Saturday, February 28, 2015

Arrest Made In Deshawnda Sanchez Murder

The last moments of 21 year old Deshawnda Sanchez's all too brief life were engaged in a frantic early morning search for help in the Chesterfield Square neighborhood before she was gunned down December 3.

One break was that a neighbor's  security camera caught the perp getting out of a car, running toward the porch, and running back moments later to get in the car before it makes a high speed departure.

That video probably led to the announcement made by LA police that 30 year old Robert James Spells was arrested in connection to the Sanchez murder.

Spells, who according to an LA Times report has been convicted of various offenses, including robbery, being a felon with a firearm and possession of a controlled substance, was picked up Wednesday on a parole violation by US marshals at a relative's home.

LAPD Det. Chris Barling said Spells knew Sanchez but declined to discuss the nature of their relationship.  It is unclear whether Sanchez was targeted because of her gender identity, but it is believed to be a contributing factor in the attack.

21-year-old Deshawnda Sanchez [KTLA-TV]“In this case, it is not clear-cut,” Barling said. “I think hate was used by Mr. Spells in killing Deshawnda.”

While it is unclear whether prosecutors will try to prosecute this case as a hate crime, what is clear is that Spells is not only facing a criminal count of murder in Sanchez's death, he is also expected to be charged with human trafficking over allegations he sexually assaulted an 11 year old girl and forced her into prostitution in a separate case.

We're one step closer to seeing our fallen sister receive justice in this case.

Conservative Party Senators Mess With C-279 In Committee

Ever since C-279 passed with support of all the major Canadian political parties in the House of Commons in March 2013, trans people in the Great White North were cautiously optimistic that they would finally reach their political Holy Grail of having federal human rights protection.

C-279 simply amends the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Canadian Criminal Code to add gender identity as a protected class, and our Canadian trans cousins had good reason to be optimistic.

Since 2012, six provinces have followed the Northwest Territories 2004 lead and passed human rights protection for their trans citizens.   Ontario, Manitoba and Nova Scotia all did so that year, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador followed in 2013, and Saskatchewan in 2014

But one of the notable House of Common NO votes back in 2013 was Prime Minister Stephen Harper, with now Liberal leader Justin Trudeau not voting on it at all.

That's probably one of the reasons why the Conservative Party when it got to the Senate that they dominated, started acting like their south of the border Republican cousins and fracking with C-279 by bringing up the discredited bathroom predator lie. 

It also didn't help that the TERF's Canadian Division, AKA the REAL Women of Canada also started sticking their transphobic noses in the Conservative effort to halt passage of C-279.  

C-279 still continued to advance, passing first and second reading stage votes and getting successfully voted out of the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights on June 10, 2013 chaired by Liberal Sen. Mobina Jaffer.

But on the cusp of a major human rights victory, the Conservatives went into full trans oppressor mode during the third reading stage that occurred just before the Canadian Senate went into its summer 2013 recess.   What was more disgusting that it was lesbian Tory Senator Nancy Ruth leading the charge. 

After the Conservative senate leadership ran out the clock and refused to call for that Third Reading vote, that was followed by Prime Minister Harper proroguing parliament in September, which forced C-279 to start from scratch in the Senate legislative process because it was a private member's bill.

Other more ominous signs were Sen Jaffer expressing her concerns during that summer 2013 recess the bill wouldn't pass, and Liberal Senator Grant Mitchell stating what was blatantly obvious to the TransGriot, our trans cousins and the world by calling out the Conservatives for stalling C-279.

When the Senate returned for business after Thanksgiving in October, instead of C-279 going through Sen Jaffer's committee, it was sent after passing another Second Reading vote to the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs chaired by Conservative senator Bob Rumciman. 

It also has transphobic Tory senator and longtime C-279 hater Neil Plett as a member.

Fortunately Sen. Jaffer is a member of that committee along with Senator Mitchell, but they were outnumbered   On Thursday the Conservative dominated committee passed Plett introduced amendments by a 6-4 margin to exempt C-279 from applying to public spaces including bathrooms and locker rooms.

The negative reaction to that from Canadian trans people and our allies was swift.

The federal NDP  released a statement criticizing what they characterize as the Senate’s attempt to block the bill from passing. “The Senate’s attempt to obstruct this bill that would finally give transgender Canadians the protection and equal status they deserve is reprehensible,” said Randall Garrison, the NDP's LGBT critic and sponsor of C-279, in the statement.

“Human rights are not conditional,” said Helen Kennedy of Egale Canada Human Rights Trust. “The human rights of transgender people must be protected in all spaces including public bathrooms and locker rooms. The amendment to Bill C-279 fuels discrimination against transgender individuals by making it seem like people have something to fear by sharing a bathroom with a transgender person, which of course they don’t.”

