Thursday, May 31, 2012

Jackie Comes Close, But No Miss England Crown

Jackie Green's bid to become the first trans Miss England fell short last night when she didn't make the finals of that pageant.  While she's disappointed about the result as are all of us around the world who were rooting for her, bear in mind she did make it to the semifinals..

This also comes a week after Jenna Talackova's bid to become Miss Canada also fell short of the finalist round of the Miss Universe Canada pageant, although she did capture the Miss Congeniality award.

"Miss England is a prestigious competition. I’d love to win.” Green remarked in a recent newspaper interview.

But Ms.Green isn't in this pageant just for the crown or the glamor.   She's got another purpose in mind as she competes.  She's hoping to use the public platform of the pageant as a way to raise awareness about  bullying and transgender issues.

Ms. Green stated she would make another run at the Miss England crown next year, and here's hoping that she has a better result when she does.

Janet Mock Discusses The #GirlsLikeUs Twitter Campaign

Janet Mock recently launched the #GirlsLikeUs Twitter campaign (which I enthusiastically support) and explains why she did so in a recent post on her blog that I will happily signal boost here.

Here's a little sample of it. 

I found it exhilarating that these young women were naming themselves, that they were identifying how they wanted and that they exerted themselves in a world that rarely, if ever made room for them. I found myself uplifted by the “girls…with something extra” because it wasn’t coming from a place of want or lack. It didn’t fall prey to the tired, simplistic, limiting media sound bite of “girl trapped in boy’s body.” Instead it celebrated who we were as trans women: We have something extra. You can take that literally or figuratively, which is how I choose to read it: We are extra, we are more, we are special, we are everything.

Read the rest of what she had to say about it.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Good Luck Tonight, Jackie!

Across The Pond tonight, Jackie Green will take the stage and attempt to become the first transperson to become Miss England.   

She was voted through to tonight's Miss England pageant semifinals earlier this month.  If she does go on to win this event would represent her country at the Miss World pageant that will be held in China

Good luck tonight, Jackie.   Know your transsisters all over the planet are rooting for you.

11th Annual Trans Health Conference This Weekend

Philadelphia welcomes what has become the largest trans-specific event in the world when the 11th annual Trans Health Conference returns to Philadelphia, PA from May 31-June 2

And I'm bummed because one of my fave transmen is the keynote speaker and I won't be there.

The PTHC is a program of Mazzoni Center and will take place once again at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. What began in 2002 as a one-day gathering of transgender activists, allies, and service providers, has grown in the decade since its inception to become the largest transgender-specific conference in the world. Last June this free event drew 2,000 attendees from throughout the U.S. and overseas to participate in three full days of educational and social activities, with offerings for family members, community allies, medical and social service providers as well.

It's also one of those major conferences I'd love to attend but haven't been able to make my schedule coincide with theirs so I can be in Philly for it.   And if and when I'm blessed enough to get that opportunity, there's some cheeseteaks with my name on them...

The 2012 conference schedule features some 200 workshops and panel discussions on a diverse range of subjects relating to health and well-being, including healthcare, safety, education, employment, housing, legal issues, and social support.

“From the beginning, the vision of the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference has been to address body, mind, spirit, community, and well-being,” Mazzoni Center Executive Director Nurit L. Shein said. “We are especially excited to be welcoming a number of international participants this year, as they can shed light on the particular experiences of transgender individuals and communities in their native countries, but also on the common ground we share in seeking to improve health care access and outcomes for trans people worldwide.”

As much as possible, PTHC strives to ensure that the conference addresses the diverse needs of all transgender communities: transgender men, transgender women, gender-queer, and gender- variant youth and adults, as well as their partners, families, and allies. In an effort to increase the availability of quality, culturally competent care for transgender communities, PTHC also provides workshops for medical, mental health, legal, and social service providers.

“The Trans-Health Conference Planning Committee has put a great deal of time and consideration into the selection of workshops and programs this year,” Conference Coordinator Jacsen Callanan explained. “Our goal is to provide a meaningful and educational experience both for veteran attendees of the conference, as well as for individuals who may be joining us for the first time.”

This year’s conference includes an increased emphasis on international issues, including panels on immigration and the challenges faced by refugees and asylees; transgender activism in Europe, as well as spotlight discussions on the state of trans communities in Latin America and South Asia. Funding from the Arcus Foundation and the Open Society Foundation has helped to make this programming possible.

As part of this year’s international focus, on Friday, June 1 at 8:00 PM, there will be a special presentation of “Tara’s Crossing,” an original play by Emmy-nominated writer Jeffrey Solomon, inspired by dozens of interviews with sexual minority asylum seekers from around the world. It will be held at the Arch Street United Methodist Church Main Sanctuary (55 N. Broad Street). The performance is free and open to the public, and is sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation with additional support from the United Church of Christ Office for Health and Wholeness Advocacy.

Trans Medicine Education Initiative

New at the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference this year will be the first annual Transgender Education Certificate Course a three-day intensive for medical providers designed for new as well as experienced medical providers (MD, DO, NP, PA, RN, ND, PharmD) interested in the primary care of adult and pediatric transgender patients. The certificate program will consist of lectures given by nationally known experts in the field of transgender primary care, mental health, pediatrics & adolescent medicine, and endocrinology.

In addition, Mazzoni Center’s Legal Services department has incorporated a significant number of programs in this year’s conference that are specifically dedicated to legal obstacles facing transgender communities, and aimed at practicing attorneys who wish to learn more about these issues, in order to provide culturally competent legal services to transgender clients. To that end, there will be as many as twelve hours of Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits offered free of charge during this year’s conference, on subjects including: legal identity documentation, immigration issues, employee and employer workplace questions, advocating for transgender equality, and more.

All three days of the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference are free, but registration is recommended. Visit for all the details.

