Sunday, January 31, 2016

Murderer Of Melony Smith Convicted

Some good news coming out of southern California concerning our fallen trans sister Melony Smith

A Pomona Superior Court jury found 30 year old Stephen Gonzales guilty of first degree murder in the September 9, 2013 death of 26 year old Melony Smith.

The article has some problematic violations of the AP Stylebook in using Smith's deadname, describing her life as a 'lifestyle'.

But back to the post.

She was found dead at 1:30 PM PDT in her Baldwin Park motel room where she had been staying off and on for a year.

While Gonzales escaped being eligible for capital punishment when the jury found him not guilty of robbing Smith, they did find him guilty of petty theft.

Gonzales is facing a 25 years to life sentence when he returns to court on February 11 for sentencing. Hope they throw the book at his behind.

Countdown To Super Bowl 50

Super Bowl 50 will be taking place  in Santa Clara next Sunday, and even though my favorite NFL team won't be involved in it, I will have a rooting interest in one of the teams that will playing in this year's NFL championship game between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers..

There are also some interesting historical nuggets as we approach the kickoff time for this game. Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera is now the second Latino head coach after the Oakland Raiders Tom Flores to make it to the title game. 

He also wants to be like his idol Flores, the second Latino head coach to win a Super Bowl.   Flores as the hard coach of the Oakland/LA Raiders coached them to NFL titles twice in 1981 and 1984.

For the third straight year, a team with an African-American starting quarterback will be in the Super Bowl house.   Russell Wilson of the Seahawks was that quarterback the last two years and won (2014) and lost (2015) one, and this year it will be Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers representing at the QB spot..

Newton will be bidding to make some Black history by attempting to join Doug Williams and Wilson as African-American NFL starting quarterbacks that have won a Super Bowl.   Ironically both of those wins by Black quarterbacks in 1988 and 2014 came at the expense of the Denver Broncos, this Sunday's opponent.

Newton will be trying to do so against a quarterback in Peyton Manning who may be playing in his last Super Bowl.

As to who I'm picking to walk away with the Vince Lombardi Trophy next week?    I'll let y'all know on Friday.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

2016 Williams Watch- Number 22 On Hold

The fan was seen during Williams' semi-final clash with Polish star Agnieszka Radwanska on Thursday
The Australian Open women's title was on the line, and I was up at 2 AM Houston time to watch the action from Down Under and see if Serena Williams would capture her seventh title, take home another Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup and win her 22nd Grand Slam title to tie Steffi Graf for second on the women's all time Grand Slam tournament win list.

Fittingly her opponent was 28 year old lefty Angelique Kerber of Germany, who grew up idolizing Graf and does have a recent win against Serena

But this is a Grand Slam final, and Serena is usually on her A+ game for those.  But she wasn't today, and was upset by Kerber 4-6, 6-3. 4-6 to capture her first major Grand Slam title

Meanwhile Serena is still not only the world's number one ranked player even with the loss, she's sitting on 21 major title wins.

Oh well, the French Open is in May.   We'll see what happens there..

The Trans Pariahs Are Hatin'

Still amused by that group of millennial trans women who got their jaws all puffed out because I called them out on their pattern of negative behavior at various conferences over the last year and their disrespect of elders.   Somebody had to call out the pattern of what was going on, and point blank ask them if they want to be trans leaders or trans pariahs.

Not going to even link to their hit pieces and give them exposure, They have chosen trans pariah status, and I'm not paying any attention to them until they apologize for their reprehensible actions and disrespect of community elders.

Funny they pulled that stunt in the name of 'holding people accountable', but ain't liking it now that someone else is holding them accountable for their nekulturny behavior.

And BTW,  here's my answer to taking down those post you don't like.

If I didn't retract a post calling white GLBT people out for their racism aimed at President Obama several years ago, what makes y'all misguided peeps think I'm going to take the posts down I wrote calling y'all out on your crap?

You've been busted for your attention grabbing stunt at #CC16 and you need to give it up.  The more you and your surrogates attack and attempt to bully me for telling the truth about your behinds, and revealing the real reason you bumrushed that panel, the more ridiculous and disrespectful you look.

In the meantime, while y'all continue your increasingly speedy spiral to irrelevance, I will continue do my part to build intersectional community and network with other trans people and our allies to accomplish the much needed human rights work of the community while y'all plot and plan 'to take spaces that are rightfully yours'  whatever that Palinesque word salad means.

While y'all were hi-fiving each other and mugging for the cameras for your misguided protest action. I was as a representative of TPOCC in a morning meeting with the leaders of several trans orgs on January 22 discussing strategies for combating the anti-trans laws Republicans are trying to pass around the country.

Funny I didn't see y'all there.

Last night I spent a few hours talking to a TV reporter I know in Austin getting the ball rolling on correcting the misgendering in the story about Monica Loeda that resulted in us not knowing we have lost our first trans sister in 2016 until last night.

