Thursday, March 31, 2016

Counting My Trans Visibility Blessings

On April 4 I celebrate the day 22 years ago that I walked into my then airline job and began a nerve wracking first week being out and unapologetically Black and trans in the middle of Houston Intercontinental Airport Terminal C's gates.  That first long week turned into two weeks, then a month, and before I knew it I was a year into being me. .  

Now two decades plus two years have passed, and since today is the 2016 edition of the Trans Day of Visibility I wanted to talk about the blessings of being out and unapologetically trans because we hear far too often in the media the negatives, especially when it comes to trans women of color..

The first blessing is finally being able to live comfortable in my own skin and body.  Once you are able to do that, the rest of your life begins to emotionally fall into place. You stand taller, are more confident as you body matches on the outside what you have long known and felt inside.  You are willing to be a participant in life and not a spectator.  You are more willing to chase those dreams you put on hold because prior to living your trans truth a paralyzing fear hung over you like a dark cloud.

Transition makes that dark cloud go away.

You still have to deal with all the other issues that crop up that are germane to your new gender presentation along with life's curveballs.  You will have to get adjusted to dealing with all the societal baggage that comes with the new gender role, but it is an assignment you are eagerly willing to take on because it is necessary for you to do so in order to grow and evolve as a person.

One of the first things you discover is that your family expands in terms of the international network of trans brothers and sisters you begin to meet online, at regional and national conferences, board meetings, collegiate and other panel discussions, trans social groups and community meetings..

Some of those people are the famous and legendary folks that are my role models, while others may just be beginning their journey and look to you as a possibility model.

I have also met athletes, politicians, academics, journalists, writers and other wonderful people along the way that if I wasn't my fab unapologetic visible Black trans self, I doubt I would have been in the necessary situations in order for those meetings to happen.  

And the best part is many of those people I have met over the last 22 years I call my friends.  The fact that my friends are international, multigenerational and diverse in scope means that my thinking doesn't get stagnant and mired in an American-centric world view.

The same is true of cis allies.  Over the last two decades I have met some amazing people inside and outside the advocacy world.   Some are now part of my current sistahcircle, while others for various reasons were in my life for a short time period so that as I figured out later, to teach me specific life lessons I needed to learn before they moved on.   There are others who were once in my life, we got separated for a while, and now they are back to help me gain insights necessary for my current life journey.

As for my sistacircle, they are a intergenerational and multiethnic group of cis and trans women who keep my butt grounded in reality.  My sistahfriends are there with helpful advice, to get me out of a depressed mood when I'm down, celebrate my successes, be brutally honest when I need to step it up and give me a swift motivational kick in the behind when necessary.

They also ensure that I don't get Big Head Syndrome.

The cis women in my sistahcircle ensure that in addition to checking any drift toward BHS, I don't start overthinking or trying too hard when it comes to being my fabulous femme self since they have been navigating life in female bodies since birth.

My sistafriends also keep me on track in fulfilling the promise I made to several of my cis feminine work colleagues back in 1994 when I transitioned that I would be a compliment and not a detriment to Black womanhood

So what are the other benefits of being my unapologetic Black trans self?  Those peeps who knew me before transition and are still in my life have noted that I'm happier than I was two decades ago.  I know I'm much healthier now that I've come out of the trans flagged closet, and I eagerly look forward to seeing what each day will bring.  I am working diligently towards making some of the dreams I put on hold come true, and working on making others happen.

How much healthier?  Within two months after beginning to live visibly trans, my blood pressure came down noticeably despite me working in the same stress inducing airline job.

So while I have laments and complaints that could fill another 700+ word post, the reality for me is that when I sit back and do some hard solid thinking about it, the trans visibility blessings far outweigh the negatives.

Happy Trans Day Of Visibility 2016!

Today is the Trans Day of Visibility on our side of the International Date Line.  It is a rapidly growing day founded by Rachel Crandall in which we trans folks around the globe celebrate every March 31 being our fabulous selves, and demand that our humanity and human rights be respected and protected.

Unlike last year, when I spent the Transgender Day of Visibility at a White House trans women of color policy briefing event, this year I'm in the Houston city limits for TDOV..

