Sunday, March 29, 2020

Book Review- 'My Sister' My Sister: How One Sibling's Transition Changed Us ...
One of the things I love to do is grab a good book and take the time to read it.   But because of my busy schedule I haven't to my chagrin been doing much of that lately.

The COVID-19 social distancing and sheltering in place has given me an opportunity to sit down and wade through that pile of trans themed books on my to read list.

Just in time for Transgender Day Of Visibility (TDOV) on March 31 is the release of the book by Selenis and Marizol Leyva entitled  My Sister- How One Sibling's Transition Changed Us Both.  

Orange is the New Black: Transgender Sister | Time
I finally received my copy yesterday and read the book in five hours.   Yes peeps I can actually read that fast.  It's a trait I inherited from my mom.

Also didn't hurt that there's not much to watch on TV these days.

The 248 page book is broken up into three sections, in which Part One focuses on Selenis' and Marizol's life before transition.  Part Two, as she transitioned, and Part Three life as Marizol's true self, told in alternating .chapters by Selenis and Marizol.

There are times when their life journeys were similar as a cis and a trans woman, and times where there were challenges unique to both.

Selenis Leyva's Clean Slate - The New York Times
In Selenis' case, she had to deal with the internalized issues of not being seen as pretty because of her Afro-Latinx heritage by extended family members and society.  The challenges of fitting in as a high school student at the famed La Guardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts.

Her struggle to make her acting career work before she blew up with her award winning role as Gloria Mendoza on Orange Is The New Black.  Dealing with marriage and motherhood and at times depression.

Selena Leyva
Selenis is now on the Disney Plus show Diary Of A Future President, playing the single attorney mom of two kids, one who grows up to become the POTUS. 

As Selenis was dealing with all of this challenging stuff going on in her own life,, she was also concerned about the baby sister she loved in Marizol.  Being annoyed at times when her clothes and shoe closet got raided by Marizol who was exploring her femininity

And grieving the loss of her baby brother while getting adjusted to Marizol being in her world

Selenis is also an ally to our trans and SGL community.

Marizol' had some challenges similar to her elder sister in terms of trying to fit in, but others that were all too familiar to those of us who are transgender.   The frustration of being in a body that wasn't congruent to the person on the inside.  The bullying not only at school but outside of it by society

Selenis Leyva on Twitter: "#TransDayOfVisibility2018 my sister ...
Learning that there was a term that described that disconnect.   Finding other trans people and hanging out in New York's TBLGQ plus community.

And there was the ugly side of it.  Marizol talks about being in an abusive relationship.  Dealing with the fallout from being molested as a child by her birth father.  Overcoming depression, alcohol and drug abuse.  Navigating the challenges that come with a social and physical transition.

Why Selenis Leyva won't stay silent about violence against the ...
She talks about her time living at the Ali Forney Center,  and eventually getting comfortable in her own skin while being supported and loved by Selenis .

She also talks about the challenges of being trans and Latinx

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and getting some insight on both Selenis' and Marizol's lives.
I'm looking forward to eventually meeting them and one day getting this book autographed.


Friday, March 27, 2020

Shut Up Fool Awards- Dealing With The 'Rona Edition

Like many of you I'm chilling in my crib now experiencing the third day of Houston's 'Stay Home Work Safe' shelter in place order.   It's basically my life, so for now I'm good.

Amd since it's Friday, let me get to this week's fools.

If The Election Is A Referendum On Trump, Then America's ...
Honorable mention number one is Lügenpräsident, AKA Donald Trump.   Just pick a lie he's told this week.   FYI:  Lügenpräsident means in German, 'lying president'.
Honorable meeting number two is FOX Noise for enabling his lying azz.

Honorable mention number three is Jerry Falwell Jr, who still seems to think (do evilgelicals every think?) that COVID-19 is a joke.

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Honorable mention number four is Texas Lt Governor Dan Patrick.    Potty Dan went on FOX Noise and basically stated that your elderly relatives should be willing to die to save our economy.

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Naw Potty Dan.  How about you and ever other Republican lead by example.

Traveling musical minister from Gretna who died from COVID-19 ...
This week's Shut Up Fool winner is the late Landon Spradlin.

He was the evilgelical COVID 19 denier who claimed the virus was a hoax, and put out a misleading meme on March 13 claiming the media was 'using COVID 19 to hurt Trump'.

Gee, where have I heard that propaganda line before?

He fell ill while returning from a trip to NOLA on March 17, and during his time there initially tested negative for COVID-19 in New Orleans.   He was ill with bronchitis and pneumonia, and Spradlin's pneumonia got worse during the drive back home to Virginia.

