Friday, July 31, 2020

Trans Actors Can Be In The Building And Still Get Ignored

POSE Cast | Poses, Women, Role models
Like a lot of Trans World peeps I was more than a little heated when the women of POSE were once again snubbed for Emmy consideration despite stepping up their acting games and putting in some Emmy worthy performances.

Tell me you didn't cry watching Candy's funeral?  Or laugh your azz off when Elektra read that Karen for filth in that Hamptons seafood restaurant scene.

Billy Porter was nominated for and won an Emmy last year for his Pray Tell performance and is now only lacking an Oscar to become only the 15th person ever to complete the EGOT.

What's the EGOT you ask?  An EGOT is when an entertainer during their career wins an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony Award. 

So yeah, he's mad talented.    He also said this when being interviewed last year for his historic Emmy win.   The part I'm salty about starts at the 2:51 mark of this video

That video with his 'we in the building' comment is heightening my irritation with that comment a year later.  While Porter received a second consecutive nomination for playing Pray Tell,  the POSE women got snubbed for a second consecutive year.

You can still be in the building and still be ignored.  You Mr. Porter and your fellow cis people all need to recognize that despite the 2020 Emmy nominations for Rain Valdez and Laverne Cox (and congrats to both those amazing women) the #EmmysSoCis.

Brian Michael - Home | Facebook
Brian Michael Smith and Scott Turner Schofield are talented trans masculine actors who were not given 2020 Emmy consideration, either.   

Yes, trans actors are in the building.  But they still have to fight tooth and nail for the few roles in which trans women play trans feminine characters.  Hell, trans women have had to fight just to play a cis feminine character in Hollywood. 

Trans masculine actors have to fight just as hard to play a trans masculine character.   It took a major outcry from our community to get Halle Berry to reconsider a role in which she would be playing a trans masculine person.   Same with getting Scarlett Johansson to change her mind about playing Dante 'Tex' Ritter in the Rub and Tug movie.

Trans women actors have a problem getting trans feminine roles because studio execs and casting directors are still fixated on putting cis male actors in drag to play those roles.

Hilary Swank | Oscars Wiki | Fandom
And to our trans community's horror, those cis men (and a cis woman in Hilary Swank) have gallingly gone on to win the awards trans actors get routinely snubbed for by telling our trans stories..

So no, trans people aren't even close to having equity or seeing the change you claimed had come in that 2019 interview.  Your Emmy interview to our ears sounded like the dismissive 'wait your turn' crap we've been hearing from Black gay men with clout for over 50 years.

The way Black trans women are being genocidally murdered also adds a fierce urgency of now element to not only this situation, but everything we do.

Janet Mock's "Pose" Directorial Debut Just Made History | NewNowNext
POSE is one of the few productions in Hollywood in which we not only get to tell our stories, we have trans people in front of and behind the camera writing and directing them like Janet Mock and Our Lady J.  That makes it a unique and beloved show in our trans community, and we want to see MJ Rodriguez, Dominique Jackson, Angelica Ross, Hailie Sahar and Indya Moore succeed.

That means if these women's POSE performances merit Emmy recognition, we want to see them nominated for those performances.  If those nominations then turn into trans historic Emmy wins, we're good with that.

That is also the case for the trans folks working behind their camera.  If they are doing award worthy work, they need to be recognized for that.

Pose' Director Janet Mock Signs Overall Deal With Netflix - Variety
Frankly, I love seeing all my Hollywood trans family succeed whether you are in front of the camera or behind it.  The measuring stick for how successful you are in Hollywood is winning or being nominated for major awards like Emmys, Oscars, or Golden Globes.

But to have a shot an winning an Emmy or any of those awards I mentioned, you have to be nominated for it.   This is the flaw in Billy Porter's 2019 'we in the building' speech.

You can be in the building all you want.  But if you're in the building, doing exemplary work, and are still getting ignored for unspecified reasons up to and including Hollywood transphobia and anti-Blackness, that's a problem that needs to be called out and addressed.

You Conservafools Don't Get To Tell Us How To Mourn Our Community Heroes

Seems like the Karen and Chad conservafools are having a hissy fit over President Obama's eulogy of the late Rep. John Lewis at his homegoing yesterday.  The Right Wing Noise Machine hit dogs were hollering all over conservative media big mad he called them and their orange wannabe dictator out without mentioning him or them by name. 

How dare you Karens and Chads presume to tell us Black folks how to mourn one of our community's great civil rights icons.   Hello, did you fools ever pay attention to John Lewis' life? .  Obviously you didn't.

I would hope and I expect that when my time on Planet Earth has ended, I'm putting y'all on notice now.   I want the speakers at my homegoing service to be just as forceful calling out the issues of the day when y'all celebrate me joining the ancestors.