In light of the Republican anti-trans legislative assault we are enduring in several states right now and loud calls from elements of the white gay male community to kick trans people to the political curb for their own selfish gain, #TDOV2016 couldn't come at a more critical time for our American trans community and our trans brothers and sisters around the globe.

Trans rights are human rights. Our humanity as trans people is not up for theological debate or discussion. Deal with it.

We're not only tired of it in Trans World, we're tired of the attempts of Republican politicians to legislate anti-trans bigotry or using it as a Trojan Horse to repeal human rights coverage for everyone.  And we damned sure aren't as trans elders tolerating attacks on our trans younglings. We will go to war to protect our trans kids and ensure they have a better life than we trans elders did.

And yes GOP, as you'll find out on November 8, we trans people vote.

We trans people are also tired of anti-trans bigotry and hatred being peddled in our TBLGIQ community ranks and it's past time to eradicate it.  Now more than ever, we need our cis family and friends to stand up and declare in one voice that they love their trans family and friends, and will unconditionally love, support and stand with them.

My trans brothers and sisters are beautifully human and part of the diverse mosaic of humanity, and #TDOV2016 is another chance to drive that point home.

Happy Trans Day of Visibility, everyone!  .I hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to support the trans community by attending a Transgender Day of Visibility event happening in your various locales today.


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

50th Anniversary Of The Final Four Game That Changed History

The NCAA Men's Final Four comes to my hometown this weekend.  How apropos is it that we're hosting the game at NRG Stadium at a time in which we also are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1966 Final Four title game between Texas Western (now UTEP) and number one ranked Kentucky that changed not only history, but had a major impact of how NCAA men's basketball is played today.

The story is also depicted in the 2006 movie Glory Road.

That Final Four game played on March 19, 1966 pitted the number four ranked Miners against the Adolph Rupp coached Wildcat team that had NBA legends Pat Riley and Louie Dampier in their lineup.

It's also a point of pride for us in Houston because David Lattin, one of the starters in that historic NCAA title game is from here.  That game also marked the first time that five African-Americans started in an NCAA title game,and they were playing against a one loss Kentucky team with an all white lineup.  

While that is something we don't even think about in 2016, because the SEC and the now disbanded Texas-Arkansas based Southwest Conference were segregated and refused to recruit Black players, this was a big deal in 1966.  It was also a big deal because in addition to this seminal title game being played with the African-American Civil Rights Movement as a backdrop, there were less than complimentary stereotypes about Black basketball players at the time as well.   The Texas Western players also faced in their 27-1 title run racism from fans, other players and referees as they marched toward their date with destiny.

David Lattin, Bobby Joe Hill, Orsten Artis, Harry Flournoy and Willie Worsley shocked the world by upsetting the heavily favored Wildcats 72-65
It's also cool to note that David Lattin's grandson, Khadeem Lattin ( and whose mother BTW is WNBA Houston Comets legend Monica Lamb) playing for the Oklahoma Sooners, one of the four teams competing for the NCAA title here in Houston this weekend
Image result for final four houston

 It is also fitting that during this weekend in which the Final Four returns to the Lone Star State, the 1966 NCAA championship team will be honored at halftime.on Saturday.

As I said in my 45th anniversary TransGriot post concerning that historic game, the Texas Western players that night in Cole Field House on the University of Maryland campus were playing not only for a title, they were playing for the dignity of a people.

They also ended up with their win,.changing NCAA college basketball forever.

MAJOR! H-town Premiere On Saturday

The MAJOR! documentary makes its debut in H-town this Saturday at 2 PM CDT during the Queer Hippo International LGBT Film Festival at the Houston Museum of African American Culture that runs from April 1-3.

The Houston Museum of African American Culture is located at 4807 Caroline Street in the Museum District, and looking forward to seeing this much anticipated documentary when it makes its Houston debut and I hope that LGBT Houston shows up to watch this movie about one of my Black trans elders that I have much love and respect for.

