Friday, January 31, 2014

Shut Up Fool Awards-5th Anniversary Issue

On January 30, 2009 I began what has turned out to be one of the more popular features on TransGriot in my weekly Shut Up Fool Awards.   Juan Williams of Fox Noise was our inaugural winner of that first award and they have been a plethora of them ever since.

Since yesterday was the fifth anniversary  of the Shut Up Fool Awards, I'm also going to start doing a Shut Up Fool of the Month.

But first, let's just get right to the 'bidness' at hand and select this week's fool, fool or group of fools.

This week's winner I'm going to Russia for, and naw it ain't Russian President Vladimir Putin.  The award goes to Sochi Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov, who claimed in a BBC interview there are 'no gay people' in his city.  Oh really?  The patrons of the several gay oriented night clubs in Sochi say otherwise.

Yeah right, and next you're going to tell me that Sochi is NOT on the Black Sea.  Peddle that BS somewhere else.

And how do you say Shut Up Fool! in Russian?  

Creating Change 2014-Day 2

Photo: Great Panel at The Black Day Long InstituteDay 2 of Creating Change 2014 Houston Style was a busy one for me.    We opened the suites and I was scheduled to supervise it today since Melissa had to work at her day job.

I was also invited to take part in thw National Black Justice Coalition's first ever at Creating Change Black Institute, and you know I wasn't missing the opportunity to be a prat of that event .

But what that set up for me was running back and forth from the fourth floor ballroom where the institute was being held to our Racial Diversity Suite on the 11th floor.

The Institute started at 9:15 AM after welcoming remarks from Task Force Deputy Director Darlene Nipper, NBJC ED/ECO Sharon Lettman-Hicks and the new man on the NBJC team in Venton Jones, their Events and Operations Manager. before they turned over the facilitation to Je-Shawna Wholley

After the screening of the film The Shadow Behind The Rainbow, we moved into the initial panel of the day I was on, entitled The Call of the Griot.  I was joined by Cleo Managao, Curtis Lipscomb, Dr. Kofi Adoma to discuss where we'd been as Black LGBT people and talk about intergenerational influences on the movement.

My mentor Mandy Carter was scheduled to participate in this panel, but the ATL weather related air traffic snarls delayed her arrival into Houston until later in the afternoon (darn it0  

When it was over I had to bounce to check on my suite (in room 11029 for you #cc14 attendees reading this post), and when I arrived it was packed for the lunch rush. I did get the opportunity to talk to many of our young attendees during the lunch break.


As I stepped out of the Ballroom H door enroute to the suite I had Charlene Carruthers and several people stop and  congratulate me for an award nomination.  I was puzzled until I was subsequently told TransGriot was nominated for a 2014 GLAAD Media Award. for Outstanding Blog.   Is there a trip to Los Angeles or New York in my future?    We'll see because my esteemed competition in this category is pretty stiff.

After making sure everything was copacetic in the suite, I returned to Ballroom H for the Young Gifted  Black and Queer Panel moderated by Je-Shawna and having as panelists Charlene Carruthers, Van Bailey Venton Jones and Samantha Master. 

Samantha had another surprise for me in an Asus laptop.   I've needed one for a while and this will do nicely to learn the nuances of laptop computing on.   I got to enjoy their panel and at the close of I spotted Louis Mitchell, Mandy Carter, Kimberley McLeod and Aisha Moodie-Mills entering the room a few minutes apart..

After she finished her chat with Sharon, I took a few moments to hug her and find out if Danielle was here (she is) before she had to moderate the third panel of the day entitled Double Jeopardy:: When The Struggle Overlaps.   It was a panel with Stacey Long, Holiday Simmons, Sheila Isong, and Dr. Imani Woody that looked at the political implications of being Black and gay.

When it was over and the assembled peeps were in another breakout session, I once again had to leave to  check on my suite.  A shift change had happened while I was gone, it needed a little TLC and it was also busy.

We were shutting down early tonight because we wanted everyone to attend the initial plenary session featuring speeches from our CC14 Host Committee Co-Chairs, and Mayor Annise Parker. 

But the buzz and excitement at the Hilton Americas had been building all day and frankly, ever since it was announced Laverne Cox would be our keynote speaker.

I got to the plenary after shutting down the Racial Diversity Suite for the night and the ballroom was standing room only.

Fortunately for me Kylar Broadus and and Marisa Richmond had a seat for me after standing for a few minutes and I settled in to watch Sue and Russell,  my Houston Host Committee Co Chairs, and Mayor Parker welcome everyone to Houston along with emcee Kate Clinton. 

And then the moment arrived in which our keynote speaker arrived to a standing ovation, she gave shoutouts in the speech to several people, including some GLAAD Award nominated blogger y'all know. before moving to the salient points in her speech.

Laverne's keynote discussed self love, the criminal justice system and how it impacts the trans community and pride in being not only trans, but a Black trans woman.  .

Looking forward to doing that panel with her, Tiq and Reina later today.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Creating Change 2014-Day 1 Recap

January 29, 2014 was the day we'd been planning as a Host Committee almost a year to have seamlessly happen, and it dawned clear and cold.

It was Day One of Creating Change Houston style, and on tap for it was The Racial Justice Institute. I didn't actually have to be up at the Hilton Americas until 5 PM for a meeting concerning the suites, but I'd sat at home and gotten my beauty sleep long enough   It was time for Moni to make an appearance at the Hilton Americas Hotel for CC14 and see my LGBT peeps .

I bounced out of the house at 7 in order to get a feel for the layout of the space and where our suites were located.   I discovered they are all on the west side of the hotel starting on the sixth floor and going all the way up to the 21st floor.  I returned to the lower levels after locating the 11th floor location of the Racial Diversity Suite , chatted with some of the peps at the registration desk before heading to the Lanier Ballroom where the initial session of the RJI was occurring.and being facilitated by The Washington Consulting Group, of whose members I met and chatted with before it started. 

It also didn't take me long to start seeing people as the cavernous room began to fill up with people attending the RJI..  I finally met the lovely Angelica Ross, who I have known online and chatted with on the phone from time to time for several years.   That triggered the floodgate of people rushing up to want to talk to me once they realized the TransGriot was in the CC14 house. 

