Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sorry You're A Vanillacentric Privileged Trans Oppressor

In another episode of Whyte Radfem Womyn Gone Wild, the trans community's least favorite radfem stepped in it when she tweeted this photo and transphobic commentary to Marti Abernathey, the founding editor of Transadvocate while she was at a radfem convention hatefest in Portland, OR last weekend.  

So what's the big deal about it?   Pull up a comfortable chair and grab some snacks because Moni's gonna give you some of the backstory on Cathy Brennan, our community's longtime trans oppressor.

She claims in her online scribblings she's an ally, but her deeds don't match her words.

Brennan is a self identified lesbian feminist, an attorney licensed to practice in New York and Maryland and a partner at Hudson Cook LLP.   She was a liaison to the American Bar Association's Commisssion on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity  in 2008-09, and a self identified member of the National LGBT Bar Association

But seguing back to the point about respect that she leveled at Marti in her tweet. 

Why should the trans community have respect for a group of racist white radical feminists who have attacked our humanity and femininity for four decades with deleterious effects on our lives?   

That cry for respect is Romneyesque hollow coming from someone who proudly co-wrote with Elizabeth Hungerford a transphobic paper to the UN Entity For Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.

That paper's submission was timed so the trans community didn't hear about it until after the August 1 submission deadline and couldn't submit our own paper to rebut and eviscerate the Raymondesque lies, transphobic bigotry and typical radfem falsehoods contained in the Brennan-Hungerford one.

But the Transophere still rose up, rebutted and eviscerated it anyway, which is why she and her full of vanillacentric privilege co-conspirator in trans oppression did the UN stealth submission to begin with because they knew it wouldn't withstand the scrutiny nor avoid the stench of intolerance..

She also published the pre-transition names of trans feminine activists who have called out her vile behavior, used her access to the legal system as an attorney to frack with the legal gender change of another trans critic and recently outed to his high school a 17 year transman who called her out online and bragged about it in radfem circles until the backlash hit her azz.

And naw, before you ask, she hasn't apologized for it. 

Oh yeah, did I forget to mention she was on the opposing side when Baltimore County, MD was debating passing trans human rights coverage?  

But she is the first along with her fellow radfems to cry 'white women's tears' when the trans community and our allies call her out on her malicious pattern of behavior.  

And don't even try Dana LaRocca to bring up the 'Cathy helped organize the Crissy Lee Polis rally' talking point.  One broken clock moment doesn't outweigh her decades of damaging work.

In a comment on the Transadvocate FB page, the ABA responded:

"The Business Law Section does not support or condone discrimination nor derogatory comments of any type. We actively work to increase diversity in the legal profession and to promote an inclusive atmosphere for all of our members and for those who attend our meetings. Catherine Brennan is not currently an ABA Business Law Section Liaison to the ABA Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. She served one year in that position in 2008-09.


I know you didn't think that in your vanillacentric privileged world that transpeople (and especially this non-white transperson) were going to simply submit to having their human rights fracked with without a fight?

Did you think you and your friends could continue to frack with this community with impunity and suffer no consequences as you did so? 

My question is where are the feminist (and transfeminist) voices calling out this reprehensible behavior?    And you wonder why feminism has such a negative connotation in the trans community and with women of color in general? 

Trans community, you cannot ignore in the vain hope she will go away someone who has the access to policy making tables that Brennan has and the willingness to use it against us.   It's a dangerous combination when you have a trans bigot willing and unrepentantly able to not only express anti-trans attitudes, but is actively working to inject them into policies that will have deleterious effects upon the entire trans community not only here in the United States but around the world.  

Ignoring Brennan gave her and her racist radfem buddies the impression they could continue to do this oppressive crap to us in the first place.  

New decade, new rules.  You don't ignore bigots that have access to power, you confront them head on and it's about damned time the trans community recognized that


Quoted In TF Charlton Article On Jennifer Carroll

The commentary is still flowing concerning Florida's Republican Lt Governor Jennifer Carroll and her jacked up comment in the midst of her unfolding same gender sex scandal that women who look like her don't engage in 'relationships like that'.  

She's apologized for the comment, but Carroll is still  rightfully getting called out on it by all Black women, straight , trans and lesbian for it.

And the hits just keep on coming. T.F. Charlton penned an AlterNet article in which I was quoted and linked to along with Tami Winfrey Harris.

I had the pleasure of meeting and talking to T.F. Charlton during the 2012 edition of Netroots Nation in Providence and here's a taste of her article:. 
Black women as a group have long been framed in dominant American culture as essentially unfeminine. In what Monica Roberts has called the " black unwoman meme ," black women are unfavorably compared to a feminine ideal rooted in white cultural norms: white women are "considered the paragon of virtue, fertility, beauty and femininity." As a foil to this romanticized (and misogynistic) image of the angelic, respectable white lady, black women are widely stereotyped as promiscuous, bad mothers, unable or unwilling to land husbands, unattractive, angry and threatening. In short, black women in the popular imagination are so outside the scope of normative femininity that we are less than women, even almost men. Our bodies and lives are held up to intense scrutiny and routinely found wanting in appropriate femininity.

t's in this context that Carroll's comments read as a dangerous validation of racist, misogynist policing of black women's bodies and lives. Carroll perhaps unwittingly frames herself as the polar opposite of stereotypical images of black womanhood: a faithful wife and dedicated mother who doesn't look like women who "engage in relationships like that." She equates being a black woman who is "properly" feminine in appearance and behavior not only with being straight, but also with being respectable. She frames her accuser's femininity as suspect and even ridiculous by comparison. " She's the one who's been single a long time," she points out, insinuating that it is her accuser, Carletha Cole, not Carroll, who should be suspected of being queer -- i.e., not a proper black woman.

It definitely deserves a signal boost, and not because I'm quoted in it.

Monday, July 30, 2012

2012 Olympics Watch-Great Day For The Williams Sisters

It was a great day at the All England Club for the Williams Sisters in the London Olympic tennis tournament and a bad one for their haters.  

