Wednesday, April 25, 2018

BTAC 2018-Day 2

Image result for btac 2018
The first full day of seminars is on tap for BTAC 2018 starting at 10 AM.  Registration for the Mr. and Miss Black Trans International pageant is also happening today as well.

The seminars this year are organized into three tracks.   One track for trans masculine attendees, the second for trans feminine attendees, and one for significant others and spouses of trans people.

Each will have their own dedicated meeting room and breakout group.   The Akanni for the trans men, the Ayombi for the trans women, and the Anchors group for spouses and significant others.


From 2-4 PM the first of the Black Trans Community Summit conversations will happen in which we discuss the data and results from the 2015 US Trans Survey that Black Trans Advocacy was in partnership with NBJC and NCTE to conduct 

The data for Black trans people has now been released, and  there were also enough participants to break down the US Trans Survey date by state, with Texas being one of those states.

The conversation will focus on the national data, and talk about employment, housing and healthcare.

The big event to close out the Wednesday is the always popular Trans Manifest Live hosted this year by the reigning BTIPS king and queen Trenton Johnson and Tiffany Starr that starts at 8 PM.   

Black Community Anger Explodes At HISD Board Meeting

Image result for HISD school board contentious meeting 2018
Not surprised about hearing that the almost two decade long pissivity that Houston's Black community has with the HISD school board finally boiled over last night.

Since 2000, many of the school campuses that HISD has been closing or selling off to charter school outfits have been in Black and Latinx neighborhoods. 

Image result for Houston ISD school board 2017-18
There has also been over the last two decades in HISD  the stripping of or killing of successful magnet programs housed in  Black and Latinx schools, like my high school alma mater Jesse H. Jones which used to host until 2002 the district's Vanguard gifted and talented magnet high school.

Black and Latinx HISD have also chafted as they see HISD schools in predominantly white neighborhoods not only stay open, but get funded, new magnet programs and new school buildings built as Houston Black and brown neighborhoods increasingly get charter schools or see longtime neighborhood schools close..

That pissivity with an HISD school board that ironically is primarily nonwhite and female led boiled over as a proposal to let a charter school outfit, Energized for STEM came up for a vote.

Energized for STEM has some controversial leadership in NAACP Houston President James Douglas and former HISD board member Paula Harris, in whose former HISD trustee district many Black schools were closed

Image result for HISD school board contentious meeting 2018 rhonda Skillern jones
That plus a Black community fed up with our school being the ones repeatedly put on the chopping block led to HISD school board president Rhonda Skillern Jones ordering HISD and HPD officers to clear the packed auditorium at the Hattie Mae White Education Center.   One woman was dragged out of the room while Houston Rising';s Kandice Webber was arrested for as observers claimed merely clapping her approval at what another person said.

Haven't heard as of this writing if she has been released, and after the board went into a closed door session, the decided not to vote on the controversial proposal to hand over 10 low performing predominately Black schools to the charter outfit.

Stay tumed because this saga isn't quite over yet.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

BTAC 2018- Day 1

Image result for Black Trans Advocacy Conference Dallas
We've been eagerly waiting since the last BTAC Conference closed out for the 2018 edition of the Black Trans Advocacy Conference.

This year its at a new hotel with a new theme in 2018 as we gather from across Texas, the US and increasingly the world with attendees last year from Brazil and Jamaica .
Image result for Black Trans Advocacy Conference Dallas
The conference officially opens with an interfaith service with an Afrocentric flavor that will take place starting at 7 PM,  For those of you who couldn't make it this year, we will be tweeting at the hashtag #BTAC2018

We will still have the Trans Manifest, the keynotes from Diamond Stylz and Jonathan Thunderword, the Mr and Miss Black Trans Pageant, the Awards Gala and the Family Day still ahead of us.

And yes, Moni is still lurking in the shadows of the hospitality suite waiting to to dish out dominoes beatdowns to all who dare step to her when I'm not handling media issues.

Welcome to Dallas, and welcome to BTAC 2018


Janet Mock Named To The 2018 ESSENCE #Woke100

Image result for janet mock
You know that I have much love for the all around awesomeness of Janet Mock as a New York Times best selling author, motivational speaker, thought leader and trailblazing advocate.

Her current book is Surpassing Certainty, and I'm planning on getting a copy of it soon and taking some of my next scheduled down time to read it.

And because she is so awesome, I'm not surprised when I hear that Janet has broken new ground or been included on some list.

