Friday, August 16, 2019

Never Demetria

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The late Maya Angelou once said that when somebody shows you who they are the first time, believe them.   One of the candidates in the 2019 Houston mayoral race has a long ugly history of showing us exactly who she is as an unrepentant transphobe and a homophobe.

That would be Demetria Smith.     And Moni has receipts.

Yep, the same Demetria Smith who has run for since 2013 a District D city council seat, Texas governor in 2018 and now twice for mayor in 2015 and this year.

The same Demetria Smith who is anti-HERO and still futilely trying to gaslight you into believing she isn't.

The same Demetria Smith that threw a hissy fit at a January 2018 Houston GLBT caucus meeting when her time ran out to speak at that meeting, then took to her social media in the wake of that public meltdown to falsely claim "the GLBT's are trying to silence me."

The same Demetria Smith that can't spell her own name right on her own campaign material.

She is the same Demetria Smith whose $3,750 filing fee check for the governor's race bounced, leading the Texas Secretary of State to declare her ineligible to run for the governor's office. 

It's not like she would have gotten any support had she been able to stay on the ballot in that Blue tsunami wave election year.   She got less than 1% of the vote the last time she ran for mayor in 2015, and is well on her way thanks to her unrepentant homophobia and transphobia to failing spectacularly again.

Oh yeah, almost forgot.  Don't you still owe the state of Texas $22,000 in delinquent filing fees?

The last few days have found Smith on social media once again letting her anti-gay and anti-trans flags fly.  She has attacked At Large 5 city council candidate Ashton P. Woods, Kandice Webber, Eric Edward Schell, Nick Arvizu-Hutchinson  and an increasingly lengthy list of other peeps in the Houston TBLGQ community tired of her bull feces and calling her on it.

It's reading time    But let me hydrate first.

(Moni cracks knuckles)

I am personally tired of your ignorant mentally constipated transphobic behind pushing the bathroom predator myth as your weak as well water excuse to hate on HERO.   And yes Demetria, you ARE a transphobe and homophobe who is unfit to hold any public elective office in Houston, Harris County or the state of Texas.

You don't like people calling you out about being a homophobe and transphobe?   Then stop saying homophobic and transphobic crap.   It's that breathtakingly simple.

But tragically, you can't help yourself, and I'm not expecting that miracle to happen.

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News flash for you Miss Thang.   It ain't the trans folks you need to worry about.  It's Baptist preachers, deacons, Catholic priests, Republican politicians and creepy uncles.

It's also pissing me off you're flapping those loud and wrong gums about 'predators' when we have predators who have declared open season on Black trans women.   Where's your concern about that? 
Don't their lives mater?

These are dangerous times in America, and we need intelligent leaders at all levels of government who stand up for everyone, not just heterosexuals.   If my rights as a trans Houstonian aren't secure, nobody's are.

HERO 2.0 without public accommodations language or coverage for trans people is a non starter.

Your beliefs as you call them are not grounded in anything but sheer ignorance, and as an award winning blogger and journalist, my job is to speak truth to power, call crap out and stamp out ignorance inside and outside my community.

You are batting .1000 when it comes to spreading that ignorance. 

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And let me get something straight with your reprehensible behind..  Gaybaiting is not a good look on you sweetheart.  Neither is willful ignorance or transphobia, and it's time for a makeover and a trip to the library.

It's also quite obvious that you desperately need education about LGBTQ issues but are unwilling to learn.   You also keep doubling and tripling down on your homophobia and transphobia and posting it on social media for the world to peruse as if that is something to be proud of. 

That's why you continue to fail whenever you run for office.   This 2019 election cycle will be another one in which you fail to learn from past mistakes, and you will get less than 1% of the vote in this upcoming election.

You have made it quite clear since 2013 that you are NOT that person we need at City Hall, and it's why I and an increasing majority of Houstonians are on Team #NeverDemetria

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Number 16- Rest in Power and Peace Tracy Single

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Unfortunately we are in a moment in which the trans murders have been happening at a fast and furious pace in the last few weeks.    The latest one happened in my Houston backyard back on July 30.

There was a July 30 news report of a woman found dead in a gas station parking lot along the eastbound feeder road in the 11000 block of the Katy Freeway (I-10 to the rest of y'all)  at 3:34 AM CDT   

Two local stations, ABC13 and FOX 26 reported her as a woman who did not die of natural causes, and HPD detectives were investigating the case.  It took a week to pass here in H-town before we were advised by our HPD LGBT liaisons that the woman who was found along I-10 back on July 30 was actually trans and was murdered. 

