Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Come Out Of The KKKloset About Your Racism, GOP

Here we go again with another GOP legislator trying to convince us that he's not a racist, but with a problematic association, record as a Louisiana state legislator and 'F' grades since 2008 on his  NAACP Congressional Report Cards creating a things that make you go hmm moment. 

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) is the latest conservafool to fail to navigate their ongoing problem of trying to appeal to their bigot base while not alienating the white swing voters that would be repulsed by their attempted on the down low associations with white supremacists

As a Louisiana state legislator, he was one of six legislators who voted against a Martin Luther King holiday in 2004, and consistently opposed efforts by the Black mayors of New Orleans to draw more government funding to the city.  

He also damned sure know who the hell David Duke is since he ran for Louisiana's governorship in 1991, much of his state house district voted for him and Duke has been defending him..

Scalise's been on the fast track in the GOP House leadership hierarchy, becoming the majority whip after Eric Cantor lost his seat in June and he moved up to the Number 3 spot

The fact that he is now the number three person in the GOP leadership hierarchy in the upcoming 114th Congress , even though this meeting with Duke's white supremacist group happened in 2002 only makes this look more odious.

Yeah, you try to claim the Republican Party is not racist, but those Dixiecrats in your midst combined with your policy stances that end up pissing off non-white voters keep reinforcing the percetion and the reality you are.

It amuses me to see the contortions that GOP conservafools twist themselves into when they get caught being the racist bigots that all non-whites and conscious white people know they are.

And then the conservafools predictably try to play that failed Robert Byrd false equivalency card or the I have Black friends' card  to try to justify their BS they executed while pushing the Southern Strategy and Southern Strategy 2.0.

Here's a suggestion conservatives. If you don't want to be called a racist bigot, stop acting like one.

You also need to stop giving speeches to white supremacist groups, and pushing policies that reinforce the impression that you are all about perpetuating whiteness and white supremacy.

If you can't or won't do that, then you need to come out of the KKKloset about your GOP flavored racism

Moni's 2014 Year In Review

While 2013 was a great year for me,  2014 was also a breakout year for moi personally. 

And I piled up a lot of activism related frequent flyer miles

It started with me, Dee Dee Watters and several other transpeeps of color showing up at the first Houston City Council meeting of the year in January and sending the message that the only acceptable HERO (which was in its formulation stages at the time) would be a trans-inclusive one.

Three weeks later me and the rest of the Houston Host Committee welcomed Creating Change 2014 to my hometown and the Hilton Americas Hotel for the first time ever.

In addition to being part of the Houston CC14 Host Committee team and co-chair of the committee tasked with running the Racial Diversity Suite, I was also part of three panels during CC14.  

Hilton Americas- Houston Hotel, TX - ExteriorI participated in a panel during NBJC's inaugural Creating Change Black Institute, a GLAAD sponsored media panel featuring Laverne Cox, Tiq Milan and Reina Gossett and a BTLG sisterhood panel with my homegirl Stacey Langley.

And yeah, I did get a shoutout during Laverne's CC14 keynote speech.  I also found out during Creating Change that TransGriot had been nominated for a GLAAD Media Award.

Exactly a month later I found myself in Washington DC for the 2014 edition of the LGBT Media Journalists Convening.   In addition to reuniting with many of my LGBT journalistic colleagues, I also got to meet the fabulous Tona Brown and Candace Avent Montague over dinner

And in a sign of my growing media visibility, I found myself being honored with inclusion on a Autostraddle list of 100 LGBTQ Black Women You Should Know.

The battle to pass the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance began to take shape in March. In addition to the LGBT community town hall meeting, I bounced back to the UH campus to watch the passage of the Josephine Tittsworth Act.   It also heralded the use by the opponents of some arguments we would later hear during the HERO fight in terms of the BS 'bathroom predator' one.

In late April the battle to pass HERO began in earnest, and I was one of the Houston trans community leaders hellbent on making sure it was trans inclusive and it passed.  

In the middle of that HERO passage fight I went up I-45 to celebrate my birthday at the Black Trans Advocacy Conference and do a panel

My late birthday present was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream and HERO passage on May 28, but did have an interview on KPRC-TV along with Amelia Miller which was one of the few times   the Houston media actually gave transpeople a chance to tell our stories and debunk the lies.

With the passage of HERO came the wingers attempt to force a recall referendum on it which failed, but once again I found myself on a jet plane heading to Philadelphia for my first Philly Trans Health Conference. 

It led to me finally meeting Jazz, Maria Roman  and the newly out Geena Rocero among the long list of  peeps I met during my time in Philadelphia.

I also in June got to debate two of our HERO opponents and tangle with King Hater Dave Welch.

July had me once again leaving on a jet plane to Washington DC for the inaugural White House Innovation Summit.   I got to meet some more amazing peeps like Katrina Goodlett, Joanna Cifredo, and see Dr Kortney Ziegler, Angelica Ross and Ruby Corado once again.

