Wednesday, June 30, 2010

2010 Wimbledon Williams Watch-Upset In Doubles-Out KKKome The Haters

The World Number One and Number one tournament seeded doubles team were upset by Vera Zvonareva and Elena Vesnina 6-3, 3-6, 4-6. It was the first doubles loss for the Williams' sisters at Wimbledon since 2003 and Venus is totally out of the tournament.

It also killed their chance to complete a calendar year doubles Grand Slam by taking this tournament.

And the haters are celebrating.

From the Wimbledon website.

Great day of tennis... Would be nice, if serena loses her semi....Tired of seeing physical overpowering on others.. Thangs, United States, 30 June 15:50

Comments like 'Williams sisters make womens tennis interesting' are actually funny. I suppose if you call two wanna-be fashion designers, arrogance and verbally abusing linesman interesting - Well OK. Nothing more boring in tennis than a Williams final. Looking forward to Saturday ! Steve, Great Britain, 30 June 13:07

Hurray for Zvonerera and Vesinina's win. Much needed. Now we need someone to knock Serena out of the singles. Its time for new names on the trophies. Williams, Williams and Williams all the time is SO BORING. Well done girls you deserved your win Janice K, Great Britain, 30 June 9:11

Terribly happy that they are out from the womens double & for venus defeat. Waiting for the next william... __I don't enjoy their game at all & they don't bring anything good to the sport. S.W needs anger management and V.W needs to accept that when someone beats them - it means they were better then them! Hard work! Hanna S, Great Britain, 30 June 13:16

If the Williamses were blond haired blue eyed white girls from the 'burbs or Eastern European glamazons, none of these haters would be bitching about their dominance of the world tennis rankings, or the way they have owned 'Williams'don during the last decade.

But since they're from Compton...

Now you know why I want the Williams sisters to win every damn major tournament they enter, because of bigoted and borderline racist sentiments expressed like this.

If you haters are tired of seeing the Williams sisters scoop up every Grand Slam title in sight, then their competitors need to step up the level of their play to compete with and beat them. Right now the only players in the women's tennis world capable of beating a Williams sister are themselves.

It's up to Serena to uphold Williams family honor in her semifinal against Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic. Frankly, after seeing that BS on the Wimbledon website, I hope Serena wins her next two matches and I see her on Saturday holding the Venus and Serena Rosewater Dish aloft for the third year in a row.

NBJC Comments On Shepherd-Hughley 'The View' Ignorance Of HIV/AIDS Prevalence In Black Community

TransGriot Note: Message from NBJC Executive Director Sharon J. Lettman

Last week, we heard once again that Black gay and bisexual men are responsible for the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the Black community, a dangerous stereotype repeated on ABC's "The View" by host Sherri Shepherd and guest host D. L. Hughley.

While discussing the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) ban that prevents gay and bisexual men from donating blood, Shepherd and Hughley communicated oft-repeated misinformation about the causes of increased HIV rates among Black women.

Here is an excerpt from the exchange on the June 22 broadcast:

Hughley: When you look at the prevalence of HIV in the African American Community, it's primarily young women who are getting it from men who are on the down low. That's the thing.

Shepherd: The down low is black men who've been going out. They are having sex with men and they're not telling their girlfriends or their wives that they're gay and they're husbands, as well. And it's very prevalent with African American women because they come home and have sex with their wives or their girlfriends. And they're not telling them that they're gay.

Shepherd: It's so big in the Black community with women because they're having unprotected sex with men who have been having sex with... with men.

Following this exchange, D.L. Hughley went on to express his support for gay marriage. While we applaud his support, we cannot ignore the need for responsible reporting of the facts, by Hughley, Shepherd, and others who have irresponsibly repeated this stereotype.

Last week, ABC refused to issue an on-air correction.

Dr. Kevin Fenton, Director of the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention told the National Newspaper Publisher's Association in October of 2009, the CDC "has looked to see what proportion of [HIV] infections is coming from male partners who are bisexual and found that there are actually relatively few." According to Dr. Fenton and the CDC's research, most HIV infections can be attributed to other factors including injecting drugs and drug use.

It is time that we have an informed dialogue around the truths about HIV/AIDS in the Black community, void of the stereotypes about Black LGBT people--engaging Shepherd, Hughley, and other celebrity voices.

NBJC joins the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) in calling for immediate action to correct these falsehoods that put our community in harm's way.

We refuse to stay silent, and we hope you will join us. Take action by:

1: Clicking here to read a transcript of the offending broadcast and sign the petition.

