Thursday, April 17, 2014

UH Josephine Tittsworth Act Passes!

Photo: Equality for all: whether you want to be called Sarah or Sean. Let's support the Josephine Tittsworth Act and help improve the UH-system.Was on the University of Houston campus to watch a little history being made in the ultramodern UH SGA Senate chambers in the UC North as UH 51.001, the Josephine Tittsworth Act came to a final vote

The SGA meeting started at 7:30 PM with the TransGriot an overflow crowd anxiously watching the proceedings.

The Tittsworth Act sought to have The University of Houston follow its existing EEOC and non discrimination policy by allowing trans students to update their university identification with their preferred name, discerned gender and titles. .  
But this simple turned into a surprisingly contentious issues that plucked nerves on both sides of it.

The frats and sororities were the initial Tittsworth Act opposition, and there were reports the UH campus Republicans were also stirring the injustice pot as well.  The opposition initially went to the all too familiar play to the trans community and our allies of 'fear and trans smear' along with complaining about being called bigots during the debate.

Well opposition people, when you actively oppose a measure for a marginalized group by throwing long ago debunked trans bathroom and sexual predator myths as you did in last week's town hall (which I made my pissivity about that stunt clear), it's not a good look and puts you on the wrong side of the arc of the moral universe not only in my eyes as a trans person but in the court of public opinion.  .

I also noted that the UH frats and sororities 45 years ago were on the wrong side of history when they opposed the election of Lynn Eusan as UH's first Black homecoming queen, and sadly, they were repeating that history by attempting to oppress another on campus marginalized group.  

The opponents sought to delay the vote, claiming that the Tittsworth Act 'had been rushed', with many of the junior SGA senators complaining they 'hadn't had enough time' to present the issues to their constituency groups

SGA President Charles Haston and Tittsworth Act lead sponsors SGA Senators James Lee and Guillermo Lopez  were having none of that along with the senators who supported the bill .  

President Haston spoke eloquently during his time in favor of the bill to a standing ovation when he concluded his remarks.   He also wrote this op-ed concerning the Josephine Tittsworth Act.

The Senate will vote tonight on a bill that, unfortunately, a small group of students has voiced visceral opposition to. I'd like to make some things clear. 

I have had several conversations with CFSL (Center For Student Life)  and this bill literally has NO impact 
on fraternities or sororities.

A student said today that Greeks would be "discriminated" against if they chose not to admit a trans student to their organization. This bill is about protecting students who are actually discriminated against and the notion that we shouldn't protect those students because an organization is worried about bad PR is disgusting.

Over the last 237 years, 1,264,000 Marines, soldiers, and sailors have died to protect the freedom of all Americans, but especially the freedom of those the majority may disagree with. That includes everything from Westboro Baptist Church's right to protest military funerals, to women and minorities right to vote.

You don't have to agree with the personal choices of others, but as an institution we have an obligation to promote tolerance in order to ensure that all students can thrive at the University of Houston.


After handling the initial business items on the meeting agenda, the meeting turned to the issue the overflow crowd was waiting to see, the outcome of the Josephine Tittsworth Act.  

The initial plan was to allow three speakers from each side to speak for two minutes for or against the bill.   But after none of the peeps flapping their transphobic gums on social media stepped up to speak against it (surprise, surprise), an additional three speakers in favor of the Tittsworth Act filled that time.

The first and most moving speaker of the evening was Autumn Packard.  She is the mother of a trans child who urged the UH SGA to pass the bill so that her trans daughter, should she grow up and wish to attend UH someday could do so in safety.  Becca Keo-Meier spoke about the problems she encounters as a person who has androgynous appearance on campus and read a statement from her spouse Dr. Colt Keo-Meier.    After the rest of the affirmative speakers had their say (I was on standby),  the debate shifted to the SGA senators who would determine the fate of the bill.

Senator Pooja Magadi in response to an opposition senator who stated he was voting against the bill 'for his constituents', reminded the senators to a standing ovation that the trans students on the UH campus were also their constituents, too.

After some final questions and answers, the vote on the Josephine Tittsworth Act finally happened a little after 9:15 PM    The vote was 11 in favor, 4 opposed and 2 abstentions.

The Josephine Tittsworth Act now goes to the Faculty Senate and up the UH administrative ranks before it becomes university policy.  

