Monday, June 30, 2014

2014 WH LGBT Pride Reception Today

I know two people who will be in the room when this happens at 4:30 PM EDT, and will probably find out in a few hours who the other peeps were who were in attendance.

The White House LGBT Pride reception happens today, and as soon as the video of President Obama's remarks is up, I'll embed it in this post. 

One of the people I know who will be there and repping my community well is Dr. Kortney Ryan Ziegler.    One of my fellow Texans will be in the room as well.

Congratulations to those of you who were invited to attend.  Y'all have fun while you are in DC.    

Questions For Rev. Max Miller

In this battle to pass and now keep the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) on the books, the interesting permutation for me was this attempt by the far-right wing Houston Area Pastor Council run by the odious hate monger Dave Welch to execute the NOM crafted strategy of driving a wedge between the African-American and TBLG community.

They propped up non-white useful fool Black, Latino and Asian ministers to do the optical dirty work for them of attacking a HERO ordinance that would benefit their communities while the conservative people stayed on the down low.and tried to work behind the scenes in conjunction with the Harris County Republican party to kill it. 

In addition to the now disgraced Rev. Kendall Baker,  one of the other prominent kneegrow front men during the HERO fight was Rev. Max Miller, the pastor of Mt. Hebron Baptist Church in southeast Houston and head of the Baptist Ministers Association of Houston And Vicinity.    

Miller is the nephew of JJ Roberson, the legendary founding pastor of the church who passed away in 2012 at the age of 94.   His uncle also headed the minister's organization he now chairs.

But Miller and the Baptist Ministers Association of Houston And Vicinity. were on the wrong side of this as Councilmember C.O Bradford correctly called it, an international human rights fight.  My inquiring TransGriot mind along with other human rights minded African-American Houstonians and our allies want to know why. 

I damned sure want to know why as part of the group of people you and your right wing friends demonized in the Houston transgender community (and sadly continue to do so). 

I and my fellow trans Houstonians saw this as a life and death issue, and we fought like hell to debunk the lies and ensure the HERO passed.

I'm also part of the community who has the moral high ground in this HERO human rights struggle, not you.

You lending your name Rev. Miler and the Baptist Ministers Association to the HERO.opponents was disappointing and problematic.    I ask why were you part of an unholy bargain with conservative white evangelical fundamentalists and gay baiters like Dave Welch and Dave Wilson?  

Surely you can't be that obtuse to not be aware of the fact Welch, Wilson and the Pastors Council are part of a Republican Party apparatus and conservative movement that seeks to roll back all the civil rights progress your uncle fought to help achieve in Houston and Texas?

Why has your group, that you are the head of, spent money on Majic 102 commercials that violate Exodus 20:16, and more importantly, if you aren't spending your own money for those anti-HERO commercials, who is providing you with the money to do so?

I'll definitely be coming up with more questions as my inquiring mind ponders them, but the main one I'd like an answer to is this one:

Why are you Rev Miller selling out our Houston African-American community by actively working to oppose a human rights ordinance that protects 15 categories of Houstonians and visitors to our city?

Tracie Jada O'Brien Honored By California LGBT Legislative Caucus

Photo: The State Capital 06/2014  , 
Who would have EVER thought that this woman would come from the streets of the Tenderloin in San Francisco to being honored on the Sate Assembly and The State Senate floor for her breath of work in HIV and Transgender Care
I had to keep myself self from doing the pageant wave 
I think Mercia's would be proud of her child , I am !!!!
The California Legislative Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus recently held a ceremony in the Capitol building honoring the state's LGBT Leaders.

One of the people proudly repping the 'T' during that June 23 ceremony in Sacramento was San Diego's Tracie Jada O'Brien, a longtime trans and HIV/AIDS activist and one of our distinguished trans elders.  

Photo: Who am I standing next to?????She was part of the group of 2014 LGBT Pride Month honorees that included actor, writer and civil rights activist George Takei, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, president and COO of the Golden State Warriors Rick Wells, and Executive Director of the National Center For Lesbian Rights Kate Kendell.

Congratulations Tracie!  Well deserved honor for you.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

45 Years Later...

June 28, 1969 was the hot, sultry New York night 45 years ago when during another one of those harassing police raids on the Stonewall Inn, our folks had reached a 'We've had enough of this crap' moment.

Instead of submitting quietly to another police raid, the Stonewall Inn patrons that night, the transpeeps, butch lesbians and other peeps of color unwanted in the more upscale New York City gay oriented spots, followed Sylvia Rivera's lead after she threw the first bottle (and some peeps claim a shoe) at the NYPD po-po's and jumped off the Stonewall Rebellion

45 years later it's transpeople of color taking their rightful place once again in leading this movement after being dumped out of it in the early 70's.   Isn't it an interesting coincidence that as we stepped up to lead and became more visible, forward progress on trans issues followed? 

Frankly, I don't think it's a coincidence at all, but a much needed development in our ongoing and evolving international trans human rights struggle.   We need to be reminding people that you can't spell Stonewall without the 'T' even though at times the GL community tried to pinkwash us out of the collective memory of an event and strongarm us out of a movement we jumped off. 

