Monday, November 12, 2018

What's Victoria's Secret? - It's Transphobic

One of the things that I did early into my transition was head to the Victoria's Secret store near my old southwest side apartment and buy a couple of pairs of Victoria's Secret bras and panties that I liked.

The 2018 edition of the Victoria Secret Fashion Show just happened in New York City after bouncing to Shanghai and Paris for the last two years. 

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The show has propelled some of its participants like Brazil's Adriana Lima into modeling superstardom, and I know that one of the goals of some of my trans sisters who are ripping runways like Isis King and Carmen Carrera is to one day walk that Victoria Secret Fashion show that is broadcast to 44 nations around the world.

Several years ago there was an online petition campaign seeking to have Carrera become the first trans Angel that garnered over 40,000 signatures.   That petition was ignored.

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Now we know why.   Victoria's Secret Chief Marketing Officer Ed Razek revealed in a recent interview that transphobia and prejudice against plus size models roams its hallways in response to a question from American Vogue magazine's Nicole Phelps about whether trans models would have the opportunity to become Victoria's Secret Angels.

"No. No, I don’t think we should,” Razek told Phelps. “Well, why not?",asked Phelps in a follow up question.

"Because the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is. It is the only one of its kind in the world, and any other fashion brand in the world would take it in a minute, including the competitors.”

Umm hmm.  When the worldwide backlash from those transphobic and plus size phobic interview comments hit, Rezek tried to quickly backpedal from what he said.

Came across as insensitive?   Dude, it was straight up insensitive and transphobic to boot.   Carmen Carrera and other trans models have reported they have never received a casting call invitation from VS for the show. 

I also have a major problem with the fact you barely have models of color in your shows, and it's why I don't care to watch to VS fashion Show broadcast.

Other trans women have expressed themselves about Rezek's comments like my British trans sister Munroe Bergdorf.

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"To me, his apology sounds like back-pedaling and brand damage limitation. The damage has already been done and he has exposed himself and the brand for how they view women who do not fit a very exclusive and narrow minded criteria when it comes to gender and body shape."

To her, Razek’s original comments “speak volumes about how certain people within the industry still view trans women.” “This comment is rooted in transphobia and feeds into the narrative that trans women are not women,” Bergdorf states. “If you want to sell a fantasy, then sell a fantasy. Fantasy can be whatever you want it to be and if that intentionally doesn't include trans women, then that's your prejudice talking. The reality is that trans women are desired by many, to suggest otherwise is shortsighted and without doubt transphobic.”
Carmen Carrera said in response to a Teen Vogue interview question about why Victoria's Secret has been slow to embrace diversity.

"I think that Victoria’s Secret is afraid, and they’re unwilling to take a risk. I think we are seen as a liability rather than the amazing opportunity we truly are. I think by them not including us, it's sending a dark message and contributing to the ignorance and hate that exists today. They as a company have the power to give us the opportunities that we need to thrive, and to actually set the record straight on who we are to the world at large. They need to stop looking at us as a liability, and instead look at us as potential for positive change in the world," she stated.

"Because that’s who we’ve always been. It almost feels like they’re waiting for us to become famous enough on our own until they have no choice but to include us, but the reality is that’s almost impossible without help and support from companies like them in the first place. It’s hard for us to thrive without the resources. We’re so disenfranchised: We barely have equal rights and federal protection. They have the power and potential to help change that,." Carrera continued.

I was considering buying some Victoria's Secret undies for myself and some trans friends of mine for Christmas, but I think I'll pass until a trans feminine person ( or multiple trans feminine people) rip that VS runway.   

TransGriot Note: Thanks to Elizabeth Rivera for the VS boycott graphic

Saturday, November 10, 2018

'Assigned Male' Cartoonist Sophie Labelle In Houston Today!

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I met Sophie during the 2012  Philly Trans Health Conference and fell in love not only with the French Canadian cartoonist, girl like us and public speaker, but her Assigned Male comic.

Assigned Male chronicles the adventures of Stephie, a young Canadian trans girl from Montreal getting adjusted to life while trans.   The cast of Assigned Male also includes her gender nonconforming friend Ciel, their cis friend Eirikur, her boyfriend Frank, her brother Virgil and a diverse cast of minor characters.
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And yes, I'm a fan of Assigned Male, with its cast of unapologetic trans and gender nonconforming characters making their way in the world.  It also has some timely commentary on events transpiring in Canada, the US and the world concerning trans people.