I was barely home from the second DC trip before I flew in late July to Boston for a panel discussion at the National Association of Black Journalists convention, then the next week headed to San Marcos and the Texas State University campus for the first ever Texas Transgender Nondiscrimination Summit held outside the Houston area.

After I returned to Houston from my first visit to Louisville since I left it in 2010 to move back home, for two months my charmed year went horribly south in a hurry. 

Instead of battling our communities enemies and focusing on writing TransGriot blog posts and my new column at Black Girl Dangerous, I was doing battle with transphobic relatives. 

They situation got ugly enough to where I was facing homelessness and ended up being extracted by my friend Sahel to stay at her place for three weeks as the community rallied to support me in my hour of need.   

And while I was going through the worst drama and stress filled weeks of 2014, I received news that I had been voted by the readers of OutSmart Magazine as their Favorite Blogger Female, Favorite Tweeter Female, and was  named as a finalist for Most Prominent Female Activist.

I was also nominated for another local award in relation to the HERO fight.

I was blessed in November with an opportunity to serve as the emcee for the opening plenary of the Facing Race Conference in Dallas in addition to meeting the legendary Kate Bornstein at the Representing Trans* Symposium on the University of Chicago campus .  

On that Chicago trip I finally met Fallon Fox and Christina Kahrl and got to see Jen Richards and Tiq Milan again for the fourth of what would be five times our paths crossed.

I got to happily destroy a Giordano's Pizza while I was in Chitown.

After keynoting a local TDOR event, finally ended up in a new apartment and taking my final trip of the year to New York in December just in time for all of the drama surrounding the Garner murder non-indictment to close out an interesting year.

I did get to meet Kimberly Reed, Eden Lane, Andy Marra and Tracee McDaniel, and get to see Janet Mock, Cheryl Courtney-Evans and my fave trans men in Dr Z, Tiq, Diego Sanchez, Gunner Scott and Amos Mac.

2014 for me was filled with far more highlights and positivity that more than overshadowed the unnecessary family drama. 

I got to have a lot of fangirl moments meeting various peeps inside and outside the trans community during my travels.   During my toughest moment. some people stepped up for me, and I found out who my homegirls really

I also thanks to the CC14 organizing, the CC14 Conference and HERO fights got an opportunity to meet, work with and become friends with people locally I may not have met otherwise.

As for 2015, can't wait to see what's in store for me this year.  But going to have to do some work to top this one.

The 2014 Shut Up Fool Of The Year Is...

One of the more popular features on my blog is the weekly Shut Up Fool Awards.  Every week I get to call out the fools in our midst, and business was booming in 2014 because it was an election year.

An outgrowth of the Shut Up Fool Awards is one of my TransGriot New Year's Eve traditions in which on December 31,  I take the time to honor the person, persons or group who had a year's worth of WTF moments with the TransGriot Shut Up Fool of the Year Award.

The inaugural winner of the Shut Up Foll of the Year Award in 2009 was then RNC chair Michael Steele   He was followed by Sarah Palin in 2010, Herman Cain snagged the honor over some stiff competition in 2011 followed by runaway 2012 winner Mitt Romney. 

Last year's Shut Up Fool of Year winner was the junior senator from Alberta, Ted Cruz.   He made a late run to snag the 2013 Shut Up Fool of The Year honors.

So let's get to this year's Shut Up Fool of the Year winner.   Was a tough decision.   Sen Ted Cruz  (R-TX) made a serious run for a repeat.  Sen Marco Rubio (R-FL)  Rep Steve King (R-IA), Rep Peter King (R-NY), Rep Marsha Blackburn, (R-TN), Reince Priebus,  Bryan Fischer,  Gov. Rick Perry, Greg Abbott, Rev James Manning of the ATLAH hate church, local Houston fools Dave Welch, Dave Wilson and Rev. Max Miller, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson, Rudy Guiliani, Pat Lynch also were in the mix for this 2014 award.

Group Nominations for Fox Noise, the NFL, the NRA, the NYPD, and the Republican Party.

Louie-Gohmert.jpegBut this year's SUF Of The Year honoree narrowly missed the honor in 2013, but earned it this year with people from the Attorney General to the TransGriot 'casting aspersions on his asparagus.'

This year's Shut Up Fool of the Year is Rep. Louie Gohmert (Teabagger-TX). 

Whether he was race baiting President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder on a regular basis, hating on the LGBT community, opening his mouth to charge that the POTUS wouldn't protect women from 'hundreds of thousands of immigrant rapists', saying gays shouldn't serve in the military because massages will make them vulnerable to terrorism, claiming liberals want violence and mayhem, and saying the gang violence in Central America is a myth, Gohmert Pyle proves on a regular basis he is one of the stupidest men in Congress, an embarrassment to Texas and the reality based people unfortunate enough to live in his district.

Rep. Louie Gohmert, you're the 2014 Shut Up Fool of the Year!

