Thursday, August 31, 2017

2017 Williams Watch- The US Open's Starting!

While I was busy dealing with Hurricane.TS Harvey dropping way too much rain on my hometown, the 137th annual US Open kicked off at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadow, NY on August 28.

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It's the last Grand Slam of the 2017 tennis season and the last one a pregnant Serena Williams will miss since she's due to give birth to her first child in September.  In bad news for the rest of the women's tennis tour and good news for all who love her, she's planning to return to the tennis tour in January 2018 for the Australian Open.

It's also the first Grand Slam tournament that Maria Sharapova is able to play in since coming off her suspension after the 2016 Australian Open for violation of the anti-doping policy.

One of the favorites in this year's US Open to no one's surprise is Venus Williams.  She's appeared in the Australian and Wimbledon finals this year and if she makes it to and wins the US Open, she will reclaim the world number one ranking for the first time since July 2002

August 29, 2017 - Fans fill Arthur Ashe Stadium during a match at the 2017 US Open. (USTA/Mike Lawrence)
The door has been opened for Big Sis to reclaim the number one ranking thanks to 2016 defending US Open champ Angelique Kerber getting upset in the first round in straight sets 6-3, 6-1 by Japan's Naomi Osaka along with Simona Halep's loss to Sharapova.

The sixth seeded Kerber wasn't the only big name that fell in the US Open women's tournament's first round.  Number 7 seeded Johanna Konta, number 2 seed Simona Halep, number 14 seeded Kristina Mladenovic, number 19 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 21st seeded Ana Konjuh, 24th seeded Kiki Bertens, 26 seeded Anett Kontaveit, 28 seeded Lesia Tsurenko and 32 seeded Lauren Davis all fell in the opening round

Image result for US open tennis logoMeanwhile, ninth seeded Big Sis is handling her tennis business so far   It took her three sets, but survived her opening round match against Slovakia's Viktoria Kuzmova 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 to move on to the second round against Oceane Dodin of France.

Venus beat Dodin in straight sets 7-5, 6-4 to advance to her third round match against Greece's Maria Sakkari.  

The winner of this match will face in the fourth round the winner of the clash between Ekaterina Makarova and Carla Suarez Navarro.

Will Venus finally claim a Grand Slam title this year?   We'll just have to wait and see.  

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Mixed Houston Harvey Emotions

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Today is Houston's 181st birthday, and I woke up to a sight I haven't seen in several days in terms of a sunrise and no angry rain swollen cloudy skies.  

Harvey is now rolling through Louisiana dropping rain as the waters recede here and we can try to get life back to H-town normal.  

While I woke up this morning with a roof over my head in my bed, I'm deeply cognizant of the fact that I was indeed blessed and fortunate to be in the sections of Houston that didn't flood this time.

There are other Houstonians who woke up this morning in the George R Brown Convention Center, the Toyota Center, NRG Arena and other shelters scatted across the 650 square miles of Texas territory we call home.   I have friends that range from escaped any serious damage to their homes and apartment domiciles to losing everything they owned in rising floodwaters.

Houston Police Department Sgt. Steve PerezĀ  Photo: HPD
And so far 16 people have lost their lives including HPD Sgt. Steve Perez

So yes, this morning as the sun peeked through my windows for the first time in nearly a week, I'm pondering all that as the waters recede from this historical level flooding from Tropical Storm Harvey how lucky I was, and thinking about all the folks who weren't.  

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Right On, Ashlee!

Caitlyn Jenner
If I haven't said it lately, I have much love and respect for Ashlee Marie Preston, my trailblazing Left Coast based sis who made history on June 28 by being tapped as an out Black trans woman to be the editor in chief of Wear Your Voice.

Since that announcement, she has been busy running Wear You Voice in addition to calling out Charlamagne Tha God about Lil Duval's transphobic Breakfast Club comments

This weekend she put Caitlyn Jenner's problematic behind on blast, and in the wake of this I heard elements of White trans feminine world criticizing Preston on social media for doing so.