See y'all Saturday.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Trans Woman Sexually Assaulted At Stonewall Inn

To cap off last week being one of the worst weeks for trans kind in the US with the passage of the unjust HB 2 and anti-trans legislation percolating in Kansas and Minnesota, comes word out of New York that a 25 year old trans woman was sexually assaulted in the Stonewall Inn.

Yes, the same Stonewall Inn in which trans women jumped off the modern TBLG rights movement and is a national historical landmark

The 25 year old survivor told police she went into a single person stall at 11:40 PM EDT Saturday night and a man barged in behind her claiming he needed to wash his hands.  The man then groped the trans woman and sexually assaulted her before running out of the Greenwich Village area bar.

But when you hear right wing fundies, the TERF's, GOP legislators, FOX Noise and other conservafool media pundits flap their loud and wrong gums to demonize us, it's trans women who are the predators.

Um no.  This is just one concrete example of trans women being the prey, not the alleged sexual predators.

Stonewall Sex Assault Suspect
This waste of DNA is being sought by NYPD in connection with the crime.  The NYPD Special Victims Division has interviewed the survivor, several witnessed and gotten video sufficient enough to identify the perpetrator of this crime.

 Note the sexual predator wasn't in drag when he committed his heinous crime either.

According to my NYC area trans peeps, the perp also frequents another New York area club called The Hangar.

If you have any information like that which will help speed up the apprehension of this criminal, please call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577 TIPS (8477)

Hopefully this sexual predator he will be sitting in jail soon for his crime, and I'll keep you apprised of this story as i get mere details.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Hell No To Incremental Progress 2.0, Shannon Gilreath

Why am I not surprised that a white gay male would post something in Huff Po Queer Voices in the wake of the passage of the unjust HB 2 making the call once again for not only Incremental Progress 2.0, but dumping trans folks from the movement we have and are still currently shedding blood for?

It's obvious in the wake of the conservative movement being pissed off they lost on gay marriage that trans people are under legislative assault by bitter right wing bigots.   Now is not the time to call for trans people to be kicked to the political curb.

Not no, but hell no Shannon Gilreath and every other selfish white gay male thinking in that single minded 'dump the tr****es'  fashion. We trans folks will not be 'waiting our turn'.  Our people are paying in blood for our right to exist and the time to fight for our human rights is now.

We heard the same selfish calls for 'incremental progress' in Houston when HERO hit a rough patch prior to its May 2014 passage.  Our coalition that included trans folks like myself held and was rewarded with an inclusive human rights ordinance.  We lost HERO because of partisan GOP politics and Houston trans folks didn't get the opportunity to fight our lying detractors head on among other reasons.

Blaming the trans community is not only disingenuous, but is self serving victim blaming at its finest.  You want to blame someone for HB 2, put it squarely on the shoulders of the North Carolina legislative GOP bigots and Dixiecrat enablers that gleefully proposed and passed with lightning speed the unjust legislation.

We trans folks also know from our painful examination of our history that GL folks have a less than sterling track record when it pertains to 'coming back for the trans community'.  Wisconsin trans folks have been waiting since 1982 for you to come back for them to pass non-discrimination protections you have enjoyed in that state for three decades.  With Scott Walker (R) and a GOP controlled legislature now ensconced in the Badger State, unfortunately we'll be waiting a little longer for that trans inclusive non-discrimination legislation. .

In New York, my trans brothers and sisters have been waiting for statewide human rights coverage since 2002, and a death bed promise to Sylvia Rivera to keep us in the proposed SONDA bill was violated to make a gay only bill pass.   We were thrown under the legislative bus then, and trans folks in New York are still waiting for GENDA to not only pass, but get the same money, time, media coverage and maximum effort you expended to pass marriage equality and the gay only rights laws you have enjoyed for over a decade.

Just as the gay and lesbian community pushed hard to make marriage equality a national push in 2003, we trans folks need in 2016 to have our human rights codified into law in all 50 states. We can't afford as trans people to wait for that to happen any longer.  Neither can our trans kids.who are under legislative attack by these right wing legislative bigots you wish to abandon us to.

Neither can the trans community no longer have our basic human rights based on executive orders and favorable administrative policy changes. They must be based on and backed by legislation.  Those same positive administrative policy changes or executive orders that a Democratic POTUS or governor used the stroke of a pen to enact can be taken away with the same stroke of a GOP POTUS or governor's pen.

