Saturday, July 04, 2020

I Am America

I Am America by Shea Diamond on Amazon Music - Amazon.com
I met her during a BTAC a few years ago, and was delighted to hear her song 'American Pie' a few years ago, 

Here's Shea Diamond again with her latest video 'I Am America'.  I'm playing it on the 4th of July because frankly, some of y'all need the effing reminder that trans and gender non conforming peeps exist, and we too, by dint of being born in the US, are American citizens who deserve all the human rights afforded to us under the US Constitution. 

Enjoy her latest song, and  Happy Independence Day!






Sunday, June 28, 2020

TransGriot Texas Democratic Party Runoff Endorsement Post

The Texas runoff elections that were scheduled for May were delayed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but we still have the important task of  selecting who will make it to the November 3 ballot.   

Early voting for the July 14 runoff election starts tomorrow June 29 and runs through July 10, so that means it's time for moi to do the endorsement post for the upcoming primary

I've been made aware by several people in our local trans community that they use my endorsement posts as a guide to help them decide who will get their precious votes when they step in the booth to cast their  ballots. 

No pressure.   These endorsements are made with the thought in mind on what candidate will be the best  for our state, our country, and for advancing the human rights of the trans community.

I looked at the endorsements of various groups like the Houston GLBT Caucus, H-BAD, Stonewall Dems in various cities just to name a few.   I talked to trans folks who pay attention to politics in various Texas cities  to come up with these endorsements.

Like I said, I take this seriously.

For you Republicans who ask me why I don't do them for the Texas Republican primary, it's because your party has made it clear they wish to oppress trans people and you hate Black lives   
And before you open your mouths to protest, check your party platform and the anti-trans planks it has in it. 

Just like the March primary, if you are a resident of Harris County you can vote at any election center within the boundaries of our county.  That's also the case in the other 253 counties in this state.

If you need to check to see if you are registered to vote in this runoff election , you can check your registration or register to vote at this link. 

Dallas County, TX Elections
You have until October 5 to register for the 2020 Presidential election taking place on November 3.   So if you aren't registered for this primary runoff one, you have time to bust a move and handle your electoral business so that you can cast you ballots from POTUS to dog catcher on November 3 . 

And now, the 2020 Texas Democratic Primary Runoff Election Endorsements!

US Senate
Royce West

US House 
District 3- Lulu Seikaly
District 10- Mike Siegel   
District 13- Greg Sagan
District 17- David Anthony Jaramillo
District 24- Candace Valenzuela 
District 31-  Donna Imam

Texas Railroad Commissioner

Chrysta Castaneda

Texas State Board Of Education 
District 6- Michelle Palmer


Texas Senate
District 19-  Roland Gutierrez
District 27- Sara Stapleton Barrera


Texas House

District 26- L Sarah DeMerchant 
District 67-  No Endorsement
District 100- Jasmine Crockett
District 119- Jennifer Ramos
District 138- Akilah Bacy
District 142- Jerry Davis
District 148- Penny Morales Shaw 


Justice 14th Court of Appeals
Place 7- Cheri Thomas 

District Judge
164th Judicial District - Cheryl Elliott Thornton
339th Judicial District- Te'iva Bell
505th Judicial District- Surendran Patel

 

Harris County Commissioner
Precinct 3- Diana Martinez Alexander

Harris County Constable
Precinct 2- Jerry Garcia
Precinct 5- Mark Alan Harrison


Fort Bend County Commissioner
Precinct 1- Jennifer Cantu 




Saturday, June 27, 2020

Courting Nikki

Nikki Araguz Loyd, champion of transgender rights in Texas, dies ...
She's been with the ancestors for the last seven months and her 44 year life was way too short for all of us who loved her, but Nikki Araguz Loyd will never be forgotten by me or anyone in our community.

She will also not be forgotten for her ginormous contribution to trans rights for us trans Texans.  It was her tenacious and ultimately successful six year legal fight in the Delgado v Araguz case that secured marriage rights for us here in the Lone Star State.

Cressandra Thibodeaux on Vimeo
Courting Nikki is a short documentary by Cressandra Thibodeaux that follows Nikki through this case.  It also brought back some memories for me of that time and the amazing complex woman I was blessed  to call my friend.

This documentary video was shown at Nikki's memorial service





Thank You For Checking On Me- COVID Free (For Now)

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News that COVID 19 is spiking in Houston because of Gov Greg Abbott's idiotic decision to open the state for business before the Memorial Day weekend is now biting us in the behind.

Instead of our curve being on the downward trend that Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, and Houston mayor Sylvester Turner had it trending on, no thanks to TXGOP interference, our cases are now exploding toward New York levels.