 I recall you conservapeeps said the same BS back in 2006 when Coretta Scott King died and many of the speakers at her funeral called out George W Bush  to his face./ He was POTUS at the time and attended the funeral.

Trump didn't even have the cojones, much less the empathy to make the short drive to the US Capitol to attend the ceremony in which his body was lying in state.

I doubt the  Lewis family would have wanted him desecrating the hallowed historic sanctuary of Ebenezer Baptist Church anyway or that ceremony since he's gone full Klansman these days.

Let me repeat the money quote from what I wrote in the wake of the conservafool whining about how political the Coretta Scott King funeral got.

Dr. King and Coretta Scott King were POLITICAL people. Therefore, it is appropriate in terms of commenting on the totality of their lives to refer to political themes when making remarks to honor them. Rev. Joseph Lowery, President Clinton, Mayor Shirley Franklin, and President Carter were saying publicly things about Junior that many African-Americans say about him in conversations with each other. If that bothers you conservatives, too bad. 
Coretta Scott King Funeral |
Must hurt to realize that you peeps are on the wrong side of history yet again and it shows your utter lack of understanding of African-American culture and traditions. It is also arrogant and presumptuous of people who fought (and still are fighting) tooth and nail to derail America's progress toward fulfilling The Dream to tell us how to mourn the passing of the 'Queen of the Civil Rights movement. 
I'm really getting sick of this conservative BS that there should be NO criticism of the president, when these SAME conservatives several years ago called President Clinton everything but a child of God. They even stooped as low as to attack their then-teenaged daughter Chelsea. If George got out amongst the 90% percent of African-Americans who DIDN'T vote for him in either election he'd hear those comments more often.

Now fast forward to 2020. 

John Lewis was a political person, a sitting congressman for over 30 years, and a Civil Rights Movement icon.  Therefore, it is appropriate in the traditions of our people to comment on the state of the nation and speak truth to power.

But you conservafools wouldn't know how to do that or even care because you have been cricket chirping silent accomplices to white supremacist tyranny  .

Updated: Former President Obama to speak at Rep. John Lewis' funeral
Miss me with that bull feces that his funeral was 'too political'.   Y'all can be mad and stay mad about that and President Obama's on point eulogy calling out the worst presidency in American history

And let me say this once again so your hive minds get the point I've been making.  You conservafools don't get to tell us how to mourn our community heroes and sheroes.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Barack Obama's Eulogy of Rep John Lewis

3 former presidents mourn John Lewis at funeral in Atlanta - SFGate
President Barack Obama delivers the eulogy at Rep John Lewis' funeral in Atlanta;'s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church

Monday, July 27, 2020

31st GLAAD Media Awards Happening July 29-30

GLAAD Media Awards In New York After Coronavirus Concerns – Deadline
Normally the GLAAD Media Awards are spread out in a bi-coastal ceremony that has some of it taking place in Los Angeles in March or April, and the other half of it in New York in May. .

The Trump Virus forced cancellation of both the live events and necessitated their conversion into the first virtual ceremony in GLAAD Media Awards history.

That virtual ceremony will take place on July 29-30. 

While all of us who were nominated have had to wait a little bit longer to find out if we won, as many of you TransGriot readers are aware of, I received my fifth nomination in the Outstanding Blog category. 

When I won it in 2018, I was the first trans blogger ever to do so and the third African American TBLGQ one to do so after Rod 2.0 Beta and Alvin McEwen's Holy Bullies And Headless Monsters .

If my name is called, I would become the first ever two time winner of the award.

The Outstanding Blog category is tough again with last year's winner Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents, 2011 winner Joe My God, Gays With Kids and My Fabulous Disease in the mix.

Wednesday, July 29 on GLAAD’s Twitter:

10am ET: Outstanding TV Movie
11am ET: Outstanding Film - Limited Release
12pm ET: Outstanding Spanish-Language Digital Journalism - Video or Multimedia
1pm ET: Outstanding Documentary
2pm ET: Outstanding Spanish-Language TV Journalism Segment
3pm ET: Outstanding Newspaper Article 
4pm ET: Outstanding Spanish-Language Digital Journalism Article
5pm ET: Outstanding Limited Series
6pm ET: Outstanding Spanish-Language TV Interview

Thursday, July 30 on GLAAD’s Twitter:

10am ET: Outstanding Kids & Family Programming
11am ET: Outstanding Spanish-Language TV Journalism – Newsmagazine
12pm ET: Outstanding Reality Program
1pm ET: Outstanding Comic Book
2pm ET: Outstanding Video Game
3pm ET: Outstanding Broadway Production
4pm ET: Outstanding Variety or Talk Show Episode
5pm ET: Outstanding TV Journalism – Newsmagazine
5:30 pm ET: Outstanding Magazine Overall Coverage
6pm ET: Outstanding Digital Journalism Article
6:30pm ET: Outstanding Digital Journalism – Video or Multimedia
7pm ET: Outstanding Blog
7:30 pm ET: Outstanding Spanish-Language Scripted Television Series