Trans rights are human rights.  If our human rights as trans persons aren't secure, as Houston and now North Carolina are ample witness to, your human rights as a gay person aren't secure either.

Had A Wonderful Easter Weekend With The Trans Kids!

Easter Weekend 2016 has faded into the history books, and now that the calendar is moving inexorably toward April, time to look forward after a week that was less than positive on the trans human rights front for our community.

And in this week in which a GOP controlled state legislature went there and took direct legislative aim at these kids seeking to legislate them out of existence, stuff couldn't be more real in terms of the stakes of the battle we are waging against the Forces of Trans Intolerance.

It's a battle we must win.

I and Dee Dee Watters had the opportunity to check out a Gender Infinity family gathering event Saturday afternoon at the Council on Recovery building near downtown Houston.  It was an honor and a pleasure to watch these trans and gender non conforming kids get to meet others like them, have fun, and for a little while just do the things other kids take for granted.

It was also cool getting to see Dr. Colt Keo-Meier, Becca Keo-Meier, Heather Simpson, Mel Gonzales
and see other old friends in the community.   I also had the pleasure of meeting some Houston area trans parents along with their supportive family members and friends.

For a moment, as I watched the trans younglings play and engage in team building exercises, I  thought about how different my life would have been if  had been able to have a childhood like theirs.

But being around those trans kids reminded me of why I have been fighting for now 18 years to advance the human rights of trans people so that all our trans kids have o do is dream big, make them come true and be the best human beings they can be.

Being around the trans kids, being hugged by them and getting thank yous from the parents for being part of the team that killed the Texas anti-trans bills in 2015 put a smile on my face, and looking forward to the next time I can spend some quality time with the trans younglings.

So yep, thanks to our trans kids, it was a wonderful Easter weekend.

Lawsuit Filed Against Unjust NC Anti-Trans Bill

In some good news after a horrible legislative week for trans kind, a lawsuit was filed in federal court today against the unjust HB 2 anti-trans bill.

Lambda Legal, Equality NC,  the ACLU, ACLU-NC  and three individuals filed suit against the unjust bill that nullified local civil rights ordinances and attempts to enact Jim Crow style bathroom restrictions upon trans North Carolinians and trans visitors to the state.

“By singling out LGBT people for disfavored treatment and explicitly writing discrimination against transgender people into state law, H.B. 2 violates the most basic guarantees of equal treatment and the U.S. Constitution,” the lawsuit argues.

The complaint argues the law violates people’s equal protection, privacy, and liberty rights under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and their civil rights under Title IX of the Education Act of 1972. The lawsuit is asking for a declaratory judgment that the law violates the Constitution and Title IX and an injunction against enforcement of the law.

We'll see how this case plays out as it winds its way through the federal court system.

TransGriot Update:  NC AG Roy Cooper, who is running as the Democratic candidate for North Carolina's governor, announced that he would not be defending the unjust HB 2 law in court.

Countdown To BTAC 2016 Has Started

BTAC2016 sd flyer 300
We are less than 30 days from the start of the 2016 edition of the Black Trans Advocacy Conference in Dallas and it's one of my favorite events for many reasons.   .

In addition to the fact it happens in my home state, it's one of the few conferences in which we get to see a significant level of visibility of trans masculine participation.  Since 2013 Black trans women have also been an increasingly integral part of the BTAC action with it being an unapologetically Black trans centered conference open to all who wish to attend..

I believe so strongly in the mission of this organization I sit on the Black Transwomen, Inc board.

It also ends around, on or just before my Cuatro de Mayo birthday, so I treat it as an extended birthday celebration week.. And yep, I'll be doing a couple of seminars this year during the event which runs from April 25-May 1.

The keynote speakers for this year's event are Mr. Cris and Dora Santana, and that's just one of the events taking place during an empowering week that included the Awards Gala, the Mr. and Ms. Black Trans International pageants, the Black Diamond Ball, and the eagerly anticipated Family Fun Day.