“As a transgender person I have been waiting a long time for federal human rights protections,” said Amanda Ryan of Gender Mosaic. “Bathrooms are dangerous for me. I fear what people will do to me if they realize I am transgender. Bill C-279 was meant to protect me from hate crimes, but in amending it, the Senate is putting me at risk. It will force me to use the men’s bathroom, and a transgender woman in the men’s room is a recipe for violence.”

“We appealed to all Senators to support Bill C-279 without any amendments,” said Alex Neve, Secretary-General of Amnesty International Canada. “The original Bill is what was needed. If Senators passed the bill in Committee with no amendments, we would be well on our way to having life-saving human rights protections in place in a matter of weeks.”

“We believe that vulnerable minorities are entitled to basic human rights and should have the full protection of the law; this Bill as amended falls short of providing that protection,” said Richard Marceau of The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs.

C-279 is headed toward a third reading vote, and if it passes third reading with the amendments voted down, it would go to Canadian Governor general David Johnston for Royal Assent to become Canadian law.

But if it passes with the amendments, it has to go back to the House of Commons, and with a Canadian federal election looming on October 19, it's highly unlikely it would pass the Conservative dominate chamber before parliament is dissolved.

And it's sad that it has come to this for a sorely needed human rights bill.  

But the C-279 fight just reinforces what I have been saying for months in our below the 49th Parallel trans human rights struggle.   Thee most dangerous bigot is the one with the power to pass legislation.

You also can't get progressive laws passed out of a conservative legislative body.

Kentucky Senate Votes 27-9 To Oppress Trans People

Kentucky Senate chamber.jpgAs expected, the GOP controlled Kentucky Senate did the bidding of the Kentucky Family Foundation and passed the unjust SB 76 bill by a 27-9 vote.

The bill originally failed to advance out of the Senate Education Committee last Thursday, but was stealthily brought back up on Monday in a surprise meeting and voted out by an 8-1 margin.

The unjust bill then went before the full Kentucky Senate with three Republican senators Jared Carpenter of Berea, John Schickel of Union and Julie Raque Adams of Louisville being drum majors and a drum majorette for justice and voting against the bill.

Six  Democrats, Julian Carroll of Frankfort, Perry Clark of Louisville, Denise Harper Angel of Louisville, Morgan McGarvey of Louisville, Gerald Neal of Louisville and Reginald Thomas of Lexington also voted against the bill.

So Kentucky trans peeps, these are the Senate peeps you thank for standing up for your human rights.

Coat of arms or logoChris Hartman, director of the Fairness Campaign, said in a statement the "Bathroom Bully Bill" as they call SB 76, lacks legal muster and will increase bullying in schools.

"What an embarrassment the Kentucky Senate has made of our commonwealth," Hartman said

But I need to remind you TransGriot readers the Kentucky General Assembly has split legislative control, with the Democrats holding the Kentucky House (thank God) by a 54-46 margin.

And with only ten days left in this legislative session, House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, indicated that the unjust measure won't win House approval.

"The Democratic-led House can better spend the remainder of the legislative session working on other bills," Stumbo said.

Translation:  SB 76 is about to get parked in a House Committee where it won't see the light of day, much less the House floor.   And in case you're wondering Kentucky's governor is Steve Beshear (D)


Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2015/02/27/3717535/kentucky-senate-approves-bill.html#storylink=cpy
But I don't think my trans friends and our allies back in the Bluegrass State will exhale until the 2015 session is over.

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2015/02/27/3717535/kentucky-senate-approves-bill.html#storylink=cpy

Friday, February 27, 2015

Shut Up Fool Awards- Rodeo 2015 Edition

Yee hah!   Today happens to be Go Texan Day here in H-town.   

It's the day that all the trail rides that have been snaking their way toward Houston on horseback for the last two weeks for the rodeo parade starting tomorrow finally make it to town and their final campout at Memorial Park.

The longest of those trail rides (and the only international one) is the Los Vaqueros Rio Grande Trail Ride, which started February 5 and is a 386 mile ride starting in Reynosa, Mexico.  One of the African-American ones is the Prairie View Trail Ride, which started in 1957 and makes an 87 mile ride to Houston.

The parade is just one of the eagerly anticipated the kickoff event for the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, which lasts for three weeks from March 3-22   The World Championship Barbecue Cookoff started yesterday and runs through this weekend

Since I haven't been to the rodeo since they held it in the Dome and I stopped working for the concessions company in 1986, may have to consider doing it this year. 

It's also going to be a bittersweet one for Selena fans because yesterday was the twentieth anniversary of her last concert performance which happened at the rodeo, and she shattered the attendance record she'd set the year before..

Since it's Go Texan Day, let's do our usual Shut Up Fool 'bidness' Texas style.  Time to round up and call out all the varmints that are all hat and no cattle, or just plain mind numbingly stupid.

Honorable mention number one is the delicious schadenfreude of seeing Ashlee Evans-Smth, one of Fallon Fox's loud and wrong transphobic critics, getting busted and suspended nine months for failing a post WMMA match drug test she lost

Karma is not only a you know what Ashlee, it wears a dress and stiletto heels.