Attacking Leelah's Parents Or Christianity Isn't Going To Bring Her Back

PHOTO: Leelah Alcorn posted this photo on Tumblr with this caption: I dont take many selfies because I hate how I look as a boy and I rarely get a chance to dress as a girl, so Im only posting 5, but this year was a big year for me.In the wake of Sunday's tragic suicide of 17 year old Leelah Alcorn in the Cincinnati area, it was brought to my attention by one of my long time readers that some peeps pissed off about what happened decided to doxx the parents.

That's unfortunate, stupid and counterproductive.

Granted,I understand the anger that motivated the doxxing.  I'm not a fan of reparative therapy or the refusal of her fundamentalist parents to deal with the reality they had a trans feminine child.

But neither am I as a Christian liking the atheist members of the trans community using this tragedy to once again launch another attack on Christianity. 

So how would I handle this situation?   In the words of the Good Book, 'Bless them that curse you.

We need to be expressing our condolences to Leelah's parents as a community, not attacking them as some misguided peeps have done.   If we want Leelah's death to mean something as was her final public wish, attacking Leelah's parents is not the way to accomplish that. 

That doxxing is not only not going to bring Leelah back, but it runs the risk of driving the parents into the arms of our right wing opponents and turning them into political martyrs

Instead as Leelah asked, use her death to not only continue the discussion about trans kids, but prod Ohio lawmakers into changing their anti-trans policies.  Work on banning reparative therapy aimed at TBLG kids.  Work on getting Ohio to pass laws allowing  transpeople to change their birth certificates without surgical intervention.  If the current Republican dominated Ohio state government won't do so, elect legislators and a government that will.

Unfortunately Leelah wasn't aware of the work that trans activists inside and outside Ohio were doing to try to make trans lives better.  We as their activist elders need to do a better job of telling our trans youth what we're doing to help leave a better world for them.

Work on changing the anti-trans climate in the state so that trans kids in Ohio and elsewhere don't feel their only viable life option is to end it.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Angel's Missing as we close out 2014, need to signal boost a report courtesy of ELIXHER about a missing Black trans woman

20 year old Angel Elisha Walker has been missing for two months, and was last seen on that date in Salisbury, NC.

It also isn't helping that the local media has been misgendering her. 

Once again local North Carolina media, correct pronouns matter in helping solve a case that involves a transfeminine person.   It's also a sign of disrespect when you DON''T use proper pronouns ,

Her 2000 Pontiac Sunfire was found November 23 so badly burned it could not be initially identified.

Walker often traveled to the Durham and Camp Lejuene areas, so if you have any information that will help solve this case, please call the Rowan County Sheriff's Office at 704-216-8683.
Rowan County Sheriff’s Office at 704-216-8683.

It's Tona's Birthday!

Today is Tona Brown's birthday, and had to give my little sis a TransGriot birthday shoutout after the amazing history making year she had

She made her lifelong dream of performing on the Carnegie Hall stage come to life on June 25 with her well received 'From Stonewall To Carnegie Hall' concert that made her the first out African-American trans woman to perform there.

I've known, talked to and been aware of my classically trained musician sis for years now, and it was one of the highlights of the 2014 LGBT Media Journalists Convening in DC when I finally got to meet her.

As to what Tona has in store for us in 2015?   That's a good question.  But I know I'm looking forward to watching it unfold and happen.

Happy birthday Tona!  May you be blessed with many more.

Monday, December 29, 2014

If #BlackLivesMatter...

Then #BlackTransLivesMatter too.

We are days away from seeing the end of a groundbreaking year for trans visibility predominately led by Black trans people

In Houston it was myself, Dee Dee Watters and our supporters who showed up at the first City Council meeting of 2014 to send the message that the only acceptable Houston Equal Rights Ordinance to us would be a trans inclusive one, and we fought tooth and nail to make it a reality.

But one of the things I continue to be distressed by is the ignorance in our African-American ranks across the country about transgender lives, and the spreading of the debunked faith based ignorance about us being pimped by kneegrow sellout ministers trying to curry favor with white conservatives.

That crap needs to stop because it is greasing the skids to anti-trans violence aimed at Black trans women.  We lost 12 trans women in 2014 , and I don't doubt the anti-trans hate being thrown around by the anti-civil rights haters hellbent on stopping human rights advances that include us played a large part in the fact these sisters are no longer in this plane of existence..

Yes, I have no love for bad policing that results in our people ending up dead.   But I would like to have seen as a proud transperson of African descent just as much anger in Black America over Islan Nettles' killer still walking the streets unprosecuted.   I would have loved to have seen the same passion in the ATL and beyond over two trans women being attacked on MARTA trains.  I would have loved to have witnessed the same level of Black community anger over CeCe McDonald being unjustly incarcerated in a Minnesota jail for defending her life against a neo-Nazi.  And I would have loved to have seen Black political and community leaders in attendance at this year's TDOR's

If Black Lives Matter,  then Black Trans Lives Matter. 

The Trans Rights struggle is also an international  human rights struggle that has been rooted in the African-American tradition since the Dewey's Lunch Counter Sit In and Protest happened in Philadelphia nearly 50 years ago this coming April.