There's still time for you to make plans to be at BTAC, which is celebrating its fifth year and is moving to a new hotel, the Dallas/Addison Marriott Quorum.

Hope to see y'all in my home state in less than 30 days!  

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Three Western Caucuses Today

There will be three more Democratic caucuses in Alaska, Hawaii and Washington in which the Bernie Sanders folks feel confident they will win all three.  Alaska is worth 20 delegates, Hawaii is worth 35 delegates with Washington being the big prize of 118 delegates. .

Probably will since all three states have a Black population of 3% of less, and the whiter the electorate, the better Bernie does, especially in caucus states..

Even if he sweeps all three states, Hillary Clinton will still carry a big delegate lead into the month of April and the Wisconsin primary on April 5.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Shut Up Fool Awards- GOP Hate Week Edition

It`s Holy Week, the runup to Easter Sunday, the holiest day in Christianity. .

But this year it`s more like Hate Week than Holy Week will all the unjust legislation either being passed or proposed by so called GOP`Christians`.  The GOP presidential candidates are gleefully throwing shade at each other about their wives, and the Republican are doing their usual hate on President Obama shtick in the wake of his historic visit to Cuba.

This Good Friday is anything but good this year.

It`s also Friday, so that means I get to call out some fools today.   Let`s get started shall we?

For Honorable mention number one we go north of the border to as my homegirl Renee Martin calls it, `that wretched province`.    Faux `christian` MA Weible gets the nod for writing a transphobic rap song that is not going number one with a bullet except in the conservative hate ranks.

Look everyone, it's MC Transphobe

Honorable mention number two is Clay Aiken, who unleashed a tweet that cluelessly stated that his loss in his 2014 US House race was more of a problem than the the unjust HB2 passed and signed by his governor.

Really fool?

Honorable mention number three is a joint one for Ted Cruz and Donald Trump for attacking each other`s wives on the GOP presidential campaign trail.

Honorable mention number four is for every Log Cabin Republican trying to ludicrously say there is no difference between the two parties in the wake of the tsunami of condemnation justifiably coming down on the GOP in the wake of the HB2 passage in North Carolina

Honorable mention number five is another group award for the 11 North Carolina Dixiecrats who sold out their constituents and voted for HB 2

Reps. Larry Bell, William Brisson, Elmer Floyd, Ken Goodman, Charles Graham, George Graham, Ed Hanes, Garland Pierce, Robert Reives, Michael Wray names will live in human rights infamy, and all need to be primary challenged and ousted from office.

Honorable mention number six is Nebraska state senator Bill Kintner (R) who suggested that LGBT Nebraskans leave the state if they want human rights coverage.

Naw fool, maybe you need to leave office with a phucked up attitude like that.  Hope Nebraska LGBT voters expedite your legislative retirement on November 8.

Honorable mention number seven is George Will, who worries that Donald Trump will turn the GOP into a party of white people.

Really George?  Too late now.  Should have been worried about that prospect in 1970.  It is now and has been since the Dixiecrats left the Democratic party for the GOP a party of white people, and your party has made it clear no non-whites are welcome in your vanillacentric privileged tent...

This week`s SUF winners is a joint award for the GOP controlled NC General Assembly and Gov Pat McCrory (R) who blitzed the unjust and unconstitutional HB2 through the legislature that McCrory signed.

McCrory keeps reciting the usual BS trying to justify taking away human rights coverage for LGBT North Carolina citizens, but nobody's buying the woof tickets he's selling.

North Carolina based corporations, Duke University, the NAACP, SONG and a growing list of people and organizations ave brought an avalanche of criticism down upon the state.

As for economic boycotts.remains to be seen what happens next.

This gubernatorial fool needs to just shut up already.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

North Carolina Unjustly Legislates Anti-Trans Hate

I have often said that the most dangerous bigots are the ones who have the power to write legislation.  You can also never underestimate the Republican and conservative movement desire to oppress people they hate and what lengths they will go to do it.

That was clearly on display in North Carolina as the Republicans succumbed to their white supremacist oppressor genes and in less that 12 hours, called an expensive $42,000 a day special session of the NC legislature they have controlled since 2010, blitzed the unjust HB 2 bill mandating trans, bi and SGL oppression through both chambers, and NC Governor Pat McCrory (R) wasted no time signing it into law.