It has also drawn it share of right wing haters who hate the unapologetic truth telling that Assigned Male brings to its updated three times a week webcomic pages. 

Labelle is currently doing a US Tour, and the southern US leg of it started in New Orleans with stops in Austin last night, Houston today and Denton on Tuesday.

Looking forward to seeing Sophie and welcoming her to H-town.  If you want to see her and get some Assigned Male swag at the same time, you'll need to swing by the Montrose Center starting at 4 PM CST.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Tired Of The Racist Commentary Being Aimed At Judge-elect Hidalgo

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On Tuesday night no doubts were left that Harris County is undeniably blue as the blue tsunami knocked every remaining Republican judge off the bench, fired the much disliked Stan Stanart, and left every executive position in Democratic hands when the night was over.

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Lina Hidalgo's upset win over longtime county judge Ed Emmett combined with Adrian Garcia's win for the Precinct 2 commissioners court seat put the Democrats in control of that body for the first time in over a decade.

Much of the racist vitriol about the shellacking the Harris County Republicans took Tuesday night is being aimed at our new county judge-elect, who at 27 is the youngest person ever elected to the position since 1937.  She's also the first Latina to also hold the top executive position in Harris County. 

And frankly. I'm tired of it.

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As you have probably guessed, the commentary from the right wing peanut gallery is that 'straight ticket Democratic voters put her in office'.  And that came from sore loser Ed Emmett. 

The MAGAt's have picked up on that attack line, in addition to calling her 'unqualified' and 'inexperienced' along with other epithets I won't repeat in this post.   As for the other ridiculous charge of 'she's never attended a Harris County commissioners court meeting' or 'hasn't spent much time in the county', hello, she was spending that time outside the county getting a Stanford degree. 

I am a native Houstonian and I've never attended a commissioners court meeting either.   So what's your point with that BS line?    I know one commissioner court meeting I am going to attend soon is the one in which she and Adrian Garcia are officially sworn in.

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Hidalgo has a degree from Stanford University and studied public policy at Harvard.  She's going to get a chance to put that education to work on behalf of the 5 million residents of Harris County. 

I find it interesting y'all don't worry about qualifications and experience when it's a Republican white male running for a position.   You also didn't complain about straight ticket voting when it benefitted your party in 2010 and 2014.

And speaking of complaints, I'll bet if Hidalgo were a white female with the same or lesser qualifications, we wouldn't be hearing a peep out of the GOP peanut gallery, especially if she was on their political team.  But because she's a Latinx woman, and her upset win flipped control of commissioner's court to make it look more like our diverse county, y'all wanna hate. 

I'm also tired of hearing people on the left grousing about Emmett being bounced.  Really don't care, because as far as I'm concerned, the only good Republican politician these days is an out of office one. 

If Emmett were a good man as y'all claim he is, he would have left the Republican Party.  Since he didn't, he paid the political price for it in a county that is filled with non-white people sick and tired of being repeatedly attacked and demonized by the Texas GOP.

Harris County is blue, I and the majority of Democratic voters wanted Democrats in these positions and we seized the opportunity to make Harris County blue again. 

And yes, I think she'll do an excellent job in the position. 

So be mad and stay mad about that Harris County GOP snowflakes.   But what we will not do is tolerate racist commentary being aimed at our new County Judge-elect.|

Thursday, November 08, 2018

TransGriot NFL Picks- Week 10

While I stayed above .500 during Week 9 because I was on the wrong side of a few close games, Mike had another double digit win week.

My Texans are now on a six game winning streak and chilling on their bye week along with the Broncos , Ravens and Vikings

Time to get serious and rebound from last week.   Mike's picks are here 

Thursday Night Games
Steelers over Panthers

Sunday Early Games
Bears over Lions
Saints over Bengals
Falcons over Browns
Jaguars over Colts
Chiefs over Cardinals
Bills over Jets
Washington over Buccaneers
Patriots over Titans

Sunday Afternoon Games
Chargers over Raiders
Packers over Dolphins
Rams over Seahawks

Sunday Night Game
Eagles over Cowboys

Monday Night Game
49ers over Giants

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Trans America Has a Great 2018 Election Night

The political junkie in me was up late watching returns and election coverage until I finally called it a night at 3 AM.   While I was focused on Texas, local and some key national races, I also had a nervous eye cast in the direction of Massachusetts to see what was happening with Question 3.