Opening reception, keynote speakers and other conference highlights

Minister Louis “L.J.” Mitchell will kick off this year’s conference with a keynote address on Thursday, May 31 at 8:45 A.M. Mitchell is co-founder of Recovering the Promise Ministries, a Fellowship-affiliated ministry located in Chicopee, Massachusetts. He has served with various agencies and boards, including as the first “out” transgender-identified Board member of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and as a founding member of Lesbians and Gays of African Descent for Democratic Action.

The official PTHC 2012 welcoming reception will take place Thursday, May 31 from 7:30-8:30 PM at the William Way Community Center (1315 Spruce Street). Guests will enjoy refreshments and mingle with fellow attendees, and will also have an opportunity to view an exhibit celebrating the 10th anniversary of the addition of gender identity to Philadelphia’s Fair Practices Ordinance. The opening reception is free and open to all conference attendees.

Friday, June 1, at 4:00 PM, Mya L. Vazquez and Ryan Cassata will deliver the Youth Keynote address as part of the PTHC’s first ever “Youth Summit,” which includes workshops and that will take place throughout the day. Vazquez is a longtime activist and leader within the transgender and gender-non-conforming communities in New York City. She has helped to organize New York's third annual Trans day of action with TransJustice, an organizing working group, in which she is currently the Program coordinator of TransJustice at The Audre Lorde Project. Cassata is a 19-year-old transgender identified singer-songwriter and motivational speaker from Long Island, New York. The founder of Artemendous Records, LLC, Cassata has recorded two albums, toured the U.S., made numerous television appearances, and won the Harvey Milk Memorial Award.

More information on the 2012 Trans-Health Conference and a full schedule of workshops and activities is available at:

 About Mazzoni Center Established in 1979, Mazzoni Center provides quality comprehensive health and wellness services and is the only health care provider in the Philadelphia region specifically targeting the unique health care needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities. Mazzoni Center offers a full array of outreach, prevention, education, direct medical and care services, psychosocial services, legal services, and support groups, reaching more than 30,000 people annually. It is the oldest AIDS service organization in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the fourth-oldest in the U.S. Mazzoni Center is dedicated to preserving the dignity and improving the quality of life of the individuals it serves. More information at :

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Rani Found Not Guilty In 2010 Pakistan Marriage Case

Remember Rani, the Pakistani transwoman who was arrested during a raid of her northwest Pakistan birthday party and falsely accused of attempting to enter into a same gender marriage with Malik Iqbal two years ago?

I cited this as a example of the annoying pattern of 'gayjacking' trans lives by GL advocacy organizations, the gay media and the Gayosphere to advance the narrow policy agenda of the vanillacentric GL community.  

Yeah, yeah, I and 'errbody' else in the Transosphere and our enlightened allies know that a transwoman and cismale getting married is NOT a same gender marriage.  So do elements of the GL community who shadily try to co-opt and 'gayjack' these types of news stories for their benefit.  

But work with me people on this one and continue reading. 

Some good news has come out of Pakistan in the wake of that initial burst of international publicity and attention surrounding the case    Turns out the charges had to be dropped because prosecutors could find no evidence of Rani attempting to get married.   In addition, Iqbal already had two wives and wasn't looking to add a third.  He was simply at the party to help celebrate Rani's birthday. .

Iqbal told reporters he will file a defamation case against the former chief of the Faqirabad police station who had leveled the charges against him. 

But happiest of all for our Pakistani transsister Rani whose name has been cleared in this jacked up case as well that should have never happened in the first place.

Toby's Law Unanimously Passes Second Reading

Looks like the fourth attempt of NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo to pass Toby's Law may finally be on its way to a successful conclusion.

DiNovo has been trying since 2007 to get this law passed.  It would amend the Ontario Human Rights Code by adding gender identity and expression to protect transpeople from discrimination in the province.

The need for it was highlighted by an ugly October 2011 trans discrimination incident at a flea market in London, ON that news of went international.

On May 10 Private Member's Bill 33 reached Second reading stage.  The bill has support from all three parties in the Ontario Legislature and after debate came up for a vote which was unanimous.

The bill now goes to committee and if it clears committe with no propblems will be brought back to the Ontario House for a Third Reading that should it pass, will become provincial law.

Wow, major props to the persistence of MPP DiNovo,  the local trans rights groups there to keep pushing for its passage.  Hopefully you peeps in Ontario will really have something to celebrate when pride kicks off later in June.  

Texas Primary Election Today

For my Texas TransGriot readers, just a friendly reminder that the polls just opened and you have until 7 PM to get your vote on in the Democratic and (yecch) Republican primary elections today at your normal precinct location.

As a reminder, the Voter suppression law is NOT in effect, so all you will need to vote is to just show up with your yellow voter registration card in hand and handle your electoral business.

If for some reason you are fracked with at your polling place, call the Texas NAACP who is monitoring for any shady electoral behavior.

You can also call 1-866-MYVOTE1 to report jacked up stuff occurring at Texas polling places as well.

Your vote is your voice, so let it speak forcefully for you.

Chile To Cover SRS

South America is quickly becoming the most trans friendly continent on our planet.  

Argentina just passed a groundbreaking Gender Identity Law  and now their next door neighbors in Chile have made some moves that benefit their trans population.

Chile will soon cover sex reassignment surgeries under its public health plan in order to allow citizens of limited means to “recover their true sexual identity,” Health Minister Jaime Manalich said.

Brazil and Cuba are the other nations in Latin America that offer SRS as part of their national health plans to their citizens.

Until now SRS operations were only offered in private clinics at a cost of $20,000 to $30,000 but will now be performed in public hospitals in the capital of Santiago and the cities of Concepcion and Valparaiso, the health minister said late Thursday.
Before the reforms, “a poor person had no possibility of completing the process of femininization or masculinization,” Rolando Jimenez, head of the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation (Movilh), told AFP.
The cost for SRS covered by the national health plan will now depend on the patient's income bracket, with the poorest citizens able to get the operations for free. 

