Friday, February 15, 2019

Colin Kaepernick To Get Settlement In NFL Collusion Case

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Had a feeling when the arbitrator ruled in Kaepernick's favor last August against the NFL's attempt to get summary judgement on this case, this was inevitably going to happen.

The NFL and Kaepernick announced that they have reached a settlement in his lawsuit against the NFL for blackballing him for two season over the NFL anthem protests.

Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reed, who joined Kaepernick in the initial take a knee protests when both were San Francisco 49ers teammates, also settled out of court with the league for an undisclosed amount.

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Even though Reed ended up with the Panthers, there was still the issue that cropped up during the 2018 season of him shadily being 'randomly' drug tested nine times.

While the terms of the settlement for both players were not revealed, and they are subject to a confidentiality agreement, it is speculated that Kaepernick is being paid by the NFL owners somewhere in the $60 to $80 million dollar range.

The NFL Players Association also issued a statement in the wake of the announced settlements for both players.

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 "We are not privy to the details of the settlement, but support the decision by the players and their counsel," it read. "We continuously supported Colin and Eric from the start of their protests, participated with their lawyers throughout their legal proceedings, and were prepared to participate in the upcoming trial in pursuit of both truth and justice for what we believe the NFL and its clubs did to them. We are glad that Eric has earned a job and a new contract, and we continue to hope that Colin gets his opportunity as well." 

Congratulation to both players.   Justice was served in this case.   Hopefully we'll see Colin on an NFL gridiron soon.

Payless Shoe Source To Permanently Close

Report: Payless ShoeSource closing all stores after filing for bankruptcy
Payless Shoe Source for trans women has been for years one of the go to places to find nice fashion forward shoes, boots and sandals in our double digit sizes at a reasonable price.

They went through a bankruptcy in April 2017 in which they closed over 500 stores in the US and emerged from bankruptcy protection 18 moths ago.

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But when the Topeka, KS based Payless Shoe Source files for bankruptcy this time, it will close all 2300 remaining stores in the US and liquidate its inventory.

That's bad news for cis and trans women who wear hard to find sizes on the low and high end of the shoe size scale.   Payless shoes can start as small as a size 5 and go up to a size 13 and they do so at reasonable prices. 

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Over the last few years they have stepped up the quality of those shoes, with Christian Siriano and Martha Stewart being two of the big names that have deals to sell their shoes lines there..

Payless will unfortunately become another of the big name brick and mortar store chains to die.  Sears is on life support ,and Toys R Us and The Bon-Ton Stores are retailers that have shuttered their doors in the last 12 months.

Looks like when they start the going out of business sale, need to be at my fave locations when the door opens because those 12's and 13's will be going fast.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Happy Valentine's Day 2019

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Today is Valentine's Day.  As has been the case for the last decade, I bought my own candy, have a bottle of wine and have a stack of DVD romantic comedies to watch to get me through this day.

I'm not mad at you peeps who are booed up and are spending this day being wined, dined, spoiled rotten and having flowers sent to your homes or jobs.   It just hasn't happened for me.

One of the things I did some hard solid thinking about before I made the decision 25 years ago to handle my transition business involved relationships.   In fact I'd just come out of a three year one, and was getting interest from another cis woman at the time I transitioned.

I knew that if I transitioned, there was the possibility that I would never get into another relationship ever again.   But the need to be authentic me trumped that.  I also started transition in 1994 with the plan to have at least a five year moratorium on any romantic entanglements until I got used to comfortably living life in a feminine body. 

Little did I anticipate that the five year relationship moratorium would stretch out to now 25 years.   It also didn't help that during this dating hiatus I was a bridesmaid in a friend's wedding in 2004.
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As I like to say about my dating hiatus, I've been wandering the dating Sinai for so long that the booed up couples on their way to the dating Promised Land shake their head at me as they pass me by.  It's not that I intended to be single for this long.   Just haven't found the right person for me combined with other complications compounding it. 

I had one guy who was interested in me, but the price I would have paid to be in that relationship was too high for me.  I would have had to pull out of all activism and have zero contact with the trans community as long as we were together because he was on the trans dating down low. 

Y'all know what my two word answer to that request was.

There was also the brother when I lived in Louisville who was interested, but I discovered he was married.  Naw player, I'm a first round draft choice.   I'm nobody's sloppy seconds or undrafted free agent.  Neither am I going to be the side piece breaking up somebody's marriage and inviting that negative karma into whatever potential relationship I ended up in.

I thought about expanding my dating horizons, and have had two women so far approach me.  But as of yet, no one of any gender has stepped into my life that has rocked my world to the point I was head over heels in love with them.   Conversely, the people I have been interested in also turned out to already be taken or just not into me beyond friendship.