45 years later, while Sylvia if she were still here would be pleased at some aspects of our progress, she'd be upset about others. She'd be pleased to see that some of the leaders of the trans moment are Latin@ and how non-white transpeople are unapologetically owning our power.   She'd be pissed off that New York State still does not have a human rights law that covers transpeople (GENDA) and how that happened.

Sylvia would also be pleased to see us taking the next steps like running for public office. building economic power in our communities and talking the lead role in telling our stories and defining ourselves to the media .

As a vehement opponent of the Vietnam War  (and I argued with her about this and LBJ's legacy) she would have a problem with trans people openly serving in the military, but if I got her to to grudgingly see the problem in her viewpoint that LBJ wasn't 100% evil, I think she'd be able to see the wisdom of allowing transpeople so inclined to do so the opportunity to serve their country.    

But one point I'd believe she'd definitely echo is that 45 years later, our work to see trans human rights coverage ensconced in our nation and around the world isn't done. 

2014 Williams Watch-Out Of The Wimbledon Ladies Singles

Serena Williams of the U.S. hits a return during her women's singles tennis match against Anna Tatishvili of the U.S. at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London June 24, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne PlunkettIt's the third round of Wimbledon, and up until this point my tennis playing sibling were looking good headed into this weekend's play at the All England club.  

Serena had destroyed Chanelle Scheepers in an astounding 49 minutes (that's not a typo)in the second round  and the number one seed was highly favored to move into the fourth round against 25th seeded Alize Cornet of France.

But after taking only 29 minutes to win the first set 6-1, a rain delay on Court No 1 ensued.   When play resumed, the Serena that has been destroying people inexplicably disappeared and shockingly lost the next two sets to Cornet 3-6, 4-6 to find herself on the Wimbledon sidelines for the second year in a row. 

And yeah, as you probably guessed, out comes the predictable Internet peanut gallery racist and transmisogynistic commentary after Serena lost.

UK-TENNIS-WIMBLEDON-VENUS:Venus in for the long haul after advancing to third roundBig Sis had a tougher third round match with former Wimbledon champ and sixth seeded Petra Kvitova. 

Venus had been playing well, but exited the singles tournament with a three set 7-5, 6-7 (2-7), 5-7 third round loss.  But she made Kvitova work to eliminate her.  

The Williams sisters are still not done in the Wimbledon doubles tournament.   The eighth seeded siblings have a second round doubles match coming against Kristina Barrois and Stefanie Voegele

Saturday, June 28, 2014

HERO Is One Month Old Today!

Photo: FREE #HERO vinyl stickers are ready for Pride! Pick one up at the Festival from 1-7 pm at the Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church (Booth B1), adjacent to Half-Price Books. Happy Pride! #HOUequality
How apropos it is for us in Houston that we are having our Pride Parade on the one month anniversary of the 11-6 passage and signage into law by Mayor Annise Parker of our Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) .

In addition to prohibiting discrimination in our sprawling world class metropolis against residents and visitors to our city in 15 different categories, it provides a local governmental solution in case people's rights are violated.

And as of yet Steve and Becky Riggle, no baker has been forced to make a swastika cake.

Neither has Houston endured all the other parade of horribles the faith-based haters claimed would befall our beloved city if we passed the HERO including fire and brimstone raining from the sky. 

But what we do have is a citywide ordinance to protect the human rights of all who live here.

Is The Media Disrespect Of Deceased African-American Trans Women Ever Going To End?

We have lost four transwomen of color this month to anti-trans violence in 40 year old Kandy Hall, 28 year old Zoraida Reyes, 31 year old Yaz'min Shancez and now as of Thursday 28 year old Tiffany Edwards.  

One has been buried in Ms Reyes, with the funeral arrangements pending on the others.  

And sadly, Ms Reyes is the only one of the four who has had respectful media coverage of her life and death.

When it comes to reporting about murdered African-American trans women, it seems as though the operative pattern of media outlets is to dehumanize, disrespect and follow the How Not To Respectfully Cover Black Transwomen playbook to the letter.    

*Misgender them at every opportunity?                         Check.
*Use their old male name in the story?                           Check.
*Use a mugshot if discovered?                                      Check. 
*Add criminal record to the story?                                Check.
*Salaciously suggest she was engaged in prostitution?    Check.

I have repeatedly seen this racist pattern when it comes to fallen African-American trans women and I'm tired of it.  I'm beyond sick and tired of media outlets across the country disrespecting African-American trans women in death by not only misgendering them, but if they happen to discover a criminal record, injecting that into the story and publishing a mugshot if available.

It's even more infuriating when an influential gay paper like the Washington Blade does so as in Michael K Lavers' June 8 article about our fallen Baltimore sister Kandy Hall.

Guess I should be thankful for the small favor of them not publicizing a mugshot in the article.

But if we can't get gay media outlets like the Washington Blade to respect our trans lives, what chance are we African-American trans people going to have to get television stations, magazines, and newspapers to do so? 

Publishing a person's criminal history is not germane to the fact that a transwoman was murdered and is problematic.  We transwomen of color already have enough racist stereotypes to overcome while inhabiting Black female bodies like the 'unwoman' meme in addition to the other transphobic baggage we have to deal with.