Dee Dee Watters subsequently organized an August 11 town hall meeting that led to us finally IDing  Tracy so we can now officially #SayHerName.

Now for the business end of this post. 

The 22 year old Single is now the 16th person we have lost to anti-trans violence in the US in 2019, the third in the state of Texas this year, and the 12th person under age 30 that has joined the ancestors far too soon.

If you peeps in the Houston area have any information that will lead the arrest and conviction of her killer, you are urged to call the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600  or call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8477).

Tracy is being remembered here in Houston by having City Hall lit up in the trans pride flag colors today and tomorrow.   

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There's also a stretch of six arched bridges along the below grade portion of I-69 here in Houston that cuts through the southern edge of the Montrose gayborhood that can be lit up in various colors.

Like City Hall, those bridges will be lit up thanks to Houston Mayor's LGBT Advisory Board Chair Harrison Homer-Guy in trans pride flag colors to honor our fallen sister.

As soon as I get confirmation of the funeral arrangements and memorial service, I'll pass that information along when I receive it

Rest in power and peace Tracy.   You were taken away from us way too soon, and we will not rest in the 713 until the person who killed you is locked up for a long stretch in a TDC unit.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Welcome Back To School, 2019-2020 TBLGQ Students!

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School is starting for many students in Texas this week, and later this month for Texas colleges and universities.   While this is the favorite time of the year for parents and the retailers enjoying their cash registers ringing from the just concluded sales tax holiday, the kids are lamenting the end of their summer vacations. 

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The start of the 2019-2020 school year is upon us, and I'm wondering what kind of school year that will be for our trans kids.  While Cruella DeVos has been rolling back protections for our kids at the Department of Education level and looks for new ways to inflict cruelty on our trans and GNC kids from pre-K to graduate school, our trans and gender non conforming kids despite the obstacles continue to survive and in some cases thrive   

There are a few districts in Texas and other states that have policies that protect the humanity and human rights of trans students, teachers and employees.

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You'll also as this school year plays out pass into the start of another decade of the 21st century during the winter break and the start of a presidential election year.

Bur during this first week, my thoughts are with our trans kids.   I'm definitely concerned about the ones who are about to start elementary school.  I'm also concerned about the ones making the jump from elementary to middle school since we elder all know how rough puberty was before adding trans issues on top of it. 

And with my 40th high school reunion happening next year, I'm thinking about our trans and gender non conforming kids who are either starting their freshman year in high school or beginning their senior year.

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I'm also thinking about the ones who about to take that giant leap to college or our trans folks who are in grad school.   Major props also go to the trans people who are in law school or medical school with the goal of serving our community in the medical and legal professions once they finish. 

I have no doubts that like many of your trans student predecessors, you will not only accomplish your educational goals, but in some cases will make history along the way.   There are still schools that have never had a trans homecoming or prom king or queen.  I'm still waiting to gleefully write about that first out trans valedictorian or salutatorian.   The first out trans class president.

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Some of you during the 2019-20 school year will unfortunately have to fight anti-trans bigotry along the way as you strive to get your educations.   Some of you who wish to participate in high school athletics will have to fight tooth and nail just to be able to compete while trans. 

Some of you will have to fight just to be able to wear clothing at prom or your graduations that reflects your true selves   But it's worth that battle for you to do so. 

Know that if you choose to fight for you human rights, your parents, your trans elders and our allies will help you fight that battle against the transphobes if that comes to pass.

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As a TK, I'm exceedingly proud not only of our trans and GNC students, I'm proud of all you trans folks who teach, whether it be at the K-12 or collegiate level.  You have my utmost respect and love as you do the most important job in our society and educate our next generations.

Happy 2019-2020 school year, TBLGQ students!   Hope it turns out to be a wonderful. and memorable one for all of you 

Laverne Cox Is On The Cover Of British Vogue!

Despite all the attempts of the British TERF's and their US counterparts to demonize and marginalize trans people on both sides of The Pond, to borrow the line from Maya Angelou, and still we rise.

Thanks to a project curated by the Duchess of Sussex entitled 'Voices For Change', Cox will become the first out trans woman featured on the cover of British Vogue.

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Cox is also no stranger to groundbreaking magazine covers.   She has been featured on the cover of Essence magazine twice, Cosmopolitan South Africa, Variety and Time in 2014

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“I am completely overwhelmed and overjoyed to share this cover,” Cox wrote in an Instagram post about the historic opportunity. “Being on the cover of Vogue magazine has been a dream of mine since I was a child. To get to share this cover with a group of women who inspire me, who are truly forces of change is deeply humbling.”
While she will be the first out trans person on British Vogue's cover, it won't be the first time the magazine has had a trans person grace its pages.