During virtual ceremony of the GLAAD Media Awards on July 30 starting at 8pm ET on GLAAD’s Facebook and YouTube

Outstanding Film - Wide Release 
Outstanding Comedy Series
Outstanding Drama Series
Outstanding Music Artist 
Outstanding Individual Episode (in a series without a regular LGBTQ character)
Outstanding TV Journalism Segment
Outstanding Magazine Article
Special Recognition (Special, Karen Ocamb, Mark Segal)

Congratulations to all the nominees, and good luck.  .

TransGriot Update:   The 2020 Outstanding Blog award went to Mark S. King (finally) of My Fabulous Disease

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Rest In Power, Eli

Image may contain: 1 person, hat and beard
Was saddened to learn about losing another longtime friend and fellow blogger to cancer. 

I first got yo know Eli as part of the intrepid group of loyal Democrats who in the wake of that 2004 reelection of GW Bush, did battle on the Kicking Ass blog with the conservafools coming to gloat about his win and their premature declarations that liberalism and the Democratic Party were dead.

When I finally joined Facebook, was happy to discover all my KA friends were on this platform and happily reconnected with him.

You may recall TransGriot readers that Eli was one of the peeps who competed with me and Michael Watts for a couple of seasons in our ongoing NFL prognostication contest.

My condolences to his family, friends and all who loved him.


Eli Whitney Blake III passed away peacefully on July 10, 2020 in Phoenix, AZ after a heroic battle with neuroendocrine cancer. He was 57. Eli was born August 7, 1962 in Albuquerque, NM to Dr. Henry W. Blake and Fay F. Blake, both who preceded him in death. He was a curious boy who won school spelling bees and enjoyed board games and baseball, and was a voracious reader of encyclopedias and atlases. He attended Temple Albert in Albuquerque, where he was Bar Mitzvaed in 1975. He attended Sandia High School, where he was a member of the Chess Club and the ROTC among his many activities. He graduated in 1980. He attended New Mexico Tech in Socorro, NM, where he studied Math and Chemistry, graduating in 1985 with a double major. He was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints the same year. While at Tech, he played Rugby, and he also began developing his life-long interest in politics and social justice and worked for local democratic candidates. He continued his education and political activism at the University of Montana in Missoula where he graduated with a MS in Statistics. He considered continuing for a PhD, but decided to return to the southwest to become an educator, a passion to which he dedicated the rest of his life. His first teaching job was in Phoenix but he soon returned to Albuquerque and began teaching at TVI – a technical community college – in 1991. At TVI, he was active on the Faculty Senate, and was instrumental in starting the employee union, something he was very proud of accomplishing – he believed strongly in unions and “never crossed a picket line.” While at TVI, he married Tressa Dennis, whom he had reconnected with in Socorro during a visit in 1986. They married in 1992 in Cedar City, UT, and began their life together with their daughter Valorie in Las Lunas, NM. Shortly thereafter, the young family settled in Moriarty, NM, and welcomed the twins – Leah and Maranda – in 1996. He left TVI in 1997 and, after a short detour in Corpus Christi TX at Del Mar Community College, they settled in Joseph City, AZ where he began his career with the Northern Pioneer Community College (NPC) system, which primarily serves the Navajo Nation in Northern Arizona. For the rest of his life, he was dedicated to the Navajo community, serving both as an outstanding educator and a community advocate for the people of the reservation. He was also a very dedicated father, and enjoyed supporting them in every way – from helping develop their academic, social, and spiritual interests to uplifting their entire community through his generosity and engagement. In Joseph City, he was active in the LDS Allen’s Camp Ward, and was engaged in a range of social and political work in the community. He was the Democratic Precinct Committee (PC) person and worked on numerous local, state, and national campaigns, including campaigns for Paul Babbitt and Ann Kirkpatrick; he served as the Navajo County Democratic Party Chair in 2012 when Kirkpatrick was elected. He was always out canvassing, registering people to vote, attending political events, and eagerly engaging in political debate on a wide range of issues. He was a prolific blogger, starting his blog “Deep Thought” in the early 2000s, and was recognized by the AZ State Press Association in 2006 in the lead-up to the Obama election. All of it led back to his beloved family and community. From purchasing geometry textbooks for his daughters’ entire 9th grade class to serving on the Joseph City Fire Board to going door-to-door on the reservation for the US Census to his 20 year commitment to the Arizona Republic through his paper route, he was a ubiquitous presence in the lives of all he touched and will be greatly missed. He is survived by his daughters, Leah Blake and Maranda Blake of Gilbert, AZ, Valorie Brooks and her husband Hunter Brooks and their daughters, April, Andrea, Brooklyn, and Baylee of Joseph City, and by Tressa Blake of Joseph City, his sister, Miriam Blake and her wife Sue Hine of High Point, NC, and best friend, Misti Lee of Show Low, AZ.
A Celebration of Life for Eli will be held in a future month when COVID has receded and it is safe for all those who want to attend to be together and celebrate his memory.
The family requests that donations be made in his name to either the Midwest Food Bank Arizona Division - please note the donation should be directed to Helping Hands for the Navajo Nation in his name
or the Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation (
We will be holding a memorial after Covid-19 has calmed down a little bit. We will post more information about his memorial at a later date. ***