The last thing we need is media outlets unnecessarily injecting a criminal record into a news story about the untimely demise of an African-American trans woman, much less posting a mugshot pic of her when it is not germane to the narrative and unnecessary to do. 

Once again media professionals, we don't want to be fighting with you about this.  All we are asking is that you simply do your jobs and respectfully tell our stories, even in death.
A murder has been committed in which this person tragically lost their life.  Focus on that, not demonizing and postmortem disrespect of the trans murder victim.  .

Kylar's 'DC Breakdown' Interview

Photo: MUST WATCH: NBJC Board Member On D.C. Breakdown 

Kylar Broadus, NBJC Board Member, recently sat down with DC Breakdown's Angela Rae to talk NBJC, his personal story as a Black Trans man and LGBT workplace discrimination.

Watch full interview HERE:
About time some of our trailblazing Black trans men get their moment in the media spotlight..   

Kylar Broadus, one of my fave transmen, attorney, NBJC board member and a longtime advocate for our community, got a chance to do this interview with host Angela Rae on DC Breakdown to discuss the National Black Justice Coalition,  TBLG workplace discrimination, and his personal story. 

Please check it out  by clicking this link.   

'Family After All' Play Debuts Next Saturday

If you're looking for something to do next Saturday, you may wish to check out the debut of the play 'Family After All' at the Midtown Arts Center in H-town that features my sis Dee Dee Watters.

'Family After All' is written by T.V. Edwards and focuses on trans couple Tristan and Tracy Richmond, who are having a family celebration to celebrate their ten year anniversary as a couple. 

While prepping for their anniversary, issues crop up centered on their children Hillary, Max and 16 year old Ambrosia as  Tracy tries to keep her sanity intact as she plans the anniversary event.  

Play author T.V Edwards is a student at the Art Institute of Houston and a producer at Houston Media Source.    The play has a multicultural cast and promises to be one according to the site that will make you laugh and cry while addressing some interesting social issues.

If this seems like something you wish to check out, the Midtown Arts Center is located at 3414 LaBranch St at Holman in the shadows of the Houston Community College Central campus.  

It will start at 8 PM on July 5.  Tickets are $30 and available at

RIP Tiffany Edwards

It is my sad duty to inform you about the senseless killing of another one of our transsisters

The body of 28 year old Tiffany Edwards was found shout to death in the middle of Tuxedo Place street by a sanitation worker in the Walnut Hills neighborhood of Cincinnati, OH at 8 AM EDT Thursday morning.

Tiffany is the unfortunately the fourth transwoman of color killed this month alone and the fourth in Ohio in the last 18 months 

In a conversation with emerging Ohio based trans leader Cherno Biko about our fallen sister, she said, "I want to express my condolences to Tiffany's family and all who loved her." 
Biko in that conversation with me expressed concerns about the anti-trans violence aimed at trans women of color in the Buckeye State by adding. "Genocidal violence against Trans folks of color is spreading like a virus in Ohio and needs to end." 

TransOhio also expressed their concernes about this recent murder in their state.

“The brutality and violence we see being committed against trans communities of color is real. It’s happening in our own cities, in our own state. This violence needs to end. Trans lives matter,” said Shane Morgan, founder and chair of TransOhio..

The Cincinnati Police are still looking for information in this case, are asking people to call Crimestoppers at 513-352-3040

And yeah, as you probably guessed, the local Cincinnati media not only misgendered her, but used a police mugshot in the initial coverage and added her police record, which wasn't germane to this story..   

So if those of you who know Tiffany have some photos of her that aren't a fracking mugshot, please send them to me as soon as possible so I can replace it with a more respectful picture.  

Quamar EdwardsRest in power and peace Tiffany.  We will not rest until the waste or wastes of DNA who committed this heinous crime have been brought to justice.

TransGriot Update:  Cincinnati Police are looking for Quamar Edwards in connection with the murder of Tiffany. 

Quamar Edwards is 5'10" inches and weighs 250 pounds. Edwards was last known to live in the 1000 Block of Winfield Ave Cincinnati, Ohio 45205 in West Price Hill.

Edwards should be considered Armed and Dangerous........Help Police get Edwards off the Street!

If you have information that will assist in bringing him to justice please call 513-352-3040.

Friday, June 27, 2014

USA 2014 World Cup Watch-Escaping The 'Group Of Death'

Tim_howard_photo_credit-_winslow_townson-usa_today_sports_mediumThe USA went into their final Group G match with FIFA number 2 ranked Germany in pretty good shape despite the disappointing draw with Portugal.   

A win would put them atop the group, and a draw would allow them to well.  There was also conspiracy theory chatter before the game that speculated because a draw would suit both nations purposes and with all the interlocking connections both sides had, both teams would park the bus and play keep away for 90 minutes and a 0-0 draw.  

Even if they lost to the Germans, as long as Portugal beat Ghana in Brasilia and didn't score more than 5 goals the USA would advance to the knockout round that way. 

But on a soggy pitch in Recife in which torrential rain rain fell in the city and during much of the match Die Mannschaft blew that speculation out of the window.   They came out of the gate relentlessly attacking the USA who had one less day rest than they did.   Thanks to Tim Howard making some outstanding saves and Omar Gonzales doing yeoman's work to clear the crosses peppering the USA box the game went into the half drawn at 0-0.