Lina warned y'all.    But you conservafool Chads and Karens were too busy whining about haircuts, wearing masks and wanting to go to the beach rather than staying your azzes at home and letting this curve flatten out some more in the month of June..

And I damned sure didn't appreciate the racist 'Dora The Explorer' remarks you conservafools were flinging at her because she cared more about your lives than your own party did.

But naw, y'all wanted to listen to that orange pustule contaminating the White House and not wear masks like you were advised to by Judge Hidalgo and Mayor Turner.

National focus on Texas as COVID-19 cases surge in Houston | CW39 ...
I know the news coming out of Houston has y'all concerned about me, my family and everyone y'all know down here in the 713, and you have like I am, every right to be concerned.  I have had people i know now test positive for COVID 19 as my behind sits and chills out with her dwindling bottles of amaretto and wine at Casa de Monica.

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The only time I leave my place is to go grocery shopping, load up on cleaning supplies and toilet paper, and as I did two weeks ago, do some blood work in advance of my doctor's appointment that happened back on June 11.   I also bounced out of the house on Juneteenth to speak at a socially distanced rally at Discovery Green

My immediate family and I are okay for now.   I thank all of you here in Houston, Texas and around the nation and the world who have made it your mission to check on me.  I deeply appreciate every call, message, e-mail, and texts that you send or make asking how I'm doing health wise.

I ask that you not only keep sending me your warm thoughts and prayers,  I ask that you also do so for all the people I'm aware of who tested positive for the 'Rona.   May they all have speedy recoveries with no serious post-COVID complications.

I also hope that Abbott stops stalling, corrects the mistake me made and shut the state down until our COVID curve starts going down for good 

But then again, I'm asking for far too much when it comes to TXGOP peeps who demonstrate failed conservative leadership every day. 

 Is it November 2022 yet?

I can't fire Abbott, Patrick and Paxton yet, but I can fire John Cornyn every other Republican who is on the ballot in 2020

Friday, June 19, 2020

We STILL Need A Trans Juneteenth

Skadden Declares Juneteenth A Firmwide Holiday | Above the Law
We also need to be as Black trans Texans involved in the life of straight and SGL Black America as well.  We need to show up and handle the community's business on issues of importance to ALL of us as Black Texans and Black Americans.
TransGriot, Juneteenth 2017


Back on Juneteenth 2012 I wrote a post making the argument that the Black Trans community in the US  and in my home state of Texas needed to have a a trans Juneteenth that liberated us mentally, saw us boldly claiming our seat at the Black cis community table and all the other spaces we intersectionally interact with, and make the effort to run for office.

It's eight years later, and we STILL need to make that Black Trans Juneteenth to happen for us.

As we celebrate the first Juneteenth to take place in the 2020's, we do so under challenging circumstances as usual.   We have a COVID-19 pandemic the Republicans have politicized and deliberately let run rampant because it is disproportionately killing Black people. 

Black Trans Man Tony McDade Killed by Police in Florida
And because we are Black people, that is negatively affecting Black trans people as well.   So is the plague of police violence.  Tony McDade is one of our fallen trans masculine peeps who has barely been mentioned any time there are media discussions about the unacceptable levels of unarmed Black people being violently killed by the po-po..

We are also still dealing with the issues we had before COVID, in terms of having to deal with anti-trans hatred inside and outside the Black community.  That transphobic hate speech is being converted into hate violence  that manifests itself in cis Black people assaulting or killing us.

That needs to stop. 

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We are 130 plus days away from an election that will change the course of American history.   We are a few days from the landmark SCOTUS decision in the Bostock case that emphatically states that it is illegal to discriminate against trans and SGL people.

But that SCOTUS case only is changing laws.   It still doesn't change the transphobic hate in the hearts of the people who despise us.

The onus is on us to seize the day and push to encode in legislation the rights granted to us by that Supreme Court decision,   The onus is on us to be the proud unapologetic Black trans people we know we are and we make that happen..

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The onus is on us to when we encounter situations in which when people want to deny us a seat at the table, we either pull out a folding chair and sit there anyway or build our own damned table. 

For the rest of 2020, into 2021 and beyond, we need to make sure that our government officials not only see us but hear us.  If if they don't. then we step up and run for office ourselves.

Black Trans Trailblazers of Today: Phillipe Cunningham and Andrea ...
And yes, we  need to see more Black trans folks running for public office.  While I'm happy that we have 27 trans elected officials in the US right now, only two of them are Black, and they both serve on the Minneapolis City Council.

I'm also proud to see you Black trans folks who are going to college and getting something the oppressors can never take away from you in terms of a good education.