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Yeah, I have relationship requirements.  Number one is no trans attracted men need apply who want to keep me as their secret lover.  You must be as unapologetic about dating trans women as I am about living my life.   If you're ashamed to show me off to your boys or your family, step.

I like going to restaurants, getting flowers and chocolate and to be spoiled on my Cuatro de Mayo birthday.   I like doing public stuff that requires you taking me out in daylight and early evening hours. 

I like going to sporting events. movies and museums.  I like bowling, miniature golf and shooting pool.  And yes, while I'm at those sporting events, if the ref makes a lousy call, they will hear it from me.

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As an advocate, there will be times you will be a plus one for the community events, galas and fundraisers I get invited to.   I'm also a nationally and internationally recognized trans advocate.  If you can't handle the level of attention I get while I'm out and about, then maybe you should rethink stepping to me.

In a nutshell, I'm looking for quality, not quantity.  It's the way I've always ran my dating life, and transition didn't change that aspect of my personality.   But the reality is now I'm looking for love in a smaller dating pool, and as I get older, that pool continues to shrink.

If it happens for me, cool.  If it doesn't, I'll just continue focusing on making the world a better place for all the trans peeps behind me and rooting for you as you find your forever loves.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Rest In Power Sarah DePalma

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We in the Houston trans community knew this day was coming because she had been valiantly battling Parkinson's Disease since 2006, but it still hurts to write this post announcing the death of one of our pioneering trans leaders in Sarah DePalma.

DePalma passed away Sunday night, and the woman I call 'Mommy Sarah' was another one of our Houston based kick butt trans advocates who also had trailblazing national and statewide reach. 

She and another Houston trans trailblazer in Phyllis Frye met in the late 1980's, and the two Aggies formed a lasting friendship as a result.   By 1993 DePalma was upping her own activism game and heading to Austin to push for changes in our state laws that would benefit transgender people.

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She was also giving the lesbian and gay community in Houston and nationally hell for their exclusionary anti-trans attitudes in the 90's and early 2000's.  We successfully fought a pitched battle for inclusion in the Houston GLBT caucus during that time while calling HRC out for their anti-trans stances.

DePalma was the founder of and Executive Director of It's Time Texas, which later became TGAIN (Transgender Advocacy Information Network) and is now TENT (Transgender Education Network of Texas)  She also led It's Time America, one of the early trans advocacy groups formed in the 1990's.

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My first Texas Lobby day was in 1999, but she was already a veteran lobbyist at the state and national level by the time I met her.   Where Sarah and I connected in addition to her being one of my early trans advocacy mentors was as the co-host of KPFT-FM's After Hours show with the late Jimmy Carper.   

She leaves behind her longtime partner Lori, and a host of people who loved her.   As of yet don't know when her memorial service is going to happen, but will definitely be there to pay my last respects to her.

We've lost another of our trans pioneers.  Rest in power and peace, Sarah. .

Monday, February 11, 2019

Rest In Power and Peace Miriam Rivera

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2019 is already turning into a less than stellar year for the House of Xtravaganza. 

The iconic New York ballroom community house has already lost one of their iconic founding members when Hector Xtravaganza passed away at age 60 in December.

Now they have lost another iconic member to an apparent suicide in Miriam Rivera.   If you recognize that name, you may not have been aware of the fact that our trailblazing sis was also a member of the House of Xtravaganza.

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Rivera was part of the 2004 British reality TV series There's Something About Miriam and the cast of Big Brother Australia.   She also survived a horrific attack and fall from a fifth story apartment back in February 2007

Miriam was living in Hermosillo, Mexico at the time of her death, and the Xtravaganzas and all who loved her are mourning her untimely passing.

As of yet haven't heard if there is going to be a memorial service for her in New York, but will pass that info along to you TransGriot readers as I receive it. 

Rest in power and peace Miriam. 



Thursday, February 07, 2019

Upcoming One Day Local Elections 101 Campaign School

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On February 16 I will be joining an amazing lineup of local party officials, former candidates, elected officials and campaign professionals as part of the One Day Campaign School Local Elections 101 event.

I'll probably be taking notes when I'm not on stage.

It's a discussion about how to run for public office for candidates and staff sponsored by Texas Victory Consulting that will break it down to the nuts and bolts of how to build your campaign.

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It's taking place from 8:30 AM-3:30 PM, and continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.   You have to register for it, and it's $50 for early bird registration.  The at the door cost will be $65 and you can do so at this link.

Location for this event will be the Buffalo Soldier Museum at 3816 Caroline Street.

