Friday, May 17, 2019

The Equality Act Passes House!

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HR 5, also known as the Equality Act, would add gender identity and sexual orientation to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.   How apropos that this legislation came up on the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOTB) and the 65th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education SCOTUS decision.

After some contentious debate and a failed attempt by the Republicans to amend it and send it back to the House Judiciary Committee, it passed in the Democratically-controlled US House on a final 236-173 vote.   8 Republicans joined the 228 Democrats voting YES for the legislation.   All of the 173 NO votes were Republican house members.

House Passes Equality Act in Historic Vote
Keep that in mind equality voters when you vote for your Congressional candidates next year .

Thanks to all the House Democrats who supported this legislation.   Huge thanks also to Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA) for her mic drop level speech excoriating the Republican attempt to kill the bill

Unfortunately since the Republicans control the Senate, that means the bill will not be taken up by the Republican majority.     That's okay, you can punish then at the polls in 2020 for their lack of political vision.

But celebrate this win, and let's begin tomorrow getting control of the Senate and the White House so we can make this the law of the land.

ConGRADulations Trans Class of 2019

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Now that we're in the middle of May, it's graduation time for many of the folks in our community who are getting that paper and the 'ejumacation' that is going along with it.

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I wanted to take a moment to celebrate all you trans folks who are part of the Class of 2019 like my Louisville homegirl Amirage Saling    She's  not only receiving her degree in social work from the University of Louisville,  she also made a little history when she received the honor of carrying the Kent College of Social Work banner into the ceremony.

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And just when you think Jazz Jennings couldn't be more awesome, now comes the news that she has been accepted to go to Harvard University in the fall!   Harvard Class of 2023 here she comes!

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I also needed to show some love in this post to my BTAC forever King Sybastian Smith, who is also walking with his Georgia State University classmates and getting his degree.

Congrats to you as well Sybastian!   So proud of you!

Shout outs also go to you Trans Class of 2019 members who are moving from elementary to middle school, middle school to high school, high school to college, or college to postgraduate education.

Some of you like Charlie Baum, even made history while you were matriculating at your high schools..



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Many of you Class of 2019 members have persevered despite enduring in some cases  unnecessary bullying and harassment aimed at you by parents, fellow students, teachers  and administrators   You continuing on your educational path will not only be a great benefit to yourselves personally,  but to our community.

ConGRADulations, Trans Class of 2019!   I salute you, and everyone who loves you also is celebrating the major milestone in your lives.  Can't wait to see what happens for all of you in the near future.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Another 'Shaft' Movie Coming Next Month

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I saw the original 1971 Shaft movie starring Richard Roundtree, and the 2000 John Singleton directed Shaft remake starring Samuel L Jackson that along with the OG Shaft movie is part of my DVD collection.

I was happy to discover that another Shaft movie is due to hit my fave multiplex on June 14.

Samuel L. Jackson is reprising his role as John Shaft II and Richard Roundtree is reprising his as his uncle John Shaft.    They are joined by Jessie Usher playing John Shaft, Jr. 

JJ is an MIT educated FBI cybersecurity expert who enlists his father and uncle's help to investigate the murder of one of his friends.  Regina Hall plays his mother in the new film.

And as you guessed, there is plenty of butt kicking going on as the investigation gets deeper.  As Shaft II tells his son, "I'm an equal opportunity azz whupper."



And yes, I'm already planning on being there for opening weekend.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Beyond Getting Tired Of Black Trans Women Getting Attacked For BS

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Last week I went to Austin to testify in favor of HB 1513, a bill sponsored by TX state Rep. Garnet Coleman that would have added gender identity to our state's James Byrd Hate Crimes Act.

Once again, the people most in need of being covered by that act were left out in the political cold as the bill died in committee.   Never mind the fact that we'd had two Black trans people attacked in Dallas and Killeen a week apart BEFORE I made the trip to Austin to testify in favor of that bill.

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Now I'm hearing about a 22 year old Black trans woman who was shot outside a Waffle House in the suburban Memphis town of Southaven, MS early Friday morning.

Nia Brooke Smith was verbally abused by Hampton as she walked into the Waffle House on Hamilton Road near Main Street in Southaven around 3:00 AM CST on May 10 to simply get some food and head home. 

