Monday, September 30, 2013

Janet Mock NY Anti-Violence Project Courage Award Speech

Speaking of people who will probably need to build trophy cases for the awards, deserved recognition and accolades they are getting, Janet Mock and Laverne Cox both received 2013 Courage Awards from the New York City Anti Violence Project on September 26.

During her acceptance speech, Janet spoke about the recently murdered Eyricka Morgan, who remains misgendered by Newark Star-Ledger stenographer Sue Epstein because she refuses to change her original inaccurate story. 

Race Relations In The Houston GLBTIQ-SGL Community Discussion

I posted the information about an event that took place yesterday at Resurrection MCC and facilitated by Dexter Williams that was entitled 'Race Relations In The Houston GLBTIQ-SGL Community.

It cranked up a little after 3 PM on the Northwest Houston area GLBT church campus after the ground rules were laid out.  After an initial icebreaker exercise to give the facilitator an idea of the attitudes in the room, for the next three hours the 30 people who took the time out of their Sunday afternoon discussed the issue from a wide variety of perspectives.

We had a thoughtful conversation about the lack of visibility of Black people in local GLB and trans organizations, some of the racism we'd faced inside the Houston SGL community, and touched on the issues and challenges in our own community that contribute to the Black leadership void in Houston based GLBT organizations. 

There were four people who identified themselves as biracial and brought their perspectives, and yes, I brought another angle to the afternoon's proceedings to the predominately Black gay and lesbian room as someone who experiences the issues of race in the H-town TBLG community from a trans perspective.  We were also fortunate to have a bi identified person in the room telling her story. 

What I was disappointed by and not surprised at was that despite Dexter and the Brother 2 Brother organizers best efforts, out of the 30 people who felt it was an important enough topic to be there, there was only one straight white female ally in the Gathering Place room where it was held.   She happened to be a TransGriot reader who saw the announcement I posted earlier about the event on my blog.   

Race relations in the Houston GLBT community is a topic I have tackled on this blog and we will have to have that discussion sooner or later in this community in order to move forward.  I believe there is an LGBT community, but race and class is a problematic part of it that must be addressed in order for it to move forward in our just human rights cause. 

It's even more imperative that we clear the air about this issue in the Houston SGL, trans and bi community as we seek to emulate San Antonio and pass updates to our non-discrimination ordinance that add much needed gender identity and sexual orientation language to them.   We will need a united front for our multitracial coalition to take on the predominately monoracial Houston Forces of Intolerance who will do everything possible to stop that progressive GLBT ordinance from happening in the largest city in Texas.   

Ignoring the festering 400 year old problem of race is not going to make it go away.  Just because we are part of the LGBT community doesn't mean we DON'T have those same race and class issues in our little subset of the greater American society that's infected by it.   To address it we have to talk about it so we can come up with a community based solution to it that everyone can be happy with.  

We also need to handle our business on this subject so that Houston as the fourth largest city in this country with a sizable SGL, bi and trans community is better able to take its place amongst New York, LA, Chicago, Atlanta as a recognized major LGBT leadership center   

I'm happy to report that Dexter and Brother 2 Brother are determined this won't be the last conversation we hold on this subject, and one is tentatively scheduled for February.   When there a solid date for it I'll post it to the blog, and I hope to see more of Houston's rainbow diversity reflected in that room when the next race relations discussion in the community is held.

I Define Me: A Trans Movement for Awareness And Self-Validation

TransGriot Note: Guest post by Bryanna Aeon Jenkins.

How do I begin? I am a proud black woman of trans experience (24 Years Old) and I am not backing down anymore. Let me start off by saying that I am hurt, tired, and I am definitely ready to make a change. I am so tired of people getting to tell the world who I am, shout it from the mountain tops for everyone to hear and see, while I am told that I should just deal with it because I am deranged and crazy anyway, or the ever famous “that’s my opinion and I’m entitled to it.”

I am tired of people religiously believing the opinions of trans phobic black gay men and black lesbians, while what I say, which is based on factual knowledge, feeling, and personal experience is denied, diminished, and dismissed. I was under the false assumption that when I transitioned in the fall of 2008 I was in a LGBT community that loved me, accepted me, understood me, and would defend me when I didn’t have the strength to do it for myself.

What a foolish and misguided young girl I really was. 

It's is now on this day, Friday September 27, 2013, that I declare LGBT is not a community as we have all be conditioned to think. We have to be very mindful of the words that we use to define and call ourselves because the world will treat us as such, a very good friend had to remind me of that.

Community implies a group of people who are similar and who share common interests and beliefs. On this journey from 2008 to now I have found these things to be untrue of LGBT people, we are not the same nor were we ever meant to be. We are a coalition at best, a group of different factions of people who come together for the purpose of organizing and achieving a common goal, but that is simply where all similarities end.  We as trans people have got to stop hiding in the shadows of gay and lesbian people who are not our community and who do not have our best interests at heart. Only we know what is best for us. This is truly a matter of life and death.

To the transphobic gay and lesbian people who do not understand our struggle, nor want to for that matter because they see us a shame or burden, you do not have the permission to publicly spread untruths, misinformation, and stereotypes for the world to hear about who I am and about what I represent to the world.

I was enraged when I saw a video posting of the popular YouTube show “The Skorpion Show”, that is hosted by Kevin Simmons and Makael McLendon, say on a global platform that Trans-Women are all gay because we are born with penis’, as if they are the authorities on the subject of who we are. Then in a subsequent video they defended their myopic and detrimental views about what we are. The show's creator Kevin Simmons even when on to say that we (trans women) are still gay and are really men, but he will call us women just to respect us. NEWS FLASH: I don’t want your respect if it comes at the price of compromising the essence of what me and my trans brothers and sisters really are, and this goes beyond physically passing in society. When I tried to reach out to the show's creator I was blatantly told that he didn’t want any education on the subject of trans people and I can’t get mad at his opinions.

However let's be really clear.  When you're are at the forefront of a public platform where your viewers are watching your opinions and receiving them as fact then you have a social responsibility to put out accurate and correct information. Also if you have little knowledge about a topic, especially on one that is complex as the transgender spectrum, then it is up to you as the deliverer of this topic to be as educated as you possibly can be.

