Monday, May 20, 2019

Number 4- Rest In Power and Peace Michelle Washington

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Less than 24 hours after Muhlaysia Booker was killed in Dallas, in Philadelphia 40 year old Michelle Washington was found at 5:06 AM EDT in the 3400 block of North 11th Street suffering from gunshots to the head, body and buttocks.

Washington was transported to Temple University Hospital where she subsequently died after her arrival.

Now for the grim stats.   Washington is now the 4th trans person we've lost to anti-trans violence in 2019 and the second in less than 24 hours.   As you probably suspected, all the trans people we have lost in 2019 have been African American.

Philadelphia police found three shell casings at the scene, and are looking for any information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of thee perpetrators of this crime.

As of yet no word about a memorial service, but will post that information once I receive it from my Philly trans family.   She was also known as Tameka to her close friends in the community

Rest in power and peace, Michelle.   You not only will be remembered by everyone who loved you, we will not rest until the person who committed this crime is rotting in a jail cell.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

BTAC Press Release Concerning The Muhlaysia Booker Murder

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 19, 2019
Contact Monica Roberts BTAC Media Chair 346-310-0824
Dee Dee Watters  BTWI President
855-255-8636 Ext 11
media@blacktranswomen.org

As a Dallas based organization, Black Trans Advocacy Coalition expressed our anger and dismay concerning the April 12 hate attack visited upon our sibling Muhlaysia Booker.   We were happy to hear that Dallas police arrested Edward Thomas in connection with that case, and are aware that the investigation into that transphobic mob attack on her is ongoing. 

This afternoon BTAC was shocked, angered, stunned and saddened to learn that the trans woman found dead Saturday morning in far east Dallas was positively identified as Muhlaysia Booker.

The 23 year old Booker was found shot to death in the 7200 block of Valley Glen Drive near the Tenison Park golf course.  As of yet there are no suspects in this case, and if you have any information that will lead to the arrest of the person or persons who killed our sibling, we urge you to call the Dallas Police Department.

BTAC wishes to express our sincere condolences to the family of Ms Booker and all the people who loved her.

Rest in power and peace, Muhlaysia.   You didn't deserve this.  BTAC is committed as an organization to do what we can as a organization and as members of this community to ensure that the perpetrators of this heinous crime are brought to justice.

One of the reasons why BTAC is extremely angry about this murder besides it happening in our headquarters city, is because back on April 29 Monica Roberts traveled to Austin immediately after the conclusion of our 8th annual conference to represent BTAC and testify in favor of HB 1513, a bill that would have added gender identity to the James Byrd Hate Crimes Act.

Unfortunately, after her testimony and the testimony of several other Texas trans people as to the necessity of us being covered in this hate crimes legislation, the bill was left pending in the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee.  HB 1513 has died for this 2019 session. 

Now Muhlaysia has unfortunately joined the ancestors, and the negative message continues to be sent that it is open season on trans people in the Lone Star State and everywhere else in this country.

When will you care that our Black Trans Lives Matter?   When will Texas legislators right the wrong that occurred in the 1999 and 2001 legislative sessions that resulted in trans people being cut from the Byrd Hate Crimes Act?

When will you stop killing us?    When will other Black community organizations join BTAC in not only condemning this and other killings of Black trans people. but commit themselves to coordinated action in our Black community to eradicate anti-trans violence?

Number 3- Rest In Power and Peace Muhlaysia Booker

This latest report of a trans murder in 2019 is not only coming from my home state of Texas, it is shocking and mindnumbingly sad for me.

23 year old Muhlaysia Booker survived a brutal April 12 assault by a mob in an apartment complex in Dallas' Oak Cliff neighborhood.  Today it is my sad duty to report that Ms Booker was found shot to death Saturday morning by responding Dallas police officers at 6:40 AM CDT in the 7200 block of Valley Glen Dr. near the Tenison Park golf course in east Dallas.

Booker was pronounced dead at the scene due to 'homicidal violence'.   There are also no suspects as of yet in her murder.   I know where y'all can start looking, DPD.   How about every transphobic fool that was videotaped throwing blows at her on April 12? 

Rest in power and peace Muhlaysia. 

This one's personal to me, her loved ones, BTAC and every trans Texan.  As BTMI president Trenton Johnson said on my FB page, "They attack her in one month and then take her life the next!! This has to stop!"

I agree.  It needs to stop.  I want the waste of DNA who killed Muhlaysia to be expeditiously captured and brought to justice.

Booker is now officially the third trans person to die due to anti-trans violence in the US in 2019, and our first in the Lone Star State this year.  All three trans persons who have been killed in 2019 so far have been African American

This one infuriates me even more because it not only happened here in Texas, it is because of what happened to Booker back in April.   It also happens after HB 1513, a bill sponsored by Rep. Garnet Coleman that would have added trans people to the state's James Byrd Hate Crimes Act, died in the House State Affairs Committee committee for this session. 

What is really pissing me off is that we are still sorting out the fallout from the transphobic April 12 mob assault on her in Oak Cliff and were engaged in getting justice for her in that case. 

Now she's dead and her family is now planning her funeral.

I have to ask the question of the Texas NAACP and other organizations in the Black community not named Black Lives Matter or Black Trans Advocacy Coalition.   Do y'all even care about the lives of Black trans people, much less Black trans women?

Your silence, Texas NAACP tells me otherwise. 

If any memorial services are scheduled, I will pass that info along to you as I receive it.



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