 I am always rooting for our community trailblazers, whether it is on a pageant stage or a Hollywood sound stage.  Any trans person who is breaking a barrier makes it easier for the next one following in their footsteps.

And yes, I see you trans peeps whose major accomplishment is just getting out of bed and stepping into the world as your true selves.  You are loved, valued and needed in our community.

Parliament House's Jazell Barbie Royale crowned Miss International ...
We not only need to make this trans Juneteenth happen not only for ourselves, but for the trans kids who look up to us as their possibility models.

Happy Juneteenth!.   But more importantly, time for us to in the spirit of this day, strive to emancipate ourselves as well.


Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Number 14- Rest In Power Selena Reyes Hernandez

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She is the sixth Latinx transperson to die in 2020 and the 14th transperson this year, but I'm just now finding out about this May 31 murder because of misgendering of her by the Chicago medical examiner, Chicago PD and the Chicago media

Even her family went there in disrespecting her in death, choosing to bury her in her native Mexico under her deadname.

The murder also took place on one of the deadliest days in Chicago in 60 years, with 18 people being killed in a 24 hour period.

Trans Women of Color Are Being Slaughtered: Here's Why It Matters ...
37 year old Selena Reyes Hernandez was seen with 18 year old Orlando Perez, who lived several blocks away from her, entering her Marquette Park area home around 5:30 AM CDT. 

Perez told investigators when he asked if Reyes Hernandez was a girl, she told him he was trans.  He told her he had to leave, and returned 20 minutes later at 6 AM according to surveillance cameras armed and with a dark face covering.    He is shown on surveillance cameras pulling out a handgun, racking the slide and hopping the fence to Reyes Hernandez's home in the 3300 block of West 71st Street

He discovered the door was open, walked in and shot Reyes Hernandez in the head and back before running out of her home. 

Man allegedly murdered woman after she told him she was ...
Perez thought would be enough to kill her, but was so transphobically angry he returned to shoot her several more times as her body was on the floor.   Her body was found by someone who heard loud noises later that morning.

Perez was arrested, and the gun with the same type of bullets used to kill Reyes Hernandez was found in his Marquette Park home.   Multiple video camera show him going back and forth to the scene of the crime.

Perez is being held in the Cook County jail with no bail.   His next court date is on July 6.   Prior to killing Reyes Hernandez, he had no criminal history, but has sadly let transphobia ruin his young life.

And if he's thinking about trying to use the trans panic defense in an attempt to get off or get his sentenced reduced, not gonna happen.  Illinois is one of the states that bans it.

Rest in power, Selena.   Your Chicago trans fam is not going to rest until you receive justice.  Hopefully someone also has a photo of her as she lived her all too brief life.


TransGriot Note: Thanks to Elizabeth Rivera for finding and sending me the photo of Selena that graces this post. 



Friday, June 12, 2020

Trans Woman Elected To Office In West Virginia!

Trans political history was made on Tuesday night when Rosemary Ketchum was elected to the Wheeling, WV City Council by a mere 15 votes for the open Ward 3 seat.  Incumbent councilmember Melinda Koslik declined to run for reelection

She defeated three other candidates. including second place finisher Peggy Niebergall to take the open seat, running on a platform to address affordable housing and opioid addiction.   She was also supported by the LGBTQ Victory Fund.

"I am incredibly grateful to get the opportunity to represent my city," Ketchum said in a statement to CNN. "I hope that this election helps us push the needle in West Virginia so that we can fully embrace the power of culture, diversity, and representation in politics. I ran for office because I believe the job of an elected official is to reflect the values of their community in the actions of their leadership and that is why I am excited to serve."
The win made the 26 year old Ketchum the first out trans person in West Virginia and only the fourth TBLGQ person to hold public office in the state.

City of Wheeling Parks/Playgrounds Closed; Recreation Programs ...
Ketchum is the associate director of NAMI of Greater Wheeling, an affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.  She has lived in Wheeling for over a decade, served on the board of ACLU West Virginia and is a member of Wheeling's Human Rights Commission.

Councilmember-elect Ketchum hopes that her election will be a big moment that opens eyes and hearts in West Virginia and the nation when it comes to transgender people

“I think trans people know they are capable of doing things like running for office and being elected. But I think it's much more important for the cisgender community, people who are not trans, to see that diversity is important and possible,” Ketchum said.

With the win, she joins a small but growing pool of 27 trans elected officials in the United States and takes office on July 1.   

Congratulations Councilmember -elect Ketchum!   Here's hoping that this is just the start of more amazing things in store for you, and that you'll be reelected to that seat when your term is up.

Number 13- Rest In Power Riah Milton

Riah Milton Cincinnati death: Riah Milton shot & killed Liberty ...
On the same day that Dominique Fells' body was discovered in Philadelphia, another trans person was being murdered in southern Ohio.