2: Posting a link of GLAAD's Action Alert to your Twitter feed, Facebook page, and any other social media you use to spread the word to your network.

It is all of our responsibility to correct the spreading of myths that contribute to hostility towards African-American LGBT people.

In solidarity,

Sharon J. Lettman
Executive Director
National Black Justice Coalition

Remembering A Sophisticated Lady

It's hard to believe that 15 years has passed since singer Phyllis Hyman committed suicide on this date a few days short of her 46th birthday.

She was one of my favorite singers in addition to me loving the fact that this strikingly beautiful sister was six feet tall without her heels.

And she could rock some hats in addition to being my fictional guardian angel in two short stories I wrote for the blog.

The Pittsburgh native had a career that spanned Broadway, did a cameo in the Spike Lee movie School Daze in addition to having hit records such as 'Betcha By Golly Wow', 'Living All Alone', 'Somewhere In My Lifetime', 'I Don't Want To Lose You' and The Answer Is You' in addition to my favorite songs by her 'Don't Wanna Change The World', 'Can't We Fall In Love Again', 'I Refuse to be Lonely', 'Meet Me On The Moon' and 'You Know How To Love Me'.

Even 15 years later, you are still loved and missed by your fans.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

2010 Wimbledon Williams Watch-Big Sis Out

While Little Sis was busy beating China's Li Na in straight sets, Big Sis handed a straight set Christmas gift 2-6,3-6 loss to Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova.

"I just didn't get enough balls in today," she admitted. "I had a lot of opportunities and a lot of short balls but I just seemed to hit each one out. Obviously she played well but I don't think I did anything right today."

Yeah, 29 unforced errors will pave the way for a loss big time. It also means for the first time in three years there will be no all-Williams Ladies' singles final.

Meanwhile Little Sis was cruising to the semifinals with a 7-5, 6-3 straight set victory and a semifinal meeting with the Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova.

She'll face the winner of the Vera Zvonareva-Tsvetana Pironkova match. Zvonareva ousted Kim Clijsters in three sets to punch her ticket to the Ladies' singles semis.

Venus isn't done at Wimbledon yet. She can still collect a check and trophy in the doubles competition. She and Serena are still cruising through the Wimbledon Ladies' doubles competition and face the Russian duo of Elena Vesina and Vera Zvonareva in the quarterfinals.

The Right Trans Candidate For Office is NOT A Right-Wing One

I am a huge advocate of qualified transpeople running for and getting elected to public office, and I want to see more run for office and win.

That doesn't extend to right-wing trans candidates for public office.

Karen Kerin ran for Congress in 2000 as a Republican in Vermont and is now making a fourth run for attorney general after failed runs in 2004, 2006 and 2008.

Donna Milo is running in Florida's 20th Congressional District against two other Republicans for the GOP nomination to oppose incumbent Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

The best way I can describe my thinking on this is by looking back to the time in my own people's history when you could count the number of African American House representatives on one hand. They also didn't wield the kind of power they do in the early 21st century.

The early 20th century African American congressmembers at that time like Arthur W. Mitchell, Oscar De Priest, William Dawson, and Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. were elected from districts in New York City and Chicago, but became by default the de facto representatives of ALL African Americans irregardless of our zipcodes. The legislation they sponsored and passed reflected that expansive worldview.

The same dynamic is true of any African American that happens to get elected to the US Senate. He or she has a constituency beyond just the state they represent.

It was the combination of the Great Migration, the work of those early African American congressmembers and the implementation of the Voting Rights Act that sowed the seeds for the muscular 43 member Congressional Black Caucus you see today.

And that dynamic is what the first open trans member of Congress is facing. He or she will not only have the weight of history on them, but media attention that belies their status as a freshman member of Congress. Whether they like it or not, they will also be seen as a representative of the trans community and be considered the de facto expert by their fellow congressmembers on trans issues.

The last person I want becoming the first trans person in Congress is one that is hostile to, clueless, or ashamed to embrace the label of trans American. I also don't want that first trans congressmember being someone who is clueless, in denial, indifferent, or openly hostile to how societal issues impact the lives of transpeople, especially transpeople of color.

Some of those issues may require governmental regulation or laws such as ENDA to fix, and you know how conservatives are all about letting 'bidness' run roughshod over people.

Right wingers also tend to be rigidly doctrinaire, selfish, more concerned with 'me' than 'we' and will spend more time kissing up to and siding with our oppressors than using that position and historic opportunity to speak truth to power and fight for the community.