Image result for Ashlee Preston protests Charlamagne Tha God
If Ashlee was calling out some TERF, right wing anti-trans politician, Black fundie pastor or assorted transphobic gay men like Milo, the peeps criticizing her now would be saying, 'Yay Ashlee!"
But since it's Caitlyn's behind that was being chewed on by a Black trans woman , y'all wanna trip.

I need y'all to chill with the tone policing and think long and hard about the inconvenient fact that some of y'all in White Trans World aren't happy with Jenner's long list of gaffes and WTF level comments as a trans Republican either, especially since she's a trans woman with your ethnic heritage. .

If you're wondering where I stand on this issue, it's with Ashlee.   I and others in Black Trans World saw the video of what happened post LA Trans Chorus event as a needed and necessary dragging.

And before y'all go there, my support of Ms. Preston is not because I've had my own issues with the WTF level commentary Jenner has uttered since coming out.

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My support of Preston in this case is rooted in the understanding that as someone who has been a Black trans leader for nearly 20 years, she is role modeling the tenets of Black leadership as outlined by the late University of Maryland political scientist Dr. Ron Walters.

Dr. Walters defined the task of Black leadership as providing the vision, resources, tactics, and strategies that facilitate the achievement of the objectives of Black people.
Image result for Dr Ronald WaltersThose goals according to Walters are freedom, integration, equality, liberation, or defined in the terms of specific public policies. It is a role that often requires and results in you as a Black leader disturbing the peace when you speak truth to power.

It also makes some people uncomfortable and causes controversy at times as well

And as Black trans leaders, we not only have those Black leadership principles set forth by Dr. Walters to uphold, but some that are specific to us as Black trans people if we are going to properly represent our community. 
But the salient point I wish to bring up here is that as a Black trans leader, Preston is representing a different trans constituency in Black trans people who at times have issues and objectives that don't always neatly line up with or may be opposed to what peeps in White Trans World think or want.
When placed in those situations, we as Black trans leaders are compelled to call out situations that occur when what some of you want and support in White Trans World (like a Trump presidency) is harmful to our Black trans community.

Pro tip: Full throated support of Dolt 45 and his white supremacist administration by you as a white trans person is one of those issues that will get your wig snatched by me and every Black trans leader that's paying attention.

We will not give a rat's anus when we call your azz on it because we are repping our community. You can be mad and stay mad about us calling you out for supporting an administration that has declared war on transgender people.  Those anti-trans policies will have a disproportionate negative effect on the Black trans people we represent and other trans people of color.

So right on Ashlee!   Keep speaking truth to power, pointing out crap, and calling out injustice aimed at our community by friend, foe and frenemy.

And looking forward to the day I get to finally meet you in person.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

A Houston Harvey Mass Evacuation Would Have Been A Disaster

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Been hearing chatter critical of the decision that Mayor Sylvester Turner, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett and other Houston and Harris County leaders made to not call for an evacuation of Houston with Hurricane Harvey's Category 4 storm self bearing down on the Texas coast.

There are two major reasons why they probably called for Houstonians to shelter in place.

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The first is speed in the storm development.

Harvey went from being a disorganized tropical depression on the verge of dissipating as it crossed the Yucatan Peninsula to a Cat 4 hurricane in two days after it reached the Bay of Campeche. .

This storm caught everyone, myself included by surprise in terms of how fast it developed, and there simply wasn't enough time to plan an evacuation.

Image may contain: car and outdoorReason number two was everyone remembers what happened during the 2005 evacuation of Houston as a then Category 5 Hurricane Rita was bearing down on the Houston area and people tried to get out of its way mere weeks after Katrina devastated the New Orleans area and Mississippi Gulf coast.

That evacuation caused the worst traffic jam in Houston history and resulted in 100+ deaths

And that was in 95+ degree heat.   That traffic jam was so bad it took my family, who was trying to reach our relatives in Dallas, 13 hours just to get to Huntsville, TX a mere 100 miles away.  When they reached Huntsville they basically gave up, exited I-45  and successfully found a hotel room there to wait out the storm.  Rita eventually veered away from the Houston-Galveston area, weakened to a Category 3 hurricane before making landfall near the Texas-Louisiana border.