Chile also enacted other reforms and measures to help prevent discrimination aimed at its TBLG population.  The health ministry ruled that blood banks cannot refuse donors based on sexual orientation and that hospitalized transsexual patients can and should room with patients of their desired gender.

If a nation of 17 million people can do this, what holding up the United States from doing so?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Yollada Wins In Thailand!

The ranks of trans politicians around the world just increased by one.   Congrats to Yollada 'Nok' Suanyot who made history in her homeland.  

The Thai provincial elections were held May 27 and Yollada was running as an independent candidate in her home province of Nan that is located along the Thai-Laos border.  She beat out two male candidates of which one of them was from the better funded national ruling party to boot to win that election.

So yep, it's another victory #GirlsLikeUs around the world can celebrate. Told y'all we transwoman can do anything we set our minds to if given the chance and the opportunity to do so.

Yollada is now the highest ranking trans politician in Thailand, and here's hoping she continues her rise in Thailand's political ranks to where she ends up in their national legislature.

Only time will tell if that happens, but in this enterprising woman's case I wouldn't bet against her pulling it off.

Texas Trans Teen Being Allowed To Wear Dress For Graduation

In the wake of what happened in North Carolina the usual calls from the I-5 and I-95 corridors rang out for GLBT people to leave their 'bigoted red states' and come to the blue oases of rainbow equality that can be just as hateful and bigoted as the red states we leave behind.

I and other red staters repeatedly point out that you can't turn those states purple and later blue unless you have people living here who not only love it just as much as the Forces of Intolerance, but are willing to fight the right wingers tooth and nail to advance rainbow human rights.

Well, here's another example in my argument as to why it's vitally important for GLBT peeps to stay and fight for our human rights and the world we wish to live in even in a so called 'red state'.

Just 30 miles northwest of Houston is Waller, TX where transteen Brandon Navarro lives and is a Waller High School senior.   Brandon ID's as gay and a crossdresser (but I suspect Brandon is headed to the trans end of the TBLG spectrum and will use femme pronouns in this story) and has worn appropriate feminine attire according to her mother during her high school years.   

Navarro planned to wear a dress to prom and high school graduation on June 2 and had already skipped prom to avoid drama.  Navarro dropped plans to wear a dress and high heels with her long hair after a teacher reminded her of the graduation dress code.

The Waller High School graduation dress code rules requires senior males to wear slacks and shirts with their hair above the collar.

Navarro’s mother then got involved and Brandon met with the school's principal to strike a compromise acceptable to both sides.   While Brandon will have to leave the earrings and high heels out of her wardrobe, she’ll be able to wear a dress under her gown.


 Congrats Brandon!  may you have much success in any future endeavors.

Victoria Carmen White Didn't Deserve To Die

There's a pair of disturbing memes I hear in these trans murder cases like the recently concluded Alrashim Chambers one far too often that deserve to be called out and eviscerated.

They are the ones cispeople frequently peddle that the transwoman in question 'deserved to die' because the transwoman 'deceived' them into spending romantic time with them and the cisman was justified in killing them.

Please.  You cisboys (and cisgirls in some cases) are stepping to us, not the other way around..  Judging by the photos I've posted here of Ms. White, she didn't have to 'deceive' anyone into spending romantic time with her.

But back to the post.  Victoria Carmen White didn't deserve to die because she wanted some romantic attention, Alrashim Chambers' eggshell fragile ego couldn't handle the fact he spent some romantic time with a transwoman and didn't want people to know that.

Well Alrashim, if you thought nobody would find out you boned a transwoman, too late in that regard, playa playa.  The whole planet knows your business now. 

Alrashim Chambers shouldn't have been acquitted, his azz should have been found guilty.  The waste of DNA should be doing time in a New Jersey iron bar motel and looking over his shoulder for the rest of his life wondering if he's going to be getting unwanted romantic attention from some of his fellow prisoners.

Well, have to trust in the moral arc of the universe to work in this case now.   But damn it, I'm beyond sick and tired of being sick and tired of seeing far too many of our young Black transsisters die year after depressing year for just trying to living their lives to the best of their ability and nobody giving a shyt about it.

The jurors in this case get just as much blame for this as Chambers does for committing the original September 12, 2010 crime that landed him in the Essex County Courthouse in the first place. 

I don't doubt that some of that transphobic 'she deserved what she got ' stench permeated the jury and was fed by the ongoing Black 'unwoman' meme that is also violently deployed against African descended transwomen. And yes, I've served on three juries in my lifetime so I know what it's like to have someone's life and freedom on the line based on the decisions you make in a jury deliberation room. 

If you are doing your job properly, you think about that part of your juror's responsibility as you are weighing the evidence presented to you in addition to thinking about the person who is not there to speak for herself in this case in Victoria Carmen White.

The jury failed on both counts.  Justice wasn't served and Chambers got away with murder.  Instead he's walking the streets of Newark as a free man for killing Ms. White. 

Bear in mind Eseex County jurors who served on this case that the man you freed will be trying to pick up your daughters at a New York-New Jersey metro area club near you. 

You also just sent a message to every transperson living in Essex County that it's open season on transwomen and if they are killed, no biggie, player.  They ain't real people, they don't matter, and we'll give you a societal 'get out of jail free' card for doing so 

Victoria Carmen White didn't deserve to die, she deserved justice.   Unfortunately that didn't happen in that Essex County courtroom last week for her and her family.    

Victoria Carmen White mattered to her family, friends, and the people who loved her.  She mattered to her extended national and international trans sisterhood.  She mattered to transwomen of African descent who have depressingly seen and heard this bull feces story far too often inside our community. 

She mattered because her unnecessary death painfully reminds transpeople that no matter what their location on Planet Earth is, no matter if we are trying to positively live our lives, one armed transphobic bigot can end it with little or no legal repercussions.

There but for the grace of God go I.  And every time we transwomen ponder that possibility, it pisses us the hell off.

Remember Why We Celebrate Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day, in which we celebrate all of our fellow Americans who served in the armed forces to defend this nation and protect the freedoms we enjoy, and memorialize those who gave their lives in doing so.