So while y'all rant, rave, fume and continue to prove my point through your actions that y'all like to keep mess and confusion going, I'll continue to do the work of this community.

And on that note, bye Felicias.  I have grown trans folks business to attend to.

Friday, January 29, 2016

First Trans Murder of 2016- RIP Monica Loera

I'm sad to report thanks to a tip by Gina Morvay and the Austin Chronicle that the first trans murder of 2016 has happened in the Lone Star State in Austin.

The reason we in Texas and Austin didn't know about it until a week after it happened is because once again, the trans victim was misgendered by the police and subsequently the local media.

As usual, I'm going to do the Austin media's job for them and give our sister the respect in death and proper pronouns she deserves and another example of how to properly report on trans murder cases..

According to the Austin Police Department, 43 year old Monica Loera was engaged in a conversation with a man in front of her home along the 300 block of East Powell Lane in north Austin at 3 AM on January 22 when she was shot.

Loera was transported to the nearby University Medical Center Brackenridge hospital where she was pronounced dead from her injuries and the Travis County Medical Examiner ruled Loera's death a homicide.

Thanks to witness descriptions and messages from the alleged perpetrator left on Loera's phone, 29 year old JonCasey William Rowell was later arrested by APD and charged with the first degree murder of Monica Loera.  Rowell is currently in the Travis County Jail under a $250,000 bond.

I will be watching this case until our sister receives justice.  If I receive any further information about the Loera case, I will pass those details along as I get them.

Rest in power and peace, Monica.   Your trans family and all who loved you will not rest until justice is served/.

TransGriot Update:  Got a call from one of my reporter contacts in Austin.  KEYE-TV will start working on doing their due diligence, talking to people who knew Monica as a prelude to correcting their station's story starting Saturday morning.   

APD's information officers need to do a better job as well of informing the media when it comes to dealing with trans murder victims and not misgendering them. 

FAA No Longer Stigmatizing Trans Pilots

I had the pleasure during my Air Marshal days of meeting the trans pilot who cleared the path for me to transition at work.  It was an emotional meeting for both of us because I'd not only heard about her via her court case, she's heard through the CAL company grapevine there was a Houston gate agent who was transitioning as well.

Jessica Starnes filed a successful lawsuit that reinstated her job, her seniority and paid her an undisclosed settlement back in the early 90's.  It was a case I was watching closely because I was at the emotional point of being ready to live in my truth and getting  my transition started but was worried about whether I would be able to keep the airline job I absolutely loved at the time.

She won, and in 1994 I finally got my own transition started.   She was based in Newark, and I ran into her at where the south side hallways of Terminal C intersected near the food court.

Both of us were crying when the meeting happened, and she told me, "You were one of the reasons why I fought so hard to get my job back.  I wanted to make it easier for the next trans person to be themselves and keep their job,"

I thanked her for doing so, and she headed to her next flight and I headed to my gate.

The reason I'm going through this Moni flashback moment is because I not only have much love and respect for trans pilots I know or who are on my FB page like Denver based pilot Jessica Taylor, I have heard and read the wonderful news that trans pilots have won their long battle with the FAA and gotten them to drop the disorder label they saddled transgender pilots with.

On January 27 the  FAA changed its Aviation Medical Examiners guidelines to remove the disorder label for trans pilots and replace it with  'gender dysphoria'.  The change according to the FAA will allow trans pilots to get their medical certifications more quickly and not undergo a time consuming and expensive process in order to convince federal officials they were medically fit and stable enough to fly.

Pilots have to get medical exams every year before they are certified to fly, and trans pilots not only are given that extra scrutiny before flight certification is granted, they face discrimination from the FAA in doing so.

This FAA policy change is also wonderful news to the Transgender Pilots Association..

However, trans pilots who have been on hormone therapy for less than five years or undergone gender reassignment surgery less than five years ago will still have to undergo additional testing and paperwork before they are certified.

But it still doesn't change the fact that the FAA policy change, despite the attempts of that organization to downplay it, is good news for trans pilots.

Happy Brazilian Trans Day Of Visibility!

Today is the Trans Day of Visibility in Brazil.   Every year since 1994 in that nation January 29 is celebrated by the local trans community as their day to let their fellow Brazilians know that they exist, their humanity is worthy of recognition and respect, and their human rights need to be protected as well.

Brazil also has unfortunately led the world in the deaths of our transsisters, with one as young as age 14 being murdered last year.

Unfortunately in 2016 they have gotten off to another horrific start in that category with 48 trans women being murdered in Brazil in this month alone, and it needs to stop.

May this day not only open hearts and minds in Brazil, but lead to substantive change in the way the nation treats its trans citizens.

Shut Up Fool Awards-Happy 7th Anniversary Edition

On January 30, 2009 one of the regular features on this blog that you TransGriot readers have come to know and love was born.   It's my weekly Shut Up Fool awards in which I shine a bright spotlight on hypocrisy, stupidity, and jaw dropping ignorance.