The fact is that you need a certain level of educational clarity in order to accurately discuss the issue of trans people. Making comments based off of ill formed opinions only works to further perpetuate stereotypes and misperceptions about the trans community. Many of these stereotypes and misperceptions are the basis for hate crimes against trans people, discrimination in the fields of healthcare, legal systems, and the workforce, and the misunderstanding from our familial bases.

I am not mad because of what they said  I have become accustomed to the worst treatment from trans phobic gay and lesbian people. It was the fact that the creator of the show did not want to invest the same time and energy into promoting the correct facts about trans people for the world to hear and receive. The bigger picture is that “The Skorpion Show” is a microcosm of Black gay and lesbian intolerance and Black societal intolerance as a whole when it comes to trans people.

I partially have myself to blame for this situation because I should have addressed it when this issue of disrespecting trans women was a common theme throughout their show since 2008, but I foolishly remained passive and thought things would get better on their own because we were all one community.

There goes that damn word again, “COMMUNITY”. 

Like I said I was foolish. I know that there is no such thing as an LGBT community, which is just a term by the hetero-normative community to put us all into one box that was never meant for us to be in initially. However, there is a trans community full of pride, full of dignity, and full of respect. When I publicly disavowed my support for “The Skorpion Show” and its creator Kevin Simmons, because of the show's lack of accurate depictions and discussion of trans people, many girls from my own sisterhood told me that I should let it go and wash my hands of the situation. I get where they come from because sometimes as a trans person you get so tired and weighed down by having to defend your worth to people who refuse to open their minds and ultimately their hearts.

Then I think what if those Black kids at the Woolworth’s lunch counter had simply kept walking past that “WHITES ONLY” counter and said. "Not today" or if those trans people like Miss Major, who was a part of the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion, said "Bitch, Imma just get locked, I don’t feel like fighting today". We young trans women have got to shake the foundation to create changes and put in transphobic people's faces exactly what they don’t want to see…trans people who are grounded, assertive, and comfortable with who they are and what they put out to the world.

Trans people are not a subset of anybody’s group. We are our own legitimate cause and until the day comes where there is no more breath in this body I will continue to fight for what fair and for what is right.

I don’t ever want to see another transphobic gay or lesbian person accept another dollar of government funding, accept LGBT media awards (, or indulge in the fruits of the mainstream acceptance of gays and lesbians that was gained on the backs of the suffering and degrading of trans people, certainly those of color.

I do not want to go to another funeral of one my fallen sisters, where not only is she purposefully misgendered by societal media, but she is also misgendered by her family who refuses to accept the reality of her unique position in life and ultimately why she had to leave this earth in an all too common violent way. We are here, We are authentic, We exist, We can speak for ourselves and we will not remain silent anymore!

To the allies who fully understand the conversation, I want you to feel empowered to encourage us trans people to tell our own stories because WE have to be at the forefront of our own movement if things are to ever change

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Hurdles Around Love For A Transwoman And A Trans Attracted Man

Rebecca Desvignes Aeon Guest Post By Rebecca Desvignes Aeon

It is not as simple for a transattracted man that's now discovering his attraction towards transwomen, to fall in love, or be in a serious committed relationship with a transwoman unless he has come to terms with his personal thoughts, desires and acceptance of it all including overcoming the fear of being called gay by the ignorant statements from most of society from lack of education.

It is an emotionally challenging experience for a transwoman that is comfortable in her mindset and skin, being in love with a transattracted man, that is now discovering his attraction towards transwomen either in the exploration stage, or is seasoned but yet still dealing with the fear of family and friends finding out, and also being incapable of reproduction in some cases, if that transattracted man happens to desire having a child through non-adopted options.

It's is even more emotionally challenging for an HIV-positive transwoman to date and find love.  Some are having to deal with some transattracted men that may at first start a relationship after being told at first of her status, agreeing to continue dating, and may quit with no explanations afterwards.  This is also including HIV-positive transattracted men receiving the same treatment from an HIV-negative transwoman.

Some transattracted men live with a burning desire to be in love and be in either a serious committed relationship or marriage with a transwoman, but is too afraid or circumstances don't permit for such a union. Therefore for some transattracted men, it's easier to have one night stands or secret unions behind closed doors when having the chance to do so while others which some people call chasers, remain in exploring mode.

Some transattracted mens only interest in transwomen is purely sexually motivated.   They could never fathom the thoughts of falling in love with a transwoman due to the lingering subconscious mindset they were indoctrinated with from an innocent child from elders and refused to see otherwise.  They continue looking at a relationship whit a transwoman and thinking about it subconsciously as being with a 'man'. If by chance they did fall or feel like they are falling in love with a transwoman, their first initial reaction is to run or disappear.

Some are only willing to accept and deal with the imagery of the female figure with something extra for many provoked through sexual urges honed through shemale porn.  Many are spontaneously still haunted by their issues of their own sexuality from misguided visuals, information and lack or no available correct information about the lives transwomen really live. 

It is a very odd position for a transwoman to be in to have to school, teach Trans 101, answer questions that sometimes border on the offensive or odd coming from an inquisitive eager transattracted man newly discovering transwomen about her life and the issues we face.

The bottom line here is a pre-operative or post-operative transwoman is a woman and needs to be loved and treated that way!

The love union between a transwoman and transattracted man can only be possible when first there is love, trust, fidelity, open mindedness, comunication, understanding, patience, willingness, and consistency.

Those qualities will help both parties overcome the hurdles around love for a transwoman and a trans attracted man.

2013 UH Cougar Watch- Coogs Are 4-0!

While Computer Prime was in the shop, the NCAA college football season got cranked up along with the first year of my Houston Cougars playing in the American Athletic Conference, AKA the rebranded Big East.

They went 5-7 in their last C-USA season and were picked in the AAC preseason media poll to finish sixth in the league.  But historically my alma mater has a habit of exceeding football expectations in the first year they enter new conferences. 

So far it looks like that may be happening for this prepubescent Cougars football squad now.  

Because they are building a $105 million 40,000 seat on campus football stadium on the former spot that Robertson Stadium used to occupy that isn't scheduled to open until next August, their 2013 home games are being played at Reliant, Rice and BBVA Compass stadiums.

