.  ,

Fran has run for the Texas state senate,  is one of only three Black women to be elected as a Houston Pride grand marshal, and volunteers her time to many worthy causes and organizations in the Houston area.

Earlier today the Houston City Council unanimously voted to approve Fran's nomination for a two year term as a municipal judge.

Congratulation Judge Watson!   This is a well deserved, and glad you will get to serve our fellow Houstonians from our municipal court bench.  I have no doubts that you will do a fantastic job in this new position

Thursday, July 11, 2019

2019 Williams Watch - Serena Makes It To The 'Williams'-don Final

Image result for wimbledon 2019 logo
I call 'The Championships' as they are referred to across The Pond 'Williams'-don because both Serena and Venus have basically turned the All England Club into their personal tennis playground..

Image result for venus coco score
The 2019 edition of Wimbledon started with Venus exiting the tournament in the first round after being upset by 15 year old American qualifier Cori 'Coco' Gauff 4-6,4-6 in straight sets.    Gauff electrified the tennis world by making a run all the way to the fourth round before being eliminated by Romania's Simona Halep.

That wasn't the end of  Venus' time in London.   She decided to play mixed doubles with fellow American Frances Tlafoe while Serena an Andy Murray of Great Britain played together.

Venus and Tlafoe made it to the second round of the mixed doubles tourney while Serena and Murray lasted until the third round,

11th seeded Serena had no problems with the qualifier she faced in Italy's Giulia Gatto-Monticone, dispacting her in straight sets 6-2,7-5.   That sent her into a second round match with another qualifier in Slovenia's Kaja Juvan

Image result for serena williams wimbledon 2019
Juvan served notice that this wasn't going to be like Serena's first round match.    She took the first set, but Little Sis regrouped and took the next to to punch her ticket to the third round after her 2-6, 6-2. 6-4  win. 

Her third round opponent was Germany's Julia Gorges.   Williams rolled to a 6-3, 6-4 straight set win over the 18th seeded Gorges to set up her fourth round match with Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro.

Williams handled her tennis business and sent the 30th seeded Suarez Navarro packing after a 6-2, 6-2 straight set win to punch her ticket to the quarterfinals

After Serena won the first set of this quarterfinal, Alison Riske flipped the tennis script and forced a winner take all third set.   Little Sis would not be denied, and took this match 6-4, 4-6, 6-3,

Serana faced Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic in the semis, and wasted no time pinning a 6-1 6-2 straight set 59 minute tennis beatdown on Strycova to punch her ticket to her 11th Wimbledon finals appearance.

Image result for Simona Halep 2019 wimbledon
She will take on seventh seeded Simona Halep, who is playing in her first ever Wimbledon final.   She has also won just once against Little Sis in ten meetings, but thinks she's ready for the challenge.

If Serena wins on Saturday, she will capture not only her eighth Wimbledon title, but will tie that unrepentant homophobe Margaret Court with her 24th Grand Slam title win.

Good luck Serena!    Handle your tennis business

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Moni's Headed To Netroots Nation 2019!

Image result for netroots nation 2019 philadelphia
Once again I'm hopping on a jet plane to the East Coast, and unlike the secret World Pride trip, this time I can tell y'all what my destination is. 

I'm headed back to Philadelphia for the first time since Creating Change 2017 to check out the 2019 edition of Netroots Nation.   If my flight left on time at 11:00 AM CDT the Air Marshal is already winging her way to the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection.

Even better, I'm doing so on a nonstop flight.

The reason I'm leaving H-town today is because I'm participating in the Netroots Connect LGBTQ Pre-Conference event that's happening tomorrow starting at 8 AM EDT. 

Image may contain: 4 people, including Monica Roberts
One of the reasons I love Netroots Nation is because it's not just a TBLGQ  conference.  While we do have a community specific pre-conference event and an LGBTQ caucus, Netroots Netroots is predominately a progressive political one I've been attending and participating in since 2012.

That 2012 one was held in Providence, RI and I was there to participate in the first ever all-trans panel on the subject of trans bloggers doing so for social justice and trans visibility.

It would be 2016 before I got to attend another one in St Louis, MO and start my streak of consecutive Netroots Nation events.   It was also memorable for me because I walked away from it as the 2016 Netroots Nation Pundit Cup champion

Netroots is also one in which I get to hang out with and see many of my peeps who are involved in progressive politics at the local, state and national level and meet new ones.. 

Image may contain: 2 people, including Tenaja Jordan, people smiling, people standing
I also get a chance to get my learn on, and see some of our up and coming progressive political peeps.   I met Stacey Abrams during the 2017 one in the ATL, and wasn't surprised when she made the Georgia governor's race so close Brian Kemp had to do what Republicans do and cheat to beat her.   I also passed the Pundit Cup championship torch to 2017 champion Tenaja Jordan, who was the third straight Black woman to win it.

Image may contain: 4 people, including Monica Roberts, people smiling, people standing and indoor
In NOLA last year I got to meet Del. Danica Roem and see my old friend and Colorado House member Leslie Herod.    Won't be surprised if Leslie ends up in the Colorado governor's mansion or Congress soon.
Image result for Little Pete's philadelphia
And even though I've been to Philadelphia now six times in this decade, I actually haven't done much sightseeing in the city beyond checking out Dewey's Lunch Counter during the LGBTQ Media Convening.   That one happened because it was right across the street from the host hotel.

Sadly, it closed in 2017 and was demolished for a new hotel.

Image result for wawa philadelphia
Philly also has 7-Elevens.   But Wawa definitely gives them a run for their money. 

On that note, I'm so ready to see what transpires at this year's edition of Netroots Nation    Since the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination has begun, there will be a presidential forum during this year's event that will take place on Saturday from 3-6 PM

Also looking forward to spending some quality time with my Philly trans fam when I'm not at the convention center.

Here's I come again Philly!  Break out the cheesesteaks.


MJ Rodriguez and Billy Porter Sing 'Home' At Trevor Live

Image result for Billy Porter and MJ Rodriguez sing Home
One of the things we've learned form season one of POSE is just how talented MJ Rodriguez is.

Hopefully after this year's season, she'll get some Emmy Award consideration and maybe even snatch a trophy this time.

But one of the revelations about Rodriguez is that girlfriend can 'sang'.   The 'Love Is The Message' episode in which she and Tony award winner Billy Porter, who plays Pray Tell,  sang the song 'Home' from The Wiz in a room full of AIDS patients had me shedding tears by the time it was over.

Here they are again with Our Lady J at piano singing it again at the Trevor Foundation's TrevorLive event in Los Angeles back in December 2018.

Enjoy

 

Monday, July 08, 2019

Soldier Accepts His Trans Daughter Video

Every now and then you get to see a video that tugs on your heart and reminds you what you are fighting for. 

I constantly say in any interview I do that the trans rights work I'm getting recognized for is about the kids behind me and leaving a better world for them.

This video short illustrates that better world I and other trans advocates are working to make a reality.   This video is about a teen trans girl who has a father in the military and transitions while he is deployed. 

You'll have to watch it and see what happens when he finds out his child has transitioned while he's away.