Friday, August 07, 2020

25th Anniversary Of Tyra Hunter's Death

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Tyra Hunter should be with us right now eagerly anticipating the celebration of her 50th birthday.
But instead, her life tragically ended way too soon because of two transphobes. 

One of the transphobes was a  Washington DC fire department EMT.   The other was the emergency room doctor at the hospital where she died.

On the morning of August 7, 1995  the 24 year old Hunter was a passenger in a car headed to the salon in which she worked as a hairdresser.   Her mother Margie Hunter was a nurse, and Tyra had transitioned at age 17.   She was popular in the SE Washington DC neighborhood where their family lived.

The car she was a passenger in was involved in an accident at the corner of 50th and C Streets SE.  She and the driver Tedessa Rankin were pulled from the smoking ruins of the Hyundai Excel car Rankin was driving to await treatment by the DC Fire Department EMTs headed their way..   

As the gathering neighborhood onlookers watched an EMT later identified as Adrian Williams began treating a semi conscious Hunter for her injuries.  He stopped and backed away after he cut open her pants legs to reveal her genitalia, saying "This b***h ain't no girl.  It's a n****r, he got a dick..

Williams then began joking with other DCFD personnel on the scene as the neighborhood onlookers witnessing his  and his coworkers transphobic behavior pleaded with him to resume working on Hunter to save her life.

Hunter's treatment was stopped for 5-7 critical minutes as the DCFD personnel on the scene kept cracking transphobic jokes.  An EMS supervisor eventually arrived on the scene and resumed treating Hunter for her injuries. 

She was eventually rushed to the now closed DC General Hospital where .she arrived at 4:10 PM EDT only to receive the same transphobic treatment from the DC General Hospital emergency room staff.

One doctor refused to treat her,    Another assumed because she was a Black trans woman she had HIV and was more concerned about that instead of treating her for the blunt force trauma injuries she sustained in the traffic accident.    Hunter died in the DC General Hospital emergency room at 5:23 PM EDT.

The case sent shockwaves through and angered the DC and national trans community.   Over 2000 people attended her August 12 funeral.    Her mother Margie Gunter later won a $2.9 million judgment in a subsequent wrongful death lawsuit.

It is a case that still resonates with me and every Black trans person around at that mid 90's time as a concrete example of the medical transphobia that can be deadly for us.

tyra hunter | Tumblr
25 years later we have a federal government that is trying to return us back to those days when EMT's like Adrian Williams and doctors could refuse to treat us.

Rest in power Tyra.   Your Black trans life mattered to me and ever trans person of your generation.  We will fight to ensure that no one suffers like you did on that August 7 day 25 years ago.

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Fundraiser For Our Black Trans Masculine Elders

What Trans Elders Want You To Know | HuffPost
Our Black trans masculine elders have done much to advance the human rights of our trans community, but unfortunately don't get the props and praise they deserve for it.

Fundraiser by Kortney Ziegler : Supporting Black Trans Elders ...
Dr Kortney Ziegler is raising $100K to split between three amazing trans masculine leaders in Ethan Thomas Young,  Rev Louis Mitchell and Kylar Broadus.

While I'm not familiar with Ethan or his work (and that's the impetus for me to get familiar with it)  , I am however quite aware of Louis and Kylar,   I have known both for over a decade, and I am proud to call them friends and colleagues in the struggle.

I have witnessed both Louis and Kylar contribute their time, talents and sweat equity into building out community and organizations like the Trans Persons Of Color Coalition that Kylar founded in 2010.   Louis has been involved in faith leadership in our community and being a mentor to our trans masculine community. 

All three of our elders deserve your support, and if you can contribute something, please do so. .

Here's the link to donate to the fundraiser.    You can also hit Kortney up on Cash App if you wish to do so that way at $fakerapper

Thanks to Kortney for organizing it, and please show our trans masculine elders some love and help Kortney reach that $100K goal .

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Happy Birthday To Barack and Meghan!