The other thing making American fans less nervous about the game was hearing that Portugal was up 1-0 in their match with Ghana thanks to a John Boye own goal

Things changed after halftime with the insertion of Miroslav Klose into the game for Germany.   In the 55th minute Howard punched out an initial Per Mertesacker's header that unfortunately went right to Thomas Muller.

Muller blasted it past a diving Howard into the right corner for his fourth goal of the tournament.

To make things worse two minutes later word came from Brasilia that Ghana's Asamoah Gyan scored an equalizing goal to level that match at 1-1.   But Cristiano Ronaldo saved the day once again for his nation by burying a horrendous clearance in the 80th minute for what turned out to be the winning goal for Portugal and the one that sent the USA through to the knockout round. 

Jurgen Klinsmann, after the game.Meanwhile in stoppage time the USA was fighting to get on the board and had its two best scoring chances of the match.  A counter attack in which Alejandro Bedoya unleashed a laser toward the German goal but Phillipp Lahm's sliding challenge blocked it.   Then the ensuing cross fell to Dempsey at point blank range, but his header went agonizing over the crossbar to end with the Germans on top 1-0. 

Germany takes Group G as expected, but the USA for the second straight World Cup advances out of the group stage as the surprising to the soccer pundits Group G runners-up .   

They get to rest after a brutal travel schedule and prep for a short 420 mile trip for them to their knockout round date Tuesday July 1 in Salvador against Group H winner Belgium. 

Shut Up Fool Awards-Houston Pride Weekend Edition

In Houston and many areas around the country it's Pride Weekend.   We're celebrating the June 27, 1969 weekend that Sylvia Rivera, Miss Major and other POC folks jumped off the Stonewall Rebellion

We also have something else to celebrate in the May 28 passage of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance.

Pride Houston has over 300,000 people attend it each year, making it the second largest parade in Houston and the largest Pride Parade or LGBT gathering in the Southwestern United States. The festival and parade are part of a week-long celebration.    It also boasts the only nighttime pride parade in the nation.   

The festival in the heart of Montrose is open from 1-7 PM and the parade begins at 8:15 PM traveling through Montrose along Westheimer Blvd.    Congrats also to female parade Grand Marshal Christina Gorczynski and male parade Grand Marshal JD Doyle.

It's Friday, and that means it's time for my usual TransGriot business of finding out what fool, fools or group of fools deserve to get called out 

Honorable mention number one is Chris Brown, who turned down a plea deal in a Washington DC assault case, which foced a trial that if it goes sideways, will send him to jail.

Honorable mention number two is North Carolina state Rep Paul Stam (R-Wake) who parted his lips to say during a legislative debate tried to equate homosexuality to pedophilia.

Honorable mention number three is a joint group award to the Tea Klux Klan, the conservative media and losing Mississippi US senate candidate Chris McDaniel for the collective freakout they have engaged in for complaining about embattled Sen Thad Cochran's (R-MS) successful strategy of reaching out to African-American voters and getting them to cross over to vote in the GOP runoff that he won by 6,300 votes.   Hey, y'all can #bemad and #staymad about African-American voters doing unto you what you fools have done unto us for decades in terms of cossing over into our primaries to cause mischief  

Mississippi's Black voters just wasn't having McDaniel's racist azz become a US senator, and good for them exercising their voting power strategically on behalf of our political interests.  . 

Honorable mention number four is the Louisville Forum for planning a July 9 event discussing trans issues with ZERO trans people on the panel.   Seriously? 

Honorable mention number five is David Spondike, a Akron, OH teacher who was fired for posting racist comments on his Facebook account.     That's a problem, dude when you work at a school that is predominate comprised of POC students.   And if you have to preface your defense with 'I'm not racist', then that's a major alert that you probably are and don't need to be teaching kids. 

This week's Shut Up Fool winner is a joint award for John Baylo and his station manager Chris Lemke.
The 35 year old host of a 'Christian' radio show at anti-Gay private college Cornerstone University was busted on child molestation charges.  

And who did his manager blame for his DJ's fall from grace that the deserves a special place in Hell for? 
Give you one guess who he blamed it on after urging WCSG listeners to pray for him,.his family, co-workers and alleged victims

“We pray for John. We pray for his bride and new stepson,” he said. “Most importantly, please pray for the victims of the allegations.” Then he blamed Satan for Baylo’s criminal acts, “We can’t make sense of this. … Did you ever have any doubt Satan was loose?”

Naw but hyporisy defintely was, since Cornerstone University requires students to sign a “Lifestyle Statement” that forbids “every form of immorality, including immoral sexual behavior, homosexuality, lying, stealing and cheating.”

John Baylo and Chris Lemke, shut up fools  

'Nikki's American Dream' Premieres Tomorrow On YouTube

I've known Nikki was working on this reality show project for at least a year and had completed 9 episodes of it, but it's finally ready and debuting on YouTube tomorrow.

Nikki's American Dream is focused on the life of Nikki Araguz Loyd,as she lives, loves, runs a business  raises a family and fights for her own and the Texas trans community's marriage rights.

The brainchild behind Nikki's American Dream is Lightning Strikes Entertainment, a content creation and branded entertainment company. 