Karen Kerin not only leans Libertarian in some instances in terms of her policy stances, but promises if elected as Vermont's attorney general, she would join in a lawsuit to kill the just passed health care bill. Never mind the fact that health care bill would help transpeople who don't have insurance coverage right now and like her GOP buddies, have no answer to what to do to fix the problem of 40 plus million Americans without health insurance other than 'Kill Obamacare'.

Donna Milo is a 'proud conservative'. If by some miracle she gets the GOP nomination on August 24, then upsets Wasserman Schultz, how hard would a Congresswoman Milo fight to pass ENDA since she 'doesn't believe in government handouts'? And how much of a drum major for trans justice would she be as a trans Latina who 'doesn't believe in labels', but didn't hesitate to claim the teabagger or conservative one?

Yes, I would love to see qualified trans candidates as soon as possible occupying as many statewide and national offices as we can get them elected to.

But the key quantifying point is that they have to be the right candidates for the job, not RIGHT wing.

If You Want A Trans Congressmember, Gotta Support The Transpeeps Running At The Local And State Levels

It has been almost twelve years since Georgina Beyer became the first open transperson elected to a national legislative body when she was elected to the New Zealand Parliament in November 1999.

In the United States the highest elective office a transperson has yet to successfully achieve is Kim Coca Iwamoto's election in 2006 to the Hawaii State Board of Education.

Others have attempted to get elected to state legislatures or large city councils but have not been successful in doing so.

We now have an opportunity presented to us in this election cycle in which we have three well qualified candidates posed to break through an electoral glass ceiling.

It'll be to paraphrase astronaut Neil Armstrong, one small historic step for those individuals, but one giant leap for the transgender community's striving for attainment of the next phase of political power and legitimacy.

Brittany Novotny in Oklahoma, Dr. Dana Beyer in Maryland and California's Victoria Kolakowski are currently running campaigns to secure elective offices that no open trans persons have achieved before.

While Novotny and Beyer are seeking state legislative seats, Kolakowski is seeking one that is just as important in a county judgeship.

In order to achieve the dream of congressional representation, we will not only have to continue to participate in party politics at the precinct level, we will have to start donating to campaigns as well.

And contrary to public perceptions, it doesn't take megabucks to do so to amass a political war chest that will allow you to run a quality campaign.

Remember the 2008 presidential campaign when the trans community set up an ActBlue page that raised over $10K for the Obama campaign basically on $5, $10 and $20 donations?

I believe and have no doubts that ActBlue page is one of the reasons factoring into why we've had some fantastic gains for trans people come out of this White House.

So why don't we apply the same principle to helping trans candidates get into judicial, state legislative seats, and large city council ones?

The reason is because state political party orgs look for congressional candidates who are large city council members, state legislators, and judges.

Many of those candidates tend to be elected county wide or city wide. That establishes for the parties and the people who fund heir campaigns their electoral viability while giving them experience in crafting legislation and providing constituent services at a local level.

In order for us to speed up the day when one of our own stands on the House floor making a speech about our issues and many others on C-SPAN, we'll have to dig into our pockets and purses to help provide the financial support necessary to give them the opportunity to serve us in the first place.

And it goes without saying what else you'll need to do to make that happen as well. Register to vote and participate in every election.

Monday, June 28, 2010

2010 Wimbledon Williams Watch-On To The Quarterfinals

In their only meeting at Wimbledon until today, Maria Sharapova upset Serena Williams for the 2004 Wimbledon Ladies' singles title.

Things are much different now as they faced each other once again on Centre Court in the fourth round of this year's tournament.

It took Little Sis an hour and 35 minutes, three saved set points, 19 aces and 31 winners, but she eventually subdued the 16th seed Sharapova 7-6 (11-9), 6-4 and move on to a quarterfinal matchup with China's Li Na.

If Serena gets past Li Na, she would take on the winner of the Petra Kvitova-Kala Kanepi match. Kvitova upset third seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in straight sets while Estonia's Kanepi is a qualifier on a little bit of a giant killing roll herself.

Number 2 seeded Big Sis was busy on the other side of the bracket subduing Australia's Jarmila Groth in a 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) straight set victory to advance to a quarterfinal round match with Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova.

If Big Sis gets past her, she'd have a tougher semifinal match to get through. She would have to take on the winner of the Kim Clijsters-Vera Zvonareva match.

The Williams sisters are moving on to the quarterfinals in the Ladies' doubles competition as well after beating Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia in straight sets 6-2, 6-1.

The Number one doubles seeds and World number one's have yet to drop a set in this 2010 Ladies' doubles tournament.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Whatever Happened To 'Whosoever Will'?