Rest in power El.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Reads Rep Yoho On House Floor

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez condemns Ted Yoho for verbal abuse in ...
"Having a daughter does not make a man decent. Having a wife does not make a decent man. Treating people with dignity and respect makes a decent man. And when a decent man messes up, as we all are bound to do, he tries his best and does apologize,"-Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

When are these conservafools going to get the message not to mess with Rep Alexandria Ocasio Cortez?

We get it Republican Party, FOX Noise and conservafool movement. .Y'all have your  hate on for her because she's a smart young Latina who doesn't have to work hard to make y'all look foolish on a regular basis.   Rep. Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is also considered to be a future contender for higher office, and that scares the crap out of you.

On Wednesday Yahoo Yoho (R-FL) decided to be his usual azzhole self out on the Capitol steps and accost Rep Ocasio Cortez, who was headed into the building to cast a vote and minding her own business. .    He made disrespectful comments about her, and concluded by calling her the b-word.

On Tuesday, Yoho tried to do damage control and make made a non apology apology on the House floor that was no only pathetically weak, it didn't even mention Rep Ocasio-Cortez by name.

Rep Ocasio Cortez as y'all already know is a formidable communicator.  On top of that, Yoho probably realized after he opened his big mouth he'd messed with the wrong congressional woman.

Rep Ocasio Cortez used some of her time this morning to clap back on that conservaazz and call Yoho out for his non apology apology..  She also turned this incident into an opportunity to talk about how men disrespectfully talk to and about women they are intimidated by.

here's the video of her floor speech.

Must See Trans TV- 'My Pregnant Husband' Airs Tonight

The last time I spent any quality time together with with Myles and Precious Brady-Davis was during the 2016 Creating Change in Chicago when Precious was one of the four co-chairs of the event.

We jokingly call both of them the Trans Obamas' because this trans power couple are Chicago residents, have actually met the former POTUS and are both working in the nonprofit sector.

And as you probably guessed, I have much love and respect for both of them.

Myles and Precious Brady Davis with their daughter, Zayn.
Back in December, they welcomed a daughter Zayn into the world, and the birth of their child actually led to a policy change in the state of Illinois for trans parents. 

The initial birth certificate misgendered both Miles and Precious.   It was corrected to show Myles is the father and Precious is the mother.

They also had an interesting journey to parenthood that is a story in itself.

All of that to say that once again, Myles and Precious will be on our TV screens for the TLC show My Pregnant Husband.   It's not their first time on TLC, because Precious appeared on Say Yes To The Dress a few years ago.

my pregnant husband tlc special
It not only follows Myles and Precious' journey to parenthood, it also focuses on the challenges they faced as unapologetic Black trans people. 

The parenting journey of Seattle based trans man Ari and his cis wife Caitlyn is also followed in this hour long episode as well.    It also serves as a comparison and contrast to how the pregnancies of the transgender men differed

.Looking forward to this latest episode of Must See Trans TV happening at 9 PM CDT tonight.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Miss Trans Global 2020- Talent Competition

Image may contain: text
As many of you TransGriot readers know, I'm one of the judges for this year's inaugural Miss Trans Global online pageant

We're not at the talent portion of the inaugural competition and getting inexorably closer to the August 1 crowning date for our first queen.

Don't forget, you can vote for your favorites by heading to the Miss Trans Global Facebook page and liking it so your vote will count

And now,  the talent competition. 

The Catwalk Competition

The Swimwear Competition

The Queens Speech

The Pass The Book Challenge

Black Trans Folks Have Been Trying To Tell Black Cis Peeps What We Need- Y'all Ain't Listening

As you TransGriot readers were aware of, I was part of a two hour Zoom town hall on Saturday that was supposed to be convened in the spirit of All Black Lives Matter and was sold to me as a convo to discuss the needs of our Black trans family.

As you probably guessed in a conversation moderated by a cis Black man and of which nine of the twelve participants were cis, it didn't turn out that way. 

