Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Turkey Day 2019

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I have received an early Christmas present in terms of being able to be in Louisville breaking bread for the first time in a decade with my chosen family and friends. 

And no, this time we're not having a turducken as we did one Thanksgiving, but then again I wouldn't be surprised it Dawn pulled one out of the oven for this dinner we're going to happily scarf down in few hours.

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While I'm getting to spend the day (and this week) with my chosen family, and know I'll be spending Christmas with my blood family, I realize on this day I am blessed to do so.   Most trans people go into the holidays not able to have holiday dinners with their families.

If you find yourself in that situation today, find your chosen family and break bread with them.   If you're hosting a Thanksgiving dinner, hope that you take the opportunity to reach out to trans folks who are home for the holidays with no place to go.

In a few hours, I'll be engaging in another |cherished holiday tradition of hating on my favorite NFL turkeys, the Dallas Cowboys while I eat dinner and hoping they get carved up by the opposition.

Happy Turkey Day y'all

2019 TransGriot NFL Picks -Week 13

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It's Turkey Day and I'm spending it in Louisville for the first time in a decade..

The Week 12 results  resulted in both of us staying close in the overall standings with five weeks to go

It's now NFL Week 13. getting closer to the end of the season, and every game counts toward playoff seeding.   And no more bye weeks.   Sixteen games to pick for the rest of the season.

My picks in bold red print with home team in CAPS.   Mike's Week 13 picks are here at this link

Week 12 Results                                          2019 NFL Season Results
TransGriot   10-4                                         TransGriot 109-66-1
Mike            10-4                                         Mike          108-67-1

Thanksgiving Day Games 

LIONS over Bears
COWBOYS over Bills
Saints over FALCONS

Sunday Early Games
COLTS over Titans
Jets over BENGALS
PANTHERS over Washington
RAVENS over 49ers
Buccaneers over JAGUARS
STEELERS over Browns
Packers over GIANTS
Eagles over DOLPHINS

Sunday Afternoon Games
Chargers over BRONCOS
CHIEFS over Raiders

Sunday Night Game
Patriots over TEXANS

Monday Night Game
SEAHAWKS over Vikings   

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Chilling In Louisville For The Holidays!

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My not so secret anymore location for this holiday trip is Louisville.

It has been five years since my last visit to Da Ville and ten years since I last broke bread with my chosen family up here in Kentuckiana during Thanksgiving.

But it started with major airline drama.  After my nonstop flight took off on time from Hobby Monday morning, about 160 miles out from Houston there was  an indicator light in the cockpit of an issue that while it wasn't dangerous and wouldn't impede us from safely landing, it did necessitate us turning around, flying lazy circles over east Texas to burn excess fuel, and returning to Houston Hobby.   

We were walking off our now grounded plane at Hobby at the 12:45 CST time I would have arrived in Louisville. 

Seat map Boeing 737-700 “Southwest Airlines”. Best seats in the plane
Fortunately they had another 737-700 aircraft waiting for us across the hall from my return arrival gate at C-44 and we swiftly boarded it.  I was majorly happy I'd gotten my aisle seat in 3C back.

They brought it back to Houston because there's a Southwest maintenance base there, and they would rather deal with it there than have the plane stuck in Louisville canceling a trip it was supposed to do to Dallas Love Field

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To add to my drama, after I called to let Dawn and Polar know that I was going to be two hours late,  my beloved LG K10 smart phone I had received as a birthday present three years ago from Nikki Araguz Loyd, finally died after I boarded the new plane.

That meant I now had to get a new phone when I arrived in Da Ville, because there's no way I could walk around Louisville for a week without one.

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So I arrive in Louisville around 4 PM EST at Muhammad Ali International Airport, I get my bag, and we grab something to eat because at this point the only thing I've had to eat is two bags of peanuts.

I handle the new phone business, but discover to my horror they can't transfer my phone contact list, and the cloud update didn't have all the numbers that I've input into that phone over the three years I've owned it. 

And I now have to not only download my critical apps, I now have to remember what password I used when I signed up for the app.   I also have to get acclimated to working my new LG Stylo  phone.

Nevertheless despite the drama, I made it to Da Vilee and Dawn's crib in one piece, and I'm now hanging out with my Louisville fam that did stay here for the holiday.