Image result for essence woke 100
ESSENCE magazine has released their second annual #Woke100 list of Black women who are doing wonderful things for our community as proven change agents here and around the world

There was one trans feminine person included on the list this year, and it wasn't moi., it was Ms. Mock. 

Congratulations Janet for blazing another trail and repping #BlackTGirlMagic  and #BlackTrans Excellence in everything you do. 

SNL Black Jeopardy- T'Challa

Image result for Black Jeopardy SNL T Challa
One of the humorous skits on Saturday Night Live is the Black Jeopardy on in which contestants have yo give correct answers to categories that come straight from the hood.

I missed this one when it originally aired and has Chadwick Boseman reprising his T'Challa role from Black Panther as a contestant on Black Jeopardy with hilarious results.

But see for your selves.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Moni's In The MIddle Of BTAC 2018!

Image result for BTAC Conference Dallas
After a Megabus ride, that was delayed almost an hour in the Houston exurbs due to a chemical spill cleanup in Montgomery County, I'm on the other end of I-45 for my annual trip to hang out with my Black trans fam and attend the 7th annual Black Trans Advocacy Conference.

And yeah, it also serves as the kickoff to my upcoming Cuatro de Mayo birthday 

This year's BTAC Conference theme is Journeying Together: Living In Greater Truth and Healing.  In a time when trans people are under attack from a hostile federal government and depending on where we live, Republican state governments adding to the macroaggressive hostility, now more than ever Black trans people need to be pulling together, living our truth, and saying in a loud collective voice that our humanity and human rights are not up for debate or discussion.

It's also one of the few trans conferences that is centered on our heritage

Image result for wyndham dallas suites
We also have a new host hotel for this event in the Wyndham Dallas Suites Park Central, so once again we'll have to learn a new Dallas neighborhood and what off hotel property eating establishments and attractions are in the surrounding area. 

One the Cali crew is already salivating about is the nearby In and Out Burger just across the parking lot .  Nah, I'll stick to Whataburger

We're also going to be there as the NFL conducts its 2018 Draft at Jerry World (AKA AT&T Stadium) and The Star Complex in the nearby exurb of Frisco, TX.

Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting and outdoor
And yeah, Moni will be looking to defend her domino championship at the upcoming picnic on Saturday.   But for those of you headed to BTAC, if y'all want a domino beatdown before that day, I will happily oblige you.

And naw, I did not stutter when I said that.  #BTACDominoChamp

Image result for demetria obilor

Looking forward to a week of seeing the lovely Demetria Obilor doing the traffic reports on WFAA-TV along with Dale Hansen's on point commentary and my friends in the DFW area like Rachel Adams Gonzales, Rafael McDonnell, Councilman Omar Narvaez and countless others.

I'm also looking forward to the Dallas BTAC week of learning, fun and bonding at this Black trans family reunion that in seven years has become one of my favorite conferences to attend.   

Racism Is NOT Going To Die Off

Image result for Syracuse racist frat
The latest racist incident involving white younglings on a college campus is more evidence pointing to the fallacy of thought that racism will end when the Greatest Generation and the Baby Boomers die off.

Umm no.   To me, the chatter to 'wait until the old racists die' is an excuse for people to do nothing to aggressively attack and eradicate the problem of racism in our society. 

And once again for the people in the back, everybody can't be racist.   Everybody can be bigoted and prejudiced

What that statement fails to take into account is that racist parents will attempt to pass on their racist commentary and belief systems to their kids.  Racist relatives will do the same thing.

Image result for klan kid
Some of those kids targeted will reject it, while others will embrace it and pass it on to their kids, nieces and nephews.  If they are successful in doing so, that keeps it going for another generation or two. 

Image result for Black people discussing racism
And please spare me the kissing cousin to this flawed thinking that if 'you people didn't talk about racism, it would go away' comment.  Me and other non-white people talking about the negative ways in which racism affects our lives is not 'perpetuating racism', it's diagnosing the problem.

You can't eradicate a problem until you discuss the scope of it and what you need to do to successfully fix it.   That's why we non-white peeps talk about it on a regular basis to remind you peeps who o through your lives without being affected by it that it exists, the problems, micro and macroaggressions we deal with are real, and that racism is simply not going to magically end by ignoring it or doing nothing about it.