Honorable mention number two is 2015 SUF Lifetime Achievement Award winner and hate pastor James David Manning.   He's bucking for 2015 SUF Of The Year honors with this latest blast of Harlem based hate by parting his big lips to unleash the f-word that rhymes with maggot.

Honorable mention number three is a group award to everyone who takes the stage at the Cirque de GOP, er CPAC conservafool confab in National Harbor, MD.

Honorable mention number four is Ron Paul, who let his white sheet show again when he said the the Congressional Black Caucus doesn't support war because they want that money for food stamps.

Naw you racist azzhole, the CBC doesn't support war because far too many of our peeps will disproportionately be dying in it while the privileged kids and conservafools like you sit on the sidelines and berate everyone who questions why we're sending our troops into combat and why.

Honorable mention number five goes to former Fashion Police host Guiliana Rancic, who let the casual racism fly when she made derogatory comments about the locs that Disney teen star Zendaya Coleman was rocking on the Oscars red carpet Sunday, then tried to make a half-assed non-apology about it that wasn't enough to save her job.   The comments also got her put on blast by Zendaya and my homegirl Danielle Moodie Mills.just for starters.  

Honorable mention number six goes to Italian gymnast Carlotta Ferlito, who proves that anti-Black attitudes and racism aren't just an American thang when she let loose during an interview in the wake of Simone Biles' historic win as the sports first ever African-American world champion this foul comment:

'I told Vanny (Ferrari) that next time we should also paint our skin black, so then we could win too.'
Naw, maybe your fifth place finishing azz needs to hit the practice gym a little harder next time and then you might have a shot at winning a medal.  

Good luck in the Rio Olympic Games next year.   (sarcasm meter on maximum)  I'm sure you'll probably be running into Simone again.

Honorable mention number seven ix goes to Texas state Rep. Debbie Riddle (Teaggger-The Woodlands) who is peddling a particularly odious brand of trans hate in my home state with the unjust HB 1748 that would not only criminalize me and other trans Texans bathroom trips, it also makes it a felony for businesses to allow us to do so.

Let's see how fast this one dies after the business community starts screaming about the possibility that if this bill passes, we'll never get another Super Bowl, NCAA Final Four, corporate relocation or major convention in this state again.

Honorable mention number eight is a group award for Texas Gov Greg Abbott (R), Lt Governor Dan Patrick (R) and all their fellow homohaters for prematurely celebrating the 10th anniversary of the passage of our unjust same sex marriage ban by cutting a cake

I say prematurely because that anniversary is not until November 2, and the SCOTUS will have something to say about whether this amendment lives until then.

And yeah, peep what Texas state Rep Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston) had to say about it from the floor of the Texas House ten years ago.

Honorable mention number nine is Nevada Assemblywoman Michelle Fiore (R) who is living up to every stereotype about blondes by parting her lips to say that cancer is a fungus that simply needs to be washed out.  

Seriously?   And you run a healthcare company?   This is a prime example peeps of the quality of legislator you get when you sit your liberal-progressive asses at home on Election Day

This week's Shut Up Fool winner is Michigan pediatrician Dr. Vesna Roi, who thinks her religious beliefs trump the Hippocratic Oath she took as a physician


In a disgusting display of medical homophobia and breach of medical ethics, 'Dr'. Roi refused back in October to treat Bay Contreras because her parents, Jami and Krista Contreras were lesbians

BREACHED:  American Medical Association Principle of Medical Ethics I. A physician shall be dedicated to providing competent medical care, with compassion and respect for human dignity and rights.
BREACHED:  American Medical Association Principle of Medical Ethics X. A physician shall support access to medical care for all people.

That it not what you exhibited in this case.  And Dr. Roi, you graduated from Michigan State University to get your medical education, which by the way is an institution supported by the tax dollars of gay and straight Michigan residents.

You can point to the loophole in the American Medical Association ethics that states physicians cannot refuse to care for patients based on sexual orientation, but doctors can refuse treatment if it's incompatible with their personal, religious or moral beliefs all day long, but.when you are advertising that you are accepting new patients, you need to treat EVERY patient that respectfully walks through your door for your medical expertise.

Some of those patients will be LGBT people. 

And no letter or weasel worded interpretation of AMA ethics can wash away the fact Dr. Roi that you are a homophobe and an oppressor, and I sincerely question what God you actually serve.  Because the one I worship hates bigotry, discrimination and oppression.

This is is the idiocy and dehumanizing discrimination that consevrafool 'right to discriminate' laws seeks to implement around the country,  Hell no do I and other reality based Americans wish to see nouveau Jim Cow bullshit and oppression desecrate this country again.

Dr. Vesna Roi, shut up fool

Leonard Nimoy Passes Away

Was saddened to hear that actor -director Leonard Nimoy, who any Trekkie can tell you played the iconic role of Spock on Star Trek died this morning at age 83 from complications resulting from COPD.