Photo: Today is our Racial Justice Institute at Creating Change. Learn more about how we're building an anti-racist movement: yes, I enjoy those conversations as much as the people who are approaching me do.  

The RJI started at 9 AM and was scheduled to run until our 12:30 PM lunch break, and we spent that time working toward the goal of having deeper and meaningful conversations across race and sexuality.  

As that lunch break happened and I pondered what I was going to do, I ran into Stacey Langley and we decided to walk over to a nearby food court in the mall near the Four Seasons Hotel.   

I ran into in rapid succession on that walk Holiday Simmons from Lambda Legal, Jen Richards of Trans 100 fame and my Arizona homegirl and newlywed Toni D'orsay.

After lunch Stacey and I returned to hit different breakout session .   She hit the Engaging Race As A Multiracial Person in the LGBT Community one while I decided to head to the Engaging Race Gender Identity And Sexual Orientation Across People of Color Communities.

Shiva Subbaraman and Vernon Wall facilitated an interesting conversation over the next hour and 15 minutes that touched on a wide range of topics including the internalized issues inside our various POC communities.

Photo: Getting ready to welcome our guests #CC14HopsitalitySuiteMtgI got to see Imam Daayiee Abdullah during this session and looking forward to checking out the Muslim service he's leading on Friday.   Didn't get to finish the RJI because of that 5 PM meeting to pick up the key for the suite that opens tomorrow at 8 AM and help set it up with Melissa Meadows.

On that note, I didn't get back home until almost 9:30 PM.   I did have a nice package waiting for me when I arrived, and it was my autographed copy of Janet's book Redefining Realness that's going to be released February 4.

As busy as I'm going to be for the next two days, quiet time to read it is going to be at a premium.    And yep, need to get my behind in bed to get up at 5 AM so I can be there to open the suite and do the NBJC sponsored institute I'm a part of  in a few hours.

And nope, for those of you #CC14 attendees who are fans of TransGriot and have asked me, haven't decided who gets this week's Shut Up Fool Award yet.  I am taking suggestions though.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Creating Change 2014- Moni's Busy CC14 Schedule

Creating Change 2014 officially starts in a few hours with the day long Racial Justice Institute kicking off at 9 AM, and despite Houston Freeze Part 2, people are either here in H-town already or on their way here.  

Creating Change already started for me with the Volunteer Training Session that was held on Sunday.  I have a 5 PM meeting to attend to do some additional training related to my supervisory duties in the Racial Diversity Suite, but I'm looking forward to my first Creating Change since 1999 for a lot of reasons.

The Hilton Americas and the other overflow hotels for the next several days will be the epicenter for the TBLG movement, and it's going to be a wonderful thing to witness.

In addition to seeing all my old friends in the movement, meeting many people for the first time and people I'm aware of via their movement work but I'll meet for the first time ever during CC14, I'll be fulfilling another dream and getting to participate in Creating Change as a panelist. 

I'm part of the host committee, and I'm so looking forward to seeing old friends, meeting people I've connected with via The Net or admired for a long time in the TBLG community.

And the best part about it is Creating Change came to me this year.

Because Creating Change 2014 is happening in H-town, I got asked by a few peeps to be part of their various presentations and panels. I've feel blessed and honored that people sought me out to do so. 

Hilton Americas- Houston Hotel, TX - ExteriorOn Thursday January 30 I'm one of the panelists in the first ever The Black Institute: From the Civil Rights Movement to the LGBT-Equality Movement sponsored and organized by the National Black Justice Coalition.  It runs from 9 AM-6 PM in Grand Ballroom H on Level 4 of the hotel.  

This institute will explore the challenges and successes while living at the intersection of racial justice and LGBT equality and here's a description of some of the topics we'll tackle during this day long conversation.
From Selma to Stonewall, there is uniqueness about telling the story of where Black folks fit in the conversation about LGBT equality, especially when you live openly as a Black LGBTQ person who is deeply-rooted in Black culture in America.

Are Black queer folks always to live in survival mode? Or do we have an opportunity to THRIVE in both movements? This conversation is long overdue to declare Black LGBTQ people as a distinct population with specific needs and challenges that must not be relegated in one movement versus another. The time is NOW to set the agenda for our future. The place is HERE where we will come together to achieve this goal.

Hilton Americas- Houston Hotel, TX - Ballroom of the AmericasNEWI'm looking forward to Laverne's keynote speech Thursday night and hearing Mayor Annise Parker's remarks at the opening plenary session in the Ballroom of the Americas.

On Friday I join GLAAD Media Strategists Dani Heffernan and Tiq Milan in Grand Ballroom F on Level 4 for a 3-4:30 PM panel entitled "Growing Visibility: Transgender People in the Media,"   It will discuss transgender images in the media and features Reina Gossett of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project and our CC14 keynote speaker Laverne Cox.

I then head upstairs to the Racial Diversity Suite in Room 11029 to do a Texas Trans History presentation in the suite from 7-8:10 PM.

On Saturday February 1 from 12:15-1:30 PM I'll be in Room 333.attending a person of color only space discussion about the attacks against Trans and Gender non-conforming youth in California, that will also discuss AB1266 (the School Success and Opportunity Act) the attempt by the haters to take it to a ballot initiative, and the implications for and impacts on the continued national trend of attacks on trans and gender non conforming youth of color in schools 

On Sunday February 2, I join my Houston homegirl Stacey Langley in Room 335C for a discussion entitled  Building A Bridge Over The Rainbow: LGBTQ Women Creating Community.   That panel will be a 9:30-11:00 AM start before we move into the final plenary and the concert with Nona Hendryx to close it out and pass the Creating Change torch to Denver.     

And that's not even counting the other panels I'll attend, be chatting in, the networking I'll be doing and the the large numbers of people I'll be engaged with during this January 29-February 2 period.

Glad I got my beauty sleep last week.   Gonna need it.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Moni's Going To DC In February

A month from today it'll be my turn to hop on an airplane and jet off somewhere for a conference.

On February 28 I get to chill out in DC (and I hope chill out isn't the operative weather word that weekend) and take part in the 2014 edition of the LGBT Media Journalists Convening

It'll be the second one I've been blessed to take part in, and the theme for this edition of it is "Honing Our Game," and I'll get to be inside the Beltway from Friday, February 28 to Sunday, March 2, 2014. 