During a stop in Concord, NC, he wasn't breathing as his wife Jean struggled to pull him out of the car.  In the NC hospital he tested positive for COVID-19, and also had double pneumonia.

Trump supporting Christian pastor Landon Spradlin, who thought ...
He died on Wednesday from the virus he claimed was a hoax.  Spradlin's wife Jean is still hospitalized

As my Birthday Twin Deirdre Square said on my Facebook page, "Ignorance will get you killed. Believing a liar’s lies will get you killed."
And to piggyback off what she said, not taking COVID 19 seriously will also get you killed.

Don't be a fool.  Listen to what the experts are telling you.   Stay safe.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Feeling Angst For The Class of 2020

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We are a few hours from me and other Houston-Harris County residents having to deal with a stay at home order starting at 11:59 PM CDT tonight. 

But instead of thinking about that, I find myself thinking about the younglings. The ones I'm specifically thinking about are the ones in the Class of 2020.

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My own high school graduation was 40 years ago, and assuming the COVID-19 crisis has calmed down by the second week of October, I'm eagerly anticipating getting together with my JJ classmates for our 40th high school reunion.

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Hollywood has frequently produced over the last few decades movies from The Breakfast Club to Cooley High to Fast Times at Ridgemont High and TV shows like Boy Meets World and Saved By The Bell that all have high school as a backdrop or as a major part of the story. 

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So when you finally do get old enough to enter high school yourself, you have because of all those different depictions of high school life Hollywood style, all these heightened expectations as a high school freshman or sophomore because of it. 

On top of that is your parents reminiscing about their high school days as you begin to tackle navigating that new world and figuring out your place in it.

But back to talking about the class of 2020.

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The reason I'm feeling some angst for them is because I remember what it was like to go through my own senior year and my excitement when the 1980 calendar page turned to May.  While I had my own challenges graduating while trans, I and my Class With Class schoolmates had waited three years for our turn to go through Senior Week after watching the Classes of 1978 and 1979 do so.

And it's why I feel sad for the Class of 2020.

Their senior year just abruptly ended with no Senior Week, no Senior Skip Day, no prom, and no graduation commencement ceremony with all their friends and extended family in attendance.

The Class of 2020 also gets no last day of high school to add an exclamation point to the reality that ready or not, a chapter of your life is closing, a new one is beginning, and you've  just gone through a rite of passage into young adulthood from your teen years.

Duncanville guard Deja Kelly #25 celebrates with the rest of the team in a 6A final on  Saturday, March 7, 2020 at the Alamodome.
For those Class of 2020 seniors involved in spring sports like basketball, baseball, track and field, tennis, wrestling and soccer.

While in Texas the girls managed to get their full state basketball tournament schedule done in San Antonio and crown champions from Class A to 6A, because the boys tournament happens a week later, that wasn't the case for them.

The boys got to play and complete one 3A semifinal game in San Antonio's Alamodome before the UIL made the reluctant call to shut down the rest of the boys state tournament.

Imagine how the 2020 senior kids feel who participate in spring sports that didn't get a chance to progress to state championships, or who may have been working on historic seasons for their schools when things were shut down.

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If I was in a Class of 2020 member's shoes, I'd feel a little cheated, frustrated and mildly pissed off about how my senior year ended.

Deep down, my rational thinking self would note the fact we're in the
uncharted territory of a worldwide pandemic, but my thoughts would still go back to we'd waited three to four years for our turn to bask in the glow of Senior Week, and now that's been shut down and ripped away from us. 

The gut punch to all of this is that you only go through high school once, and once this moment in time passes, that;s it.  It's gone as soon as you step off that high school campus for the last time. .

So yes Class of 2020,  I do feel your pain right now

Friday, March 20, 2020

Shut Up Fool Awards- First Day Of Spring Edition

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Today is the first full day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.   The birds are singing, the temps are getting warmer ,and unfortunately more peeps in the US are testing positive for COVID-19.

If they can even get a test.    But that's a rant for later.

Time to handle this week's TransGriot Shut Up Fool Award business

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Let me just go straight to this week's winner in my home state's senior senator, John Cornyn (R)

Trying to defend Fearless Misleader for his Chinese virus comments, Cornyn let his pointed hood show and went on a rant that not only blamed china for COVID-19 and other pandemics that started

"China is to blame because they eat bats and snakes and dogs and things like that, " said Cornyn.