Photo: Tonight the University of Houston Student Government passed the Josephine Tittsworth Act further protecting the privacy of transgender students. Well done to those student Senators who spoke out in favor of this bill and its benefits to students. We want to point out the tremendous leadership of James Lee in particular for his work in helping to carry this bill.But I'm so proud of my Coogs and the UH SGA for passing the Josephine Tittsworth Act.  Thanks to James Lee, Guillermo Lopez, Yesenia Chavez, President Charles Haston, the 11 SGA senators and all the people who were drum majors and drum majorettes for justice that got this done.  

It was a deeply appreciated step not only for the safety and security of UH trans students, but also resonated beyond the campus with alums and supporters of the University of Houston and the Houston TBLG community.

Tonight you proved that the justified pride in UH being one of the most diverse campuses in the nation isn't empty rhetoric as far as trans students were concerned.

Go Coogs!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Overpolicing Language? Seriously?

TransGriot Note:  I read this essay Fallon Fox posted to her Facebook page concerning the still simmering controversy over serial transphobe RuPaul's use of terms the trans community has repeatedly told him were dehumanizing to our community and his white gay male fanbase rushing to defend him. 

The predominately white gay male supporters of RuPaul are holding up any trans woman who seems to side with him as a human shield to bash the rest of us with.  

Why?  Because they are hypocritically pissed off transpeople of all ethnicities had the temerity to do what they have done for decades.  We called and are STILL calling his azz out for using the 'shemale' and 't----y' terms we find offensive to our community and LOGO listened.

LOGO pulled the offending show with the female or shemale game form their site and will no longer used the offensive words on it and elements of the white gay male community are tripping.   What part of 'the trans community will decide what words are or aren't offensive to it' do you not get?  

The latest entry in that small minority of RuPaul trans defenders besides Calpernia Addams and Andrea James is Our Lady J, who recently penned an essay published in the Huffington Post that Fallon is rebutting here.

It deserves a signal boost.   And now, here's Fallon's essay.

**Warning - I'm spelling out derogatory words in this post in order to discuss an important issue.****

Is it true that Ru Paul recently complained to Amanda Byrnes use of the term 'faggot' in a tweet, stating: "Derogatory slurs are ALWAYS an outward projection of a person's own poisonous self-loathing." Just saw that online. That, and the Huffington post article by Our Lady J. I know, I'm a little late on that one.

I disagree with Our Lady J on this. 'Drag Queen' is an occupation created primarily in gay culture, in similar fashion, 'Rap artist' is an occupation created primarily by black culture.

Some people argue that 'shemale' is a harmless fun word. You ever Google the word 'shemale'? If not, then I suggest you do. See what you come up with. It's pages and pages of porn. While I like porn myself and see nothing intrinsically wrong with it, (other than the exploitation some porn entities use) - I do not appreciate the language alluding to me being a porn star or sex worker. Because that's what that word actually means.

It's that whole 'chick with a dick' derogatory language from cisgender people I've had to endure for years. No, there's nothing wrong with a woman with a penis. Nothing at all. But, that whole she-male term is wrapped around a very real history of forced sex work and porn. I say forced, because for the most part the trans women who have engaged in those occupations over the years have done so, because of lack of opportunity as trans women. It's pretty much slavery or a type of servitude in some situations. One needs the money to transition or risk losing ones sanity. One needs a job for that. But, one can't find or hold down a job in many situations if one is trans. So, where does that person go...? No other options but sex work or porn in many situations. Trans women are forced out of the openness of general society into a narrow channel that leads to sex work of some kind. And we are forced to endure the labeling of those outside of us. Labeling that seeks to never let us escape us being reduced to genitalia.

Look at the word shemale. We didn't pick this word for ourselves.
SHEMALE = "She" (female in mind ) + "male" (in the pants).

It was meant to mark trans women, and pin us down to what's in our pants pre-surgery (if we elect for it). It was derogatory.

See here:
I remember when I first stepped foot in a drag bar. It was the only safe space I could find in town that I lived. Yes, some drag queens called themselves tranny, or she-male. And they got me to do it very briefly. But, as time went on, I realized how different I was from that drag mentality. I realized that I was trans, not gay. I was offered many times to be a performer because of my potential 'passability'. However, I declined, as I also realized one important thing about myself. I was not a parody of a woman. I was not seeking to be a parody of a woman even temporarily. I wanted to embody 'woman' both inside and out at all times. And not a hyper feminized, non realistic, rigid unmalleable version of one confined to a bar in the secluded side of town either. No, an intelligent, respected woman who had 'options', and held an occupation in spaces straight cisgender people did.