Just as our families include gay and lesbians in them, you also have transgender members as well who are part of the kente cloth fabric of Black society.   I defy any sellout kneegrow minister to tell me to my face I'm not Black.

I'm saying it loud, I'm Black trans and proud of being both, and you haters need to deal with that in the 2K15 and beyond.   We Black trans folks are going to demand our seats at the African-American family table, and we are not taking no for an answer any more.

We trans folks are proud Black people who care just as deeply about this community as you do, and it's past time you got that message.

It's also past time you heard another message concerning your trans brothers and trans sisters loud and clear, because it's going to get repeated often by me, other Black trans leaders and our allies in 2015.

#BlackTransLivesMatter because they are also Black lives that matter.

The 2014 NFL Prognostication Winner Is...

Mike Watts.

We were co-champs in 2011, and his 2012 and 2013 season ended in furious late season finishing kicks that came up just short.   

This year he made sure there would be no agonizing contest over the last few weeks of the NFL season by taking control at the season's midpoint and running away from me and Eli despite my late season 37-11 finishing kick over the last three weeks of the season

Defending champ Eli did strike a what might have been blow to close out our prognostication season by taking the final week with a stellar 14-2 record to edge me for final week honors..

But all hail our 2014 prognostication champion.    And yep, I'm definitely planning to do it again next year..  

Week 17 Results

TransGriot    13-3
Eli                 14-2
Mike             10-6

Final 2014 NFL Season Record

TransGriot     170-85-1
Eli                  162-93-1
*Mike            177-78-1

Black Trans Year In Review 2014

In a few days we'll be flipping the calendar to 2015 and wondering what the next twelve months in Black Trans World will bring.  It's going to have to be a serious year after the high bar we set for 2014 and the history we seemed to make every month..

It started out on a shocking note with the untimely death in a New Year's Day car accident in Oakland of Minister Bobbie Jean Baker.   The sadness of losing our sister to a hit and run driver was quickly eclipsed by the wonderful news from Minnesota that the unjustly incarcerated CeCe McDonald was going to be released from prison, with that happening on January 13.

Black trans people were all over the media in 2014, and that started early with CeCe McDonald's appearance on the Melissa Harris-Perry Show with Laverne Cox. 

But it wasn't the only time Laverne Cox received media face time in 2014.   Besides her Orange Is The New Black role, the most important one happened January 6 on the Katie Couric Show when she respectfully broke it down to Katie along with Carmen Carrera that questions about our genitalia are no longer acceptable for media people to ask.

That led to Tiq Milan appearing with Christina Kahrl on CNN to discuss the media trans reporting fails.  Laverne also was featured on a Time magazine cover in April, received a historic Emmy nomination, was on the cover of ESSENCE magazine and was named to the EBONY Power 100.

Janet Mock also continued to be a 2014 news and history maker.   In addition to setting Piers Morgan straight for his jacked up attack interview of her, on February 4 she released her memoir Redefining Realness and began a book tour to support it.

She became the first out trans person to have a book make the New York Times bestseller list.  Mock also closed out the year on a high personal note by announcing her engagement December 23.  Wedding date has yet to be set.

We lost two trailblazing trans sisters to cancer this year.   In Philadelphia we lost trailblazing trans sister Jaci Adams in February.   Chicago's trans and HIV/AIDS activist communities are still mourning the December 6 loss of Joy Morris. We also lost San Diego based advocate Kenishia Hubbard on August 18.

The Black trans community was once again well represented when the second edition of the Trans 100 was released March 30.   Nominations are now being taken for the third edition of it.

Janet and Laverne were an example of Black trans people getting attention from the mainstream Black community when they were honored by being named to the 2014 The Root 100 List. 

I took a lot of heat when I questioned the timing of B. Scott's trans declaration within hours of filing a gender discrimination lawsuit against BET.  I was vindicated when Scott lost that lawsuit and noted he went right back to being an androgynous gay male.

Once again because of the bathroom predator lie the professional trans haters are spreading to fight the passage of laws to fight anti-trans discrimination, we have had instances of ignorant people harassing trans women for simply going to the bathroom to handle their nature calls.  

Kaye Bowers in Arkansas was fired from her job at Mickey D's because a customer complained after she went to the correct bathroom for her outward gender presentation, and in Charlotte, Andraya Williams' case after being disrespected at her community college garnered national attention and at last report a pending lawsuit.

The Black Trans Advocacy Conference in Dallas had another successful run and drew over 100 people including a certain blogger who celebrated her birthday on the last day of it.

Outrage reigned across Black Trans World in May when two trans women were attacked on a MARTA train in the ATL and no one came to their aid.  The wastes of DNA who perpetrated the transphobic attack were later arrested.

There was also outrage over the arrest and conviction of Monica Jones in Phoenix for Walking While Black Trans.  As the New Year unfolds we will see if justice is served in her case.

Longtime San Diego based trans activist Tracie Jada O'Brien was honored by the California LGBT Caucus on June 23.  