I also need to point out as the Transgender American Veterans Association does on a regular basis that some of those Americans who proudly served our country in its various military branches are trans.

Christine Jorgenson, one of our pioneering trans women was a World War II vet who served in the Army. 

During my time in this community I have had the pleasure to meet trans people who served in the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marines and the Coast Guard.   I've met people who fought in the Korean War,  Vietnam and the first Gulf War, and have no doubts that during my future community travels and conversations I will eventually run into Iraq and Afghanistan vets.

Some of the people I met were people who did specialized duty such as Tunnel Rats, Navy Seals, aviators,   submariners, guarded nuke weapons depots, and some who can't even talk at length about what they did in their service days because it's still classified.   But the point is they served this nation proudly and to the best of their ability.

The repeal of DADT only worked for the GLB segment of the community.   It doesn't allow trans people to serve openly and be their true selves while wearing our country's uniform unlike what transpeople can do in six nations on this planet.  We can still be kicked out of the US military for being trans.

That's bull feces and it's why TAVA and myself are still pushing for the military to end the restrictions on transgender people openly serving in our country's military.  We have just as much right as any other American to fight and potentially die for our country.

But on this Memorial Day, let's once again take time to honor and contemplate all who have served, all who have died in service to our country and join the rest of our nation in observing a moment of silence at 12:01 PM EDT in honor of our fallen heroes and sheroes.

As we do so, let's also consider the fact there is a segment of the American family in the trans community who wish to like everyone else in this country want and need the opportunity to serve our country openly and proudly.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Black Church Isn't 'Uniquely Homophobic'

And I and many African descended Christians, cis, gay and straight are getting fed up with that far too often projected lie being aimed at an institution that is the centerpiece of our culture.

That distinction based on the overwhelming mountain of evidence is white dominated fundamentalist churches and right wing Christian denominations who have had a foaming at the mouth hatred of GLBT people and pimped it since the 70's for fun, profit, political power and influence.

It wasn't Black churches who spent $28 million dollars like the Mormons and Catholic Church did to finance the 2008 Prop 8 campaign in California.   

When it comes to pimping faith based homophobia and transphobia, no one excels at it better than white fundamentalist churches.   They not only are the architects and primary catalysts for many of the anti-TBLG human rights petitions and referenda, they finance them, provide the foot soldiers for the petition drives and campaigns and vote overwhelmingly to restrict and deny human rights coverage to others.

And as a group of white North Carolina ministers were prime examples of, persist in spewing hate speech from their pulpits. 

As people like Rev Al Sharpton, Bishop Yvette Flunder, Rev Dr. William Barber and a long list of pastors are emphatically demonstrating, that 'uniquely homophobic' meme aimed at the Black church is questionable 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Post 5500!

Another day, another milestone post.   

TransGriot readers, you're perusing post number 5500 since I started compiling them on these electronic pages on January 1, 2006.

When you think about it, that;s a lot of writing about a wide range of subjects.  While trans issues and the issues of trans people of color and the African Diaspora will always be Job One here, as you know I do and will talk about anything that interests me outside the confines of TBLG issues.

And you are already aware of the fact that when i do, I'm not 'scurred' to tell it like it T-I-S is about what's going on.   It's why I have over 3.8 million hits and counting.

As for my haters, y'all can keep on hatin' and drinking that Haterade from 55 gallon drums because you are my motivators to keep me doing what I do.  Besides, I want to make sure that you have plenty to build up a frothing at the mouth dislike of me  

To the people who send me love, appreciation, shout outs on Facebook and Twitter and occasionally drop something in the electronic tip jar, thank you.  Your kind words and praise also motivate me to continue the high quality writing, the Black trans history post, and the features of this blog y'all tell me you love.

Thank you, and on to the next milestone post.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Alrashim Chambers Trial-WTF? Chambers Acquitted

Well, we just found out what a Black transwoman's life is worth in Essex County, New Jersey. 

Not a damned thing.

After a trial that started on April 30, included the testimony of the cousin of the victim and Marquise Foster and two days of five hour deliberation sessions, the jury in the Alrashim Chambers trial returned their verdict at 11 AM EDT this morning.

It acquitted the 25 year old Chambers of all counts in the September 12, 2010 slaying of 28 year old Victoria Carmen White.


The jury found Newark resident Chambers not guilty of murder, bias intimidation and two weapons offenses. Chambers took the stand in his own defense, maintained he was innocent in the years leading up to the trial and faced up to life in prison if he had been convicted of murder.

I repeat, WTF?

"Obviously, we and the victim’s family are very disappointed in the verdict," said Essex County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Eileen O’Connor, who spoke with White’s relatives after the verdict. "But we put forth all the evidence in the case and did the best we could under the circumstances."

What the hell were you thinking Chambers jury?   You just set a murderer free to walk the streets of Newark.  In the process you just announced to the world that it's open season on transwomen in the area.

Once again, for a Black transwoman, the justice system failed us, Victoria Carmen White, her family and all the people who loved her..

Shut Up Fool Awards- 2012 Memorial Day Weekend Edition

Memorial Day is coming up on Monday, and it is considered in the States the official start of the summer season even though we won't officially be in it until June 21.  The real reason we celebrate Memorial Day in the United Sates is to remember all members of the armed forces who have died in war defending our nation.

One of the things those gallant members of the armed forces gave their lives for in addition to protecting our nation from foreign and domestic enemies is the freedoms that are enshrined in our Constitution.  

And considering the levels of stupidity that have been witnessed in this country ever since the historic election of President Obama in 2008, the numbers of domestic enemies have exponentially increased along with their levels of stupidity.
And that's where I come in along with your help, loyal TransGriot readers.  Every Friday we gather here to shed a bright spotlight on the stupidity and ignorance running amok in our nation.   Sometimes in certain weeks it's so off the chain that I need help from y'all to properly call it out.