One thing is for sure. If I ever see a Cuban rap artist hold a TV show, have other Cuban rap artists come on the show, then tell those rappers to pick which rap artist in ANY ethnicity or a "nigger", depending on the partial photo presented, I'm going to lose it.

I don't care if Cubans and blacks are under the same umbrella of 'people of color'. I don't care if both of us face discrimination. I wouldn't give Cubans a free pass to hold a tv show and use that harmful word at blacks expense.

Let's look at the word 'nigger'. Where did that come from? The exploitation and hatred of black people in this country. Yes, they loved the benefits they got from us when we were slaves. They marketed us as 'niggers'. I'm quite sure if slavery was still in use today, you could do a google search for 'nigger' and come up with pages of pages of people trying to sell you a 'niggers' service.

Again, where did 'she-male' come from? The exploitation and hatred of trans women in this country. Yes, they loved, and still love, the benefits they get from us as sex workers and porn stars. They market us as 'she-males'. Some of us got lucky. We found ways around this horrible servitude. But, many of us would like out. Many of us want an education. Many of us are stuck, and living similarly to newly released slaves. Some of us see no potential for escape of the framing, no potential life outside of sex work, porn, or drag and accept the term. Some just decide to embrace it. Some, (and this is very, very rare) just like the ring of it. You can find some of them online if you search. Don't worry, it's not hard. Just type in 'shemale', and observe pages and pages of entities trying to sell you a 'shemales' service.

I realize that black oppression and trans oppression are different. But, they do have very striking similarities. And as a black woman I have no problem with pointing them out. It makes sense, and is important to do so in order to attempt to fix the similar problems that plague both minority classes.

...But wait, there's more.

I ask a few questions. And they are open for anyone to answer. And you may have already thought of it.
Are black people who call themselves 'nigger' or 'nigga' (and identify as such-which is rare), similar to trans women calling themselves 'she male' or 'tranny' (and identify as such-which is rare also)?

Are black people who call themselves 'nigger' or 'nigga' (and identify as black- which is common), similar to trans women calling themselves 'shemale' or 'tranny' (and identify as trans - which is also common... Kind of)?

I think so. And how does all of that relate to the topic of Ru Paul's she-male game?

Revenge Of The Conservafools

I'm so tired of this 'Revenge Of The Conservafools' horror movie that has been playing for far too long in America's political life

Because the conservative movement is pissed off a Black president got elected in 2008 and reelected despite their millions of dollars, loud propaganda and Massive Resistance 2.0 in Congress, they are taking it out on Black people and the country.

Conservatism is a failed political philosophy, and they can't win elections without cheating. 

See them cut the social safety net! See them diss women and eviscerate a woman's right to choose! See them roll back voting rights! See them brazenly suck up to billionaires while hatin' on the poor. See them kill union organizing rights! See them refuse to raise the minimum wage while their obscene corporate profits grow.

See them lie on cable news and talk radio while doing all that shady crap. See them claim they have the support of 'The American People' while doing so.

See the horror of large numbers of stupid, racist tea bag holding bigots voting for them against their own economic interests as the 1% maniacally laughs at them from their quiet rooms.

Rated GOP

Starring John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, Michele Bachmann, Louie Gohmert, Ted Cruz, Rush Limbaugh and Reince Priebus.

Produced and directed by the Koch Brothers.

Time for this horror movie to end.  You can make that happen by voting to throw the GOP bums out on November 4. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Attacking The 'All Transwomen Are Sex Workers' Meme

Monica JonesNow that Monica Jones has been found guilty of 'Walking While Black Trans' in Phoenix, the question that comes to my inquiring mind is what are we going to do about getting the word out about this injustice being aimed at her and frankly, all trans women of color at times?

Yes, it's easy for all of us to say that we stand with Monica Jones when this obvious injustice is being aimed at her.

But I just feel we need to do more.  I think we can start with a national, coordinated 'Walking While Trans' protest events next month before the May 28 sentencing date of Ms. Jones.  

Photo: I DO!We could have walks that lead to rallies decrying what happened to Ms Jones.  Put together a coordinated campaign that calls for an end to the 'Walking While Trans' profiling.

Since trans human rights issues are suddenly getting national and international media attention, let's use this moment to do more education about our trans lives. 

