Monday, May 28, 2018

Allen ISD Refuses To Respect A Trans Teen's Identity At Graduation

jay Transgender Teen Says School Wont Use Name He Identifies With At Graduation
I'm not surprised given that after the Dodie's Place restaurant in that town gleefully engaged in transphobia to mark its restrooms, that I would hear about more transphobia rearing its ugly head in Allen, TX.

 Jay Alfie began his transition during his freshman year at Allen High School.  A few months ago he checked with school administrators and made the simple request that his chosen name be used at the graduation ceremony.

They told him that it wouldn't be possible because in their words, it had to be legally changed.

Jay Alfie and family
Alfie's name change is pending, so his family is wondering why the Allen HS administrators are being so unreasonable about it

“It makes me feel sad that they’re not going to allow him to enjoy that last moment,” said Jorge Alfie. “What are we talking about here, 10 seconds? But it’s probably one of the 10 most important seconds of his life.”

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Every young person’s identity as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer should be honored, celebrated and supported. Allen High School should respect Jay Alfie’s identity and recognize him by his chosen name. To ’deadname’ a student as they cross the stage for graduation in front of their peers, friends, and family constitutes an act of abhorrent bullying and harassment,” Chuck Smith, CEO of Equality Texas, told NewNowNext.

“Alfie's sister has created a MoveOn petition that has nearly 5000 signatures that is simply asking for the Allen ISD to just announce Jay by his chosen name and not his dead name at his graduation..

We'll see this Friday if they do so, or just want to be transphobic bigots about it.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

2018 Williams Watch- It's French Open Time!

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The arrival of the month of May also means it's time for the second Grand Slam on the professional tennis calendar in the French Open

It starts tomorrow, and it's also the first Grand Slam tourney that Serena Williams will play in since she gave birth to her daughter Alexis back in September.   She was ranked number one in the world when she went on maternity leave, and is now ranked number 22 in the WTA rankings.

Knowing Little Sis, won't take her long to get back in the Top 10 or number one in the world

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She's chasing her fourth French Open title and her 24th Grand Slam title of her career.   But the terracotta clay courts of Stade Roland Garros are not her best surface, and as of yet she hasn't demonstrated she's back at playing Serena level tennis.

To add to the challenge she's facing, she's unseeded in this tournament and will start first round play against Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic.   Should she successfully clear that match, she'll face the winner of the Ashleigh Barty- Natalia Vikhlyantseva match.

Some of the seeded players in Little Sis' section of the bracket includes number 6 seeded Karolina Pliskova,   number 11 seed Juliana Gorges, number 17 seed Ashleigh Barty and number 28 seeded Maria Sharapova   

Image result for french open women's singles Venus williamsBut never underestimate Serena.   The French Open also has a pattern of many of the major seeds falling in the first two rounds.  If that pattern repeats itself and Serena is still standing as we reach Saturday, don't bet against holding up another Coupe Suzanne Lenglen when the tournament concludes on June 10 

Speaking of Top 10 players, one of them is her sister Venus Williams.  Big Sis is ranked number 9 in the WTA rankings, just above number 10 Sloane Stephens as she and Little Sis prepare for their business trip to Paris. 

Venus is also in search of her first French Open title since 2002.   She will start first round play against Qiang Wang of China.   If she handles her tennis business, she'll face in the second round the winner of the Petra Marcic-Yafan Wang match.

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Venus is also in the bottom half section of the draw that contains number 5 seed and 2017 French Open defending champ Jelena Ostapenko, number 22 seeded Johanna Konta, number 26 seeded Barbora Strycova and unseeded Yulia Putintseva and Victoria Azarenka. 

The Williams sisters will also play doubles in Paris, having been granted a wildcard entry into the doubles tournament.   They have won 14 Grand Slam doubles titles, with two of them occurring at the French Open in 1999 and 2010. 

The last time they played doubles at the French Open they fell in the third round in 2016 and in the first round in 2013. 

We'll see how they fare on this business trip to Paris in the singles and doubles draw.   

Moni's On KNON-FM's Lambda Weekly Tomorrow!