Venus Williams got her quest for a fourth overall Olympic tennis gold medal started properly by taking only 63 minutes to beat ninth seeded Sara Errani of Italy in straight sets 6-3, 6-1 in her first round match that was postponed a day due to Sunday's heavy rain. 

She faces Canada's Aleksandra Wozniack in a second round match that will determine whether she joins Serena in the round of 16.

Just to remind y'all, Big Sis was the 2000 Olympic singles champ at the Sydney Games in addition to capturing the Olympic doubles titles with Little Sis in 2000 and 2008.

Speaking of Little Sis, Serena Williams took only one hour and 13 minutes to win in straight sets her second round match with Poland's Urszula Radwanska 6-2, 6-3.   Fourth seeded  Little Sis wasn't playing with Agnieszka's baby sis in this match.  She served up 8 aces and hit 26 winners to complete to her July sweep of the Radwanska sisters and move on to play Russia's Vera Zvonareva in the Round of 16. 

Serena beat Zvonareva for the 2010 Wimbledon ladies' singles title, just you give you haters something else to chew on. .

My fave tennis playing siblings then headed to Court 2 a few hours later and successfully got their quest for a third Olympic doubles title off to a winning start.   They opened the defense of the Beijing doubles title by beating the Romanian duo of Sorana Cirstea and Simona Halep 6-3, 6-2 to advance to their second round doubles match versus fifth seeded Angelique Kerber and Sabine Lisicki of Germany.

TransGriot Update: Venus Beat Wozniack 6-1, 6-3 to move to the round of 16 and face Angelique Kerber of Germany.

more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/07/30/4674900/williams-sisters-win-opening-olympic.html#storylink=cpy

2012 Olympics Watch-USA Women's B-Ballers Take On Angola

The USA women's basketball team gets their second Group A game at the Basketball Arena that has been dubbed 'The Mattress' (for the way it looks from the outside) when they take on Angola later today.

While the Angolan men have long been dominant on the FIBA Afrobasket scene and perennial Olympic qualifiers, they surprisingly didn't make it to London this year, but the Angolan women did. . 

This is the first ever international competition ever for the Angolan women, and they will have their hands full trying to play with the four time defending gold medalists and the FIBA world number one ranked USA squad coming off a sloppy (for them) win on Saturday versus a scrappy Croatia squad.

That means look out, Team USA will probably be focused from the opening tipoff of this game.

Team USA will be focused on the tasks of keeping  their Olympic win streak alive and stretching it to 35 consecutive wins since the 1996 Atlanta Games, keep an unblemished record in Group A play, and making sure they improve on Saturday's game.

Should be fun to watch at 4:15 CDT to see if they accomplish all three tasks.

TPOCC Chair On 2012 Dem Party Platform Committee

The 2012 Democratic Party Convention will be happening in Charlotte, NC this September, and in advance of it the Democratic National Committee and Obama for America announced how the 2012 Platform process would be conducted. 

The July 20th deadline has already passed to send written testimony in, but Democrats from around the country will continue to come together and draft a Platform that outlines Democratic priorities and highlights the President's vision for the middle class and his efforts to create an economy that's built to last.

I can say with complete confidence that there's not a chance in Hades that the Democratic Platform will resemble the putrid 2012 Texas GOP one that seeks to repeal the 1965 Voting Rights Act and oppose critical thinking skills being taught in public schools among other jaw dropping planks. 

Back to the post.   One of the Platform Committee members who will have input on that Democratic platform is none other than trans advocate, NBJC Board Member and Trans People of Color Coalition (TPOCC) founder Kylar Broadus.

If you want to know why I stay a Democrat, the inclusion of trans voices in my party's policy discussion is a major reason why. 

Congrats again Kylar for making history again on behalf of our community, representing us at that particular policy making decision table and ensuring that our voices as trans Democrats are heard and reflected in this year's platform..

Justice For Nakhia!

When I was living in Louisville, I got to know and become friends in 2005 with Nakhia Williams.   I was shocked and angry to find out less than a few days after I had a conversation with her in August 2008 she was found shot near her west Louisville apartment after a home invasion robbery August 20 and died from it ten days later.   

I was even more pissed off when I saw the initial misgendering headline about that 2008 case and reported WDRB-TV to GLAAD over their misgendering report that violated AP Stylebook guidelines on reporting about trans people.   I wasn't the only one pissed about it.  So were local trans people and other persons who attended her funeral

Was happy to find out that the wastes of DNA who committed the crime, Reginald Grider and Damon Malone were caught by LMPD and recently brought to justice. 

And WDRB-TV respectfully reported it on their site.

Grider received 15 years for the robbery and burglary of Nakhia's apartment.  Just before the trial was scheduled to start, Malone accepted a plea deal and was sentenced to 35 years for Nakhia's murder..

No, the punishments don't bring her back, but it does provide closure to the family and all of us who loved Nakhia and miss her in our lives.


Say Hello To Lana

An ongoing story I've been tracking in these electronic pages is the rumored metamorphosis of The Matrix trilogy director Lana Wachowski.   

Since 2003 there have been 'did she or did she not transition' rumors flying from the Left Coast that were exacerbated by the 2010 Rolling Stone article about her that was printed without comment from the Wachowski siblings.

You would see the occasional sightings of Lana at various Hollywood events and LAX posted online or in various gossip blogs, but cricket chirping silence from either of the Wachowski siblings confirming or denying them.  Even the folks that were cast in their movies such as The Matrix trilogy, Speed Racer or worked with them on projects such as V For Vendetta in which they were writing credited as The Wachowski's were tight lipped about it.  

Despite the increasing anecdotal and photographic evidence that said transition had already occurred, my personal thoughts on that is until a person acknowledges they are trans via press conference or interview, I consider them as a cis person until told otherwise..

The Wachowski siblings are set to premiere October 26 a new movie called Cloud Atlas that stars Halle Berry and Tom Hanks and have just released a trailer for it.  But what has gotten peoples attention is this will be the first movie that you will see Lana Wachowski's name in the movie credits instead of the old one.