And I also received a $100 LUV travel certificate to use on Southwest next year for my trouble

Monday, November 25, 2019

Moni's Leaving On A Jet Plane To- A Secret Destination

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If my flight left on time, I should be close to landing at my destination where I'll spend Thanksgiving week reconnecting with some of my chosen family.

Been a while since I spent some time here, and a decade since i broke bread with them at a Thanksgiving holiday table.

So looking forward to that happening, and once I get settled i reveal what the secret destination is if y'all haven't guessed it already., 

The clue I can give y'all right now is that my final destination is in the borders of the United States.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

The TransGriot 2019 Houston Municipal Runoff Election Endorsements

The November 5 elections left the mayor's chair and several council seats in runoffs.

The City Council District B race was removed from the ballot and settled in a special election because of a lawsuit filed by Renee Jefferson Smith after she finished third and failed to make the runoff in that crowded 14 candidate race to replace term limited councilmember Jerry Davis.

The people who did make the runoff were Tarsha Jackson and Cynthia Bailey

Bailey signed an affidavit when filing to run back in August stating that she hadn't been convicted of a felony, but was back in 2007.  She was told that because of that forgery conviction, she could run for any position except a state of Texas one.

Jefferson contends that because of the felony, Bailey is ineligible, and as the third place finisher, she should move up to the runoff.  Bailey's eligibility will be determined in an upcoming court case.

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Will be keeping an eye on those proceedings, but the date of the December 14 runoff
 election is still looming with early voting starting on November 27 from 7 AM-7 PM .

After the holiday, early voting resumes from December 2-7  from 7-7 PM.   On December 8, you can vote from 1-6 PM, and on December 9-10 from 7 AM-7 PM 

The Runoff Endorsements:

Mayor- Sylvester Turner

City Council
At Large 1- Raj Salhotra
At Large 2- David Robinson
At Large 3 - Janaeya Carmouche
At Large 4 -Dr Letitia Plummer 
At Large  5- Sallie Alcorn

District B-  Tarsha Jackson
District C -Shelley Kennedy
District D- Carolyn Evans Shabazz 
District F - Tiffany Thomas
District H- Isabel Longoria
District J-  Sandra Rodriguez

Houston Community College System Trustee
District 1 - Monica Flores Richart 
District 2-  Rhonda Skillern Jones

HISD Trustee

District I- Kathy Bluefield Daniels
District IV- Patricia Allen 

Texas State Representative 
HD 28-  Eliz Markowitz 
HD 148- Anna Eastman

Friday, November 22, 2019

Named To The 2019 OUT100!

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As those of you who have been keeping up with moi know, been getting honored with a lot of awards this year, and in some cases, like the Barbara Jordan Breaking Barriers one I received from the Harris County Democratic Party back in May, I was the first out trans person ever to win it. 

This is another huge honor for me in terms of being named to the 2019 edition of the OUT100.

Since its founding in 1992, OUT Magazine has created a list of 100 TBLGQ celebrities, activists, and personalities to celebrate and honor the most influential TBLGQIA people in our community. 

We have had trans people make this list before, but I am beyond thrilled to be named as one of the OUT100 honorees for 2019!
Congratulations to every one of the 2019 OUT100 honorees, and I wish us all continued success in the collective work we all do to make this community better than when we first encountered it. 
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The OUT100 issue will be available for purchase at your fave local newsstand around December 2 and has been available to be downloaded since November 21.
I'm old school, so I want a print copy

Thursday, November 21, 2019

2019 TransGriot NFL Picks-Week 12

Rebounded after an awful Week 11 to have a 10 win week.    Unfortunately for me Mr Watts had a better one.

I wasn't the only one who had a bad week.   Texans went up to Baltimore after their bye week and got spanked 41-7 .  Speaking of azzes that need to be kicked, how about the official who missed an obvious to everyone watching it blatant defensive pass interference call in the end zone on a 4th and 2 play to Deandre Hopkins in the first quarter of a then 0-0 game that probably changed the course of it.

NFL, how about growing some cojones and reversing obvious pass interference calls since it's obvious the refs aren't doing their damned jobs?   This is the second time this season the Texans have been screwed by a bad call.

Now they have a must win game against the Colts on Thursday night.   Maybe they'll be pissed off enough to snap the three game losing streak against Indy.