I believe we have been given another opportunity to attack and destroy another meme deployed against us that feeds into the unjust treatment being aimed at us.

It's the 'all transwomen are sex workers' meme.   

And before I get accused of pushing 'respectability politics' or attacking sex workers, let me make crystal clear that's not where I'm going with this post.  I am already quite aware of the fact that some of my trans sisters engaged in or still do engage in sex work to pay the bills.   I'm also quite aware that transphobia, racism and gender policing also play debatable levels of a role into the 'Walking While Trans' issue

What I'm focusing on in this post is attacking is the 'all transwomen are sex workers' meme that feeds into the 'Walking While Trans' harassment and arrests that are far too often aimed at transwomen of color.

In New York, the NYPD stop and frisk shenanigans were disproportionately aimed at Black and Latina trans women because in the cops minds, 'we're all potential prostitutes'    

In New Orleans trans women who are just minding their own business are routinely arrested and harassed by the city's police force on prostitution related charges.. 

The 'transwomen are sex workers' meme is also front and center in the ATL 'Queen of Mean' Peggy Denby's efforts to get a draconian law passed that would permanently banish persons convicted of a second prostitution arrest from Atlanta.  

That meme was on a drunk Kenneth Furr's mind when he propositioned a transwoman in a northwest Washington DC CVS store.  It led to an ugly incident in which he ended up firing shots from his police  service pistol at the vehicle the trans women were traveling in. 

There's also a  2012 study by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) that found transgender people across the United States experience three times as much police violence as cisgender individuals.  Not surprisingly to moi, those numbers are even higher for transgender people of color.  

Even when transgender people were the victims of hate crimes, 48 percent reported receiving mistreatment from the police when they went for help.

So in order to confront the Walking While Trans issue plaguing the community, we will have to attack the superstitions and myths that undergird it. 

One of the major ones buttressing it that needs to be destroyed is the 'all transwomen are sex workers' meme.

UH Josephine Tittsworth Act Vote Happening Tomorrow

The town hall event was packed last week, and I expect the same thing will happen tomorrow when the UH SGA Senate returns to their ultramodern Senate chambers in the UC North to vote on the Josephine Tittsworth Act tomorrow.

That meeting will start at 7:30 PM.

Just as a reminder, the UH SGA proposed this piece of legislation that seeks to have the University of Houston follow its existing EEO and non discrimination policy by allowing trans* UH students to update their university identification with their preferred name, discerned gender and titles

This should be a non controversial issue, but falsehoods have been spread by agent provocateurs who have gotten the white frats and sororities riled up.

And as I reported last week, the bathroom predator and sexual predator lies have been deployed as well.

All this over the top transphobic hatred for a measure that would simply allow trans UH students to update their university ID's to match the people they are now.

Hope that the UH SGA is cognizant of the fact they have an opportunity to be drum majors and drum majorettes for justice and do the right thing.  

About Time The Offensive Trans Slur Terms Were Dropped From 'Drag Race'

It took them long enough, but Logo has pulled the problematic episode of RuPaul's Drag Race featuring the 'female or she-male' sketch.  

In addition, they will no longer use the term 'she-mail' in the show after trans community members and yours truly spoke out and GLAAD met with MTV and Logo
to discuss the issue.

Still boycotting RuPaul's Drag Race, but happy they made the announcement.

To all you predominately white gay menz pissed off they are dropping those offensive to the trans community terms, have several seats and a nice tall appletini flavored glass of STHU.   I'm getting sick of y'all tripping because we transpeeps expressed ourselves about this issue and people actually listened this time.

As I said last month and will repeat, we trans people have every right to call out friend, foe and frenemy who offend us and expect action to be taken on it.  You don't like the fact it was your boy RuPaul, too damned bad.  You don't get to tell us what is and isn't offensive to our community, and it's past time for y'all to deal with that reality.  

For those of you who kept throwing the shady comment 'the trans community has better things to do than call out RuPaul's media transphobia', I call bull feces on that.   I've witnessed far too often the numerous times you gay peeps have straight up acted the fool anytime a straight celeb utters the gay slur words that offend your community. 

It is also the height of vanillacentric privileged cis gay arrogance to presume we trans folks don't have the right to do the same.   

New year, new rules.  As Katie Couric, Piers Morgan, Wendy Williams and now RuPaul have discovered, we trans people are not tolerating ANY disrespect aimed at our community from friend, foe or frenemy.