The goal of this fifth annual LGBT forum is to strengthen the capacity of TBLG  members of the media and blogosphere to more deeply understand and more effectively communicate critical issues facing the BTLG community, as well as assist in increasing the presence and diversity of GLBT bloggers in the national blogging community.

I'm looking forward to taking my first road trip of 2014 back to DC again, and I hope to see many of my blogging and media peers on what should be a n informative and fun weekend.

The SOTU Speech I'd Love To See The POTUS Give

The State Of Our Union Is…Confused.The State of the Union speech is happening later tonight, and I'll be paying attention like all of us political junkies and the pundit class will be.

President Obama will steer this one right now the middle and try his best to stay with the 'No Drama Obama' image despite the massive hate the Teapublicans and their conservafool acolytes have hurled his way. 

But just once I would like to see him give a SOTU speech in which he went Chicago Southside on their behinds.   How would that sound?


Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, fellow citizens: 

I have had it with trying to be nice to these Teapublican jerks, and I'm going to go Southside on them in this State of the Union Address and call some folks out.

The State of Our Union is strong but divided due to these racist GOP fools doing everything possible to get back at me for whipping Mitt Romney's behind in the 2012 election cycle.  

They hate me so much they were willing to destroy the economy of the United States and the world just to deny me ANY success by following Sen. Ted Cruz's lead and shut the federal government down.  These mitches are so filled with hatred that they won't pass the Jobs Bill this country needs, immigration reform, reasonable gun regulation, increasing the minimum wage, rebuilding infrastructure, passing ENDA or do anything else that will generate good jobs at good wages because it's what I want to see done and they are beholden to the Koch Brothers and their 1% corporate paymasters. 

Something else I want to see done is fix the problem with the Voting Rights Act tossed into our laps due to another jacked up Supreme Court decision.  But you know the Republicans don't want that to happen because they know you'll with vote their behinds out of office this November

My fellow Americans, I know you want and would like to see bipartisanship bloom like the cherry blossoms inside the Beltway, but I can't keep offering my hand to people who instead of shaking it and doing what's best for the country and moving us forward together, take their hand instead to slap me across the face with it, spit in my face when they are done, and then laughably accuse me in their propaganda outlets of not wanting to work with them. 

Well, that's over.  They want to lie and accuse me of being a Chicago politician, well, they are about to see it live and in living color in 2014.   If they won't act to move this country forward in a bipartisan way, then I'll do it my damned self.   I'll use my executive authority to the full extent constitutionally permissible to move America forward.   There's more than one way to beat an obstructionist Republican, and I'm going to prove that to you.

And as I handle my business inside Washington DC, I ask you to do your part by putting pressure on your congressmembers and senators to act on the legislation already passed by the Democratic Senate that is bottled up in the House because Speaker Boehner refuses to bring it to a vote.

If Speaker Boehner continues his recalcitrant ways through the rest of this year, then you get the opportunity on November 4 to vote him and the Republicans out of power on November 4 so that we can return the speaker's gavel to someone who will pass the legislation we need to move this country forward in Nancy Pelosi.

It's past time to end the war in Afghanistan and bring our troops home.   And when we do so, we give them everything we promised them in terms and they signed up to go into the military for in terms restoring all the GI Bill funding.   They earned it fighting to defend our freedoms, we promised that money to them, and we need to make good on that promise. 

And speaking of our military, it is past time to allow transgender Americans to opportunity to openly serve their country.  The time has come to allow patriotic transgender Americans the chance to openly serve their country like anyone else inside the borders of this nation we all love.   It is also time for our military to allow those transpeople who are hiding their true selves in order to stay in military service to be able to come out and openly serve our country.   Just as was done with DADT, we do so after consultation with our military leaders to expeditiously come up with the best practices, policies and ways to integrate trans Americans into the greatest armed forces in the world.    

We also need to act decisively to end the horrific situation that our daughters in uniform face when it comes to sexual assaults going unpunished.   American women sign up to serve our country, not  face sexual harassment and assault and have their superior officers turn a blind eye to it when they seek justice for what happened to them.   If you are not willing to act inside the military justice system to fix the problem, then we'll need to give our women warriors other options if their superior offices are thwarting prosecution of those crimes.

I've already alluded to it with transgender Americans in the militray, but if we are are going to lead the way in fighting for the human rights of LGBT people people around th world, we have to lead by example here at home.    It is past time that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans be afforded first class citizenship in the United States of America.  It is ridiculous that ENDA has not been passed, that many states still refuse to allow people to marry the person they love for specious reasons or use their faith as a fig leaf to cover their bigotry and prejudice. 

It is inexcusable that transgender people are facing the levels of hate violence they do.  Transpeople should have to hide because they fear that what happened to Islan Nettles will happen to them.   They should have to jump through hoops just to get identification that matches who they are now or if they are immigrants working hard to build new lives for themselves after fleeing anti transgender oppression in their birth nations being deported back to them.. You are first class human beings who deserve first class citizenship in our nation, and it's past time that happened. 

And why should we do all this?   We are approaching 50 years since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed and signed into law by president Lyndon Baines Johnson.  I , my children and yours are the beneficiary of the changes in American society that the Civil Rights Act and other subsequent groundbreaking legislation engendered..

And let us keep building together a more perfect union.  This country works best when we are also contributing our ideas, talents, sweat equity and elbow grease into putting in the work to make as Barbara Jordan said. an America as good as its promise. 

We should have as our guiding North Star striving to make an America better than its promise.   Let's start that wok tonight as we leave this chamber.  

God bless you my fellow Americans, and God bless the United States of America.  

Open Letters From Wendy's Daughters

Senator Wendy R. Davis with her daughters Amber and Dru.
You've heard and read the scurrilous attacks from the lying male chauvinist GOP pigs on Texas state Senator Wendy Davis, who is the Democratic candidate for governor.

There was even one from the GOP's favorite unwed mother, Bristol Palin who doesn't even live in my home state and had the nerve to part her lip and claim she was a better mother than Wendy.

Fool, you're not even smart enough to wear Wendy's pumps, so don't even try to go there.    Wendy also had something to say about the junior Palin's loud and wrong comments.