Let's get to Week 12.   Cardinals, Chiefs, Chargers and Vikings on their bye week   My picks in bold red print with home team in CAPS.    Mike's picks at this link.

Week 11 Results                         2019 NFL Season Record
TransGriot  10-4                          TransGriot  99-62-1
Mike           12-2                          Mike           98-63-1

Thursday Night Game
TEXANS over Colts

Sunday Early Games|
BILLS over Broncos
Giants over BEARS
Steelers over BENGALS
BROWNS over Dolphins
FALCONS over Buccaneers
SAINTS over Panthers
Seahawks over EAGLES
Raiders over JETS

Sunday Afternoon Games
TITANS over Jaguars
PATRIOTS over Cowboys

Sunday Night Game
Packers over 49ERS

Monday Night Game
Ravens over RAMS


Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The 2019 US Trans Names

These are the names of the trans folks in the US who have been killed in this 2019 calendar year

Dana Martin, 31, Montgomery, AL
Ashanti Carmon, 27, Fairmount Heights, MD
Jazzaline Ware, 34, Memphis, TN
Muhlaysia Booker, 22, Dallas, TX
Michelle Washington, 40, Philadelphia, PA
Claire Legato, 21, Cleveland, OH
Paris Cameron, 20, Detroit, MI
Chynal Lindsey, 26, Dallas, TX
Chanel Scurlock, 23, Lumberton, NC
Zoe Spears, 23, Fairmount Heights, MD
Brooklyn Lindsey, 32, Kansas City, MO
Denali Berries Stuckey, 29, North Charleston, SC
Marquis Kiki Fantroy, 21, Miami, FL
Pebbles LaDime Doe, 24, Allendale, SC
Jordan Cofer, 22, Dayton, OH
Tracy Single Williams, 22, Houston TX
Bailey Reeves, 17, Baltimore, MD
Bee Love Slater, 23, Clewiston, FL
Ja'Leyah Jamar Berryman, 30, Kansas City, MO
Elisha Stanley, 46, Pittsburgh, PA
Itali Marlowe, 29, Houston, TX
Brianna BB Hill, 30, Kansas City, MO

22 names.   Four of them Texans, two each in Dallas and in my Houston hometown.  21 of them African American, and 15 of them under the ago of 30.

It needs to stop.   But it probably won't until the transphobic ignorance stops.  It probably won't stop until the Republican Party stops trying to use transphobic hatred to drive their deplorable voter base.

And it won stop until cis people recognize the humanity and human rights of trans people 

20 Years Of TDOR's

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Today will mark the 20th anniversary of Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) events here in the United States and around the world.

They got their start in the wake of the November 28, 1998 murder of Rita Hester in Boston, who was grossly disrespected by the gay and straight media in that city, and in the wake of her being the fourth trans person in five years murdered in the city.

The person who killed Rita Hester still hasn't been brought to justice to this day.

The TDORs started in 1999 as protest events in Boston and San Francisco organized by journalist Gwen Smith.  They were also organized to help us remember the folks we'd already lost to anti-trans violence in the early 90's.

The TDOR in less than a decade spread around the world and became events in which trans communities across the planet and our allies memorialized the trans people senselessly lost to anti-trans violence.   

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As the TDOR grew in importance to our trans community, events such as Trans Awareness Week were added in some communities in order to educate the cis population inside and outside the SGL community about our lives.   it also allowed us to hold events that expanded the ways we talked about the trans community and the issues that affect us beyond just the needed and necessary memorial services.

Trans Awareness Week in San Francisco has grown to an entire month of activities that lead up to the November 20 TDOR memorial day.

We have now been holding TDOR events for 20 years.   The murders are now focused exclusively on trans women of color, and disproportionately on Black trans women in the US.

In Latin America and Brazil, the murder rate is also unacceptably high, and the same is the case in Asia and Eastern Europe. 

Trans people are undeniably a part of the diverse mosaic of human life.   You can find us on six inhabited continents on Planet Earth and we aren't going away or back into the closet.

It's past time that people accept the fact we exist, and leave us alone so that we can survive, thrive, and be the best people that we can be.