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Been a while since I was on Lambda Weekly, the radio show hosted by David Tafet, lerone Landis and the late Pati Fink on KNON-FM 89.3 in Dallas.

I get to do the show again at 1 PM CDT tomorrow.

For those of you who don't live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area or the broadcast range of KNON-FM, you can hear the show by going to the website and listening to the livestream of it  or downloading the phone app and listening to it that way.

No matter what way you do so, hope you tune in for it .

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Number 11- Rest In Power Gigi Pierce

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We've lost another trans person to a murder, and this time we head to the Pacific Northwest for this developing story.

28 year old Gigi Pierce of Boise, ID was shot and killed in downtown Portland, OR. late Monday evening following a disturbance between her and 33 year old Sophia Grace Adler.

Police arrived at the scene along SW 2nd Avenue between SW Ash Street and SW Arkeny Streets at 11:10 PM PDT to find Pierce lying mortally wounded on the sidewalk from a gunshot wound.

Pierce died at the scene after emergency responders administered first aid.

Adler remained at the scene and was subsequently arrested by Portland PD, taken to the Multnomah County Jail and booked on a murder charge. 

Police are not investigating this case as a potential hate crime at this time according to Portland police spokesperson Sgt. Chris Burley.

Adler's last know address was at the Salvation Army Harbor Light emergency shelter for women in downtown Portland less than a block from the crime scene.

Portland Police have released few details about the crime or whether the two women knew each other. If anyone has information, including video surveillance, they should contact Det. Vincent Cui at (503) 823-0449 or via email at

Unfortunately Gigi Pierce is now the 11th person we have lost this year to anti-trans violence.   Will be passing along more details in this case as I receive them.

Rest in power and peace Gigi.  Your trans family won't rest  until justice is served in this case.

No Justice, No 2018 NFL Prognostication

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You longtime TransGriot readers know I am such a huge NFL football fan that since 2010 on this blog I have been doing NFL prognostication posts that morphed into a season long competition with Michael Watts as to who is the best at doing so. 

Mr Watts after me winning back to back titles, finally won the 2017 season prognostication title and I was looking forward to the kickoff of this 2018 NFL season to take it back. 

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But after the NFL owners went full idiot and caved to Trump and their white supremacist fanbase by creating an unconstitutional rule that threatens to fine and penalize NFL players and team personnel for not standing for the national anthem, I have no choice but to take a stand on that.

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Prognostication is something I enjoy.  But last season was a slog for me in large part because I was conflicted about doing the prognostication while the NFL owners showed their white supremacist azzes, especially Bob McNair, the owner of my hometown NFL franchise,

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Far from explaining to your fans that NFL players are protesting injustice against American Americans and they are exercising their free speech rights, you are cowardly peddling the right wing lie that they are attacking veterans, the flag and whatever conservalie of the week you come up.

Why?  Because you wish to avoid having the uncomfortable conversation, and acknowledge that by you NFL owners dropping obscene amounts of money into Republican campaigns, you are accomplices in the persecution of Black people your players are protesting.
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If you don't rescind this obviously unconstitutuional rule designed to do nothing but muzzle the abilities of your players to express their constitutional right to protest, I'll have no choice but to sit out the 2018 NFL season in solidarity with the players you're racistly attempting to muzzle.

And I wouldn't be surprised to see a lawsuit hitting the courts soon on what is now a First Amendment free speech issue.
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Even people who cover the league see this for what it is.   A straight up admission that you NFLowners don't care about the Black players who make up the members of your teams or are truly listening to what these players to say about this social justice issue.

#NoJusticeNoNFLPrognostication   #NFLRacism   #NoCoercedPatriotism

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Patriotism should be a genuine expression of pride in your country and never forced on people.

That's a sign that you have a great country and a critical lesson you conservafools fail to understand. 

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You also fail to understand that dissent is the highest form of patriotism.  Criticizing the ills of your country so it can correct problems is the duty of all who consider themselves patriots     

Let's be real, far too often in my life my patriotism is conditional based on current events affecting my people and the answers to two questions: 

How do I feel about my country?   How does my country feel about me?

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And far too often I'm quite aware of the fact when I or any African American asks those questions, that a large percentage of my fellow Americans hate me and my people simply for existing, or daring to say why Black people feel the way we do about the USA.