The Coogs got this 2013 football party started with a 62-13 August 30 thumping of the Southern University Jaguars from the SWAC at Reliant Stadium. 

UH beats Temple for 1st conference winThe next week, September 7 they traveled to Philadelphia to make a little history and play the very first American Athletic Conference game against the Temple Owls at Lincoln Financial Field. 

It was a tight and frustrating affair for the Cougars as they lost junior starting QB David Piland to a concussion and sophomore RB Kenneth Farrow to a season ending injury.

Piland's concussion paved the way for true freshman John O'Korn to take over the reins and his freshman counterpart Greg Ward to get some playing time.  The UH Air Raid offense moved the ball at will on the Owls until they got in the red zone, the Temple defense would stiffen and they would settle for field goals.  Cougar kicker Richie Leone kicked five field goals as they went an abysmal 1 for 8 in the red zone. 

Been watching the Texans too much.    

Local players help UH retain Bayou BucketBut the Cougar defense stepped up and got a red zone pick to end one Owl drive with them clinging to a 15-13 lead and stiffened on another drive that led to a missed 25 yard field goal that would have put Temple in front 16-15.   Ryan Jackson’s 8 yard fourth quarter touchdown run let the Cougars exhale and get out of town with a 22-13 win to go 2-0 on the young 2013 season and get their first AAC conference win. 

The Bayou Bucket showdown at Reliant Stadium with our crosstown rivals the Rice Owls was next up on the schedule on September 21.  It was in addition to being John O'Korn's first collegiate start a game chock full of offensive fireworks as the Cougars found themselves trailing 13-7 after the first quarter before they woke up and grabbed an 17-13 halftime lead.   

The Cougars built a comfortable 31-13 they took into the fourth quarter lead before Rice came storming back.  

Alex Lyons picked up a blocked Cougar field goal attempt with 2:18 in the game fourth quarter and raced 62 years for a Rice TD to narrow the lead to a scant five points.   Rice kicker Chris Boswell subsequently executed a highlight worthy back-footed onside kick the Owls recovered to give them one last chance to bring the Bucket to their side of town.

But a fourth down pass from the UH 36 on that potential game winning drive fell incomplete and the Bucket remains on the UH campus for the third straight year after the 31-26 win over the Owls to go 3-0.

Because the Cougars and Owls are now in different conferences for the first time since 2003, that was the last scheduled game between UH and Rice for the next four years.  Both schools have indicated they wish to continue the Bayou Bucket rivalry which has occurred since 1971.

Yesterday the unbeaten Cougars traveled down I-10 west to take on the 2-2 UT-San Antonio Roadrunners at the Alamodome for the first time. 

But this had the makings of a trap game.  The UTSA program may only be three years old, but it's headed by Larry Coker, who once led the Miami Hurricanes to a national championship in 2001.  UTSA sits in the second largest city in Texas and has quality high school programs in the area like Houston that produce lots of FBS caliber high school football players.  The Roadrunners recruited enough of them to where they went 8-4 last season and 3-3 in the WAC but because they are making the transition from FCS (Division I-AA) aren't fully bowl eligible until 2014.    

For three quarters UTSA stayed competitive with the Cougars in a back and forth game in which the lead exchanged several times.  It unraveled in the fourth quarter for the Roadrunners when Cougars defensive lineman BJ Singleton blocked a Sean Ianno field goal attempt that Brandon Wilson scooped up and turned into a 79 year touchdown that gave UH a 31-21 lead. 

It also turned a close game into a rout as the Cougars forced five fourth quarter UTSA turnovers including a 96 yard pick six with 48 seconds left in the game by William Jackson for a 59-28 win and remain undefeated in this 2013 football season. 

The 4-0 UH Cougars play their second AAC game on Saturday morning October 12 at BBVA Compass Stadium against Memphis.

Going to be interesting to see them trying to keep the forward momentum going in this inaugural AAC season with this freshman dominated squad.  .

Will be hoping they do. 

Cassidy's NoH8 Photo

Cassidy Lynn Campbell had a historic win back on September 20 when her Marina High School classmates voted her as their homecoming queen.  

She became the first ever out trans feminine student to accomplish that feat, but the joy was short lived as the clown car of transphobic haters and bullies, including NOM spokesbigot Bryan Fischer attacked her.

But that transphobic hate was met with a tsunami of love and support for Cassidy that included an invitation from NOH8 campaign photographer Adam Bouska to take part in a campaign photo shoot.

Cassidy, you were a queen before you even earned the sash and crown to go with it.   No matter how much vitriol the haters have flung at you, it still doesn't change the fact that you are and forever will be the Marina High homecoming queen and that a majority of your classmates voted for you to have that title.

You also have an international community of people who have your back. 

Congratulations on the photo shoot! 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

We New Black Transwomen Define Us, Not You

The New Black Transwoman is an outspoken advocate for the dignity of herself and all transwomen, and refuses to submit quietly to anti-trans oppression and injustice.  

She is grounded in her spirituality, constantly evolving on her feminine journey and strives to be a compliment to Black womanhood and not regarded a joke or detriment to it.  

She fearlessly tackles the shame, guilt and fear issues we face and expresses pride in being a Black transwoman.   --TransGriot. Birth of the New Black Transwoman   July 20, 2012

It seems as though some peeps have a problem with New Black Transwomen standing up for ourselves, owning our power and calling out people who disrespect, denigrate and dehumanize us. 

And sadly, some of those people are in our own Black LGB and Black community ranks    

If you fall into that category and have a problem with African descended transwomen standing up for themselves and their humanity (and you know who you are) that's too damned bad. 

We are no longer going to allow disinformation and misgendering of Black transwomen to go friend, foe or frenemy inside or outside this community.  W
e are tired of the media misgendering our people in life and death and getting a 'tude when we call them on their bull feces.  We are tired of misguided Black politicians hypocritically voting against human rights laws and ordinances that will go a long way toward helping to solve many of the problems that ail our community because you fail to grasp the concept that Black trans issues are Black community issues.  