Two days later history was made when Tona Brown stepped onto the storied stage of Carnegie Hall to become the first out\trans African-American to perform there

One of the things I had noted that it had been a quiet year in terms of African-American trans women being killed due to anti-trans violence.   That suddenly came to an end in June when in rapid succession, Kandy Hall, Yaz'min Shancez, and Tiffany Edwards were killed along with Latina trans activist Zoraida Reyes.   12 African-American trans women would eventually be lost to anti-trans violence in 2014, and a #BlackTransLivesMatter hasttag has been created to remind our cis African-American family about that simple  fact..

Our fave WMMA fighting sis Fallon Fox not only was kicking azz and taking names in the octagon, she was taking on the anti-trans sporting ignorance in the sports world. 

Fallon was also pointing out the reluctance of the two main WMMA circuits to sign her as they hypocritically sign female fighters with WORSE records than Fox's 5-1 mark.

The most delicious 2014 Fox WMMA bout was a September 13 microwaved beatdown of one of her transphobic critics Tamikka Brents.    Bet Ms Brents doesn't have any doubts about Ms Fox's WMMA skills now, does she?

It was a great year for the trans brothers as well.  Dr Kortney Ryan Ziegler's took Trans* H4CK from its Oakland home to successful stagings of it across the country in Las Vegas, Chicago and Boston.  

Tiq Milan's handsome face was not only seen on various talk shows this year discussing trans people in the media, in May he got married to his spouse Kim.

Speaking of positive media coverage, this Candy magazine cover featured a glam shot of several trans activists of color that should have been non controversial, but was anything but..  

It points out that in 2015, some of the ongoing education we'll have to do is also inside our own trans community.  Elements of it fail to realize (or deliberately want to ignore the fact) that race matters in trans world  and the transitions of Black trans people are not like theirs.

Speaking of 2015, will be interesting to see what happens for our community in the next twelve months.   In addition to witnessing the things we didn't expect, we'll observe what things good, and bad will affect us as we reach the midpoint of the second decade of the 21st century.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

METRORail Green and Purple Lines Opening Delayed Until 2015

ThumbnailOne of the presents we Houston light rail enthusiasts were hoping to get this Christmas was the opening of the METRORail Green and Purple lines this month like METRO did for the Red Line extension last year.

The opening of the lines had already been delayed earlier this year to October.  Because of problems with the Siemens axle counters that help METRO keep track of the rail cars and construction damage to a chilled water pipe under the Purple Line downtown, it pushed the opening of the new lines back to April 2015.

The opening of those lines when it finally happens will add another 10 miles of track to the already operational METRORail Red Line.

Far from 'nobody riding it' as rail critics deriding it as 'the toy train' loudly sneer,  the METRORail is four years ahead of ridership projections with over 100 million boardings on just one 12.8 mile rail line.   It is the second heaviest traveled rail system in the southern US.

One of the things delaying the opening is the new 1000 room Marriott Marquis Convention Hotel being constructed near the shared tracks of the Green and Purple Lines by Minute Maid Park.   A chilled water pipe under that line was accidentally damaged by construction workers. 

The repairs to it required tearing up the roadway, the section of light rail track above the damaged chilled water line it along with the fiber optics and communications, and then rebuilding and testing it to ensure it works properly.  That process took twelve weeks, making it next to impossible for METRO to open the lines this year.

While we're waiting for service to start on the Green and Purple Lines, there has been progress made in getting the CAF rolling stock that will be transiting the new lines when they finally do open for revenue service.   

Out of the 39 cars contracted for by METRO, 12 have been delivered.  Car 301, the lead one in the CAF ordered rail vehicles has successfully completed its 'burn-through' testing..

Construction has also been completed on the Central Transit Station which although it isn't as show stopping as the one the design contest winners came up with, will be ready when the Green and Purple lines finally open for service.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Happy Black Trans Kwanzaa 2014

Haban gari    What's The News?  

Well, today's news is that it is the first night of Kwanzaa for those peeps who celebrate it.  It will run through  January 1.

During the Kwanzaa 2010 and 2011 celebrations I wrote a series of posts that put a Black trans twist on the seven Nguzo Saba principles celebrated each night during Kwanzaa. 

What I attempted to do in 2010 and 2011 was break down  each one of the Nguzo Saba principles that are celebrated during Kwanzaa and explain how they apply to the African descended trans community.   

I wanted to point out by doing so not only that African-American trans people are not only members of the general African-American community with a shared history, but we trans Black folks can also use these principles  to organize to help us own our power

What are those principles that kinara candles are lit for over the next seven days of Kwanzaa?

  • Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
  • Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.
  • Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers' and sisters' problems our problems, and to solve them together.
  • Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
  • Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
  • Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
  • Imani (Faith): To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
As the late Kwame Ture said. "In order to become a part o the greater society, you must first close ranks.".   It has been necessary at the beginning of this second decade of the 21st Century for trans African-Americans to unify, collectively organize, and own our power.