In addition to playing the iconic character and a long list of roles over his career, he directed Star Trek III: The Search For Spock , Star Trek IV : The Voyage Home and Three Men and A Baby, and lent his voice  to narrating the Ancient Mysteries TV series for its entire 1994-98 run

One of the sobriquets that was hurled at me that my tormentors quickly dropped was calling me Mr. Spock.  I embraced that like a badge of honor..

And Nimoy's half human-half Vulcan character struck a chord with biracial kids, when in 1968 a young mixed race female fan who identified herself as F.C. penned a letter expressing her frustrations about it.   

Here's the money paragraph in what Nimoy had to say to her in his lengthy response letter in which he explained how Spock dealt with a similar situation in his childhood.

"He said to himself: 'Not everyone will like me. But there will be those who will accept me just for what I am. I will develop myself to such a point of excellence, intelligence and brilliance that I can see through any problem and deal with any crisis. I will become such a master of my own abilities and career that there will be a place for me. People of all races will need me and not be able to do without me.' And that's just what he did. And when I see him standing there on the bridge of the Enterprise, facing danger and life-and-death problems so cooly and with so much intelligence, I'm sure he made the right decision."

I hope F.C took that advice to heart, lived long and prospered

You've lived long and prospered Mr. Nimoy and left a gigantic footprint not only in television history but also our imaginations.   Because of your iconic character, you inspired  kids of all ethnic backgrounds to look toward the heavens and imagine careers in the science and technology fields.

And you will be missed.

T- 2 Months And Counting Until BTAC 2015

Well peeps, one of my fave events is rapidly approaching, and not just because it's in my Texas stomping grounds.

It happens to fall very close to my Cuatro de Mayo birthday.

It's the 2015 edition of the Black Trans Advocacy Conference in Dallas from April 27-May 3 at the Doubletree Campbell Center, and it's bigger and badder than ever.

In addition to the informative seminars, Family Fun Day, the Mr. and Ms. BTPS pageant and the Black Diamond Ball and Awards Gala, the keynote speakers this year will be Miss Major Griffin-Gracy and Tiq Milan.

Registration is now open for the event, and FYI, the DART light rail system now runs from DFW to the hotel via the Orange Line and the Lovers Lane station.

For those of you taking Megabus to Dallas, the DART downtown transit center on E/ Olive St. is where the Megabus drop off/pickup stop is located, and it's a short two block walk from the St/ Paul and the Pearl /Arts District stations.

So now that I've broken down how you can get to the hotel from DFW and the Dallas downtown Megabus terminal, hope to see some of you peeps in he Lone Star State for the Black Trans Advocacy Conference and my early birthday celebration.

Dale Hansen Calls Out The Flower Mound Bigots

White Power Basketball
You'll recall I wrote about the bigotry eruption that occurred at the recent February 13 Flower Mound-Plano East boys basketball game that got deserved national attention and condemnation.

Now longtime WFAA-TV sportscaster Dale Hansen has added his voice to those condemning what happened in that town.  You'll remember Hansen on these electronic pages  for his commentary in support of NFL draftee Michael Sam.

Now he's calling out what happened in Flower Mound.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Third Anniversary Of Trayvon Martin's Death

'Today is the 3 year anniversary of the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. RIP.'
Today is the third anniversary of the death of Trayvon Martin at the hands of George Zimmerman.

February 5 would have been his 20th birthday, and I would hazard a guess that today is just as hard on his parents as his birth date is.  It's even harder when less than a day ago the Department of Justice announced that they wouldn't be pressing charges against Zimmerman for Trayvon's murder.

Zimmerman may have gotten away with murder, but for all intents and purposes he's earned a life sentence in which he'll have to constantly look over  his shoulder to see if someone's going to do unto him what he did to Trayvon.

Rest  in power Trayvon.

Should We Count Silicone Pumping Deaths In TDOR Stats?

Back on February 20 I was in a discussion with another activist about the number of people we have lost to anti trans violence.   When she started listing the number of people who have died so far this year, she included someone who died because of a fatal silicone pumping incident.

That started a debate between the both of us in regards to whether people who die from silicone pumping should be recognized at a TDOR event.

I argued NO, and here are my reasons why.. 

The reason the TDOR was founded by Gwen Smith in the first place back in 1999 was because we had an epidemic at the time of trans murders, no or blatantly transphobic and crappy coverage even from gay media about it, and we trans peeps were starting to forget the names of the deceased that dated back to the 70's.

That's why the TDOR was created.  To memorialize the dead, ensure we didn't forget those people who were violently taken from us  basically because they were living their trans lives, begin building a historical record that it was happening, create an event that would attract media coverage about the issue and give our allies a way to support us.

The event quickly went international because we live on all inhabited continents on this planet and anti-trans hate and violence is an international human rights issue.