We are
more than fed up with the misguided gay and straight Black cisgender people who arrogantly assert they know more about our trans lives than we do.  We're sick of their loud and wrong commentary about Black trans women when they have never walked in our pumps and won't STFU and listen when we try to tell them our stories.  

Enough is enough.   If you truly wish to be a standup trans ally to our community and intelligently talk about chococentric trans issues, 'ejumacate' yourself first. 

Google and Bing are your easily accessible tools to help you
gain that Trans 101 and beyond knowledge you'll need to facilitate these much needed Black family conversations.  

There's also an increasingly long list of African American trans women of all ages who are eminently qualified and willing to discuss our lives at a Trans 201 and beyond level and the challenging issues we face.

And that's before we even get started talking about the issues that our trans sisters in the rest of the African Diaspora face in the Caribbean, the Americas, and Continental Africa.

We New Black Transwomen define us, not anyone else.   We are the experts at living our trans feminine lives and navigating our 21st century world in them.  If you're spouting falsehoods and lies about our trans feminine community, we have every right to confront and call it out because we are tired of your lies and disinformation getting our trans younglings killed.

The ongoing
online and offline internal trans definition conversations are happening in our own ranks as we speak.  They are happening on our Afrocentric print and video blogs, in our online groups, at conferences, at community meetings and amongst each other.  

We New Black Transwomen are part of the diverse mosaic of human life and interwoven in the kente cloth fabric of African-American life.  We desire sisterhood not only with each other but with our Black cisgender sisters. 

We New Black Transwomen
simply want to live our lives in peace and relatively drama free tranquility.   We not only want to see our trans younglings get to experience their 30th, 40th, 50th and 60th birthdays, we want to work toward our ultimate goal of being a valued part of the greater society.
The sooner you realize that, the sooner we New Black Transwomen can use our talents, education, and skills to benefit not only our own community, but uplift ourselves and our people as well.  

Jahaira's Mission-To Thine Own Self Be True

Congratulations Jahaira on three years of video blogging and One Love right back at you sis!  

This one has an interesting message that we need to constantly think about as trans people in terms of being true to our own selves.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Dunn Trial Moved to Early 2014

I was wondering why the news cycle was so quiet about the other Florida 'Stand Your Ground' case hauntingly similar to and up the road from the Trayvon Martin one in which another Black teenage male died. 

Michael Dunn, the man accused of killing 17 year old Jordan Dunn in the parking lot of a Jacksonville, FL convenience store in a dispute over loud music was supposed to go on trial starting September 23.   The trial has been postponed until January or early February 2014.

The other similarity in this trial and the Zimmerman one is State Attorney Angela Corey is handling it, which in the wake of the jacked up Zimmerman one and the the Marissa Alexander ones has sparked calls by a citizen's group for her removal from prosecuting the Dunn case.

So stay tuned, we'll see if justice prevails or as some people fear is going to happen, Dunn walks.

Shut Up Fool Awards-Marissa's New Trial Edition

Marissa Alexander new trialHeard the wonderful news that Marissa Alexander, who has served three years of a 20 year sentence for 'standing her ground' by firing a warning shot during an argument with her estranged husband, will be getting a new trial.  

As NAACP president Ben Jealous said in statement, "From the streets to the courthouse, race continues to influence the judicial process, and it certainly seemed to have played a role here."

She should have never gone to jail in the first place, but better late than never for justice to hopefully be served in this case.  Angela Corey just needs to drop it and let Marissa go free since she's been punished enough for what happened.

It's Friday, and time for us to handle our usual business of determining what fool fools or group of fools deserve to have the the TransGriot spotlight shined upon them for their idiocy.

Honorable mention number one goes to Chuck Todd for parting his lips to say on MSNBC's Morning Joe that it wasn't his job to point out and debunk Republican lies.

Um dude, that's EXACTLY what you get paid to do as NBC's Political Director.  Even collegiate journalism students can tell you that it is a reporter's/journalist's responsibility to report the news, without bias or subjectivity.   Hell, it is the ENTIRE media's job to call out disinformation and lies from politicians, big business, law enforcement, academia, sports, entertainment....

If you won't do it, give me your job and I will because a functioning democracy requires journalists to do their jobs.

Honorable mention number two goes to Nevada Assembly minority leader Pat Hickey, who crowed in a recent radio interview that 2014 will be a big year for the GOP because 'minority and younger voters will not turn out'.    Yeah, that what y'all thought in 2012 and you saw what happened.

And you wonder why your party is headed in the Whig Party's direction.    

Honorable mention number three is for Sen. Ted Cruz (Teabagger-TX) for wasting the country's valuable time running his mouth on the Senate floor to so called filibuster a bill that he eventually voted for.   

Honorable mention number four goes to a person who shall remain nameless who posted a comment thread on my Facebook page discussing a The article about the racist BS that President Obama has had to deal with said this in dismissing the racism:

Using race as an excuse to do ANYTHING - is still racism. 

No racism = a dominant majority group using their prejudice and systemic power to retard or roll back the societal progress and upward mobility of a minority group.

But Jamie Jeans also was on point in his rebuttal.

"What he just said, since the coward just up and left, translated to dismissing any claim of racism as racism itself, so any claim of racism is racist, which is such stupid, toilet flushing circular logic that only the willfully blind and ignorant can proclaim."

Amen, Jamie.

Honorable mention number five is for Bryan Fischer and all the transphobic fools who engaged in internet bullying of Cassidy Campbell after she became the first ever out trans feminine homecoming queen.

Would love to see what your attitudes would be if it were one of your own kids that was transgender. 

The SUF winner this week is a joint award for former Coatesville (PA) Area School Superintendent Richard Como and former Director of Athletics and Activities Jim Donato.  Both of them let their inner bigots run wild and get themselves in serious trouble.  They both are facing a criminal investigation over shocking racist and sexist text messages that were found on their work cell phonesi

They run the gamut from all one of the men suggests that all African-Americans should have the N-word for their last racist and sexist rants while watching the Miss USA beauty pageant.  

Richard Como and Jim Donato, shut up fools! 

Yes, Kevin You Do Need To Know Something About Trans Issues To INTELLIGENTLY Discuss Them

I received an interesting link from Bryanna Aeon Jenkins last night concerning YouTube's The 'Skorpion Show' host Kevin Simmons and his broadcast partner Makael McLendon problematic take on trans issues.