You can call that 'bullying' all you want.  I call it standing up for our humanity. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Let's Play TransGriot Jeopardy 3

Have a new clue for you in TransGriot Jeopardy.     Remember,  your answer much be in the form of a question.

The category is Black Trans History and the Final Jeopardy answer is.

In June 2014 Tona Brown will become the first African-American trans woman to do this.

Time's up.   The Final Jeopardy answer is:  What is play at Carnegie Hall?

Tona is quickly raising the money she needs in her indiegogo campaign to make that dream happen.   Thanks to everyone who has made videos supporting her and who have contributed for her to stand on that hallowed stage on behalf of our community. 

Speaking of videos, here's the latest from the host of Denver's InFocus program,  Eden Lane.

Going to be wonderful to see that happen.

2014 GLAAD Media Awards LA

Saturday night on the Left Coast the GLAAD Media Awards, LA Division were held in the Beverly Hilton Hotel.  My category will be announced May 3 in New York, and won't be done during the live event. 

Jennifer Lopez was presented with GLAAD's Vanguard Award by the legendary Rita Moreno. 

The Vanguard Award honors efforts to increase visibility and understanding of the TBLG community.   In addition to being an outspoken advocate for the community, Lopez serves as executive producer of the ABC Family series "The Fosters," which centers on a lesbian couple raising their children.

"The Fosters" also won the award for outstanding drama series.

Laverne Cox was presented with the Stephen J. Kolzak Award,  which is given to an openly trans, bi, lesbian or gay member of the entertainment community who have made a significant difference in promoting equality for the TBLG community.   The previous recipients of the Kolzak award have included Wanda Sykes, Rufus Wainwright, Melissa Etheridge, Ellen DeGeneres and Ian McKellen, and Laverne's name has now joined that distinguished list..

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Lumberton ISD Trans Teacher Reinstated

Laura Jane Klug52 year old Laura Jane Klug had been a substitute teacher in the Lumberton Independent School District near Beaumont teaching without incident until last week.  Some transphobic parents complained after she substitute taught a fifth grade class at Lumberton Middle School and ignited a kerfluffle that roiled the area.

“I have always conducted myself in a professional manner and would never discuss my gender identity in school,” Klug was quoted as saying in a 12News story.

She also told Lone Star Q in an interview that she suspects it was one of her neighbors who outed her and contacted the media.

After meeting with Lumberton ISD Superintendent John Valastro she was suspended pending a meeting held on Thursday to determine whether she can continue to teach in LISD. 

As the story began to get national attention, Valastro then claimed Klug wasn't suspended as TBLG people in Southeast Texas and the rest of the state mobilized in response to the unjust treatment of Klug.  

Lambda Legal, and Equality Texas pointed out that LISD was in violation of Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on sex.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has ruled in Macy v. Holder that the provision covers transgender people. In addition, courts have ruled that government employers can’t discriminate against LGBT people due to the constitutional guarantee of equal protection.

MeetingThe PFLAG Beaumont chapter sprang into action to coordinate a rally that happened before the 7 PM LISD board meeting that would determine Klug's teaching fate.  

That Thursday board meeting happened in front of an overflow crow in which the purple clad supporters of Klug outnumbered the transphobes.

After 13 speakers pro and con expressed themselves during the 30 minute public comment period, the LISD board went into a lengthy closed session to discuss her fate..

Klug was informed that she was reinstated, but told not to apply for the first open position in LISD until Superintendent Valastro meets with the district's principals on Monday.

“Hopefully this is going to be a really good learning moment for everybody involved,” Klug said. “It’s certainly an opportunity for principals to address the issue of people who are gender-nonconforming. Also, it might encourage somebody who is questioning their gender to maybe come forward.”

Whether Lumberton ISD was motivated by doing the right thing by Klug or a possible lawsuit is a moot point.   The bottom line is in this instance, the evil instigated by whatever transphobic troll jumped this off did not triumph and Laura Jane Klug is still able to teach. 

Transphobic 6 Term MP Rob Anders Defeated

Read some interesting news out of Alberta concerning a north of the border transphobic foe of ours in Conservative MP Rob Anders.

He has held his Calgary West federal riding since 1997 and been a lightning rod for criticism during his time on Parliament Hill.

In addition to insulting former South African president Nelson Mandela and Canadian veterans, and making a long list of gaffes, Canadian transpeople and their allies around the world remember him deploying the 'bathroom predator' meme when C-279, the Trans Rights Bill was introduced. 
The bill eventually passed the House of Commons in March 2013.