I have never read the verse where it says, "Though shalt discriminate against those not like me." I have never read the verse where it says, "Let's base our public policy on hate and fear and discrimination." Christianity to me is love and hope and faith and forgiveness--not hate and discrimination.

Texas state Rep. Senfronia Thompson, 2005

It's been a little over a month since I moved back to Houston, and one of the things I miss about Da Ville is my open and affirming Edenside church family and Rev. Sally McClain.

It got me thinking about what in Hades has happened to the Black Church?

It used to be an institution that embodies the slogan 'whosoever will'. Now 'whosoever will' has an asterisk by it.

Whosoever Will* except if you're gay, trans, liberal, ain't willing to give us your tax refund check...Well, you get the drift.

The Black Church has allowed itself to be infected by a virus called 'Prosperity Gospel'. It's basically what the late Rev. Ike used to preach back in the day on steroids.

It's also allowed itself to be infiltrated by the same white fundamentalist preachers who opposed our civil rights in exchange of cash to build and maintain those arena sized churches they run.

Some of them have willingly sold out our community to get faith-based initiative bribe money or suck up to GOP politicians who do not have our community's best interests in mind.

That has made many of these ministers who should have been front and center speaking out about the oppression of other human beings either reluctant to speak truth to power or depressingly hostile chocolate dipped tools laboring for the Forces of Intolerance.

It's not prudent in their minds to do so when they are paying notes on those palatial churches, getting handed large speaking fees to speak at conservafool political and religious conferences or trying to support a jet setting lifestyle and far flung teleministry complete with $1000 suits and flashy cars.

But back to discussing what happened to 'whosoever will'. For the four centuries that African descended people have been on the American continent, the church was the one institution that we had control over. It was the spiritual rock that we anchored our chaotic lives to. It produced some of our greatest leaders and served as a one stop social service and community center. It also was our sword and shield fighting against injustice.

Now it's becoming, as Dr. King once talked about, a 'dry as dust' religion.

But for too long it has been on the wrong side of the civil rights battle that TBLG people are waging against the same oppressive forces that tried to retard our civil rights advances and who would love to roll all African Americans civil rights back like they successfully did at the tail end of the 19th century.

The Black Church really needs to get back to the tradition of 'whosoever will' as soon as possible because all our people's civil rights may depend on it.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

'The Prodigal' Premieres Tonight

One of the things that was a casualty of my move back to Houston was an opportunity to be the narrator for this Sheila O'Bannon produced play which premiers at 8 PM EDT tonight at the Kentucky Center for the Arts.

'The Prodigal' is a fictionalized account of one family's journey to understand and eventually come to accept the transition journey of one of its family members.

The central theme of the play deals with gender identity, and its more often hidden and concealed impacts on our individual family lives as well as the lives of others in the broader community. The purpose of the play, is to draw genuine focus and discussion about the various issues that face those within the GLBTQ community, with a sole purpose to promote civility and acceptance of our individual differences and our common humanity.

When a child searches for answers, his quest unravels a family, a town and his entire world. Could the “Great Almighty” be the only one who can answer his question…

Who am I?

Our goal is not to convey right versus wrong, nor impute a position of morality, but to simply and boldly say, that the table of grace is opened and availed to all by the Heavenly Father, and He alone. This will be an evening of song, drama, comedy, reflection and introspection, challenging the very core of our acquired beliefs.

This musical production is based on a true story by playwright Sheila O’Bannon, along with arrangements by two time Grammy Award winner J.D. Miller and other contributing composers.

A compelling saga, that is a must see; it will change your life forever.

We promise… You’ll Never Be the Same…

And I wish I'd been able to be part of it.

The Prodigal after its June 26 and 27th debut performances at the Whitney Theater will have some performances in Atlanta, with the possibility of ending up on Broadway.

Break a leg, folks. May 'The Prodigal' be a smashing success.

2010 Wimbledon Williams Watch-On To The Fourth Round

My favorite tennis playing sisters are still alive and on track to meet in the Wimbledon Ladies' singles Finals for the third straight year.

Defending champ and number one seed Serena beat Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkov√° in straight sets 6-0, 7-5 to move on to a fourth round meeting with 2004 Wimbledon Champ Maria Sharapova.

On the other side of the bracket, Venus beat Russia's Alisa Kleybanova 6-4, 6-2 to move on to her fourth round match with Australia's Jarmila Groth.

The number one world ranked Williams sisters are kicking butt and taking names in doubles as well. They moved on to the third round of the 2010 Ladies' doubles competition by dispatching Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland and Tathiana Garbin of Italy 6-1, 7-6 (7-2) to move on to the third round with Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Family Reunion

Well, so much for any plans to take in the sights and sounds of my first Houston Pride event since 2001.