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An argument and fight ensued after transphobic disrespect was aimed at her and Hampton threw a glass of water in her face.   Smith defended herself, attempted to walk away and get in her car to leave the Waffle House and was cut off by Hampton. causing a traffic accident.    Hampton subsequently pulled out a gun as Smith got out of her car and attempted to use it as a shield.    Hampton was shot twice in both legs.  One of the bullets broke her femur bone, and will require surgery to fix.

Smith was taken to Regional One Hospital in Memphis for treatment.   Prayers going up to Nia and her family, and I hope she has a speedy recovery from her injuries.

I also want justice for Nia as well.

23 year old Jimtarius Hampton of Memphis was arrested Friday afternoon and charged with aggravated assault, manifest extreme indifference to life   He spent the weekend in the DeSoto County (MS) jail without bond, and is appearing in court on May 15.

This is also not Hampton''s first brush with the law.  As a 19 year old Lane College student he was arrested after he shot someone in the leg during an on campus altercation.

Mississippi does have a hate rimes law, but it doesn't cover gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.  Mississippi police and sheriffs departments are not required to report hate crimes to the FBI.   Two bills to update the Magnolia State's hate crimes laws, House Bill 1494 and Senate Bill 2163 failed to advance out of committee in the Republican controlled Mississippi Legislature.

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Mississippi's current hate crimes law does allow prosecutors to seek enhanced penalties against a person for committing a crime against another person based on actual or perceived race, color, ancestry, ethnicity, religion, national origin or gender.

But back to discussing what happened here in Southaven.   The Black trans community is beyond sick and tired of being sick and tired of Black trans women (and Black trans men) being assaulted by cis Black people because you have a personal problem with us existing.

You also need to work out whatever toxic masculinity issues you have with a therapist.  Black Trans World is not here to be your punching bags to make you feel better about your miserable selves.

FYI to you trans attracted men trying to hook up with us.  Spouting anti-trans insults when you're hanging out with your homies, then trying to get with us on the sly later is not a good look for you, and is a real turnoff. 

Black trans people are Black people.  We exist, and we aren't going away or back into the closet.  If you have a problem with us living our lives, that's on you.   It does not give you cis Black people carte blanche to disrespect us, put your hands on us, or kill us.

Contrary to what you peeps may think, violently putting your hands on a Black trans woman or killing us WILL get you serious jail time.

And it needs to stop.   Today.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Indya, Black Trans Women Are EXACTLY What I Said They Were

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One of my jobs as a trans elder and leader with 21 years in the trans rights movement is to unapologetically speak truth to power., even to loud and wrong people in my own community

Tweaking a famous Malcolm X quote. “The most disrespected woman in America is the Black trans woman. The most unprotected woman in America is the Black trans woman. The most neglected woman in America is the Black trans woman.”

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I recently posted a comment on my Twitter and Facebook feeds on the morning of May 9 that remixed the famous Malcolm X statement about Black women by simply inserting the word 'trans'  in it.

Seems that Indya Moore in the wake of me posting that Twitter and Facebook comment, posted this problematic one on her social media.

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Nope sibling, you're mistaken, and as a longtime leader and award winning writer, time for me to drop the receipts backing up what I posted on my social media.    I'm a huge fan of POSE, and already have my calendar marked for the June 11 premiere of Season 2 of the show.

And before I get started, if you want to know who I am, Google my name, become one of my 16.5K followers on Twitter or ask your POSE producer Janet Mock.

Who I am Mx Moore in addition to being unapologetically Black and trans, is the person who has been tracking the murders of Black trans women for much of the 13 year history of my GLAAD award winning blog.   That's more than half of your entire lifespan on planet Earth. 

Last year there were 25 trans people killed in the US.   Of those 25 people, 19 of them were Black.  18 of those 19 Black people killed were Black trans women.   Only one was trans/GNC and it's still a question mark about whether Nino Fortson actually identified that way.

I just recently returned from my fifth trip to my state capitol of Austin to testify in favor of HB 1513, a bill that would add gender identity and expression to our Texas James Byrd Hate Crimes Act.    That testimony in favor of the bill happened mere days after two Black transpeople, Muhlaysia Booker and Keir Rice were assaulted in Dallas and Killeen, TX respectively five days apart.

The reason I made that trip is because back in the 1999 and 2001 Texas legislative sessions when I was a rookie activist and this bill was proposed, trans people were cut out of it.