Nicholle Ramsey, right, Mike Leutgeb Munson, center, and Spencer Klausing carry a banner during a peaceful gathering and march, Saturday, July 9, 2016, in Winona, Minn., to support the Black Lives Matter movement and to condemn the killing of Philando Castile. A suburban St. Paul police officer who killed the black driver reacted to the manĂ¢€™s gun, not his race, his attorney said Saturday, giving the most detailed account so far of why the officer drew his own weapon during the traffic stop. (Taylor Nyman/Winona Daily News via AP)
If you want to erase racism in this society, it is going to take some heavy lifting to do, with the vast majority of the work needing to happen to make racism a thing of the past occurring with our white siblings.

Racism is not going to die off.  The only way it will be eliminated in our society by sustained ongoing anti-racist action.

Kennedy Davenport- I'm Moving Up

Image result for kennedy davenport
As you TransGriot readers know, I'm not a fan of RuPaul's Drag Race, but during its run it has had some of its winners and folks who didn't snatch the crown make a name elsewhere besides the drag and pageant world.

One of those peeps is Kennedy Davenport.    Davenport is based up I-45 from me and in addition to competing on Drag Race, also competed on America's Got Talent in 2013 and won several pageant crowns. 

Davenport also attended the BFA Dance program at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and it shows in her ance moves. 

 A TransGriot reader pointed me to this video of hers, and I was definitely feeling it.   It's definitely something that you need to play peeps when you're feeling down.

Enough jibber jabber.   Let me allow you readers to check out her video for her song  I'm Moving Up.  If you like it, download it.


Getting On The Bus- To Dallas

Image result for megabus dallas
It's that time again, and I'm getting on the Megabus once again for the second time this year to do an instate trip. 

This time I'm headed up I-45 to hang out with my transpeeps for the 7th annual edition of the Black Trans Advocacy Conference 

Much of the reason I enjoy it is not only because I get to hang out with my Black trans family from here and around the world, it also acts as a kickoff to my Cuatro De Mayo birthday celebration.

So ready to see everyone, the new hotel, and my DFW peeps.

Time to settle into my seat and roll over for some sleep, and I'll catch up with you peeps in a few hours.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Not Feeling The Syracuse Theta Tau Chapter Bigotry

SU Chancellor Kent Syverud on Sunday sent a campus-wide email to address the release of two videos showing offensive behavior by members of the Theta Tau fraternity.
Once again we have another instance of the racism that has exploded out of hiding in our American culture ever since the White Supremacist in Chief entered the White House.

As I have said since 45's disgusting inauguration, the bigots now feel empowered to let their swastika flags fly and openly wear those Klan robes in public.  They also feel empowered to say racist and bigoted crap until they get called on it. 

Image result for syracuse university theta tauThis time the students behaving badly video comes from Syracuse University, and it was a videotaped fraternity initiation that was acquired by the independent student newspaper the Syracuse Orange.

The frat caught behaving badly was the Theta Tau professional engineering one

The first videotape shows a student on his knees sweating to hate Black, Jewish, gay and Latinx people and using the slur words for each group. . A second person is taped in it using a derogatory word for Jews and makes a veiled references to Nazi gas chambers

A second videotape has also surfaced in which mimics a sexual assault on a disabled person while reciting derogatory language.

When the videos surfaced, the Theta Tau members tried to weakly claim the comments were 'satire' (yeah, right) and that they were lampooning a conservative Republican member of Theta Tau.

Image result for syracuse university
Naw fools, don't even try and insult my intelligence with that bull feces laden lie.  Y'all were gleefully uttering those racial slurs and forgot that cameras are everywhere these days.

Syracuse University was not amused, and after Chancellor Kent Syverud apologized for the reprehensible comments and videos, SU dropped the disciplinary hammer on Theta Tau. 

The fraternity has been permanently banned from campus.   The tapers were turned over to local law enforcement because the frat is being investigated for possible criminal charges.

19 students are also facing being expelled from the university 

If you peeps haven't learned anything from this pot, take this point away from it.  Racism can cost you 'bigly', and your boy Trump isn't going to do or say a damned thing to save your azz when the hammer comes down on you for being a bigoted douchenozzle.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Looking Forward To The Debut of 'Pose'

Related image
The number of shows I put in the 'Must See Trans TV' category is rising with each passing year as it is acknowledged in Hollywood that trans people exist, and we have interesting and compelling stories to tell.

The next #MustSeeTransTV scripted show I am eagerly looking forward to watching is Pose on FX when it debuts June 3.

Pose is set in late 1980's New York City, a time in which the ballroom scene was beginning to blow up.

Image result for pose tv series
Executive producers Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson began assembling the show in March 2017.  It is also being produced by Janet Mock and Our Lady J,  who will also be on the writing team with Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Steven Canals. 