11 Democratic traitors joined the Republicans in passing HB 2 through the GOP dominated NC house 83-24, while North Carolina's Democratic senators walked out of the chamber, leaving them to own their legislative bigotry and pass it 32-0.

This unjust law not only takes direct aim at the North Carolina trans community, it mandates discrimination against TBLG people, wipes out local anti-discrimination laws, and prohibits local jurisdictions from enacting non-discrimination protections.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Roy Cooper denounced HB 2 in a video statement.

Yo Caitlyn!  What was that BS about Republicans respecting the human rights of people?.    

This unjust law is an affront to human rights, democracy, and respect for the Constitution that Republicans loudly claim they revere but ignore when it suits their political agenda.

Time for the business community to step up and punish the state for legislating hate.  And yeah, I feel the pain of my North Carolina peeps today in having to witness this unjust process happen.

Okay North Carolina citizens, want revenge against this outrage?  Punish the GOP at the polls on November 8.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Clinton Wins AZ In A Blowout

Three Western states were on the election agenda in last night's Democratic Party presidential primary contest slates in Arizona, Idaho and Utah.    Idaho has 27 delegates available and Utah offers 37 delegates in its caucuses while the big prize of Arizona was a primary election state with 85 delegates available..  

Both sides spent a lot of time and money in the Grand Canyon State courting voters, and when the votes were counted, while Sanders continued his pattern of winning states with overwhelmingly white populations like Utah and Idaho, but failing in a more diverse population state like Arizona.

And once again, the big diverse state prize eluded them as Hillary Clinton won Arizona in a blowout, thus negating the two Sanders caucus wins in Idaho and Utah and and once again to their frustration, not even making a dent in Clinton's 300+ delegate lead be`cause of the YUGE win in Arizona that offsets Sanders twin caucus wins..

Next up on Saturday are three caucuses in Alaska (20 delegates) Hawaii (35 delegates) and Washington with 118 delegates before the primary calendar flips to April and the critical April 5 primary in Wisconsin

But Sec.Clinton to the chagrin of Sanders supporters is getting closer to securing the Democratic nomination that eluded her in 2008, and is doing unto Sanders what was done to her by now President Obama...      

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Unjust Tennessee Anti-Trans Bill Dies In Committee!

Tennessee State Capitol, Credit - Wikimedia
I was alerted by the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition to the introduction of an unjust bill aimed at our trans kids in the Volunteer State.   The latest attempt to legislate anti-trans hate, HB 2414, the Transgender Student Bathroom Harassment Act.was sponsored by Rep Susan Lynn (R- Mount Juliet).

Those of you who live in her district know what to do to her this November.  Vote her butt out of office.

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam (R) had also expressed concerned about what the unjust bill would do to imperil the state's Title IX education funding.

Thanks to the efforts of the TTPC, the Tennessee trans community, our fair minded allies, and the countless other folks who called, showed up for the meetings of the House Education Administration and Planning Subcommittee to urged the members of that committee to not go forward with that bill, your efforts were successful.

According to chatter and reports from multiple sources, I'm pleased to report that HB 2414 has died in committee!    A unanimous committee vote was taken to study it over the summer, effectively killing the bill.

 "Once again we saw today how meeting with trans young people changed hearts and minds," said ACLU Staff Attorney Chase Strangio in a statement.  "Our common humanity can unite us and we can push back against these costly and discriminatory impulses if we center those most affected."

" It is an exciting day in Tennessee and I am thankful for the brave young people who are making the world a better place for us all,." added Strangio.

As to what is happening with the unjust senate companion bill, SB 2737, we'll have to keep an eye on that to ensure it dies as well.

Congratulations to my Tennessee trans family for killing that unjust legislative attack on the humanity of our trans kids who live in the Volunteer State.

Three More 2016 Dem Primary Contests Today

After a Clinton sweep of five primary contests that included blowout wins in Florida, North Carolina and Ohio and narrow wins in her home state of Illinois and Missouri, the 2016 Democratic nomination contest head to the western part of the country with caucuses in Idaho and Utah and a primary election in Arizona.

