Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Get Real

TransGriot Note: In honor of Black Music Month, it's time for another song rewrite.

This one's dedicated to the WWBT's, our community's haters. So fire up those iPod's and sing along with the fresh new lyrics

Get Real
(sung to the tune of 'I'm Real' by James Brown.

All you copy cats out there
Get offa my chip
'Cause I'm Moni R with the full, full force
Ain't takin' your lip

Heey, good God
Moni R, Moni R

Peeps in the blogosphere, check out what I say
The WWBT's think they're bad
They're delusional that way

I'm the cool transsistah
Who started TransGriot and I'm glad
I'm the award winning, original
I know I'm bad

All you assorted haters, bitin' me so hard
Posting clueless racist nonsense on your so called blogs
I don't care about you, or your ludicrous goal
This transwoman's Brown and Moni's got soul

Get real
Get real, I'm the real super bad
And there's no WWBT good enough
Or has the juice I have

Get real
I'm the real super bad
And there's no WWBT good enough
Or has the skillz I have

Que pasa, que que pasa
Que pasa, people, que pasa, hit me

The WWBT haters think that they got pull
I take your links off my blog posts
Cause you're full of bull

You peeps denigrate me
In your cyberhomes
And falsely claim I'm racist
Yo bitches, now it's on

Can't do what I do
You latte sippin' girls
Peeps know I'm nice, I'm so real
You wanna be me, boo

All you copy cats out there
Get offa my chip
'Cause I'm Moni R with the full, full force
Ain't takin' your lip

Get real
Get real, I'm the real super bad
There's no WWBT good enough
Or has the skillz I have

Get real
I'm the real super bad
There's no WWBT good enough
Or has the skillz I have

Peeps, can I take you to the bridge
Can I take you to the bridge?
Can I take you to the bridge?
Can I take you to the bridge?
Good God

There it is, WWBT's
Someday you might be good as me
You tramps ain't smart enough to rhyme
What's your Technorati? Minus three?
Admit it, I'm your mama, baby

Get real
Come on y'all, do the camel walk
And get the hop out your back, hit me

Get busy, yeah, make it funky
Hit me, get on the good foot
Hit me, get up
Cool time, mama's got a brand new bag

Give it to me, give it to me
Give it to me, give it to me
Give it to me, give it to me
Give it to me, give it to me

Get real
Get real, I'm the real super bad
There's no WWBT good enough
Or has the skillz I have

Get real
Get real, I'm the real super bad
There's no WWBT good enough
Or has the skillz I have

Get real
Get real, I'm the real super bad
No WWBT out there
No WWBT out there

No WWBT out there
No WWBT out there

Get real, Get real
I'm the real super bad, I'm the real super bad
There's no WWBT out there
That has the skillz I have

No Joke, It's FINALLY Senator Franken!

Almost eight months and two recounts after the 2008 election, the Minnesota Supreme Court threw out Norm Coleman's last ditch legal Hail Mary to overturn the electoral will of the people.

The Minnesota Supreme Court earlier today ordered that Democrat Al Franken be certified as the winner of the state's long-running Senate race.

Franken won the razor thin race by 318 votes, and he graciously embraced his hard fought victory at a press conference.

It means that Franken will become the junior senator for the state of Minnesota Minnesota. It also means the Dems have the magic 60 votes they need to shut down filibusters.

And not a moment too soon.

With critical votes coming up on health care, energy policy, ENDA and hate crimes, and the upcoming Sotomayor confirmation hearings, Sen. Franken will definitely be welcomed with open arms by his Democratic colleagues.

President Obama said in a statement, "I look forward to working with Senator-Elect Franken to build a new foundation for growth and prosperity by lowering health care costs and investing in the kind of clean energy jobs and industries that will help America lead in the 21st century."

Congratulations Sen. Franken. Today Paul Wellstone and Hubert Humphrey are smiling. May you serve the people of Minnesota and our country ably and well.

It's About the Team USA 'Menz'

Still thinking about that heartbreaking loss the Team USA men suffered Sunday at the hands of Brazil after being up 2-0 at halftime.

It would have been fun to see Team USA shock the world again, but hey, we're talking about five time World Cup champion Brazil here.

We're playing a nation where soccer is life and they gripe about poor international soccer performances and losses like we did when either the Team USA men or women screw up in international basketball competition.