Yep people, here's the strongest evidence yet short of a press conference (which I wish she'd do) that Lana Wachowski is a #GirlLikeUs.  As to whether she'll do a coming out interview about it, that remains to be seen.  


Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Olympian I Know

I look forward to watching the Olympics and  rooting for the athletes representing my country and others in various sports  

The intensity and interest goes up another notch when you actually have a personal connection with the person you're watching compete for Olympic glory

When I first started watching my then roommate pick up a sabre and start participating in various fencing tournaments inside the Kentucky Division and the Great Lakes Region, in the process of supporting my homegirl Dawn I got to meet some of the wonderful people who are part of US Fencing in that part of the world.

In addition to meeting the families, parents and friends of fencers, the 'Baby Vets' and the 'Senior Mama's, the gang at LFC, Maestro Stawicki, various officials and referees in US fencing, I also got to meet some of the up and coming US fencers when I was the announcer for the Super Youth Regional tourney that was held in Louisville in 2010.  

One of the fencing families I got to know during my time in Kentucky were the Kiefers.  Lee, her sister Alex and her baby brother are all foil fencers and pretty darned good ones.   Lee was already fencing on the international cadet level when I met them and their proud parents a few years ago.

When Dawn and I used to discuss Lee's tremendous talent or her  chances to be on or selected for a USA Olympic fencing team, we never used the word 'if' when discussing her, but 'when'  

Dawn and I along with everyone else in the Kentucky Division expected her to be in London, and here she is competing at age 18 with a 2011 Pan Am Games gold medal and a raft of cadet and junior championship medals in hand.  She also has the distinction of being only the second American woman to ever earn a medal at the senior World Fencing Championships when she picked up a bronze last October. . 

Lee made it to the quarterfinals of her first Olympic foil tournament before being ousted by the eventual silver medalist Arriana Errigo of Italy.   Lee is also a smart, super sweet person in addition to having serious fencing ability and talent.

I was up early to watch her match yesterday morning, and while I was sad she fell just short of the medal round, she made some fencing history in the process.  I have no doubts I will be seeing her again in Rio four years from now and she'll be standing on the medal platform when she competes in that 2016 tournament.

She still has the team foil event to go in a few days (August 2), so if things break her way, she may head back to Kentucky with a London Olympic medal after all.   

Congrats Lee.  It's an honor to have a personal connection with an Olympic athlete and know firsthand the levels of hard work, determination and effort it took for you to be standing on that London Olympic strip.

I'm one more person who is immensely proud of you

2012 Olympics Watch-Great Day For USA Women's Olympic Sports Teams

Saturday was the first official day of competition of the 2012 London Games and to paraphrase an old Ice Cube rap song, today was a good day for the USA's women's Olympic sports teams. 

The USA women's basketball team started on the road to a fifth consecutive gold medal by getting Group A pool play started in the Basketball Arena with an 81-56 win over a scrappy Croatia team that has been zooming up the FIBA basketball rankings lately.

Croatia trailed 11-4 after the first quarter but sloppy USA play, early shooting woes and turnovers kept Croatia close.  Croatia started lighting it up from three point range in the second quarter after attempting and failing to score inside and were rewarded with a shockingly brief second quarter lead and visions of a ginormous upset dancing in their heads until Diana Taurasi launched back to back threes of her own that gave Team USA a narrow 31-28 halftime lead.

Team USA went to work expanding that narrow lead to a six point cushion by the end of the third quarter thanks to Angel McCoughtry coming off the bench to provide an offense and defensive spark.

A 16-0 fourth quarter run secured their 34th consecutive win in Olympic b-ball play since the 1996 Atlanta Games.   Next up is Angola, and you can bet Team USA will be ready for that game.

While the USA roundballers were getting their Olympic pool play wakeup call,  the Team USA soccer players were in Glasgow, Scotland's Hampden Park playing in a rough and tumble match with a scrappy Colombia that featured 30 fouls and goals from Megan Rapinoe, Abby Wambach and Carli Lloyd.

Wambach's goal in the 74th minute was her 140th career international one and her sixth in Olympic play to pass Mia Hamm and Tiffeny Milbrett on the USA all time Olympic goal scoring list.

The had fought 3-0 win guaranteed that Team USA would make it to the quarterfinals, and they can capture Group G with a win or draw against North Korea at Old Trafford in Manchester, England on July 31.

The world number one ranked USA women's indoor volleyball team is attempting to win our first ever Olympic gold medal.  

They got their Olympic tournament started at Earl's Court in a positive manner with a 3-1 Group B win over South Korea and a dominating performance by Destinee Hooker.  

Team USA took the first two sets by 25-19 and 25-17 scores before the South Koreans clawed their way back into the match by taking the third set 25-20.  Team USA regrouped and with the score at 15-14 in that fourth set went on a 7-1 run to take a 22-15 lead to put them on the way to clinching the set and eventually a hard fought 25-21 win  

Their next Group B match will be on July 30 against number two world ranked Brazil.  Like Team USA, Brazil is considered a gold medal favorite and have been traditionally strong in the sport.   Brazil held the FIVB number one world ranking for four years until the USA took it over at the end of 2011.

After the July 30th volleyball tussle with Brazil Team USA has matches remaining with China, Serbia and Turkey and must finish in the top four teams in their group to move on to the medal round.

But Saturday was a great step in the right direction for the USA women volleyballers and the other USA women's team sports that have gold medal dreams.

Maya Angelou Definition Of A Hero

This Maya Angelou quote really resonated for me.  

If you are striving to make this world a better place for all people, there are times in which you will be standing alone because you have to have the courage of your convictions to say things that make you unpopular at times.   You have be willing to do the right thing when others seek the most expedient thing to do, are willing to sell you out for their own comfort, cower in the shadows or are reluctant to take a stand.

In some parts of the world, working to make it a better place for all people means literally putting your own life in jeopardy to do so.