I saw the two videos in which these openly gay men clumsily tried to discuss the Mister Cee controversy and the trans feminine dimension of it.  They said some problematically ignorant things about trans women that video bloggers Kat Blacque and Bryanna Aeon Jenkins tried to correct Kevin on.

First point of this post Kevin, is that if you're going to talk about trans issues on your show, you do need to educate yourself on trans issues if you're going to attempt to talk INTELLIGENTLY about them.  Our trans feminine lives are not a joke or a punchline to boost your hit counts, especially when Black trans women are getting killed for daring to openly live their lives.  .

Google and Bing are your friends.  Utilizing them can help you acquire a Trans 101 level of knowledge that will be sufficient enough for us trans women to not to have to school your ass when you frack up like you did in those two videos in the wake of the Mr. Cee mess.  

Janet Mock and Laverne Cox are just two of the many people in the trans feminine community who have either written about or discussed trans relationships.  Both recently made an appearance on HuffPo lLive.  I've been talking about a wide range of transgender issues on this award winning Afrocentric trans blog and elsewhere since 2006.  Diamond Stylz is another major transfeminine blogger who has commented on the Mr Cee issue.  

And when we trans women, be we from the blogosphere, academia or video blog world inevitably call you on your loud and wrong opinions about our lives, don't get huffy and dismissive like you did with Bryanna when we do.   We have had for far too long cisgender gay and straight people mischaracterizing our lives and we're tired of it.  We cannot and will not let it go when a video blog with a large viewership like The Skorpion Show is putting misinformation out there about us and the creator of the show claims 'he doesn't need to know anything about our lives'.

Yeah, you do need to know something about our lives since we are an intertwined part of the Black TBLG community . When it comes to our lives, we trans women are the experts when it comes to talking about them because we are the ones dealing with the challenges and issues inherent with negotiating life in our trans feminine bodies.

Trans women are not as you erroneously put it, 'just like a gay person.'    Sexual orientation and gender identity are two entirely different discussions.  The only way that trans people and gay people are alike is that the world hates on both groups for violating the gender binary.  

And speaking of sexual orientation, a cis man who sleeps with a trans woman is straight, not gay.   Gay men as you and Makael know are attracted to other gay men.  Trans attracted men are attracted to our femininity first, then we sort out the issues on what particular combination of genitalia and sexual activity a trans attracted man likes in the bedroom who desires a long term relationship with us. 

Video bloggers like Troy have also had much to say about this Mr Cee controversy.  He has done yeoman's work at his YouTube video channel in giving people thought-provoking 411 commentary about trans attracted men as well.

But let's get back to discussing gender identity vs sexual orientation.

Gender identity is who you are, your perception of who you are and how you perform your gender roles to correspond with that perception.  Sexual orientation is who you like to sleep with when your bedroom door is closed.  Trans people can be straight, gay, lesbian, bi, or poly just like the rest of you cisgender people.

Another point you and your broadcast partner need to burn into your brains is that a trans woman is a woman period regardless of what genitalia is between her legs.  You focus on the person she is and projecting to the world in 2013 and beyond, not the body she came into the world with out of her mother's womb on her birthday. 

And if you wish to have that conversation you claim on you want to have with trans women, there are basic rules of respect for us you need to remember.  One is to STFU and listen when we are schooling you about aspects of our trans lives you are ignorant about.   

You do not EVER call us 'trannies'.  That is now considered a slur word by a majority of the American trans feminine community, so expunge it from your vocabulary.  

Disrespecting our femininity by calling us 'men' or using the wrong pronouns when we have spent time, money, psychological-emotional work, hormone therapy and sweat equity into becoming the persons on the outside that we are on the inside is also not acceptable.   

And that's real talk for you.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Kat Blacque-Why I'm NOT A Feminist

Kat Blaque
Kat Blacque, don't let the idiots drive you off of YouTube.   If you need to take a break for a minute, do that.   Your eloquent voice and your thoughts about the issues affecting our community are needed.     

Kat speaks in this video why she doesn't call herself a feminist.

2013 TransGriot NFL Predictions-Week 4

NFL Week 3 was ugly as I had a sub-500 week no thanks to all the upsets.  While I still have time to get back into this contest, I'd better do it fast because we're now a quarter of the way into the season and Eli is showing no signs of cooling off form his hot start.   I can't afford any more 7-9 weeks.

And yeah the Texans return to cha-cha football on offense against the Ravens didn't help me avoid a sub.500 week either. What do I mean by cha-cha football on offense? 

One, two, three, kick.  One, two, three, kick.

Moving the ball at will until you get to the red zone and you come away with field goals instead of touchdowns will get you beat against upper echelon NFL teams.  If the Texans consider themselves an upper echelon Super Bowl contending club, better start scoring TD's when they get it in the red zone especially since their schedule for the next two weeks ain't no picnic.

This NFL Week 4 we see the first two teams get their bye week as Carolina and Green Bay get to watch 'errbody' else play while they chill on the couch. 

The winless Steelers and Vikings are in London to play their regular season game at Wembley Stadium with the loser facing a long depressing plane ride back across The Pond pondering an 0-4 start and increasing chances of missing the 2013 NFL playoffs. 

We are starting to get a feel for which teams look like Super Bowl contenders, which ones look like pretenders, and which ones will be playing for the number one pick in the 2014 NFL Draft next May.

So I have some work to do to get back into this prognostication contest and only 15 games to select due to the bye week.  My picks as usual are in underlined bold print while Eli's and Mike's are here.

Week 3 Results
TransGriot    7-9
Eli Blake     12-4
Mike Watts   9-7

2013 Season Record
TransGriot      28-20
Eli                  37-11
Mike              30-18

NFL Week 4
Bye Week  Carolina, Green Bay

Thursday Night Game
San Francisco at St Louis 

Sunday Noon Games
Seattle at Houston
NY Giants at Kansas City
Baltimore at Buffalo
Arizona at Tampa Bay
Indianapolis at Jacksonville
Cincinnati at Cleveland
Chicago at Detroit
Pittsburgh at Minnesota (London)
NY Jets at Tennessee

Sunday Afternoon Games
Dallas at San Diego
Washington at Oakland
Philadelphia at Denver

Sunday Night Game
New England at Atlanta

Monday Night Game
Miami at New Orleans


Another Day, Another Dead Black Transwoman Misgendered By The Media

So tired of this bull feces on multiple levels.  