We would love for these TDOR events to become obsolete so we don't have to gather every November 20 to observe them.   But as long as transphobic hate exists and is being stirred up by right wing politicians, conservative organizations, TERF's and fundamentalist religions, it looks like for the next few years we'll be gathering at venues around to world to remember the people we have lost.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Houston To Hold Three TDOR 2019 Events Tomorrow

The 20th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance is being observed tomorrow on November 20 with events around the world. 

Here in Houston, we have three events scheduled on that day, and it's also particularly a sad occasion because four of the names on the 2019 list of US names we will read are Texans, and two will be Houstonians.

The three Houston TDOR events tomorrow are:
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TransGiving hosted by Organizacion Latina de Trans en Texas (OLTT) and Ana Andrea Molina

"Remembering our sisters who were ahead of us this year and raising the voices of those who continue to resist".

It also serves as the annual Thanksgiving dinner hosted by OLTT, and will take place this year at  Bering Memorial UMC.   The address is 1427 Hawthorne St, and will commence at 6:30 PM.  Parking for this event will be in the rear of the church.  

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A Transgender Day of Remembrance event hosted by Dee Dee Watters is also taking place on this date at St. Luke the Evangelist Episcopal Church.   It's the event I have been invited to participate in.
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The church is on the southeastern edge of the Texas Southern University campus, and its address is 3530 Wheeler Ave.   The event starts at 7:00 PM

"We will #SayTheirNames we will remember them all while acknowledging ourselves (those of the trans lived experience)"

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The third event is the Transgender Day of Remembrance one hosted by the Houston Transgender Unity Committee (HTUC).

"...offering a safe and affirming environment to share stories and talk about those we have lost"

The venue for this event will be Brasil Houston, located at 2604 Dunlavy St in the Montrose area that will also start at 7:00 PM. 
Hopefully you folks in H-town can make it to one of the three events of your choosing to honor the people we have lost to anti-trans violence here and around the world in 2019. 

Monday, November 18, 2019

Barbecuing Flame Monroe's Ignorant Radio Interview

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I met Flame Monroe briefly when he lived in Houston for a hot minute.  We ironically had the same person, Marie Asmar, as our electrologist.   Flame moved back to Chicago and I basically was living my Air Marshal life that morphed into 20 plus years of trailblazing activism on behalf of the trans community.

So when I began to get asked what were my thoughts about Flame Monroe's massively problematic The Breakfast Club  interview, I was still in the midst of traveling between San Francisco and Austin and prepping for the Equality Texas gala. 

So I didn't get to see and hear the video of it until last night, and ugh. what a cluster.   Glad I did so on an empty stomach.

Note to Flame and all you drag queens.   Since you and other drag queens have made it abundantly clear you are female impersonators or men, do all us trans women a favor. Keep your mouths shut about anything relating to trans women when a microphone is in your face or a TV camera is rolling. 

We already have a major problem with cis people conflating trans women and drag queens, which you made worse with the 30 minutes of breathtaking ignorance you spewed the other day.

Far too often when you drag queens open your mouths to talk about trans folks, it turns out to be as in this TBC interview, massively ignorant and wrong.

Leave the media discussions about trans people to trans people trained to handle it or who have the lived experience to do so.  We trans folks are the experts in talking about our trans lives, not some ignorant drag queen.

Let me say this louder for you peeps on The Breakfast Club and 'errbody' else who engages in either innocently or willfully conflating drag queens with trans women.   

Trans women and drag queens are not the same. 

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The fact that this cluster of a 30 minute interview happened on The Breakfast Club, which already has raised the ire of the Black trans community with its glaring transphobia problem, and willful anti-trans ignorance being spewed on its airwaves, made this interview all the more egregious and maddening to those of us in Black Trans World who work hard at educating the public on trans issues.

The fact it happened during Trans Awareness Week also adds to the pissivity I and other trans women feel about this hot drag queen mess of an interview.

And I have a major problem with anyone in Black Trans or SGL World who thinks this is 'no big deal'.   This is the kind of ignorant speech you cis peeps cosign that leads to Black trans people getting disrespected, assaulted and killed.

But let me turn my focus on Flame Monroe's azz.

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No Boo Boo Kitty, demanding respect for our humanity, human rights and our lives and fighting back against anti-trans oppression is NOT 'forcing your lifestyle on someone else'

Miss me with that bullshyt.   Also miss me with that problematic 'lifestyle' word as well.   Trans people live trans lives, not a 'lifestyle'.

