Sunday, July 12, 2020

Kai Shappley Gets Rave Reviews In Netflix 'The Baby Sitters Club' Episode

A little girl and her teenage babysitter have a tea party
I've always said about my chosen Austin resident niece Kai Shappley that the camera loves her and the feeling is mutual.   I always marvel at the fact this child hardly ever takes a bad photo.

A few months ago she took a trip to Vancouver, BC for which the purpose was unknown to those of us who love her until now. 

The Baby-Sitters Club,' streaming on Netflix - Roman Catholic ...
 I had been seeing Netflix promotions of their reboot of The Baby Sitters Club' when I signed in to watch my other fave shows and movies,  but didn't have any interest in watching it since the show is aimed at younger viewers.

The Baby-Sitters Club (1995)
The Baby Sitters Club is based on the series of books by author Ann M. Martin that were published between 1986-2000.   The books were previously adapted for an HBO series in 1990 and a 1995 feature film. 

maliabakermsb Instagram profile with posts and stories - Picuki.com
That was until I received a message from her mom Kimberly to check out episode 4 of it.  I did, and there was Kai lighting up the screen playing Bailey.   

I so enjoyed the episode that Kai was featured in, I binge watched the rest of Season One.

Trans girl Kai Shappley from Pearland stars in 'The Baby-Sitters ...
The Baby Sitters Club handled the trans themed storyline with sensitivity.  The writers also used a great analogy to describe what it is like to be trans.   And of course, bravo on casting a trans child to play a trans child.

Her mom is also pleased and proud of her as well.   So is Aunt Monica.

As for our budding preteen thespian?    She's still focused on becoming an astrophysicist, but is starting to get interest from Hollywood.

Austin Social Hour: Equality Texas 30th Anniversary - Tribeza
I was happy to get to spend some time with Kai and her mom last year during the Equality Texas 30th anniversary dinner where she, like I did,  picked up an award for the work her now nine year old self has been doing to advance trans rights in the Lone Star State .

Kai has also picked up an award that I don't have on my shelf.   An Emmy for the Trans in America :Texas Strong Daresha Kyl directed documentary she and Kimberly were featured in.

Who knows?  She may have another one in her future.   

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Valentina Sampaio Makes Trans Modeling History Again!

Valentina Sampaio is on the 2020 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue on sale now.
23 year old Brazilian model Valentina Sampaio is getting quite accustomed to making history.,

In 2017 she became the first out trans model to appear on the cover of VOGUE Paris.  Two years later she became the first out trans model to be hired by Victoria's Secret.

Valentina Sampaio Makes History as Sports Illustrateds First Trans Model
And now, Sampaio becomes the first out trans model to appear in the iconic Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.   It's another historic step for her, but another giant leap in visibility for our embattled community.

Sampaio has always been vocal about supporting the trans community in her home country and across the world, and it's a major reason why I'm so down for her. 

She noted in her SI essay that 129 trans people were murdered in Brazil last year, and has called for Brazil to recognize the humanity and human rights of trans Brazilians.  She also finds it bitterly ironic that she receives more love and support outside of Brazil than she does at home.

Congratulations Valentina on making history again.   Going to be interesting to see what history you make next in the modeling world. 

The US Trans Caucus Meets!

US Trans Caucus - May 9, 2020 - YouTube
Back on May 9, the US Trans Caucus got together via Zoom to discuss the changing landscape of American politics.

The US Trans Caucus is comprised of Minneapolis city councilmembers Andrea Jenkins and Philippe Cunningham, and state Reps Brianna Titone of Colorado, Reps Gerri Cannon and Lisa bunker of new Hampshire and Del Danica Roem of VA 

Here's the video of that historic meeting of out trans legislators moderated by Councilmember Jenkins.. 

Friday, July 10, 2020

Miss Trans Global International Digital Pageant Is Live!

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I was asked back in May to be one of the panel of judges for the inaugural London based Miss Trans Global pageant.

One of the things y'all don't know about me, but probably should have guessed from my coverage of the Miss International Queen and mainstream cisgender ones like Miss USA and Miss Universe on this blog is that I love pageants, especially the trans ones.

And yeah, I have been honored to be asked to judge a few of them back in the day.

File:Miss saHHara.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
When Sahhara laid out her vision about Miss Trans Global, it spoke to me because I have always felt that the interview portion of  pageants should be more heavily weighted in the scoring than talent,and evening gown.   

I also loved the fact that it is a trans feminine conceived, led and run project, with the three member Miss Trans Global leadership team having pageant and show business experience..

Also important to me is that the scoring and judging system that has been set up for Miss Trans Global will be one that is fair and transparent for the contestants.