Wendy Davis 2013.jpegDavis' narrative in which she went from single motherhood in a trailer park to graduate at the top of her class from TCU and Harvard Law to become an attorney, Ft. Worth city council member state senator and now on the verge of becoming the 48th governor of my home state is a wonderful story.

If she had an 'R' behind her name, her narrative would  be thrown up in our face at every opportunity by the conservafools and FOX Noise as vindication of their 'pull yourself up by your bootstraps isn't America/Texas great?' propaganda. 

But since Wendy has a 'D' behind her name, and is also a Democrat who has the best shot since Ann Richards in 1990 of taking the governors mansion back from the not-so dynamic rule of GW Bush and Rick Perry, and are genuinely 'scurred' of the prospect of Wendy Davis becoming the next governor of my home state, they have resorted to a new line of personal attacks now that the 'Abortion Barbie' line is pissing people off. 

The Texas Teapublicans know her story resonates with Texans all over our state and as her 2011 education filibuster and 2013 filibuster on a woman right to choose demonstrated, she will fight for working class Texans.

They are also quite aware of the fact we 99% Texans want change after 20 years of failed batturd crazy and racist GOP policies geared toward corporations and the wealthy. .

Well, the Texas GOP can't brag on their piss poor record of running thangs in the Lone Star State either for the last 20 years, so the fact they have resorted to attacking Wendy's story tells me how bankrupt and bereft of ideas their party is and their assessment of her chances of winning this November are regardless of the 'she has no chance' rhetoric they comfort themselves with in their conservosphere.   . 

But it's sad that Wendy's daughters Amber and Dru even had to write these open letters defending their mom, but their voices and opinions matter in terms of how good a parent their mom is, so tell the truth and shame the conservadevils.  But whatever it takes to shut their sexist mouths the hell up and make sure that next January, it's Wendy J. Davis on the steps of the state capitol in Austin taking the oath of office.   

You can read both of the open letters from Dru and Amber Davis here

Houston Freeze Part 2

Weather Blog: First Freeze Warning
Me and the Creating Change Houston Host committee were breathing a sigh of relief during our Volunteer Training Day Sunday when last Thursday's unexpected Arctic blast dipped all the way to Houston.  It coated many of the local freeways and roads with a layer of ice, gave us sleet and snow in the northern exurbs, snarled traffic with multiple accidents and canceled flights into and out of IAH and Hobby until the temns rapidly warmed up during the weekend.

We are in for a replay of that scenario this week, and figures it would be the week we're hosting  Creating Change for the first time.  We're going to be in the 70s by this weekend, so weather is going to be fine for Creating Change weekend itself.  

Hilton Americas- Houston Hotel, TX - Exterior

It's just before we get those temps in the 70's on Friday and Saturday for all you Creating Change attendees heading south to visit us we're going to have to suffer with another Arctic blast on Tuesday and Wednesday in which the high temperature for today will be just 42 degrees. 

We're facing a Winter Storm Warning because of possible sleet and snow.

Arrgh, just what I didn't want to hear because I still have a few errands to run before y'all get here.  

City and government offices are closed, as are many of the schools for today.   METRO's cut back their schedule, closed the HOV/HOT lanes and drivers are being advised to stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary. 

De-icing a United aircraftFlights are already being cancelled into IAH and Hobby, so check your airline before you head to the airport. 

But once this stuff gets through here, we'll be in rapid warmup mode with the Wednesday high temperature predicted to be 45 degrees and 59 for the high temp on Thursday.

Safe travels and see y'all this weekend.

Countdown to the local right wingers blaming Creating Change for the deep freeze in 5...4...3...2...1...

TransGriot Update:  Winter Storm Warning for H-town was cancelled at 4:15 AM and has now been downgraded to a Winter Storm Advisory.   Still going to be cold by Houston standards for Tuesday and Wednesday

Monday, January 27, 2014

Houston LGBT Radio Icon Jimmy Carper Passes Away

I posted last year about March 10 being declared by Mayor Annise Parker as Jimmy Carper Day. 

Jimmy is a radio legend and one of the beloved iconic figures in our Houston GLBT community. 
I enjoyed the time I spent sitting next to this legendary broadcaster from November 1999 to September 2001 and being able to fulfill a dream of actually being on the Houston radio airwaves.

Having a 100,000 watt FM radio platform to say what was on my mind within FCC regulations at the time was pretty cool and heady stuff, especially in the late 90's-early 2k's when not a whole lot of Black trans people here in Houston or anywhere else in the country for that matter had that history making opportunity.

Jimmy Carper on his 'After Hours' show was practicing intersectionality and inclusion during a time when it wasn't cool in some quarters of this community to do and practice that value, and for that we in Houston owe you many thanks..

When I moved from Houston , Jimmy and the gang at KPFT-FM were some of the many people I missed.  I also discovered when I was in Oakland for Creating Change 1999 just how loved and respected he was in the LGBT  radio world when I attended a Pacifica Radio panel discussion during that event.  When the panelists discovered at the conclusion of it I was from Houston and co-hosting a show with him at KPFT-FM, I wasn't allowed to leave until I assured them I would pass on their greetings and love to him when I returned home.

So it's highly ironic and sad to me that as we are gearing up to have Creating Change here in Houston, that I heard the sad news that Jimmy Carper passed away peacefully about 12:26 AM CST this morning after a long illness.  

He'd crossed my mind Thursday and I was wondering how he was doing.   Well, now I know..  The details are still to be worked out concerning a memorial service, but when I find out, I'll pass them on.  

This was the comment I posted on his Facebook page. 
Jimmy, thanks for giving me and other people in the trans community a voice at a time when we had precious few outlets to do so. The co-host time I spent at your side from November 1999 to September 2001 still ranks as some of the happiest moments of my life.

You are with the angels now, and I and everyone else whose lives you touched who tuned into 'Queer Radio With Attitude' will miss you.

Jimmy CarperAccording to the After Hours Facebook page, this Saturday's After Hours will be a tribute one.