I still hear horror stories today about what a disaster it was and how long it took people to get to San Antonio, Austin or Dallas. .

Houston is now in 2017 way larger than it was in 2005, with over 6 million people living in our metro area.   The city of Houston itself is 627 square miles, which makes it larger than New York and Los Angeles in area

Image result for harvey hurricane Mayor Turner press conference Houston emergencySo to expect a smooth evacuation with a Cat 4 hurricane bearing down on the city that was projected to drop 25 to 30 inches of rain on the area was about as likely as Dolt 45 being accepted into Mensa.

Based on the flooding those same evacuation roads and freeways are currently experiencing, there would have been people who probably would have drowned in their cars because of that fast rising water that is nine to ten feet deep in some spots.

And it's why when this is over, the decision to have Houstonians shelter in place may have turned out to be the right call this time.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

25th Anniversary Of The ICTLEP Conference

Today is the 25th anniversary of the first of eventually six ICTLEP conferences that took place in Houston from 1992 to 1997.

The International Conference on Transgender Law and Employment Policy (ICTLEP) was conceived by Phyllis Frye as an annual event that would focus on developing progressive legal strategies in employment and nondiscrimination law for the transgender population.

She had initially pitched the idea of the event to then International Foundation For Gender Education (IFGE) Executive Director Merissa Sherrill Lynn in the summer of 1991, as a traveling event under its auspices, but she told Frye that IFGE wasn't interested in hosting it.

Frye in the fall of 1991 ran for and won the vice presidency of the Houston based Gulf Coast Transgender Community (GCTC)  group on the platform of hosting a transgender law conference in Houston in 1992.

Planning then began with a group of local activists and GCTC members forming a committee that laid the groundwork for the historic conference to happen combined with Phyllis' attendance at the February 1992 Texas T Party and the March 1992 IFGE Convention.

Frye's attendance at those large trans conferences was crucial in those pre-Internet days to the success of the ICTLEP conference she and GCTC were planning.  It helped spread the word about the fledgling conference, and helped get attorneys who were interested in the different areas of the law that needed presenters to volunteer to do so

The organization of it gathered steam to the point that when the inaugural event kicked off at the Hilton Southwest Freeway in Southwest Houston on August 26-30, 1992, it did so with over 50 people in attendance.

The conference was a success, especially on the financial end, and led to the hosting of five more ICTLEP conferences.

The ICTLEP conferences from 1992-1997 were crucial for not only laying the groundwork for much of the subsequent transgender rights law and principles that we fight and lobby for in the modern trans rights movement, they also helped train my generation of trans rights activists and attorneys..

The International Bill of Gender Rights, Health Law Standards of Care, and policies for imprisoned transgender people came out of ICTLEP.   The Proceedings published after every ICTLEP conference documented for posterity what happened in those presentations on the different areas of law being discussed.

ICTLEP also led to the organization of the national trans rights org It's Time America, the second national trans lobby day in Washington DC in October 1994,  building working relationships between the legal and advocate wings of our newly emerging and energized modern trans rights movement, and more importantly led to the trans people who were in the legal profession becoming more out and open about who they were and forging working relationships with each other and the activist community.

It also led to trans folks becoming participating members in national gay legal organizations and conferences like Lavender Law.

And at a time in which the Trump misadministration is hell bent along with his fundamentalist anti-trans haters who advise him are getting orgasmic over the thought of eviscerating the human rights of transgender people in the US, the lessons learned and built upon over the last 25 years since the ICTLEP conferences took place here are going to be applied and tested as we fight 45's unjust policies in the federal courts.

But it all started on this day at a Houston Hilton hotel in the summer of 1992 thanks to the vision of Phyllis Frye and those early trans leaders in GCTC and elsewhere to make it happen. .