The inaugural fool I selected in 2009 as initial Shut Up Fool Awards weekly winner was FOX Noise's Juan Williams.  The weekly SUF awards grew into the Shut Up Fool of the Year Awards that I reveal every New Year's Eve, and the upcoming Shut Up Fool Lifetime Achievement Awards that get passed out during Oscar weekend.

So now that we have reached a lucky seven years and counting in calling fools out, I'll definitely be busy this year because this is an election year.

Lets' get busy cranking up another year of TransGriot Shut Up Fool award winners

Honorable mention number one is everyone who was on stage for the latest GOP debate.

Honorable mention number two is one of the remaining Y'allQaeda 'terriss' for cluelessly saying that Ferguson protesters were treated better than us and it was unfair.

Oh really?  I didn't see the Oregon National Guard deployed against your vanillacentric privileged asses with full riot gear and military equipment.  I didn't see tear gas or rubber bullets used on you, much less you peeps being surrounded by a ring of law enforcement.

Don't even try it.

Honorable mention number three is Indiana state rep Woody Burton (R) who stated at a town hall he is opposed to LGBT rights protections in the Hoosier state because 'there are no laws protecting fat white people'.

Let me move on the next honorable mention fool and let you readers marinate on that level of stupid for a few minutes.  Indiana peeps, think about the fact a majority of your fellow Hoosiers gave this moron  the power to write legislation. 

Honorable mention number four is Carly Fiorina, who is slimy on many levels to begin with, but gets called out for hypocritically profiting from a company that uses the aborted fetal stem cells she has demagogued about in her war against Planned Parenthood. 

Honorable mention number five is this kneegrow Fort Lauderdale hate pastor cooning it up for the Religious Reich and testifying in favor of an unjust SB 110, that would allow businesses in the Sunshine State to deny service to LGBT customers.  He straight up lied and said gays were killers that deserved no rights.
Um dude, guess you forgot when the segregationists trying to justify Jim Crow laws said the same thing (and still do) about us.

Honorable mention number six is the rapper B.o.B, who tried to claim the earth was flat and he had proof until astrophysicist Dr Neil deGrasse Tyson dropped a truth nuke on his azz.

I got proof that B.o.B is wrong, too.  Here's a picture of planet Earth taken from the International Space Station orbiting 100 miles above this planet's surface.  

You need Jesus and remedial courses in science, astronomy....

Honorable mention number seven is Bill O'Reilly for keeping the FOX War on Transpeople going and trafficking in transphobia.  He wondered if transpeople will get a special voting booth

Yeah, I got a special cussout reserved just for is transphobic azz.

Naw you ignorant mofo, your party is busy trying to keep my Black trans behind from voting, much less have any human rights, so phuck you and the racist GOP. 

Honorable mention number eight is Bristol Palin.  The spawn of Sarah opened her mouth and inserted her pumps into it by trying to hide behind Stacey Dash's skirts and comment on the melanin free Oscars with the flippant not everyone gets a trophy line.

You can't get the Oscar if you aren't nominated for one in the first place you chillbilly

This week's winner is Stacey Dash, who wants an apology from all her critics who dragged her clueless azz all over social media for saying the stupid conservacrap she said about eliminating BET and Black History Month when her hypocritical ass was getting her bills paid by acting in BET projects.

She now doubling down on her anti-Black rhetoric, which will ensure the Black community will be pushing back just as hard against this sellout.

Bye, Stacey.  Have several seats at the Hollywood Bowl and a 32 oz. cup of STFU while you wait for an apology you will never get until you stop getting those wash, sets and GOP cranial rinses at FOX Noise HQ.

And oh yeah, Shut up fool!


2016 Williams Watch - Going For Number 22

In a few hours we'll find out if Serena Williams will earn her seventh Australian Open title and 22nd Grand Slam title win in her illustrious career.

That Aussie Open women's final will start at 2 AM CST.

She punched her ticket to this Australian Open final by taking out fourth seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland for the ninth time in straight sets 6-0, 6-4.   She not only bumped her record against Radwanska to a spotless 9-0. she continued her impressive march through this Aussie Open women's field.

For the first time in her career, she has made it to an Australian Open final without dropping a set along the way.

Serena's reward or doing so will be to face Germany's Angelique Kerber, the 28 year old lefthander who idolized Steffi Graf growing up, and who will be standing in the way of Serena trying to tie her idol for Grand Slam title wins.  Kerber is also the first German player in 20 years to reach a Grand Slam final since you know who.

The seventh seeded Kerber knocked off #14 seeded Victoria Azarenka 6-3, 7-5 in the quarters and surprise semifinalist Johanna Konta 7-5. 6-2 in straight sets to get to her first ever Grand Slam final, and says she relishes the challenge of taking on the world's number one player.

We'll see if she feels the same way in a few hours.  Go get her Serena!

