Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Dayna Smith Running For South Carolina Senate Seat

Dayna Smith
There's a special election happening in South Carolina today that will also get my undivided attention when the polls close this evening.

Dayna Smith is running for the SC State Senate District 20 seat that covers Lexington and Richland counties and the cities of Columbia, Irmo, Lake Murray, Seven Oaks and St. Andrews.

She's also the first out trans person to run for office in South Carolina

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The special election is happening because longtime state Senator John Courson (R) resigned and vacated the seat after pleading guilty to official misconduct in June.    The seat has been held by the GOP since 1984, and South Carolina has a 28-18 GOP state Senate majority that the SC Democrats would love to begin the process of flipping by flipping this senate seat..

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Smith is one of three Democrats competing for the seat, and faces off against Dick Harpootlian, the former chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party and Kyle Lacio for the Democratic nomination. 
Four Republicans are running in their primary. 

If no one gets over 50% in their primary, there will be a runoff election scheduled for August 28.    The primary winners will face off in the November 6 general election for the District 20 seat .

Good luck to Dayna and hope she makes some South Carolina political history later tonight.

Christine Hallquist Attempts To Make More Vermont Trans Electoral History

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Four primary elections are happening today in the states of Connecticut, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Vermont.   In addition to seeing what transpires in some races key to who holds control of the US House and Senate, the American trans community's eyes will be on Vermont as another trans candidate attempts to make electoral history. 

Back in 2000, the late Karen Kerin made history in the state by winning the Republican nomination for Vermont's US House seat.  She subsequently got blown out in the general election by Bernie Sanders.

Karen Kerin
A conservative who was a perennial candidate in the Green Mountain State, Kerin was also the 2008 Republican candidate for attorney general, and lost Republican primary election races for the US House in 2002 and for attorney general in 2006. 

In her last race in 2010, Kerin was making her second run as a Libertarian candidate for Vermont attorney general.  She had previously run as a Libertarian for attorney general in the 2004 election cycle   

Kerin passed away in 2014 at age 69.   

_DSC3694.JPGNow as we fast forward to this crucial 2018 election cycle, another Vermont trans person in 62 year old Christine Hallquist has stepped up to run in the Vermont Democratic Party primary race for governor.

Her platform includes Medicare For All, access to better education and more high wage jobs.

The former energy executive is running against three other candidates in James Ehlers, Brenda Sigel and 14 year old high school student Ethan Sonneborn. 

Sonneborn is eligible because Vermont does not require candidates to be of voting age.

If Hallquist wins the nomination, she would make electoral history on two fronts by becoming the first out trans person in the Green Mountain State to win a Democratic primary for any office. 
She would also become the first out trans person nationally to win a major party nomination for governor 

Christine Hallquist for Vermont Governor
She would also take on the winner of the Republican gubernatorial primary race between incumbent Governor Phil Scott and Keith Stern.

Early voting has already occurred in Vermont, so it will be interesting to see what transpires when the polls close later this evening.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Massachusetts Trans People's Human Rights Are On The Ballot

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On November 6 when the nation will be in breathless anticipation of whether the Democrats or Republicans have control of the US House and Senate, trans people's eyes will be nervously cast at Massachusetts to see whether the human rights law protecting the Massachusetts trans community stays on the ballot.

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The Massachusetts legislature passed in 2016 a law that extended public accommodations protections to its transgender citizens and prohibited discrimination against them.

Predictably, the transphobic bigots formed Keep MA Safe, and successfully fought to get a referendum on the 2018 ballot, called Question 3, that would eradicate those protections. 

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And as they've done in Houston and elsewhere, the transphobes are peddling the debunked bathroom predator lie to make sure that the NO votes on Question 3 carry the November 6 day.

Once again, the human rights of trans people are on an election ballot, but this time it's in the blue state of Massachusetts.   I and a lot of people outside of the state are concerned about this referendum because if they transphobes are successful in killing this Massachusetts trans rights bill, it could set off a wave of anti-trans referendums just in time for the 2020 presidential election.

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And those concerns are shared by our allies and my fellow trans elders who are keenly aware of the Bay State's anti-trans past. 