Hope to see you there



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Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Shea Diamond Nominated For A GLAAD Media Award!

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I'm not the only Black trans person who will be watching and waiting to see if I get a GLAAD Media Award when those shows happen in LA and New York.

My BTAC sister Shea Diamond has been nominated for a GLAAD Media Award in the Best Music Artist category for her album Seen It All. |

Here's her website if you wish to check out her music.   Of course, Shea would also deeply appreciate it if you buy it as well and add it to your music collection.

My fave songs on the album are American Pie and I Am Her.



Just like my Outstanding Blogger category, it's a stacked field.   She is part of a ten person nominee field that includes another trans music artist in Kim Petras, Janelle Monae, Troye Sivan and Hayley Kiyoko just to name a few of the folks she's competing with for the honor..

Congrats Shea!   Here;'s hoping that you get to make some history of your own when they announce the winner of this highly competitive category. ,

Monday, February 04, 2019

A Trans Homecoming Queen Reigns In Forsyth County, GA

Charlie Baum with flowers after winning
Forsyth County, GA has a long, ugly history for the peeps in the ATL metro area of being a hotbed of racism and homophobia deep in the heart of Georgia Klan country.

It was a huge and delightful surprise when I learned that the latest trans homecoming queen lives there.

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17 year old Charlie Baum is a senior at Forsyth Central High School who has known she was a girl like us since childhood.  She has endured bullying and even death threats for much of her scholastic career.

She started wearing makeup and doing drag in high school, and that only intensified the transphobic and homophobic hatred and public bullying being aimed at her.

Trans homecoming queen Charlie Baum on the night she won the title on January 26 2019
Nevertheless she persisted, and started an Instagram page last June with thousands of followers that  serves as an outlet for her pro TBLGQ stances and thoughts.

She didn't come out as trans until December, and was just simply looking forward to graduating and leaving Forsyth County for a more welcoming environment and to be girl like us herself.

That was until two of her classmates, Midori and Nicole, nominated her for homecoming queen.

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At first her family feared that this was only a cruel joke being played on her, but once Baum was determined to be eligible for the honor, she went for it after realizing the potential historic nature of her winning the homecoming queen honor as a trans girl.

She discovered when she won, she had far more support at Forsyth Central High than she thought she had, and hopes her historic win helps normalize the lives of trans people.   She also hopes it helps trans kids to not be afraid to dream big.


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"I want trans individual stories to be heard, and visibility is everything.  I want to inspire other trans youth to know you can do it," said Baum.

"Break boundaries!  Make History!  Rock that sash!"|

Congratulations Charlie for making that history, in Forsyth County of all places.

 

Rest In Power Babs Siperstein

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Was saddened to hear from Marisa Richmond that one of our trans elders and pioneer leaders in Barbra Casbar 'Babs' Siperstein passed away last night in New Brunswick, New Jersey at age 76  just days after the Babs Siperstein Law went into effect on Friday.

The Babs Siperstein Law allows trans New Jersey residents to change the gender marker on their birth certificates without needing to have genital surgery to do so.   It also adds the option to have an 'X' marker for gender non conforming people.

And yes, this one is personal because I knew her.  When she joined the transcestors, she was surrounded by family, friends, and her longtime partner Dorothy

She was an Army vet who transitioned in 2000, and I last saw Babs in person at the 2016 LGBT Pride Reception at the White House .  During that time we spent together she thanked me for doing my part to lead this community.   |I thanked her for being a role model and leader for my generation of trans people, her work in the Democratic Party, and helping to pass the trans inclusive laws they enjoy in New Jersey.

She was a leader and trailblazer in our community for nearly 20 years.   She founded the Gender Rights Advocacy Association of New Jersey in 2000.   She was one of the founding members of Garden State Equality in 2004

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She had been involved in Democratic Party politics in New Jersey for a long time.   In addition to being a delegate at the last four Democratic national conventions, she became the first out transperson to serve on the Democratic National Committee from 2009 to 2017  She was part of the DNC's Executive Committee from 2011-2017, and was a Hillary Clinton superdelegate in the 2016 presidential election cycle,

She was a supporter of Sen. Cory Booker, who called her before she died.   During out DC conversation she also dropped some insider knowledge on me concerning one of his votes he's getting excoriated about by the far left.

Sen. Booker  wrote this comment about her last year.

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"Babs is a leader, a trailblazer, and a role model for an entire generation of New Jerseyans. If you don’t know her, you probably know someone touched in some way by her tireless activism. It’s an honor to know her, to work with her, and to call her my friend. Here’s to many more years of activism to come and to a legacy that has changed the lives of so many.”

Rest in power and peace, Babs.   You've earned it.