Transparency and fairness at times has been a challenging concept for many trans pageant systems including Miss International Queen.



But back to talking about my major beef with many trans pageants besides fair and impeccably scrupulous judging.

It does you no good as a pageant owner or organizer to have a gorgeous pageant queen who looks stunning in a gown, has talent, but has subpar oratory skills and is clueless as hell when it comes to current events going on outside of Pageant World . 

A trans pageant contestant whether they like it or not, once they put on that sash and crown, is seen by elements of society as a representation of the trans community. 

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Heavily weighing the interview portion is something that occurs with the Mr and Miss Black Trans International pageant that happens during the week long Black Trans Advocacy Conference (BTAC). 
The reason it happens is because in large part the BTIPS pageant winners become the spokespersons and faces of our org for the next year of their reign.. 

So what's Miss Trans Global?   It is an international online pageant for trans and gender nonconforming people 18 and up from all backgrounds to raise awareness on transgender and LGB issues around the world.   Most importantly to me, unlike the Thai based Miss International Queen one, Miss Trans Global has a diverse group of judges.  .

 So yes, a trans pageant queen needs to be more than a pretty face.   She also needs to be a woman with substance.  It's why I eagerly jumped at the chance when asked to be named to this year's international panel of judges for this inaugural Miss Trans Global pageant/.

The Miss Trans Global Pageant has 18 contestants from four continents, Africa, Asia, North and South America competing.  The pageant is running online from July 1-30, with the crowning of the winner to take place on August 1.

You can not only check out the Miss Trans Global website,  it is also on Facebook You Tube and Instagram.



You interested peeps also get a say on which one of our contestants makes it to our Top 15, semifinal and final rounds.  For your vote to count,, you must like the Miss Trans Global Facebook page before choosing your fave contestants

So handle your business.   Check out the contestants on your favorite social media platform and then vote for your faves.

Check out The Queen's Speech preliminary part of this pageant in which all the contestants submitted videos that discussed what they would do if they were honored with the Miss Trans Global crown.

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Looking forward to finding out along with all of you peeps worldwide who will be the inaugural winner of the Miss Trans Global virtual trans pageant.



You're also about to find out what I have known for years.  Trans is not only beautiful, but we have some intelligent, classy and talented women in our ranks.,



Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Still Love And Miss You, Renee

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I'm a little down today because I just realized that my north of the border homegirl Renee Martin has been gone for a year as of today.

And while I know that she is with the ancestors and is no longer suffering from the cancer that took her life (Eff Cancer), deep down I wish she'd had a little more time to be on this plane of existence with us.  I still have her number programmed in my phone because I can't bring myself to the point of deleting it.

The last time I talked to Dawn Wilson, we both talked about how much we missed Renee.

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There are days that when I hear of some political shadiness going down in Alberta, I can hear her saying in a voice dripping with disdain "that wretched province'.   She wasn't a fan of Doug Ford either, and the last time I had a long conversation with her last March we spent a good ten to fifteen minutes dragging Trump and being concerned about my safety as the anti-trans violence on this side of the border hit epidemic levels.  .

I miss those long conversations we had about every subject under the sun from politics to womanism  to Olympic women's hockey.   I miss her talking about the travails of being the only feminine life form in a house filled with masculine ones. 

I even  miss the phone call and the good natured trash talking that would would come from her whenever the Canadian women's hockey team beat the US women.

And yes, we've had multiple conversations about racism, Canadian style, fauxgressives. and white feminist fails. 

I can only imagine what she'd say if she were still here instead of resting in power.   We'd have a lot to talk about in terms of how Orange Foolius has taken us from superpower to banana republic in three years.    Last year's Canadian national elections and the NDP.  How her boys are not so little any more.

There would also be additional barbs directed at the Republican misleadership of my beloved home state she called Baja Alberta

She wasn't a fan of the TERFs, so I imagine that she'd be dragging JK Rowling and the rest of the TERFKarens almost as hard as I have been.

Melania Trump's Justin Trudeau Kiss at G7 Goes Viral | PEOPLE.com
She also would have been hilariously commenting about how Melania was making goo goo eyes at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

And I know she was just as proud of my elevated national media profile as I was proud of her for her multiple published op-eds in The Guardian and speaking before the St Catharines City Council. 



Before she passed she was working on getting me north of the border to speak at an International Women's Day event in the St Catharines area.

This is going to be a rough day to get through.   It also comes just two days before her July 11 birthday.

Still love and miss you,  Renee.

Leonie Dorado Becomes Bolivia's First Out Trans Television Host

I like to remind our baby trans  and seasoned trans peeps that when you come out as trans, your family expands, not contracts.  You gain siblings not only here in the US, but around the world.