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Knowing that historically Massachusetts has been the home of transphobic TERF's for decades like Janice Raymond and Elizabeth Hungerford, and former US Rep. Barney Frank opposed trans inclusion in ENDA by pushing in the 90's and 2000's the transphobic  'penis in showers' argument, we know there's a possibility that the NO votes could prevail and roll back the human rights of our trans cousins living there  with unpleasant repercussions for the rest of transkind in the US.

A WBUR poll conducted back in May was equally disturbing, showing that only 52% of Massachusetts resident were in favor of keeping the trans rights law versus 38% of Massachusetts residents who favored getting rid of it.

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Massachusetts will be a trans political battleground as we get closer to Election Day, and that's why the bipartisan Freedom For All Massachusetts coalition started back in May.

They are hard at work to ensure that we hear good news from the Bay State on November 6.

And while it's wonderful a broad based coalition of business community, women's groups, law enforcement, supportive legislators, organizations and trans people and their families has been assembled, and Bay State transpeople are feeling somewhat confident that their fellow citizens will support them when the time comes, the reality is this election is taking place during a time in which our human rights and humanity are under daily attack by the Trump misadministration, it's Department of Injustice Justice, the TERF's and right wing fundamentalists.

The only support that matters is in the voting booth on November 6.   That's why Trans World will be nervously watching the election results from Massachusetts on that date..

Because once again, trans people's  human rights are on the ballot, and it's a must win election for us.


Transphobic Oklahomans Plot Hate Attack On Pre Teen Trans Child

Burney and Jaime Crenshaw
If I need any more incentive to push harder to pass hate crimes and nondiscrimination legislation that protects trans people, I need to look no further than north of the Red River into Oklahoma

This disgusting series of Facebook posts came to light from Oklahoma courtesy of the Hate Trackers website .  Burney and Jamie Crenshaw in the Achille ISD parents group began ranting about a 12 year old trans girl attending school in the district just north of the Texas-Oklahoma border.   It didn't take long for the Facebook posts to dive into the transphobia ignorance and dehumanizing trans hate speech sewer.

And nope, these aren't the trans child's peers.  They are adults.

Image result for Trans hateOne post by Kevin Bickerstaff advocated encouraging Achille ISD students to violently attack the trans girl in question until she is too afraid and traumatized to come to school. 

"Just tell kids to kick ass in the bathroom and it won't want to come back,"  wrote Bickerstaff in his FB post.

Eddie Belcher, who has alleged white supremacist ties, advocated cutting the trans child's genitals.

"If he wants to be female, make him female.  A good sharp knife will do the trick," wrote Belcher.

The conspirators also advocated in those trans hate posts coming to subsequent Achille ISD board meetings to demand they take action against the pre-teen trans student.

Gee, wonder if they will be bringing pitchforks and tiki torches to those Achille ISD meetings as well?

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The disturbing posts also got the attention of trans parents groups, the Oklahoma media,  the Achille ISD and our TBLGIQ accomplices.  Meanwhile in reaction to the violent transphobes, the parents of the trans girl sought an emergency protective order on August 10 against Crenshaw. 

Achille ISD took down the transphobic  posts from their Facebook page, and it does have an anti-bullying policy   Wonder what Achille ISD superintendent Rick Beene thinks about it and these violent parents wishing to harm a trans child?

Hopefully they have also gotten the attention of law enforcement officials in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma was one of the Republican controlled states in which the legislature pushed for anti-trans hate legislation that fortunately failed.

What happened in Achille is a salient example of anti-trans rhetoric being peddled by the TERF's, the conservative movement, white fundamentalists, right wing media and the GOP for political advantage now filtering down to the unwashed rural Trump loving masses and having negative impacts on the real lives of transgender people.

Anti-trans hate thoughts + anti-trans hate speech = anti-trans hate violence/murders.   You hatemongers are aiming that rhetoric against trans children and it needs to stop. 

I repeat, stop it now before it gets to the violence and murder result of the Equation of Trans Hate.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Trans Puerto Ricans Can Compete In Miss Puerto Rico Universe

The Miss Puerto Rico Universe is one of the most competitive pageantry titles on the island.   It also has since 1970 produced five Miss Universe winners in Marisol Malaret, Deborah Carthy-Deu (1985), Dayanara Torres (1993), Denise Quinones (2001) and Zulekya Rivera (2006).