After a trans non discrimination law was passed in 2016 with public accommodations language, the Axis of Anti-trans Evil in the Bay State gathered signatures to put it on the ballot.

It was the first time we'd had a trans rights law put on the ballot for potential repeal, and the stakes were high surrounding Question 3.  A loss using the same bathroom predator attacks in a blue state means that us red state folks would probably spend 2019 fighting a red tide of anti-trans referenda.  A win means our Massachusetts trans and GNC fam keep that hard fought for law.

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The national trans community justifiably saw this as a must win referendum.  Laverne Cox, VA Del Danica Roem, Trans United Fund and other people went to the state to help the YES on 3 team get what turned out to be a huge win for American transkind as the Trump misadministration is preparing to ramp up anti-trans oppression.

Question 3 was a resounding win for the trans community  1.5 million Massachusetts voters, or 67.7 percent, voted YES to preserve the current anti-discrimination law and support transgender rights. About 700,000 people or 32.3 percent, voted NO.

While the Massachusetts Question 3 referendum was the big news for Trans Election Night 2018, we also had in New Hampshire two more trans women get elected to state legislatures.

Gerri Cannon and Lisa Bunker were elected to the New Hampshire House.  Cannon finished second in the Stafford County District 18 race.  Bunker will represent Rockingham County after she won in District 18, that includes the city of Exeter.

Brianna Titone's race in Colorado is too close to call at this moment.  She's trailing by 400 votes in the race for the open Arvada area HD-27 seat    In another open seat race in Montana's HD 52, Amelia Marquez is trailing Republican Rodney Garcia by just 205 votes

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As for the other trans candidates in this cycle, Christine Hallquist's bid to become the first ever trans governor fell short in Vermont, but she got an impressive 40% of the vote. 

Martin Rawlings- Fein and Mia Satya fell short in their San Francisco school board races,

In my home state of Texas, Finnigan Jones got 44% of the vote, but lost to incumbent Republican Tony Tinderholt.    The Austin City Council races also didn't break Danielle Skidmore's or Jessica Cohen's way in their respective council district races.

So we trans Texans are still waiting for our first elected trans officeholder.

So while we had a great night, it definitely could have been a lot better.   These close races will eventually break our way and result in more trans people getting elected and #TransformingPolitics when we do so. 

But we did take more steps toward making that political day happening

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

It's Election Day, Family! Go Vote!

At 7 AM the polls will open in Texas and across the nation for a crucial election that will determine the course of this country.    If you haven't voted already, please do so.

Nah, scratch that.  That crucial election to our country was two years ago.  The one today will determine how fast and how much of the mess gets cleaned up from Agent Orange's disastrous mispresidency. 

As for how I feel at this moment?   I'm nervous, but a lot more confident we'll have some successes to celebrate later tonight than I was in the last days before the 2016 election..

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I've already cast my ballot.   I did so on the first day of early voting, and was part of the massive early voting turnout in Harris County that saw over 855K of us heading to the polls nearly matching our 2016 presidential election numbers.   There were over 5 million Texans lining up to do so across the state as the last minute attack ad blitz and nonstop political ads had me frequently picking up my remote to hit the mute button.

So who did I vote for?   Damned sure wasn't my Texas Republican oppressors.  I had plenty of great Democratic candidates to vote for up and down the ballot. 

In Harris County, I got the pleasure of voting for the 19 Black women who are seeking to sprinkle their sorely needed Black Girl Magic, Black Excellence and diversity all over our Harris County court system.    Good luck to you, ladies.

We have trans candidates on the ballot across the country seeking to transform politics and make history in their respective states.   Christine Hallquist is running for governor of Vermont.  Brianna Titone and Amelia Marquez are seeking to become state legislators in Colorado and Montana.
Martin Rawlings-Fein and Mia Satya are running for positions on the San Francisco school board.

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And in the Lone Star State, Danielle Skidmore, Jessica Cohen and Finnigan Jones are running for the Austin City Council and Texas Legislature.

