Thursday, January 17, 2019

2019 Williams Watch- On To The Australian Open Third Round

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The Williams Sisters are still handing their tennis business in Melbourne for this year's edition of the Australian Open and cruising toward another Sister-Sister confrontation in the fourth round.

They handled their second round matches in different ways.

Venus continues to do it the hard way.     She had another three set marathon against France's Alize Cornet, but unlike the first round match, she didn't have to go to tiebreakers to determine who won the sets.

Big Sis also flipped the personal tennis script by winning the first set, losing the second, then turning up her game another notch to overwhelm her opponent in the third. 

She beat Cornet 6-3, 4-6, 6-0 to punch her ticket to the third round and a match with the world number one (for now) and the tournament number one seed in Simona Halep of Romania

Halep has also bee flirting with disaster herself the last two rounds, taking three sets to dispose of  Kaia  Kanepi of Estonia and  Sofia Kenin of the US.

Serena so far has looked like her old dominating self.

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She rolled through another microwave tennis match, needing just 70 minutes to brush Eugenie Bouchard of Canada out of the tournament in straight sets 6-2, 6-2. 

It was shaky at times, but 22 winners and capturing the last five games to close out the match definitely helps you close matches out in a hurry

Little Sis may only be seeded 16th, but she is still considered the person to beat here as she pursues her record extending eighth Australian Open title and her 24th Grand Slam title overall

Unless the refs start messing with her.  And heaven help Naomi Osaka if they meet in this tournament.  They are on the same side of the bracket.

But first, before we start talking about potential future matches, she has to handle her third round business against Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine.    Yastremska has already taken out Sam Stosur  in straight sets and 23rd seeded Carla Suarez Navarro in the second round in three sets.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

2019 Williams Watch- It's Australian Open Time!

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'New year, new tennis season, and of course you TransGriot readers know I'll be keeping up with my fave tennis playing siblings in Venus and Serena Williams.

This will be the first time since the 2017 Australian Open final that both sisters will be playing in this tournament, the first Grand Slam of the 2019 tennis calendar.

You'll recall after Serena won that 2017 Open title, her 23rd overall, in straight sets, she discovered she was 24 weeks pregnant

The Williams sisters won't meet in the Aussie final this year, but potentially the fourth round because they are not only on the same side of the women's singles draw, they are in the same section of it.


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Their 2019 run in the Aussie Open began with Big Sis taking on 25th seeded  Mihaela Buzarnescu of Romania in the first round.   Big Sis had to work after dropping the first set in a tiebreaker.   She flipped the script by winning the second set in the tie breaker to even the match, and then blowing out Buzarescu in the third set.

Nevertheless, she persisted and will advance to take on Alize Cornet of France after posting a 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 win.

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16th seeded Serena started her quest for her 24th Grand Slam title with an opening round match at Rod Laver Arena  with Germany's Tatjana Maria.

Little Sis wasted little time in administering this tennis beatdown, with her spending a grand total of 49 minutes on the court to send Maria packing.  She fired 22 winners in this match, and took the opening set in just 18 minutes

She punched her ticket to what looks to be a much tougher second round match with Canada's Eugenie Bouchard after a 6-0, 6-2 straight set win.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Happy 90th Birthday Rev. Dr Martin Luther King Jr

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Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” 
― Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Today also happens to be what would have been the 90th birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr.  It is a birthday commemoration taking place as we also remember that this year marks the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans at Jamestown.

While Americans love them some Dr King today, he wasn't as well loved when he was assassinated 50 years ago.  He had just a 25% approval rating according to Gallup polls at the time, and was beginning to stress a message of economic empowerment.

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During his extraordinary life, in addition to pushing for the human rights of Black Americans, he was also calling out the war in Vietnam and constructively criticizing this country to live up to the ideals that it enshrined in the Constitution. 

He also called on this country to do right by its Black citizens and make good on the human rights check marked insufficient funds. 

It's interesting to not that the January 21 MLK Day will be taking place as a racist president  has shut down the government and is holding 800,000 federal workers pay hostage because he can't get funding for his wall.