You also must have the unshakeable courage of your convictions.   You must have a great grasp of history in order to learn from the mistakes of your predecessors and better formulate a plan what will work in the politcal and historic times you live in.  

You must know your enemy and most importantly, know yourself so that your intent to make the world a better place for everyone becomes action that accomplishes that goal.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

2012 Olympics Watch-Yo Haters, Serena Wins First Round Olympic Singles Match

The 2012 London Olympics tennis tournament got started at the All-England Club with an unusual sight. color.   It is the tennis venue for these Games, and the usual mostly all white clothing rule has been waived.

Not only did the players take advantage of it by wearing clothing in their national colors, the Wimbledon courts were decorated with the purple colors and bunting of the London Games.

But since this is 'Williams'-don, one thing didn't change.  This is still Serena Williams' house, and the 2012 Wimbledon singles and defending 2008 Olympic gold doubles champ sent that message loud and clear while First Lady Michelle Obama was watching the action from the front row of Serena's box.  

The best server in women's tennis has it dialed in once again.  The fourth seeded Little Sis hit eight aces, lost  only 10 service points and faced no break points in beating Jelena Jankovic of Serbia in straight sets 6-3, 6-1.   She got her pursuit of her first Olympic singles medal off to a rousing start and advanced to her second round match against Urszula Radwanska sf Poland.   Yep, she's the sister of Agnieszka Radwanska, who Little Sis beat in the 'Williams'-don singles final a few weeks ago.

Speaking of sisters, Venus Williams will take on Italy's Sara Errani in her first Olympic singles match July 29   My fave tennis playing siblings and reigning 2012 Wimbledon doubles champs will also begin the pursuit of their second consecutive Olympic doubles title on July 29 with their opening match against Romania's Sorana Cirstea and Simona Halep

2012 Olympics Watch-The Games Open

After the spectacular opening ceremony Beijing pulled off four years ago, the world was watching to see what London would do when it was their turn to host the Games for a record third time. 

Well, it was spectacular.  It weaved in elements of British history, culture and iconic images from Mary Poppins to James Bond and Queen Elizabeth II.  

And yeah Beijing, you didn't have JK Rowling, Sir Paul McCartney, the Beatles or Soul 2 Soul's 'Back 2 Life' as part of the music track.

Did I mention the image of the Queen and James Bond skydiving from a helicopter over the stadium?

The torch lighting even had London homeboy David Beckham involved. 
He drove a speedboat up the Thames to his old neighborhood where the Olympic Park now stands

Yeah London, you definitely get two thumbs up for that opening ceremony and the interesting way you lit the torch.   Now it's time to settle in and watch the competition over the next two weeks.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Death Threat Aimed At Casa Ruby

I had the pleasure of meeting longtime Washington DC trans activist Ruby Corado last year while I was up there for Out On The Hill and was thrilled to hear about the recent opening of Casa Ruby  in Northwest DC

Its mission is to serve as a safe haven for the local Washington transgender community from violence and serve the Latino community. 

But I was not happy to hear that Casa Ruby  recently received a death threat that is being investigated by the DC Metro Police.

Corado explained in a WAMU-FM radio interview why she doesn't take these threats lightly:

" I have been to dozens of funerals throughout this city and I have also been hundreds of times to the hospitals to aid people who have been victims of a violent crime or death for being who they are."

Casa Ruby has continued to serve as a safe haven for the Washington DC transgender community despite the threat. It is playing host to Latino delegations attending the 2012 International AIDS Conference that started on July 22 and ends today

It is my hope that the waste of transphobic DNA who called that threat in to Casa Ruby is expeditiously caught by MPD and swiftly brought to justice.  I'm also looking forward to visiting Casa Ruby the next time I'n in the Washington DC metro area.

Shut Up Fool Awards-Texans Training Camp Edition

The Summer Olympics opening ceremonies in London aren't the only sports related thing happening today. 

NFL training camps for the upcoming 2012 season have been opening in various locations all around the country this week.   For us Houston area NFL junkies the road to a hoped for Super Bowl appearance in New Orleans for our defending AFC South champs starts with tomorrow's opening of Texans training camp over at their complex across the street from Reliant Stadium. 

Just in case you TransGriot readers were curious about it, Michael Watts and I are planning to do our NFL pigskin prognostication battle once again for the upcoming 2012 NFL season.  If bloggers wish to join in on the fun let us know before mid-August. 

But be warned, Mike and I tied for the regular season title last year, and I had to come from four games back to do it.   I want to win it this year.  

Okay, now that I've gotten the football jibber-jabber out of the way, let's segue to what y'all really surfed over here to find out, who won this week's TransGriot Shut Up Fool Award

A usual, I had a long list of fools to choose from, starting with Fox Noise, the Romney Campaign, The Republican Party, Reince Priebus, Michael Steele, Michael Medved, Ron Christie, Gretchen Carlson,  Sean Hannity, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) , Gov Bobby Jindal (R-LA), Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Charles Krauthammer, Texas Tea Klux Kan senate candidate Ted Cruz and Newt Gingrich     

Honorable mention number one goes to Rep Louie Gohmert (R-TX) 

Honorable mention number two goes to 2011 TransGriot Shut Up Fool Lifetime Achievement Award winner Rep Michele Bachmann (R-MN).  I had to pull her out of retirement once again and call Bachmann out for her over the top Islamophobic race baiting of Huma Abedin.

This week's Shut Up Fool award goes to one of the strong contenders for the 2012 Shut Up Fool of the Year Award in Willard Mitt Romney.
He started off the week lying about the POTUS in a speech before the VFW and having an aide make the racist claim that the POTUS didn't understand the Anglo-Saxon ties between Great Britain and the United States.   Hello, y'all conservafools keep forgetting President Obama's mother Ann is white with English heritage and he's more Anglo-Saxon than you are, Willard.