Leiomy Maldonado and Danielle Polanco will be choreographing the show's ballroom scenes.   

Ryan Murphy's <i>Pose</i> to Feature Largest-Ever Cast of Transgender Actors in Scripted Series
Pose will also have the largest ever cast of TBLGQ characters to date for a television show. 

After a six month nationwide search, it was announced that trans actors Angelica Ross, MJ Rodriguez, Indya Moore, Hallie Sahar and Dominique Jackson were cast along with cisgender actors Ryan Jamaal Swain, Billy Porter and Dyllan Burnside.

Evan Peters, Kate Mara, James Van Der Beek and Tatiana Maslany later joined the cast, but when the modern dance teacher for creative reasons was changed to an African American character, Maslany exited the production with Charlayne Woodard taking her place.

The pilot episode of Pose was filmed in October 2017, with the eight episode first season beginning production in February.

The trailer was finally released on April 12, and so looking forward to seeing my sis Angelica Ross on this show along with the other trans actors who are a part of the Pose cast.   

Friday, April 20, 2018

More Pearland Political Shenanigans

Image result for Welcome to Pearland sign
Looks like the peeps who want the bigoted status quo to stay intact in Pearland are having a hard time dealing with the reality that their once sleepy little suburban town is a multicultural city of over 130,000 people. 

With the city evolving to become a diverse metropolis, the political leadership of it at city hall and the school board need to reflect that reality.

Image result for Daniel Hernandez pearland ISD
Daniel Abdullah Hernandez is running for the Pearland ISD school board's Position 4 against incumbent Sean Murphy.  That board is close to flipping to liberal-progressive control if the conservative faction controlling it now lose one or two more seats. 

If that happens, PISD's homophobic and transphobic superintendent Dr. John Kelly is probably going to be one of the casualties since he is a polarizing figure there. 

Hernandez has not only been critical of Pearland ISD's treatment of trans kid Kai Shappley, he has also been critical about the district's racial and fiscal problems. 

Image result for Daniel Hernandez pearland
Hernandez would also be the first Latinx person amd Muslim elected to the PISD board should he be successful in winning his race on May 5.  Hernandez is also the imam at the Pearland Islamic Center.

Dalia Kasseb, who ran for the Pearland City Council last year, is making another run at a Pearland City Council seat.    You'll remember that anti-Muslim rhetoric was deployed in her race last year in which she led all candidates in her race by getting 41% of the ballots cast. 

Unfortunately that wasn't enough for her to win the seat outright on Election Day.  Kasseb was forced into a runoff for that Position 7 seat that she unfortunately lost.

Movers in Pearland
She does have two other challengers for the Position 4 seat in Sonny Atkins and Adrian Hernandez, and was endorsed by the Texas Democratic Party.   Here's hoping that Kasseb is successful this time in making history, capturing the seat on the Pearland City Council that eluded her last year and does so in 2018 without a runoff. 

If she does accomplish that feat, she would become the first Muslim to win a political race in Brazoria County in addition to becoming the first to win a Pearland city council seat.

But there are some peeps in Pearland who aren't liking the fact that since 2000, the town has grown more diverse.  It is now 47% Anglo, 25% Latinx, 17% African American and 9% Asian.

While it's denied by city leaders, there is an increasing divide between the longtime conservative leaning residents and the more liberal progressive ones in the newer, more ethnically diverse suburbs west of FM 518.  It's starting to play out in the city's politics.    

A hidden camera recently caught an elderly white woman tearing down a Daniel Hernandez campaign sign.  There was YouTube video of it happening, but of course it has been taken down in an attempt to protect the guilty party who didn't know she was on camera when she performed her nefarious deed.

Stealing, defacing, mutilating or willfully destroying a political yard sign on private property is a misdemeanor crime in Texas punishable by a $2500 fine, a year in jail or both.

The same thing is reportedly happening to Kasseb's yard signs according to one of my Pearland TransGriot readers.


Good luck to both Daniel Hernandez and Dalia Kasseb as they both seek to make electoral history in Pearland.  Shame on the folks who are engaging in thuggish political behavior.

Early voting starts on April 23, so Pearland peeps, make your voices heard and beat back the election bigotry that is occuring once again in this city.