We're also regressing instead of progressing on human rights, voting rights and building the Beloved Community' that Dr King talked about in his speeches.

The 'Beloved Community' is a place not only free of injustice, but a society that actively promotes an ethic of love, justice, and humanity in its legal, political, and civic life, as well as its religious, spiritual, and moral spheres.

We definitely have some work to do to get to that point.  It is not going to be an easy or quick path to getting there, and the road to it will have some potholes we'll need to fill.

But we will, and we must get to that point as a society.

 Happy Birthday, Dr King.  .

Trans Woman Messed With At Mississippi Casino

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One consequence of the false anti-trans 'bathroom predator' rhetoric the Republican Party pushed to oppose trans rights laws is it invites scrutiny on any cis or trans woman who doesn't fit the stereotypical and goalpost shifting standards for what a woman is supposed to look like.

It has also emboldened transphobes to play gender police and mess with people going to the damn bathroom

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One of the things Alexus Tate loves to do is head to the Gold Strike Casino in Tunica County Mississippi and enjoy the time she frequently spends there trying her luck. 

But the trip she took to the casino the day after Thanksgiving with a friend wasn't anything but pleasant for her because transphobia smacked her in the face.

I'm also not liking the transphobic 'born a man' line in this WREG-TV article   Back to the story. 

A female casino security guard loudly demanded to see Tate's ID as she left the restroom in front of other casino patrons.   A janitor confided to Tate that the security guard had made disparaging transphobic remarks about her as she entered the restroom, saying 'Why is 'it' in there?"

Tate immediately sought out other employees to address the transphobic incident and has been in contact with Gold Strike casino management.   The casino management claimed they were investigating the matter, but haven't been in contact with Tate since December.

Tate says while the Gold Strike management has been apologetic about the incident, has offered her free plays and hotel stays, what she wants most, the firing of the transphobic security guard, hasn't happened. 
MGM Resorts, who owns the Tunica casino in question, sent this statement to WREG-TV

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“Inclusion is a core value for MGM Resorts, and all security officers are trained on our company’s policy of allowing guests to utilize public restrooms based on the gender with which they identify. Unfortunately, the security officer involved in this incident did not respond appropriately. The security officer in question was immediately corrected, the policy was clarified to the guest by a supervisor at the time of the incident, and the security officer involved was disciplined accordingly. We sincerely regret this incident and have apologized to the guest. We hope for the opportunity to make up for her poor guest experience 
“This incident does not represent our values or the conduct of employees across our company. Our employees train extensively on our policies, and we will continue to reiterate and emphasize our commitment to inclusion and our focus on treating guests appropriately. Our goal, as always, is to ensure all guests feel welcome and have a safe and enjoyable experience.”

Nice sentiment.  But until that message is sent with the firing of the security guard in question that transphobia isn't tolerated, and there are consequences for those who engage in it, these will be nothing but empty words 

GENDA FINALLY Passes the New York Senate!

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I have been chronicling on the blog the tortured history of New York state's proposed Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) law that would give trans New Yorkers statewide rights protection and add them to the state's hate crimes law. 

Since 2008 it has overwhelmingly passed in the Democratically controlled New York General Assembly only to die in the Republican controlled NY State Senate without a committee hearing or even a floor vote..

In November, the Blue tsunami flipped eight senate seats and gave Democrats control of the NY State Senate with a solid 39-24 majority.

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Now that the NY senate is firmly in Democratic hands, the GENDA bill finally began to move in that chamber instead of hitting the usual Republican legislative roadblock aided and abetted by DINO Democrats   

GENDA not only got its first committee hearing in the NY Senate, it passed out of committee and to the NY senate floor yesterday on a unanimous vote.

Today GENDA passed in the New York state senate on a 42-19 vote to send the bill to Governor Andrew Cuomo's desk for his signature to make it law.

Congrats to all my trans family in New York.  This is a day you have been waiting for since you were callously stripped out of the SONDA bill in 1993. 

And how apropos that GENDA passed on Dr King's birthday!

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And today, Sylvia Rivera is smiling as the day she fought for on her deathbed has finally come to pass for trans New Yorkers.