Got more important business. My family reunion.

My mom's side of the family since 1998 has a now yearly reunion that rotates between the Florida, Mississippi, Ohio, NW Indiana-Chicago, and Dallas and Houston, Texas branches of the family.

Through a happy circumstance I got back here just in time for the Houston branch of our family to play hosts for the event and get the pleasure of attending one for the first time in a long time.

It's going to be an interesting situation for me as well. Some of my extended relative know about my transition, especially if they are on Facebook or have perused this blog, while others don't.

All I'm looking for is a nice and relatively quiet weekend with a minimum level of drama. But if static gets started, I will not hesitate to deal with it.

Erased Again-No Black Transwomen At The White House LGBT Reception

The guest list has yet to be released, but the transpeople who attended the reception are already posting their pictures on Facebook and commenting about how wonderful it was.

Too bad so far there have been no African descended transwomen commenting about Tuesday's Presidential GLBT reception.

Once again it seems as though just like last year, African American transwomen were not in the house our ancestors built with their unpaid labor for a TBLG community event, and the defensive spin is already starting to come out of the white trans community.

'Well, I wasn't invited'. 'There were eight trans people invited to the White House' 'We should focus on the big picture'. 'Diego Sanchez was there'.

Easy for you vanilla-flavored privilege wielding trans people to say. Your section of the trans community as white transmales and white transfemales was well represented. Once again my section of it wasn't.

News flash for you peeps, Diego Sanchez is a Latino transman.

I have much love and respect for him and his accomplishments, but he is Latino, not African American. Stop trying to hide behind Diego and make the ludicrous conclusion jump that because he was there, he represents ALL transpeople of color.

But let's get real for a moment. How pissed off would you'd be if now for the second year in a row, a TBLG reception was hosted by a president that shares your ethnicity, you donated to his campaign and busted your behind to help put into office, and for the second year in a row you see no one who looks like you represented in the trans contingent at a LGBT 'community' reception?

And don't even get me started about last year's melanin free trans House hearing on employment issues.

I and the African descended trans community and our allies are tired of the crap, tired of the erasure, and tired of the weak azz excuses coming from white transpeople trying to justify the erasure.

The late Lena Horne once said, 'You have to be taught to be second class; you're
not born that way'.

But that was the message you sent when the guest list for a White House reception in a so called diverse community for the second year in a row doesn't include any African descended transwomen.

We're good enough for four of us to win IFGE Trinity Awards, start and run organizations, lobby Congress, various state, local and civic legislative bodies, eloquently speak about trans issues to various groups, write about them and have the respect and admiration of our fellow trans activists from around the world, but not good enough to rate an invite to a congressional hearing to speak on behalf of the community or visit the White House?

How jacked up is that?

African American transpeople are not born to be second class citizens, nor are we going to accept or sit quietly in the corner when you white transpeople treat us that way.

One time being ignored is an accident. Two or more times is a deliberate pattern.

Y'all can get mad all you want about me calling the trans community out about the erasure. But if you don't like Moni pointing out the obvious, there's a simple solution to fix this recurring problem: Don't submit melanin free guest lists for these events in the first place.

You can spin it all you want, it doesn't change the ugly truth that once again, it appears that not one AA transwoman was there at an LGBT event hosted by an African descended president.

Shut Up Fool! Awards-USA 'Menz' Soccer Rocks Edition

Had to show some love for the USA 'Menz' soccer team who in this 2010 World Cup are breaking ground for USA football on the world's biggest stage.

They won their group in dramatic fashion for the first time in 80 years. They came back from a two goal deficit for the first time ever and had it not been for a disallowed goal would have staged the greatest World Cup comeback ever.

It is also the most diverse men's soccer team the USA has ever sent into World Cup competition, so that makes it even more cool that all these wonderful things are happening. Now they're in the knockout round and are only four wins away from the World Cup. Can they do it? It all starts with the match against Ghana tomorrow.

Speaking of just doing it, time to find out who engaged in championship level stupidity this week.

The usual cavalcade of fools were in the running such as O'Reilly, Beck, Palin and Hannity. Rand Paul, Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and Fox fembot Monica Crowley.

But the winner was Faux News fembot and former Miss America Gretchen Carlson.

Carlson compared the job of the President of the United States to her job as a morning talk show host.

Really Gretchen? I wasn't aware that you and you Fox news buds do your shows from the Oval Office or sign legislation.

But then again I shouldn't be surprised such stupidity comes out of your mouth especially when your nanny as a kid was future congresswoman Michele Bachmanm.