Even though we had major Houston trans allies on that panel like BLM-HOU's Ashton P. Woods, Rev. Denise Junious and attorney Jolanda Jones, every time that we started talking about trans peeps, the conversation got diverted and derailed from its intended focus on Black trans lives

While myself, Kaleb Elijah and Tori Cooper managed to get some points across, the end result was that the trans participants and our allies were left frustrated at how the conversation organized by Black Greeks Speak Social Justice turned out. 

There was far too much stuff we didn't talk about in the two hours allotted for this conversation. 

For starters, we needed to talk about the transphobia in the Black community ranks that is not only in the Black same gender loving community, but has expressed itself in Black Greek Letter Organization (BGLO) ranks as well. 

Trans rights
Exhibit A of that BGLO transphobia was the attempt by a faction of Zeta Phi Beta members last year to adopt a diversity statement that sought to bar trans women from joining the sorority.  It was rescinded after intense negative media attention and efforts by trans allies within the Zeta Phi Beta ranks. 

We didn't talk about the fact that the common thread with many of the Black trans women that have been murdered in the last few years across the country has been intimate partner violence and trans misogynoir 

Translation:  Cis Black men are killing and gleefully subjecting Black trans women to beatdowns

We didn't go into depth about the role that the Black church and Black media, be it traditional or social media, plays in pushing anti-trans hatred in our community to the point of so called 'comedians' like Lil Duval on shows like The Breakfast Club do on-air advocating for our murders.

Neither did we go in depth about the inaction of our legacy orgs like the NAACP when it comes to advocacy on behalf of Black trans folks.   We also didn't talk about the lack of Black trans folks being hired to do policy work inside and outside the TBLGQ community.

Queen Sugar' Actor Brian Michael Smith Comes Out As Transgender
I don't doubt for a nanosecond that my Black trans masculine family and our Black non binary siblings have a long list of their own things they need to say to Black cis America as well

So what do Black trans folks need? 

Where to Donate to Support Black Trans People — Organizations That ...
The first and most important thing is for y'all to stop killing us or subjecting us to beatdowns. 


We do not exist for y'all to beat on us or kill us because you're mad about whatever personal issues you're dealing with.   Take those personal issues and problems up with your friendly neighborhood therapist and keep your hands to yourself.

We need Black cis people to cease and desist with debating our existence.  Trans folks have been part of our community since the rise of modern humans and we aren't going anywhere. 

Stop trying to pawn off your transphobia as a 'disagreement'    Discussing whether Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan or Lebron James are the greatest basketball players ever is a legitimate cause for debate and disagreement.

Trying to claim that Black trans people don't exist when the science and our very existence overwhelmingly say otherwise is not.

Black trans folks need good paying jobs.   We need housing. We need competent non discriminatory medical care. 

We need Black cis men to stop being 'scurred' and come clean about the fact some of you are attracted to Black trans women.  Some of you wish to take that desire further and have long term relationships with us. 

Worst and best summer first date ideas | MadameNoire
Because we Black trans women know many of us have been killed in dating situations, we're going to tell you from the jump we're trans.   We do not have to 'trick' or deceive you into walking into our bedrooms.  Many of you do so willingly, and you need to stop fronting about that with cis Black women and your homeboys. 

We need cis Black women to recognize that we trans women are not your enemy.  The white supremacist Karens and Kens who wish to gleefully oppress all of us are.   We would rather spend our precious time building sisterhood with other Black cis women, building long term friendships,   and uplifting the community together.

Women begin to march south along Emancipation Avenue after the speakers event during the March for Black Women Houston 2019, starting at Emancipation Park Saturday, Mar. 16, 2019 in Houston, TX. Photo: Michael Wyke, Houston Chronicle / Contributor / © 2019 Houston Chronicle
While we recognize and acknowledge that the feminine journeys of Black trans and cisgender women are different along with the issues we face as a result, there are some issues that both groups face that we would do well to work together to combat.

We need y'all cis peeps to stop shadily whispering (or yelling) 'That's a Man' when a trans woman is in the club or elsewhere, and she happens to be on her feminine presentation A game.   That shyt gets trans women beaten or killed.   Mine nor any other trans woman's existence is not an indictment of you or Black womanhood in general.

Hell, the attacks on Black femmes have occurred long before Black trans women started getting written about in 19th century newspapers, and even those articles, like today's 21st century media coverage, were mostly negative.

African-Bamboo on Twitter: "Gabrielle Union, Dwayne Wade and Zaya ...
We need you to not only stop attacking our Black trans kids like Zaya Wade, we need you to stop attacking their parents for loving their kids enough to allow them to honestly and openly live as their true selves.