Happy 111th Anniversary AKA!

Couldn't let today pass without showing some love to all the women in my life who are the pretty girls that wear 20 pearls and proudly wear the salmon pink and apple green color of Alpha kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. 

Those women include my mother and sister.  There were more than a few times I had to drive her to her sorority meetings and read her Ivy Leaf magazines when she was done with them.

As the first sorority created by and for African American women back on the Howard University campus on January 15, 1908, they have grown from that campus to become a worldwide organization of over 200,000 college educated women.

AKA women have and continue to blaze trails in a variety of professional fields from business, medicine, science, education, sports, the media and politics as they role model their 'Service to All Mankind' sorority motto.

Happy Founders' Day Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.!     

Monday, January 14, 2019

A Houston Municipal Election Is Happening In 2019

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It's a new year, and one of the things we have happening in the 713 in 2019 beside the county turning deep blue is our Houston civic elections.

Thanks to Proposition B passing back in 2015 in large part because the fake faith-based haters were fixated on killing HERO, we now have city elections every four years. 

The terms for mayor, city council and the controller were expanded to four years as well, and our term limits were adjusted . That means you are now limited to just two four year terms instead of the three 2 year terms we had under the old system.

Mayor Turner is going for his second and final term, and as of today no significant challenger has filed to run yet.  Right now it's attorney Tony Buzbee, Kendall Baker, Demetria Smith and 2015 mayoral election loser Bill King who have either declared or are thinking about it.   Wrestler Booker T had also declared last year that he was running, but he hasn't been heard from lately. 

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Five council members are term limited.   CM Jack Christie in At Large #5,  CM Brenda Stardig in District A,  CM Jerry Davis in District B, CM Ellen Cohen in District C and CM Mike Laster in District J.

As you probably guessed the races with term limited council members are drawing a crowd of contenders filing for them.

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Tarsha Jackson and Renee Jefferson Smith are the announced candidates so far running for the District B seat being vacated by CM Davis. 

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In District C, the district that contains the Montrose gayborhood, the list of candidates is growing, with Shelley Kennedy and Nick Hellyar being just two of the people running for the seat being vacated by CM and Mayor Pro Tem Ellen Cohen.

In District D, the southeast Houston district I grew up in, Jerome Provost, the son of longtime Houston photographer Georgia Provost, is taking on incumbent CM Dwight Boykins.

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The aforementioned 'Miss P' is taking on CM Mike Knox again for the At Large #1 seat.   Raj Salhotra is also running in the At Large #1 race.

District E, the Kingwood-Clear Lake seat, is held by CM Dave Martin.  District F is currently held by Steve Le,  District G by CM Greg Travis, District H by CM Karla Cisneros, District I by CM Robert Gallegos,  and District K by CM Martha Castex Tatum.

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Tatum won a special election last year after the tragic death of CM Larry Green, and is running for her first full term.

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Advocate Shere Dore has announced she's running for the At Large Position #2 seat currently held by CM David Robinson.

So far haven't heard if anyone is challenging CM Michael 'God put me on City Council to oppose the HERO' Kubosh  for the At Large #3 seat.   The suburban evilgelicals made an assumption I'm jumping into that race against that Drag Queen Story time hater.

CM Amanda Edwards holds the At Large #4 seat , but hasn't drawn a challenger as of this writing.

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Laurie Robinson is running for the soon to be vacated At Large #5 seat

A lot can change between now and August 19, which is the last day to file for a place on the 2019 ballot.   People who are thinking about running for municipal office have until then to put up or shut up. 

And yeah,since I'm being asked.  I'm seriously thinking about it.  As for which seat I might be running for. we'll see.   Trying to decide between an at large or district race.

First day to file is on July 20, 2019.   Filing fee is $1250 for mayor, $750 for the city controllers office or $500 for a city council seat. 

You can also in lieu of cash collect petition signatures to place your name on the ballot.   However, we still don't know the exact number of signatures you need to collect to get on the ballot that way, and won't find out from the City Secretary's office until at least June.