Unjust Washington State Anti-Trans Bill Out Of Senate Committee

People pack a hallway outside a Washington Senate hearing room, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash., as they wait to listen to public testimony regarding a bill that would eliminate Washington’s new rule allowing transgender people use gender-segregated bathrooms and locker rooms in public buildings consistent with their gender identity.
Some bad legislative news out of Washington state in which Senate Bill 6443 escaped the Republican controlled Commerce and Labor Committee on a party line 4-3 vote at a hearing in Olympia in front of an overflow crowd estimated at 300 people...

The unjust bill was sponsored by Senator Doug Ericksen (R-Ferndale) specifically to overturn a rule that allows trans people in Washington state to use gender segregated locker rooms and bathrooms in public buildings that correspond with their gender presentation.   Trans people have had their human rights covered in the state since 2006, and the December 26 ruling by the state's Human Rights Commission was simply a clarification of that anti-discrimination law.

Sen. Michael Baumgartner, R-Spokane, center, chairs a hearing of the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash., as Sen. John Braun, R-Chehalis, right, and Sen. Bob Hasegawa, D-Seattle, left, look on, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016. The committee was hearing testimony opposing and supporting a bill that would eliminate Washington’s new rule allowing transgender people use gender-segregated bathrooms and locker rooms in public buildings consistent with their gender identity.
But now that it's GOP policy to transphobically attack by legislative means the human rights of trans people, you could smell this legislative caca coming.

While this unjust bill may pass in the Republican controlled Senate, it is DOA when it arrives in the Democratically controlled House.   House Bill 2589, its companion bill and HB 2782, another transphobic bill that was filed to also attack the Human Rights Commission ruling, is bottled up in the House Judiciary Committee chaired by Rep Laurie Jinkins (D-Tacoma) and she has made it clear that neither unjust bill will get a hearing in her committee.

Even if by some miracle either did get out of committee and pass the House, Governor Jay Inslee (D) is waiting with his pen to veto it.

A group of people opposing a bill that would eliminate Washington’s new rule allowing transgender people use gender-segregated bathrooms and locker rooms in public buildings consistent with their gender identity listen to questions from lawmakers after they testified during a public hearing, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016, in a Washington Senate hearing room at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. At right is Tyler Stewart, of Olympia, who identified himself as a transgender man.
Don't panic yet Washington trans community. The haters won a battle.  They haven't won the war, and as long as y'all stay vigilant and handle your legislative business in Olympia they won't.

You may wish to get busy writing and calling your state senators and urging them to oppose Senate Bill 6443 and calling or e-mailing your House reps to urge them to do the same and kill House Bill 2782.

You may also wish to call or write Rep Jinkins, Sen Bob Hasegawa (D-Seattle), Sen. Steve Conway (D-Tacoma) and Sen. Karen Keiser (D-Kent) and thank them for standing up for your human rights.

And FYI, trans Washington, when these human rights heroes and sheroes run for reelection, kick them some T-bills and do whatever it takes to ensure they stay in Olympia defending your rights.

You also need to give Danni Askini of the Gender Justice League some love for also standing up to fight for the human rights of trans Washingtonians.

Then once the session is over y'all need to punish the haters and support your friends at the ballot box.

ATLAH Hate Church Going Up For Sale

 The pastor may loose his church to a foreclosure auction because of unpaid debts, court documents show.
In some news out of New York that will get your weekend off to a great start, the Harlem based ATLAH World Church of hate pastor James David Manning has been ordered by a New York state judge to go up for public auction because of unpaid debts totaling  $1.02 million.

According to DNAInfo, the public foreclosure auction will be taking place on February 24, for those of you in the New York area wanting to gleefully celebrate the occasion..

The frequent Shut Up Fool Award nominee has let loose with SUF award worthy commentary over the years by claiming that Starbucks laces its lattes with 'sodomite semen', and let fly the comment that Justin Bieber is a 'transgender man' among the other hate gems he has unleashed on his YouTube channel

Well, instead of making YouTube videos, he should have been working on paying the bills to keep his hate church open.   He has nine federal tax liens dating back to 2002 totaling $355,000, owes New York state $28,000 and creditors $30,000.

Couldn't happen to a nicer christobigot.   I would love to see the karmic justice of someone buying that hate church and turning it into an LGBT center.

But have February 24 circled on my calendar to see what happens.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Not Happy About GLAAD Chopping The Best Blog Awards Category

GLAAD, annual, media, awards, 2016, 27th, movies, film, TV
When GLAAD announced their nominees for their upcoming media awards shows in Los Angeles and New York, there was a glaring admission in the 2016 edition of the awards.


My blog is celebrating its 10th anniversary (January 1) in continuous operation as one of the few Black owned media outlets that centers the voices of trans persons of color and talks about trans history from our perspective..  

As a former nominee for that Best Blog award in 2014, I am not liking the decision, whoever made it, to cut the blogging award category.

Even when TransGriot was nominated in 2014, I felt like we were treated like media stepchildren by not even having our blogging award given during the televised feed. That's why when I was a finalist in 2014, my behind was in Dallas, TX at the BTAC conference being enveloped in my community's love instead of New York at the GLAAD awards ceremony being snubbed.