That simple act, combined with the last two years of proud African-American trans people becoming visible possibility models and spokespersons for the trans human rights movement and ourselves has scared the crap our of some folks.

It shouldn't, but if it does, too bad.because the Black trans unification train has left the station, and this needed to happen a long time ago.

We are simply doing what our ancestors did at the turn of the 20th century when also confronted by an America hostile to them and using those time tested techniques to build our community

We African-American transpeople exist at the intersections of oppressions for being Black and trans, and we have to come up with strategies to navigate those issues.

We are also evolving to become New Black Transmen and Transwomen.   We are beyond sick and tired of being demonized not only by society, but by elements of our own people who are doing so to sell out to the white conservative power structure or out of sheer ignorance.

They are also joined by elements of the white trans community jealous of our recent positive media attention.    Those issues must be addressed in concert with our allies in 2015 and beyond as well. 
The process must continue because in order for us to be able to help the ENTIRE trans community advance to have the human rights we all deserve, the African-American trans community must do so in order to counter the Forces of Intolerance who are organizing to oppose our just human rights cause.

And if you can't visualize the value of a stronger, powerful unified Black trans cohort confidently exercising its power in concert with our allies , then the problem lies with you.

So Happy Kwanzaa, Black Trans Style 2014.

Shut Up Fool Awards- Last Fool For 2014 Edition

This is the last Friday of 2014, and y'all know what happens on these electronic pages on Fridays.

The Shut Up Fool Awards for the last several years has been one of my more popular features on these electronic pages in which I call  out folks for exhibiting mind numbing stupidity, gleeful hypocrisy, and the WTF moments that make your head spin.

And as Mr. T, our SUF Awards inspiration has started more than a few times, "Fools are everywhere"

Especially in the GOP-controlled Congress and the GOP run Texas Legislature.

That sadly guarantees that I won't be having any problems having fools to call out every Friday in 2015 along with selecting this year and next year's Shut Up Fool of the Year.

You can check out who wins the 2014 Shut Up Fool of the Year at 12 noon CST on New Year's Eve.

Now let's get to what fool, fools or group of fools deserved it this week.

Honorable mention number one is to the three NYPD officers who wore shirts mocking the 'I Can't Breathe' rallying cry of the Garner protestors.

And you wonder why people are singing NWA right now. 

Honorable mention number two is Gaylard Williams.  He's a gaybaiting pastor in Seymour, IN who has been arrested and charged with battery for making unwanted sexual advances.

And it wasn't with a woman.   Yep, another faith based hypocrite has been exposed, and you know what they say about those who doth protesteth too much. 

Honorable mention number three is Rudy Guiliani, who parted his loud and wrong lips to blame President Obama for the deaths of the the two NYC police officers.

That old crossdresser needs to have several sections of seats in Yankee Stadium and STFU.

Honorable mention number four  is Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) who while on his way out of the Senate door blocked funding for a new veterans hospital in Tulsa because he claimed 'they were building a Taj Mahal'

Bet all those vets in Oklahoma who voted GOP are regretting that vote now aren't they?

NYPD Union President Patrick Lynch Is Completely Nuts: A HistoryThe last Shut Up Fool Award winner for 2014 is Pat Lynch, the leader of the NY Patrolmen's Benevolent Association Union, the largest of the 5 NYC police unions.  . 

Lynch has a long history of  making inflammatory and racist comments , and is stating true to form in the wake of the killing of Eric Garner and since the non indictment of one of his police officers in that case.

Now in the wake of two NYPD officers being killed, he opened his big mouth to say "that the blood of the murdered officers was on the hands of the protesters, and “on the steps of City Hall, in the office of the Mayor”.

Naw homes, it's on the hands of the person who pulled the trigger,

Pat Lynch, you're one major reason why peeps in NYC and elsewhere can't stand the po-po's.   You're defending the indefensible.  Why don't you. shut up, fool?

It's Important For Trans Women Of Color To See Peeps Like Themselves

Ever since Christine Jorgensen stepped off the plane at what is now JFK Airport from Denmark in February 1953, the discussions about trans femininity have been predominately focused on our white counterparts

While that has been wonderful for white trans women, and how wonderful is up for debate, that six decades of focus on white trans women has been detrimental to trans women of color.

Yeah,we all know that Sylvia Rivera is the mother of the trans rights movement, are getting to know about Miss Major's contributions, and every now and then a Roberta Close, Harisu, Ai Haruna and various Thai trans women would pop up in the media radar when they wanted to briefly focus on transgender issues.  

But the dominant focus stayed on white transfeminine women.   Trans women of color were only seen and heard about when it came to negative issues in the community like anti-trans violence, silicone pumping or HIV/AIDS.

Now that script is starting to flip, and a new generation of trans women of color are getting positive media coverage.   In addition to our lost history being unearthed and talked about, we are starting to get credit for being trailblazing leaders in this trans human rights movement.   We are being discussed as beauty icons, or seen making history and looking good while doing so.

Sadly, elements of the trans feminine  community ain't liking it.