First up, it is my sad duty to inform you that thanks to Lexie Cannes, I was alerted to the unfortunate demise of another Black trans woman who will not live to see her 30th birthday. 

Time for me to let loose my inner Florida Evans before I continue.

26 year old Eyricka Morgan was fatally stabbed Tuesday night in a boarding house in New Brunswick, NJ.  

Police were called at 8:17 PM to the boarding house on Baldwin Street where they found Ms. Morgan injured. She was rushed to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital where she died at 9 PM EDT. 

21 year old Devonte Scott was charged with murder, unlawful possession of a weapon, and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose in Eyricka's death and is being held in the Middlesex County Jail on $1 million bond according to Acting Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey.

The investigation into the murder is continuing, and anyone with information is asked to call Detectives Kenneth Adobe or Jose Rodriguez of the New Brunswick PD at  (732)-745-5200 for Det. Abode or Det.  Rodriguez at (732) 745-3300.

Now for part two of what's pissing me off.   Once again a dead African-American transwoman has been misgendered in the media because Sue Epstein, the Star-Ledger reporter in question either failed to do her job or as I suspect, the New Brunswick Po-Po's information officers misidentified and misgendered Ms. Morgan for whatever reason. 

By the way Sue and NBPD media officers, this is what the AP Stylebook guidelines are and have stated since 2001 concerning reporting about transgender people..

transgender-Use the pronoun preferred by the individuals who have acquired the physical characteristics of the opposite sex or present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth.

If that preference is not expressed, use the pronoun consistent with the individuals live publicly.

Okay, New Brunswick PD, if your officers on the scene knew they were dealing with a transgender female,. they need to accurately pass that info on to you so it can be properly reported and you get the information you need to solve the case.  

Every time you law enforcement or media peeps misgender a murdered trans female as a 'man', you are not only pissing our community off with your insensitivity because this crap happens far too often around the country to transwomen of color, you are sabotaging the wheels of justice in the case by misgendering that person. 

In many cases we in the trans community only know trans women by their feminine names, so hearing their old male names will only register blank stares to the people who currently know them as the female bodied person they interact with.

So get busy correcting the stories about Eyricka.

And rest in peace, sis.

TransGriot Update:  Missed this story that quotes a 23 year old Eyricka when I wrote the initial post:

DR. KRZ Named To 2013 The Root 100 List!

As I said when I was congratulating him in a previous post for the award he's getting from the Transgender Law Center October 3, at the rate he's collecting accolades, awards and honors  he's probably going to need to build a trophy case.

The Root announced its list of 100 influencers and achievers, and in addition to people like Danielle Moodie-Mills, Jay Z, Serena Williams, Benjamin Jealous, and Corey Booker is our brother Dr. Kortney Ryan Ziegler.

This is a big deal to be named to the Root 100 list and I couldn't be happier and more proud of him as a fellow African descended trans person..

Congratulations again Kortney!

Lets Talk About Shame And Guilt Again

If you are a woman, if you’re a person of colour, if you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, if you are a person of size, if you are a person of intelligence, if you are a person of integrity, then you are considered a minority in this world.

…And it’s going to be really hard to find messages of self-love and support anywhere. Especially women’s and gay men’s culture. It’s all about how you have to look a certain way or else you’re worthless. You know when you look in the mirror and you think ‘oh, I’m so fat, I’m so old, I’m so ugly’, don’t you know, that’s not your authentic self? But that is billions upon billions of dollars of advertising, magazines, movies, billboards, all geared to make you feel shitty about yourself so that you will take your hard earned money and spend it at the mall on some turn-around creme that doesn’t turn around shit.

When you don’t have self-esteem you will hesitate before you do anything in your life. You will hesitate to go for the job you really wanna go for, you will hesitate to ask for a raise, you will hesitate to call yourself an American, you will hesitate to report a rape, you will hesitate to defend yourself when you are discriminated against because of your race, your sexuality, your size, your gender. You will hesitate to vote, you will hesitate to dream. For us to have self-esteem is truly an act of revolution and our revolution is long overdue.

Margaret Cho

And she's absolutely on point about that.   To have self-esteem as a trans person (and a trans woman) is a revolutionary act because people seem to think they have a God given right to hate us and aim violence and vitriolic hate speech at us whenever they feel like it.   And if you dare show that you are a proud trans person, the haters take pride in trying to bring you down or sucking the joy out of your life.

To borrow a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.  I refuse to allow cisgender hatters to make me feel like I'm less than a human being or feel ashamed or guilty about being trans. 

I've been there and done that in terms of the hesitation that Cho talked about in the opening comment.  I hesitated to dream. I hesitated to go for my transition knowing it was what I needed to do to make me happy and be the person I needed to be.  And I was unhappy until I finally said enough and dealt with it

But once I did transition and was finally comfortable in my own body, the self-esteem increased, the fears lessened, the unfounded guilt melted away and I began to live my life.

We have to be consistently on guard about allowing shame and guilt to insidiously intrude upon our lives.  There is nothing wrong with being trans masculine or trans feminine people, and we are part of the diverse mosaic of human life.  If cis people can't deal with that reality, it's their problem to sort out, not yours.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

April Ashley Museum Exhibit Opening September 27

April Ashley is one of our pioneering trans people and was honored last year with an MBE for her lifelong human rights advocacy. 

It's exiting and interesting to note that an exhibit about her life is opening Friday in her hometown of Liverpool.  

How cool is that? 

The Museum of Liverpool is hosting the exhibit entitled April Ashley: Portrait of a Lady that will run from September 27-September 14, 2014.

VariousThe year long exhibit is funded with a £78,000 ($125,371) grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and curated by Homotopia in partnership with National Museums Liverpool.   It draws upon April Ashley’s previously unseen photographic archive and personal documents to investigate the wider impact of changing social and legal conditions for all transgender, lesbian, gay and bisexual people from 1935 to today.