"From the first moment I saw Nikki, I knew she was something special and a force to be reckoned with. She is a symbol of the kind of groundbreaking content Lightning Strikes Entertainment creates," says creative director Federico Traeger.

Here's a sneak peek trailer of it    

Nikki's American Dream premieres tomorrow at 11 AM EDT/10 AM CDT. and you can subscribe to see it at this link.  .   

Canadian Senate STILL Stonewalling Trans Rights Bill

Today according to the posted calendar on their  website was supposed to be last scheduled legislative sitting day for the Canadian Senate before they bounced for their summer break.

But according to the journal for the Canadian Senate, their last legislative activity day was back on June 19, and the Senate adjourned until September 16, 2014 at 2 PM EDT..

So that means that once again, justice and basic human rights for our Canadian trans cousins have been delayed, denied and put on hold by the unelected and Conservative dominated Senate.

Even Stevie Wonder can see what's going on here.   The Canadian Senate is STILL stalling the passage of C-279, the Trans Rights Bill that was passed in the House of Commons back in March 2013 and they think nobody's paying attention. 

Au contraire.   I damned sure am along with trans people in Canada and around the world, especially after the reprehensible committee stunt that was pulled June 10 on C-13. 

File:CAsenate.jpgWe're waiting on the Canadian government to show the same commitment to human rights for their domestic trans population as they have traditionally done for global human rights issues. 

But is seems to me, our Canadian trans cousins and other fair minded people in Canada and around the globe that Tories for whatever reason, don't want their trans and gender variant population to have the same human rights coverage they already enjoy.

The Conservative Party needs to be called out for being the shady human rights oppressors they are, and if that doesn't get the Canadian Senate they control to do the right thing on C-279, time to retaliate on their House of Commons colleagues.   

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Brava, Tona!

History was made last night as Tona Brown stepped on the Weill Recital Hall stage at New York's Carnegie Hall for her show entitled 'From Stonewall to Carnegie Hall'

The show featured the works of African-American composers and in addition to our mezzo soprano violin playing sister, featured Tammy Peay, Nathan James, and Charlie Gilmer.

While I was bummed I couldn't be there, I am hearing through my sources that my Black trans family was in the house, showed up and showed out to support our trailblazing sister.

Speaking of support, the Gofundme campaign is still in effect to help Tona with expenses incurred in putting on this event. Performing at Carnegie Hall isn't cheap, and she did so without corporate financing or support.

Brava, Tona!    Congratulations on making your lifelong dream of performing at Carnegie Hall a phenomenal success. 

B-Daht Bounced From WSSU Announcer Duties

You'll recall back in April when Chevara Orrin, Jane Vaughn and We Are Straight Allies brought to my attention the over the top bias, homophobia and transmisogyny being aimed at openly gay Winston Salem State University student Aaron McCorkle.  

He was running for Mr. WSSU at the time and photos of him dressed in feminine attire were maliciously released in an attempt to derail his campaign. 

Popular 102 Jamz DJ, WSSU alum and announcer Brian 'B-Daht' McLaughlin then poured gasoline on the situation with a series of homophobic tweets.  While McLaughlin eventually apologized for the tweets, McCorkle accepted that apology for them, the damage was done and McCorkle lost the Mr. WSSU election.

In the wake of this kerfluffle, WSSU has indicated that cultural competency training will be offered.  Orrin, Vaughn and allies continue to push WSSU to add gender identity to the school's non-discrimination policy and implement the Safe Zone program campus wide.    

As for McLaughlin, after a 10 year tenure as the PA announcer for WSSU Ram football and basketball games that started in his junior year at the school, McLaughlin was fired as the announcer for WSSU athletics.

Bigotry has a cost

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Paula Sophia Makes It To Runoff For Oklahoma Legislative Seat

Paula Sophia Photo: Liz Burleson / Red Dirt Report
Paula Sophia gets a step closer to making history and becoming the first out transperson elected to a state legislative seat.

Tuesday night the Desert Storm vet and retired OKC cop advanced through the Democratic primary field in House District 88 to make it to the August 26 runoff election.

Paula Sophia She will be competing against businessman and former pastor Jason Dunnington in that runoff election.  Because there is no Republican opponent in the HD 88 race, whoever wins the runoff will become the representative for that district.

If it's Paula, she would not only become the first transperson ever elected to the Oklahoma state legislature, she'd become the first out trans person nationally to accomplish the feat and be the first sitting trans state legislator since Althea Garrison did so in Massachusetts in 1992.

Good luck Paula, and hope you win that seat.

USA 2014 World Cup Watch-Missed Opportunity

United States' Clint Dempsey, right, scores his side's second goal during the group G World Cup soccer match between the USA and Portugal at the Arena da Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil, Sunday, June 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Themba  Hadebe) Going into the USA's second Group G match in Manaus with FIFA number 3 ranked Portugal, thanks to their thrilling 2-1 win against Ghana, the USA with a win was in the unexpected position by international soccer pundits to clinch a spot into the knockout round.

But Portugal and their all-everythang player Cristiano Ronaldo were pissed off about the 4-0 buttkicking Germany handed them.   Ronaldo was even more pissed off about the criticism he was taking for not producing goals for his nation on his sports biggest stage. 