Obama and Markle share a birthday
We like to say in the Black community that we are descended from kings and queens, but did you know that August 4 is the day a president and a member of the British royal family were born? 

Barack Obama and Meghan Markle were born twenty years and 2558 miles apart in Honolulu, HI and Los Angeles, CA.

centenary of the armistice service at westminster abbey
The other thing they both have in common is that conservatives in the United States and Great Britain have irrational levels of hatred for both of them.

Y'all are already aware of the awesomeness that is POTUS 44, but did you know that Meghan was born four days after her hubby Prince Harry's parents were married?

Happy birthday to President Obama and the Duchess of Sussex!


Friday, July 31, 2020

Trans Actors Can Be In The Building And Still Get Ignored

POSE Cast | Poses, Women, Role models
Like a lot of Trans World peeps I was more than a little heated when the women of POSE were once again snubbed for Emmy consideration despite stepping up their acting games and putting in some Emmy worthy performances.

Tell me you didn't cry watching Candy's funeral?  Or laugh your azz off when Elektra read that Karen for filth in that Hamptons seafood restaurant scene.

Billy Porter was nominated for and won an Emmy last year for his Pray Tell performance and is now only lacking an Oscar to become only the 15th person ever to complete the EGOT.

What's the EGOT you ask?  An EGOT is when an entertainer during their career wins an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony Award. 

So yeah, he's mad talented.    He also said this when being interviewed last year for his historic Emmy win.   The part I'm salty about starts at the 2:51 mark of this video

That video with his 'we in the building' comment is heightening my irritation with that comment a year later.  While Porter received a second consecutive nomination for playing Pray Tell,  the POSE women got snubbed for a second consecutive year.

You can still be in the building and still be ignored.  You Mr. Porter and your fellow cis people all need to recognize that despite the 2020 Emmy nominations for Rain Valdez and Laverne Cox (and congrats to both those amazing women) the #EmmysSoCis.

Brian Michael - Home | Facebook
Brian Michael Smith and Scott Turner Schofield are talented trans masculine actors who were not given 2020 Emmy consideration, either.   

Yes, trans actors are in the building.  But they still have to fight tooth and nail for the few roles in which trans women play trans feminine characters.  Hell, trans women have had to fight just to play a cis feminine character in Hollywood. 

Trans masculine actors have to fight just as hard to play a trans masculine character.   It took a major outcry from our community to get Halle Berry to reconsider a role in which she would be playing a trans masculine person.   Same with getting Scarlett Johansson to change her mind about playing Dante 'Tex' Ritter in the Rub and Tug movie.

Trans women actors have a problem getting trans feminine roles because studio execs and casting directors are still fixated on putting cis male actors in drag to play those roles.

Hilary Swank | Oscars Wiki | Fandom
And to our trans community's horror, those cis men (and a cis woman in Hilary Swank) have gallingly gone on to win the awards trans actors get routinely snubbed for by telling our trans stories..

So no, trans people aren't even close to having equity or seeing the change you claimed had come in that 2019 interview.  Your Emmy interview to our ears sounded like the dismissive 'wait your turn' crap we've been hearing from Black gay men with clout for over 50 years.

The way Black trans women are being genocidally murdered also adds a fierce urgency of now element to not only this situation, but everything we do.

Janet Mock's "Pose" Directorial Debut Just Made History | NewNowNext
POSE is one of the few productions in Hollywood in which we not only get to tell our stories, we have trans people in front of and behind the camera writing and directing them like Janet Mock and Our Lady J.  That makes it a unique and beloved show in our trans community, and we want to see MJ Rodriguez, Dominique Jackson, Angelica Ross, Hailie Sahar and Indya Moore succeed.

That means if these women's POSE performances merit Emmy recognition, we want to see them nominated for those performances.  If those nominations then turn into trans historic Emmy wins, we're good with that.

That is also the case for the trans folks working behind their camera.  If they are doing award worthy work, they need to be recognized for that.