The Team USA men have nothing to be ashamed of. They played hard for 90 minutes and gave it their all. It just wasn't enough. The Brazilians have much game.

It was also another step on the long road in the Team USA men's quest to become consistent contenders in world football competition.

It was a remarkable run as well as being a learning experience for our international footballers. I also like the fact they were pissed they lost. One of the signs that they are improving is they want to win and feel they can compete with the elite level programs.

Hopefully the next time they're in a set piece situation like that, they'll remember what happened in Johannesburg that night, have the confidence in themselves and their teammates to know they can withstand the pressure, and every player will mark their man close enough to smell his cologne.

The Tell It WOC Speak Blog Carnivals

I decided I wanted to talk about for a moment the Tell It WOC Speak Blog Carnivals.

I participated because it's a great way to get new people exposed to my writing that may not have ever heard of TransGriot, nor may ever pass by this blog otherwise. I've gotten some dedicated readers from it as a result of my involvement in this carnival.

It was also an honor to me personally that I was invited to do so, and one of my posts was the featured one for the February edition.

It did bother me though that there wasn't enough participation from WOC bloggers for whatever reason, but I looked at it as their loss because they didn't seize the opportunity to promote their work to a wider audience.

But at the same time, by not participating, those peeps who declined to do so were silencing their own voices in addition to denying themselves access to the rest of the Netizens.

So if you wish to check out the previous carnivals, here's the link to the website that hosts it.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Happy Birthday, Lena Horne!

You have to be taught to be second class; you're not born that way.

Today is Lena Horne's 92nd birthday. This iconic beauty was born in New York on this date in 1917.

Her civil rights chops were nurtured by her activist grandmother, who took young Lena with her to the NAACP, the Urban League and the Ethical Culture Society meetings.

Lena began working at Harlem's Cotton Club when she was 16. She was a dancer first, then she became part of the chorus and later a solo singer.

She branched out and began singing with orchestras, and was discovered while singing with white orchestra leader Charlie Barnet. Lena then began playing clubs in Greenwich Village and performed at Carnegie Hall.

Beginning in 1942 Lena Horne appeared in films, broadening her career to include movies, Broadway and recordings.

My identity is very clear to me now, I am a black woman.

Lena Horne was the favorite pinup girl for Black GI's serving during World War II. She is not only an iconic beauty to our people, she was a passionate civil rights warrior. She has been honored with dozens of awards for her lifetime of success and service to her people.

When I grow up, I want to be just like her. Aging gracefully and regally while still speaking truth to power.

Happy birthday, Lena!

A Note To The World-We DO Play Football In The States!

TransGriot Note:My latest piece for Global Comment

To the average American sports fan, football is played with two eleven member teams of massive men struggling to score with an oblong ball on a striped 100 by 53 yard field with U-shaped goalposts at either end.

The Canadian version is played with twelve men and an oblong ball on a longer and wider field. The Aussies play their eighteen man version of what they call 'footy' on a field with an oblong ball as well with four goalposts on either end.

To the rest of the planet, football (or soccer as we call it here in the States, Canada and Australia) is played with two eleven player teams of either men and women battling to kick a round ball into a netted goal on a variable 100–110m by 64-75m pitch.

Oh yeah, national pride and sporting prestige is on the line as well.

No pressure!

Every four years the pressure and fan frenzy gets ratcheted up another level when international football supremacy is up for grabs in the FIFA World Cup.

The Olympics, World Cup qualifiers, or major FIFA international tournaments such as the Confederation and Gold Cups also grab the attention of die hard football fans, yet most sports fans in the USA are rather ho-hum about it.

But as a US sports fan, I have to give kudos to the first men's USA football team to ever qualify for a FIFA tournament final.

That's the extent of the good news for American football fans. The bad news is they were playing the mighty Brazilians, who knocked off the host South Africans 1-0 in the other semifinal match.

Team USA took a surprising 2-0 lead into halftime before the Brazilians woke up and scored three second half goals to capture the 2009 Confederations Cup tournament title in South Africa.

The Confederations Cup is held every four years and includes the winners of various continental tournaments plus the host nation of the upcoming World Cup. Team USA qualified because they won the CONCACAF region championship in 2007.