Gretchen Carlson, shut up fool!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

2010 Wimbledon Williams Watch-Busy Day

Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II made her first Wimbledon visit in 33 years and met the current Queen of Wimbledon's Ladies' singles, Serena Williams amongst other current Wimbledon champions.

While John Isner was going through his record breaking Survivor: Wimbledon three day five set first round match with France's Nicholas Mahut that started on Tuesday and ended with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3), 70-68 win on Thursday, it seemed like Serena was trying to set the record for fastest tennis match played.

She headed to Court No. 2 and dispatched Russia's Anna Chakvetadze 6-0, 6-1 in 49 minutes to move on to the third round.

Chakvetadze was once ranked Number 5 in the world, but her ranking has cratered to Number 118. This match basically let her know how far she has to go to get back to playing upper echelon tennis.

The first set took Little Sis only 23 minutes, and 26 minutes later Serena was headed to the clubhouse with a straight set victory and passage to a third round meeting with Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkov√°.

Canadian Earthquake

When you turn on the news, you expect to hear news about earthquakes in familiar fault zones such as California, Turkey, China, Iran, Indonesia, Mexico, Japan, Chile and other places along the Pacific Rim.

But central Canada?

A 5.0 magnitude earthquake centered eight kilometres east of Val-des-Bois in southwestern Quebec, about 60 kilometres northeast of Ottawa struck the area at approximately 1:45 PM EDT.

It shook not only the Canadian capital, but was felt in Toronto, Montreal, Windsor, southern Ontario and as far south and west as Cleveland, Chicago and upstate New York.

It was the largest quake to hit the area in 20 years, and I need to check in with my homegirl in Niagara Falls to get her take on it.

It's Reading And Hard, Solid Thinking Day

Been too long since I picked up a book and did some reading, so I'm going to take a pause from the blog cause and do precisely that.

I also have as Dr. King called it, some hard, solid thinking I need to do about various issues inside and outside the community as well.

Of course if I'm moved to write about some issue, breaking news story or both, I'll put the post together and get it up on the blog as quickly as possible.

Dana Beyer 2010 Campaign Kickoff

Dr. Dana Beyer will kick off her 2010 run for the Maryland House of Delegates that we hope will end in victory with an event this Saturday.

if you're in the Washington DC metro area and wish to attend, it will take place in Silver Spring, MD on Saturday June 26 at Wheaton Claridge Park from 10:30 AM EDT to 1:00 PM EDT.

Dana is seeking to make trans history by becoming the first transperson elected to a state legislative body.

As always, Dana could use some help for her campaign, so if you can donate time ot cash, you can do so at her website.

If you're planning to attend, so that they can have a solid head count, please RSVP Dana's Field Director, Jena Grosser at: or call (202) 905-7921.

2010 Wimbledon Williams Watch-Movin' On In Singles And Doubles

My fave tennis playing sisters played their opening doubles match at Wimbledon yesterday. They are ranked number one in the world in doubles and in this tournament as well.

They started their quest to defend their Wimbledon Ladies' doubles title by beating fellow American Julie Ditty and the Czech Republic's Renata Voracova. They went down in straight sets 6-4, 6-2.

The number one doubles seeds will face Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland and Tathiana Garbin of Italy in the second round.

Big Sis handled her Centre Court business in her second round singles match versus Russia's Ekaterina Makarova. The tournament second seed took out Makarova 6-0, 6-4 and will face another Russian, Alisa Kleybanova in her third round match.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

President Obama's Remarks At 2010 LGBT Pride Reception

TransGriot Note: As usual, not feeling much pride about a reception that appears to have once again, shut out transwomen of color. Will need to peruse the guest list to determine how pissed off I should be about it, so consider the USS Monica in DEFCON 3 status until I confirm what I already suspect happened again.

Then I will unleash the rhetorical Tomahawks...

In the meantime, enjoy President Obama's remarks from another LGBT pride event that had a melanin free transgender contingent.

2010 World Cup USA Watch-Dramatic Late Goal Wins Group C!

Lucky for me I grew up as a Houston sports fan. I'm used to nail biting, high pressure, dramatic games.

The USA suffered another disallowed goal by the referees, and missed point blank chances in both halves with the knowledge that the English had already scored a goal against Slovenia that was going to send them home.

A 20th minute goal by my Lone Star homeboy Clint Dempsey was erroneously disallowed by a phantom offside call by the linesman. The Cardiac Kids shook off the frustration of the disallowed goal and kept up the offense pressure.