Portugal was playing for their World Cup lives.and the opening minutes of this match reflected it.  Just a mere five minutes into the match a failed clearance by Geoff Cameron was pounced on by Nani and he buried it into the upper left hand corner of the net over Tim Howard for a 1-0 Portugal lead they took into halftime.

But it wasn't for lack of trying by the USA.  In the 28th minute a Michael Bradley strike skidded agonizingly wide a few feet of the right goalpost.  

In the 55th minute came the USA's best chance to score and even the match.   A fantastic run by Fabian Johnson drew out the Portuguese keeper and Johnson crossed to a trailing Michael Bradley who had the goal and defender Ricardo Costa in front of him.   Costa got just enough of his knee out to deflect the almost sure goal to keep his side in the lead.

Then in the 64th minute came the equalizing laser from distance by Jermaine Jones to knot the score at one all and cause soccer fans across the USA to collectively exhale.

The USA kept attacking and was rewarded in the 81st minute with captain and my fellow Texan Clint Dempsey's go ahead goal off a Graham Zusi cross.   2-1 USA!

All the USA had to do was play keep away for 15 minutes and they were headed out of Arena da Amazonia with a signature win over a Top 5 ranked FIFA squad and a punched ticket to the knockout round. 

The USA successfully did so for 14:30.  Then Ronaldo proved in stoppage time why he gets $40 million to play the beautiful game.   A midfield giveaway turned into a Portuguese counterattack led by Ronaldo, a perfectly crossed ball by him into the box that Silvestre Varela headed past Tim Howard for the goal that salvaged a draw and had Americans going WTF? 

Ronaldo salvaged a tie out of the jaws of World Cup defeat and elimination.  

While the USA got a point out of the disappointing draw and can still advance out of the 'Group of Death' with a win or draw against the FIFA number 2 ranked Germans, they could have made their lives a lot easier tomorrow had they handled their World Cup business in Manaus last Sunday.

Because if they fail to get out of the group, they will be thinking about that missed opportunity and that Varela goal for the next four years. 

We'll see what happens in Recife tomorrow.

2014 Williams Watch- Off To A Great Start At 'Williams'-don

Serena Williams of the U.S. hits a return during her women's singles tennis match against Anna Tatishvili of the U.S. at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London June 24, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne PlunkettWhile some of you are watching World Cup 2014 action from Brazil, I also have my eye turned toward the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club to watch my fave tennis playing siblings in their first week of 'Williams'-don action.

Serena served notice to the tennis world that she's  put the disappointment of Paris behind her and wants that sixth Venus Rosewater Dish. 

Number one seeded Little Sis took only 61 minutes to blitz fellow American Anna Tatishvili in straight sets 6-1, 6-2. 

And blitz was the bet way to describe a match in which Serena blasted 16 aces past her opponent who is ranked 112 spots below her.   She moves on to a second round clash with South African Chanelle Scheepers.

But it's Venus who has been making some noise and news in this edition of Wimbledon.

UK-TENNIS-WIMBLEDON-VENUS:Venus in for the long haul after advancing to third round30th seeded Big Sis started her fortnight in search of her sixth Wimbledon title with a three set 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 win over Spain's Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor.    She then after a slow start beat in straight sets Japan's Kurumi Nara 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 to punch her ticket to the third round and a date with sixth seeded Czech Petra Kvitova, who won the 2011 Wimbledon singles title. 

It was the first time in 18 months that Venus has reached the third round of a Grand Slam, and we can only hope that she'll be around in the Ladies Singles past this weekend.

The eighth seeded Williams sisters play their first round doubles match at 11 AM CDT today against the duo of Oksana Kalashnikova and Olga Savchuk

TransGriot update: Little Sis blitzed Scheepers 6-0, 6-1 to join Venus in the third round of the Ladies singles tournament.   In their doubles match with Kalashnikova and Savchuk, the Williams sisters advanced after a 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 result.   

Open Letter To Tona Brown

Dear Tona,
In a few hours you will make one of your lifelong dreams come true and perform at Carnegie Hall, and I couldn't be more proud of you.   I know you went through some drama and challenging moments just to make it happen, but happen it will. 

When you step onto the stage of the Weill Recital Hall later tonight at 7:30 PM EDT, to borrow and remix the words of astronaut Neill Armstrong, it'll be one small but significant step for you, but one giant leap for transkind.

You'll also be once again, just as you did when you sang for President Obama, be making history.   It's history I wanted to be in New York to watch unfold, but unfortunately things didn't work out for me this time. 

Photo: This is the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, where our concert, with headliner Tona Brown, hostess Tammy Peay, and me, will happen on June 25.  It is beautiful almost beyond words.But back to focusing this letter on you.  You have worked long and hard to make this day a reality, and I  hope and pray it turns out better than the way you dreamed it would play out.  I have no doubts your 'From Stonewall to Carnegie Hall' show featuring the works of African-American composers will be an amazing evening worthy of that hallowed stage.

You are not only a wonderful role model and advocate for our community, you are one talented musician.  The world will discover that in a few hours.  You are also a living embodiment of the power of dreams and how they can be a motivating factor for positive change personally and professionally. 