We need you to stop trying to pass off your transphobia as part of your religion.  That is a major sore spot with me, other trans folks and our allies that will get you called out.  If your religion calls for you to hate on trans people, then you need a new religion

Since we founded Black trans led organizations to do the policy work that Black legacy orgs wouldn't (and wouldn't hire us for), we need our trans led grassroots orgs properly funded. 

Kahn Rule could force Minneapolis council members to run twice in ...
We currently have 27 trans people nationwide who are elected officials.  Only two of them are Black, and they both sit on the Minneapolis City Council in Councilmembers Andrea Jenkins and Phillipe Cunningham.   The trans folks all running for office in this 2020 cycle are predominately white.

We know that must change.   So when increasing numbers of Black trans people do decide to run for public office, we not only will need your support, be it financial or otherwise, we will need your votes when we do.

We also need cis elected officials at all levels of government to consider hiring qualified Black trans people to work on their staffs to do the needed and necessary policy work that will help improve all our lives
We also need you to listen when we talk about the issues that impact our communities.  We trans and gender non conforming peeps are the experts when it comes to talking about our lives.

So unless you have a PhD in gender identity issues, are a geneticist doing research in that area, or a psychologist trained to treat gender dysphoria issues, STFU with your loud and wrong faux faith based opinions about our lives.  Your loud and wrong opinion does not trump a trans person's actual lived experience.

Most importantly, we Black trans peeps need you Black cis folks to treat us with the dignity and respect you demand for yourselves.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Civil Rights Icon Rep John Lewis Dies

Rep. John Lewis in Alexandria, Va., in November 2015. His advocacy for equal rights ultimately led him to the political arena, where he spent the final chapter of his life.
We knew this sad day was coming, but it still doesn't lessen the devastation we feel at it happening.

Rep. John Lewis has died at age 80 from stage 4 pancreatic cancer. 

He was the sharecropper's son from Alabama who became a leading figure in the fight against Jim Crow segregation.  He was a major leader in the African American Civil Rights Movement at just age 23, and one of the last surviving (and youngest) speakers from the 1963 March on Washington. 

He later was elected to Congress in 1986, and served for 17 terms as the congressman repping Georgia's Atlanta centered 5th District.   He not only voted against Desert Storm and the Iraq War, but led protests on the House floor against apartheid and gun violence., and testified against the nomination of Jeff Sessions to become Attorney General.

He was also a passionate and determined fighter and eloquent voice for voting rights..

John Lewis was demonstrating through his words and actions that all Black lives matter even before it was cool or trendy to do so.      He was aloud and eloquent voice for marriage equality.   More recently we spoke against the trans military ban.

Jonathan Roque (@Jonathan7R) | Twitter
I have fought too long and hard to end discrimination based on race and color to allow discrimination based on gender identity to be considered acceptable. 
“This mean, misguided policy takes us back to another place, a darker time.  How is it acceptable to target those who love our country so much that they put their bodies and livelihood on the lines for its defense?  This is a sad and dark day. 
“As a nation and as a people, all Americans should expect and deserve better.  There is no place in our society for hate or bigotry.  To punish any person based on their sexual orientation or gender identity is a shame and a disgrace, but to penalize those who pledge to serve and protect our country is unconscionable. 
“I stand with our transgender service members, and I pray that they will not lose heart.  They must know that we love them.  We respect them.  We are grateful for their service and sacrifice, and most importantly, we will stand for their rights, just as they have stood for ours.”

During the May 2007 NTAC Lobby Day, I was tasked with hitting as many CBC offices as possible.
Of course one of the first offices I decided to visit was Rep John Lewis.   I wan't to find out where he stood when it came to trans rights, since he had been a loud consistent voice for marriage equality. 

Unfortunately, because the House was doing a lot of procedural voter at the time I was in his office, I spent an hour there talking to his then staffers until I had to leave for an appointment in another CBC office. 

But had I had the blessing of talking to him, I would have thanked him for his work in the Civil Rights Movement, and continuing to be a role model for those of us fighting for a better America.

Then I would have asked him my question.

Rest in power, sir   All of us who call ourselves activists have you as an amazing possibility model to follow. It's also our task now to get into 'good trouble'  to get us closer to the Beloved Community that you and Dr King dreamed about.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Steve Schmidt Rips Trump A New One

Steve Schmidt Returns to MSNBC | Hollywood Reporter
MSNBC commentator Steve Schmidt, who ran John McCain's 2008 presidential run, spent two minutes discussing the Trump mispresidency.   This is what he had to say.