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While the Miss Universe pageantry system since 2013 has allowed trans women to compete,  Puerto Rico along with Venezuela, the Philippines and surprisingly Thailand have been among the holdout organizations among the perennial Miss Universe contender nations barring trans women from competing.

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But in the wake of a t positive federal court decision earlier this year from US District Judge Carmen Consuelo Cerezo that allows trans Puerto Ricans to update their gender markers, and Angela Ponce's breakthrough win in the Miss Universe Spain pageant, that's changing.

Quinones, took over as the new Miss Puerto Rico Universe pageant director in March and has long been an advocate for trans women being allowed to compete. 

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She announced during a pageant registration event taking place on the same day that trans Puerto Ricans were allowed to change their gender markers,  that trans women would be allowed to compete in the Miss Puerto Rico Universe pageant starting in 2019.

Like other contestants, trans Puerto Ricans who are ages 18-27, have changed their documentation and wish to compete in the pageant either must be born on the island,  have one parent who is Puerto Rican or ha lived on the island for 10 years or more, will be allowed to compete for the title.

We'll have to wait until 2019 to see if any trans contestants enter Miss Puerto Rico Universe.  Time will tell if there will be a trans Miss Puerto Rico that wins the title, and goes on to compete at Miss Universe and bring another crown back to the island.

NABJ Passes Resolution Condemning Trump Attacks On Journalists

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As someone who writes for a living, I have been appalled at the Trump misadministration repeatedly attacks journalists. He has gone as far to call them 'The Enemy of the People' 

The problem with that dangerous rhetoric is twofold.   A free press is essential to a democracy.

The other problem is that his knuckle dragging lemmings will potentially take that rhetoric to heart and go beyond simply yelling at journalists they don't like and start physically attacking or killing them as was recently done in Maryland at the Capital Gazette.

At their national board meeting in the wake of the just concluded National Association of Black Journalists convention and Career Fair in Detroit, the NABJ Board of Directors unanimously approved the following resolution condemning Trump's attacks on the media 

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At the national board meeting following the NABJ Convention & Career Fair in Detroit, the board approved the following resolution:

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"Whereas President Trump or his aides have excluded a reporter from a White House briefing for asking unwanted questions; 
Whereas President Trump has suggested taking away journalists' press credentials because of perceived negative coverage; 
Whereas President Trump has repeatedly and unjustly labeled much of the news media as "fake news"; 
Whereas President Trump has called the news media "very unpatriotic"; 
Whereas President Trump has described journalists as the "enemy of the people"; 
Whereas supporting and protecting journalists is consistent with the National Association of Black Journalists, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that takes no position on governmental policies and programs; 
Therefore, the National Association of Black Journalists rejects and condemns any statement and action by President Trump and his administration that are detrimental to freedom of the press."

***

The NABJ's 43rd annual convention drew over 3000 journalists, media professionals, students and thought leaders attendees to the Motor City from August 1-5.

I hope I can make it to next year's convention in Miami, and if I can't, I definitely want to be in DC for the joint NABJ-NAHJ one in 2020.   The NABJ Convention is coming to me in Houston in 2021.

Back to the post. 

In addition, the NABJ Board discussed conducting a study on Trump and the media, and reporting the findings by the 2019 NABJ convention in Miami. NABJ is interested in hearing from organizations, educational institutions, individuals and entities that may be interested in partnering with them on this study.

If you are, you can contact: study@nabj.org.




 

Hawaii 2018 Primary Election Today

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The Hawaii primary election is taking place today, and one of the races I have my eye on in the Aloha State is the lieutenant governor's one.

Current Lt Governor Doug Chin (D) decided to run for the 1st Congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D), who decided to primary challenge incumbent Gov. David Ige (D).

Kim Coco Iwamoto, who served two terms on the Hawaii State Board of Education in 2006 and 2010 and was subsequently appointed to the Hawaii Human Rights Commission, is running in this crowded five candidate Democratic primary race for Lt. Governor.