Many world football fans are still shocked that Team USA knocked off FIFA number one ranked Spain 2-0 June 24 to reach the finals of this tournament in South Africa.

But if world football fans had been paying attention, it really shouldn't have been. Team USA is currently in second place in the CONCACAF region and in a great position to qualify for next year's World Cup competition in South Africa.

However, they have a critical August 12 qualifying match with the Tricolores in Mexico City, where they are 0-11-1 all time.

As evidenced by their performance in this tournament, Team USA over the last few years has been making groundbreaking strides in recent international competitions.

But the Team USA men aren't playing just for the respect of the football world or moral victories any more, they want to win.

Team USA's Landon Donovan stated as much in an ESPN interview conducted moments after their disappointing 3-2 loss to Brazil.

But the interesting thing to me as a US sports fan is that the usual sporting script is flipped. It's the FIFA world number one ranked Team USA's women footballers who get the media attention and love, not the men.

The Team USA women rock.

They are the two time Women's World Cup champions (1991, 1996) and were runners up in the 2000 final. They are three time Olympic gold medalists in 1996, 2004 and 2008. They are one of the teams favored to take home the championship in the Women's World Cup tournament being hosted by Germany in 2011.

The USA men are trying to step up to that level. Their FIFA world ranking has climbed to number 14 from their FIFA 28th world rankings a year ago. After failing to do so in 1998, Team USA qualified for the 2002 and 2006 World Cup competitions. They made a remarkable run in the 2002 tournament but fell to Germany 1-0 in the 2002 quarterfinals.

They qualified for the 2008 Beijing Games after failing to do so in 2004 and finishing fourth in 2000.

Read the rest here.

Meeting Sylvia Rivera

When I took a vacation trip to New York back in May 2000, little did I realize that I would get a chance to meet a historic figure at the same time.

It was back during my NTAC days and the same weekend as the Millennium March. I had no intention of going to DC because the trans community was dissed and ignored in the planning for the march, then made extremely late additions of Riki Wilchins and Jamison Green to the list of speakers when other transpeeps griped about HRC's 'bidness' as usual 'ignore the trannies' approach to community event planning.

That's a story for a later post

Since I was in the Big Apple I was invited by the denizens of Transy House to meet some of the peeps living there.

One of those peeps as I discovered two hours into the visit was Sylvia Rivera.

Thanks to my dad's job and my then airline one I was used to meeting historical figures, celebrities, public/political figures and icons. It really didn't faze me that I was meeting the Mother of the Transgender Rights movement.

After I received a big hug from her and she had a chance to eat something, we started talking. Sylvia carried herself with a regal elegance, and she was ever the activist. We discussed in a long conversation the state of the trans movement, especially after she discovered I wasn't bamboozled by HRC either and couldn't stand Jim Fouratt's transphobic behind.

We had a long conversation about her Gay Liberation Front days, STAR (the first political organization for transgender rights in the world), the chopping of transpeople from New York City's gay rights bill in 1971 that failed to pass, some of the drama and hateraid that was directed her way when the gay community ejected her, Marsha P. Johnson and our transsisters out of the GLF in order to appear more 'mainstream', and her adamant belief that we needed to do more as transpeople to fight for our rights and ensure we weren't erased from GLBT history.

When Sylvia discovered I was a proud Texan, she started criticizing President Lyndon Johnson and the Vietnam War.

I politely pointed out that as an African-American transperson from the Lone Star State I have a much higher opinion of LBJ. I also pointed out that an Austin high school and NASA's Mission Control Center in Houston are named for him, an Austin radio station bears his initials in addition to his presidential library (which I've visited) being ensconced on the University of Texas campus.

We agreed to disagree on that subject.

It was a little past midnight before we wrapped up the conversation. I ended up staying overnight at Transy House because I was staying in Yonkers with a friend and would have had a long crosstown subway and commuter rail ride there from Brooklyn through Manhattan in the wee hours of the morning. Once I arrived at the Yonkers train station, it would be a 30 minute walk to my friend's condo from the station unless there was a cab parked there. I also wasn't sure if the commuter rail trains were still running all the way to Yonkers that late either.

I was planning to return to expand on our conversations, but my life took a different direction several months later. Sylvia died way too soon in 2002 from lung cancer at age 50. I smiled when I heard that even on her deathbed, she was giving the powers that be hell.