April Ashley
Back in 1960 British trans pioneer April Ashley was working as one of the hot models of the time until her career came to an abrupt halt after she was outed by the tabloids in 1961

During her modeling career the then 25 year Ashley was photographed for British Vogue by fashion photographer David Bailey.
Paris Lees
Journalist Paris Lees was first featured in a February 2018 photo shoot in the magazine, and became British Vogue's first out trans columnist in December 2018.

The Voices for Change edition guest edited by HRH the Duchess of Sussex, features Cox along with 14 other women that include Salma Hayek Pinault, Christy Turlington Burns, Jane Fonda, Gemma Chan, Sinead Burke and more.

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The British Vogue 'Voices for Change' September 2019 issue hit newsstands on August 2.  Get that piece of trans history while you can

Congrats to Laverne for blazing a trail once again and being an eloquent voice and possibility model for our community.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Number 15 -Rest in Power Jordan Cofer

We have been hearing about the twin terrorist attacks in El Paso, TX  and Dayton, OH all week.  Unfortunately one of the things trans America just learned as a community is that a trans man was killed in the Dayton terror attack.

Turns out that the 22 year old sibling of Dayton shooter Connor Betts was one of the nine victims in the August 4 attack by Betts at a popular club in the city's entertainment district    The sibling was also the first to die in that terrorist attack that also wounded 27 people before Betts was killed by Dayton police. 

That sibling, Jordan Cofer was being misgendered by family,  Dayton police and the media to the point that Jordan's friends spoke out about it.

According to writer Katelyn Burns,  Cofer was out to a group of friends,  preferred he/him pronouns and self identified as trans masculine..

That means that Cofer is not only the 15th trans person we've lost this year, but is also the first trans masculine and non-Black trans person killed in the United States in 2019.

Cofer's murder also continued the pattern of trans people under age 30 being killed.

It is a pattern that needs to stop. 

Rest in power, Jordan.   Your friends who loved you will ensure that you're never forgotten, and you will always live in their hearts and memories.

Friday, August 09, 2019

Shut Up Fool Awards- Texas Tax Free Weekend 2019 Edition

It's become the second busiest shopping weekend besides the Christmas holiday season, and that's Texas Tax Free weekend.

School is starting in many Texas districts next week.  The tax free weekend started back in 1999 in order to give parents gearing up for back to school an opportunity to buy all the things they need for their kids and ease the sales tax load.

If you're buying clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks priced under $100 from either a store in the Lone Star State or an online website that does business in Texas from August 9-11, what you purchase is exempted from Texas sales taxes this weekend.

Speaking of booming business, time to call out some fools because under this misadminstration, Shut Up Fool business is booming.

While there were many worthy fools to call out like Candace Owens, Dolt 45, Potty Dan Patrick,  Mike Huckabee, Mike Pence, Louie Gohmert and Sucker Tucker Carlson who made my job hard to pick just one out, this week I had to go with Ohio State Rep Candice Keller for the win.

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Keller laughingly tried to blame the mass terror shootings in El Paso and Dayton in a personal Facebook post she later deleted on former POTUS Obama, and 'breakdown of the American family caused by transgender, homosexual and drag queen advocates'.

Did I mention that Miss Right Wing Thang is trying to run for the Ohio State Senate?

Naw Candice, let's place the blame where it really lies.  Easy availability of assault weapons to anyone who wishes to buy them, and Republican legislators like you refusing to do anything about it because you're 'scurred' of the NRA

Military weapons that kill mass quantities of humans in seconds do not belong on American streets.  It's not the trans community fault that you're too cowardly to do your job as a legislator and fix the problem.   If you are unwilling to do that, maybe it's time for you to become an ex-legislator.

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And oh yeah, you need some drag queens in your pathetic life to give you a makeover.   But even they don't have the makeup skills to cover the ugliness that is deep down in your bones

Candice Keller, shut up fool

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Number 14- Rest In Power Pebbles LaDime Doe

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Another day, another Black trans woman murdered

We go to Allendale County, South Carolina to discuss the latest trans person who has joined the ancestors way too soon.,

Related image24 year old Pebbles LaDime Doe was found dead on August 4 inside a car parked in a driveway off Concord Church Rd.   

Allendale County is situated along the South Carolina-Georgia border 90 miles from Charleston and 73 miles northwest of Savannah. 

Neither the Allendale County sheriffs or the South Carolina state police  have any suspects in this case.  And as you probably guessed, media misgendering played a role in why it has take us

If you have any information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of Dime's killer, you are urged to call local law enforcement.