Then Mitt gets to jolly old England and on his first day over there insults Prime Minister David Cameron, forgets the name of Labor leader Ed Millibrand, snubs the US press corps, makes an insulting comment about Britain's ability to host the Games that Prime Minister Cameron and London Mayor Boris Johnson called his azz out on, threw his wife Ann under the bus when questioned about the Olympic dressage horse Rafalca he got a $77,000 tax deduction on, and mentioned an MI6 meeting he needed to keep secret. 

And oh yeah, did I mention that the British press is roasting his behind and calling him worse than Sarah Palin?  

Mittbot still has Israel and Poland to visit on this trip that was meant to showcase his readiness to represent the USA on the foreign policy stage.   More like he's a not ready for prime time player and he's putting America in the embarrassing position of apologizing for him instead of the lie he tells at every campaign stop that the POTUS has been apologizing for America.

Instead of hearing Hail to the Chief he delusionally thinks should be played for him, this is the song more appropriate to Mitt Romney's visit to England. .

Mr T, Take it from here.  Mitt Romney.... 

Xtravaganza Powah!

It was two years before Paris Is Burning hit the theaters in 1990, but this photo of members of the House of Xtravaganza hit Vogue magazine in its December 1988 issue.

I not only saw Paris Is Burning at the River Oaks theater during its run, that movie is in my DVD collection 

That Jennie Livingston documentary led to the iconic ballroom community house became internationally famous, but as you can see, they were already starting to blow up and make a name for themselves in the New York area before that movie debuted.

Seeing the photo reminded me of this New York Times article discussing the recent 30th anniversary House of Xtravaganza Ball (yes, people they are still having balls).   It also remnded me there's a lot of history in the ballroom community, and sadly we've lost more than a few of the people that were chronicled in that 1990 film.

HT Koko and Karl Xtravaganza

USA Women's B-Ballers Playing For Respect

The USA women's basketball team has won four consecutive gold medals, is ranked number one in the FIBA world rankings, are the FIBA world champions, have won 33 straight games in Olympic competition going back to the 1996 Atlanta Games are heavily favored to take an unprecedented fifth one here in London but get no love at home compared to the men.

But on the TransGriot electronic pages, they will.

"I think it's funny," Diana Taurasi said. "We're a team that's won four gold medals in a row and yet we're still fighting for respect in our own country. I think it's a little sad. That's a heck of a motivator for all of us in the gym. Our level is so high, it becomes normal and even to the public `it's they should win the gold medal. If they don't it's a terrible year."

USA Head Coach Geno Auriemma also wants to make it a big deal

"If we win another gold medal it's not going to be a huge story," he said in an ESPN interview. "I want to make it a huge story because the respect that Dee's talking about that these kids deserve for having done what they've done and been able to do it the way they do it should be appreciated. Greatness should be appreciated and not taken for granted.

"People take us for granted."

Some US fans may take a 'ho hum, they're supposed to win' attitude toward the women ballers, but their opponents definitely don't.  They get their opponents A game every time they play, and they still since 1996 have only had one team come within single digits of them during this historic run.

The Team USA average margin of victory during this streak has been 29 points, and the only blemish in international competition since 1996 was a 75-68 semifinal loss in the 2006 FIBA Women's World Championships in Brazil against Russia

This team is also experienced.  It's funny to think of Maya Moore, Asjha Jones, Tina Charles, Lindsay Whalen and Angel McCoughtry as rookies on this 2012 Olympic squad but that's exactly what they are since this is their first Olympics even though they have years of international basketball playing time under their belts.

For example, Maya Moore has been involved in USA basketball since she was 17, and has won international titles as a member of the FIBA U-19, World University Games, and FIBA world championship teams.  Now she gets an opportunity to add an Olympic gold medal to that list.

You also add these Olympic rookies to a team that has veteran Olympic ballers such as Sylvia Fowles, Seimone Augustus, Sue Bird, Swin Cash, Tamika Catchings, Diana Taurasi and Candace Parker and it's going to be a fun one to watch.

They start Olympic Group A play July 28 against a Croatian team that has been surging in the FIBA women's ranking lately, then face Angola on Monday, July 30, Turkey on Wednesday, August 1, a 2010 FIBA world championship game rematch with the Czech Republic on August 3 and close out group play on
Sunday, August 5 with China.

The Drive For Five and the respect of the American sporting public begins after the Olympic flame is lit.later today.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Moni's Going To The 2012 GLAAD POC Media Institute

Well, looks like I'll be piling up more frequent flyer miles in late August

Was deliriously happy to discover that I've been accepted to participate in the 2nd annual GLAAD National People of Color Media Institute that will be taking place in New York August 24-27.

I'd heard about last year's inaugural POC media institute too late to apply for it, and when the opportunity presented itself this year, I made sure I got the application done and sent it in before the June 1 deadline.

And why did I consider this a priority to do so?  Because you long time TransGriot readers know lack of media visibility for non-white TBLG people is a issue that I have griped about for years on these electronic pages.   To borrow the words of Eldridge Cleaver, "If you aren't part of the solution, you're part of the problem."  This was an opportunity to do something about it.

“While there have been major strides to increase visibility around the stories and issues LGBT people face, far too often the voices, views and faces of LGBT and allied people of color are underrepresented, if represented at all,” said Herndon Graddick, President of GLAAD. “Our community needs to work together to change this. We are extremely proud to host this program which will help our community elevate more voices and celebrate the rich diversity of the community and our allies."

This program is created specifically for people of color who are LGBT or LGBT allies.  .In its first year, GLAAD worked with 30 LGBT and ally advocates through the National People of Color Media Institute. As a result, their stories and views reached millions through national media outlets including National Public Radio (NPR), Black Enterprise, Ebony, as well as community and ethnic media outlets such as El Diario, The Afro and New York Amsterdam News. 

The Institute is basically a two-day, training program in New York (August 24-26) and Los Angeles (September 7-9), where GLAAD staff, leading journalists and talking heads and key media trainers will develop Institute participants with best practices for on-camera and radio interviews.

It's also limited to 20-25 people, so as one of the people accepted for the New York one I'll get to meet my fellow 2012 POC Media Institute attendees and be part of it.  I'm also looking forward to being inside the New York city limits for the first time since 2000 even though this is primarily going to be a business trip. 