Our show this Saturday night will be in tribute to him, three hours of stories, memories, jokes and the music that Jimmy loved so much. The doors are open at the station 419 Lovett Blvd for those who wish to share with us in person. Our phone lines will be open as well to join in the show at 713-526-KPFT (5738). We will also share emails sent to and any postings to our Facebook page as well. The show is Saturday night/Sunday morning Midnight Central time to 3 AM. Please join us for tribute to our friend.

Plans for a public memorial are in the works and will be announced soon. Check the After Hours Facebook or listen in for details as released. The entire crew of After Hours thank everyone for the love and support sent to Jimmy in the past weeks and we look forward to continuing serving the community for him.


Jimmy Carper was a beacon of hope and a lifeline to many Houston area BTLG kids and adults who tuned into 'After Hours'.  His voice and the voices of his co-hosts and guests on 90.1 FM assured his listeners that they weren't alone and gave them the courage to be out and proud about who they are.  

And with every broadcast, Jimmy Carper helped us build a better Houston TBLG community..   

Rest in power and in peace Jimmy

Creating Change 2014-Volunteer Training Day

Embedded image permalink
Officially Creating Change 2014 isn't starting until January 29, but yesterday was the first day of Creating Change Houston action for me, the Host Committee and the 600 local peeps who showed up at the Hilton Americas downtown for our mandatory training day.

We had a choice of one hour sessions starting at 12 noon and running until 6 PM.   I and my fellow Racial Diversity committee member Keciana chose to get our shift out of the way early. 

Keciana and I got up on this beautiful 70 degree Sunday morning and after she picked me up we headed downtown to the Hilton Americas Hotel.

After being greeted by one of our co-chairs Cristina Gorczynski in the hotel's cavernous and opulent lobby I was surprised to run into Congressman Al Green (D-TX) and one of his aides.  We chatted for a few moments as he asked me how my mom was doing.  I also took the opportunity to briefly tell him about the nine month drama I had getting my TDL before Keciana and I headed upstairs to Room 343. 

After we found a pair of seats our seats and greeted many of our fellow Host Committee member who also had the same idea of getting it out of the way early, we found ourselves in Room 343 on the massive hotel's third floor to be greeted by Sue Hyde, Russell Roybal and the gang from CC National.

After the room filled up Sue proceeded to give us some background on the conferences origins, proclaim the Houston Host committee the best ever  

At the overview the four House Captains, Adam Wexelbaum,Colin Lovell, Alex Breitman and Rich Mohn took groups of us on a tour of the spaces in which 4000 of our LGBT will soon be roaming in less than 72 hours.   The tour ended with each group being steered toward the the room where you could sign up for your shifts and the volunteer jobs you wished to do during the conference.

Oh yeah, we now know the dates for Creating Change 15 in Denver.   It'll be February 3-8, 2015, so if you're bummed you had to miss this record breaking one in H-town, get your schedule and ducks in a row for next year.   Our friends in Colorado will be glad to have you at their event.

But back to talking about CC14 Volunteer Sunday

I signed on the dotted line last April when I showed up for the Host Committee meeting at the Montrose Center, and I'm already going to be a busy girl during this conference in addition to my Racial Diversity Suite supervisory duties.   I have a meeting for that on Wednesday afternoon, so I left the volunteer signup to all the eager people who want to take part on one level or another in making this the best Creating Change event ever.

So mine and everyone else's Creating Change week has started.   Looking forward to seeing how the rest of this week plays out.  

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Janet Mock On CNN Tomorrow

Our trans TV appearances runneth over lately.  It was Tiq and Christina today, and will be Janet Mock tomorrow on CNN. 

She'll be on Piers Morgan's show st 8 PM CST to talk about her book Redefining Realness which will be released February 4

I'm so looking forward to reading her book and hope that you folks will show her some love when she shows up in your neck of the woods during her book tour. 

Let's also do our part to make this book a New York Times best Seller.

Looking forward to hearing what Janet has to say on Piers' show, and yes, as soon as the video is available, I'll post it to my blog.

TransGriot Update:  Janet's appearance has now been postponed until Wednesday night.

Tiq and Christina's CNN Appearance

I mentioned that GLAAD"s Tiq Milan and ESPN sportswriter and GLAAD board member Christina Kahrl appeared on the CNN show Reliable Sources this morning to discuss the reporting fails, the outing and the salacious article that may have played a role in the suicide of Dr Essay Anne Vanderbilt..

Here's the video from their show this morning for those of you who missed it.

Creating Change 2014 Begins...

Well, for me, the Houston Host Committee and the volunteers it begins today.    

Starting at 12 noon CST, the members of the Houston Host Committee and our 600 volunteers (another record) will be gathering at the Hilton Americas until 6 PM today to undergo mandatory training. 

We are prepping to welcome the anticipated record  4000 people headed to H-town by plane, train, bus and automobile for Creating Change 2014.

We'll have our choice of a one hour session that happens between 12-6 today and I'm looking forward to it.  As one of the co-chairs of the Racial Diversity Committee, I have an additional supervisory suite training session I'll be attending on Wednesday afternoon at 5:30 PM.

And yes people, you knew with Creating Change being inside Loop 610 until February 2 that not only was I not going to miss this 26th annual conference happening in my hometown, but I will be taking part in several panel discussions and events throughout this weekend.  

Even Kate Clinton is excited about coming to the Lone Star State's largest city..

But it's just another sign that what we've been planning for nearly a year in terms of Creating Change Houston style is really about to happen.   Our January 29 conference start date is rapidly approaching and as we get closer to that date we as a host committee get more excited by the nanosecond. 

But one thing we are breathing a major sigh of relief about is the deep freeze that whacked H-town happened on last Thursday and Friday and not this week.

Tiq Milan On Today's CNN"s 'Reliable Sources'

Tiq MilanSo yeah media peeps, how about trying harder in the 2K14 to broaden the transmasculine discussion to include transmen of color?  --TransGriot, 'When Are Transbrothers of Color Going To Get Their TV Closeups?  January 8, 2014  

I've been complaining for a few months that transmen of color also need their media face time to discuss not only transmasculine issues from their perspective, but trans issues in general.

Guess somebody was paying attention.

In addition to my sportswriting sis Christina Kahrl appearing on today's Reliable Sources episode on CNN, we will also get to witness Tiq Milan representing the community in his capacity as GLAAD's Senior Media Strategist on our cable TV screens at 10 AM CST. 