They missed several chances to get the initial goal and clearly outplayed Algeria but the goal that allowed them to make a little World Cup history came in extra time in dramatic fashion.

In the 91st minute the counterattack against the Desert Foxes began that sent the USA men to the round of 16 for the first time since 2002.

A long throw to Donovan, a pass to Altidore who takes it quickly to the Algerian end and crosses it to the box. Dempsey is there to meet it, but so is the Algerian goalkeeper Rais M'Bolhi. The ball squirts out and a streaking Donovan buried it into the net for his 44th and most important international goal of his career.

The goal gave the USA Group C with a 1-0-2 record and scoring more goals than the runner-ups, England. They won their group for the first time since 1930.

They'll get the opportunity to make some more US World Cup history and attempt to go where no US men's team has gone before, deep into the knockout round.

They play the second place team in Group D on June 26 which will be either Germany or Ghana.

'Oppressed People Cannot Remain Oppressed Forever'

Those were words that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. composed while sitting in a Birmingham, AL jail cell on January 16, 1963.

Those words still have significance for us in the second decade of the 21st century.

As we fight, claw, protest and petition our legislators to grant us the civil rights we are due under our constitution, we review the lessons from history. We smile and gather courage from reading about the long lists of oppressed peoples who gained their precious freedoms.

While the oppression we labor under and the people we study who freed themselves from their bondage may have nuances due to the political winds at the time, severity of it and other variables, the key to winning is still consistent across time.

The oppressed have nothing to lose because the situation already as far as they are concerned is at rock bottom. They win with great leadership, unceasing labor, strategic vision, planning, prayerful contemplation, determination, and a determined indomitable will to achieve it.

As they are 'ripening the time' as the late Dr. Dorothy Height said, they are also patiently building for the future while putting unrelenting pressure on the oppressor.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

DART Trans Protections Passed By Unanimous Vote

After ten members of the Dallas TBLG community addressed the DART board during its 30 minute comment period before the vote, the Dallas Area Rapid Transit board approved a nondiscrimination policy that protects trans people by a unanimous vote in front of a packed board room.

“A word is standing between us, and the word is ‘except,’” Stonewall Democrats of Dallas President Erin Moore told the DART board, adding that everyone has a sexual orientation and a gender identity. “All of these things also include you. Why not include us?”

The contentious 'except' word was removed prior to the vote, but Dallas area GLBT peeps understandably want confirmation that the language in the new policy does exactly what it is supposed to do and protects present and future DART BTLG employees from discriminatory behavior.

The Dallas TBLG community was outraged after various LGBT legal experts concluded after last week's DART committee of the whole meeting that the 'except' word inserted by DART board member Raymond Noah not only would gut the proposed policy, but rescind the sexual orientation policy passed by the DART board in 1995.

After the unanimous vote, the packed board room responded with a standing ovation.

Getting the policy passed was the easy part, as contentious as that process was. Now comes the hard part of implementing and ensuring DART complies with it.

America 's High Tech 'Invisible Man'

TransGriot Note: Another instance of an African-American inventor not getting major credit for an invention that changed our lives.

By Tyrone D. Taborn

You may not have heard of Dr. Mark Dean. And you aren't alone. But almost everything in your life has been affected by his work.

See, Dr. Mark Dean is a PhD from Stanford University. He is in the National Hall of Inventors. He has more than 30 patents pending. He is a vice president with IBM. Oh, yeah. And he is also the architect of the modern-day personal computer. Dr. Dean holds three of the original nine patents on the computer that all PCs are based upon. And, Dr. Mark Dean is an African American.

So how is it that we can celebrate the 20th anniversary of the IBM personal computer without reading or hearing a single word about him? Given all of the pressure mass media are under about negative portrayals of African Americans on television and in print, you would think it would be a slam dunk to highlight someone like Dr. Dean.

Somehow, though, we have managed to miss the shot. History is cruel when it comes to telling the stories of African Americans. Dr. Dean isn't the first Black inventor to be overlooked. Consider John Stanard, inventor of the refrigerator, George Sampson, creator of the clothes dryer, Alexander Miles and his elevator, Lewis Latimer and the electric lamp. All of these inventors share two things: One, they changed the landscape of our society; and, two, society relegated them to the footnotes of history.

Hopefully, Dr. Mark Dean won't go away as quietly as they did. He certainly shouldn't. Dr. Dean helped start a Digital Revolution that created people like Microsoft's Bill Gates and Dell Computer's Michael Dell. Millions of jobs in information technology can be traced back directly to Dr. Dean.