Unfortunately this was one of those weeks for off the charts stupidity.

Our nominees for this week's award are the Group nominations for NOM, the Republican Party, the radfems, the Republican Women's Caucus, and Fox Noise.  

The individual nominations are for Rep Paul Ryan (R-WI) , Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI), Rep Mike Coffman (R-CO), Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Newark mayor Cory Booker (D), Sean Hannity, Eric Boehlert, Joe 'The Plumber' Wurtzelbacher, Roger Ailes, Colin Quinn, Eric Boehlert, Gretchen Carlson, Rep. Phil Broun (R-GA), Bishop Bigot Harry Jackson  and Geraldo Rivera

Honorable Mention goes to Alveda King for this comment slamming the NAACP board resolution that after she got called out for it, she walked it back.

“Neither my great-grandfather, an NAACP founder, my grandfather Dr. Martin Luther King Sr., an NAACP leader, my father Rev. A. D. Williams King, nor my uncle Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. embraced the homosexual agenda that the current NAACP is attempting to label as a civil rights agenda. In the 21st century, the anti-traditional marriage community is in league with the anti-life community, and together with the NAACP and other sympathizers, they are seeking a world where homosexual marriage and abortion will supposedly set the captives free.”

Did you forget your late Aunt Coretta would have a better idea where your Uncle Martin stood on those issues, much less was friends with iconic Black gay leader Bayard Rustin?

It also deserved this distinguished award as well for your ongoing efforts in coonery, buffonery and selling out to the conservafool movement and disgracing your uncle's legacy.   Your Uncle Martin is not a conservafool, so stop trying to peddle that lie and sit yo' azz down somewhere.

This week's Shut Up Fool Award goes to NC hate preacher and waste of DNA Charles Worley.  You just can't top calling for the genocide of 10% of the American population in a Sunday sermon and your parishioners thinking it's okay.

Charles Worley, shut the HELL up fool. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Keelin Godsey Making Another Attempt At Trans Olympic History

Since 2004 the International Olympic Committee has allowed trans people to compete in the Olympic Games under the Stockholm Consensus.   Unfortunately those rule changes were enacted too late for many trans athletes around the world to take advantage of them in time to compete in Athens.

Yes, there are trans athletes around the world eager to compete at the highest levels, and the ultimate for any athlete is to compete for their nation in the Olympic Games.   The 2004 Stockholm Consensus allowed trans athletes the opportunity to make their dreams of Olympic glory happen

As of yet no transgender athlete has qualified for their national Olympic team either in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino or the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.  It wasn't for lack of trying why trans athletes weren't marching into Beijing's Bird's Nest Stadium for the opening ceremony . 

Kristin Worley made a contentious bid to qualify for the 2008 Canadian Olympic cycling team that fell short.  On our side of the border Keelin Godsey attempted to make the 2008 US Olympic track team in the women's hammer throw and finished seventh with a throw of 66.55 meters.   Godsey missed making the Olympic team and making history in the process by ten agonizing feet.

Nope, that isn't a typo.  It was the women's hammer throw team Godsey was trying to qualify for since despite the masculine appearance, Godsey is under the same competition protocols that Kye Allums used to compete in women's NCAA basketball competition.  In order to make his Olympic competition dream happen he has delayed taking testosterone. 

It's four years later, the Olympic torch relay is already making it way around the UK before it arrives in London on July 27 and Keelin Godsey is making another run at making his Olympic competition dreams come true and in the process striking a sporting blow for all transkind.

Godsey already made history last year as the first trans athlete to qualify for a US national team and compete in the Pan American Games.  He finished fifth in the women's hammer throw competition in Guadalajara with his third best lifetime throw ever at 67.84 meters.

He recently qualified to compete in the upcoming 2012 USA Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, OR taking place from June 21-July 1.   If he finishes in the top three in the women's hammer throw competition he not only gets a trip to London for the upcoming Summer Olympic Games, he becomes the first transperson ever to qualify for their national Olympic team.   

And on the day the Athletics (what the rest of the world calls track and field) competition starts and Godsey steps into London's Olympic Stadium for his event, he'll become the first transperson ever to compete in the Olympics.

So yes, I will be paying closer attention than usual to the US Olympic track and field trails this year and hope Keelin makes his dream come true.

Manitoba Human Rights Code Expanding To Cover Trans People

More progress for our Canadian trans peeps. 

Trans people living in the province of Manitoba got some wonderful news yesterday from Justice Minister Andrew Swan.  The province's human rights code will be changed so transgender Manitobans and those with a "disadvantaged social status" will be protected from discrimination.

Manitoba's human rights code already forbids discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, marital status and other factors and will bring Manitoba's code up to speed with what exists in other provinces such as Quebec.  

The changes were requested by the province's Human Rights Commission, the body that hears complaints of discrimination and a legislative amendment was introduced by Swan yesterday to initiate the process.

In addition to adding protections for trans residents and the poor people of Manitoba, also includes revisions on how the commission does its work.  The proposed changes allow for joint Manitoba Human Rights Commission proceedings on similar complaints, allowing the commission to sit in smaller panels and expanding mediation provisions.

Swan said the changes will protect people who have a social disadvantage, or are perceived to be undereducated, underemployed, homeless or living in inadequate housing, from being discriminated against.

Moni's Headed To Netroots Nation 2012

It's been in the works for two months, but now I can make it official.  Moni will be in the house in Providence, RI for the 2012 edition of Netroots Nation.

So what's Netroots Nation?    Each year, thousands of bloggers, newsmakers, social justice advocates, labor and organizational leaders, grassroots organizers and online activists come together to make new connections, hone their organizing skills, share best practices and build stronger relationships with others working on the issues they care most about. And each year, some of the brightest minds in progressive politics come to Netroots Nation to speak with and hear from our community.