See y'all in a few weeks, Big Apple.

New York Times Meeting With GLAAD About Trans Media Coverage

After some problematic stories in the New York Times that drew the ire of the trans community, a meeting has been arranged to take place today between GLAAD, representatives of the local trans community and the Times to discuss their coverage of trans people.

The New York trans community was already upset about the exploitative piece on Lorena Escalera's death and the stubborn refusal to retract or correct it.   Now they just poured gasoline on that smoldering controversy with the latest scribblings about the Christopher Street trans youth culture.

Janet Mock said about the Christopher Street piece, “My problem with this piece is that trans women, specifically those of color in this gentrified environment of New York City, are under layers and layers of oppression – none of which are examined and or mentioned in this paper of record.”

GLAAD stated on their blog about this meeting: "Our meeting with the Times will explore those layers, and encourage the paper to consider telling these stories - as well as explain exactly how these stories could cause harm to trans people, youth in particular.

As the paper of record that people and politicians on both sides of the aisle read, it's vitally important that the New York Times get it right the first time when they comment or write stories about the trans community and the issues that impact it.  

Let's hope that message is received by the Times and we see a corresponding major improvement in trans community stories and coverage of our community as a result of today's meeting.

Also wouldn't hurt New York Times if you actually hired trans people as reporters to cover that community  

Why I Love The Olympic Games

"The most important thing is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered, but to have fought well."  Pierre De Coubertin

Tomorrow I get to park in front of the television and watch the opening ceremonies.herald the start of another Olympic Games.

Ever since the Grenoble winter games of 1968 and the summer ones in Mexico City later that year I have looked forward to watching the Olympiads and their drama filled stories unfold.

I love the opening ceremonies and how each host nation puts their interpretation on it.  I love the Olympic flame eventually being lit and discovering along with everyone else in the stadium what Olympic athlete from the host nation's Olympic sporting past gets the honor of doing so.

Conversely, when the two to three weeks of competition is over, I'm a little sad when the Olympic flame gets extinguished because it means it'll be another four years before the world gathers again for summer (or winter games) competition.

I like watching the various competitions in sports I rarely see on television such as fencing, team handball, archery, and countless others being contested on an Olympic stage. 

The ones I do get to watch on a regular basis such as basketball, soccer, boxing and athletics take on another high stakes meaning when the competing teams are playing for not only national pride, but to stand on the highest step of the Olympic victory platform and hear their nation's national anthem played with a gold medal around their neck.

There are all the dramatic storylines that develop during the various Olympic competitions that play our during that Olympiad.   You'll have the athlete who need the performance of a lifetime to win a medal and does just that..  The person who comes seemingly out of nowhere to become the Olympic champion.  The favorite who stumbles just short of Olympic glory.   The team that fails to qualify for the medal round in their sport or the unheralded squad that does so and makes a deep run in the medal rounds to do so.

There's also the persons who through their performances and their expressive personalities become international stars or conversely villains because of nekulturny behavior or poor sportsmanship.

The moments when you get to see the slice of life stories featuring the host nation and the scenic parts of it, the interviews of medal winning athletes and life in the Olympic Village for every one of us who ever dreamed as kids of being Olympians but didn't quite have the talent to make it happen.

It's also the knowledge that while you're watching the Olympic games, for the two weeks you're watching this sporting extravaganza unfold that has its roots in the ancient Greek festival, so is everyone else on the planet.    

I think the major reason I love the Olympic Games is that the world during those two weeks feels a little more unified during the time the Olympic flame is burning. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

2012 Olympics Watch-Team USA 4-2 Comeback Win!

The 2012 women's Olympic soccer tournament started play today with the defending Olympic champions facing off in a Group G match against France, the nation all our conservafools love to hate in Glasgow, Scotland.

They had more reasons to hate after the first 14 minutes.  A sluggish, nervous start led to scores from Gaetane Thiney in the 12th minute and Marie-Laure Delie two minutes later that put Team USA in an 0-2 hole.

This was not a good sign for those of us who have watched Team USA in Olympic play over the years because they had never come back to win from an 0-2 deficit.

After the French wake-up call was delivered, Team USA struck back in the 19th minute with an Abby Wambach goal off a Megan Rapinoe corner kick to begin the comeback and Alex Morgan sprinting to catch up to a long Hope Solo punt that led to the tying goal at the 32 minute mark.

It was broken open in the 58th minute by Carli Lloyd's blast that rocketed past French goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi and found the back of the net.   Alex Morgan scored again in the 66th minute on a open net tap-in to cap the comeback, get three valuable points and the 4-2 win against their toughest opponent in the group.

Team USA plays Colombia on Saturday before finishing Group G play against North Korea on July 31. 

Now If Julie Only Called Out Their Racism, Too

Julie Bindel isn't exactly one of my fave people since she is part of the trans oppressor clan, but had to chuckle when even the Radfem Hub KKKrowd was too much for her.

Seems like some drama has built up between her and the Whyte Radfem Womyn Gone Wild

Break out the popcorn.

2012 Olympics Watch-US Women's Soccer Team Starts Play

The opening ceremonies for the London Games aren't until Friday, but the FIFA world number one ranked US Women's national soccer team begins their quest for an Olympic threepeat at 12 noon EDT.

In case you're wondering TransGriot readers how the USA women's team has done in Olympic opening matches, they are 3-1-0 all time. 

The USA defeated Denmark 3-0 in their first Atlanta Olympic match in 1996 and eventually won gold in the inaugural women's Olympic soccer tournament.  Four years later they defeated Norway 2-0 in their first Sydney 2000 match but lost the rematch in the gold medal match in sudden death overtime 3-2.   In 2004 they defeated host Greece 3-0 in their first game in Athens to began another gold medal run.   In 2008 Team USA dropped their first Beijing match 2-0 to Norway, but still went on to win the group and eventually the gold medal over Brazil in the final..