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Waiting For Hurricane Harvey

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I moved back to the Houston area in May 2010  nearly two years after Hurricane Ike wreaked havoc on the upper Texas coast and its Category 1 self knocked power out for me in Louisville.

Dealing with hurricanes and tropical storms is just the cost we pay for being 30 minutes from the beach   So we were overdue on the Texas Gulf Coast to experience a landfall for a major hurricane, and traditionally if we are going to get whacked with one, it tends to be in August or September.

So while Hurricane Harvey is heading its as of this writing Category 3 self toward the Corpus Christi area after nearly breaking up in the Caribbean, crossing over the Yucatan Peninsula and then reforming in the warm waters of the Bay of Campeche, we still expect along with our local meteorologists to get hit with some of the rain bands from it in the Houston area and get tropical storm level winds in the area.

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There are predictions we might get hit with up to 25 inches of rain.  That's a lot of water in a short period of time, and Houston's drainage system is tied to multiple bayou that run towards Galveston Bay.   The same Galveston Bay that will be experiencing Harvey's storm surge plus be whacked by trying to deal with that onslaught of heavy rain.  .

Can you say 'serious floods' TransGriot readers?    Thought you could.  

Oh well, at least it won't be sauna room level hot for the next few days.  The HISD school kids get an extra summer vacation day out of the deal since school was supposed to start Monday.

Image result for hurricane harvey 2017 stores running out of suppliesThe approach of Harvey has triggered a run on local stores to get hurricane supplies, food, bottled water, batteries and gas for their vehicles.  
It also has people who own them checking their generators to ensure they work and charging their phones, laptops and portable charging devices just in case we lose electrical power.

In the meantime we do what we always do when there's a hurricane bearing down on us.   Make sure we've done our hurricane prep, are prepared to evacuate if needed, and just wait for Harvey to make landfall and get out of the area.

And nope, don't have any alcohol.  I used that up celebrating the demise of SB 3.

Roland Martin Puts Pastor Paula White On Blast

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Pastor Paula White lived up to her last name by hypocritically defending Dolt 45 in a televised fake faith based dog and pony show with the disgraced Jim Bakker.

Image result for paula whiteWell, my Houston  homie Roland Martin wasn't having that nonsense, and took to the airwaves of the Tom Joyner Morning Show to put 'Pastor'' Paula White on blast for that WTF level blasphemous commentary, and then called her out on NewsOne Now
Here's his read of 'Pastor' Paula White, along with her nauseating WTF level commentary on Jim Bakker's show.

Thank you Roland for calling out this Pharisee and false prophet who is more about, like many white televangelists,  making a profit and upholding white supremacy.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Arrest Made In Tee Tee Dangerfield Murder Case

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Happy to hear that an arrest has been made in the Tee Tee Dangerfield murder case  

To refresh your memories about the case, the 32 year old Dangerfield was shot in front of a College Park, GA apartment complex back on July 31 and died on the way to the hospital.

According to reporting by Nefertiti Jaquez of WSB-TV, 26 year old Tyrone Kemp has been arrested for the murder of Dangerfield.  He was arrested by College Park PD at the Union City car dealership where he works.

Investigators say they have evidence that proves Kemp was with Dangerfield in the moments before she died.
There's also video of Dangerfield leaving a nearby sports bar several hours before she was killed.

Now that someone has been arrested for Tee Tee's murder, here's hoping that if Kemp is the person who committed the crime, that he gets the serious jail time for doing so.  

Justice Being Served In Keyonna Blakeney Case

In the latest update in the Keyonna Blakeney murder case, .22 year old Keith Renier was found guilty of second degree murder and was sentenced by Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Marielsa Bernard to the maximum 30 year sentence in this case.  

The then 21 year old Renier fatally stabbed 22 year old Blakeney at a Red Roof Inn off Shady Grove Road in Rockville, MD back on April 16, 2016.

Five days before the encounter with Blakeney, Renier had pleaded guilty to pulling a knife on a Washington Metro subway platform in a case involving a simple assault and weapons charge and was awaiting sentencing.

On April 25 he was sentenced in that District case to probation and ordered to take anger management classes.  