Flipboard: Steve Schmidt on why many Republican voters are ...
“Donald Trump has been the worst president this country has ever had. And, I don't say that hyperbolically. He is. But he is a consequential president. And, he has brought this country in three short years to a place of weakness that is simply unimaginable if you were pondering where we are today from the day where Barack Obama left office. And, there were a lot of us on that day who were deeply skeptical and very worried about what a Trump presidency would be. But this is a moment of unparalleled national humiliation, of weakness.” 
"When you listen to the President, these are the musings of an imbecile. An idiot. And I don't use those words to name call. I use them because they are the precise words of the English language to describe his behavior. His comportment. His actions. We've never seen a level of incompetence, a level of ineptitude so staggering on a daily basis by anybody in the history of the country whose ever been charged with substantial responsibilities.” 
"It's just astonishing that this man is president of the United States. The man, the con man, from New York City. Many bankruptcies, failed businesses, a reality show, that branded him as something that he never was. A successful businessman. Well, he's the President of the United States now, and the man who said he would make the country great again. And he's brought death, suffering, and economic collapse on truly an epic scale." 
"And, let's be clear. This isn't happening in every country around the world. This place. Our place. Our home. Our country. The United States. We are the epicenter. We are the place where you're the most likely to die from this disease. We're the ones with the most shattered economy. And we are, because of the fool that sits in the Oval Office behind the Resolute Desk.

So all you folks considering petulantly sitting out the 2020 election because your preferred candidate didn't get the nomination, I have one word for you.



Tuesday, July 14, 2020

2020 Miss Trans Global Virtual Pageant- Catwalk Competition

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The 2020 Miss Trans Global virtual pageant is taking place through the month of July, and as y'all may be aware of, I'm one of the judges for this year. 

The contestants have already gone through The Queen's Speech  competition and a Pass the Book challenge. 

Now it's time for the 2020 Catwalk competition, in which the contestants are wearing black outfits  and swimsuits. 

You can vote for your  faves by heading to the Miss Trans Global Facebook page and liking order for your cast vote to count. 

And now, the Catwalk Competition.

Monday, July 13, 2020

All Black Lives Matter Virtual Town Hall This Saturday

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This Saturday I have the honor and opportunity to participate in this Zoom All Black Lives Matter virtual conversation with all these amazing Houston area leaders. 

It's from 4-6 PM CDT, and you can register for it via this link.   It will also be available on Facebook

Participating in this conversation is Ashton Woods of BLM Houston, Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis, former Houston City Councilmember and attorney Jolanda Jones, Rep Garnet Coleman (D-Houston), Assata Richards PhD, Vanessa Enoch PhD, psychologist Dr Daryl Shorter, Pastor Denise Junious, Pastor Leslie Jackson, trans advocate Kaleb Elijah and Tori Cooper.
The moderator for this discussion will be Dr Marlon A Smith.

Looking forward to this event on Saturday, and hope you peeps can join us. 

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Kai Shappley Gets Rave Reviews In Netflix 'The Baby Sitters Club' Episode

A little girl and her teenage babysitter have a tea party
I've always said about my chosen Austin resident niece Kai Shappley that the camera loves her and the feeling is mutual.   I always marvel at the fact this child hardly ever takes a bad photo.

A few months ago she took a trip to Vancouver, BC for which the purpose was unknown to those of us who love her until now. 

The Baby-Sitters Club,' streaming on Netflix - Roman Catholic ...
 I had been seeing Netflix promotions of their reboot of The Baby Sitters Club' when I signed in to watch my other fave shows and movies,  but didn't have any interest in watching it since the show is aimed at younger viewers.

The Baby-Sitters Club (1995)
The Baby Sitters Club is based on the series of books by author Ann M. Martin that were published between 1986-2000.   The books were previously adapted for an HBO series in 1990 and a 1995 feature film. 

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That was until I received a message from her mom Kimberly to check out episode 4 of it.  I did, and there was Kai lighting up the screen playing Bailey.   

I so enjoyed the episode that Kai was featured in, I binge watched the rest of Season One.

Trans girl Kai Shappley from Pearland stars in 'The Baby-Sitters ...
The Baby Sitters Club handled the trans themed storyline with sensitivity.  The writers also used a great analogy to describe what it is like to be trans.   And of course, bravo on casting a trans child to play a trans child.

Her mom is also pleased and proud of her as well.   So is Aunt Monica.

As for our budding preteen thespian?    She's still focused on becoming an astrophysicist, but is starting to get interest from Hollywood.

Austin Social Hour: Equality Texas 30th Anniversary - Tribeza
I was happy to get to spend some time with Kai and her mom last year during the Equality Texas 30th anniversary dinner where she, like I did,  picked up an award for the work her now nine year old self has been doing to advance trans rights in the Lone Star State .

Kai has also picked up an award that I don't have on my shelf.   An Emmy for the Trans in America :Texas Strong Daresha Kyl directed documentary she and Kimberly were featured in.

Who knows?  She may have another one in her future.   