As a result of that five state sweep last week, the Clinton delegate lead swelled to a 300+ one not factoring in the superdelegates that are still overwhelmingly supporting Sec. Clinton over Sen. Sanders and keeps picking up endorsements like Oregon Governor Kate Brown.

But back to today's primary contest news.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders takes the stage at a campaign rally in Phoenix on Saturday.
The Utah caucus has 37 delegates up for grabs and Idaho offers up another 27 delegates with the big prize tonight being Arizona with 85 delegates.

bad news for you Sanders folks in that it not only is a closed primary, but also in terms of the demographics of the state that skew more toward seniors and more Latino.  It's also an early voting state, and there have been over 300,000 ballots cast in advance of Election Day.

The attention of both campaigns have been focused in the Grand Canyon State in the runup to today.  And yes, may I remind you it's proportional splitting of those available delegates.

The Sanders folks are confident they will do well out there, but we heard that last week, too..All I have to say is the only poll that counts is the one at the ballot box.

We'll see what happens when the polls start closing at 8 PM CDT.  But if you live in those states, hope you vote today and make your voice heard.

HRC Does Something Politically Stupid, Endorses Mark Kirk

With the critical 2016 presidential election looming, the Human Rights Campaign has released their campaign endorsements for the upcoming election cycle.

The one that is drawing the most WTF's in LGBT America and beyond is the head scratching one in which Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) was endorsed by the group in the upcoming Illinois US senate race over Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)

This one ranks up there with the 1998 endorsement of then incumbent Sen. Alphonse D'Amato (R-NY) in his race he subsequently lost to now senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) and the one in 2012 in which they endorsed incumbent GOP Rep. Mary Bono Mack, who subsequently lost her California US House race to now Rep. Raul Ruiz.

What is galling about this is that Rep Duckworth, who was first elected to Congress in 2012, has a perfect score on HRC's own rating system versus Mark Kirk's.  He may have been the first Republican co-sponsor of the Equality Act and has a moderate record, but according to HRC's own 2013-14 rankings he scored a 78 versus Duckworth's 100.  Kirk's HRC ranking was an even more abysmal 39% in 2009-10.

The HRC endorsement not only doesn't pass the smell test, it's also snubbing the first Asian-American elected Congressional representative in Illinois, the first disabled female elected to Congress and an Iraq War shero who is better according to HRC's own rankings than the GOP incumbent senator they endorsed.

With the Democrats only needing to flip only four seats to gain control of the Senate, it's another glaring example of HRC political malpractice to ignore your own rating system and support a candidate whose record according to your own rankings is against the LGBT community's political interests.

You have also endorsed an incumbent candidate who if he holds on, could possibly help the GOP keep control of the Senate and make passage of the Equality Act in that chamber a sure impossibility because we know a senate led by Mitch McConnell won't even consider it, and a Democratically controlled one will be more likely to do so..

And if he doesn't, Sen. Schumer and Senator-elect Duckworth will be chuckling about it during their Democratic senate caucus meetings. .

We'll see if this becomes a political blunder along the lines of the disastrous D'Amato and Bono Mack endorsements.  But it is repeated dumb moves like this that keeps people in the LGBT community giving HRC the collective community side eye and regarding it as irrelevant.

Monday, March 21, 2016

The 'Obamacare Kid' Is Now Part Of Our Trans Family

When President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law at a White House ceremony six years ago, Marcelas Owens was the chubby kid in a black vest standing next to the president. Marcelas is now 17 -- and transgender.<br />
Remember when President Obama signed the landmark Affordable Care Act into law on March 23, 2010 and there was an adorable 11 year old African-American child standing there to witness the signing of this new law?

Marcelas Owens' mother died in 2007 as a result of losing her job and subsequently her health insurance, and the then pint sized advocate told that story as part of the contentious push to pass the ACA.

It's now six years later, and Marcelas Owens is now a 17 year old trans teen living in Seattle who recently celebrated a birthday on March 10 and transitioned at age 16 with the love and acceptance of her grandmother Gina Owens.