One thing I've regretted over the years is that I didn't have a tape recorder or a notepad with me to record for posterity everything we talked about or I didn't get to see her again. But then again I wasn't expecting to meet a legend either.

I think about the things we discussed when we approach the Stonewall anniversary or when I'm looking at some situation that crops up between the transgender and gay communities that illustrates perfectly the points Sylvia warned me about almost a decade earlier.

I'm also a firm believer in listening to the wisdom of my elders. Some of what Sylvia divulged to me has served me well over the years. I'm also aware of the fact that I'm walking in Sylvia's pumps.

The conversation at times felt like she was passing a torch to me that night. It's my job as I see it, to hold that torch aloft and keep the transgender rights flame lit until it's time for me to pass it on to the next generation.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Jena 6 Free!

After more than two years of protesting, writing phone calls and thousands of people descending on Jena, LA to protest this outrageous retro Jim Crow case, the Jena 6, Jesse Ray Beard, Carwin Jones, Robert Bailey, Theo Shaw, Bryant Purvis and Mychal Bell are all free to move ahead with their lives.

The five remaining Jena 6 cases were brought to a conclusion Friday when Beard, Jones, Bailey, Shaw, and Purvis pleaded 'no contest' to misdemeanor simple battery charges.

They will spend no time in jail, serve seven unsupervised days on probation, and fined $500 and court fees.

It's a remarkable outcome considering the Jena Six were originally and outrageously charged with attempted murder in this small Louisiana town with a racist past for what basically was a schoolyard fight.

Thanks to the efforts of Black bloggers, the Jena Six got the attention of Tom Joyner, the African-American community, our civil rights orgs and later the rest of the MSM. They began to get attention about their plight, funding and high profile legal representation.

It culminated in 50,000 people coming from all over the United States to peacefully descend on Jena in a televised September 20, 2007 protest.

Because people stood up, these six young men are not rotting in a Louisiana jail for basically BS charges. While Judge JP Mauffray was removed from the case because of the appearance of bias, unfortunately the person largely responsible for the drama in the first place, LaSalle Parish District Attorney Reed Walters, still has his job.

Nevertheless, justice prevailed. It's now up to the Jena 6 to ensure that they take advantage of the opportunity the African-American community and our allies collectively fought to give them and ensure they never do.

Sierra Broussard Trans Discrimination Case Going To Trial

I've posted about 28 year old biracial transwoman Sierra Broussard and the discrimination she faced while trying to enter the Park Central nightclub in Appleton, WI.

Sierra filed a civil lawsuit against the nightclub a few months ago. The latest news out of Appleton, WI is that Outagamie County Judge Mitch Metropulos has finally set the trial dates.

Broussard's suit alleges the Park Central nightclub denied entrance based on race and her transgender status.

The civil complaint says one employee told Broussard that using either bathroom "would cause confusion for the other patrons."

Broussard is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, but does not indicate an amount in the lawsuit.

The club owner, Concepts Unlimited, denies that Broussard was denied admission based on race or trans-gender.

Judge Metropulos has scheduled the trial for November 17-18.

Well, we'll find out what transpired a few months from now. What is undeniable is the transphobia that ran rampant in the local paper's comment sections accompanying the story.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Stonewall 40th Anniversary

Today is the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots that jumped off the modern GLBT rights movement.

It is a day we celebrate and take stock in where the movement is now, visualize the type of America we would wish to live in, then do whatever is necessary to make it happen.

It's also the day to remember the people who got tired of being jacked with by the po-po's enough to where they did get pissed off enough to do something, like Sylvia Rivera.

Yes, we transpeeps are the heirs of Sylvia's legacy. It has been a rocky road for us filled with challenges and opportunities. We've had spectacular successes over the last 40 years and some spirit crushing defeats, but to paraphrase Maya Angelou, 'and still we rise'.

As a transperson of color I have mixed emotions about this day. Yes, I'm proud of the major role transpeople of color like Sylvia and Miss Major played played in helping jump start the Stonewall Riots.

But at the same time I'm concerned about the fact we have been shut out of the GLBT movement leadership ranks and systematically erased from its history.

As Stonewall veteran Raymond Castro reminds us, "It wasn't just gays. It wasn't just white gays. You had straight people sympathetic to gays. People of the arts. You had people who had had enough (of the police). You had Latinos, you had blacks, you had whites, Chinese, you had everything. It was a melting pot. Young, old. Fems, butches."