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Valentina Sampaio Makes Trans Modeling History Again!

Valentina Sampaio is on the 2020 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue on sale now.
23 year old Brazilian model Valentina Sampaio is getting quite accustomed to making history.,

In 2017 she became the first out trans model to appear on the cover of VOGUE Paris.  Two years later she became the first out trans model to be hired by Victoria's Secret.

Valentina Sampaio Makes History as Sports Illustrateds First Trans Model
And now, Sampaio becomes the first out trans model to appear in the iconic Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.   It's another historic step for her, but another giant leap in visibility for our embattled community.

Sampaio has always been vocal about supporting the trans community in her home country and across the world, and it's a major reason why I'm so down for her. 

She noted in her SI essay that 129 trans people were murdered in Brazil last year, and has called for Brazil to recognize the humanity and human rights of trans Brazilians.  She also finds it bitterly ironic that she receives more love and support outside of Brazil than she does at home.

Congratulations Valentina on making history again.   Going to be interesting to see what history you make next in the modeling world. 

The US Trans Caucus Meets!

US Trans Caucus - May 9, 2020 - YouTube
Back on May 9, the US Trans Caucus got together via Zoom to discuss the changing landscape of American politics.

The US Trans Caucus is comprised of Minneapolis city councilmembers Andrea Jenkins and Philippe Cunningham, and state Reps Brianna Titone of Colorado, Reps Gerri Cannon and Lisa bunker of new Hampshire and Del Danica Roem of VA 

Here's the video of that historic meeting of out trans legislators moderated by Councilmember Jenkins.. 

Friday, July 10, 2020

Miss Trans Global International Digital Pageant Is Live!

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I was asked back in May to be one of the panel of judges for the inaugural London based Miss Trans Global pageant.

One of the things y'all don't know about me, but probably should have guessed from my coverage of the Miss International Queen and mainstream cisgender ones like Miss USA and Miss Universe on this blog is that I love pageants, especially the trans ones.

And yeah, I have been honored to be asked to judge a few of them back in the day.

File:Miss saHHara.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
When Sahhara laid out her vision about Miss Trans Global, it spoke to me because I have always felt that the interview portion of  pageants should be more heavily weighted in the scoring than talent,and evening gown.   

I also loved the fact that it is a trans feminine conceived, led and run project, with the three member Miss Trans Global leadership team having pageant and show business experience..

Also important to me is that the scoring and judging system that has been set up for Miss Trans Global will be one that is fair and transparent for the contestants.

Transparency and fairness at times has been a challenging concept for many trans pageant systems including Miss International Queen.

But back to talking about my major beef with many trans pageants besides fair and impeccably scrupulous judging.

It does you no good as a pageant owner or organizer to have a gorgeous pageant queen who looks stunning in a gown, has talent, but has subpar oratory skills and is clueless as hell when it comes to current events going on outside of Pageant World . 

A trans pageant contestant whether they like it or not, once they put on that sash and crown, is seen by elements of society as a representation of the trans community. 

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Heavily weighing the interview portion is something that occurs with the Mr and Miss Black Trans International pageant that happens during the week long Black Trans Advocacy Conference (BTAC). 
The reason it happens is because in large part the BTIPS pageant winners become the spokespersons and faces of our org for the next year of their reign.. 

So what's Miss Trans Global?   It is an international online pageant for trans and gender nonconforming people 18 and up from all backgrounds to raise awareness on transgender and LGB issues around the world.   Most importantly to me, unlike the Thai based Miss International Queen one, Miss Trans Global has a diverse group of judges.  .

 So yes, a trans pageant queen needs to be more than a pretty face.   She also needs to be a woman with substance.  It's why I eagerly jumped at the chance when asked to be named to this year's international panel of judges for this inaugural Miss Trans Global pageant/.

The Miss Trans Global Pageant has 18 contestants from four continents, Africa, Asia, North and South America competing.  The pageant is running online from July 1-30, with the crowning of the winner to take place on August 1.

You can not only check out the Miss Trans Global website,  it is also on Facebook You Tube and Instagram.

You interested peeps also get a say on which one of our contestants makes it to our Top 15, semifinal and final rounds.  For your vote to count,, you must like the Miss Trans Global Facebook page before choosing your fave contestants

So handle your business.   Check out the contestants on your favorite social media platform and then vote for your faves.

Check out The Queen's Speech preliminary part of this pageant in which all the contestants submitted videos that discussed what they would do if they were honored with the Miss Trans Global crown.


Looking forward to finding out along with all of you peeps worldwide who will be the inaugural winner of the Miss Trans Global virtual trans pageant.

You're also about to find out what I have known for years.  Trans is not only beautiful, but we have some intelligent, classy and talented women in our ranks.,