She has been surging in the latest polls, but will she get enough support from Aloha State voters to win this statewide race and the Democratic  lieutenant governor's nomination? 

She has been endorsed by one of the major labor unions in Hawaii and Trans United Fund

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If she does, she'll get one step closer to making more electoral history by becoming the first out trans person to win a major party lieutenant governor primary in the US. 

However, we won't find out the results of today's Hawaii primary election until all the ballots are cast, counted and the totals revealed in the early morning hours of Sunday our time.

You know I'm hoping for that trans electoral history to happens for her.

 

Friday, August 10, 2018

Shut Up Fool Awards- Charlottesville Anniversary Edition

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This Sunday marks the first anniversary of the hate rally in Charlottesville, VA that led the the death of Heather Heyer and others being injured when a Nazi deliberately drove his car into a crowd of people.

And what was Dolt 45's response?   The Nazis are 'very fine people.'   Yeah, right.

Now the emboldened white supremacists are taking their hate speech to Washington DC's Lafayette Park for another 'Unite The Right' hate rally

Ugh. 

Let's get to this week's fools, shall we? 

Honorable mention number one is Donald Trump for just pick an idiotic statement

Honorable mention number two is Rudy Giuliani for continuing to be a fool for Trump and attempt to do his part to trash the Mueller investigation

Honorable mention number three is Laura Ingraham for making another racist comment on her show

Honorable mention number four is a group award for every racist idiot who participates in this hate rally at Lafayette Park keynoted by David Duke.

Honorable mention number five is Rep Devin Nunes for attending a fundraiser for embattled Rep cathy mcMorris Rodgers and being recorded confirming what every American paying attention is aware of in terms of the GOP is abdicating their oversight authority on the executive branch in order to protect Dolt 45

This week's SUF loser winner is Pastor John Gray.

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This kneegrow is doing his best Uncle Ruckus impression by continuing to try to justify cooning it up with Trump at that WH meeting in which another kneegrow pastor laughing claimed that Trump is the 'most pro Black president ever by blasphemously claiming that meeting with Trump is equivalent to meeting with Jesus. 

Really fool?   It's time for you to have a come to Jesus meeting with the Black community.

This kind of crap is why young people are turning away from the church, because of shady characters like you who spend more time sucking up to power than speaking truth to it.

Time for Moni to speak some truth to you.

Pastor John Gray, shut up fool!.

Sir Lady Java Interview

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Sir Lady Java was one of our trans pioneers and elders who worked with Lena Horne, Redd Foxx and others as the premiere female illusionist of the 60s and 70's.

She was not only #BlackTransExcellence in her day, Lady Java was also a trans rights warrior, helping to take down the odious LAPD Rule Number 9.

#Legendary #Iconic #Sir Lady Java
Lady Java is still with is.  She's living in Los Angeles these days and now doing interviews talking about her life and 'her people' as she calls girls like us. 

Check out this

Thursday, August 09, 2018

No White Supremacist Express Subway Train For Their DC Hate Rally

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The white supremacists are coming to Washington DC's Lafayette Park on August 12 to celebrate the one year anniversary of their 'Unite The Right' Rally in  Charlottesville, VA.

As you are aware of, many of DC's 700,000 residents are Black and not feeling the Klan affiliated hatemongers coming to town.  You can count DC Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) as one of the many people who aren't feeling this march.

"We have people coming to our city for the sole purpose of spewing hate," Mayor Bowser said. "We denounce hate, we denounce anti-Semitism, and we denounce the rhetoric we expect to hear this Sunday."

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One of the things that was suggested for security purposes was to give the Klan affiliated hatemongers a special WMATA subway train comprised of three rail cars to transport them from their assembly point near the Vienna, VA station to the Foggy Bottom-GWU station.  The haters would be subsequently escorted by police from that station to the Lafayette Park rally site.

The proposal was made by WMATA officials as a way to avoid a repeat of the violent confrontations that happened in  Charlottesville.

That plan got derailed (pun intended) quickly when the Amalgamated Transit Workers Union Local 689 declared in a statement their members would refuse to drive those trains.  They correctly felt it would give special treatment to hate groups and a courtesy that hasn't been extended to any other group planning a march or rally in Washington DC.