Pose' Director Janet Mock Signs Overall Deal With Netflix - Variety
Frankly, I love seeing all my Hollywood trans family succeed whether you are in front of the camera or behind it.  The measuring stick for how successful you are in Hollywood is winning or being nominated for major awards like Emmys, Oscars, or Golden Globes.

But to have a shot an winning an Emmy or any of those awards I mentioned, you have to be nominated for it.   This is the flaw in Billy Porter's 2019 'we in the building' speech.

You can be in the building all you want.  But if you're in the building, doing exemplary work, and are still getting ignored for unspecified reasons up to and including Hollywood transphobia and anti-Blackness, that's a problem that needs to be called out and addressed.

You Conservafools Don't Get To Tell Us How To Mourn Our Community Heroes

Seems like the Karen and Chad conservafools are having a hissy fit over President Obama's eulogy of the late Rep. John Lewis at his homegoing yesterday.  The Right Wing Noise Machine hit dogs were hollering all over conservative media big mad he called them and their orange wannabe dictator out without mentioning him or them by name. 

How dare you Karens and Chads presume to tell us Black folks how to mourn one of our community's great civil rights icons.   Hello, did you fools ever pay attention to John Lewis' life? .  Obviously you didn't.

I would hope and I expect that when my time on Planet Earth has ended, I'm putting y'all on notice now.   I want the speakers at my homegoing service to be just as forceful calling out the issues of the day when y'all celebrate me joining the ancestors.

 I recall you conservapeeps said the same BS back in 2006 when Coretta Scott King died and many of the speakers at her funeral called out George W Bush  to his face./ He was POTUS at the time and attended the funeral.

Trump didn't even have the cojones, much less the empathy to make the short drive to the US Capitol to attend the ceremony in which his body was lying in state.

I doubt the  Lewis family would have wanted him desecrating the hallowed historic sanctuary of Ebenezer Baptist Church anyway or that ceremony since he's gone full Klansman these days.

Let me repeat the money quote from what I wrote in the wake of the conservafool whining about how political the Coretta Scott King funeral got.

Dr. King and Coretta Scott King were POLITICAL people. Therefore, it is appropriate in terms of commenting on the totality of their lives to refer to political themes when making remarks to honor them. Rev. Joseph Lowery, President Clinton, Mayor Shirley Franklin, and President Carter were saying publicly things about Junior that many African-Americans say about him in conversations with each other. If that bothers you conservatives, too bad. 
Coretta Scott King Funeral |
Must hurt to realize that you peeps are on the wrong side of history yet again and it shows your utter lack of understanding of African-American culture and traditions. It is also arrogant and presumptuous of people who fought (and still are fighting) tooth and nail to derail America's progress toward fulfilling The Dream to tell us how to mourn the passing of the 'Queen of the Civil Rights movement. 
I'm really getting sick of this conservative BS that there should be NO criticism of the president, when these SAME conservatives several years ago called President Clinton everything but a child of God. They even stooped as low as to attack their then-teenaged daughter Chelsea. If George got out amongst the 90% percent of African-Americans who DIDN'T vote for him in either election he'd hear those comments more often.

Now fast forward to 2020. 

John Lewis was a political person, a sitting congressman for over 30 years, and a Civil Rights Movement icon.  Therefore, it is appropriate in the traditions of our people to comment on the state of the nation and speak truth to power.

But you conservafools wouldn't know how to do that or even care because you have been cricket chirping silent accomplices to white supremacist tyranny  .