There seems to be this disconnect concerning just how much impact bloggers have in driving the media conversation about TBLG issues and the movement as a whole.  Since my blog is the only one that unapologetically discusses issues from a Black trans perspective and has done so for a decade, it is considered a credible news source to mainstream journalists and the LGBT big box outlets that do get nominated for awards.  The fact I have been an activist for now approaching 18 years also makes my blog unique and gives me more credibility when I opine about LGBT activism issues.

I can't tell you how many pictures I joyfully took or conversations I had with young LGBT kids at the recent Creating Change in Chicago that grew up reading TransGriot.  In addition to having conversations with the next generation of our movement, and my fellow LGBT journalists, they thanked me for writing the over 9000+ posts I have written over the last ten years telling it like it T-I-S is about our community.

And speaking of my fellow LGBT journalists, looking forward to sharing space with them in Baltimore for the upcoming LGBT Media Journalists Convening in March.

It's also important to have media outlets that are not centered in Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco or New York since the vast majority of  LGBT people don't live there but in cities and rural areas in what is derisively called 'flyover country'.   It is also vitally important to have trans media voices of color breaking down stories from their perspectives.  The more diverse voices we have on the ground to inform our community, the better.

I didn't get into writing TransGriot for the awards.  It simply started as a way for me to have a real time way back in 2006 on commenting on the issues of the day when I was writing a then two year old monthly column at a Louisville-based regional LGBT newspaper.  TransGriot the blog became bigger than and enhanced the readership of TransGriot the newspaper column until it ended in 2007.

It was also founded because I saw the necessity of having an unapologetically Black trans centered blog talking about the issues of the day from a trans perspective.

But it sure is nice when the hard work you put into making sure your blog is a credible news source is recognized by your peers.

It's interesting for me to note my GLAAD media trained self gets quoted in news stories inside and outside the LGBT community, and so do my Twitter comments from time to time.

If anyone doubts my impact on community conversations or the news cycle, ask the Houston Pride Committee just how much impact my blog 'nobody reads' had when it came to generating the media publicity storm that resulted in getting them to change their misguided decision to move the Houston Pride date to Juneteenth.   I also pointed out mistakes made during the coverage by those same LGBT national outlets GLAAD wants to honor about the HERO fight that was playing out in my Houston backyard.

And before the bigger outlets started doing so, it was yours truly chronicling the deaths of Black trans women, calling people out about the disrespectful transphobic news coverage, chronicling Black trans history, and talking about the history of why HRC is loathed by many in Trans World.

My readers include in addition to high school and college peeps, Houston, Washington D.C. and Texas politicians, various people in my old Louisville stomping grounds, TBLG leaders around the country and the world, and educators at the high school and collegiate levels.

I have been told by various college professors across the country that some of my TransGriot posts have been used in their classes when they wish to talk about and teach trans issues during their gender studies classes.  

2014, 2015 GLAAD Media Award Nominee  - Outstanding Blog

And more seriously, so far I have had five people privately tell me that reading some of my posts that focus on empowerment and trans pride on TransGriot kept them from committing suicide.

But I agree with my fellow former two time GLAAD nominee Alvin McEwen that eliminating the Best Blog category sends a negative message.  It's not only short sighted to those of us who toil in the blogging world with little to no compensation at times to ensure that the voices of marginalized LGBT people here and around the world are heard, it's also a mistake.

And it's a mistake I hope they rectify next year.

Brazilian Trans Day Of Visibility Is Tomorrow

Because of Carnaval, a long list of trans models gracing their local and world's fashion runways like Roberta Close, Lea T, Carol Marra and Felipa Tavares, and a national healthcare system that includes trans specific care up to SRS, Brazil is seen by those of us living in the US as a trans friendly country.

But sadly, because of the confluence of a Roman Catholic faith that has been poisoned by anti-trans attitudes injected to it at the Vatican level,  large Pentecostal megachurch pastors in Brazil spreading hatred of trans people combined with the lack of non-discrimination laws at the federal and state levels, the Brazilian trans community has been hit with an off the charts level of anti-trans murders, abuse and discrimination.

Brazil's trans women are still catching hell.  And it needs to stop.

File:Map of Brazil with flag.svg
While so far here in the US in 2016 after a record setting year of trans murders for us we haven't had a trans sister killed yet (and I pray it stays that way for a while) that is not the case in Brazil.

In just this month alone, according to Aleika Barros, 40 trans women have been killed in Brazil in January. That is double the number of trans women we lost in the entire US over all of 2015, and unfortunately means that if this pattern continues,by the time we have this year's TDOR, Brazil will once again lead the world in genocidal levels of violence aimed at trans women living there..

According to Aleika, between 2008 and 2014, 604 Brazilian trans women have been murdered, and sadly, they are on their way to another murderous year.  Our trans Brazilian sisters are tired of it, and so am I.