Too bad, because it's been a long overdue development that needed to happen.  The voices of transfeminine women of color needed to be heard not only by Middle America, but by our own people as well.   A blow needed to be struck to take down the 'tragic  trans victim' meme that disproportionately centered trams women of color in it.

While trans women of color have disproportionately taken the brunt of the anti-trans violence casualties, those stories needed to be balanced out by trans women of color leading and doing positive things for our community.

It's also important that trans women of color also be seen as beautiful as well, vis a vis a beauty standard that idealizes white womanhood be you cis or trans 24/7/365.

Black trans women have to struggle with the same 'unwoman' meme that our cis Black sisters have dealt with for four centuries and battling a beauty paradigm not designed with us in mind..   

So yes, we African-American trans women and our cis feminine allies are reveling in the fact that we are seeing beautiful women like Janet Mock, Angelica Ross, Precious Davis, Tona Brown  and  Laverne Cox among others lead, intelligently discuss trans issues and look good doing so.

It has been wonderful to see trans Latinas like Bamby Salcedo, Arianna Lint, Maria Roman and others around the country also step up and take leadership roles in their community as well as inspiring others to do so.

The more diverse our trans human rights movement leadership is, the better.

As this country gets more diverse, the trans feminine leadership in this movement must diversify as well.   The ongoing discussions we have about trans femininity also need to add the perspectives of trans women of color.  

And with trans kids transitioning at earlier ages, it is important for those kids and trans kids of color to see peeps like themselves.

It's also important for their parents, grandparents, our overall society and the communities that trans women of color inhabit to see positive instances of trans women of color contributing to the betterment of our communities as well

25 Years Later, A Trans Murder Victim's Assailant Is Arrested

Back in 1989  Santa Ana, CA resident Carla Leigh Salazar was stabbed to death in her apartment.  

While the murdered trans woman's case was investigated by Santa Ana police, they didn't identify a suspect at the time, and the case eventually went  to the cold case file like many of the unsolved murders that involve trans women. 

With the advances in DNA for criminal case detective work, it has allowed police investigators to take a fresh look at cases that couldn't be solved under the methods of the day and gives them another tool in their crime fighting toolbox to close those cold cases.

An arrest has been made in the Salazar case in the person of 63 year old Douglas Gutridge.   

He was an acquaintance of Salazar, may have been the last person to see Salazar alive and was suspected by the police of committing the crime.   In 2007 police investigators received lab evidence that indicated an unidentified male had been in the apartment at the time of Salazar's death.

That led police investigators in 2009 to contact Gutridge, who volunteered to submit a DNA sample.   That evidence wasn't enough to detain him at the time.   Continued advances in forensics technology and the formation in Orange County of a Cold Case Homicide Task Force to address a backlog of over 1000 area cold cases led to the renewed interest in the Salazar one.

The advancements in forensic technology combined with Gutridge's DNA place him not only in Salazar's apartment at the time of the murder, but also showed the placement of his hands on her body.

Based on that new evidence, Gutridge was arrested on December 9 and charged with Salazar's murder.  It was also the first arrest for the newly minted Orange County Cold Case Homicide Task force.    He is facing 25 years to life if convicted, and is being held on a $1 million bond with arraignment scheduled for January 2.

And it gives ne another trans murder case to track in the New Year to see if our fallen sister receives justice.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

TransGriot 2014 NFL Picks Week 17

The games aren't happening until Sunday, but might as well get the picks for the final week of the 2014 NFL regular season up so y'all have something to read on those new tablets, laptops and cellphones some of y'all got for Christmas. 

The last 16 games of the 256 regular season NFL contests are all going down on Sunday, and I'm pretty much locked into second place despite winning my second consecutive week. 

Mike has been taking a victory lap since he opened up that big lead on both me and Eli that neither of us have been able to overcome,

As for Eli, after winning the 2013 title in his rookie season, he has fallen victim to the Prognostication Championship Hangover I suffered from last year.

Let's talk about my fave NFL squad for a moment.   Was very happy to see them beat the Ravens 25-13 and get Case Keenum his first NFL win as a starting QB at the same time after going 0-8 in that horrid 2-14 season last year..

The Texans because of that win still have faint hopes of qualifying for the2014 NFL playoffs, but it will take a holiday miracle for it to happen

It starts with them handling their NFL business and winning their final home game at NRG Stadium versus the Jacksonville Jaguars, and Baltimore and San Diego losing.

Good luck with all that happening.  While I believe in sporting miracles, as a longsuffering Houston sports fans, frustration and buzzard's luck is the order of the day, and not expecting this one to happen.

Well, let me get these picks up so you can get back to your holiday merriment.   They will be as usual in underlined bold print.