Congrats Tiq.  I couldn't be happier to see my fellow GLAAD POC Media Institute classmate doing his thing on my TV screen in a few hours.

I just hope this isn't the only time I see a transman of color on my TV screen discussing trans issues this year.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Hey John, The SA Coke App Likes These "T' Words

AmericaBlog is one of the gay oriented sites I avoid like I do Vidor, TX on any drive I make on I-10 east because of the transphobia that pops up in its comment threads.

I'm also still pissed off at John Aravosis for his loud and wrong attempt to race bait last year when the marriage equality bill in the Illinois House failed and he tried to blame the Black legislative caucus in that state for it.

Well what do you know, Aravosis has had a broken clock moment. 

There is an app on a South African based Coke website that allows you to 'share a virtual Coke' with people by typing your own name on it or someone else's name..

Aravosis pointed out in a post on his blog that the app won't let you type in the word 'gay'.  So just for fun I went to the website and typed in the word 'transgender' to see what would happen.

The pic gracing this post is the result.   Now trans* with the asterisk won't go through but trans without it will.  So will the words 'transwoman' and 'transman'

'Lesbian'  goes through as well..

So all you folks with time on your hands who want to have mischievous fun playing with the app, try testing the limits of it and seeing what will and won't go through on it

But so far, the South African Coke app definitely likes the 'T' community.    

MHP Breaks It Down To John Cornyn Why The VRA Is Needed

Many of you probably noted I gave Sen. John Cornyn  (R-TX) an honorable mention for last week's Shut Up Fool Award.   He is against the bipartisan reauthorization legislation for the Voting Right Act because his vanillacentric privileged behind actually parted his lips to say that Texas was being 'discriminated against'.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, speaks during an event, July 31, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington.
In today's Melissa Harris-Perry show, in her letter's segment she whacked him with Texas' long reprehensible history of suppressing the voting rights of non-white Texans

And can't wait to vote his behind out of office.

Do I Have People I Admire In This Community? I Sure Do

Hilton Americas- Houston Hotel, TX - ExteriorMuch of the time I'm in the position of having someone come up to me and tell me how much they admire me, how long they've been a faithful reader of TransGriot or treat me like a rock star when I'm at a conference or a speaking engagement.. 

Most of the time I'm trying to stay on a even keel about the attention, focus on what I need to do panel or speech wise and not get Big Head Syndrome about it. 

But rest assured, if I start exhibiting signs of it, I have people in my circle of close friends who are ready, willing and eager to pop the air in my big head balloon and quickly bring me back to reality. .

With the looming visit of 4000 of our closest LGBT friends, allies and colleagues in the TBLG human rights struggle headed to my hometown, I've been making sure I've been getting my beauty sleep.  Creating Change 2014 starts for me tomorrow when I walk into that training session at the Hilton American Hotel.

I'm excited because it will not only be my first Creating Change since 1999, I'll get to see some of my old friends in the community on my home turf for a change and get the opportunity to make new ones. 

Also included in that group of 4000 people we Houston Host Committee members are anticipating here at the Hilton Americas and the other overflow hotels around the downtown area are people that I have known for years and been linked with via social media, but for one reason or another our paths haven't crossed for us to officially meet until now.

And yes, I'm excited about that.

Hey, I have my fangirl moments just like 'errbody' else in this community.  I also have much love and respect for many of my contemporaries in the trans, bi and SGL communities who are handling their human rights business and doing it well and I've told them as much.  

With the untimely death of Min. Bobbie Jean Baker a few weeks ago, it was a reminder for me to tell the people I care about how much I love and respect them while they are still on this space rock to hear it. 

It really shouldn't be a shock that with 2014 being the 20th year since I transitioned and this being my 16th year in trans oriented human rights activism, that I have people that I admire who do this work just as much as they do me. 

The folks I admire have many qualities.  Their intellect.  Their longevity in the movement.  Their public speaking or writing talents.  Their willingness to speak truth to power.  Their trailblazing leadership. The intangible qualities they possess that compel me to want to get to know them better as human beings.

And some are allies like Nona Hendryx.  I want to meet her when she does our CC14 closing concert and personally thank her for standing up for the trans community and not playing MichFest last year.

From January 29-February 2 I'm going to get the opportunity to tell them personally how much I love, respect and admire them.  

After the shaking of hands, the hugs, the exchange of compliments and updates on our personal lives, we'll start discussing what they came to Houston for and what I spent almost a year along with the hundred plus members of the Houston Host Committee helping to plan. 

We'll get busy discussing the tactics and strategies necessary to move our BTLG human rights movement forward.

Christina Kahrl On CNN's 'Reliable Sources'

Christina KahrlHaven't been watching much CNN lately because I'm still pissed off about the far too conservative butt kissing lean they have taken over the last few months.  I'm also not happy with the ethnic cleansing that has taken place at CNN and not renewing the contracts of my Houston homeboy Roland S, Martin and Soledad O'Brien for doing her job and asking tough question of politicians.

But I will put my pissivity at the network aside for a few moments and check out our ESPN sports writing homegirl Christina Kahrl on the CNN Show Reliable Sources tomorrow morning at 10 AM CST. 

She'll be on to discuss the issues of covering trans folk in the media that have been in the national spotlight since Katie Couric's jacked up interview with Carmen Carrera and Laverne Cox and the outing of t a transperson that may have been a contributing factor to her subsequent suicide.

She wrote a brilliant piece in Grantland about what they got wrong in covering the Ms V. story. 

Fallon Fox and Kye Allums, who have also been on the receiving end of less than enlightened reporting themselves have also had outstanding articles published recently that need to be read in TIME by Fallon and in The Nation by Kye.. 

But definitely will be looking forward to seeing Christina tomorrow and seeing how CNN handles this discussion.


Friday, January 24, 2014

Shut Up Fool Awards-Countdown To Creating Change 2014 Edition

Been piling up my beauty sleep this week because this time next Friday I will be knee-deep in doing my part to welcome the estimated 4000 people coming to my hometown for Creating Change 2014.

I'm looking forward to seeing many of my old friends, sisters and brothers in the TBLG movement and soon to be new friends at the Hilton Americas Hotel.