He was not only put on blast by Rep Judy Chu (D-CA) the chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific Islander Caucus, but a long list of liberal progressive voices and legislators.

Not only are you being put on blast for you loud and wrong comments, guess you forgot about the rattlesnake roundups they have in many West Texas towns in which they not only milk rattlesnake venom to produce an antidote for rattlesnake bites, they fry fresh rattlesnake meat for festival goers to eat. 

So glad your azz is on the ballot in November.  It's past time to make you an ex-senator

Oh yeah, Sen. John Cornyn, Shut Up Fool!

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Say Hello To Judge Jill Rose Quinn!

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History was made during the Illinois Democratic primary Tuesday night as the state of Illinois saw its first ever out trans person elected to public office.

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65 year old attorney Jill Rose Quinn ran for a vacant seat on the Cook County Circuit Court.   There were two other candidates running for the Democratic Party nomination in the primary for that seat, and Quinn won big with over 65% of the vote.

"It’s not just a victory for me, it’s a victory for everybody out there who’s marginalized, everybody who’s different, everybody who’s trans,” said Quinn in an interview. 
Quinn was endorsed by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D), the Cook County Democratic Party and the LGBTQ Victory Fund.   She was also rated qualified by 13 different local bar agencies in addition to drawing the top position on the ballot.

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Mayor Lightfoot said in her endorsement of her,"Jill Rose Quinn has fought for fairness, equality and justice her entire life and her perspective and experience will be invaluable for our courts and our community.” 

So she had a few things going her way in the runup to Election Night. 

Because there was no Republican running in their primary for this seat, she will when the November 3 election happens be running unopposed for it and is assured of being elected.. 

On that night she will officially become the first out trans person elected to public office in the state of Illinois, only the fourth transgender judge in the nation, and the second elected one after Judge Vicky Kolakowski of California.

Judge-elect Quinn does recognize the importance of her win.   In an interview that was conducted before Election Day, she said this as she reflected on her campaign:

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“There are kids in this country killing themselves because they’re trans and they don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. They don’t see respect. They don’t see themselves portrayed as being people, not ordinary people, of course, because nobody’s ordinary, but they don’t see how great they can be," Quinn said. “So I think it’s important for them to see that you can survive, you can prosper, you can go to school, you can study hard. You can make your way, and you can be a judge."
Congratulations Judge Quinn for making history and being a possibility model to our kids.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Meet Diana Zurco- Argentinian Newscaster

Some good international news for transkind to report out of Argentina.

The Argentine trans community, like their Brazilian neighbors has been caching hell there to the point that the average age for an Argentinian trans woman to live to is 41.

This media trailblazer is beating the odds.

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Meet 40 year old Diana Zurco.   She made her debut recently as the first out trans newscaster on Argentinian television.

“We didn’t look for Diana because she was a trans announcer. We looked for her because she was a very good professional,” said Rosario Lufrano, president of Radio and Television Argentina. “The only way to get there is to have the doors opened for you. We all know how difficult it is for these women to win a spot.”
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She had a tough road to get there.   She was in a Catholic boys school until age 17 and made it clear she was trans.  She was expelled because she refused to cut her hair.   Zurco finished her studies at a public high school, and nearly ended up in sex work until she took a hairdressing course. 

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She worked in a salon and later an office job before she took the difficult exam along with 1500 applicants in 2012 to study for a career as an announcer.  After graduation she worked at Radio Cuidad before landing the job as the co-anchor of Argentina Public Television's prime time evening news program.

Trans women have appeared on Argentinian television, but they have predominately been on entertainment shows or soap operas.   Zurco is breaking ground as a newscaster.

She is quite aware her presence on this news show is not only groundbreaking and inspirational to the Argentinian trans community, it also sends a message to Argentinian society at large.   Zurco is also aware she has a platform that will be a catalyst for breaking down anti-trans prejudice.

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"My presence challenges society," Zurco said in an AP interview.  "It is an invitation to society that says: 'This is me'  behind me are more people like me who want to express themselves.  We are capable, we can study, we can train ourselves, we can communicate to you what is happening in our country., . .

She's another one of the growing ranks of trans media professionals, and I hope she has a along and successful media career.

Biden Sweeps St Patrick's Day 2020 Democratic Primaries

Image result for Joe Biden speech March 17
Because of the COVID 19 pandemic, only three of the scheduled four states held primaries last night in Arizona,  Florida, and Illinois.   But that didn't stop the Joementum that has been building since Biden crushed Bernie Sanders in the South Carolina primary back on February 29.