The bottom line is that Pearland is getting diverse, and the people who are seeing public office there will only continue to be more representative of the entire community, not less so

Shut Up Fool Awards- It's Taurus Time Edition

Image result for taurus
Today starts the zodiac period from April 20 to May 20 of all us proud members born under the sign of the Bull, AKA Taurus/

The long list of famous people born under this sign include Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, Queen Elizabeth II, George Clooney, Stevie Wonder, Janet Jackson, Jessica Alba, Cher, George Lucas, Rosario Dawson, Jet Li, Carol Burnett, Mark Zuckerberg, and some award winning blogger y'all may have heard of.

But I know y'all didn't surf over here to read a post in which I pop my collar about all things Taurus.

I know it's Friday, and y'all wanna know who earned this week's Shut Up Fool Award.

So let's get to it.

This week's winner I'm going to the Mother Continent for in Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni 

He opened up his homophobic mouth and put his foot in it by making the statement that there is no oral sex in Uganda, 

H. E. Yoweri K. Museveni - President of Uganda - State House UgandaPresident Museveni  claims the practice has been pushed on Ugandans by "outsiders," and argues that the mouth is solely for eating.
"Let me take this opportunity to warn our people publicly about the wrong practices indulged in and promoted by some of the outsiders," he told the press during an address.
"One of them is what they call oral sex. The mouth is for eating, not for sex. We know the address of sex, we know where sex is," he continued.
Yeah, right.  You have 41.5 million people in your nation, and they are probably like the rest of the world laughing at your azz for even saying something that cluelessly stupid before they engage in consensual oral sex

You want to ban it because you probably aren't getting it on the regular.

President Yoweri Museveni, shut up fool!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Last 'Scandal' Episode

Image result for scandal
After seven seasons and over 100 episodes, the last episode of one of my fave shows is happening tonight. 

I've been a Scandal fan since the first episode in large part to my love of Kerry Washington .  I also love well written scripted shows, and Scandal definitely fit that bill as being one of Shonda Rhimes' hit shows.

The Blackness of this show also appealed to me. 

One of my favorite Scandal episodes is one in which her father Rowan has her repeat one of the lines that literally all Black children are told in this country as a way to deal with the anti-Blackness in this country.

'You have to be twice as good to get half of what they have." 

The various season ending cliffhangers that gave us a WTF reaction and scrambled what we thought we knew about the Scandal universe combined with the Washington DC setting and the storylines that seem at times ripped from the headlines.

Image result for olivia pope
But after seven years, Scandal is being broadcast for the last time tonight, and Thursday nights won't be the same for me when it ends.

I'm Down With 16 Year Olds Voting

Image result for Teen voter
A lot of debate has cropped up recently because Washington DC is considering lowering the voting age to 16 just in time for the 2020 election.

Image result for Marjory Stoneman Douglas studentsDC Council member Charles Allen (D-Ward 6) introduced the measure in large part because he was impressed by the recent March For Our Lives in DC and the ongoing eloquence of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas students.

The proposed voting age change has majority support on the DC council (7 members out of 13), and will probably pass if it comes to a vote.

But why stop in DC?   Let's lower the voting age to 16 across the United States.   16 year olds in many cases are more cognizant of the issues that affect them than their elders twice or three times their age in many cases.

Image result for Lily Pando
The youngest member of our Houston Mayor's LGBT Advisory Board, Lily Pando, was just 16 years old when she was tapped to join it when it was formed two years ago.  It wasn't a publicity stunt because she is an intelligent young woman and one of our rising star young leaders here in Houston.  When Lily speaks, we elders listen.

It's not unusual for me to see our TBLGQ World teens leading the charge for the expansion of trans (and everybody's) human rights and being eloquent voices for other policy issues of concern to them.

If you think I'm kidding about that, does  Jazz Jennings ring a bell?

It also hasn't surprised me that the MSD students in the wake of the mass shooting on their campus have been kicking butt and have the NRA, the Republican Party and right wing media on the defensive.

I was 14 when Jimmy Carter got elected POTUS.  I would have loved to have been able to vote in that 1976 presidential election instead of holding up a sign and marching through my neighborhood with several other kids imploring people to vote for him.

I turned 16 in 1978. Had I been eligible to do so, I definitely would have done my part to keep Bill Clements out of the Texas governor's chair.   One of my presents I received for my 18th birthday in 1980 was a voter registration card. 

Image result for Teen voter
If 16 year olds can drive, be tried as adults for any serious crimes they commit, and work jobs in which their wages can be taxed,  then why shouldn't those same 16 year olds have a say in who runs the government?

It's also a good idea for democracy.  The earlier you get someone to start consistently voting, the more it becomes a lifelong practice.

So yes, I'm down with 16 year olds voting, and the sooner we pass this policy change, the better. .