And of course I had to be in the house for the first time this eagerly anticipated conference is taking place on my end of I-45    I will be taking part in some of the seminars and panel discussion happening at the host hotel from January 29-February 2.

And for those of you coming to Houston, the program is already up, so you can start planning your CC14 Houston experience before you get inside Harris County.

Looking forward to seeing as many of you and doing my part to help move our human rights movement forward. 

Now it's time to move forward to discussing our usual Friday business of exposing what fool, fools or group of fool deserve to be called out for their mind numbing stupidity, their affluenza fueled arrogance, hubris, and over the top hypocrisy.

Honorable mention number one is a group award that goes to all you peeps who threw racist shade at Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman post NFC Championship game and Serena Williams after she was upset in the fourth round of the Australian Open 

Honorable Mention number two goes to Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) who opposes the bipartisan plan to revive the Voting Rights Act because it 'discriminates against Texas'

Say what?  If you and your GOP buddies weren't doing all the shady stuff to openly suppress the votes of non-white Texans, draw grossly gerrymandered maps that got unanimously thrown out by a federal three judge panel dominated by GOP nominees, passed a discriminatory voter suppression law, and has a long negative history of voting discrimination that necessitated the 1965 act being passed in the first place,  Texas wouldn't be getting all this scrutiny in the first place.

Honorable Mention number three is FOX Noise fembot Sandy Rios, who parted her lips to ignorantly say that 'angry Blacks are to blame for the rise in white racism.'  

Umm naw Miss Thang, you got is twisted and wrong as usual.   Racism= prejudice/bigotry + systemic power.   That systemic power element is the critical component you conservafools ALWAYS want to leave out when we start having these national race discussions and why you conservatives massively fail at doing so. 

And yeah Sandy, we African Americas sure do have a lot to be angry about, and we'll show you just how pissed off we are come November 4.

Honorable Mention number four is Oakland County GOP Executive (who else) L. Brooks Patterson, a serial Detroit basher who racistly suggested that they herd all Native Americans into Detroit, build a fence around it, and then throw in the blankets and the corn.

Guess the idea sounded better at the Klan meeting  Michigan GOP headquarters.

Honorable Mention number five is Ted Nugent.  Yep, he's baaaack for calling the POTUS a 'subhuman mongrel'.   Yo Ted, your jackboots and swastika are showing.  

And BTW, didn't you say you'd be dead if President Obama was reelected?  What's stopping you from doing the country that favor?

Honorable mention number six is a joint award for Don Lemon and Niger Innis for their faux outrage on Conservative News Network CNN aimed at North Carolina NAACP president the Rev Dr. William Barber for calling Sen. Tim Scott (Teabagger SC)  a 'ventriloquist dummy for the Tea Party'.  

And you two knee-grows problems with that truthful assessment would be?   He has an 'F' grade on the NAACP Civil Right report card.   Name one issue that Tim Scott has spoken on in favor of or voted with our people in the entire time he's been in Congress.

Getting sick of this bitter-tasting Log Cabin Republican tinged Lemon-aid coming from him lately.

Honorable mention number seven is Florida GOP House candidate Joshua Black.  This knee-grow opened his moth to say that President Obama should be hung, and then subsequently doubled down on the Teapublican idiocy.

All I have to say in response to that jaw dropping stupidity is this.

Please Florida voters in House District 68, make sure on November 4 or whenever you're having your primary election that this Oreo cookie-chomping fool never sets foot inside the Tallahassee city limits or your state capitol building.

This week's Shut Up Fool winner is GOP congressional candidate Susanne Altamus, who is running in the Illinois GOP primary race to see who will oppose incumbent Rep Jan Schakowsky.

Susanne Atanus via screencapShe opened her mouth to say that God created autism and dementia and extreme weather conditions to punish the US for legalized abortion and increasing national support for marriage equality.

“God is angry,” Altamus told the Chicago Daily Herald. “We are provoking him with abortions and same-sex marriage and civil unions. Same-sex activity is going to increase AIDS. If it’s in our military it will weaken our military. We need to respect God.”

And your party is angry enough with you over those jacked up remarks that they kicked you to the curb and called for you to resign from the race, not that you had any chance to beat Jan Schakowsky in the first place before you opened you mouth and inserted your pumps in it..

But still, y'all really need to chill with the 'Conservagod is angry' line because of  (insert your Consrvafool Culture War social issue here).

That comment is also insulting and disrespectful to all the families in the Chicagoland area and elsewhere in this country who have relatives who are dealing with autism and dementia issues. 
 So Susanne Altamus, shut the hell up fool!  

Moni's Hanging With The UHD Gators

The Gators at the University of Houston Downtown, that is.

On this overcast, cold and wet Thursday afternoon I headed over to the UHD campus yesterday to check out their first spring semester Safe Zone meeting for a few reasons.  It was the last one being facilitated by Kristopher Sharp before he resigned the presidency of the group to do his internship in Washington DC.    They were also electing new Safe Zone officers and the UHD SGA was having an open house after that I was invited to.

I was also in the UH-Downtown house to represent the Creating Change Houston Host Committee to talk about the conference starting a few days from now. 

I also had the bonus of seeing our future city councilmember Jenifer Rene Pool ( Jen's going to run again in 2015) speak to the assembled Safe Zone meeting attendees about advocacy and civic engagement.

So yes, it was cool to watch the new student leaders step up and explain in one-two minute speeches why they wanted their various leadership positions and qualifications for doing so, followed by the votes of their peers.

Congratulations to all the new and returning Safe Zone officers.  May your efforts to continue to build the best organization on the UHD campus be wildly successful.

When it was my turn to speak I went into a brief overview of the conference, let the students know about how they could volunteer, some of the seminars and workshops available and why they should consider attending CC14 if possible. 

So after I spoke, Dr Hudson said a few words and we headed across the hall to SGA's offices for pizza, drinks and a tour of their space in which they work hard to make the UHD campus better for all UHD Gators as evidenced by the recent passage of the gender neutral restroom resolution that got major media coverage inside and outside the Houston area  

I also had a wonderful time talking to SGA President Isaac Valdez, Heather, Sarah, Ashton, Marie Angel, and the rest of the assembled UHD students there about everything from the upcoming Super Bowl to politics to the evolution of music portability from 8-tracks to iPods.   