While its been amazing to see the progress that the GLBT community not only nationally but here in Kentucky and other locales has made over the last 40 years, we still have a long road yet to travel.

But I'm cautiously optimistic about where we'll be when we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Stonewall in 2019.

Blogtalk Radio Show-Remembering Michael Jackson

We're doing a special Womanist Musings show tonight at 9 PM EDT in honor of the legendary Michael Jackson.

You can check out our show page at Blogtalkradio, or if you miss it, check out and download the podcast once it uploads. If you wish to join in the live conversation, the call in number is (347) 326-9452

We'll be back with another show next week on July 4. Since we'll be celebrating Canada Day on Renee's side of the border (July 1) and Independence day on mine, our topic we'll be discussing is why are people of color in Canada and the United States considered less patriotic than white citizens of both countries.

It should be a fascinating conversation.

Nothing Fracking Funny Or Respectful About Tranny Alert

I checked my e-mail to see an alert from GLAAD and a post by Lisa Harney of Questioning Transphobia about a blog called Tranny Alert.

This disclaimer is on the homepage of the blog

This site is in no way meant to disparage or belittle any member of the LGBT community. We here at Tranny Alert are simply admirers of the bravery and uniqueness of the entire trans-community. While there is a comedic element to our site, under no circumstance do we condone any mistreatment of any member of the LGBT community and support full and equal rights for all.

And if you are thinking of using this site to try to locate and harm any perceived transgender individual, just remember, the girls WILL come for you. Just ask Mimi Plastique

And this is supposed to be humorous?

Yeah right, that’s about as funny as Chuck Knipp’s new jack minstrel show.

Mimi Plastique posts her videos on YouTube and is unapologetically open about her life and who she is. The problem is that much of the trans community contains people who for various reasons may not be as open as I, Mimi or other transgender people, bloggers/v-bloggers about their status.

The trans community has major concerns (for damned good reasons) about the possibility that your site could potentially open the door for our haters, armed with pictures from your site, to attack people.

So do you, otherwise you wouldn't have posted that disclaimer.

It could put a transperson who is in a relationship and has not yet told the person she's involved with her status in a position where she could be murdered.

It could potentially put people at risk of losing employment if they are NOT out at work, are employed by people or companies who are NOT trans friendly, or live in ares not covered by anti-transgender discrimination laws.

There are also cisgender women who have combinations of physical features that would be considered by the knuckle-dragging gender illiterate as putting them in the trans category.

There have already been cases of ciswomen falsely accused of being trans facing discrimination or physical violence because of people ASSUMING they were.

I find it disingenuous that you have a blog set up to out transpeople and you won't post or put up your own personal information on your site.

So if you won't put your own personal info on the Net, much less a picture of yourself on your site, what makes you think you can do so to transgender people?

If you respected our community as much as you claim you do, you wouldn't cavalierly dismiss our concerns, much less send huffy tweets on Twitter when people call you out on it.

Wow people really need to get a f*cking sense of humor.

Wow, spoken like someone who is cluelessly wallowing in cisgender privilege

I don't find it fracking humorous that trans people of color disproportionately make up 70% of the Remembering Our Dead list. Angie Zapata's killer was just recently convicted and sent to jail in Greeley, CO for killing her, with Lateisha Green's killer going on trial starting July 13.

I don't find it fracking humorous that a blog that ludicrously claims admiration for us and our struggle for first class citizenship in reality dehumanizes us and makes us even more vulnerable to assault or worse from our haters.

In addition, the 'tranny' term is a problematic one that is considered disrespectful to many people in this community. I'm sure GLAAD pointed you to the problematic and defamatory terminology section of their online Media Guide.

If you haven't read it, I'll make it easy for you and other peeps who don't get what descriptive language is and isn't respectful to my transgender community to get 'ejumacated' on the topic.



PROBLEMATIC: "transgenders," "a transgender"
PREFERRED: "transgender people," "a transgender person"
Transgender should be used as an adjective, not as a noun. Do not say, "Tony is a transgender," or "The parade included many transgenders." Instead say, "Tony is a transgender person," or "The parade included many transgender people."