According to court documents and a confidential informant's testimony to detectives in the case, Renier arrived at the Red Roof Inn along with a second suspect via an Uber paid for by Blakeney.
The second suspect arranged a false pretenses date with Blakeney with the intention of robbing her with Renier's help. The second suspect knew Blakeney and one of his relatives had dated her.

The room where Blakeney was found dead of multiple stab wounds was ransacked.

One down, one to go in the Blakeney case.   It's not life in prison, but Renier will be getting 30 years for killing our sister.  

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

'What Would You Do?' Episode Tackles Transphobic Boutique

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The ABC show What Would You Do? hosted by John Quinones has had shows that have tackled transphobic situations staged with actors to see what people's reactions would be and how they would respond as the hidden cameras are rolling.

The latest episode of it is set in a New Jersey boutique with a trans women dealing with a transphobic clerk.   The cameras are there to discover whether other shoppers stand up for her or ignore what's happening.

Here's how it turned out.


Monday, August 21, 2017

Total Solar Eclipse Today

Photo published for The 2017 Total Solar Eclipse: What Time Can You See It?
I remember the 1970 total solar eclipse that ran up the East Coast of the United States and got a mention in Carly Simon's hit song You're So Vain.   It was the last total solar eclipse we experienced in the continental United States until this one that is happening today.
If you live in the 70 mile wide path of totality that will stretch from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina, you're going to get the celestial skywatching treat of seeing a total solar eclipse.

Assuming your local weather cooperates.

Those of us in Houston will only get a partial solar eclipse that covers about 67% of the Sun that will start around 11:46 AM CDT and end around 2:45 PM CDT.

But in any case, whether it is the total or partial, be advised not to look directly at it/   You can go to you local planetarium to see it or check out this webstream broadcast of it on NASA's website.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Don't Let Your POTUS Get Your Azz Cussed Out

Laughing my butt off at the faux outrage coming from conservafool white America because two high school Beckys waltzed onto the campus of Howard University to cause drama, got what they were looking for, and are now crying white women's tears on the Net about it.

Naw b  oo boo kitties, what did you Trumpettes think was gonna happen when you disrespectfully stepped onto the campus of the flagship HBCU in the nation with Make America Great Again hats on, and you do so mere days after Dolt 45 cosigns white supremacists in Charlottesville?

Exactly what you got.  All I have to say about it is don't let your white supremacist POTUS get your azz cussed out or put in the position to get a beatdown.

Image result for Howard University
There are times when you have to give people exactly what they are looking for to send a message that we ain't having it.   One of the places that Black folks aren't tolerating conservative white BS is on the campus of one of our flagship HBCU's.

Your excuse of you were going to have lunch on the HU campus isn't going to fly either.  When I visit The District, there are a lot of places I have gone to eat or been taken to in DC like Ben's Chili Bowl, Five Guys or Eatonville just to name a few.   No one has ever suggested that we dine at the HU cafeteria.

So you two New Jersey Beckys can go cry all the white tears you want on FOX Noise and in conservafool fake media about how mean the Black college kids were to you.  You were the agent provocateurs who jumped this mess off.  

High fives to the HU students who called your lack of home trained asses out on your vanillacentric privileged bull feces.  Kudos also to Howard University for standing up for their students and their right to be hostile to these troublemaking Beckys

Black America is not in a mood to be disrespected or played with right now, especially when you white peeps in this country have been running buck wild ever since Orange Julius was elected.

And we damned sure aren't going to tolerate it from you Trumpettes who are part of the 53% white female demographic that delusionally put him in office.

So miss us with this mess.   And I repeat, don't let your POTUS get your azz cussed out.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Happy Transgender Pride Flag Day!

Today is the anniversary of the day 18 years ago that Navy veteran Monica Helms came up with the design of the transgender pride flag that is increasingly coming into widespread use around the world.

Helms came up with the design in 1999, and first showed it at a pride parade in Phoenix, AZ in 2000.