It's because of that when trans persons are making history elsewhere, it's something that we celebrate around the world.

Meet 26 year old Leonie Dorado.   She thought she'd be pursuing a career in music as a singer and piano player, and is currently working on a degree in modern music at Bolivia's National Conservatory of Music.

Bolivia's first transgender news anchor puts LGBTQ issues front ...
But sometimes life throws you curveballs that you didn't expect.  For Leonie, that was an offer to get into journalist and co-host the Aby Ayala TV television program.   She jumped at the chance to do so, and in the process, has become the first openly trans person on television in Bolivia's history.

She wants to use her television platform to educate her viewers about the issues she and other TBLGQ+  people experience there, and judging by this comment, she's off to a great start. .

"The LGBT community is a group of millions of people who demand human rights, labor rights, rights to have their lives respected.  This is what has moved me to be part of the project," said Dorado. 

 She also said this in a message to her Facebook followers during Pride Month.

Leonie Dorado, la primera presentadora transgénero de la ...
"It's exciting to live on a day like today, which since 1969 marked the beginning of the liberation movement calling for progress in government policies and decisions on human rights," she wrote. "The most relevant thing in my life is not the fact that I am trans, I consider it to be one of the least important things about me. Let's bet to strive to develop our capabilities to be brilliant in what we decide to dedicate ourselves, to bet on our dreams and go for them, to appreciate the best in others, to leave a world something better knowing that at least one life has been encouraged more freely thanks to ours." 
Congrats on the new journalism gig, Leonie.   Think you're going to be great at it. 

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Three Trans Peeps Running To Become Vermont Legislators

Three transgender candidates running for the Vermont House of ...
I've been saying for a while now that trans folks need to be on the legislative bodies that the local, state and national level writing the laws instead of being oppressed by them.

There are currently just 27 trans people across the United States who are elected public officials.

Four of them, VA Del Danica Roem,  CO Rep Brianna Titone, and NH Reps  Lisa Bunker and Gerri Cannon are state reps.  Roem made the history back in 2018 of being the first trans rep to be reelected to office.  Titone, the first out trans state rep elected west of the Mississippi River, is trying to replicate in Colorado what Roem accomplished and get reelected o her seat 

Titone faces the woman she beat by 439 votes, Vicki Pyne in a general election rematch.

In Delaware, Sarah McBride is making what she hopes will be a historic run for a state senate seat
She does have a Democratic primary opponent, and will need to clear that hurdle before getting to the general election.   If she is successful, she will become the first out trans person ever elected to a state senate seat in the US.

And yes, have to shout out Minneapolis councilmembers Andrea Jenkins and Phillipe Cunningham for being elected and serving together on the Minneapolis City Council.   It is a legislative body that in the wake of the George Floyd murder by cop, is getting more national attention lately for what they have decided to do what the council voted to do with their out of control police department.

Councilmembers Jenkins and Cunningham are n addition to being the first out African American trans people elected to any office and the first elected since Althea Garrison in 1990, are the first trans people ever elected to a large metro city council of over 250K population.

All of that to say that seeing trans people getting elected to office has not only motivated people to think about running for office at all levels of government (yeah I'm seriously considering it) , to actually handling their business and doing it.

In Vermont, three people inspired by Christine Hallquist's 2018 run for governor are stepping up to run in the August Democratic primaries for state rep in their local communities.  If they successfully get out of the primary elections and win in the general, they would become the first out trans folks elected as state legislators in Vermont.

In case you're wondering, the 150 seat Vermont House of Representatives chamber as of this writing has had a Democratic majority since 2004.   It currently stands at 95-43, with seven seats held by the Vermont Progressive  Party and five more by independents

Taylor Small of Winooski, is the health and wellness director of the Pride Center of Vermont.  She is running against incumbent Chittenden 6-7 rep Hal Coston and Jordan Matte in the Dem primary.  Small is focusing her campaign on public health and affordable housing

Ember Quinn for Milton, VT 2020 - Home | Facebook
Ember Quinn is a substitute teacher running in Milton against Emily Hecker in the Democratic primary for the Chittenden 10 seat.   It has a Republican incumbent .Quinn's campaign focus is economic equity and LGBTQ education in public schools

Jamie Dufour (dufour0595) on Pinterest
Manchester business owner Jamie Dufour is taking on incumbent Kathleen James and Seth Bongartz for the Bennington 4 seat, and is focusing her on uplifting small business owners like herself.

While each of them would love to make that history, they stated they are in this race to help their potential constituents.   They are all proud trans women, but want voters to focus on the policy and not their trans status.

I hope that not only all of them win their primaries and the general on November 3, that they make that history.  i would love to see them taking the oath of office when the Vermont House convenes in 2021.


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