While silicone pumping and the cis and trans people who die from it is a problematic issue that I have covered on these electronic pages since  2006, the fact remains that unlike a murder, the person who dies from silicone pumping, knows the potential risks of pumping, knows that people have died because of it, but still chose to do so.

The pumper may be charged with murder or a crime after the fact, but the pumper isn't forcing that person against their will to plunk down the money to undergo a procedure that they may not survive.

Silicone pumping deaths, like suicides, also generate their own media publicity, unlike trans murders.

A silicone pumping death shouldn't be elevated to TDOR list recognition.  Just as with suicide deaths, they are a separate category from trans people being murdered for who they are, and it is what the Transgender Day of Remembrance needs to continue to focus on.

The TDOR does not need to 'evolve' as I was told in that conversation I had with this particular activist, it is executing what it was designed to do. 

So why mess with the success of the TDOR or attempt to alter its Prime Directive?

So no, silicone pumping deaths do not need to be counted in TDOR stats, nor should they be recognized at a TDOR event now or into the future.

Sen. Boxer Calls The GOP Senators Out

IMG_0729“I thought they were the party of ‘family values.’ Show me where that’s true? Ripping families apart? I thought they were the party of ‘economic prosperity.’ Show me how that’s true, when we know from study after study that one of the greatest things we can do for our economy and job creation is get people out of the shadows so they can go buy a home and hold a good job. They (Republicans) can’t or won’t pass an immigration bill. They will not do their job. So when the president steps in and does his job, they say, ‘Oh, this is terrible! Let’s shut down a totally unrelated department. The Department of Homeland Security.”
-Sen. Barbara Boxer

Too bad Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) is retiring in 2016.

She called out the Teapublicans in a blistering 20 minute floor speech that took them to task for the off the charts hatred of President Obama among other subjects that those of us sick of the GOP have long called their butts out for.

And yes, I have the video of Senator Boxer handling her US senate business.  Enjoy the verbal smackdown  she delivered.

One Of Fallon's WMMA Critics Caught Cheating

As I like to say on these electronic pages, karma not only is a you know what, but she wears a dress and stiletto heels.

Right now I'm pondering the situation of seeing another one of Fallon Fox's loud and wrong transphobic critics get karma's high heeled foot planted squarely in the crack of her behind.

When we last heard about Ashlee Evans-Smith, she was basking in the afterglow of an upset win over my fave women's MMA warrior in the finals of a 2013 tournament and then being a sore winner about it, which Fallon called her out about later.

Evans-Smith parted her lips to say at the time that Fox should be barred from women's MMA because of 'unfair advantages'.   
"I don't feel like Fallon should fight dudes," she said. "I don't feel like she should fight women. I feel like there should be a unique organization for those needs. She did have an advantage. She definitely did."
So sayeth the cis woman who just got caught cheating.

Yep, you read that last sentence correctly.   After her December 6 debut in a UFC 181 match that she lost in a first round submission to Raquel Pennington, Evans-Smith tested positive post match for the diuretic hydrochlorizide, which is on the World Anti-Doping Agency's banned substance list.

In addition to being fined 30% of her $8,000 purse, she is retroactively suspended from UFC competition for nine months.  In addition, Evans-Smith will be required to submit to a Nevada Athletic Commission sanctioned drug test at her own expense before she can reapply for a license to fight in Nevada.

Can you say 'hypocrite' boys and girls?   Thought you could.

Black Trans History Is Inspirational

TransGriot Note: This is a Black History Month post I wrote for the Transgender Law Center blog.

***

'Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history."
Dr. Carter G. Woodson


I come from a family of historians that includes my late godmother Pearl Suel, who ran the Houston chapter of the Association For The Study Of Afro-American Life and History that Dr Woodson founded.   The local chapter is named after her.  As my mother and late father's high school history teacher, Ms Suel passed that love of history to my parents, and as their eldest child I was instilled with a deep love of my people's history and an insatiable curiosity to continue to seek it out.

One of the first questions I asked after my 1994 transition that wasn't gender related was, where is the history of African-American trans people?   What did my forebears accomplish?  What did they do to contribute to the advancement of trans human rights and knowledge of trans people while living their own complex trans lives?

These are questions that led me to seek out that history and eventually found TransGriot in 2006 as part of my ongoing effort to disseminate that history and tell the stories of trans people who share my ethnic background.

#WeExist., and what better time to point that unassailable fact  out than during Black History Month?

In a community which is being ravaged right now by over 18 murders since June, it's comforting to know that one of the people who jumped off the Stonewall Riots in 1969 was a girl like us in Marsha P. Johnson.    It's fantastic to note the story of African-American gender variant kids who 50 years ago this April launched the Dewey's Lunch Counter Sit In and Protest in Philadelphia to strike a blow against anti-trans discrimination.