D.C. transit union: No special subway cars for white supremacists!“Local 689 is proud to provide transit to everyone for the many events we have in D.C. including the March of Life, the Women’s March and Black Lives Matters rallies," ATU Local 689 president Jackie Jeter said in the statement.“We draw the line at giving special accommodation to hate groups and hate speech,” Jeter said. “We find it hypocritical... to make these unprecedented special accommodations for a hate group.”The union said that people of color make up “more than 80 percent of Local 689’s membership...  the very people that the Ku Klux Klan and other white nationalist groups have killed, harassed and violated. The union has declared that it will not play a role in their special accommodation.”

WMATA has dropped the idea, and is now coordinating via talks with the Virginia State Police, the MPD and Metro Transit Police what they will do to keep everyone safe on hate rally day and keep it peaceful.

Image result for Amalgamated Transit Workers Local 689 metro rally train
Good luck with that.   But one thing to note is there will not be a white supremacist express subway train for their DC hate rally. 

Wonder if Dolt 45 will make an appearance at Lafayette Park so he and Stephen Miller can hang out with all the 'good people' that will be at that hate rally?   

Variety's First Ever Transgender In Hollywood Roundtable


As many of you TransGriot readers are aware of, I'm a huge supporter of trans actors playing trans people in film and television roles, and trans writers predominately writing those characters.

The success of the FX TV show POSE speaks to what can happen when you let trans people tell their stories.  It also speaks to the authenticity that shines through it when you cast trans actors to play trans roles.

FYI Hollywood, trans actors can also play cis roles.   How about hiring some of my Hollywood trans peeps to do just that? 


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Variety magazine, the media publication of record for Hollowood, just released a Transgender In Hollywood issue. 

It also conducted this first ever Transgender Artists Roundtable discussion that included Laverne Cox, Alexandra Billings, Trace Lysette, Brian Michael, Chaz Bono, and Jen Richards.

Enjoy.



I'm Midterm Election Ready - Are You?

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One of the informational nuggets that emerged from the MomsRising #NN18 panel last week was making sure that you are registered to vote for this critical to our democracy 2018 midterm election.

Our panel  moderator Kristin Rowe Finkbeiner pointed out that the staff of MomsRising recently checked their registrations.  Two of them discovered to their horror that despite being active voters, they had been chopped from their local voting rolls. 

So before November 6 gets here, please check to make sure you're registered to vote before your state's deadline day, and keep checking it on a regular basis for the next 91 days.

This is going to be crucial,  especially if you live in a state with a Republican secretary of state or a county with a Republican voter registrar.   The GOP knows they are going down hard, will be desperate to purge people off the voter rolls, and the conservative controlled SCOTUS will look the other way as they do so. 

I had concerns about mine since I just moved, but with my new license arriving on Monday and my new voter registration card arriving yesterday combined with me spotting my name on the county Harris Votes database, I'm midterm election ready and will be cross checking it all the way to the October 9 deadline date to register in Texas.

And yes, I plan to be at the polls for the first day of early voting in Texas on October 22 

So handle your electoral business and make sure you are midterm election ready.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Ciora Thomas Named To PA Commission of LGBT Affairs

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That was fast.

Just posted yesterday about the Pennsylvania Commission of LGBT Affairs being devoid of Black trans representation, and now comes word that the oversight has been fixed.

Ciora Thomas of Pittsburgh has been added to the commission as of today.   And yes, she's a proud girl like us.

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She's the founder of Sisters PGH,  serves on the Pittsburgh LGBTQIA+ Advisory Council secured a partnership and position on the board of Proud Haven, an organization that provides a safe shelter for homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) youth/adults.

Congrats Ciora!  I know you'll be an unapologetic voice for Pennsylvania trans folks.   Kudos also to whoever was reading and listening to Ernest and myself, and 
fixed the representation problem with the LGBT Commission that Ernest Owens and I were calling out.

Sharice Davids Wins Kansas 3rd District Dem Congressional Primary!

This 2018 election cycle is shaping up as one in which Native American women will make potentially historic gains if things break right for them on November 6. 