If you think otherwise, question for you.   When did you choose to live a male lifestyle?

And yes Flame, trans women are not only women, trans men are men.  If you actually hit Google every now and then, you would be more aware of that point. You would also be aware of the increasing body of scientific research that comes down on the side of trans people being authentic parts of the diverse mosaic of human life.

You would also be aware that being born with a penis or a vagina doesn't lock step determine whether you are male or female.   Your brain does.   Gender identity is between your ears, not your legs       

Finally, words matter, especially when it comes to media opportunities for a marginalized group.

You set this community's education efforts backwards with this interview, and played right into the transphobic ignorance that The Breakfast Club likes to push on their show.

You may dismiss that fact or even this post as something you don't care about, but I do care about the trans community, and have given 21 years (and counting) of my life to fighting for its human rights.

Your words do matter to the trans folks and trans kids who will be harmed by the cisfolks repeating them, and claiming you're 'keeping it real'. 

You're 'keeping it real' alright.  Real ignorant.

Your words also matter to our enemies who will take what you said in that massive fail of a Breakfast Club interview and weaponize it for use against us.

TransGriot Update: Heard this post and my FOX26 interview plucked Marcus' nerves.  So much for that tough talk the #HeSheDummy was spouting in that studio.    

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Moni's Thoughts About The EQTX Gala

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I'm back in Casa de Monica after traveling a grand total of 3315 miles by air and bus from IAH to San Francisco, the SFO to Austin nonstop 'Nerd Bird' and back home to Houston from the ATX on the 'Bougie Bus.

Y'all might have heard I was blessed to receive another award, this time courtesy of Equality Texas, the Transgender Activist Award.

Hopefully EQTX will name that award for some pioneering trans Texan in the future.

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Yes it was quite special to receive it on the same night as the Texas LGBT legislative caucus founders were honored along with my feisty Emmy Award winning niece Kai Shappley and her mom Kimberly Shappley     Kai and Kimberly received the Glen Maxey Activism Award

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Reps Mary Gonzalez (D-El Paso), Jessica Gonzalez (D-Dallas), Julie Johnson (D-Carrollton), Celia Israel (D-Austin) and Erin Zweiner (D-Driftwood) were honored with EQTX's LGBTQ Leadership Award

Rep Sarah Davis (R-Houston) was given the EQTX Profile In Courage Award  while the Legacy Awards went to retiring state senator Jose Rodriguez (D-El Paso) and Rep Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston) 

Got a little pissed when they mentioned  Rep Thompson and the state James Byrd Hate Crimes Bill that I have been pushing since 1999 to include trans Texas people . 

My first state lobby day trip to Austin twenty years ago was for trans inclusion in the state's James Byrd Hate Crimes Bill, and I'm still pissed about how we got cut out of it twice. 

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It was a fact I made clear to the assembled audience during my acceptance speech, and after the awards ceremony was over, one of the EQTX board members came to me afterward and apologized for that decision he helped to make back then that cut Texas trans folks out of that much needed bill.

That moment aside, I did enjoy meeting the new EQTX CEO Ricardo Rodriguez, seeing the EQTX team again, my ATX fam,  Dallas Councilman Omar Narvaez and all the wonderful conversations I had that night.

I must do another trip to Austin before the 2021 session jumps off.


The Nikki Araguz Loyd Celebration of Life Service

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I was on the Left Coast when this happened, so for those of you who missed it like i did and wanted to be there, here's the celebration of Life Service that took place on November 14 for Nikki Araguz Loyd

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Moni's Thoughts On The NCTE Mess

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Many people in this community know I have much disdain for the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) to the point I didn't post about them on TransGriot or ignored their press releases. But because I've been getting a lot of questions in my recent interactions with trans peeps and allies as to my thoughts about NCTE and why I feel the way I do about them and their executive director.
Hmm, where do I start in discussing NCTE, its ED and the mess they are in right now?