It's fascinating to read the story of trans man and gospel singer Wilmer Broadnax, know that we had a trans girl like us in Althea Garrison elected to the Massachusetts state legislature in 1992, a JET Beauty of the Week in actress Ajita Wilson and had trailblazing leaders like Marcelle Cook-Daniels, Alexander John Goodrum, Dawn Wilson, Dr. Marisa Richmond, Lorrainne Sade Baskerville and Gloria Allen just to name a few.

Cant' forget that when the first all-trans performance of The Vagina Monologues happened in LA back in 2004, Valerie Spencer was part of it.

It's also wonderful to know that Black trans women rocking runways and photo shoots didn't start with Isis King or Arisce Wanzer, but Tracy Africa Norman who shot five ESSENCE magazine covers and had major print ad contracts in the late 70's and 80's.

It was also a revelation to find out via the Google Books online JET and EBONY electronic archives the first ever person that completed the now closed Johns Hopkins gender program was an African-American trans woman named Avon Wilson.   It was also inspiring to read the story of Carlett Brown as she attempted in 1953  when the world's attention was focused on Christine Jorgenson to become the 'First Negro Sex Change'.  

While we never found out if it happened for Carlett, we do know it did happen for Delisa Newton..

It's also inspiring to note the stories of people like Jim McHarris, Georgia Black, Lucy Hicks Anderson in an era in which the trans word wasn't around to label their lives.

We also have the stories of people like Lady Java striking the first blows against the odious LAPD Rule Number 9 and Miss Major, which will soon be documented for posterity on the silver screen.

Black trans history makers are in our midst today like Janet Mock, Laverne Cox, Kylar Broadus, Diamond Stylz, Dr. Kortney Ziegler, Kye Allums, Fallon Fox, Tracee McDaniel, Dee Dee Chamblee, Tona Brown,  Rev Louis Mitchell, Angelica Ross and some Texas based blogger y'all may have heard of.

And yes, Black trans history also includes the stories of my trans sisters across the African Diaspora like Audrey Mbugua of Kenya, and my trans sisters of African heritage in Brazil, Great Britain, Canada, and the Caribbean.

Black trans history is also vitally important to point out to cis Black people, our allies, and our detractors we not only exist, but our lives are part of the kente cloth fabric of the African-American community.

We also need to pass this history down so that it serves to inspire the next generation of trans kids who are following in our footsteps, and point out Black trans people have a legacy and possibility models they can be proud of..

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Pastor Lura's Last Sunday At Grace Lutheran

Sunday morning I made sure to get up and head over to the gayborhood for a bittersweet event.

It was the last Sunday service that Pastor Lura N. Groen would preside over as the head of Grace Lutheran Church.

She's been the pastor at Grace Lutheran since 2003, but I only met her last year during the fight to pass the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance.  

She knew yours truly through my writing on TransGriot and when we finally met, it was mutual admiration.

I love her as one of the progressive pastors in this city who is an unabashed drum majorette for justice, and that theme resonates in the numerous sermons she would preach during Grace's open and affirming services.

There was one humorous and touching moment during the service when Grace's choir sang a special version of 'Season Of Love' from the musical Rent

While Sunday was the last day she will preach at Grace Lutheran as their pastor, thankfully she will still be around H-town and in our progressive community lives.

She's taking a sabbatical and in addition to doing some reading and writing, will take on assorted ministry projects, doing some preaching around town along with officiating at some weddings and funerals as Grace begins the search for a new pastor to guide their church congregation.

Pastor Lura's presence will definitely be missed at Grace Lutheran, but I do wish her along with all who love and admire her nothing but success and abundant blessings as she continues her ongoing faith journey

KY Republicans Shadily Pass Unjust Anti-Trans SB 76 Out Of Committee

Kentucky Senate chamber.jpg
Don't pop that champagne cork in the Bluegrass state concerning the unjust Bathroom Bounty Bill's demise just yet. 

Never underestimate the GOP's desire to hate on groups they don't like.

The Teapublican haters in the Senate Education Committee regrouped, waited until Sen. Gerald Neal (D-Louisville) and Sen. Julie Raque Adams (R-Louisville) were not in Frankfort, then called a snap meeting of the committee Monday night to revisit the issue.

And this time they also made sure they had the transphobes speaking in front of the committee

"I know of several girls at my school who are uncomfortable with my school's policy but are afraid to speak out about it because they know the school's not on their side and they're afraid of judgment by their peers," Christina Kelty told reporters. "I thought those girls needed a voice."

Umm hmm.  Being a transphobe and an oppression enabler should ALWAYS make you uncomfortable, Christina

The bill shadily passed out of committee 8-1 with the lone NO vote belonging to Sen. Reginald Thomas, D-Lexington, who is the other African-American senator on the committee.

He also said this reminded him of an era when white students were uncomfortable using the restroom with Black students

The unjust bill now advances to the floor of the Teapublican controlled Kentucky senate (26-12 GOP edge), where we'll see if they waste valuable time in this legislative session debating it instead of passing a state budget.