Trans people being cut out of human rights legislation they needed to be included in was a sad and sorry part of the 'incremental progress' legislative mantra that lesbian and gay led orgs practiced in the late 20th- early 21st century.   While that's starting to change, sometimes the old habits because of internalized TBLGQ community transphobia still die hard.

But the damage that has been done to trans people because of the incremental progress strategy is real.  34 states can fire you just for being trans.   We have people in the Black cis community who visit violence upon us because they believe they won't be severely punished for it.

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GENDA just got passed in New York after a 15+ year battle precipitated by the fact that trans folks were cut out of the SONDA bill in violation of a deathbed promise made to Sylvia Rivera in 2005 that cutting trans people out of the legislation wouldn't happen

We  just had another Black trans woman shot in suburban Memphis on Thursday.   Back in January in my Houston hometown, I had a Black trans woman shot at point blank range three times in broad daylight at a gas station that is a mile from the part of Houston where I live.

And don't even get me started talking about Black trans women being banned from joining Zeta Phi Beta, a Divine Nine sorority, or the anti-trans agenda of the Trump misadministration aimed squarely at trans folks that will disproportionately impact trans people of color, and especially Black trans women.

Indya, there is overwhelming evidence that what I said in the remix of Brother Malcolm's statement is undeniably true in the Black trans woman being the most disrespected, most unprotected and most marginalized woman in America|

And I will sadly always be able to pull out receipts from multiple sources to back that statement up.

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And yet, still we Black trans women rise to accomplish tremendous things for themselves and our Black community.

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I am unapologetic about naming and claiming myself as a  Black trans woman.   While I realize that the Black trans community is not monolithic in its thinking, I am aware there are elements of it that push the narrative that GNC-non binary folks are people who wish to be trendy or they are ashamed to claim the trans label. 

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Some Black trans peeps are asserting that GNC-non binary peeps are simply claiming trans status in order to elevate themselves at the expense of the trans folks who have been fighting in the movement trenches for over 60 years to have our humanity and human rights recognized.

While I personally reject that problematic line of thinking, it's still out there in elements of the community, and comments like the one you posted don't help that situation.

Mx Moore, you have the potential to become a leader in our community.  You have a platform provided by your visibility as a breakout star on POSE to reach millions. But with that platform comes great responsibility, and one of those responsibilities is not putting out problematic social media statements that can be easily debunked. 

You also as a social media influencer also have to be careful about the words you write, tweet or post

It's your call as to what evolutionary next steps you decide to take or decide what type of a leader you wish to be.

But Indya, Black trans women are exactly what I said they were in my May 9 statement, and it's up to all of us to do the work necessary to change that current paradigm. . 


Friday, May 10, 2019

Indya Moore Makes History Again

Indya Moore, who plays Angel on FX's "Pose," is Elle Magazine's first transgender cover star. 
You've seen them as part of the history making cast of the FX show Pose, and now 24 year old Indya  Moore is making history again as the first out trans person to grace an ELLE magazine cover.

Moore is not only Black Trans Excellence personified,  Moore also uses they them pronouns. 

Despite a challenging childhood and early adulthood, ,it seems that life has now moved into an amazing sweet spot for Moore.   Opportunities are opening up for them as Pose kicks off its second season on June 11.  Moore now  has a major fashion magazine cover to their credit, and made history in the process.

And yes, Moore wants to remind you peeps that they are unapologetically Black, and you need to acknowledge them and the Black trans community.

Sometimes I feel like i have to remind people that I'm black and that makes me feel less black, But yeah! I'm black and I'm trans and I'm here and I think it's important our community acknowledges black trans people because we are murdered countlessly in our own communities. 


I'm not only looking forward to meeting her one day, I'm looking forward to seeing how their character Angel continues to evolve on the show

The ELLE magazine featuring Moore is scheduled to hit your fave newsstands on May 24

Thursday, May 09, 2019

Correction: Four Black Women Have Won Major Beauty Pageants In 2019

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Been seeing the memes out there that have proudly pointed out that with only the Miss Universe pageant left to be conducted,  Black women in the US have won in succession the Miss Teen USA, Miss America and the Miss USA Universe pageants for the first time ever in the same calendar year.