If you're a political junkie like moi you've probably watched C-SPAN cover some of the Netroots Nation events, keynote speeches and panel discussions from this conference.  Like the Congressional Black Caucus' ALC and the National Black Justice Coalition's Out On the Hill that I finally got to attend last year, it's an event that I've always wanted to attend but could never make it compatible with my work schedule. 

The seventh annual Netroots gathering will be held from June 7–10 and Netroots Nation 2012 will include 70 panels, 30 training sessions, and inspiring keynote speeches.  Keith Olbermann is the first confirmed speaker for this edition of Netroots Nation.   In addition there are film screenings and other engaging sessions designed to educate, stimulate and inspire the nation’s next generation of progressive leaders and introduce some new ideas and concepts to those of us grizzled veterans who have been in the liberal-progressive trenches for a while..

The best part is I'll finally get to meet in the flesh and speak to many of the people in liberal-progressive world I only get to talk to on the phone or online.  So yeah, it's a Big Fracking Deal that I'm going.

The reason I'll be at Netroots Nation 2012 is because I'm participating in a panel discussion that will be moderated by fellow Bilerico Project blogger Dr. Jillian Weiss. 

My fellow panelists are Autumn Sandeen of Pam's House Blend, Jennifer Levi of GLAD, and Jos Truitt of Feministing.

It's entitled Blogging for Transgender Equality: History, Challenges and Progress and I'm looking forward to being in the house, representing the African-American trans community, talking about our issues and injecting our perspectives into this conversation to the best of my ability. 

See y'all in Providence.  And oh yeah, for those of you who can't be there and my TransGriot readers, you know I'm planning to do posts about the happenings there and my take on what's going on.

''Single Ladies' Season 2 Starts May 29

Y'all are well aware of how much I loved VH1's series Single Ladies and was happy it got renewed for a second season.   While LisaRaye McCoy and Charity Shea will be back reprising their roles as Keisha and April, Stacey Dash will not be returning as Val.

She's being replaced by Denise Vasi who'll be playing Keisha's best friend Raquel Lancaster

It will kick off Season 2 May 29, and I'm looking forward to seeing how this one plays out.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Texas Primary Early Voting Ends May 25

For my Lone Star State TransGriot readers, you peeps are already aware of the fact based on all the political ads running on TV and radio the early voting phase of our state's delayed primary elections are happening.  In case you haven't done your civic duty you have until May 25 to get your vote on if you wish to do so before the May 29 election day.

Remember, thanks to the Department of Justice the Texas Voter Suppression Law is NOT in effect, so all you will need to cast your ballot is your voter registration card.

The cool thing about early voting is that you get to choose the location you vote at and it fits your schedule.   If you wait until May 29 to vote, you can only do so at your regular precinct location.

For you Harris County TransGriot readers, here's the 37 locations you can choose from to exercise your right to vote for the people who will be Democratic or that other party's candidates in November.

The Texas NAACP is watching for any voter irregularities and BS designed to suppress voter turnout in our communities, so if you happen to witness or experience it, give the Texas NAACP a call.

Once again peeps, you have until May 25 to participate in early voting, and to find out where you can hit you local county website for the locations.

Black Trans History-Althea Garrison

The United States trans community is at a phase in its maturation as a movement in which we realized long ago  we need girls and boys like us to run for and win political office in order to get the trans human rights laws we need passed.

We have watched with envy as transwomen in New Zealand, Italy and now Poland have been elected to their national legislatures, transwoman Aya Kamikawa is holding elective office in Japan, and Thai transwoman Yollada Suanyot is running to do the same in the Land of Smiles..  

We have long assumed in the United States trans community that we have never had a transperson elected to a state legislature.   I've documented the attempts of Amanda Simpson and Dr. Dana Beyer to break that state legislative glass ceiling.

But it turns out that the glass has already been shattered in that regard, and the person who made that history as the first trans state legislator was an African-American 

Althea Garrison was born in Hahira, GA on October 7, 1940 and moved to Boston to attend beauty school.  She went on to enroll at Newbury Junior College and received an associate's degree. Garrison later received a B.S. degree in administration from Suffolk University, an M.S. degree in management from Lesley College and a certificate in special studies in administration and management from Harvard University in 1984 

Although Althea has never publicly announced her trans status or talked about it, we are aware that people who transitioned during that more restrictive HBIDGA era were advised to never let anyone know their trans status and live their lives.  In 1976 her name change petition was approved and filed in the Suffolk County Courthouse
"consistent with [her] appearance and medical condition."

Keep reading to discover how this info became public, but back to the post.

Politically Garrison is all over the map.  She has been and is currently a Democrat
1982–1986, 1998–1999, 2010–present, an independent in 1988, 2000, 2008 and a Republican from 1990–1996 and 2002–2006. She's run for office multiple times under those various party labels for the Boston City Council, mayor, the Massachusetts Senate and the Massachusetts House of Representatives. .

She worked for the Massachusetts state comptrollers office and made her first unsuccessful run for public office in 1981.  Undaunted, she unsuccessfully ran as a Democrat for the Massachusetts House in 1982 and 1986  

But you know the old saying about persistence paying off.  Despite the Boston Globe dismissing her two years before as a 'perennial loser', her breakthrough political victory fitting occurred during the 1992 political 'Year of The Woman".

She was running as a Republican candidate for the Fifth Suffolk seat in the Massachusetts House and successfully challenged several signatures that Democratic incumbent Nelson Merced obtained as part of the candidate certification process.   The successful challenge meant that Merced was removed from the Democratic primary ballot and ended his reelection bid in the process.  

That meant the Fifth Suffolk seat was now an open one and Garrison went on to a close general-election victory in November 1992 over Democratic candidate Irene Roman, 2,451 votes to 2,014.

Unfortunately Garrison only got to savor her long sought after electoral victory for two days. 