PROBLEMATIC: "transgendered"
PREFERRED: "transgender"
The word transgender never needs the extraneous "ed" at the end of the word. In fact, such a construction is grammatically incorrect. Only verbs can be transformed into participles by adding "-ed" to the end of the word, and transgender is an adjective, not a verb.

PROBLEMATIC: "sex change," "pre-operative," "post-operative"
PREFERRED: "transition"
Referring to a sex change operation, or using terms such as pre- or post-operative, inaccurately suggests that one must have surgery in order to truly change one's sex.

PROBLEMATIC: "hermaphrodite"
PREFERRED: "intersex person"
The word "hermaphrodite" is an outdated, stigmatizing and misleading word, usually used to sensationalize intersex people.


Defamatory: "deceptive," "fooling," "pretending," "posing," or "masquerading"
Gender identity is an integral part of a person's identity. Please do not characterize transgender people as "deceptive," as "fooling" other people, or as "pretending" to be, "posing" or "masquerading" as a man or a woman. Such descriptions are extremely insulting.

Defamatory: "she-male," "he-she," "it," "trannie," "tranny," "gender-bender"
These words only serve to dehumanize transgender people and should not be used

If someone is harmed or God forbid, killed because of being outed by your blog, the blood of those transpeople will not only be on your hands, you will have opened the door to legal complications for yourself as well.

As the people living trans lives, you can get pissed all you want, but we're the ones with the intimate knowledge of what the risks are for outed transpeople.

You not only don't have that right as a cisperson to unilaterally out a transperson against their will, you don't have the right to arrogantly tell my community what we can or can't find insulting.

As trans people, we deeply appreciate our allies, but we draw the line at being disrespected by people who claim that status, then cop an attitude when we call them out on their problematic behavior.

Friday, June 26, 2009

I Love The 70's Music

While I'm a huge fan of current R&B artists such as Alicia Keys, John Legend, Chrisette Michele, Beyonce, Jill Scott and others, my real musical passion lies with the music and artists of the 70's.

I am a Funkateer who possesses a Doctorate in Funkology, and love all things musically about the 70's.

Yes, that includes disco, and no disco didn't suck.

If you get the opportunity to peruse my massive CD collection (no I haven't broken down and bought an iPod yet and I still DJ from time to time) you'd find all things Parliament-Funkadelic and Bootsy's Rubber Band in it.

You'd also discover Stevie Wonder, The Jackson Five, Minnie Riperton, The Brothers Johnson, The Isley Brothers, The Bar-Kays, Cameo, Patrice Rushen, Prince, Donna Summer, Chic, Earth, Wind & Fire, War, Graham Central Station, Sly and The Family Stone, Natalie Cole, The O'Jays, Teddy Pendergrass, Angela Bofill, Phyllis Hyman...

Shall I continue?

Let's put it this way, If I were DJing a 70's themed party, I would have enough music on hand to go four hours without repeating a song.

To me, the 70's were just an unparalleled explosion of quality music. It was packed with cutting edge innovative musicians, powerhouse bands, legendary male and female singers, and unabashed musical creativity which those of us who were fortunate enough to witness it lament we'll probably never see again in our lifetimes.

And some of those artists, like Patrice Rushen and the late Michael Jackson went on to make more groundbreaking musical history or branch out to do movies, television and Broadway shows like the late Phyllis Hyman did.

I hope that some young musical prodigy somewhere proves me wrong, but the current state of the music industry combined with lack of music education in public schools doesn't leave me much hope that I'll be seeing the next Stevie Wonder or Minnie Riperton in my lifetime.

But a girl can dream can't she?

In the interim, time to pull out some of that great music I own and get busy with my next post. Time to play 'Aqua Boogie' and see if I remember how to spell psychoalphadiscobetabioaquadoloop correctly.

We Want The Same Things You Do

"The ideals and ambitions which the Negro entertains for himself are precisely those which the white man entertains for himself. And this the white man foolishly resents."

NAACP founder Archibald Grimke spoke these words ninety years ago, and they still ring true for African descended people be they gay, straight, bi, cisgender or transgender.

All I or any African descended person wants in life is to have a decent job at a livable wage, a nice place to call our own and lay our heads, affordable health care, a quality primary and secondary education, love and marry the person we choose, raise happy, healthy, morally upright children, and live our lives free of unnecessary bull feces.