Week 16 Results

TransGriot    10-6
Eli                  9-7
Mike              10-6

2014 NFL Season Record

TransGriot     157-82-1
Eli                  148-91-1
Mike              167-72-1

NFL Week 17

Sunday Early Games
Carolina over Atlanta
Baltimore over Cleveland
Dallas over Washington
Houston over Jacksonville
Indianapolis over Tennessee
New Orleans over Tampa Bay
Green Bay over Detroit
San Diego over Kansas City
Miami over NY Jets
Minnesota over Chicago
New England over Buffalo
Philadelphia over NY Giants

Sunday Afternoon Games
San Francisco over Arizona
Denver over Oakland
Seattle over St.Louis

Sunday Night Game
Pittsburgh over Cincinnati

Janet's Engaged!

In more dispatches from the trans community good news department, was pleased and megaexcited to hear that Janet Mock is now engaged!

Yep, damn skippy I'm giving the happy couple a TransGriot shout out for this one.

Her longtime beau Aaron Tredwell proposed to her on December 20, and you know our homegirl happily accepted that proposal.

According to Janet's FB page, she's been doing the happy dance for the last several days, and the well wishes and congratulations from all you peeps who love them are continuing to pour in.

Definitely adding mine as well.

Wedding date has yet to be set, but I'm sure the happy couple will let us know when that event is going to happen.

Congratulations to Aaron and Janet!   Can't think of a better time to have that positive event happen, and may you both continue to have a very happy life together.

Merry Christmas 2014!

Merry Christmas people!  I already received my big present in terms of a roof over my head. 

Also checked out Resurrection MCC's Christmas Eve service last night.   The climax of it was when the house lights were turned down while the children's choir was singing, and the candles we had been holding were lit.

Was a beautiful way to spend a Christmas Eve night

It's my first Christmas Day in a place of my own since 2000 and I'm still diligently working to  make it a home.   The best part about starting over from scratch and moving during the holidays is that much of the stuff you need can be acquired on sale or a deep discount after Christmas..  

But enough about me.  I hope you TransGriot readers are having a wonderful holiday season.  Safe travels to and from you final Christmas Day destinations.

I'm going to take the writing day off, but if some news pops up that warrants a post, up it will go.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Searching For My Transfeminine Cousin

We are on Christmas Day countdown in which we are out and about trying to get those last minute presents, prepare meals for Christmas dinners, or wondering what gifts are under the Christmas tree for us.

If there is one gift I'd love to have for the 2014 holiday season, it is to be reunited with my trans feminine cousin that I'll call Janet for the purposes of this post.

We lived in the newly developing (and segregated) Crestmont Plaza subdivision while my cousin Janet and her brother lived in a South Park whose demographics were rapidly changing due to rapid white flight from it.    Janet and her brother were also one of the few local Roberts cousins I was aware of and grew up with in early childhood.

Besides the trans issue, we are similar in a lot of ways.   In addition to her sharing my last name and us being roughly the same age, we are both the firstborn kids of our respective families.  My brother and I attended their birthday parties and got to see and play with them on a regular basis until we lost contact with them after their parents divorced in the early 70's.  

While from time to time I wondered what was going on in their lives, it began to pale in comparison with me try to navigate growing up transfeminine in 1970's Houston and she and her brother faded from my memory for a while.

That changed one day when I was in my high school health class during my junior year at JJ in 1978. A cisfeminine .sophomore student who had gone to Johnston Jr. High with my cousin asked me in front of the entire class if Janet (and used her old male name while doing so) was my cousin.   When I replied yes, she called her the f-word that rhymes with maggot, and I swiftly chewed her ass out for disrespecting my cousin and moi. 

I also sarcastically said to  the messy cis female when I finished calling her out it bothered her because she was probably attracted to my cuz.  We rolled our eyes at each other and moved on.

That was my first clue that something was going on with Janet.   I wouldn't get another one until I took a non-rev trip to California in 1992 and ended up visiting the home of Janet's father while accompanied by a then close cisfeminine cousin of mine who was living in Cali at the time. 

While we were visiting his expansive house, I noted the pics of his two sons on the wall of his study, but none of Janet.  Since I was seriously contemplating getting my own transition party started at the time, I silently sat there and wondered if that was going to be my fate with my own family. 

Two years later I was on the verge of beginning my own transition, and sat my parents down in the living room of our home to inform them of my intentions to do so.  In their attempt to dissuade me from transitioning, they mentioned the existence of Janet and alluded to how challenging her life was.  When I heard I had a trans cousin, all I felt at the time for my parents was anger for keeping that information from me and tuned them out.

It's now Christmas Eve 2014.  I've gotten over the anger I felt for having Janet's existence hidden from me   I often wondered if our paths crossed while I was running around Montrose in the 1980's and 1990's, and .she has never been too far from my thoughts since then even as I navigated my own bumpy at times transition road. 

The trans historian part of me  really wants to know how her life has turned out, especially since she had the guts to transition in the more challenging 1970s and 1980's.  

And yes, because she's my blood family and also trans, if Janet is still alive, I want to get reacquainted with her because we are both trans and have a lot of catching up to do.

So if you happen to be reading this Janet, get in touch with your cousin.  It's been way too long since we saw and talked to each other, and I'd love to have lunch with you as a starting point especially if you're still living in H-town..

And I hope and pray that Christmas wish is granted..