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Note to anyone running for office and seeking my support for your municipal political run. 

If you are a Republican evilgelical, anti-trans, anti-gay, openly opposed the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance in 2014, or supported its GOP sponsored repeal,  don't even think about asking for my support in this election cycle.

See y'all at the polls on November 5.

Introducing The Texas Legislative LGBTQ Caucus

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While many people inside and outside the state of Texas were upset that our bid to fire Ted Cruz came agonizingly short, it was a bigger win in other areas in terms of ending the Republican rule in Texas.   

We flipped several populous Texas counties to Democratic control, including my home county of Harris County.  We flipped several Texas state court of appeals districts.   And most importantly, we flipped twelve seats in the Texas House to put in striking distance of flipping that chamber in 2020

With the 2019 session of the Texas Legislature now going into its second week, we had another moment of history happen with the founding of the first officially recognized Texas LGBTQ Caucus!

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Rep Mary Gonzalez's office released an announcement  heralding the founding of the new caucus.

"Nearly one million Texans identify as part of the LGBTQ spectrum, signaling a drastic need for representation at all levels of elected office," the press release said.

The founding members of it all identity as members of our community, and they are  Rep. Mary Gonz├ílez (D- Clint)  Rep. Celia Israel (D- Austin) , Rep. Jessica Gonz├ílez (D- Dallas) Rep. Erin Zweiner (D - Austin) and Rep. Julie Johnson (D - Dallas).

The caucus is open to any member regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.  The goal of the Texas LGBTQ Caucus is to according to Rep Mary Gonzalez is "to advocate for proactive legislation that creates greater equity in Texas.". 

Congratulations on the founding of this new caucus.  May it grow beyond these initial members, and may you be successful in pushing for legislation that does create a better Texas for all of us.

TransGriot note: Photo of caucus by Casey Chapman-Ross

Saturday, January 12, 2019

TransGriot 2018-19 NFL Playoff Predictions- Divisional Round

No thanks to the Texans forgetting they had a playoff game to play, a partially blocked game winning field goal, and the road teams winning three of the four wild card round playoff games, I laid an 0-4 egg in my wildcard weekend playoff predictions.

Let get busy getting back to .500

Saturday Playoff Games

#6 Indianapolis Colts (11-6) at #1 Kansas City Chiefs (12-4) at 3:35 PM on NBC

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The Colts (boo hiss) ended the Texans season in large part to them rushing for 200 yards and being nearly perfect on third down.   But they face a another challenge in playing in a snowy Arrowhead Stadium against the presumptive NFL MVP in Patrick Mahomes

Mahomes will be in his first playoff game, Luck his eighth.   What will also in the back of KC's minds are being sick and tired of hearing about what happened the last time they faced the Colts in the playoffs. 

The Chiefs built a huge 28 point lead in that January 4, 2014 game lead, only to fall to Indy 45-44 after Luck and crew executed the second largest comeback from a playoff deficit in NFL history.

With the weather condition I don't think you'll see 99 points scored in this game.

The Colts are on a roll, the Chiefs have been one of the best teams in the AFC all season.  They are  well rested and ready to defend their snowy turf.

The Chiefs to end Indy's season and advance to the AFC title game

#4 Dallas Cowboys (11-6) at #2 Los Angeles Rams (13-3)at 7:15 PM CST on FOX

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The Saturday night game is an NFL classic matchup between two teams that have frequently bumped heads in the playoffs .

The Cowboys won their first playoff game in four years when they eliminated the Seahawks at Jerry World, but now they have to head to the Left Coast to play the Rams in this divisional round game in
LaLa Land. 

While the Rams and Cowboys, this is the first time they have done so in Los Angeles since 1985 when I gleefully watched Eric Dickerson run over around and through them for 248 yards in a Rams blowout divisional round win.  In fact, the last time the Cowboys won a road playoff game was in 1993 up I-5 in San Francisco.

While the Cowboys have shown a propensity for shutting down high powered offenses this season, they have also had a problem scoring in the red zone.

That will bite them in the behind today..  Rams to advance to the NFC championship.