I'll be casting an nervous eye toward Massachusetts to see if Question 3 either passed to protect the human rights of trans Bay Staters or enough transphobic Massholes voted NO to gut the just passed trans rights law.

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I'll also be looking at Georgia, Florida and Maryland to see if all three states elected their first Black governors in Stacey Abrams, Andrew Gillum and Ben Jealous.

To avoid the nerve wracking anxiety of watching the clock and trying to resist the temptation to watch MSNBC and CNN until the polls close, I'll definitely be relying on my DVD movie collection and Netflix subscription to distract me.   

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When the polls finally do close,  if I don't attend somebody's watch party,  I'll be at home hitting the laptop going to the Harris County elections website and yelling "Fire Stan Stanart" as our election returns get released at a snail's pace.

Remember, voting is like driving a car.   If you want society to move forward, you vote 'D'.  If you want society to move backwards, you vote 'R'

 Once again, it's Election Day!  Handle your electoral business and go vote.

Monday, November 05, 2018

Radio Interview With Paola Acha Today

Another day, another radio interview.   This time I'll be on the air with the lovely Paola Acha, the hostess of the Be Cool Be Smart show on KNLY 91.1 FM The Boss in The Woodlands.

Yep, the Woodlands. 

Her show runs from 3- 4PM CST and is available through YouTube and Facebook Live

Looking forward to heading up to the northern 'burbs in Montgomery County and spending what promises to be an enjoyable hour talking about whatever issues come up for discussion in that time frame

Here's the link to the show

Friday, November 02, 2018

WPATH Conference Starts Today

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The 25th biennial World Professional Association for Transgender Health Conference (WPATH) is starting today in Buenos Aires, Argentina and running through November 6.

So what is WPATH?   It is a professional association headquartered in the United States devoted to the study and treatment of gender dysphoria, that was formerly known as the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association. 

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Its mission is to promote evidence based care, education, research, advocacy, public policy, and respect in transgender health.  In addition to medical professionals and trans activists, other attendees include people working in the fields opsychology, law, social work, counseling, psychotherapy, family studies, sociology, anthropology, speech and voice therapy and sexology.

Non professionals in those fields are also welcome to join WPATH, but don't have voting privileges in the organization.

Image result for argentinaWith trans communities in the US, Great Britain and elsewhere facing unprecedented facts free attacks on their humanity and human rights, this conference is happening in Argentina at a crucial time in our community's history.

Argentina has also been a leader in the last few years in passing trans supportive human rights policies and laws.

Good luck to everyone traveling to Buenos Aires for this conference, and may they all return to their home nations better informed on trans medical issues and the issues of importance to trans communities around the world.

Thursday, November 01, 2018

TransGriot 2018 NFL Picks- Week 9

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The calendar has flipped to November,  the NFL trading deadline passed on October 30, and we're past the halfway point of the NFL season with my Texans, after stumbling out of the gate 0-3, now on a five game winning streak and in  first place in the AFC South with a two game lead on the Tennessee Traitors.

And at the trading deadline, they added Demaryius Thomas to our receiving corps after Will Fuller tore his ACL in last week's win over the Dolphins. 

In Week 8 of the NFL prognostication contest I have going with Mr Watts, both of us tied with 13-1 records, narrowly missing getting that first ever perfect week.   I got the Seahawks-Lions game wrong, and Mike got the Cardinals 49ers one incorrect. 

I still have the lead going into the second half of the season, and it's time to build on it.  Only have  13 games to pick because six teams, the Cardinals, Bengals, Jaguars, Colts, Eagles and Giants are all on their bye week.

Y'all know the drill. Teams I pick to win in bold print with the HOME team in caps.   Mike's picks will be available via this link

Week 8 Results                                                   2018 NFL Season Results
TransGriot  13-1                                                  TransGriot
Mike           13-1                                                  Mike

Thursday Night Game
Raiders over 49ERS

Sunday Early Games
Bears over BILLS
PANTHERS over Buccaneers
Chiefs over BROWNS
DOLPHINS over Jets
Steelers over RAVENS
VIKINGS over Lions
WASHINGTON over Falcons

Sunday Afternoon Games
Texans over BRONCOS
SEAHAWKS over Chargers
Rams over SAINTS

Sunday Night Game
PATRIOTS over Packers

Monday Night Game
COWBOYS over Titans