Wednesday, December 31, 2014

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.

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