Tomorrow is the Trans Day of Visibility in Brazil, which has been celebrated there on this January 29 date since 2004.  This is one Brazilian Trans Day of Visibility in which I hope trans Brazilians will not only emphatically point out that they are citizens of their country whose humanity needs to be recognized, but that their human rights need to be protected at the local, state and national level.

And their murders need to end.

I hope and pray their fellow cisgender Brazilians look into their hearts, join with trans Brazilians and resolve to work in tandem with the Brazilian trans community to bring those unacceptable levels of anti-trans murders to zero.

TransGriot Note: Photos are of Brazilan trans woman Aleika Barros

30th Anniversary Of Challenger Disaster

Today is the 30th anniversary of the space shuttle Challenger disaster.   It ,exploded 73 seconds after it was launched from Cape Canaveral on a chilly January 28, 1986 winter day with a large live TV audience of schoolchildren looking on in horror.

One of the people who was part of that Challenger crew on that STS-51L mission was Sharon Christa McAuliffe, a Concord, NH schoolteacher who was set to become the first civilian launched into space and was going to once the shuttle got into orbit do some teaching from space.

But that broadcast never happened.  The collapse of the external fuel tank caused an explosion that broke the shuttle apart and sent the crew cabin in a fall from 46,000 feet altitude to the Atlantic Ocean below that killed all seven crew members.

Space Shuttle Challenger crew members gather for an official portrait November 11, 1985 in an unspecified location. (Back, L-R) Mission Specialist Ellison S. Onizuka, Teacher-in-Space participant Sharon Christa McAuliffe, Payload Specialist Greg Jarvis and mission specialist Judy Resnick. (Front, L-R) Pilot Mike Smith, commander Dick Scobee and mission specialist Ron McNair. (Photo by NASA/Getty Images)

The mission crew that perished that day were Mission Specialist Ellison Onizuka, Teacher In Space Christa McAuliffe, Payload Specialist Greg Jarvis, Mission Specialist Judy Resnik, Pilot Mike Smith, Mission commander Dick Scobee, and Mission Specialist Ron McNair.

Like the 1963 Kennedy assassination or the September 2001 terror attacks, people of my generation and who were kids watching the launch in their classrooms across the nation remember what they were doing when it happened at 10:39 AM CST.

I was getting ready for a job interview, and my space junkie self had forgotten for a moment that the launch was happening after two prior postponements.   So I flipped the TV on CNN and was listening to the commentary as I got dressed.

The CNN commentators hadn't mentioned the explosion at the time I turned on the television, and I said to myself, "'Damn, the way they're talking, something must have happened to the Challenger."

Challenger Photo Montage.jpg
A few minutes later I would see the horrific video of that shuttle launch gone horribly wrong.  The shuttles were grounded for nearly three years as NASA and the Rogers Commission sought to find out what happened and make the necessary corrections to the shuttle's design to make it safer.

It was later determined that the cold snap that affected the Cape Canaveral area plus a design flaw in one of the solid rocket boosters combined with violations of NASA launch procedures and protocols caused the accident.

As President Ronald Reagan said in his speech to the nation that night, "The future doesn't belong to the faint-hearted; it belongs to the brave.  The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future and we'll continue to follow them."

And may the souls of the Challenger 7 continue to rest in power and peace, and inspire this generation and future ones to continue to look to the stars.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Happy Fran Watson Day!

Many of us were not aware of it, but today Houston GLBT Caucus president Fran Watson was given another honor in what has started out to be an amazing year for her.

In addition to her historic election as the first African-American female president in the history of the Caucus, today she received at her inauguration celebration event a gavel from Texas state Senator John Whitmire (D) and a city of Houston proclamation signed by Mayor Sylvester Turner (D) and presented to her by Councilmember Robert Gallegos declaring today as Fran Watson Day!

Whereas, founded in 1975, the Houston GLBT Political Caucus is one of the oldest LGBT civil rights organizations in the south. The Houston GLBT Political Caucus continues to be the City of Houston's primary organization working to advance equality for all LGBT Houstonians and,

Whereas, the Houston GLBT Political Caucus has been led by 30 past presidents. The election of Fran Watson as president marks the first election of an African American woman; and,
Whereas, Fran Watson has distinguished herself in the struggle for equal rights for all people through her tireless advocacy efforts organizing around LGBT equality, supporting homeless LGBT youth, working to combat the mistreatment of people of color through the Black Lives Matter movement, organizing to protect the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance and engaging communities of faith in support of social justice; and,
Whereas, on January 27, 2016, Fran Watson will be honored for her commitment to the advancement of LGBT Houstonians. The City of Houston commends Fran Watson and extends best wishes for her continued success.
Therefore, I, Sylvester Turner, Mayor of the City of Houston, hereby proclaim January 27, 2016, as Fran Watson Day in Houston, Texas.

Congratulations, Fran!  Hope this is just the first of many well deserved honors you receive as one of our trailblazing community leaders I have mad love, respect and admiration for.

Happy Fran Watson Day!