My disdain of NCTE is centered in large part not only because of
their racist and mediocre ED, but because of its questionably murky founding in 2003. One of the rumors about it was the seed money that started NCTE came from folks that didn't like the feisty
National Transgender Advocacy Coalition (NTAC) and wanted a trans org more subservient to Gay Inc.
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NTAC was founded in large part after GenderPAC suddenly decided to take itself out of national trans lobbying in 1999, and the NTAC founders discovered during the 1999 GenderPac DC Lobby Days that GenderPac's ED Riki Wilchins had been colluding with HRC lobbyists Nancy Buermeyer and Winnie Stacheberg to sabotage their own lobby days in 1997, 1998 and 1999. That group of diverse NTAC founders included yours truly, and after compiling a forensic report to document how bad the backlobbying was and how long it had been going on, we created the org to fill the void left by GenderPac's WTF level decision to immediately abandon national trans advocacy.

NTAC as a nascent multicultural trans org quickly earned the respect of Capitol Hill legislators with its professionalism and political acumen. But that wasn't good enough for some white trans peeps big mad the people at the head of the new national trans org and on the board included people that didn't look like them.

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Many of you trans Beckies trashed NTAC at every opportunity, and wanted to bow to HRC's demand to have trans leadership deferential to it instead of relentlessly holding them accountable.
We as the NTAC founders were well aware of the fact we needed to quickly grow to critical mass to ensure the organization's long term survival

Several of us in NTAC warned y'all about Keisling, her lack of activist credibility, and how incompetent she was, and y'all called it 'sour grapes' It wasn't just NTAC calling her incompetent. Peeps on Capitol Hill and congressional staffers were also saying it to us.
That was a request we NTAC leaders said 'hell no' to, knowing that we would need an unbought and unbossed trans org that didn't have uncomfortable ties to an HRC that at the time was still hostile to trans inclusion, and whose ED, Elizabeth Birch, had already demonstrated we couldn't trust her, and at that late 90s-early 2000s time period was the woman most hated by the trans community next to Janice Raymond.
NTAC was also determined that we weren't going to stop our primary mission of advocating for trans persons of color, whose voices and issues were nonexistent in the trans policy conversation prior to NTAC's founding.

That Keisling leadership incompetence was on full display in 2007, when NTAC lobbyists that included yours truly warned the trans community in July 2007 after our May DC lobby days that we were about to get cut out of ENDA and immediate action was needed to stop that from happening .

Keisling called us in NTAC ';delusional' during the Gender Odyssey conference in Seattle that August and claimed to the people in attendance that trans inclusion in ENDA was a 'slam dunk'

It was a slam dunk alright. A slam dunk that clanked off the front of the civil rights basketball rim in October 2007 when Barney Frank yanked us out of ENDA as we in NTAC predicted.

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NCTE was part of the Houston Unites coalition of out of town orgs that in 2015 fubared our defense of the now repealed Houston Equal Rights Ordinance to mine and Black LGBTQ Houston's exasperation.
And when I say that Keisling is racist, I say so with personal experience of it. I am
one of the two Black IFGE winning trans leaders (Dawn Wilson is the other one) that was called an 'uppity n-word' by her at the 2002 Southern Comfort Conference after she gleefully torpedoed an NTAC initiative that would have resulted in NTAC doing a Trans 101 presentation to the Congressional Black Caucus during the CBC's Annual Legislative Conference weekend in Washington DC with the provision it stay secret. I was not shocked when it was revealed that NCTE had an in house racism problem, and NCTE has zero respect in the trans communities of color.

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That lack of respect and disdain for NCTE and its executive director was so pronounced in Black Trans World, I had to write a TransGriot blog post urging Black trans folks to participate in the 2015 US Trans Survey. Because I and the Black Trans Advocacy Coalition (BTAC) did so, we got just enough Black trans participation to allow us to get good statistical numbers on the national Black trans population, and in several states including Texas.

We were also paying attention in Black Trans World when we noted that NCTE's staff looked like a Republican Party convention, and considered it seriously problematic that you could count the number of Black trans women hired by this org throughout its history on one hand.

The average shelf life for a Black NCTE employee was also because of the toxic racist culture in the organization, six months to a year. And naw, we aren't going to forget how one of our highly respected and few Black Mama Bears was disrespected while employed there.

So nope, not surprised to hear that NCTE may be imploding. Neither am I popping champagne corks because NCTE may be in its death spiral. The one thing I am shocked about is that it didn't happen sooner.