Wednesday, April 24, 2019

BTMI Press Release Concerning The Keir Rice Hate Attack

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April  24, 2019
Contact: Monica Roberts BTAC Media Chair 346-310-0824
Carter Brown, BTAC CEO
855-255-8636  Ext 11

Black Trans Advocacy Coalition (BTAC) and Black Transmen Inc.(BTMI) once again has to raise its collective voice to condemn another attack upon a Black trans Texan, this time in Killeen, TX .

On April 19 Keir Rice was attacked by Garfield David Hicks, the owner of the barbershop when he worked with a child client in his chair.  He suffered a concussion, bruised ribs and a damaged shoulder. 

Rice was also quoted in a KWTX-TV news report that Hicks discriminated against TBLGQ customers, misgendered and deadnamed him repeatedly, and touched him inappropriately.

This is unacceptable on multiple levels.   We also condemn what happened to Mr. Rice in the strongest possible terms would like to see justice served in this case.

If Mr Rice is able to do so, we would love to extend an invitation for him to join us at the Black Trans Advocacy Conference currently talking place in Dallas until April 28.

This transphobic attack upon Mr Rice sadly is more concrete evidence it is past time for the Lone Star State to add Texas transgender people to the James Byrd Hate Crimes Law. 

These attacks are why BTAC enthusiastically supports Rep. Garnet Coleman's HB 1513 that would add gender identity to that existing law.

If there is any community that we Black trans people should feel safe in, it should be the African American one.   Texas Black trans people in the last ten days have unfortunately received the message with the assaults on Mulaysia Booker and now Keir Rice that we are hated by our own people.   

That needs to change, starting today.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

BTWI Board Welcome For BTAC 2019

The BTAC conference welcome from the BTWI board....

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See y'all tomorrow.

Monday, April 22, 2019

BTAC Is Back!

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You long time readers know I like to write poetry when the mood hits me, and for the last 36 hours I've had the BTAC themed poem running through my head that I finally got a chance to sit down and write.

BTAC Is Back! An MKR Poem

BTAC is back
And unapologetically Black
We’re handling our business here in Big D
Tapping into our Afrocentric ancestry

Peeps who are trans and GNC
From sea to shining sea
Gather in Texas to build family
And become the best people they can be

The BTIPS pageant, awards gala, and Transmanifest Live
Showing the world that we will thrive
The Community Summit and empowerment sessions
Teaching us all important life lessons

The Anchors, BTMX and our Golden Flames
Putting more respect on our BTAC name
The distinguished brothers of BTMI
Are the apple of every sister’s eye

Gotta drop this knowledge
Y’all know this ain’t no lie
Have mad love for my sisters

Our BTMX siblings
The new kids on the block
But you already know
Black GNC people rock  

Our Golden Flames paved the way
They’re our elders who still have much to say
They have wisdom and knowledge that just needs to be tapped
Note to you BTAC younglings: they have our back  

Our BTIPS pageant royalty
Reigning with grace and humility
Time once again in this Lone Star scene
To choose a new BTIPS king and queen
On Family Day
Y’all know this ain’t no fable
Some behinds are getting beat
At the spades and dominoes tables

The online trash talk
Has already begun
About last year’s kickball game
So tell me, who won?

On Saturday night
Ain’t no mystery to y'all
We’ll be looking for tens
At the Black Diamond Ball

On Sunday we say goodbye to this BTAC endeavor
Having made friends we hope will last forever
Once the hugs are over and we part ways  
Start the countdown to the next BTAC in 365 days

My BTAC fam is amazing
That’s an undeniable fact
Can’t wait until the next time
I can say BTAC is Back!

Enjoy it.

Mister Brown Goes To Washington!

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Back on April 2 BTAC Founding CEO Carter Brown traveled to Washington DC as part of an event sponsored by HRC. He recorded a video telling his story, and while there got the opportunity to make history.

He ended up in front of the House Judiciary Committee testifying in favor of the Equality Act. 

He also became by doing so the first Black trans Texan to testify in from of any Congressional committee 

Congrats Carter for not only making that history, but telling a story that's familiar to far too many people in Trans World. 