Biden didn't just sweep all three primary contests, it was a political beatdown.  He not only decisively won Florida and Illinois to open the night, he prevailed in Arizona to open a sizable lead in the delegate count.

Florida was expected to be a 'YUGE' loss for Sanders because of his pro-Castro comments during that disastrous 60 Minutes interview combined with a Latinx electorate made up predominately of Cubans, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans who don't have warm and fuzzy memories of socialism.

Oh yeah, because I need to remind some of y'all who the base of the Democratic Party is, Florida also has a 16% Black population.

It turned out to be Sanders' worst political nightmare.   The Sunshine State was the big delegate prize of the evening with 219 delegates up for grabs, and Biden handled his Florida business by winning every county in the state.

Biden captured 61.9% of the vote and the lion's share of the available delegates.   It was the fourth state this 2020 primary season in which he swept every county.

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It was just as bad for Team Sanders in Illinois, where 155 pledged delegates were in play.
Biden captured 59.1% of the vote and 101 of the state's counties.  The only one Biden lost was Champaign County, which is the home of  the University of Illinois 

And ahem, Black population percentage in Illinois is 14%.

It was closer in Arizona, where Latinx people make up 25% of the electorate and have been in Sanders camp for much of this primary season.   Black population percentage in the Grand Canyon State is 4.1%.

It only had 67 delegates in play, and Biden had been trailing in the state to Sanders as late as March 3.

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Biden edged Sanders by a 43%-32% margin.   Arizona awards 23 of its delegates to the person who wins the statewide contest, and the other 44 are allocated based on how well you do in each of the states nine congressional districts.   Biden swept all nine congressional districts

Biden is now well on his way to capturing the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination, with after last night's  contests, 1165 delegates.    You need 1991 to capture the Democratic nomination on a convention first ballot.   Sanders has only 880 with states demographically friendly to Biden up on the calendar assuming those primaries aren't delayed like Ohio's was yesterday. 

It's past time for the Sanders campaign to assess where they are, because the unmistakable message that is being sent by Democratic primary voters is they don't think you can win in November. 

Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders at the 11th Democratic presidential debate at CNN's Washington studios on March 15, 2020.
You have lost 19 contests since February 28, many by lopsided margins, and it's past time for you to consider dropping  out in order to unify the party so that Biden can pivot to Job Number One in making Donald Trump a one term impeached POTUS.

But I don't expect you to do that.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Facebook Censoring The Truth Again

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The snowflakes at Facebook are big mad about two posts that have been deemed as 'going against community standards'.   Community Standards that are shifted more than Donald Trump does with the truth.

Bernie Sanders
One of the posts that was blocked was one from POLITICO which blows up the prevailing media narrative that 'Bernie Sanders does well with young voters'  by interviewing a group of young Latinx voters in Florida who will not be voting for him today.

Why aren't these Latinx voters flocking to Sanders as other Latinx peeps in other parts of the country are?   Because the Florida Latinx peeps are either Cubans or they came from Latin American countries like Nicaragua and Venezuela.   They either personally experienced or hear the stories from their grandparents where socialism went horribly wrong or they dealt with authoritarian regimes.

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So unlike their peeps in the Southwest, they are looking at Sanders through a different lens and set of experiences, and talk about in the article why they won't be voting for Sanders because of it.

But that POLITICO article is being taken down from people's Facebook pages who post it for the nebulous 'Community Standards' reason.

What inquiring minds wanna know is why this article is being stricken from people's Facebook pages.

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The other post that is being wiped off of people's Facebook pages is one from The Root and the Very Smart Brothas looking at the COVID-19 response and asserting it's a natural response of white supremacy.

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It breaks down why Republicans, and conservative white peeps in general, seem to be in knee jerk reaction mode when it comes to the coronavirus and any criticism leveled at Dear Orange Misleader in terms of how badly he and this misadministration handled this COVID-19 pandemic.

It makes the case that white supremacy is permeating through this response, and that's plausible, especially since Dolt 45 has started racistly referring to COVID-19 at the 'Chinese Virus'.

But that article is plucking some vanillacentric privileged nerves, and as routinely happens on Facebook with any post or article critiquing the behavior of white people, whiteness or white supremacy, it gets labeled as a 'violation of  Facebook's 'Community Standards'

Frankly, what they're doing is censoring commentary that is uncomfortable for them to hear, and it's irritating when they do this.   It's even more irritating when Facebook censors commentary from Black writers that is critical of whiteness and white supremacy.

TransGriot Update:   Turns out that these aren't the only articles being blocked.  Facebook is claiming it's a glitch.