But his riding was recently redrawn, renamed Calgary Signal Hill and he faced stiff competition in this Conservative Party nomination fight for it against Ron Liepert, who was a cabinet finance minister in Alberta's Progressive Conservative provincial government.

It was a nasty intraparty battle that received national media attention in Canada.  Prime Minster Stephen Harper endorsed Anders, but it didn't help.  There were 3250 card carrying Conservative Party members eligible to vote in that nomination election yesterday, and 2400 voted.  

For the first time since 1997 Rob Anders has lost an election, and joy has broken out in the riding and elsewhere now that it has happened.  .  

While Liepert becomes the Tory nominee in Signal Hill when the next federal Canadian election is called in 2015, as for Anders, he still gets to serve as the MP until that happens. 

Anders also hasn't announced whether he will try to run for the Tory nomination in another riding in an attempt to get a seventh term in the House of Commons.  But based on the tweets I read and the joy being expressed over his defeat, he may want to reconsider that.    .

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Construction Starting On METRORail Central Station

And unfortunately it won't look like this Snohetta design.  It'll be just another standardized cookie cutter generic design of the current METRORail stations with art work added. 

Central Station's design was supposed to be selected from a competition in which five finalists  presented futuristic designs that they hoped would become the signature station of the METRORail system.  

But delays, cost overruns, the winner not being selected until September 2013 and fears that Central Station wouldn't be completed in time for the third quarter 2014 opening of the Green and Purple Lines to revenue service led METRO to scrap it last November and replace it with the generic stations platform 

The Red Line is shut down this weekend from the Downtown Transit Center to the Northline TC to begin construction of the Central Station platforms.  

But it would have been nice to see the signature Snohetta design going up.  

Houston Dash Play Inaugural NWSL Match Tonight

It's the day we women's soccer fans have been waiting for ever since we found out in December we would be getting a National Women's Soccer League expansion franchise in Houston. 

The Houston Dash will run onto the pitch at BBVA Compass Stadium later tonight for their first ever match against the NWSL champion Portland Thorns FC.  Interest in the game is high enough that the Dash are working on a sellout of the game and have opened up the upper bowl of BBVA Compass for ticket sales..

Their home games are also being broadcast on local television.   The Dash are the second NWSL squad to have a local television deal.  

Head Coach Randy Waldrum wants to put an exciting attacking squad on the field, and that has been the case in the Dash's preseason matches.   

As the Dash's roster took shape, we ended up with Canadian national team members Lauren Sesselmann (who is hurt right now) and goalkeeper Erin McLeod and Mexican national team member Teresa Noyola via trades, and interestingly enough via the NWSL draft with the second overall pick the sister-in-law of Texans linebacker Brian Cushing in Kealia Ohai  

Now the level of competition ramps up from the upper level college teams they played in preseason .  The Dash will get a major measuring test of where they are when they face off against the Thorns, who like themselves are also affiliated with an MLS team..  

Houston DashDespite their expansion status, the Dash players have set lofty goals and are aiming to be one of the four teams left standing for the playoffs when their inaugural 24 game NWSL regular season concludes.

They are not only being watched by Houston sports fans, but other teams in MLS who are considering starting their own NWSL affiliated women's teams from scratch like the Dynamo did.with the Dash.

Best of luck in tonight's opener and hope it's a successful debut.  

TransGriot Update:  The Dash had a tying goal in stoppage time wiped out by a questionable offsides call and lost 1-0 to the Thorns 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Monica Jones Guilty Of Walking While Black Trans In Arizona

Monica JonesHave another reason to not like Arizona despite some of the cool people who call it home.

Been keeping an eye on the ongoing case of ASU student Monica Jones, who was accosted on the street while walking in her Phoenix neighborhood during a sting operation and charged with 'manifestation of intent to prostitute' the very night after she spoke at a May 2013 rally denouncing Project ROSE.  .

Project ROSE is a program created with 15 partner organizations including the Phoenix Police Department with the goal of avoiding filing charges against adults engaged in prostitution, providing an opportunity for medical and social services and assistance in helping them exit the life of prostitution if they choose.  

In practice, the program and its profiled prostitution sweeps target trans, SGL and low income women far too often and has a 30% success rate, the same rate as a woman who goes before a judge and hasn't gone through the unjust Catholic Charities supported program.  