Sunday Playoff Games

#4 Los Angeles Chargers(13-4) at  #2 New England Patriots (11-5) at 12:05 PM CST on CBS

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The Chargers had to sweat out a late fourth quarter run by the Ravens before they secured the win, and now they step into Gillette Stadium to take on the New England Patriots.

It'll be a clash between future Hall of Fame quarterbacks in Tom Brady and Phillip Rivers, and the Chargers have been one of the best teams in the league all season.   New England hasn't been their usual dominant self , but it may finally catch up to them in this game.

It's hard to pick against Brady and Belichick in Gillette Stadium, and the fact that Philip Rivers has never bested Brady in the playoffs.   That streak has to end sometime, and I'm listening to my instincts like I failed to do last weekend and going for the upset. 

The Chargers to move on to the AFC title game

#6 Philadelphia Eagles (10-7) vs #1 New Orleans Saints (13-3) at 3:40 PM CST on FOX

It's the only one of the four divisional round games that is a regular season rematch and being played indoors

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The defending champion Eagles are only back here in the Mercedes Benz Superdome because of  Treyvon Hester's partial block of a game winning field goal that bounced off the upright and crossbar at Soldier Field and agonizingly for Bears fans ended their season.

The Saints spanked that behind 48-7 back in Week 11, and  the Eagles since then have been in desperation playoff mode for several weeks now.  They have had to scratch and claw and get lucky breaks at times just to get into the playoffs and have the opportunity to defend their crown.

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But once again, they are playing the Saints in NOLA, where they are even more dominant than they are outside of it.   This is also Drew Brees' best shot at returning to a Super Bowl , and he's motivated after falling short last year. 

Nick Foles' playoff magic gets a voodoo curse placed on it called the Saints defense

The Saints go marching into the NFC Championship game after winning what won't be a blowout.

Open Letter To Trinity About Relationships

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Dear Trini,
I understand from your mom that you are concerned that because you are a young Black trans girl blossoming into an awesome woman, that you will not find love because you are Black and trans.

Little Sis, I definitely feel you and understand why you're concerned about this subject.  While it hasn't been easy for me and some of your Black trans feminine elders when it comes to us finding that forever love., know that being Black and trans is not an impediment or insurmountable barrier for eventually finding the right person to love, be they cisgender or transgender. 

I know Black trans women that have not only managed to date successfully, they have found their life partners in the process.

And as someone who has been single for a while, I'm deliriously happy that they are.

Who are they, you're probably asking?   Let me pull out the receipts and show you who some of your Black trans elders who have found love are. 

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I'll start with Precious Brady Davis.   She not only has been happily married to her husband Myles,  we call then in Black Trans World the Trans Obamas.

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In addition, Precious' search for the perfect wedding gown was broadcast on the show Say Yes To The Dress: Atlanta

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Need more proof?   Janet Mock.     She has been happily married to her man Aaron for several years now.  She got married back in November 2015.

As for Black trans women who are in relationships, my homegirl Jessica Zyrie has been in a relationship for several months with her boyfriend Alexander Lane Miller.   

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Myself and everyone observing them can see they are both in love with each other.

All of us who love Alexander and Jessica are rooting for them to also jump the broom should their relationship develop to that level.

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Laverne Cox has recently revealed that she is dating her boyfriend Kyle and has been doing so for a year.   She has been upfront about her dating struggles, and it's nice to know that someone finally has noted the quality woman she is and stepped to her. 

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That's before I even mention some of my Black trans girlfriends who are non disclosed, and either were or still are married.   The other point I want to make is that those people I'm shouting out  were (or still are) married for a decade or longer.

I also have to mention some of our trailblazing Black trans feminine transcestors.   Lucy Hicks Anderson got married twice in her fascinating life.

Same with Georgia Black.   She got married twice in her life in large part because she outlived both her husbands.

Every year that I go to BTAC in Dallas, I see romance blooming at that unapologetically Black trans conference.   Some of the relationships that started there have eventually led to marriage, while other relationships went on and then fizzled out for a wide variety of reasons. 