It's bitterly ironic now that while the Affordable Care Act she championed does prohibit discrimination against trans people, unfortunately there are loopholes in the ACA that result in providers not being required to provide the transition related health care that she is now considering.

Marcelas Owens keeps a reminder of the "old Marcelas" in her family's living room. President Obama signed the picture, "To Marcelas. You helped make history at an early age. Barack Obama. "
She is now beginning her evolutionary trans feminine journey while wondering if people will still love her.

While Rush Limbaugh, the right wing, transphobic fundies and the ignorati may hate on you, know that I, your trans elders and your trans family in Seattle, here in the US and around the world welcome you with open arms to our family.

You are now part of a community that stretches across the world.  If we are blessed to meet each other, I'll be more than happy to give you a hug and whatever advice you wish about becoming the fierce Black trans woman that you have the potential to be.  .

Welcome to the trans family, Marcelas.

BernieBros, You Aren't The Democratic Base, Black Voters Are

Been amused by the Bernie Bros getting their draws in knots about the fact their Democratic socialist candidate who is trying to hijack the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination is so far getting his political azz whipped by Sec. Hillary Clinton.

They are shocked this is happening, and are lashing out in nekulturny ways at everyone who doesn't share their love of St. Bernard of Sanders, the progressive lord and political savior of all and sole arbiter of who is or isn't progressive enough in his eyes who will lead us to the promised land of free college, universal single payer healthcare and a grand era of American unity and harmonious race relations.

With Clinton having a 300+ delegate lead, they are bristling at calls for Bernie to drop out of the race by claiming they are the base and they haven't spoken yet, California primary is coming, and all the other spin line they say to themselves and online to keep hope alive.

That 84-16% gap among Black voters is the reality check smacking them in the face why Bernie is losing. He realized too late along with his team that #BlackVotersMatter, and because he has failed to make his case to the unacknowledged and far too often ignored base of the Democratic Party in Black voters.

Clinton rolled through the South like Sherman and Grant piling up blowout wins because of a relationship she and her husband have cultivated with Black Democrats since 1972, and it is that history as a Democrat that has her on the path to the Democratic presidential nomination..

That Black voter advantage is a major reason why she pulled out narrow wins in her home state of Illinois last week and in Missouri in addition to winning 11 Southern states and Ohio in blowout margins . Black voters matter, especially in Democratic primaries because they are the base of the Democratic party.  

Let me repeat that for you once again, and follow the bouncing Hillary logo.  Black voters are the base of the Democratic Party

Black voters have been the most loyal constituent group of the party since the modern era 1964 shift of Black voters becoming unapologetic Democratic Party members and massive bloc voters for Democratic candidates at ll level of government.

It is also our population clustered in critical presidential battleground states like Florida, Virginia and Ohio just to name a few is why we have political clout beyond the 13% of the US population we make up.

While some of you Bernie Bros were voting third party and railing about how much you hate the two party system, we Black voters were getting busy for five decades not only voting in long lines for Democratic Party candidates without fail, but working from the precinct to the DNC level to sustain and grow the party and elect the viable Democratic party candidates that would advance our political and economic interests.

The fact that Bernie has disparaged the party and called for the highly popular President Obama to be primary challenged in 2011 is a major reason why he is getting the collective thumbs down from a clear majority of African-American voters.  Bernie Bros disrespecting Rep. John Lewis and racistly commenting as Sen. Sanders was getting trounced in the South also didn't help.

And when you Bernie Bros or your candidate disses the diverse Democratic Party we helped build with our decades of effort, votes and sweat equity, it is an indirect slap at the Black voters who want a Democrat to get the Democratic presidential nomination, and not some johnny come lately who admitted he only joined because he thought it would give him a better chance to win the presidency.

With America becoming a more diverse place, it has been Black voters fueling Democratic presidential wins, and especially Black women. Our share of the vote has been in creasing, not decreasing, which is why the Republicans have been hellbent on passing voter suppression laws in a desperate attempt to squash Black voter turnout. ..

So no Bernie Bros, you aren't the base of the Democratic Party, Black voters are, and it's time you you and America to recognize that fact.