Image result for sharice davidsPaulette Jordan captured the Democratic nomination for Idaho governor.  In New Mexico Deb Haaland won the Democratic nomination for the 1st Congressional District seat by double digits back in June, and she is favored to win in the general election.

Now in Kansas we have Sharice Davids, who knocked off a Bernie backed candidate that he and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez controversially came west to campaign for.

Davids beat Brent Welder by over 2000 votes in the Kansas 3rd District race to capture the nomination.

Hillary Clinton won this district in 2016 by a single point over Trump 47%-46%

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Davids will face off against incumbent Rep. Kevin Yoder (R), a House Appropriations Committee member who has held this seat since 2011.   Yoder won his GOP primary race with only 68% of the vote after casting votes for Obamacare repeal and the steep GOP tax cuts.

That primary performance was noted by the esteemed Cook Political Report, who moved this KS-3 race from Lean R into the Toss Up category

This is another race in which a woman has beaten a male candidate on the Democratic side, and now Davids gets a shot at sending Yoder back to Kansas while making some electoral history of her own.

If she wins on November 6, she would become one of two Native American women elected to Congress.

Here's hoping that happens for her in 91 days. 
 

CNN's Don Lemon Puts Dolt 45 On Blast

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You long time TransGriot reader know that over the history of this blog I've had my issues at times with CNN's Don Lemon.   But since Trump's election he has been calling out Dolt 45 on the regular and tellin' it like it T-I-S is. 

After Dolt 45 made more racist tweets attacking him and Lebron James, Lemon took some time on his CNN show to put Dumb Donald on blast.



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Will Kim Coco Make More Electoral History This Saturday?

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Kim Coco Iwamoto is no stranger to making electoral history in her home state of Hawaii.

She was twice elected to the Hawaii State Board of Education in 2006 and 2010, becoming the first out trans person to be elected to a statewide office.   Now the former member of the Hawaiian Human Rights Commission is attempting to become the lieutenant governor of the Aloha State

She has a contested Democratic Party primary election that she has to get through first that takes place on August 11.   There are four other Democratic candidates besides Iwamoto in the lieutenant governor's race, and should she win this still tight race that is up for grabs, that will put her one step closer to becoming Hawaii's lieutenant governor.

Iwamoto has been endorsed by the UNITE HERE Local 5 union that reps over 11,000 Hawaiian hospitality, health and food service workers and the Maui Times.    The Local 5 endorsement is considered a major one in Hawaiian politics, and she has been surging in the polls in the runup to the election with a lot of people still trying to make up their minds about who will be their next lieutenant governor. 

Here's hoping that happens for Kim Coco and for our community.   We'll find out if it does this Saturday.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Dale Hansen Calls Out Jerry Jones Anthem Hypocrisy

Dallas sportscaster Dale Hansen calls out hypocrisy of Jerry Jones' anthem policy

"The young, black athletes are not disrespecting America or the military by taking a knee during the anthem. They are respecting the best thing about America. It’s a dog whistle to the racists among us to say otherwise.
They, and all of us, should protest how black Americans are treated in this country. And if you don’t think white privilege is a fact, you don’t understand America."
-Dale Hansen, September 2017 
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As someone who lives on the southern end of I-45 and unapologetically roots for every Houston sports team, I've always had my hate on for the Dallas Cowchips.  One NFL game I'll definitely be watching in this 2018 season is on October 7 when my beloved Texans play the Cowchips in a nationally televised game at NRG Stadium 

It's not about as Cowchip fans like to crow Houston envy for their Super Bowl titles they won in the last century, but their faith based arrogance in running with the 'America's Team' moniker bestowed upon them by NFL Films.

And Jerry Jones has given me more ammo to despise them with. 

Despite the fact the NFL Players Association and the NFL are currently in talks to come to a happy medium on the anthem protests, Jones decided to kiss Trump's anus and declare along with his son Stephen Jones that Cowboys players would not be allowed to sit in the locker room during the anthem.    He also declared that any Cowboys player who protests during the anthem will be fined or cut from his team. 

But Jerry loves America so much that when the anthem was played before a Cowchip practice last Saturday, he left his cap on.   When told about his mistake, he left it on anyway.