Roland Martin Drops The Mic On Stacey Dash

Image result for Roland martin on Stacey dash

Stacey Dash has sadly had the wash set and GOP cranial rinse to become a FOX fembot, and has been cooning it up lately on FOX Noise.

She was recently unleashed by her paymasters to say some monumentally stupid and hypocritical comments about BET, Black Hollywood and Black media in general that paid her bills for decades before she started taking pundit checks from FOX Noise.

Well you know my ascot wearing Houston homeboy Roland Martin wasn't having it, and delivered this recent smackdown on her azz.


Why Were Y'all 'Scurred' Of This Trans Attracted Men Panel?

'I refuse to believe that there's something wrong with a man that is attracted to me, the way that I am'.
--Bryanna Jenkins

Still not happy about the bull feces that transpired in Chicago last week that resulted in the shutdown of the Trans Attracted men panel that was supposed to take place during NBJC's Black Institute.

The peeps who shut it down were high fiving themselves and cheesing for the cameras after they did so, but now that the backlash from their ill thought out action is smacking their millennial asses in the face, now they are furiously trying to moonwalk and spin their way out of it.

Naw boo boo kitties.  Too late now.

But the questions I and a lot of people have been asking in the wake of this action is what was the real reason motivating them to shut down this trans attracted men panel in the first place?  Why was that cadre of Black trans women so 'scurred' of trans attracted men telling their stories and their truths as they see them?  

Bryanna Jenkins has an interesting take on it that I agree with that I'm going to piggyback off of it.

But I still have to ask the question why were they so  'scurred' of the trans attracted men panel enough to launch a shut down protest of it?  And spare me the lies you used to attempt to justify last Thursday's action.

I would love to find out how many of those #CC16 protest girls were post op.  I agree there are post ops who are chasing pseudo cis privilege and believe because they have genital surgery, they are 'better than' pre-op or non-op trans women.  That divide combined with unacknowledged dysphoria around our trans feminine bodies causes problems in our trans feminine ranks.

Bottom line ladies, is the Religious Reich doesn't care whether we identify as pre-op, post-op or non-op.  They hate all of us with a foaming at the mouth passion and if they had their way, would like nothing better than to throw us into detention camps and forcibly make us all detransition.

Back to the post.  

What the trans attracted men conversation would have done had it been allowed to happen would have been to blow that pseudo cis privilege up and many assumptions trans women base their lives on.  It would have revealed that yes, some trans attracted men prefer non-op or pre-op trans women, and perusing Craigslist would easily back that assertion up.  It's also worth noting that the number one type of porn that flies off the shelves is porn featuring non-op or pre-op trans women .

That  trans attracted man conversation would have allowed them to declare to the world they unconditionally love us, and that there is nothing wrong or shame inducing in doing so.

It would have allowed them to call out the trans attracted men who are abusive to their mates or have killed their partners.  And that conversation would have allowed us to hear from their own mouths what is going on in the minds of trans attracted men and how they see us.

It would also give us a window into how the trans attracted man thinks.

And as Cheryl Courtney-Evans said in a comment she posted on Bryanna's page, "This conversation desperately needs to be had...the more this is discussed with our male supporters, the less stigma will be attached to our relationships in general, which adds to the value of ALL our lives. "

Amen Cheryl!

But that conversation didn't happen Thursday. However what you misguided trans women did do is create demand for those necessary trans attracted men conversations to be held across the country

So some of y'all can be 'scurred' all you want and try to spin what you did as `defending your sisters`   What y`all did was stifle a conversation from happening, and no amount of spin will kill the reality of that,

While you were temorarily successful in doing so, the trans adults in the room are willing ready and eager  to hear that adult conversation y`all created through your action more interest in around the country.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

2016 Williams Watch- Serena To The Australian Open Semis!

The 2016 Australian Open keeps rolling to its conclusion, and Serena Williams is still on track to claim her seventh Australian Open title, her 22nd Grad Slam title to tie Steffi Graf overall, and start a run at a Golden Slam.

But standing in the way in the quarterfinal round was a woman she'd beaten 17 straight times in fifth seeded Maria Sharapova of Russia.   The last time she'd lost to Sharapova was in 2004, and since then it's been all Serena all the time

This one started out with Serena getting off to a slow start and dropping her initial service game to get into an 0-2 hole and get her haters around the wold salivating.  But she eventually got it to 4-4 and after a tense four deuce game held to take the lead and eventually break Sharapova to take the first set.  

Serena then kicked it into A+ level and rolled to a 4-0 lead before Sharapova broke the five game un by holding serve.  But Serena once again held her serve and broke Sharapova to win the match in straight sets 6-4, 6-1.   It was the 18th straight win for Little Sis and the seventh straight time in their non rivalry she'd beaten Sharapova in straight sets.

Next up in the semis for Serena is fourth seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland who sent #10 seeded Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain to the sidelines in straight sets 6-1, 6-3.

If she handles her semifinal business, these are the potential opponents who could be standing between her and her seventh Australian Open title.