Updated: Former President Obama to speak at Rep. John Lewis' funeral
Miss me with that bull feces that his funeral was 'too political'.   Y'all can be mad and stay mad about that and President Obama's on point eulogy calling out the worst presidency in American history

And let me say this once again so your hive minds get the point I've been making.  You conservafools don't get to tell us how to mourn our community heroes and sheroes.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Barack Obama's Eulogy of Rep John Lewis

3 former presidents mourn John Lewis at funeral in Atlanta - SFGate
President Barack Obama delivers the eulogy at Rep John Lewis' funeral in Atlanta;'s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church

Monday, July 27, 2020

31st GLAAD Media Awards Happening July 29-30

GLAAD Media Awards In New York After Coronavirus Concerns – Deadline
Normally the GLAAD Media Awards are spread out in a bi-coastal ceremony that has some of it taking place in Los Angeles in March or April, and the other half of it in New York in May. .

The Trump Virus forced cancellation of both the live events and necessitated their conversion into the first virtual ceremony in GLAAD Media Awards history.

That virtual ceremony will take place on July 29-30. 

While all of us who were nominated have had to wait a little bit longer to find out if we won, as many of you TransGriot readers are aware of, I received my fifth nomination in the Outstanding Blog category. 

When I won it in 2018, I was the first trans blogger ever to do so and the third African American TBLGQ one to do so after Rod 2.0 Beta and Alvin McEwen's Holy Bullies And Headless Monsters .

If my name is called, I would become the first ever two time winner of the award.

The Outstanding Blog category is tough again with last year's winner Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents, 2011 winner Joe My God, Gays With Kids and My Fabulous Disease in the mix.

Wednesday, July 29 on GLAAD’s Twitter:

10am ET: Outstanding TV Movie
11am ET: Outstanding Film - Limited Release
12pm ET: Outstanding Spanish-Language Digital Journalism - Video or Multimedia
1pm ET: Outstanding Documentary
2pm ET: Outstanding Spanish-Language TV Journalism Segment
3pm ET: Outstanding Newspaper Article 
4pm ET: Outstanding Spanish-Language Digital Journalism Article
5pm ET: Outstanding Limited Series
6pm ET: Outstanding Spanish-Language TV Interview

Thursday, July 30 on GLAAD’s Twitter:

10am ET: Outstanding Kids & Family Programming
11am ET: Outstanding Spanish-Language TV Journalism – Newsmagazine
12pm ET: Outstanding Reality Program
1pm ET: Outstanding Comic Book
2pm ET: Outstanding Video Game
3pm ET: Outstanding Broadway Production
4pm ET: Outstanding Variety or Talk Show Episode
5pm ET: Outstanding TV Journalism – Newsmagazine
5:30 pm ET: Outstanding Magazine Overall Coverage
6pm ET: Outstanding Digital Journalism Article
6:30pm ET: Outstanding Digital Journalism – Video or Multimedia
7pm ET: Outstanding Blog
7:30 pm ET: Outstanding Spanish-Language Scripted Television Series

During virtual ceremony of the GLAAD Media Awards on July 30 starting at 8pm ET on GLAAD’s Facebook and YouTube

Outstanding Film - Wide Release 
Outstanding Comedy Series
Outstanding Drama Series
Outstanding Music Artist 
Outstanding Individual Episode (in a series without a regular LGBTQ character)
Outstanding TV Journalism Segment
Outstanding Magazine Article
Special Recognition (Special, Karen Ocamb, Mark Segal)

Congratulations to all the nominees, and good luck.  .

TransGriot Update:   The 2020 Outstanding Blog award went to Mark S. King (finally) of My Fabulous Disease

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Rest In Power, Eli

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Was saddened to learn about losing another longtime friend and fellow blogger to cancer. 

I first got yo know Eli as part of the intrepid group of loyal Democrats who in the wake of that 2004 reelection of GW Bush, did battle on the Kicking Ass blog with the conservafools coming to gloat about his win and their premature declarations that liberalism and the Democratic Party were dead.

When I finally joined Facebook, was happy to discover all my KA friends were on this platform and happily reconnected with him.

You may recall TransGriot readers that Eli was one of the peeps who competed with me and Michael Watts for a couple of seasons in our ongoing NFL prognostication contest.

My condolences to his family, friends and all who loved him.