They take the pitch at Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland in their opening Group G match against FIFA number 6 ranked France in their first ever meeting in Olympic competition.  

It's also the first ever match France has played in Olympic women's competition and will probably have revenge on their minds.  Team USA beat France 3-1 in last year's FIFA Women's World Cup semifinal in Germany and have a 12-0-1 all time record against France.   

The match will be telecast on the NBC Sports Network and the NBC Olympic Soccer Channel and if you're not near a television right now you can follow the match via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt

Following today's match against France, the US Women's national team continues Group G play against Colombia at 12 PM EDT on Saturday, July 28, at Hampden Park and will then travel to Old Trafford in Manchester, England to face North Korea at 12:15 PM EDT on Tuesday, July 31.

Your Point In This Misgendering Kara Article Is?

While perusing the Net for some interesting stories to comment on, I stumbled across this one about Kara Nicole Hays, the 26 year old trans Britney Spears fan who has spent $70,000 in surgeries, hormones, et cetera to look like the pop singer.   

Kara asserts in the NY Daily News article she hasn't had any work on her face because she fortunately resembles Spears.

While I have more productive uses for $70,000 if I were blessed to get that kind of money to stick in my bank account, if it makes her happy to look like Britney, I ain't mad at Kara for living her life to the best of her ability.   But what I didn't appreciate along with the transphobic remarks in the comment sections was the misgendering of  Kara.   

But then again I long ago ceased to expect quality journalism about #girlslikeus in a town with a tabloid in the New York Post that routinely stoops to the ignorant common denominator when it comes to writing about our trans lives.  The paper of record in the NY Times isn't much better lately when it comes to writing about trans people and now here comes the NY Daily News in the misgendering sweepstakes.. 

That doesn't mean I'll give up the fight to have journalists live up to the AP Stylebook standards when it comes to reporting and writing about transpeople and insisting they be followed to the letter

That's a nice segue into me calling out the author of this piece, Lindsay Goldwert.  
Yo Lindsay, a 'transgender man'  is a transman.  Kara is a 'transgender woman' or transwoman.  The title of the article you wrote was also borderline insulting..

It also isn't a new thing for me to see someone go through surgical procedures to look like a celebrity.  In Houston back in the 80's and early 90's we had a female illusionist named Rhonda Blake who loved and resembled Cher, and had surgical enhancements done to perfect her look.  Unfortunately one of the things she had done on her road to to achieving Cher perfection was silicone pumping, and a botched procedure killed her.

But back to the post.
I have to ask Lindsay Goldwert what was the point in writing this article?  So Kara is a trans Britney Spears fan who has the genetics, ability, cash flow and desire to look like her idol.  At least she chose a living person to emulate.  

That's more than I can say for 51 year old Sarah Burge of Great Britain, who spent over $500,000 to look like Barbie and her competition in 21 year old Ukranian Valeria Lukyanova   

Burge is now handing surgery vouchers to her now 8 year old daughter and Botox shot to her 15 year old one. 

If by writing the post you were attempting to suggest that having surgical procedures to look like a celebrity is a transgender thang, it isn't.   I've already given you two examples of ciswomen who did so just to emulate a plastic doll and ciswomen also have plastic surgery to look like women they idolize, too.

And let's not forget about all the Michael Jackson impersonators who kept plastic surgeons in business during the 80's and 90's.

Eyewitness To LGBT Foundation

TransGriot Note: Guest Post by Denise Norris

I want to share some eyewitness history about the founding of LGBT and the original meaning of Transgender. As some of you know, I participated in the formative events back in the early 90s in New York City.

A Transgender Nation

The word transgender dates back decades, well before it was used by Virginia Prince in the 1980s. Overtime, it has been used to represents all types of people who transcend society’s definitions of gender, from episodic crossdressers to transsexual woman. It was first publicly re-purposed in its modern incarnation by Anne Ogborn when she started Transgender Nation in 1993 which she modeled on Queer Nation, a predominately LG radical young activist organization that arose out of the AIDS crisis and lack of civil protections for Queer people. More and more people began to substitute the work transgender when referring to themselves to avoid the stigmatization associated with ‘transsexual’ Over time, this has lead to many cis-people thinking that transgender only applies to people who have, are or intend to change their sex.

That being said, Transgender is actually an umbrella sociopolitical term intended to cover all aspects of non-conforming gender. It is not a medical term, it is not a condition, it is not something to pathologize. It was adopted to represent all the people who face discrimination because they have a non-conforming gender in the eyes of society.

So why was it important that the term was so broad? Simply put, we realized that all the groups under the umbrellas (including drag, intersex, crossdressing, butch women, fem men, transsexuals, etc…) alone lacked the numbers to effectively reform society to stop discrimination and achieve equality.

But even then, we still lacked the numbers to effectively press forward an agenda for equal rights and stopping discrimination.

Enter LGBT

While transgender was slowly becoming an accepted term within the Queer world, there was still great resistance with the older gays and lesbians who represented a majority of G&L community. Trans people were frequently frozen out of G&L support centers or we were tolerated, but a member of the family.

Things soon came to a head. 1994 was the 25th anniversary of the riots at Stonewall in NYC and we found ourselves completed excluded from the Huge Pride March that year. We were told we would have a place in the alternative march. Even worse, in the slew of Gay history books that appeared at that time, the role of what we now call transgender people in the riots was completely excised. Needless to say, we fought back and won inclusion in the parade. I recommend http://books.google.com/books?id=KmMEAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PP1&ots=YuNwga5SVH&pg=PA59#v=onepage&q&f=false to those who want to get a better understanding of the dynamics of the times.

Getting the G&L community to back down and include us acted a seed crystal in a supersaturated solution. More and more of the progressive G&L thinkers reconsidered the demands of bisexuals and transgenders for inclusion. Many people were pushing for the adoption of a word like queer, but for many, it was too loaded with negative history and as a result, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender was adopted, building on the existing Gay and Lesbian theme. Eventually this was changed to Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender to place more focus on the needs of woman and so, LGBT was born.