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The Helms trans pride flag is designed so that no matter which way it is held horizontally, it is always correct, signifying us finding correctness in our lives.   The blue stripes are for trans masculine persons, the pink for trans feminine persons, and the white center stripe is for those who are intersex, gender non conforming or don't consider themselves to have a gender..

The original trans pride flag she created was donated to the Smithsonian an August 19, 2014 as part of their American LGBTQ history collection, and was on display in the White House during the 2016 LGBT Pride reception hosted by President Obama

Happy Transgender Pride Flag Day!

Is It Health and Human Services Texas Policy To Harass Trans Texans?

Was not happy to hear about the latest instance of anti- trans discrimination in my hometown and who it happened to.

Ana Andrea Molina is the executive director of the Organizacion Latina de Trans en Texas (OLTT), which works to provide services for the trans Latina population.

One of those services is setting up a trans shelter modeled after Casa Ruby in Washington DC called Casa Ana Andrea in Houston's Third Ward just south of the Texas Southern University campus.

Ana Andrea Molina's photo.
On Tuesday she went to the Health and Human Services Texas office at 9450 Harwin Dr. in her capacity as OLTT executive director to gather information about services that her trans Latina clients could access.

While there she needed to use the restroom, and asked where it was so she could handle her business before proceeding with her information gathering business.

She was followed by an employee and the security guard in the Harwin facility, who after she entered the women's restroom decided to play potty Gestapo.  The transphobes continuously banged on the door of the women's restroom ordering her to come out and use the men's room, erroneously citing the failed SB 3 as their justification for being transphobic bigots.

Molina ignored them and didn't come out until after she'd handled her bathroom business and washed her hands.

This is also another example of the transphobic hate speech the Texas Republican Party unleashed while trying and failing twice to pass their anti-trans SB6/3 bill having real world negative impacts on the every day lives of transgender Texans.

Image may contain: 4 people, outdoorBut what the transphobes didn't know is that hey messed with someone who is well liked in the Houston advocacy community..

The next day she showed up at that facility accompanied by members of Indivisible Houston to file a complaint with the facility supervisor protesting her treatment.  

I walked in wearing a trans themed t-shirt with 'My Existence Is Resistance' written in Spanish accompanied by four cis feminine allies, and strolled into that same female bathroom with them basically daring them to treat me the same way they'd disrespectfully treated my Latina trans sister.

Someone in that office called HPD, who responded by sending three units to that Harwin location. While two of the HPD officers were polite, one was problematically aggressive, and threatened arrest of everyone if we didn't disperse.

Having gotten the complain form and sending the message we needed to send, we left peacefully .

The Harwin office is in the Texas senate district of Sen. Borris Miles (D-Houston) and Ana happens to be a constituent of his.  She is also in the House district of a longtime friend of the Texas trans community in Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston), who also isn't happy about what transpired, along with Rep Gene Wu (D-Houston) and Sen. Sylvia Garcia (D-Houston).  That office is in Rep. Wu's House district, and he is also a friend of our community.  

People from our local ACLU office are also looking into what happened.

So yeah, they messed with the wrong person., and I'll keep y'all updated as to how this transphobic discrimination story plays out

Friday, August 18, 2017

Number 17- RIP Gwynevere River Song

While the Texas trans community is celebrating the fact that we killed SB 3 and other odious anti-trans bills during this Special Oppression Session, we are also lamenting the loss of the 17th person we have lost to anti-trans violence and the second Texan we have lost in 2017.

26 year old Gwynevere River Song was shot and killed following an argument in the Dallas suburb of Waxahachie, TX  on August 12.   The Ellis County Sheriff's Department is still investigating the murder, and as the details come out, will pass them along to you TransGriot readers

Gwyn was a 2015 graduate of the University of Texas, loved science fiction and her mother Marcella Mosher supported her transition. Gwyn also used they/them pronouns in addition to she.

And yes Dan Patrick, Lois Kolkhorst, Rom Simmons and the Texas Republican Party, her blood is on your hands.