No justice, no NFL prognostication..

Rest In Power Nicole Hall

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As many of you TransGriot readers are aware of, the severely decomposed body an unidentified Black trans woman was pulled out of White Rock Creek in Dallas on May 12.

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In order to facilitate identification of our losts trans sister, the Dallas PD created a sketch of our trans sister in order to get public assistance in identifying the body.

Dallas PD asked anyone who had information that would help identify her to contact Detective Chaney with the DPD Homicide Unit at 214-671-3650

Our sis has finally been identified, and her name is Nicole Hall.   She was 39

The Dallas County Coroner has not yet determined a cause of death, so we can't officially call this a murder until that official determination is made by the coroner. 

Nicole was a Dallas native and involved in the local Dallas trans community.according to her longtime friend Shannon Walker. 

As we wait for the cause of death determination, a memorial vigil is being planned for Nicole that will take place on Saturday at 7 PM, with a location to be determined .

A Gofundme  has also been set up for her.  he goal is to raise $900 for her final expenses for transport, cremation and an urn for her ashes. .

Rest in power and peace Nicole.

Fran Watson Runoff Election TX State Senate Bid Falls Short

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One of the bummer results from last night's Texas party primary runoff election races is that Fran Watson's historic bid to become only the third African American woman to be elected a Texas state senator ended last night.

Had Watson won, she would have not only stayed on course to become the third African American woman state senator, she would have possibly become the first ever openly LGBT one in Texas history.

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Texas State Senate District 17 is split across three counties, Harris, Fort Bend and Brazoria.   Despite Watson taking an early lead by winning the Brazoria County portion of the district, the same didn't happen in Harris and Fort Bend counties. 

Rita Lucido will get the Democratic nomination for Senate District 17 and will get a rematch with the incumbent senator Joan Huffman (R).  Best of luck to her this fall.

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But I do wish to take a moment to congratulate Fran Watson for a job well done in her first campaign for public office.  She forced a runoff with the favored Lucido.  7,659 Texans voted for you across three counties in this runoff election  and 12,621 did so on March 6. 

Countless other #TeamFran people supported you in your historic bid to become a Texas senator along with several organizations .
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Fran. you didn't lose.   We Texans lost by not having a quality person like you repping Senate District 17 when the next Texas legislative session starts in January   We need more progressive leaning people and politicians who will put the people first.  We need your thoughtful, eloquent voice resonating in Texas senate hearings and the Texas senate chamber during floor debates.

I have no doubts that it will happen for you.   Unfortunately it wasn't last night.

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Fran, just a note from our history for you and everyone else to peruse.  Barbara Jordan (who you were frequently compared to) lost her first two bids for the Texas House in 1962 and 1964.   She eventually won that historic 1966 state Senate race and every campaign after that until she retired from Congress in 1978. 

Something great is in store for you.   It's going to be interesting to see exactly what that is.

Lupe Makes Texas History!

Dallas Sheriff Lupe Valdez addresses delegates on the fourth and final day of the Democratic National Convention at Wells Fargo Center on July 28, 2016, in Philadelphia.
I've voted for her twice, in the March 6 and May 22 primaries, and now I'll get a chance to proudly vote for her on November 6.

Former Dallas County sheriff  Lupe Valdez made history last night by becoming the first Latina and first openly gay person to win a major party primary for Texas governor.   

She captured 53.1% of the vote in beat Andrew White, the son of former Gov. Mark White who described himself as a conservative moderate Democrat.

Umm naw cuz, I'll pass on that.

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"Tonight is a victory for all of us who are fighting for a stronger and fairer Texas.  A tolerant and diverse Texas.  A Texas where the everyday person has a voice and a fair shot -just as I had." 

She stated her gubernatorial primary victory proved that no matter who you are, where you're from or who you love -- in this state you have a fighting chance.

Valdez now advances to take on incumbent governor Greg Abbott (R), who is sitting on a $40 million campaign war chest and a 24 year Republican winning streak that has to end sooner or later. 