Looking forward to hearing about your trip to Washington DC during BTAC.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Miss and Mr OLTT 2019

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I mentioned I had a late Friday night that saw me getting back home at 3:30 AM, only to bounce right back out the door 2.5 hours later to go to Dallas. 

But it was well worth the sleep it cost me to see and talk to Jennicet Gutierrez, Sara Ramirez, Bamby Salcedo and Ruby Corado in one shot here in my hometown along with many of our Houston area advocates and allies.

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And oh yeah, a pageant broke out while I was there.

It was the second annual Mr and Miss Trans OLTT pageant at Club Crysta in southwest Houston. It would not only choose the new OLTT royalty was that would represent the organization during their reign, but served as a fundraiser for the organization.  All the tips for the performers were also donated,

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As for the pageant business at hand, the new Miss Trans OLTT is Catalina Ramos, with the Mr Trans OLTT crown going to Fabian Echeverria.   

Ramos was the favorite going into the event, and she proved why in dominating fashion, capturing five category awards on her way to the Miss Trans OLTT crown and the $500 first place prize.

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Congrats to Catalina and Fabian!   I know we'll be seeing them at many of the Houston area community events representing OLTT and the Latinx trans community.

And congrats to Kassandra and Mo for their trailblazing reigns as the first Mr and Miss Trans OLTT.


Saturday, April 20, 2019

Getting On The Bus Early To BTAC 2019

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Been waiting for this day ever since I sadly said goodbye to my BTAC family at the closing brunch last year and headed to the DART Downtown Transit Center to return home to Houston. 

This time I get to go much earlier than I usually do.   

It's time for me to be with my BTAC family again.  It's time for the eighth annual Black Trans Advocacy Conference that starts April 23 and runs until April 28.  It also serves as the kickoff to my extended birthday week celebration.   BTAC 2019 is already according to Espy Brown poised to smash last year's attendance record.

It's still not too late for y'all who are thinking about coming to join us at the Wyndham Dallas Suites-Park Central host hotel for what promises to be an empowering and life changing event..

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And yeah, some of y'all need to be very afraid when Family Fun Day comes, because the BTAC Bonemaster is coming to take her dominoes title back from Kayla Gore.

But before we get to me administering domino beatdowns next Saturday and throughout BTAC week, I have a 4 hour bus trip ahead of me up I-45.   I also have the week of sessions, Trans Manifest Live, the keynote luncheon and the  Awards Gala to get through before we get to Family Fun Day. 

The reason I'm leaving today and not on the Monday before like I normally do is because my presence was requested for a Muhlaysia Booker rally happening later today.   I didn't see the logic in rolling up to Dallas, attending a rally doing th 4 hour trip back home and then repeating it 24 hours later when i could just simply stay in Big D a few extra days. 

Sure will be glad when Texas Central Railways FINALLY starts construction on the Houston-Dallas bullet train and that four hour nonstop bus trip turns into a 90 minute Shinkansen train ride.

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But that 90 minute bullet train trip is in the near future.  Right now I have to make sure my statuesque behind gets to the downtown Houston MegaBus station in time for my departure to North Texas, especially after the late night I had with my OLTT fam.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

One Week To BTAC 2019

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It's T-7 days and counting until the 8th annual Black Trans Advocacy Conference takes place in Dallas April 23-28, and I can't wait.   It is shaping up to be our biggest and best ever, with the Friday awards gala already being sold out.

The best part of BTAC for me in addition to the fact that this conference centers Black trans and GNC people,  is that y'all get to come to my Texas turf and hang out for a week. 

Level UP-Elevate The Revolution is the theme for this years conference, and it will be an empowering and interesting week in Dallas for everyone in attendance.

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And yes, I get to see you peeps from around the country.   I also get the pleasure of administering dominoes beatdowns at the  Family Fun Day on Saturday.and during the week in the hospitality suite. at the host hotel.

You have been warned.

But on a serious note, we are gathering in Dallas literally days after the horrific hate attack on our sibling Muhlaysia Booker, and there will be some discussion about that at our community summit along with other topics.

I am so ready for this week to be over with so I can witness what's happening at this 8th annual edition of the Black Trans Advocacy Conference..