Now for the stats.  Doe is the 14th trans person we have lost to anti-trans violence in 2019 and the second in South Carolina this year.   Most infuriating to me as a trans elder is that Doe is the tenth we have lost under age 30.   

As for funeral arrangements, the visitation will take place on August 10 at the BF Cave Funeral Home in Allendale, SC from 6-& PM EDT.   The funeral will take place on August 11 starting at 12 noon EDT in Allendale, SC at the Magdalene Christian Church .

The family is accepting donations to defray funeral costs, and you can call Dime's mother Debra Sabb at 803-395-2834 for more details as to how you can help.

Rest in power and peace Dime.   You trans family will not rest until the perpetrators of the crime against you have been captured and justice is served.

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Law Harrington Senior Living Center Finally Breaking Ground Today

One of the stops that I enjoyed during a LGBT Media Journalists Convening trip to Philadelphia a few years ago was to the John C Anderson Apartments.

It was a seven story low income LGBTQ seniors apartment complex in the Philadelphia gayborhood.  I enjoyed a conversation I had with one of the residents, a trans woman named Barbara who dropped a history lesson on me in terms of what it was like to transition back in the 60's.

I walked away from that visit wondering why we couldn't have something similar to that in Houston.

Fortunately then Mayor Annise Parker was visiting a similar low income LGBTQ seniors complex in Los Angeles, and upon her return to Houston began the process in conjunction with the Montrose Center to replicate the same thing for us.

Later this morning at 10:30 AM ground will be broken on the 112 unit Law Harrington Senior Living Center at 2222 Cleburne Street 

It was first announced back in September 2018, but rising construction costs forced a delay. $23 million dollars in funding through various sources such as grants, tax credits and community donations and the No Place Like Home campaign put it back on track, and the final necessary funding was acquired in June.

Seniors age 62 and up will be housed in the one and two bedroom apartment on the site that located a 1.5 miles east of the Montrose Center along the proposed Blue Line light rail line in Third Ward. .

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The rent will be limited to no more than 30% of a prospective seniors income because one third of .    LGBTQ seniors live at or below 200% of the federal poverty line.   Housing discrimination also forces many LGBTQ seniors to go back into the closet just to survive or age in isolation from the community.

The complex will include a social services center, a group dining area, a garden, dog park, game rooms, a fitness center and a geriatric primary care facility provided by Legacy Community Health

The Montrose Center is not yet taking applications for housing in the complex, but you can best believe I'll be keeping an eye on how construction is progression on it since I'm less than 5 years from being able to apply for one of those units

Monday, August 05, 2019

You Mad Because I Didn't Meet With You, Nick Hellyar? Stay Mad

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The municipal political season is starting to heat up here in H-town with our November 5 election day rapidly approaching.

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That also means that because many people in the Houston area respect my time in the movement and my political opinions as a social media influencer, candidates who are running for office believe that it is important to contact me and seek my endorsement. 

My political star has also been rising in the wake of the HCDP's JRR luncheon and the well received acceptance speech for the Barbara Jordan Breaking Barriers Award back in May.
The candidates that I endorse for local office will be announced in a TransGriot post I'll write before early voting in our municipal election starts on October 21.

We had a contentious GLBT Caucus endorsement meeting this past weekend in which I discovered during the debate for the Caucus' At Large 4 endorsement that candidate Nick Hellyar was talking shyt about me behind my back.   

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In his words, Ana Andrea Molina, myself and Ashton Woods are in his words 'poor leaders' because we didn't take time out of  our busy schedules to meet with his vanillacentric privileged azz to discuss an endorsement.

And I have receipts in terms of how busy I have been.   This is just a snippet of some of the things I have done since April.  What was more important than spending my time with Nick Hellyar to discuss an endorsement? 

Let's see:

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*Traveled to Minneapolis to participate in the Andrea Jenkins Lecture Series on the U of Minnesota campus
*Attending a rally for Muhlaysia Booker in Dallas    
*The 8th annual BTAC Conference April 23-28
*A Lambda Voices radio interview on KNON-FM in Dallas  
*A 9 AM press conference on April 29 in Austin urging passage of HB 1513 
*The HB 1513 hearing in Austin at 9 PM on April 29 
*Supporting Frankie Gonzales Wolfe's potentially historic council run in San Antonio on my May 4 birthday.  
*Being given the Barbara Jordan Breaking Barriers Award at the HCDP JRR Luncheon  
*Attending Muhlaysia Booker's wake and funeral  
*Interviews with CNN and other media outlets concerning anti-trans violence aimed at Black trans women  
*Lobbying the Texas Lege a total of six times this session  
*Marching in the Dallas Pride Parade with the BTAC and Dallas Black trans people contingent 
*Participating in the March For Black Trans Lives in Dallas 
*Being a Houston Pride honorary Grand Marshal  
*Being honored by Sara Ramirez on the Barclays Center stage with Ana Andrea Molina and Ashton P. Woods at NYC WorldPride opening ceremony  
*Taught during the 2019 TXTNS a seminar on Contemporary Texas Trans History 101 
*MCing A Black Trans Lives Matter rally in Austin 
          *Netroots Nation 2019 panel discussion in Philadelphia 
*BTAC board meeting and Leadership Institute in Dallas  
*Taping an ABC Nightline interview with Dee Dee Watters and Diamond Stylz 
*Writing my columns for OutSmart and my TransGriot blog posts
The At large 4 seats started drawing candidates from other crowded races because At Large 4 incumbent CM Amanda Edwards decided to run for the US Senate., 
The Caucus decided not to endorse anyone in the At large 4 race   
Dr. Leticia Plummer also screened for it after switching from At Large 5, and I wish she could have gotten that endorsement. 

Christel Bastida, the candidate originally in the At Large 4 race (and a problematic one at that) didn't even bother to screen for it.   
Hellyar only switched to At Large 4 after it became clear he wasn't getting any traction in this district.   It has two strong front runners in Shelley Kennedy and Abbie Kaman who are likely to be in a runoff.
Speaking of problematic candidates, the more I looked into Hellyar and talked to people about him, the more problematic stuff came out, including his controversial turn as GLBT caucus president.  

Questions about whether he actually lived in District C, which was the position he was running for before filing for At Large 4 came up, in addition to his condescending answers at a Pride Forum focused on council candidates 

It also came to my attention that trans folks are not part of his vision for HERO 2.0 either. 

So be mad and stay mad that I haven't met with you.   And news flash, when I endorse in At Large 4, chances are very high you won't be getting the TransGriot thumbs up.


Victoria's Secret Hires First Out Trans Model

It came after their stock price dropped 40%, they had to close 53 stores across the USA, their CEO Jan Singer resigned, they announced they aren't doing the televised Victoria's Secret fashion show after it had it's worst ratings ever, and lost model Karlie Kloss over chief marketing office Ed Rezek's transphobic comments.

Congrats to Brazilian model Valentina Sampaio, who was just hired as their first out trans model.

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The 22 year old Sampaio is no stranger to blazing trails in the modeling industry.  She was the first out trans model to ever grace the cover of French Vogue and the first to do so for Brazilian Vogue in her native Brazil.

And now she become the first trans angel, as Vickie's Secret calls their models.

Will they be hiring more trans models to rip their runways?   And when the Victoria's Secret Fashion show comes back on TV after its retooling, will a diverse group of models be part of it?

That remains to be seen if it happens. 

But congrats to Valentina Sampaio for making that breakthrough.   Hope it leads to many more trans models getting a shot to wear those Victoria's Secret angel wings.

Friday, August 02, 2019

Shut Up Fool Awards- Bringing It Back Edition

One of the most popular features in the decade plus history of the blog is the TransGriot Shut Up Fool Awards in which I have called out the blatant lies, ridiculous mind numbing statements, hypocrisy and the coonery and buffoonery here and around the globe.

And as Mr T has said, "Fools are everywhere".

The Trump misadministration , the Republican Party, white evilgelicals and  FOX Noise have unleashed such a coordinated avalanche of bull feces and lies to cover up and distract you from their creeping christofascism that it got overwhelming for me at times to catalog it all on a weekly basis.

It also didn't help that I have been extremely busy activism wise, so I took a sanity break from that feature for a while.

After running into many of my readers at different events who let me know how much they missed the Shut Up Foll Awards, I'm bringing them back and in the right head space to call crap out every Friday.

So here's the first post for the relaunched TransGriot Shut Up Fool Awards.   Just going straight to this week's winner, Rick Wiles .   

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I'm not a fan of vegan food, but this week's winner took to his show to call vegetarian burgers a 'Luciferian plot to change human DNA'   Translation: He claims Satan is behind pushing veggie burgers to the public to steal your soul and keep you from going to heaven.

Yeah right, christofascist hatemonger. Rick Wiles is not only a homobigot, he's also anti-Semitic as well.  .   

The Church Lady would be so proud of him.   

All together, peeps.   Rick Wiles, Shut Up Fool!