Asked about what is being considered an uphill battle to become the state's first Democratic governor since the legendary Ann Richards held the seat from 1990-1994, she said to supporters, "I am constantly hearing that this is an uphill battle - tell me when I didn't have an uphill battle.  I'm getting darn good at uphill battles"

She had an uphill battle in becoming Dallas County sheriff, and eventually ended up serving four terms there.

Here's hoping Lupe Valdez shocks the world on November 6 as well.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

It's Texas Primary Runoff Election Day!

It's Texas primary election runoff day!   So rise and shine and handle your business at your regular precinct if you didn't do so.

There were 33 March primary races in which the candidates didn't get more than the 50% they needed to declare victory and move on to November,  Those candidates who advanced to this runoff want and need your vote.  There are two runoff candidates, one from each party, who are incumbent state House reps.

So starting now until the polls close at 7 PM CDT (7 PM MDT for you peeps in El Paso and the portion of West Texas in the Mountain Time Zone), you need to handle your electoral business.

Bring your yellow voter registration card and your photo ID.   There are some races I'll be watching after the polls close .
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The big one is the Democratic gubernatorial one between Dallas County sheriff Lupe Valdez and Andrew White. 

The US House District 7 battle on the Democratic side between Laura Moser and Lizzie Pannill Fletcher. to see who takes on the incumbent Rep John Culberson in the fall.

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I'll be watching to see if Fran Watson gets a step closer to becoming only the third African American woman ever elected to the Texas Senate as she faces off against Rita Lucido in the TX Senate District 17 race.   Winner will take on incumbent transphobe Joan Huffman (R) 

I'll also be watching the US House District 22 race between Sri Preston Kulkarni and Letitia Plummer and the San Antonio area US House District 23 race between Gina Ortiz Jones and Rick Trevino

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On the Republican side, I'm watching the US House District 29 battle between the beauty queen and the transphobic bigot.   Phillip Aronoff is taking on former Miss Venezuela Carmen Montiel, with the winner facing off against TX state senator Sylvia Garcia. 

I want to see if the pattern continues of Republican candidates who deploy transphobia in their primary races end up losing them.

The US House District 2 race to replace the retiring Rep. Ted Poe has gotten contentious between state Rep. Kevin Roberts (no relation) and former Navy SEAL Dan Crenshaw. 

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Roberts was the frontrunner on March 6 with 33% of the vote, but Crenshaw leapfrogged several GOP candidates with longer political resumes by capturing 27% of the vote.

And he's making the GOP establishment supporting Roberts nervous

While Roberts has the backing of longtime conservatives Steven Hotze and Terry Lowry, Crenshaw picked up the endorsements of influential Houston conservative talk radio host Michael Berry over the weekend and former Texas governor Rick Perry.

We'll find out what happens after the polls close later today.   But no matter what party you support, go handle your business

Monday, May 21, 2018

Paulette Jordan Wins Idaho Democratic Governor's Race Primary

We have never had in the history of the United States a Native American governor of a state.

38 year old Paulette Jordan is seeking to change that.   She's a member of Idaho's Coeur d'Alene people, a member of its Tribal Council and an Idaho state representative.    You can also call her a trailblazer. 

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Jordan beat in a landslide the candidate much of the Idaho business community and the Idaho Democratic Party backed in A.J. Balukoff, who had previously run for Idaho governor in 2014. 

While Balukoff was campaigning as a pro-business candidate, he was also dogged by his controversial donations to Mitt Romney's 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns and ties to business groups. 

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Jordan was the favorite candidate of progressive groups, ran a populist campaign and called out his and the Idaho Republican Party's ties to big business groups. 

She blew out Balukoff by nearly 20 points on May 15 to become the Democratic nominee for governor, but now faces the task of winning in a deep red state that Dolt 45 won by 30 points two years ago as she challenges Idaho Lt. Governor Brad Little (R) to replace the retiring Gov. Brad Otter (R). 

If a Medicaid expansion gets placed on the ballot, it might help Jordan's chances of pulling off that upset.

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 If she does, she would become not only the first ever Native American governor of any US state, she would also become the first female governor of Idaho.

Another interesting race that will be on my radar this November 6, and definitely hope it goes Jordan's way. 