Hee memorial service will take place in her native Waxahachie at the Wayne Boze Funeral Home on August 21, and the community is invited to attend.    It is located at 1826 US-287 BUS in that city starting at 2 PM.,

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

They Tried To Tell You Trump Was Unfit To Serve As POTUS

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And y'all were too caught up in your fee fees to listen, or arrogantly thought you knew better than the Black POTUS or the white female former secretary of state who is qualified to be president of the United States.

So now we're all suffering because of your lack of progressive political vision.

And yes far left people.  I'll be reminding you of your ginormous error in judgement from now until November 2020, assuming Orange Julius doesn't blow up the planet between now and then,

Here's Hillary boldly saying it

And President Obama

You were warned. so don't start saying jack about how incompetent Dolt 45 is when you knew the only thing standing between him and the Oval Office was Clinton.

'Spirit Of The Confederacy' Has Got To Go

The local Robert E. Lee chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy erected a 12 foot tall statue of a bronze angel in Sam Houston Park downtown that was erected in January 1908 called 'The Spirit of the Confederacy'.

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Over the last year in Houston we have seen HISD rename eight schools named for Confederate heroes and the renaming of Dowling Street to Emancipation Avenue.

Yesterday I joined several of my Houston activist friends during the public comment session at City Hall in calling for the city of Houston to remove that statue from this public park.

This statue is nothing more than the perpetuation of the Lost Cause lie.  The Spirit of the Confederacy  is nothing more than the failed attempt to keep my ancestors perpetually enslaved

That statue needs to go.

TransGriot Update:  A rally is being held at 3 PM Saturday to call attention to this Jim Crow monument that needs to go.

Texas Special Oppression Session Is Over!

Texas House
Earlier this afternoon  we Texas activists who have been fighting SB 6, SB 3 and other anti-trans hate bills heard the words we've wanted to hear:  Sine Die!

The Special Oppression Session ended when the Texas House adjourned without calling hearings on the unjust Senate passed SB 6 or on Rep. Ron Simmons' HB 46 or HB 50 anti-trans hate bills.   The Texas Senate did so a few hours later .

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While the GOP transphobes like Kolkhorst and Patrick were lamenting that development, Texas transgender people and our allies are celebrating this huge win.

Don't mess with Texas trans people.   And don't mess with our Texas trans kids.

The Texas trans community, along with the parents of trans kids, Texas based advocacy orgs, legislators, the Texas business community, Texas progressive pastors and our allies testified, phone banked and did what was necessary to kill these bills.

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Will Gov Abbott call another special session and waste $800,000 more of our tax dollars to try to pass SB 6 and other anti-trans hate bills?   Just the discussion of these bills has cost Texas $66 million dollars of convention business as the Texas Republican Party tried to pass anti-trans oppression for their political gain.

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While Lt Governor 'Potty Dan' Patrick tried to spin this defeat and claim that 'the people' will demand in the next session to pass the anti-trans hate bills, I think fair minded Texans have already resoundingly spoken in the 2015 and 2017 regular and special sessions about how we feel about these attempts to legislate anti-trans oppression.

And if Patrick tries to pass anti-trans oppression in Texas in the next session, we'll be there in force to combat it.

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I hope those same fair minded Texans will do to Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, Potty Dan Patrick, Gov. Greg Abbott, Rep Ron Simmons, and every Texas senator and representative who either sponsored or supported these bills do what was done to Rep Debbie Riddle (R-Tomball) and Rep. Gilbert Pena (R-Pasadena) in 2016:   Make them ex-legislators.

Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr.  (DINO-Brownsville) is also high on my make him an ex legislator list.

So what's next?   I predict the Texas GOP will try to oust Joe Straus as speaker before they attempt to call another Special Oppression Session.   He is one of the major reasons Texas didn't go down the disastrous road North Carolina did..

But in the interim, the Texas Trans Forces of Light have once again defeated the Texas GOP Forces of Trans Oppression.   We can exhale and celebrate our win today, but we must prefare for and be ready for the next clash with the conservative forces attempting to oppress us.