But alas, it seems as though the 21st century Republican Party always has time to pass unjust laws that enable bigotry and oppression instead of govern..



Kristina Gomez Reinwald Miami Vigil

February 19th there was a memorial held for Kristina Gomez Reinwald AKA Kristina Grant Infiniti on an unseasonably chilly (for them) Miami night at the Torch of Friendship.

They had a nice turnout for the event, with Arianna Lint commenting on Spanish language TV and our glamorous sis Lauren Foster not only taking part in the event at the Torch of Friendship, also getting some media face time on our community's behalf on their local CBS station.

One thing that marred the ceremony was flyers passed out by the Miami-Dade PD seeking information in the case had an unflattering pic of Kristina and misgendered her. 

Miami area trans peeps are on the case and doing the education with the local po-po's to let them know where they screwed up and ensure it doesn't happen again.

As for the search for justice for Kristina, her killer is unfortunately as of this writing still at large

Anyone with relevant information regarding Kristina Gomez Reinwald’s death is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.

And as always, will be keeping you posted with any developments in this case and the other trans murders as I receive them.

Love Your Trans Friends

Saw this trans themed Keep Calm poster and it inspired me to write this commentary about it.

Love your transgender friends because in some cases, you may be the only person in their lives who loves them unconditionally.

And how important is that unconditional love?    In a world in which we turn on the TV, our smartphones or our laptops and hear the leader of one major world religion compare us to nuclear weapons, an almost weekly report of another transperson being killed somewhere on the planet, others claiming we're confused, politicians gleefully oppressing us, and having every jerk with a Facebook or Twitter account spouting their loud and wrong scientifically deficient opinions about us, nice to know that someone cares about us and wants us in their lives

So yeah, it ain't easy being trans, especially at a time in which when we are on the cusp of a human rights breakthrough and our legions of haters know it.  

Some of us are so deeply wounded by all the negative stuff that has happened to us we will find it hard to accept that unconditional love at first.   But keep holding those arms out to embrace and envelope us in that unconditional love anyway.   Sooner or later we'll drop our guard and make the cautious moves to accept it.

Having people in our lives cis and trans who unconditionally love us is vitally important, and those of us who know the value of those friendships are deeply appreciative and thankful to have them.

And if you take the opportunity to love your trans friends, you'll be pleased to discover that it's a mutually beneficial experience.

Keep calm, and love your transgender friends. 
Moni definitely approves this message.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Unjust HB 1748 Bathroom Bill Filed In Texas

RiddleFigured it wouldn't take long before our right wing idiots decided to not be left out of the hate on transpeople party.

It's also another example of what I continue to say in terms of the most dangerous bigot is the one with the power to write legislation.

Teapublican Rep. Debbie Riddle has just filed HB 1748, an odious bill that if it becomes law,  would make it a class-A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a maximum $4,000 fine for transgender people to use "a locker room, shower facility, or toilet facility designated for use by persons of a gender that is not the same gender as the individual’s gender."

Damn Debbie, don't we have better things to spend our valuable Lone Start State legislative time on besides obsessing over what bathroom trans people use?

Really makes me wonder why you white conservatives continue to express this deep seated need to oppress people.

Riddle's HB 1748 would also make it a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine for a building manager to "repeatedly allow" a transgender person to use such a facility according to their gender identity.

What's even more interesting is how this scientifically illiterate bill defines gender:

Riddle

Hey Debbie, would love to see you lead by example and volunteer to do a chromosome test.  I and every other Texas trans person would laugh our asses off if you came up anything but XX.

This caca is why my hatred of Republicans grows the older I get and with every legislative session they propose bills that repress everyone else except white conservative males. 

I also get pissed off when some liberal progressive person stupidly says in my presence that voting is a waste of time.   Sitting out elections is why this scientifically challenged person is in the Texas Legislature now.

Looks like a trip to Austin is coming soon.  And Texas transpeeps, time for us to saddle up and become agents of our own liberation and fight this crappy (pun intended) bill.

But it also evidence that the trans human rights movement is winning if the best that conservative opponents can do is go back to recycled for the new millennium Jim Crow tactics and attempt to criminalize the bathrooms once again.

UHD Challenging Intersections Panel Today

Another day, another panel discussion for me as I head this time to the University of Houston Downtown for one entitled 'Challenging Intersections: Exploring the Struggles and Triumphs of African-Americans in the LGBTQ Community(ies)'

The panel sponsored by Stand Out is another Black History Month event that will be a discussion about being Black and TBLGQ.

It will feature Fran Watson, Brandon Mack, Ashton Woods, and some blogger y'all may have heard of.

The panel will start at 3 PM and will be if you can attend it will be in room N420 on the UHD campus.