In other words, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Is that too much to ask?

Alas, for some people it is. Our 400 years in the Americas and across the Diaspora has been a long sorrowful tale filled with having to deal with unnecessary caca, violence and racist negativity in between the fleeting moments of spectacular forward progress as a people.

The negativity toward African descended people has been directed at us by whites either wallowing in privilege or who foolishly refuse not only see our common humanity, but resent and resist any progress made toward first class citizenship.

Heaven help you if you are a member of the TBLG community. Your humanity is further diminished in their eyes.

As I will continue to repeat until I'm buried six feet under my native Texas soil, I didn't give up my Black Like Me card, my American citizenship, or my humanity when I transitioned, and you are sadly mistaken if you believe that.

The 'We the people' in the United States Constitution applies to me and my TBLG/SGL brothers and sisters as well.

President John F. Kennedy stated in a televised June 11, 1963 speech on civil rights that, "When you give rights to others, you expand them for yourself."

I want rights expanded not only for transpeople like myself, but you cisgender ones as well.

No delays, no bull feces, no excuses.

The beautiful thing about passing the just introduced ENDA and hate crimes legislation is as President Kennedy wisely pointed out, extending rights to the TBLG community expands them to the cisgender community at the same time.

So who in their right mind would have a problem with that?

The usual suspects on the wrong side of the arc of the moral universe.

Even if the laws are passed, it's signed into law by President Obama and the moral arc finally begins bending in the direction of justice for TLBG/SGL people, it will still take time for the heartless to get with the program and realize that it's no longer open season on the lives of TBLG people.

The sooner the haters realize that, the sooner we can all get to work building a better America we can be proud to pass on to our future descendants.

And for the first time in a long time, I'm hopeful of seeing that occur in my lifetime.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Shut Up Fool! Awards-End Of June Edition

Well peeps, this year is moving fast isn't it? Wimbledon is in full swing, summer started on Sunday in conjunction with Father's Day his year, and the Iranians are continuing their brave struggle for freedom.

As always, fools are everywhere, and it's time to call out our Fool of the Week.

This week's fool in a landslide is Missouri state rep Cynthia Davis. Give you one guess what party she represents after you read this commentary from her.

Who’s buying dinner? Who is getting paid to serve the meal? Churches and other non-profits can do this at no cost to the taxpayer if it is warranted. [...] Bigger governmental programs take away our connectedness to the human family, our brotherhood and our need for one another. [...] Anyone under 18 can be eligible? Can’t they get a job during the summer by the time they are 16? Hunger can be a positive motivator. What is wrong with the idea of getting a job so you can get better meals? Tip: If you work for McDonald’s, they will feed you for free during your break. [...] It really is all about increasing government spending, which means an increase in taxes for us to buy more free lunches and breakfasts.

Did you say Republicans? Thought you could.

This comment came from the person who chairs the Missouri House Special Standing Committee on Children and Families. There are also one in five children in her state that suffer from hunger.

Missouri Rep. Cynthia Davis, shut up fool!

Michael Jackson 1958-2009

They say deaths come in threes, and that is especially true of celebrity ones. Farrah Fawcett died this morning, Ed McMahon a day ago, and it was in the back of my mind who would be the third.

As of the time I'm writing this, the LA Times is confirming that Michael Jackson has died.

This is a sad on for me because I have a personal connection to it.

Michael Jackson's death is striking me a little harder than the average celeb death on many levels.

I and my brother got to tag along with my Dad when the station had a 'Meet The Jackson Five contest back in the day. We picked up the winner, and zipped off to the Sam Houston Coliseum for the concert. The show was the bomb until the crowd bumrushed the stage and put a quick end to it. I was backstage and barely avoided being trampled as the frenzied crowd chased the J5 to their waiting limos to the street.

At the rendezvous at the Galleria Oaks Hotel, I got to meet him along with the contest winner and my friend Ernest Carswell. Ernest and I used to win a lot of money off those photos in junior high school from peeps who assumed we were lying about doing so.

I still have the autographed pics at my parents house.

I like a lot of peeps of my generation and those like my sisters who grew up in the 80's was a big fan, and it was amplified by the fact I had met him.

It was also a sense of immense pride to many African-Americans that an R&B artist blew up to become a household name around the world, thanks to Quincy Jones' composing genius and his immense talent.