That's life.  Some people are in your relationship life to teach you specific lessons or show you what you DON'T want in a relationship or life partner.   That happens so that when your soulmate does come into your life, you'll know it. 

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So Trini, the best advice I can give you is to focus on being the best Trini you can be.  The relationship will come. 

And whoever that wise person is that eventually hooks up with you in a relationship will be extremely blessed to have you.

Love you,
Aunt Monica

Friday, January 11, 2019

Let Arqueze Girdy Compete!

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As y'all know I'm am a huge proponent of letting trans people compete in whatever sporting events they have the talent and drive to win in.

Growing up in Texas and getting the opportunity to see the Houston Rodeo, I have watched people compete in barrel racing.   It's a sport in which a competitor riding a horse tries to navigate three widely spaced barrels in the fastest time on a triangular course.

You also must do so while directing the horse to go in a cloverleaf pattern around the barrels without knocking them down,  you falling off the horse, or the horse falling during the run and failing to cross the start-finish line.  If any of or a combination of those events happen, you receive a NO TIME for the run. 

Barrel racing is one of the few rodeo events in that macho rodeo sporting world that women are the predominate participants in.  We also have smaller rodeo competitions that happen here in the Houston area and across the state.

Since Black cowboys like Bill Pickett are credited with inventing the sport, many of these smaller rodeos are Black owned and run. .

It's time to introduce you readers to barrel racer Arqueze Girdy

Arqueze is a 5th generation rodeo competitor in her family who is trying to make it to the WPRA (Women's Professional Rodeo Association) professional ranks in her sport.

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She also happens to be trans feminine.    That shouldn't be a problem, but it looks like somebody at the MLK Scholarship and Rodeo taking place at the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds tomorrow has a problem with Girdy being there.

She's dealing with transphobia on the amateur rodeo circuit as she pursues her quest n to get to the professional ranks and one day compete in the WPRA events like the Houston Rodeo at NRG Stadium.

'They never come out and say it's because I'm transgender.  They say I'm not qualified", Girdy said in an interview with Houston's ABC13.   "I want to make history and open doors and help people. There are other people in my situation," she said.

Girdy texted her entry form and paid her fee to compete in the rodeo slated to happen at the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds, but still hasn't heard from them. 

After not returning requests for comment from ABC13, the promoters for tomorrow's event finally put out a statement on Thursday evening.

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"The promoters of the 1st Annual MLK Scholarship Rodeo and Trail ride are pleased to hold its inaugural event on Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 9 a.m. at The Fort Bend County Fairgrounds. 
The goal of the event is to raise scholarship funds for deserving students in the Houston and surrounding areas. The rodeo and trail ride are open to ALL to attend and participate. 
Prospective participants should recognize that although this is an amateur event, which claims no professional affiliation whatsoever, all rodeo events and participants will be governed by rules and standards similar to those set forth by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and Women's Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (WPRCA). 
As for Ms. Girdy's concern regarding her ability to compete in this inaugural event, she first should make sure she has been in contact with official event promoters and affiliates, as we have only taken pre-registration up to this point and have yet to collect any funds from any participants; all registration will be completed at the fairgrounds. Secondly, if she has pre-registered, she should be aware of what is required at the time of entry. 
We are looking forward to Saturday's event and welcome everyone out to support our scholarship fund and enjoy a day of rodeo fun and entertainment."

Yeah, right.   Looks like y'all were planning to not let her compete until this made the news.

We'll see if the organizers of this event actually let Ms. Girdy compete, or are just selling woof tickets so they don't look transphobic to the world.

Hmm, looks like I may need to make a trip down I-69 to Fort Bend County to see what's happening with my barrel racing trans sibling.

The bottom line though, is that Black trans people exist, and you need to let her compete.

TransGriot Update (12 January):  Hearing disturbing chatter from peeps who attended the event that Arqueze was NOT allowed to compete.    Formulating next steps now

TransGriot Shut Up Fool Awards- First Week Of 2019 Edition

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Since New Year's Eve fell on a Tuesday, that made this  week starting on Sunday the 6th the first full week of 2019.