Monday, April 15, 2019

One Week To San Antonio Municipal Election Early Voting

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We're one week away from the start of early voting for San Antonio's municipal election and the possibility of trans history being made.

No out Texas trans person has ever been elected to public office.  While trans masculine and trans feminine people have won Democratic Party primaries, we still are waiting to break through that concrete ceiling and see a trans person win elective office in the Lone Star State. 

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Frankie Gonzales Wolfe is running for the District 8 city council seat in northwest San Antonio against an unpopular incumbent.   The significance of this seat is that it not only sits in one of the most diverse areas of San Antonio, it has produced its share of people who have gone to enhanced leadership roles in Texas and the city of San Antonio.

Current mayor Ron Nirenberg once represented the district.   Now Gonzales-Wolfe seeks to do so as her campaign continues to build momentum toward the May 4 election day .

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She has my TransGriot endorsement, and hope that you can contribute to her historic campaign.

For those of you in the Alamo City, early voting for the civic elections starts on April 22 and runs until April 30.  May 4 is election day.   Make sure you're registered so you can participate in making your voice heard at the ballot box.

Arrest Made In Dallas Trans Hate Attack

Gotta love the Dallas Police Department swiftly handling their business and catching one of the perps involved in the Muhlaysia Booker hate attack.

29 year old Edward Thomas was arrested last night by DPD.   They are continuing to canvass the Oak Cliff neighborhood for other participants and witnesses to the hate crime that happened on Friday.

Meanwhile Booker is recovering at home from her injuries suffered in the attack.   She was knocked unconscious during the assault and was dragged to safety by several cis women.

Muhlaysia's father Peirre Booker spoke to a local Dallas television station about how upset and angry he was about what happened to his daughter.

Here's hoping that the Dallas Police Department not only finds all of the wastes of DNA involved, but the Dallas County DA prosecutes them to the fullest extent of the law to send a message that violence aimed at trans people will not be tolerated.

Past Time To Add Trans Texans To The James Byrd Hate Crimes Law

Back during my first Texas trans lobby day 20 years ago, one of the twin ;legislative goals for that effort was not only to pass a Texas Gender Advocacy Information network (TGAIN) sponsored bill to streamline the name change process, but to make sure we stayed in the proposed James Byrd Hate Crimes Bill.

We intrepid trans citizen lobbyists arrived in Austin to discover that we'd been cut from that bill by the Lesbian Gay Rights Lobby (LGRL) so that the sexual orientation language could survive.   It had already been sent out of committee and to the then Democratically controlled Texas House floor for a vote, and it was too late to amend the bill to add us back into it.

Dianne Hardy-Garcia, executive director of the Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas
And yeah, I'm still pissed at Dianne Hardy Garcia for that shady legislative BS.

Karma surfaced swiftly because while the trans-free bill passed the Democratic controlled House, it ran into the headwinds of 2000 presidential politics.  It died in committee in the Republican controlled Texas senate.

We got cut out of the Byrd Hate Crimes bill again during the 2001 Texas legislative session, and unfortunately this time it passed both houses and was signed into law by Governor Rick Perry (R)

In the 2002 midterm election the Democrats lost control of the Texas House, and we Texas transfolks are still waiting to get added to the James Byrd Hate Crimes Law.

I bring that sorry legislative history up to point out why the Byrd Hate Crimes law doesn't cover trans Texans.   It's way past time that it does since we are the peeps being attacked and killed as Muhlaysia Booker's case painfully pointed out.

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Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston) has been trying since 2007 to get trans Texans added to the Byrd Hate Crimes Law, but with Republicans in control of all three branches of Texas government it has been a tough slog to do so. 

Nevertheless, he keeps trying, and has filed HB 1513 in this session in order to do that. 

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HB 1513 is sitting in the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee chaired by Rep Nicole Collier (D-Fort Worth) and is still awaiting a hearing as of this writing. 

But the clock is ticking toward the Memorial Day end of the session.  It would be nice if HB 1513 could finally get a hearing and at least start the process of righting a wrong that was perpetrated on the Texas trans community 20 years ago.