Major props to 2019 Miss Teen USA winner Kaleigh Garris, Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin and Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst for doing so.   They are all accomplished women and I'm exceedingly proud of all of them snatching crowns in the same calendar year.

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Even more impressive, Miss Teen USA Kaleigh Garris did so while rocking a natural hair style.

But people are forgetting the fourth Black woman who also made history by winning a major beauty pageant title this year, and she did so back in March.

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Jazell Barbie Royale became the first Black women to ever win the Miss International Queen trans pageant in Thailand.  Her accomplishment was just as historic as the pother women being celebrated, but once again when it comes to Black Trans excellence, the Black community sadly is ignoring it.

Let me repeat for y'all that Black trans women ARE Black women.   When we rise and excel at doing whatever we accomplish, so does the entire Black community.

So what if the Miss International Queen is a pageant for trans women?   No Black woman from the African Diaspora had ever won that pageant in its fifteen year history until this year, and it had been 2005 since the last American woman had won it.

So yes, I would like to see it acknowledged that FOUR Black women have won major pageant titles in the same year.   If no one else will acknowledge that fact, I damned sure will. 



Monday, May 06, 2019

Still Pissed About Zeta Phi Beta Banning Trans Women

I've had a week to think about what happened, and like my Black trans sisters around the country I'm still pissed off about the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc trans ban.

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I'm upset not only because this came out of left field, but the news broke as a Black trans woman was beaten in Dallas.

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As for the cis folks trying to deflect this outright trans discrimination by saying that we trans people should form our own sororities, or not 'force ourselves into Zeta Phi Beta', miss me with that noise. Saying that smacks of the same separate but unequal song we've heard sung during Jim Crow segregation.

Yes, we Black trans women could (and have) .created our own sorority. But they wouldn't have the gravitas of a Divine Nine one and would take decades to get to that level.   

Two of the four D9 sororities, Alpha Kappa Alpha and Delta Sigma Theta, are over a century old. The other two, Zeta Phi Beta and Sigma Gamma Rho, are approaching their centennial years in 2020 and 2022

The Divine Nine sororities are organizations that collectively have over 500, 000 professional Black and other non-Black cis women in the USA, Canada and around the world in their ranks.  



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Divine Nine sorority member are involved in business, sports, media, entertainment, science and technology, the military, politics and government at all levels.  The D9 national and regional conventions are sought after by civic convention bureaus across the country. 

Their national and regional conventions also serve as networking events for their members. .

My mom, sister and several cousins are AKAs. I grew up in a neighborhood surrounded by the pretty girls that wear 20 pearls.   I read my mom's Ivy Leaf magazines when she was done with them. 

When I lived at home I drove Mom to her chapter sorority meetings, and I'm well versed in the history and traditions of. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.  
My late godmother was a Sigma Gamma Rho, and I have friends and colleagues I have mad love and respect for in all the D9 sororities.
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But which one would I have pledged if the opportunity had presented itself?    I probably would have pledged AKA.   But there was one problem.  When I was in college, I wasn't in the right body to be considered for membership.


Back to discussing the Zeta trans ban.   It's bull feces, it reeks of transphobia  and is extremely infuriating.  There is no justification for banning qualified out Black trans women who are down with the culture and history of D9 sororities.   If it is that trans woman's wish to join and be part of writing their next chapters of service and legacy to the Black community , that trans woman should have the option of doing so, and the chapter in question should have the option of accepting her as a member or not..

What pisses Black Trans World off even more is knowing that  Zeta Phi Beta bans trans women, but would have no problem admitting a qualified white cis women or other non Black cis woman in their sacred circles.   
But since you made it clear you don't want us, your loss.    You'll miss out on some amazing women that another D9 sorority will hopefully be wise enough to admit into their ranks
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The ban is not only ignorant on its face, it is discriminatory and dehumanizing.   It also sends a negative message to us and Black trans feminine kids that trans people aren't wanted by your organization that claims to be diverse and welcoming. 

The Zeta Phi Beta trans ban not only makes TERF's and evilgelicals smile, it 
also reinforces the stereotype that Black cis people are more transphobic and homophobic than other ethnic groups.

The sad part is I know some amazing people who are members of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.   And news flash for you transphobes,  some of them are trans. 

I hope the people who support us inside the organization are doing what they can to point out just how transphobic and disastrous this looks to the outside world.