Lord, did we have a lot of things going on and fools letting the world know their WTF levels of ignorance, bigotry, transphobia, homophobia, misogyny and stupidity.

The Texas Lege started its 2019 session.  More shenanigans from Dolt 45.  Sarah Suckabee Sanders lying on air along with the Crypt keeper, er Kellyanne Conway. TERF's being their reprehensible selves, and the Texas Republican Party having a vote on where to unseat a Tarrant County party chair because he's a Muslim.

And wonder of wonders, FOX Noise having a rare moment of journalism breaking out before they went back to being Trump TV. 

While we had far too many contenders for this week's prize, I can only pick one winner this week, and nope, it ain't the racist orange waste of DNA desecrating the Oval Office. 

This weeks TransGriot Shut Up Fool Award goes to Rep Steve King (R-KKK)   

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King opened his mouth and let something racist come out of it when he asked during a New York Times interview  when did the terms 'white nationalist', 'white supremacy' and 'Western civilization' became offensive.

Really fool?   I don't have time to 'edjumacate' your pointed hood wearing azz when those terms became offense.   Go have a section of seat at Kinnick Stadium, read a frakking history book, or turn it to a news channel besides FOX Noise to learn the answer.

But here's the short version.  It was white nationalists who killed heather Heyer in Charlottesville who was there to peacefully protest their reprehensible tiki torch carrying behinds.

It was white supremacists in the name of Western civilization who violently colonized the planet, killed millions of indigenous peoples in doing so, brought my African ancestors who survived the unwanted free boat rides of the Middle Passage to do the work they were too lazy to do, and are the major source of domestic terrorism in the US.

King forgot that Raul Ryan and his party are no longer running thangs in the US House, so he FINALLY faces censure for opening that racist mouth.
I could go on all day about King's reprehensible history, but let's conclude this TransGriot business right now.

Steve King, shut up fool!

Sarah Thomas Making NFL History Again

Sarah Thomas will be first woman to officiate NFL playoff game in Patriots-Chargers
It's often said in sports circles that the best officials are ones whose names don't get in the headlines or don't make ESPN Sports Center for making bad calls. 

Sarah Thomas' name is in the headlines again because she is a trailblazer, and that's always a good thing.

The Mississippi native and mother of three kids is in her fourth season as a NFL official, and is STILL making history.  She is the first woman to not only officiate in an NFL preseason and regular season game, she is also the first to officiate in a regular season college game, a college bowl game, and the first to do so in a Big Ten Conference stadium.

From left, Dale Shaw, Rob Vernatchi, Sarah Thomas, Peter Morelli, Ruben Fowler, Ed Camp and Jeff Lamberth before an NFL football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals.
The other interesting note for me is that Thomas' first NFL game was right here in Houston.  She was part of  referee Pete Morelli's officiating crew working the September 13, 2015 game at NRG Stadium between the Kansas City Chiefs and my Texans.

When the playoff game between the Los Angeles Changers and New England Cheatriots Patriots kicks off this weekend at Gillette Stadium, Thomas will become the first woman to officiate an NFL playoff game.

If you're wondering how NFL referees get assigned to the high stakes playoff games, it is based on a merit system.    Officials are individually graded by the league office for their work on every play during regular season games.

Sarah Thomas
The system takes into account calls the make or don't make.   There are also subjective elements that play a part in the evaluations such as communication, decisiveness, game management, rules knowledge and positioning on the field.

The scores are tabulated, and the officials are placed in three tiers.  Tier I officials are eligible to work in the Super Bowl or the AFC and NFL conference championship games.   Tier II officials are assigned to the wild card or divisional round playoff games 

If you're in Tier III, you not only don't work any playoff games, you are probably looking at being placed on probation.   Two consecutive years in Tier III leads to your dismissal from the NFL's officiating ranks. 

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We now know based on her assignment to this divisional round playoff game, that Sarah Thomas was in the Tier II group of officials for the 2018 NFL season.   Hopefully one day we will see her make more history officiating a conference championship game or a Super Bowl.

It's a safe bet that will probably happen for her sooner rather than later.