A story broke in the conservative leaning Boston Herald that revealed Garrison's old male name and the 1976 name change petition.   The author of the smear piece was Eric Fehrnstrom, the current communications director for the Mitt Romney presidential campaign who was then a conservative attack columnist for the Herald

The outing undermined her opportunity to be judged as a freshman legislator by the same criteria and merits as her fellow Massachusetts House colleagues and probably derailed any opportunity for Garrison to build her political career   It also unfortunately for her occurred the same year The Crying Game was released in theaters.  She was treated as an oddity or the punchline for a joke in local political columns mocking her transition. 

Howie Carr, a conservative talk show host who was at the time a colleague of Fehrnstrom's at the Herald once wrote a column in which he stated, “I’ve always liked Althea. She has a big heart. Not to mention big feet. And very, very big hands.” 

Instead of confronting the smear, no one in the Massachusetts state house, including Garrison herself was willing or comfortable discussing trans issues and their trans colleague.  

She took the lemon situation she'd been thrust into by Fehrnstrom's hit piece and turned it into lemonade. She impressed her legislative colleagues on a personal level.  "She’s a transvestite or transsexual black woman, with an Adam’s Apple, who’s a Republican, who you run into in the members’ ladies’ room," recalls one former colleague. "That being said, when you get past all those obvious things, I always found her to be very pleasant and very kind."

During her term from 1993-1995 she consistently voted pro-union and sided with the Democrats on many issues far more often than she did with the Republicans.  When she ran for reelection in 1994 her pro-union record earned her endorsements from the AFL-CIO and eight additional unions.  It wasn't enough to keep her from being challenged by Democratic rising political star Charlotte Golar Richie.

In the 1994 general election.that fall Garrison's bid for reelection resulted in defeat as Golar Richie garnered 2108 votes to Garrison’s 1718.

Since then Garrison has continued be involved in local politics and run for various offices in the Boston area   She ran as a  'Independent Progressive' in a 2000 Massachusetts House race, a 2001 Boston mayoral race, a 2002 special election for the Massachusetts Senate as a Republican for the 1st Suffolk district; 2003 and 2005 races for at large seats on the Boston City Council, and a 2006 Massachusetts House race as a Republican.

In 2010 Garrison made another run for the 5th Suffolk district Massachusetts House seat she'd once held and finished third in the Democratic primary.  She ran in a February 2011 special election to fill a vacancy on the Boston City Council, District 7 seat and finished in fourth place in the preliminary election.

Unfortunately Garrison has been on the wrong side of the marriage equality issue. 
“Furthermore, to grant special benefits and privileges to a certain group of people is discriminatory toward heterosexual males and females. The issue of same sex marriage is not like race in which a person has no control over the color of his or her skin of which they were born, same sex is a matter of choice and lifestyle not to be confused or associated with class or race.“
She called for the judges who ruled on that groundbreaking Massachusetts marriage case to be removed from the bench and in her 2003 Boston City council race she was supported by the odious anti GLBT organization MassResistance.

But the facts are that we now know the glass ceiling for a transwoman being elected to a state legislature in the United States was broken in 1992, and the woman who did so was Althea Garrison.  

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Got Milk?

Milk Day that is.

Today is Harvey Milk Day, which is the third annual international celebration of the life of iconic assassinated gay activist and San Francisco supervisor Harvey Milk, who was born on this date in 1930 in New York state. 1930.

He was the first openly gay person elected to public office in California when he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors but his term lasted just 11 months because he along with San Francisco mayor were felled by assassins bullets in 1979 fired by former supervisor Dan White. 

His May 22 birthday is now a state holiday in California and politicians on the liberal-progressive side of the aisle contemplated Milk's groundbreaking legacy.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, whose district covers San Francisco, said in a statement Tuesday that Milk's work has endured the test of time.

"His legacy lives on in you," she said. "Harvey gave us a green light and so many of you continue his work. Today that means our continued fight to end workplace discrimination, keep families and loving couples together, ensure the freedom to marry and repeal the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act. Harvey Milk's leadership for his community was relentless.  He changed the course of history by always pushing for progress and for the American ideal of equality--our heritage and our hope. We too must be relentless in our efforts to ensure the fundamental rights of all Americans."

The California Democratic Party also released a statement saying, "34 years following Milk’s assassination, his message of hope continues to inspire a global movement committed to equality for millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) people eager to participate in their nation’s political, social, legal and civic institutions."

Happy Milk Day, everyone.

Our Chocolate Coming Out Parameters Are Not Like Yours

Over the weekend I shook my head and chuckled to myself as the reactions in the Blogosphere and elsewhere began to trickle in as a result of Queen Latifah's performance at the Long Beach Pride Festival and Raven's comments regarding rumors that she's part of the rainbow family.

The Queen has been dogged by those rainbow rumors ever since she played butch lesbian Cleo in the movie Set It Off off back in the late 90's.  Her appearance at the 4th largest pride festival in the States only added new fuel to the fire.

The latest person to feel the come out of the chocolate rainbow closet heat is now 26 year old Raven-Symoné in the wake of a National Liar Enquirer article claiming she was dating America's Next Top Model out lesbian contestant AzMarie Livingston

Raven tweeted this response to the rumors

"I'm living my PERSONAL life the way I'm happiest," she tweeted. "I'm not one, in my 25 year career to disclose who I'm dating. and I shall not start now. My sexual orientation is mine, and the person I'm datings to know. I'm not one for a public display of my life."

She continued that "however that is my right as a HUMAN BEing whether straight or gay. To tell or not to tell. As long as I'm not harming anyone. I am a light being made from love. And my career is the only thing I would like to put on display, not my personal life. Kisses!"

Got that right.   Thanks for telling it like it T-I-S is, Raven.

While having more out and proud chocolate rainbow people is always a good thing and frankly we could use more positive Black TBLG role models, it's not only still up to that person to make the call when they are comfortable enough in their own skin to do so,  we have as African descended rainbow people different parameters we factor into that coming out decision.

Black people in general are politically liberal, but socially conservative.   When I say conservative, I don't mean the batturd crazy stuff that is on regular display in Republican circles.   We are also as a community still grappling with as the recent marriage equality evolution and announcement by President Obama was an example of, reconciling our personal deeply held faith traditions to our social justice leanings when it comes to the issues of BTLG human rights.  