See y'all in a few hours Gators!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The 2015 SUF Lifetime Achievement Awards Winners Are:

The whitewashed Oscars ceremony gave me the opportunity to handle some more eagerly anticipated business by you loyal TransGriot readers

It's time to announce the five people or groups that will join the previous winners of the TransGriot Shut Up Fool Lifetime Achievement Awards.

I usually retire the winners of the SUF Lifetime Achievement Awards from future consideration for the weekly award, but some of the winners of it have continued to make asses of themselves to the point I have to call them out on it.

Okay, enough jibber-jabber, time to turn this over to our Shut Up Fool Awards mascot and reveal what fool, fools or group of fools become members of the Shut Up Fool Awards class of 2015.

The envelope please:

The 2015 Winners of the TransGriot Shut Up Fool of the Year Award are:

Dinesh D'Souza
Rudy Giuliani
Phyllis Schafly
Speaker John Boehner (R-OH)
Pastor James David Manning

Congratulations to all the losers winners.

And now,  a final word from our mascot.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Shut Up Fool Awards-Whitewashed Oscars Edition

This weekend the melanin free Oscars will take place on Sunday, and I won't be watching them.

Yep, still pissed that Selma didn't get more of the nominations it deserved and Ava Duvernay didn't get what would have been a historic  Best Director nod.

Instead I'll be revealing at 7:00 PM CST this year's 2015 class of Shut Up Fool Lifetime Achievement Awards winners.

So let's get busy calling out this week's cavalcade of fool, fools or group of fools.

Honorable mention number one is to the still unknown idiots who held up the WHITE POWER signs at the Flower Mound-Plano East HS basketball game.

You're going to make fine future Republicans.  Hopefully the LISD will find you and you'll be learning the lesson of taking personal responsibility for your reprehensible behavior.that has given your school a (pun intended) national black eye.

Honorable mention number two is Charles Barkley for cooning it up and saying a series of stupid stuff that will probably guarantee him an appearance at the 2016 Republican Convention next to Stacey Dash, and Dr Ben Carson. 

Honorable mention number three is Dinesh D'Souza for his racist attacks on President Obama.  You can take the conservafool convicted felon out of India, but.....

Honorable mention number four is a group one we go across The Pond for.   It's for all the nekulturny Chelsea soccer fans who while in Paris for a Euroleague match involving their beloved club thought they were back in England, reverted to their racist hooligan roots and refused to let Black Parisians on their own subway trains while proudly singing 'we're racist and that's the way we like it.'.


Unfortunately for them FIFA has a Say No To Racism campaign that is striving to eradicate it from the sport.   The cool thing is the Chelsea Football Club swiftly condemned their fans for their behavior, and will permanently ban those people deemed responsible with lifetime ticket sales bans.

Honorable mention number five is Pope Francis, who did his Pope Benedict impression and compared trans people to nuclear weapons mere weeks after inviting a trans man to the Pope Palace, for a private gathering

I'm really hating Paul McHugh for injecting trans hate at the Vatican level.

Honorable mention number six is Nevada state legislator Michelle Fiore (R)  who said while trying to rationalize her bill allowing guns on college campuses, "Hot little girls on campus need guns to prevent rape."

And this is what happens when you get GOP controlled legislatures.

Honorable mention number seven is Rudy '9-11'  Giuliani, who let loose with a series of racist comments aimed at President Obama, then when the backlash started to hit him tried to claim his comments weren't racist because ' Obama has a white mother.'

Seriously?   Rudy, sit your old drag queen ass down and have several sections of seats in Yankee Stadium for even parting your lips to say that weak azz BS.

Honorable mention number eight is FOX Noise commentator Erick Erickson, who combined Islamophobia and homophobia in one comment when he parted his lips to compare gay activists to ISIS

Honorable mention number nine goes to Kanye West for his problematic Power 105 interview that seems to condone pedophilia and slut shames his ex Amber Rose.

Dude, I be careful who I slut shame when your own wife rose to fame by releasing a sex tape with Brandy's little brother and was with multiple partner before you got to cop a feel on her fake cakes on a regular basis.

Honorable mention number ten is Pamela Gellar, who is pouring gasoline on the racist Islamophobic hate being stirred up in conservafool ranks in Texas by organizing a contest to draw the Prophet Muhammad.

I repeat, what is it about you white conservafools?  Do you have a deep seated need to racistly oppress people?

Roosh Vörek (rooshv.com)
This week's Shut Up Fool is Roosh Vorek

This misogynist fool had the nerve to suggest on his website popular with the MRA (men's rights activist) crowd that the solution to the rape crisis was to 'decriminalize rape on private property.'

WTF?   Guess you want to ensure your only female companionship from now on will be with blowup dolls.

Roosh Vorek, shut the HELL up fool.

Debi Jackson Talks To GLAAD

Remember when Debi Jackson gave the moving speech about her trans child AJ and did some mythbusting along the way?

Well it's a year later, and she's now talking about acceptance and that journey she's been taken on with her trans feminine daughter with Claire Pires