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Denny's LA Trans Fail

One of the questions still resonating from Jazmina Saavedra's gleeful harassing of a trans woman using the restroom in a Los Angeles Denny's is what was Denny's reaction to it?

Here's their statement about the incident:

We are extremely disturbed by the incident that took place at our Los Angeles restaurant this week. At Denny’s, we do not tolerate discrimination of any kind, inclusive of gender identity and sexual orientation.
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We are dedicated to providing a welcoming dining environment for all our guests and believe that our transgender guests and team members should be allowed to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with. Our restaurant teams attend training which covers our policies against discrimination and promotes respect for all guests. 
In this case, the video of this incident does not tell the full story. Our manager was approached by a guest complaining that a man was in the women’s restroom. Once a female team member checked that no one else was in there, the manager entered. 

Before seeing the guest, the manager observed drug paraphernalia on the floor near the guest and asked the guest to leave based on that observation, and not on her gender identity.
 There is no place for discrimination of any kind in our restaurants. We apologize to our transgender guest and others in the restaurant that had to endure another customer’s disrespectful behavior.

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Yeah right,  Denny's.   I am skeptical about the all too convenient allegation that the trans woman was being thrown out for 'using drugs' in the restroom. 

What about your failure in throwing the person out (Saavedra) who instigated the incident, possibly committed several crimes and violated the human rights of this trans person peacefully using the restroom while doing so? 

Why wasn't Saavedra thrown out as well?

And naw Jazmina, you have a long ugly history as the spokessellout for Latinos For Trump of parroting anti-LGBT slurs, so spare us the 'I'm not a transphobe' rhetoric, because you ARE what we say you are and happily demonstrated it for the world to see.  In addition, your reputation as an unrepentant homophobe and transphobe precedes you. 

So don't get mad conservasnowflake because we are expressing as a trans community our First Amendment rights to call out your reprehensible behavior.

We're tired of peeps like you dehumanizing us.   Our humanity and human rights are not up for debate or discussion.  Neither are we tolerating anti trans bigotry being aimed at us.  We have no problem calling it and you out for being a transphobic jerk.
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Hoping that Saavedra will be punished at the ballot box June 5 for her behavior.  The LA trans and gender non conforming community will have their say tomorrow at a peaceful protest being organized and sponsored by the Transgender Rights Movement from 11 AM -5 PM PDT at the Denny's located at 635 S Vermont Ave. 

It appears to me that some trans sensitivity training is needed and necessary so that Denny's actions match the lofty words in this statement.

Introducing The Duke and Duchess of Sussex!

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Back in 1981, I got up before the crack of dawn to watch the royal wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. 

Overslept this morning, and wish I hadn't for the wedding of Prince Harry and our sis Meghan Markle aka the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at St. George's Chapel.

Meghan Markle's Mother, Doria Ragland, Royal Wedding
As to why this is a BFD, anytime a sister gets married to a British royal for the first time since the 18th century, it is to the point that even ESSENCE magazine was covering it

And yes, Meghan's mom was slaying.

In case you're wondering, the last Black woman to marry into the British royal family was Queen Charlotte to King George III, and historians are still arguing about just how Black Charlotte was.

Queen Charlotte BTW, is who the city of Charlotte, NC was named after. 

Here's the full video of it for those of you who slept through it like I did

Interestingly enough, they are only the second royal couple to ever have the title, and the original Duke of Sussex campaigned for the abolition of slavery in the British Empire

But because King George III didn't approve of the Duke's two marriages and ruled them unlawful, that meant the Duke's two children weren't in the line of succession to the throne. 

All that to say that  when Markle said, "I do", she will officially become the first ever Duchess of Sussex.

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Back to the wedding.  The sermon from the Most Reverend Michael Curry just before the Duke and Duchess said their vows to each other was all that and ten bags of chips. 

It quoted the Rev Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr  in talking about the redemptive power of love


Curry is the first Black leader of the American Episcopal Church and an avid campaigner for social justice  and racial equality.  Reverend Curry basically gave the world a taste of what it's like to go to a Black church.

Congrats to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex!   Going to interesting to watch their marital journey from this side of The Pond. .