April was born in Liverpool in 1935, joined the Merchant Marine at age 14 to escape her unhappy home life, and after two suicide attempts and electroshock therapy to 'cure' her moved to Paris, transitioned, worked at the famed Le Carrousel trans cabaret and was the first person in Europe (and Dr. Georges Bourou's ninth) to undergo genital surgery with Dr Bourou at his clinic in Casablanca, Morocco in 1960. 

She returned to Britain after the surgery and became a successful Vogue model and actress until she was outed in 1961.  She was a plaintiff in the 1970 Corbett v Corbett divorce case that has had international legal ramifications on trans marriages (and negatively impacted Christie Lee Littleton in 1999 among others) in addition to the status of trans people in Great Britain that wasn't rectified until the 2004 Gender Recognition Act was passed.

Ashley has had a major impact on us as a trans pioneer and it's wonderful that her life is being spotlighted

The Museum of Liverpool opened in July 2011 and is the first national museum in Great Britain devoted to the history of a regional city.   It showcases popular culture while tackling social, historical and contemporary issues and is a fantastic, free family day out. It has attracted more than two million visitors since it opened and was awarded the prestigious Council of Europe Museum Prize for 2013 for its commitment to human rights as well as its work with children and families from all backgrounds.

The April Ashley exhibit is just another example of that human rights commitment.  If you live in Great Britain or are here on our side of The Pond planning to visit Great Britain, hope you take the opportunity to travel to Liverpool and see the April Ashley exhibit while it's there.   

Ask A Trans Atracted Man 7-Mr. Cee

I know 'errbody' except yours truly has commented on Mr Cee, and here's Troy's latest video from his Ask a Trans Attracted Man YouTube channel of him expressing his thoughts about the Mr Cee controversy.

I Don't Like Bryan Fischer Bullying Cassidy, Either

If you thought I was kidding about the christohaters shifting tactics and aiming their vitriol at the trans community in the wake of them losing their war against the gay community and same gender marriage, more irrefutable evidence is piling up that we're being targeted. 

First there is the increasing anti-trans rhetoric from Fox Noise followed by the resistance put up in August by Texas and national transphobes to San Antonio adding gender identity and sexual orientation to their non-discrimination ordinance earlier this month followed by the announcement of California transphobes that they are going after the groundbreaking AB 1266 by gathering signatures to force a referendum to overturn the law.    

Now in the wake of Cassidy's historic win as homecoming queen in Huntington Beach, CA, the transphobic haters have come out and launched vicious attacks on her.   One of those transphobic haters has a radio frequency as his bully pulpit in Bryan Fischer.

The spokesidiot of the SPLC-certified hate group the American Fascist Family Association took time on his radio show to bully a 16 year teen.   How pathetic is that? 

We trans people don't have a psychological problem, we exist and are part of the diverse mosaic of human life that God created.   It is you who needs psychological help for being a pathological liar and transphobe that violates every known standard of morality and decency. 

Keep it up Bryan and transphobes.  The more you scream and yell, the more you make our case for the swift enactment of ENDA, and more state and local non-discrimination laws to protect trans Americans from hatemongers like you.and your friends.

I Do Not Like Republicans

Ted Cruz reads 'Green Eggs and Ham' during 'filibuster' [YouTube]
TransGriot Note: Because Sen. Ted Cruz (Teabagger-TX) was desecrating the Dr. Seuss classic children's book Green Eggs and Ham during his fake filibuster stunt last night, got the idea to rewrite the classic story to slam Ted and his party.

You won't need music or your iPod's for this rewrite.  Just read it out loud with your friends and enjoy.


I Do Not Like Republicans

Remixed from the original text of 'Green Eggs and Ham' by Dr. Seuss

I am Ted 

I am Ted
Ted I am

That Ted-I-am
That Ted-I-am!
I do not like
that Ted-I-am

Do you like

I do not like them,
I do not like

Would you like them
Here or there?

I would not like them
here or there.
I would not like them
I do not like Republicans
I do not like them,

Would you like them
in the House?
Would you like them
with your spouse?

I do not like them
in the House.
I do not like them
hating my spouse.
I do not like them
here or there.
I do not like them
I do not like Republicans.
I do not like them,Ted-I-am.

Would you vote for them
in a ballot box?
Would you like them
after watching Fox?

Not in a ballot box.
Not watching Fox 
Not in the House.
Not with my spouse.
I would not like them here or there.
I would not like them anywhere.
I would not vote Republican 
I do not like them, Ted-I-am.

Would you? Could you?
in your car?
Here's Rush! Here's Reince!
Here they are.

I would not,
could not,
in my car

You may like them.
You will see.
You may like them
The GOP 
No, your party is not for me.
I would not, could not vote GOP.
Not in my car! You let me be.

I do not like them messing with the ballot box.
I do not like them televised on Fox
I do not like them in the House
I do not like them hating my spouse
I do not like them here or there.
I do not like them anywhere.
I do not like Republicans.
I do not like them, Ted-I-am.

A train! A train!
A train! A train!
Could you, would you
on a train?

Not on a train! Not on MSNBC!
Not in a car! Ted!  Let me be!
I would not, could not, mess with a ballot box.
I could not, would not, listen to Fox.
I will not like them hating my spouse
I will not like them controlling the House.
I will not like them here or there.
I will not like them anywhere.
I do not like them, Ted-I-am.

In the dark?
Here in the dark!
Would you, could you, in the dark?

I would not, could not,
in the dark.

Would you, could you,
in the rain?

I would not, could not, in the rain.
Not in the dark. Not on a train,
Not in a car, Not on MSNBC.
I do not like them, Ted, you see.
Not in a house. Not in a ballot box.
Not with my spouse. Not listening to Fox.
I will not like them here or there.
I do not like them anywhere!

You do not like

I do not
like them,

Could you, would you,
give us your vote?

I would not,
could not.
give you my vote!

Would you, could you,
on a boat?

I could not, would not, on a boat.
I will not, will not, give you my vote.
I will not like them in the rain.
I will not like them on a train.
Not in the dark! Not on MSNBC!
Not in a car! You let me be!
I do not like them messing with the ballot box.
I do not like them televised on Fox.
I will not vote them in the House.
I do not like them hating my spouse.
I do not like them here or there.
I do not like them ANYWHERE!