You are sending a message through your historic concert to our own African-American community that if given the opportunity and the chance to do so, we trans African-Americans can accomplish some amazing things.  You are also through this concert sending a message to the trans community for us to never give up on our own personal dreams, whatever they are. 

Now that you have made this Carnegie Hall performance dream of yours come true, you take that final bow and the bravas are reverberating around that venue as you exit the stage, can't wait to see what you accomplish next.   

I'm certain it will be even more amazing than this night will be.

Sincerely yours,

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Busy Wednesday For Moi

Will have a busy day in store for me tomorrow.  

Have a radio interview on Portland, ME based WMPG-FM with Dal Maxwell from 1-1:30 PM EDT in which I'm scheduled to talk about the HERO, the recent Philly Trans Health Conference and anything else we can squeeze into a 30 minute segment.

The station streams live,  so if you wish to hear it it, here's the link

Then it's off to HCC-Southeast campus at for a panel that starts at 6 PM   I know they were looking for another panelist at the time I confirmed it, but if you want to roll out to the HCC-Southeast College campus tomorrow, it's located at 6815 Rustic St just off the Gulf Freeway (I-45) near Gulfgate Mall and the Woodridge exit.   .    .   

The panel is entitled 'GLBT Pride Though Our Eyes: Black and Latin@s Speak' and will be in the Angela V. Morales Bldg in Room 102.   Hope you can make it.  

'Girl Meets World' Debuts Friday

Girl Meets World PosterOne of my back in the 90's guilty pleasure TV shows to watch was Boy Meets World, and I was one of the many fans of the show who were ecstatic to hear that a sequel to it had been greenlighted for 21 episodes to debut in 2014.

Girl Meets World will bring back Cory and Topanga as parents of 12 year old tween Riley with her own mischievous friend in Maya Hart. 

While the show will center on Riley navigating her way through life, we already know that many of the characters from Boy Meets World will be reprising their roles and appearing on the show.

The show will also be set in New York instead of Philadelphia but what we didn't know was when the show would debut. 

Well, the wait is over BMW fans.   The first season of Girl Meets World will debut on the Disney Channel this Friday, June 27 at 9:45 PM EDT.

As to what BMW characters will show up in the new series, so far Rider Strong (Shawn Hunter), Lee Norris (Minkus), Danny McNulty (Harley), William Daniels (Mr. Feeny), and William Russ and Betsy Randle (Cory's parents) are for now.   Other BMW alums will pop up during this first season.  .

Cory is now a school teacher, and Minkus' son is in Cory's class along with his daughter Riley and Maya.  Topanga is now an entrepreneur running a popular hangout for the kids in Riley's school.

So yep, looking forward to watching Girl Meets World this Friday. 

Denver Trans Community, You Handling Your #CC15 Trans Business?

So as we pass the torch to you Denver trans community, we in the Houston trans community issue you a challenge.  We want you to meet or exceed our Houston trans community level of involvement as you put together next year's conference .   
We'd like to ask you to make sure that when the Denver Host Committee is formed to organize #CC15, it has significant and diverse trans representation on it like ours did.
--TransGriot, February 3, 2014, 'Denver Transpeeps, Make Sure Your #CC15 Host Committee Reps The 'T"
That was the challenge I issued to Denver as a #CC14 Houston Host committee member as we passed the torch to them as the host city for the next Creating Change Conferenec to be held in the Mile High City February 4-8. 

And while the peeps in Denver will have a tough act to follow in H-town, one of the things I hope they match or exceed us in is trans representation throughout their conference. 

At this point in the Creating Change organizing process, they have already had at least two organizing committee meetings and have selected the faces of their conference in their four Host Committee co-chairs (Leslie Herod, Krista Whipple, Rachel Chapparo and Sydney Andrews).  They have had their meetings determining who will chair and co-chair the fifteen various subcommittees. 

And yeah, TransGriot readers, I was surprised to find out I know one of the four Denver Host Committee co-chairs.  I wasn't kidding about how many people I know nationwide in this community.. 

But the Denver peeps are quite aware they are on the organizing clock for their upcoming conference.  If their process was anything like ours, the various committees and the leadership in them are just sorting things out because it is Pride Month and the primary LGBT community organizing at this time is centered around that event..

But once Pride is over, it will be time to get down to #CC15 business, and I know Courtney Gray, Host Committee Co Chair Krista Whipple and the Denver trans community took my challenge seriously.  

Challenge accepted!

Meanwhile we're just observing, fondly remembering what last summer was like for us and  waiting in Houston for another opportunity to host Creating Change and prove to LGBT World that we can exceed the high #CC14 bar we set earlier this year

Oh yeah, those of us on the Houston Host Committee haven't forgotten the alleged boasting by some of you Denver peeps while y'all were at the Hilton Americas during  #CC14 that you would break all the Creating Change records we just set.  

Sounds like someone was smoking Colorado's finest when they said that, so yeah, bring it..  Let's see if y'all topple our attendance record along with the other ones we smashed..   

When me and my Houston peeps roll up to the Mile High City in February, we would love to see transpeople involved in every facet of the Denver #CC15 Host Committee.  