Eli Whitney Blake III passed away peacefully on July 10, 2020 in Phoenix, AZ after a heroic battle with neuroendocrine cancer. He was 57. Eli was born August 7, 1962 in Albuquerque, NM to Dr. Henry W. Blake and Fay F. Blake, both who preceded him in death. He was a curious boy who won school spelling bees and enjoyed board games and baseball, and was a voracious reader of encyclopedias and atlases. He attended Temple Albert in Albuquerque, where he was Bar Mitzvaed in 1975. He attended Sandia High School, where he was a member of the Chess Club and the ROTC among his many activities. He graduated in 1980. He attended New Mexico Tech in Socorro, NM, where he studied Math and Chemistry, graduating in 1985 with a double major. He was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints the same year. While at Tech, he played Rugby, and he also began developing his life-long interest in politics and social justice and worked for local democratic candidates. He continued his education and political activism at the University of Montana in Missoula where he graduated with a MS in Statistics. He considered continuing for a PhD, but decided to return to the southwest to become an educator, a passion to which he dedicated the rest of his life. His first teaching job was in Phoenix but he soon returned to Albuquerque and began teaching at TVI – a technical community college – in 1991. At TVI, he was active on the Faculty Senate, and was instrumental in starting the employee union, something he was very proud of accomplishing – he believed strongly in unions and “never crossed a picket line.” While at TVI, he married Tressa Dennis, whom he had reconnected with in Socorro during a visit in 1986. They married in 1992 in Cedar City, UT, and began their life together with their daughter Valorie in Las Lunas, NM. Shortly thereafter, the young family settled in Moriarty, NM, and welcomed the twins – Leah and Maranda – in 1996. He left TVI in 1997 and, after a short detour in Corpus Christi TX at Del Mar Community College, they settled in Joseph City, AZ where he began his career with the Northern Pioneer Community College (NPC) system, which primarily serves the Navajo Nation in Northern Arizona. For the rest of his life, he was dedicated to the Navajo community, serving both as an outstanding educator and a community advocate for the people of the reservation. He was also a very dedicated father, and enjoyed supporting them in every way – from helping develop their academic, social, and spiritual interests to uplifting their entire community through his generosity and engagement. In Joseph City, he was active in the LDS Allen’s Camp Ward, and was engaged in a range of social and political work in the community. He was the Democratic Precinct Committee (PC) person and worked on numerous local, state, and national campaigns, including campaigns for Paul Babbitt and Ann Kirkpatrick; he served as the Navajo County Democratic Party Chair in 2012 when Kirkpatrick was elected. He was always out canvassing, registering people to vote, attending political events, and eagerly engaging in political debate on a wide range of issues. He was a prolific blogger, starting his blog “Deep Thought” in the early 2000s, and was recognized by the AZ State Press Association in 2006 in the lead-up to the Obama election. All of it led back to his beloved family and community. From purchasing geometry textbooks for his daughters’ entire 9th grade class to serving on the Joseph City Fire Board to going door-to-door on the reservation for the US Census to his 20 year commitment to the Arizona Republic through his paper route, he was a ubiquitous presence in the lives of all he touched and will be greatly missed. He is survived by his daughters, Leah Blake and Maranda Blake of Gilbert, AZ, Valorie Brooks and her husband Hunter Brooks and their daughters, April, Andrea, Brooklyn, and Baylee of Joseph City, and by Tressa Blake of Joseph City, his sister, Miriam Blake and her wife Sue Hine of High Point, NC, and best friend, Misti Lee of Show Low, AZ.
A Celebration of Life for Eli will be held in a future month when COVID has receded and it is safe for all those who want to attend to be together and celebrate his memory.
The family requests that donations be made in his name to either the Midwest Food Bank Arizona Division - please note the donation should be directed to Helping Hands for the Navajo Nation in his name
or the Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation (
We will be holding a memorial after Covid-19 has calmed down a little bit. We will post more information about his memorial at a later date. ***

Rest in power El.