It was never intended that LGBT stop at Transgender. The original intent was for a rainbow of people, celebrating diversity and inclusion, while fighting against discrimination and for equality for every one under that rainbow. According to Gilbert Baker, creator of the rainbow flag, this rainbow included everyone.

Forward to the Future

Eventually, I believe that we will find a better moniker than LGBT to describe our rainbow, but like the old G&L guardians that sought (and still seek to exclude) T, there will be people who have found safety in the identity of LGBT who will resist the changes still necessary to have equality for all people in our spectrum. I, for one, look forward to true equality for all people who don’t comply with the gender binary, be they gay, lesbian, bi/omni/pan, trans, intersex, questioning or any other member of my family.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sherman Helmsley Moves To Deluxe Apartment In The Sky

Another one of the iconic actors of my youth has passed on.   I also had the pleasure of meeting him during my airline days, so I was doubly sad to hear this news.  

Actor Sherman Helmsley, who played George Jefferson on that iconic CBS show The Jeffersons, Deacon Ernest Fry on NBC's Amen and was the voice of Earl Sinclair's boss BP Richfield on the ABC animated series Dinosaurs was found dead in his El Paso, TX home at age 74. 

Helmsley's George Jefferson started out as the counterpart neighbor to Archie Bunker but moved on up to his own groundbreaking lead actor sitcom role in 1975 along with television wife Isabel Sanford who passed away in 2004.  The show earned Helmsley Emmy and Golden Globe nominations and The Jeffersons was the first show to feature an upscale African-American couple.  It was also the first to feature an episode with a Black trans character.  

When it was canceled ten years later, it not only at the time was the longest running sitcom on television, it led to his role on 'Amen' from 1986-1991 

Dinosaurs was a guilty pleasure for me when it was on, and I was pleased to discover that Helmsley was doing the voice of BP Richfield..  

Helmsley's death has also caused me to reflect on how much better television was in the 70's and 80's and early 90's in terms of not only entertaining you, but leaving you with a social message as well.  It's something we really need to get back to.   

Rest in peace Mr. Helmsley.  Thanks for the long career in which you made us laugh and entertained us.  Enjoy that rest you've earned in that deluxe apartment in the sky.

Muppets Kick Chick-Fil-A To The Curb

The repercussions of Chick-Fil-A coming out of the closet as a rainbow oppressor continue.

The Jim Henson Company that has the copyright for the popular Muppet characters, have provided Muppet toys that have been included in Chick-Fil-A children's meals.  

It announced via its Facebook page that it is severing its relationship with Chick-Fil-A specifically because of Dan Cathy's comments in the Baptist Press interview.  The even more delicious (pun intended) part of this story is that the check that Chick-Fil-A sent to the Henson company was forwarded as a donation to GLAAD.

"The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over 50 years and we have notified Chick-Fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors. Lisa Henson, our CEO is personally a strong supporter of gay marriage and has directed us to donate the payment we received from Chick-Fil-A to GLAAD."

Bigotry doesn't pay Chick-Fil-A.   But then again you'll learn that lesson soon enough.

NBJC Out On The Hill 2012 Registration Open

The third annual National Black Justice Coalition Out On The Hill Leadership Summit will take place September 19-22 in Washington DC.   I had a wonderful time meeting other Black LGBT leaders and allies during the time I was up there for the 2011 event and have blocked off those dates on my fall calendar so I can be in DC again for it.

Registration is now opening for the 2012 edition of Out On The Hill, and you might wish to get busy taking advantage of the conference discounts and early bird registration for those of you who qualify for them.

Will also keep you TransGriot readers posted about OOTH 2012 news as I receive it.

Monday, July 23, 2012

TransGriot Nuke A Troll 28-Gold Medal Olympic Troll Nuking

Since we are less than a few days from the start of the London Olympic games, decided to hold off on eviscerating this troll properly until now. 

Deena wrote this comment on the Andreas Krieger post I put up in reaction to my comment introducing the New York Times article I linked to

i think it's unfair that you make it into a race thing. the big difference between the east german athletes doped during those days and the marion jones controversy is that she KNOWINGLY took drugs to enhance her performance. the east german athletes had no idea. in many cases, they received oral-turinabol and other testosterone-laced drugs in their early adolescence and continuing during their teenage years. this was systematic abuse of trust and they had no idea what was being done with them. this is why the medals are not being taken away or the records erased. those athletes were innocent victims. marion jones was NOT.
on another note, i'm glad i found your blog! it's definitely a great site and an important one.


It's a race thing Deena because the IOC not only took away Ben Johnson's medal in 1988 and Marion Jones' 2000 Olympic medals, they took away the medals of three American women on the 4x100 relay team she ran with who weren't taking drugs and had no knowledge of what Jones was doing, but punished them anyway.   

So Deena, the question I asked is a valid one.  Why is the IOC not snatching up the medals of every East German athlete, but has no problem taking them away from athletes of color? 

It doesn't matter if the East German athletes knew, didn't know or ignored the signs they were part of State Plan 14.25, the massive state-sponsored doping program.  The bottom line is that state sponsored cheating happened to help them get those medals and knowledge of that program extended to the highest levels of the East German government and sporting apparatus. .

There is no fracking way the East Germans went from their pedestrian performances in Munich in 1972 to a near domination of the pool in Montreal a mere four years later without somebody suspecting that something was amiss.  People in the international sporting world in the 70's and 80's either knew or suspected it..

Shirley Babashoff and others called out the East German wundermadschen swimmers about the overly muscular bodies and deep voices and were vilified for it until the truth came out after the Wall fell and reunification happened in 1990. 

The IOC has already set the precedent in taking away the medals of everybody Marion Jones was involved with in the 4X100 meter race.  Fair is fair, the same standard needs to be applied to former East German athletes and their medals need to be taken away and given to the persons who really won them..   .

Or in your vanillacentric privileged mind does that standard only apply for non-white North American athletes?

Umm hmm. 

Duck and cover fool, and don't look at the flash when the troll nuke explodes.