More important, stories like Dr. Mark Dean's should serve as inspiration for African-American children. Already victims of the "Digital Divide" and failing school systems, young, Black kids might embrace technology with more enthusiasm if they knew someone like Dr. Dean already was leading the way.

Although technically Dr. Dean can't be credited with creating the computer -- that is left to Alan Turing, a pioneering 20th-century English mathematician widely considered to be the father of modern computer science -- Dr. Dean rightly deserves to take a bow for the machine we use today. The computer really wasn't practical for home or small business use until he came along, leading a team that developed the interior architecture (IS A systems bus) that enables multiple devices, such as modems and printers, to be connected to personal computers.

In other words, because of Dr. Dean, the PC became a part of our daily lives. For most of us, changing the face of society would have been enough, but not for Dr. Dean. Still in his early forties, he has a lot of inventing left in him.

He recently made history again by leading the design team responsible for creating the first 1-gigahertz processor chip. It's just another huge step in making computers faster and smaller. As the world congratulates itself for the new Digital Age brought on by the personal computer, we need to guarantee that the African-American story is part of the hoopla surrounding the most stunning technological advance the world has ever seen.

We cannot afford to let Dr. Mark Dean become a footnote in history. He is well worth his own history book.

2010 Wimbledon Williams Watch-Little Sis Moves On

Number one tournament seed Serena Williams opened the defense of her Wimbledon championship with an opening round match on Centre Court versus Portugal's Michelle Larcher de Brito.

It took her an hour and three minutes to cruise to a 6-0, 6-4 victory over Larcher de Brito. She served 15 aces enroute to the win and extended her streak of first round Grand Slam wins to an impressive 43-0

Little Sis faces Russia's Anna Chakvetadze in the second round.

She teams up with Big Sis to open the defense of their doubles title with an opening round match versus fellow American Julie Ditty and Renata Voracova of the Czech Republic.

Dr. Angela Davis' Remarks on Judith Butler

Dr. Angela Davis was asked about the refusal of Judith Butler on June 19 to accept the Civil Courage Prize from Berlin Pride because of an issue I and other GLBT people of color have been talking about for years: Racism in the GLBT community.

Showdown At Akard Station

The eyes of Texas and the national TBLG community will be focused on Dallas later today.

The Dallas Area Rapid Transit board will be meeting at 6:30 PM CDT to consider a non discrimination policy which if adopted, will wipe out protection for GL people that originally passed in 1995 and still allow discrimination against transpeople.

For those of you in the Dallas area, this meeting will take place at DART Headquarters at 1401 Pacific Ave. It can also be reached on the DART light rail line by getting off at Akard Station.

This story has been percolating since early March when thanks to a hole in the current DART non-discrimination policy, Ms. T-DART, a 20 year employee was harassed by her supervisors.

Efforts to correct this injustice were thwarted by DART board member Raymond Noah, who inserted language in the proposed policy that gutted it and if passed tonight will ALLOW discrimination against BTLG people.

It all comes down to what is sure to be a contentious DART board meeting tonight.

Monday, June 21, 2010

2010 Wimbledon Williams Watch-Big Sis' Successful Opening

Venus turned 30 on June 17 and gave herself a belated birthday present today by successfully navigating her opening round match with Paraguay's Rossana de los Rios.

The five time Wimbledon champ handled her business in straight sets. She took 5-0 leads in each set before cruising to a 6-3, 6-2 victory to reach the second round.

Big Sis is now 47-3 over her career in opening matches at Grand Slam tournaments.

Venus has played in eight of the past 10 Wimbledon finals, and won the 2000, 2001, 2005, 2007 and 2008 Ladies' singles championship.

Her second round singles opponent will be Russia's Ekaterina Makarova.

Hate The Smell Of Vanilla Scented Privilege

One of the things that is maddeningly infuriating to transpeople of color when we try to interact in groups dominated by white people is the mischaracterizations that result when we speak our minds.

A POC transperson speaks their mind about a hot button issue du jour, and their critics inevitably hurl the words, 'divisive', 'verbally violent', 'angry' or 'polarizing influences' bull feces at them or whisper it to other white friends behind the POC's back.

Conversely, let a White transperson speak their mind, get mad, vent or say the exact same thing a POC transperson may have just verbalized about the issue, then it's considered 'refreshing honesty'.

Can you smell the vanilla scented double standard and privilege in the air?

Thought you could.

One other thing, I do get sick of hearing the patronizing 'watch your tone' BS. There are times when I write posts or say things critiquing various issues that you may presume I was 'angry', but actually was as calm as President Obama in a meeting with angry Republicans.

When I'm pissed off, you'll know it.