And yeah, let me be real on this, some of my peeps are just straight up transphobes and homophobes hiding behind their faith to be as bigoted as they wanna be.   The faith based drama they stir up causes deleterious effects in our lives.

As we African-descended transwomen are painfully reminded of on a monthly basis, the anti-LGBT hate speech fuels anti-trans violence that has cost far too many transpeople our lives.  It forces us to factor personal safety into our coming out decision making.. 

Many of us Black GLBT people grow up in the church and still faithfully attend regular Sunday services because our religious faith is an intrinsic core value we build the rest of our lives around.  If coming out means that we're no longer welcome in a church we've attended since childhood, that's for some people a price they are not willing to pay.

Our families and those relationships are also as important to us as the ones we have with our church and our faith and spirituality.   One of the things I was afraid of when I transitioned was how I would handle the worst case scenario of never seeing any of my family members again if they chose to cut ties to me. 

While my family relationship was rocky for a few years, fortunately that permanent split I feared didn't happen even though I was prepared for it had it occurred. But I have run across people in my nearly two decades spent in the rainbow community for whom birthdays and holidays are very depressing moments for them because their families did cut ties with them.  

Since we African-Americans have had to deal with being the last hired and first fired in this country, a J-O-B has huge importance to us. 

If you're a public figure like Queen Latifah and Raven, you additionally have to factor into your decision whether coming out is worth the money and roles you're going to lose out on in a vanillacentric Hollywood that is already hard enough for straight cisgender Black actresses to work in.
Now people, leave Raven-Symoné and The Queen alone about their private lives and who they may or may not be sleeping with. We are already blessed enough in terms of them sharing their singing and acting talents to entertain us, and they deserve to have some part of their lives that is private.

Neither is it any of our concern who they choose to sleep with.    If they wish to tell us that part of their business, that should be their decision alone to make in terms of going public with that or not and if they do the timing of that announcement.

NC 'Pastor' Calls For Final Solution To The LGBT Problem

If you thought I was kidding when I said this is the most pivotal election in American history and you people who call yourselves liberal-progressives need to be running to the polls to vote a straight Democratic ticket, peep the following video. 

The Conservafundies in North Carolina are basking in the glow of victory after the unjust Amendment One's passage, and they are letting the homophobic and transphobic faith-based hate flow

Pastor Charles Worley of Maiden, NC was channeling his inner Nazi last Sunday and has some ideas about what to do with all those pesky GLBT people demanding human rights coverage in 'their' America.

I guess for his next sermon he'll have David Bahati flown in from Uganda to pimp their idea for a 'Kill The Gays' bill.

Okay, you just called for genocide.  Maybe that's okay by conservagod, but not the Lord and Savior and the God I a Christian.

Take it away Martin Bashir and Anthea Butler.

Chloe Sevigny Discusses Playing A Transwoman In Upcoming BBC Series

Chloe Sevigny once played the girlfriend of transman Brandon Teena in the movie Boys Don't Cry, and now she's playing Mia, a pre-op transwoman contract killer with personal life complications beyond her gender issues in the upcoming BBC television series Hit and Miss.

In addition to discussing her character in this series, Chloe has an interview in which she talks about the prosthetic penis she wore in this series and how it made her feel to do so.

The SkyNews Interview

Monday, May 21, 2012

Parties And Elections Matter

Just up the street a few short blocks from me is an early voting location in easy walking distance from the house.

Friday afternoon I took some time out of my day to do my civic duty.and cast my ballot in the Texas Democratic primary.

We normally have primary elections in March, but no thanks to the Republifools trying to play racist games with the redistricting process and their voter ID suppression law they tried to implement at the behest of ALEC, the Department of Justice filed suits to legally pimp slap them on.both issues.

Thank you Section V of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which by the way was upheld by a federal appeals court in the Shelby County, Ala. v. Holder court case last week.. 

So as I was handing my voter registration card to the clerk and signing in as I have done in every election I have been eligible to cast a ballot in since 1980, I thought about the fact that if the 2008 election had gone the other way, a McCain run DOJ would have let those unjust laws slide.

Fortunately, there's an African-American president sitting in the Oval Office, and I'm damned sure going to do my part to ensure he stays there until January 20, 2017 

So if you read my May 15 post slamming conservatism and thought I was being harsh about it or 'generalizing' as someone accused me of being in a FB comment thread, nope I wasn't.

I'm just getting started eviscerating conservatism.

Check the record of conservatism when it comes to the concerns of people of color.   There is no compassion in conservatism except for the 1% of them running corporations that they delusionally think are 'people' and hasn't been since 1964.

Conservatism only cares about keeping whiteness and white supremacy in power.  Those of you who are 'proud conservatives' are enabling a political system that let's tell it like it T-I-S is, is primarily designed to keep the status quo white supremacist power structure on top and oppress people of color.

Let me repeat that once again for good measure so you understand it.  Conservatism is NOT a compassionate political philosophy.

f you can't handle that inconvenient truth and feel the Republican Party is better than that, then it's time for you to get busy taking your party back from the batturd crazy neo-fascists and dominionists  running  ruining it now.

That old slogan of 'vote the person, not the party' does not compute in this 21st century hyperpartisan personal destruction political environment.  There are stark, crystal clear differences in the Democratic and Republican parties in terms of their platforms and vastly different ideas on how to run this nation and the role of government in doing so. 

Party label gives you a major insight and informational tool into that person's character when they are running for office and how they will govern if elected..  And speaking of governing, you cannot get liberal progressive policies out of a conservative politician.  The Tea Klux Klan run state governments and the neo-Know Nothing Teabagger faction Speaker John Boehner can't control in the GOP run House should be enough of a wake-up call for your behinds to let that last paragraph burn into your brains and send you running to your nearest polling place on November 6.

Elections matter and what party controls your government matters.