And Denver trans peeps, not too late for y'all to find a #CC15 sub-committee that interests you and get busy to help plan it.  The benefit of this experiece is that you'll not only be doing your part to plan #CC15, you also foster some better networking relationships with a cross section of the Denver area TBLG community, and meet folks outside you normal influence circles you probably wouldn't have met.

There's also another perk with being on the Creating Change Host Committee I'll let your organizing committee tell y''all about.  And you may make some friends in the process.

So Denver Trans Community, are you handling you #CC15 trans business?    Just checking.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Louisville Forum, Why Are You Hosting A Trans Issues Forum With No Trans People On The Panel?

Since 1984 the influential Louisville Forum has been a nonpartisan public issues group that hosts monthly meetings to discuss and debate issues of importance to the Louisville metro area. 

From their website:  The Louisville Forum is a nonpartisan public issues group. Founded in 1984, the Forum hosts debates and discussions of contemporary and sometimes controversial public policy issues that affect the greater Louisville community. The Forum provides an arena for the presentation and analysis of different sides of vital issues affecting the Louisville Metropolitan area.

As an independent and nonprofit organization, the Forum itself never takes a position on issues. Instead, we bring together speakers who aggressively articulate their specific and often opposing viewpoints. Membership is open to the public at large, and guests are welcome at all meetings.

Since its founding, the Louisville Forum has held monthly meetings to discuss wide-ranging matters of public interest, covering economic, political, environmental, health, and social issues. Members and guests receive firsthand information from community and industry figures: business leaders, elected officials, industry experts and others deeply involved in shaping Louisville's future.

So with the July 9 forum luncheon scheduled to tackle transgender issues in the wake of what happened at Atherton HS recently, it was interesting to discover courtesy of Jaison Gardiner, one of the co-hosts along with Dr Kaila Story of the Strange Fruit radio show on WFPL-FM, that the Louisville Forum panel has no transpeople represented on it.   

Yes Louisville Forum, one of the panelists is the mother of a trans child, but the fact remains there is no transperson on it to talk about trans issues.   That is the equivalent of having a discussion on gay issues, having no gay people on the panel to discuss and debate it, and the only person there to discuss the issues pertinent to the gay community is the straight mom of a gay child. 

And that's before I even point out how monoethnic the panel is to begin with..

You mean to try to tell me that in the entire Louisville metro area, you couldn't find one trans person to sit on that panel?   Or did you even try?   All you had to do was give Chris Hartman a call at the Fairness Campaign and I'm sure he and Fairness could have easily recommended more than a few trans candidates for that panel to you. 

I lived in that city for 8.5 years.  I know for a fact there are transpeople who can eloquently talk about being trans, and one of them is Dawn Wilson, who is a current member of the Metro Louisville Human Relations Commission.  

When the country is finally paying attention to the issues that transpeople face, it is vitally important to have people who actually are trans and dealing with those issues to be talking about them in these type of forums.

It's imperative in a space in which influential policy makers gather, are in the audience, and the discussion is videotaped for future multiple broadcasts on Louisville public cable television.we transpeople are represented.

It is important for a trans person to be on that Forum panel room when there is far too much disinformation and lies being gleefully spread by our opponents in order to derail trans human rights concerns. 

It is imperative to have a trans person on that Forum panel when the Southern Baptist Church, which has a seminary on Lexington Rd, just voted on June 10 to openly oppose trans human rights laws and deny our existence as human beings. 

As Samuel Cornish and John Russworm once said in 1827, 'We wish to plead our own cause.  Too long have others spoken for us.  Our vices and degradation are ever arrayed against us, but our virtues are passed by unnoticed.'  

So yes Louisville Forum, it it time to allow transpeople to plead their own cause.  Without a trans person on that panel, your impartiality and credibility as a non partisan public issues group will be called into question when it comes to this debate on trans issues.

There is time for you to reconstitute the panel so that a trans person is present and in the room representing our community on July 9.  If you can't  (or won't) do that, at least have a trans moderator there asking the questions.

200 People Attend Yaz'min Shancez Vigil

Laquesha Loggins, 22, sister of Yaz'min Shancez, marches at the front of a candlelight vigil held for the slain transgender woman at Centennial Park on June 22, 2014. (Carolina Hidalgo/Staff)Was glad to hear that yesterday's vigil for Yaz'min Shancez in Fort Myers was successful

The march was organized by the Southwest Florida Equality Coalition and the Center of Southwest Florida to remember 'Ms. Tee' as friends and loved ones called our fallen 31 year old sister who was found murdered on Thursday.. 

200 people began a nearly one mile march through Downtown Fort Myers and past the courthouse before arriving at Centennial Park

Her sister Laquesha Loggins remembers how Shancez loved to dance, how she was always happy, saying she "always woke up with a smile."

And she remembers the last words Shancez ever said to her: "Sis, I love you."

"It's just bad that people hate that much," Yazmin's aunt said in a FOX 4 interview. "Who has a heart like that? Who can go to sleep doing something like that? Hating something so bad."

Fort Myers police are still looking for Yazmin's killer, and once again as a reminder, i you have information to help solve this crime and bring to justice the perps or perps who did this, you are asked to please call the Fort Myers Police Department at 239-321-7700, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS or text message C-R-I-M-E-S (274637) Keyword FMPD.

And I will be keeping an eye on this story until justice is served in this case.