You were a once in a generation performer, and you will be missed.

RIP Michael.

I Cheated In Argentina

TransGriot Note: Y'all knew I couldn't resist whacking Republican hypocrite Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC) with a song rewrite. This situation just practically begs for me to do it, so here goes. Enjoy it while Donna Summer sings the original lyrics.

I Cheated In Argentina
(Sung to the tune of 'Don't Cry For Me Argentina'

It won't be easy, you know it's strange
When I explain to South Carolina how I feel
That what I did was massively dumb

You won't believe me
Because I lied to you
You thought I went missing
But I went to be with my boo

I let it happen, I needed a change
This session wasn't particularly fun
I had to take the stimulus money and I'm bummed

So I needed a break
Running around on the Appalachian Trail
But was headed to the airport for fun
Didn't mean to scare everybody and never expected it to

I cheated in Argentina
The truth is I up and left you
Flew to Buenos Aires
Straight to my mistress
Didn't keep my promise
Wife keeps her distance

And as for fortune, and as for love
I never invited them in
Though it's apparent to the world I want her skin

My affair was confusing
It's not the solution it promised to be
While my family was here all the time
I love you and hope you still love me

I cheated in Argentina
The truth is I up and left you
Flew to Buenos Aires
Straight to my mistress
Didn't keep my promise
Wife keeps her distance

Have I said too much?
There's nothing more I can think of to say to you.
But all you have to do is look at me to know
That every word is true

I cheated in Argentina
The truth is I up and left you
Flew to Buenos Aires
Straight to my mistress
Didn't keep my promise
Wife keeps her distance

I cheated in Argentina
The truth is I up and left you
Flew to Buenos Aires
Straight to my mistress
Didn't keep my promise
Wife keeps her distance

I cheated in Argentina

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Trans Inclusive ENDA Introduced

“Today marks a critical milestone for our community and our country. Introduction of this important legislation signals the beginning of the end of a long-fought battle. For decades, a majority of people in this country have supported protecting their friends, family and neighbors from discrimination. Congress must act, at long last, this year." Rea Carey Executive Director, The Task Force

The day the transgender community has anxiously been awaiting this session has finally arrived. A trans inclusive ENDA was introduced in the House today by Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) with bipartisan support.

The lead sponsors of the measure are Representatives Barney Frank (D-MA), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Jared Polis (D-CO), Michael Castle (R-DE), George Miller (D-CA), Mark Kirk (R-IL), John Conyers (D-MI), Todd Platts (R-PA), Rob Andrews (D-NJ), and Leonard Lance (R-NJ).

I'm waiting for the text of the bill to appear on THOMAS, but what ENDA will do if passed and signed into law is would prohibit and protect TBLG peeps against workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity

The introduction of the bill is the easy part. We will now have to fight the lies of the Religious Reich, the GOP, Faux News, the conservative movement, and their negro sellouts in the Lo Impact Misleadership Coalition (the negro sellout version of the Traditional Values Coalition), their sheeple, and apathetic people in our own ranks.

You can do your part to pass this important legislation. Call, write or visit with your legislators in Washington DC if possible or back home during the August recess.

We need as Dr. Jillian T. Weiss calls it, a T-storm on this.

While there are rumors of shaky CBC support, I visited various offices of Congressional Black Caucus members and I was told by chiefs of staff and two congressmembers themselves they don't want a repeat of the 2007 ENDA fiasco.

I find those rumors specious and questionable, given that only one member voted against ENDA in '07, Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL) and also voted against this year's hate crimes bill. Hope the Black GLBT peeps in Alabama remember that when his azz is running in the Dem primary for governor next year.

Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY) and Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY) voted against it in '07 because it wasn't trans inclusive.

The CBC is also chaired by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), who has been a consistent supporter of trans inclusion and the GLBT community.

Just in case the rumors are true that CBC is squishy, those of you who live in the districts of CBC congressmembers definitely need to call them ASAP, especially if that member has a large homophobic predominately Black megachurch in it. The Hi Impact ministers like Bishop Hater (oops Harry) Jackson have already received their marching orders from Massa Lou Sheldon to kill it.

So people, open those e-mail programs, and get those telephone dialing fingers ready to roll. We have work to do and a bill to pass.