Dale Hansen made an eloquent statement last year in one of his Hansen Unplugged segments concerning why the NFL anthem protests are happening. 

Here's Hansen again calling out Jerry Jones' anthem hypocrisy



The PA Commission of LGBT Affairs Is Black Trans Free

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Governor Tom Wolf (D) signed an executive order yesterday that created the Pennsylvania Commission of LGBT Affairs.  It is the only one like it in the entire nation.

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But it has a seriously problematic omission as pointed out on his FB page by NABJ award winning journalist, CNN contributor and Philly Mag LGBT editor Ernest Owens.

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THIS IS DISAPPOINTING. Finally getting back in the groove from a long week off and see a lot of things remain the same.
There is something very wrong with this list of 40 LGBTQ names chosen to take place in this historic moment for Pennsylvania.
THERE ARE NO BLACK TRANSGENDER PEOPLE ON THIS LGBTQ AFFAIRS COMMISSION. NONE. NOT A SINGLE ONE.
Looking even closer, I don't think there might be any trans people of color on board for that matter. THIS IS ERASURE. THIS IS A PROBLEM.
To make matters worse, out of the 40 people -- TWO DO NOT EVEN IDENTIFY AS LGBTQ -- State Rep Dan Frankel and State Senator Larry Farnese.
So in other words, two cis-gender straight white "allies" are taking up space in a position of leadership that could be designated by more of our people.
Furthermore, the majority of this list is most of the same ole' respectable token LGBTQ leaders who dominate the conversation within the state all the time.
The fact that none of them spoke out about this glaring omission speaks volumes. The fact that they felt comfortable being in a room that ignored a subset of our community that lead the call for LGBTQ equality long before any of their cis-gender, non-diverse assess says a lot.
I'm disappointed by this list and by the fact that in 2018, we are still acting like transgender people of color aren't out here putting in that work.
To the 40 people on this list, including the two straight white cis-gender men, change this ASAP.

***

Image result for Sharron CooksOnce again, out of the 40 Pennsylvanians that have been named to this groundbreaking commision, none of them are part of the most marginalized group in the commonwealth, Black trans people.

And it's not like you don't have Black trans people that could have been picked to serve on it. 

I do know of one who has national respect in Black trans circles who was not only a 2016 DNC delegate for Pennsylvania, but would be an excellent addition to that commission in Sharron Cooks. 

She is probably the most high profile Black trans leader in Pennsylvania, and she's not on this LGBT commission?   But I guess Sharron is 'too Black' and 'too woke' for y'all, huh? 

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And before you go there, Amber Hikes is a Black cisgender woman.   While she's part of the LGBT fam, I've met her during one of my trips to Philly and personally like her, that's not the same as having a Black trans person who deals with the daily microaggressive slights of living life in Pennsylvania while being unapologetically Black and trans.

We need Black trans people like Sharron, who are well versed in the issues that affect Pennsylvania Black trans people, to be on that Pennsylvania LGBT commision to unapologetically talk about them.

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It also occurred to me there are no Latinx trans people on this commission either.   Where's Naiymah A.Sanchez's name?   Was she even extended an invitation to join it?   Latinx trans voices are needed as well if you're going to craft effective policy that helps the Pennsylvania trans Latinx community.   

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But I see you had no problem putting Tyler Titus on it, and doing so as a co-chair.   Congrats to him for being tapped as a co-chair of this LGBT commission, but I still have to call out the fact that it looks like so far he's the only trans person on this commission, and as usual, the interests of white trans people will be repped and articulated on it from the outset.

And yes, there are also Black trans masculine leaders in Pennsylvania.  Where are they on this list?

The bottom line is that Black, Latinx and other trans persons of color live in Pennsylvania and deserve representation on this statewide LGBT commission. 

If you're going to create this commission, Gov Wolf, in order to craft policy that improves the lives of trans Pennsylvanians, the voices of trans people of color must be at the table at the outself to help shape equitable policies and procedures that come out of it.


TransGriot update:  Not long after writing this post, discovered a Latinx trans man was part of the original list of members of this commission.   Ciora Thomas was added the next day