Didn't leave the campus until nearly 6 PM because I was enjoying the time I was spending there.   But with all the stuff Safe Zone is planning this semester along with the UHD SGA, probably won't be long before I'm back at One Main Street reporting on it.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

White America Is Still Hatin' On Black Athletes

richard sherman thugI watched the NFC Championship game on Sunday between the Seahawks and 49ers and saw the post game interview Erin Andrews conducted with him after he made the game saving play to send his team to the Super Bowl.

I didn't see anything out of the ordinary.  I saw it simply as an athlete who was talking smack to his just vanquished opponent that he has a history with after a hard fought NFC title game 

So imagine my shock to see White America losing its collective minds over the post game interview, calling a man who graduated from Stanford a 'thug' and releasing a torrent of racist commentary afterwards.

Serena Williams celebrates during her victory over Australia's Ashleigh Barty. (Getty Images)Then again I shouldn't have been surprised by White America's nearly instantaneous racist reaction to it.

Something that is not being talked about is the same thing happening to Serena Williams last weekend after her loss in the Australian Open quarterfinals to Ana Ivanovic.  

She is also getting called a 'thug', being compared to simians and on the receiving end of post-match racist slurs aimed at her.

Only difference between her and Sherman is because Williams is a Black female athlete, the commenters are tossing in misgendering and transmisogynist slurs into the hateful stew of insults they aim at her.

It's one of the major reasons I hate it when Serena does lose a Grand Slam match and I rub it in when she wins those majors.   I'm beyond sick and tired of being sick and tired of the knuckle dragging racism and transmisogyny that comes out when she does unexpectedly lose a match.   

Serena is still going to go down in history as one of the greatest women's tennis players ever.  You vanillacentic privileged peeps slamming her also can't stand the fact she routinely beats your European tennis glamazons with almost boring regularity, draws viewers to those Grand Slam or any tennis matches and clocks more dollars than you people who have vanilla scented privileged hate for her ever will.

But back to talking about Richard Sherman.  He's absolutely on point when he notes that 'thug' is the new code word whiteness uses to denigrate Black folks since they can't openly use n----r anymore unless they simply don't care what other white peeps think about them. 

Richard Sherman's pick-six tied the game at 20-all. The Seahawks would defeat the Texans 23-20 in OT.I find it mind numbingly head scratching that he even had to apologize in the first place.  For what?  Because white peeps fee-fees were offended that he called out another NFL player?  That he told the truth to a national audience about being the best cornerback in the NFL?   The stats and his play this season and cumulatively over the last three years back that up. 

I personally watched him singlehandedly change the course of the entire 2013 Texans NFL season with his Week 4 pick six that tied the game and eventually allowed the Seahawks to escape Reliant Stadium with a 23-20 overtime win.
Please spare me the 'Tom Brady and Peyton Manning don't do that' line.   They don't have to because the predominately white male dominated sports media does the bragging and belittling of their opponents for them.   And if Brady and Manning were trash talkers, the sports media and all these people hatin' on Richard Sherman for doing so would be calling it 'refreshingly candid' if those words were coming out of Manning's or Brady's mouths. 

So Black athletes, say what's on your minds.  Because no matter which direction you go, you're damned if you do or damned if you don't.


Portuguese Anti-Racism Video

It was interesting to see this video..  During the time I worked in the airline industry (and I still miss it) I heard an urban airline legend about an incident similar to what is being depicted in this video that allegedly occured on a flight enroute to South Africa during the tail end of the apartheid era.

This is a Portuguese video made to mark the 50th anniversary of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.   While this video is old, the message sadly is relevant to our second decade of the 21st century

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Can We Talk For Real Talks CC14

With seven days to go until Creating Change 2014 kicks off in Houston, I and the entire Houston Host Committee are eager to roll out the rainbow carpet for you and welcome you to our beloved hometown and blue oasis for the first ever Creating Change in the largest city in Texas.

PhotoI get the honor of appearing on Can We Talk For Real with Ina, Michelle, and Terry Boi who are also coming to CC14.  I've met 2/3s of the CWT4R team and will finally get to meet Terry next week. 

Starting at 10:30 PM EST (9:30 CST, 8:30 MST and 7:30 PST) yours truly will be on your internet radio podcast dial to talk about Creating Change.

You'll be getting it from the perspective of someone who spent the last year being part of the Houston Host Committee planning process for this major TBLG community event as the co-chair of the Racial Diversity Committee and documenting it for posterity on TransGriot

Hilton Americas- Houston Hotel, TX - ExteriorCan We Talk For Real is on Blog Talk Radio, and if you wish to join in the conversation you can dial 1-347-215-8985 to do so. 

Looking forward to seeing you folks when y'all come to H-town January 29-February 2 at the Hilton Americas Hotel for the largest annual gathering of activists, organizers and leaders of the TBLG movement. 


Chilean Trans Rights Bill Unanimously Advances

National Congress of Chile, gay news, Washington BladeThe election of President-elect Michelle Bachelet is already paying dividends for the Chilean transgender community.

Bachelet regained the seat she held from 2006-2010 and while she was gone was appointed the first executive director of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment Of Women, a post she held until March 2013 until she resigned to run for the presidency.

I'm mentioning President-elect Bachelet's backstory to set the stage for the good news coming from this South American nation where there has been positive movement on trans issues since 2012.  

Trans activists in Chile began a push that year to enact a trans identity law similar to the one on the eastern side of the Andes in Argentina as their public healthcare plan announced in May 2012 they would begin to cover SRS..  

It seems that the Chilean National Congress heard their trans constituents.  They advanced on a 29-0 vote with three abstentions a bill that would allow trans Chileans to legally change their name and gender without surgical intervention, hormonal treatments and psychiatric or psychological evaluations.

It was a move widely applauded by Chilean rights activists.  The bill is also supported by President-elect Bachelet who returns to office March 11.  

"Our lawmakers have recognized our dignity,” AndrĂ©s Ignacio Duarte Rivera, founder of the Organization of Transsexuals for the Dignity of Diversity, a Chilean trans advocacy group, told the Washington Blade after the vote.

The deadline to submit proposed amendments to the bill will be March 3, but so far so good for our Chilean trans cousins.