That half of the quarterfinal bracket has #14 seeded Victoria Azarenka facing off against #7 seeded German Angelique Kerber, and giant killers Johanna Konta of Great Britain and qualifier Zhang Shuhai of China in the other quarterfinal.

The winners will face off in the semis to determine who that finalist will be.

TransGriot Update: The other semi will be Angelique Kerber and Johanna Konta.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Do You Wish To Be A Trans Leader Or A Trans Pariah?

As many of you have heard by now, there was a protest jumped off by a cadre of millennial trans women and their supporters during the NBJC Black Institute at Creating Change in Chicago on Thursday

The reason, as the group of protesters claimed, was not to 'hold people accountable' or 'support their trans sister', the purpose of it from the beginning was aimed at shutting down the Trans Attracted Men panel discussion that was set to happen organized by Tona Brown and Bryanna Jenkins.

That action turned ugly when NBJC's executive director and CEO Sharon Lettman Hicks was dismissively told to 'sit down and shut up' by protester Aaryn Lang, and other people in the room were disrespected as well like TPOCC Founding ED Kylar Broadus by the protesters.

While I was also one of the peeps they disrespected, and I thank everyone for their calls, hugs during CC16 and expressions of concern that are still coming in, this post is not about me.   It is about this disturbing pattern I have witnessed over the last two years of Northeastern and Midwest based young Black trans women who seem to think (and know who they are) that it's okay to exhibit Jerry Springeresque nekulturny behavior in conference spaces where we come and invest time and money in those spaces to learn and facilitate the introductions necessary to help build and sustain a national human rights movement.

I'm tired of the off the chains bad behavior along with other Black trans elders who have sacrificed much to ensure your generation of trans women could be you at ages earlier than we could ever dream of, and have less obstacles to face as you did so.

And what irritates us is that you are squandering that blessing paid for with the blood of your fallen trans sisters while embarrassing yourselves and the Black trans feminine community as a whole

The facts as I was able to determine before posting this were that the protest group never attempted to talk to Tona, Bryanna, or anyone in NBJC about their concerns, and it is increasingly apparent that the charge they have leveled at one of the panelists, has increasingly become highly questionable.

Yes boo boo kitties, I saw the police report.

Ladies, one of the tenets of a protest is that before you put your ass and reputation on the line to militantly protest something. make sure that the stuff you are allegedly protesting for actually happened before you start it.   If it turns out to be false, your credibility is shot.

As my sis Kim Watson so eloquently stated, 'You do not go in the line of fire based on lies'.

But back to the panel.   There were people in that room who spent money on conference registration fees, travel to Chicago, hotels and their valuable time to see that panel.  Your sisters Tona and Bryanna organized it, and it was being held in one of the few unapologetically Black spaces in that Creating Change Conference hotel in the NBJC Black Institute.

It was sponsored by an org that has had Black trans women's backs since Sharon Lettman-Hicks became the ED/CEO of that organization in the National Black Justice Coalition and the Kylar Broadus founded Trans Persons of Color Coalition.

The NBJC Black Institute attendees have every right to be pissed about not seeing that panel, much less a group of ungrateful children disrupting the NBJC Black Institute   You selfishly suppressed a conversation that needed to happen, and may have revealed insights into the mindset of trans attracted men that may help us reduce the numbers of our trans sisters being murdered.  

But y'all didn't give a rats anus about the people in that room gathered to see and hear that conversation or that were triggered as violence or sexual assault survivors by your actions.  You ate NBJC's deep dish pizza and then proceeded to crap on them afterwards.

You can try to justify that mess with that BS 'taking the space that is rightfully ours' mantra all you want, whatever in the hell that means, stroke your egos, but the end result is what you did was wrong and phucked up.  If you wish to continue down the trans pariah path that Ashley Love and Mariah Lopez occupy, be my guest, because that is exactly where you six peeps are heading right now.

And far from shutting that conversation down, there is even more desire and determination to see the trans attracted men chat happen.

While y'all were preening for the cameras, the right wing is introducing legislation to dehumanize us in several states and make it a criminal offense to be trans.

And the question I have for you six is simply this.  Do you wish to be a trans leader or a trans pariah? Choose wisely.

I understand y'all wish to be like the trans Latinas and have an organized, national movement.  But the trans Latinas also have discipline in their ranks, short and long range plans, don't disrespect their elders and diss each other on social media.   If they have beef with each other, they take it offline and squash it.

We have real work to do to build an intergenerational sustained Black trans movement.  I'm down to mentor people who wish to lead that movement and collectively give our people the representation they deserve.

If you wish to be part of that and want that to happen, great.  If you wish to keep mess and confusion going in Black Trans World, I'm not down for that and y'all can step aside.

As y'all step aside and descend to pariah status, the real leaders in Black Trans World can get on with the business of leading our community, fighting all who would seek to dehumanize and oppress us.

They are also tasked with educating our allies and enlightening all who wish to learn about trans issues from a Black perspective, and not embarrass our community at the same time.