She is 25 year old Riah Milton of Cincinnati.   Her body was found shot to death early Tuesday morning in the 6600 block of Spruce Creek Drive in Liberty Township, OH, 20 miles north of Cincinnati.

A man called 911 early Tuesday morning to report he'd heard two or three gunshots in the cul de sac of his subdivision.  Police investigators who responded to the call found Milton's body a short time later.

There have been arrests made in this case.  Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones announced on Wednesday morning the arrest of two people and the issuance of a felony arrest warrant for a third person. 

Sheriff: 2 arrested, including 14-year-old girl, in Liberty ...
The persons arrested were 18 year old Kaleb Marshall Tooson and an unnamed 14 year old juvenile girl.   The paid lured Milton to the area with the intent of robbing her but shot her instead. 

Tooson faces charges of murder and aggravated robbery, while the 14 year old was charged with complicity to murder, complicity to aggravated robbery and tampering with evidence. 

The third person in this case, identified by Sheriff Jones as Tyree Jeffrey Cross of Cincinnati, is wanted for complicity to murder, complicity to aggravated robbery and unlawful sexual contact with a minor.

Milton unfortunately is the 13th trans person killed in 2020., and the eight under ago 30 this year/    Here's hoping that these peeps responsible for her death do lots of time for the crime they committed.

Number 12- Rest In Power Dominique Rem'mie Fells

Figures that literally the day after I posted that 2020 trans murders midyear review article, another trans person was killed.

We head to Philadelphia for the latest trans murder in the person of 27 year old Dominique Fells. 

The delay in reporting Fells' death is due in large part to media misgendering of her.  The initial reports on Philadelphia TV station ABC6 and other Philadelphia media outlets misgendered Fells.

It took The Morris Home, a local recovery residence for trans and gender non conforming people recognized her as one of their residents to end the disrespect of being media misgendered.

Her body was found June 9 on the banks of the Schuylkill River in the 3500 block of Schuylkill Avenue near Bartram's Garden.   In addition to having her legs severed in the upper thigh area in a manner that indicates a train may have cut them, she had sustained injuries to her head and face.

Her legs have not been recovered at the scene where her body was recovered or anywhere else in the Philadelphia area so far, and the coroner as I'm writing this hasn't determined the official cause of her death.

It is however being ruled as a homicide

The Philadelphia Office of LGBT Affairs, which is currently headed by Black trans woman Celena Morrison, released this statement concerning the death of Fells.

 “As thousands take to the streets to proclaim that Black Lives Matter, it is critical we remember that this includes Black trans lives. Dominique Rem’mie Fells’ life mattered. We are reminded with this, and countless other painful losses — especially within our transgender communities — that there is much left to do until we achieve full equality, respect, and support for us all. The murder of transgender people — especially those of color — is truly an epidemic and a crisis that we cannot afford to allow to persist any further. Let us uplift her memory together.”

Fells is now the 12th person we have lost to anti-trans violence in 2020, and the fourth African American trans person this year.     She's also the seventh under age 30 that we have lost in 2020 to anti-trans violence.

Here's also hoping the the perpetrators of this crime are found and swiftly brought to justice. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Happy 50th Birthday Jevon Martin!

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He doesn't look a day over 25, but Jevon Martin is celebrating his 50th birthday today.

I first met Jevon at the 2013 BTAC, when he and his trans brothers were spoiling me rotten to the point that he sent my butt away from the Doubletree Campbell Center host hotel to get a mani-pedi before the Awards Gala on the night in which I received the BTAC Advocacy award that is now named for me.

Image may contain: 2 people, including Jevon Martin, people smiling
A year later he brought his wife Christina to meet the BTAC fam, and she and I have become great friends.   Christina and I usually do the Sisterhood discussion at BTAC in addition to both of them organizing to trains running on time perfection the BTAC Black Diamond Ball.

Speaking of running thangs, Jevon is  the founding CEO of Princess Janae Place

Princess Janae Place - Home | Facebook
Princess Janae Place is New York State's only trans led organization that since 2015 has helped trans and gender non conforming people transition from homelessness to housing.

Y'all might wish to drop a donation or two as a birthday gift to support the important and life changing work they do there. .

But I can talk about PJP anytime.   You only turn 50 once.

So happy milestone birthday Jevon!   It has been (and still is) a blessing to have you and Christina in my life.   You are also a blessing to all of us as a leader in our community.

And yes, have much love, admiration, and respect for you.

Happy birthday Jevon!  Hope this 50th birthday is an amazing and blessings filled one for you, and you get to celebrate many more of them .


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