Jones believes she was unfairly targeted for arrest because of her outspoken criticism of Project ROSE.   A petition was created urging the Phoenix city prosecutor to drop the charges against her..    

The ACLU of Arizona joined Jones’ lawyer in contesting the constitutionality of the manifestation statute. Dan Pochoda of the ACLU explained in his arguments, “The statute eviscerates first amendment rights.”

In a packed Phoenix municipal courtroom this morning filled with supporters wearing “I Stand With Monica Jones: Stop Profiling Trans Women of Color”shirts, Judge Hercules Dellas found the 29 year old Ms. Jones guilty based solely on the statements of the police officer who targeted her. 

Gee why am I not surprised?   Jones' trial is also being monitored by the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders as an example of discriminatory policing and retaliation on activists organizing for human rights.

She is appealing the ruling because she faces time in the men's jails, and Maricopa County has a less than stellar human rights record in their penal system.  

Ms. Jones stated, “I am saddened by the injustice that took place at my trial this morning, but we are not giving up the fight. It’s time that we end the stigma and the criminalization of sex work, the profiling of trans women of color, and the racist policing system that harms so many of us.”

Hope she has better luck with her appeal.

Shut Up Fool Awards-Happy Birthday Tricia Helfer Edition

Today is the milestone 40th birthday of Canadian actress Tricia Helfer, who is as any BSG fan can tell you well known for her role as the humanoid Cylon Number 6 on Battlestar Galactica..

She most recently turned up on our TV screens again in the role of Texas Ranger Molly Parker on the Sofia Vergara produced ABC show Killer Women.

Tricia was born on this date in rural Donalda, Alberta in 1974.

It's also Friday, and y'all know what that means.   It's time for my weekly exercise in finding out what people or groups exhibited mind numbing stupidity, jaw dropping ignorance, brazen hypocrisy and just over the top behavior that will make you say WTF when you read it. 

It's time for this week's edition of the TransGriot Shut Up Fool Awards.

Honorable mention number one is a group awards for the Miami-Dade County Board of Elections for coming up with a policy that closes the restrooms at polling places.   Yeah, the same county that in non-white areas of it took up to six hours to vote.

Time to get some mobile port-a-potties with signs on them that say 'the GOP is crapping on your right to vote.'

Honorable mention number two is Mike Huckabee.  The FOX noise pundit claims he's not a bigot or a hater, he's on the right side of the Bible.   Umm hmm, all you bigots and haters claim you're on the right side of the Bible when you're really just trying to use it to justify your bigotry. 

Honorable mention number three goes to for their transphobic Truth In Advertising ad that reinforces severat stereotypes about transpeople

Honorable mention number four goes to Dr. Charles Murray, the racist advisor to Texas GOP gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott who said during a human rights summit at UT this week in honor of the 50th anniversary of the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 that 'women are not significant thinkers' 

Keep running that Clayton Williams 2.0 campaign, Greg.  

For Honorable mention number five, we head to my hometown and put the owners of Y Beauty Supply on blast for not only telling a Black couple, "You people always steal", but strip searched Deadra Patten and her fiance for a pair of $3 earrings.

Seriously?    To quote Ms.Patten concerning the racial profiling, “Everybody doesn’t shoplift," said Patten in the KHOU-TV interview. "Everybody is not a thief. There are still honest people in the world.”

And there are honest people in my community as well.   Remember that, especially if you are going to do business in my community and be successful at it. .
This week's Shut Up Fool winner is PETA.  These idiots prove once again there are no depths they will sink to when they are searching for publicity.  

They are seeking to buy the Akron, OH  boyhood home of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer and turn it into a vegan restaurant.

Yep, looks like I'll be making another PETA protest stop at KFC very soon.   Original recipe yardbird, yum yum!    

PETA, and especially Bill O'Reilly's best bud Ingrid Newkirk, shut up fools!

Congrats Consuella!

Needed to congratulate my DC homegirl Consuella Lopez for her recent appointment to the Mayor's Advisory Committee to the Office of GLBT Affairs in the District

She was appointed by Mayor Vincent Gray to joins the committee along with Damien Frierson for a term that expires in June 2015.

If her name is vaguely familiar to you, it's because she was one of the people who was featured in the anti-trans discrimination poster campaign launched by the Dc office of Human Rights back in 2012.

Congratulations Consuella! 

I know she is excited about this appointment and looking forward to doing the best job humanly possible to represent the interests of the trans community of Washington DC.