I do not like

I do not like them,

You do not like them.
So you say.
Try them! Try them!
And you may.
Try them and you may I say.

You need to let me be,
I already tried them.
They failed miserably.

I don't like Republicans!
I still don't like them, Ted-I-am!
And I still won't like them on a boat!
And I will never give them my precious vote.
And I will hate them in the rain.
And in the dark. And on a train.
And in a car. And on MSNBC.
They are so bad so bad you see!

So I will vote for Democrats at the ballot box.
And I won't watch the GOP televised on Fox.
And I will vote them out of the House
And I will vote against them with my spouse 
And I will dislike them here and there.
Say! I will vote against them ANYWHERE!

I do not like
Thank you!
Thank you,

Pennsylvania School Board Denies Trans Student Chance To Run For Homecoming King

091013 kaseycaron 300x234 Pennsylvania transgender student seeks to be homecoming king news Well Class of 2014, I guess y'all were paying attention when I wrote this post.   Too bad the adults running many of your schools and school districts aren't. 

While one trans student made history last week, another one won't even get the chance to become homecoming king at his school when they play their game on October 5.  

The Richland School Board let stand a decision by school administrators in the Johnstown, PA area district to deny 17 year old senior Kasey Caron to chance to run for homecoming king.

It's similar to the battle earlier this year that Isaak Wolfe fought in his administratively thwarted attempt to become prom king at Red Lion High     Kasey is being listed on the ballot for homecoming queen instead of homecoming king.

Kasey's mother Kathy Caron read a prepared statement seeling to not only reverse that school decision, but also asked the Richland board to address three issues:
  • Allowing Kasey to wear a cap and gown of male color during graduation.
  • Adding gender identity to the school’s protection under its bullying policies.
  • Establishing a gay-straight alliance at the high school this year.
The board punted on the homecoming king issue and claimed they would need more time to study the other three.  

“No formal action is required due to the board agreeing with the previous decision of the administration,” Richland School Board Solicitor Timothy Leventry said from a prepared statement.

“Basically they’re leaving Kasey on the female ballot,” Kasey’s mother, Kathy Caron, said after the meeting. “I’m disappointed.”

Wondering if the ACLU is going to jump into this case.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What's Happening With C-279?

Canadian SenateWell, so much from the Canadian Senate returning to work on September 17 and getting busy passing Bill C-279.  Prime Minister Stephen Harper decided on August 19 to ask Governor-General David Johnston to prorogue Parliament, a request that was granted a few days later. 

So what does that mean for us peeps south of the 49th parallel?   According to the Canadian Parliament’s website: “The principal effect of ending a session by prorogation is to end business. All government bills that have not received Royal Assent prior to prorogation cease to exist; committee activity also ceases. Thus, no committee can sit after a prorogation.”

Translation: Canadian MP's and Senators will not return to the business of legislating until after Canadian Thanksgiving on October 14.

transgender rights billSo what effect does that have on Bill C-279, which was at Third Reading stage in the Senate before the Conservatives slowed down the legislative works long enough for them to get out of Ottawa for their summer break without it getting passed?

It basically resets the process for it in the Senate (which was probably the intent of the Conservatives when they stalled its passage) at First Stage, so C-279 has to go though the entire legislative process in the Senate again.

MP Randall Garrison is still hopeful C-279 will pass the Senate and become law, but we'll have to wait until after Thanksgiving to find out if the Canadian Senate thinks the human rights of its trans citizens are worth protecting.

Black Community Issues Are Black Trans Issues

I have repeatedly said on this blog that Black trans issues are Black community issues.  I'm going to flip the script in this post and point out that Black community issues are Black trans issues, too.

When the unjust Zimmerman verdict was read I like just about every African-American in this country was outraged about it and I showed up at the July 14 rally at City Hall along with other Houstonians pissed off about it as well.

While I was there I decided since the organizers of the rally were offering the people gathered there a chance to speak, I would do so not only on behalf of myself but for the Houston trans community.

The people gathered in front of Houston City Hall that day also needed to see a trans person who shared their heritage.  They now know because I stood up and proclaimed my trans status to that gathering and talked about the issues that united us that day that Black trans people are also concerned about the issues of the day that affect the Black community we are intertwined with.

It was interesting to note that when I was done, I had a few people buttonholing me afterward asking if I was going to run for office here in H-town.   We'll see.

Photo: A moment of contemplation before speaking at Justice for Trayvon Peace Rally 7.14.13
Before anyone who doesn't know my trans history (unless they read this blog or see my Twitter feed or Facebook page) gets to the point of finding out about that part of my life, all they have to go on is my skin color and my gender presentation.   

My transition almost 20 years ago did not change the fact that I'm a proud African-American, nor does being trans mean I gave up my Black card.  I still have to deal with people hating me because of that Black skin with the anti-trans hatred being thrown in as a bonus.  

I also don't have the luxury of separating my trans status from my Blackness.  They are the same.  .

Image result for Voter suppression
The point is as a Black person, voter suppression laws aimed at the Black community affect me in two ways.  The first is voting while Black.  The second is mismatched ID because of laws (or the lack of them) making it difficult for trans people to easily change their documentation to match the person they are projecting to the world now.  That can affect mine and other trans people's ability to vote when the voter ID voter suppression laws are requiring state issued ID's to go with your voter registration cards and requiring forms of ID like passports that cost money to acquire for people facing 26% unemployment. 

Stop and Frisk is another issue that affects us.  Many of the people disproportionately messed with by the NYPD were trans African-American and trans Latina women who in the infallible wisdom of NYPD officers were soliciting for prostitution.  If they had more than one condom on them, were arrested for it.

Image result for Trayvon Martin
Trayvon Martin being killed also affects the trans community.  It has me concerned that one day this scenario could play out and result in one of our trans men being killed or wounded because of some armed bigot who mistook him as 'a threat' instead of a fellow human being.

Because we trans people are an interconnected part of the Black community, the issues that affect the entire community in general also affect us.  The sooner the Black community recognizes that fact, the better it will be for all of us so we can collectively deal with what ails Black America.