Monday, November 30, 2015

Diamond Stylz- No Time 4 It

Been a while since I've had one of Diamond's videos on the blog, and this one needs a signal boost.

And now for your viewing pleasure, one of the pioneering Black trans video bloggers on YouTube y'all need to be watching on a regular basis and I need to be signal boosting her stuff more often..

How Has TransGriot's Ten Years Of Existence Affected You?

It was about this time ten years ago that I was in conversations with my sister from another mother Jordana LeSesne who was staying on my azz about me starting the blog that became TransGriot.

She pushed me into setting a hard date for starting it, which became January 1, and at 12;01 AM EST on New Year's Day 2006  my first post went live on this blog.

Now it's nearly ten years, over 9000 posts, 6.1 million hits and several awards later, and TransGriot is approaching its tenth anniversary as the longest daily continuously published blog devoted to covering and talking about trans issues from an Afrocentric perspective.

And since its 2006 start, I've branched out to write about whatever subject appeals to me while staying true to the original mission

The TransGriot blog's mission is to become the griot of our community. I will introduce you to and talk about your African descended transbrothers and transsisters across the Diaspora, reclaim and document our chocolate flavored trans history, speak truth to power, comment on the things that impact our trans community from an Afrocentric perspective and enlighten you about the general things that go on around me and in the communities that I am a member of.

I didn't get around to actually compiling the mission statement until January 2, 2011, but by that time I'd figured out what direction I wanted to take the blog.

Anyway, before I digress, let me get to the reason why I'm writing this post.   Since the TransGriot tenth anniversary is rapidly approaching, I wanted to know what impact the TransGriot blog has had on my readers?

What I'd like is statements from you by December 25 so moved to do so that express how TransGriot's existence has touched your lives.  I know that five trans people have already told me privately that reading posts on the blog dissuaded them from committing suicide, and others have told me at different times that they read it daily including members of Congress and their staffs.

I want to start posting them during the first week of January 2016.  

Spanish Trans Woman Competes In Miss Spain World Pageant

Angela says she feels like a winner because she has brought visibility to the transgender community 
It may be a while before we see another out  trans Miss USA or first ever out trans Miss America contestant, but there have been trans competitors elsewhere in the world.

The Miss World pageant system has seen Jackie Brown back in 2012 attempt to become the first trans Miss England World and fall short of capturing the crown.

Now comes word out of Spain of the most recent girl like us attempting to capture her home nation's national crown in  23 year old Angela Ponce.

The 5' 10" beauty was representing the province of Cadiz in her attempt to capture the Miss Spain World crown and become the first out trans woman ever to qualify for the Miss World pageant being held in China.

 Unfortunately Ponce, despite being considered as one of the favorites to take the Miss Spain World crown, was eliminated before reaching the final ten.
Angela supports the Daniela Foundation, dedicated to sensitising the world about transsexuals and transgender issues

Despite that disappointment, Angela believed that she was still a winner, and would continue to fight for increased visibility for Spanish trans people.  She works closely with the Daniela Foundation, an organization that seeks to raise awareness about the plight of trans people.

"I have the regional crown on my head and I will keep fighting to make us seen, to make us heard, and to demonstrate that I am already a queen with my own crown."

Yes you are, Angela.  May you have continued success in your life and your ongoing mission to encourage acceptance of trans people in Spain.

Mount Horeb, WI Rebukes Transphobes, Schedules Public Readings Of 'I Am Jazz'

Mount Horeb Primary Center
After a six year old trans feminine student came out last Monday at Mount Horeb Primary Center, a reading and discussion of Jazz Jennings book I Am Jazz was scheduled as part of her coming out process to help her fellow students understand what was going on.

Unfortunately the Florida based Liberty Counsel, an SPLC certified hate group, stuck their noses in this Wisconsin business  and threatened a lawsuit if the planned reading went forward.

The school canceled the reading, but in response to the right wing bullying, the community of Mount Horeb rebuked the transphobic hatemongers and organized two public readings of I Am Jazz that will take place on Wednesday.

The Mount Horeb High School Straight and Gay Alliance (SAGA) will host one of the public readings at 7:35 AM at the MHHS flagpole.

The SAGA students, according to MHHS teacher Beth Maglio, are staging the reading to "show our support and solidarity with the transgender community, staff and students."

Maglio teaches a high school 'Social Problems' course in which students learn about advocacy and standing up for their beliefs.  When she noticed the SAGA students discussing the cancellation on Facebook, she asked them what they thought they should do about it, and doing a public reading of I Am Jazz was their response.

The second reading was organized by parent Amy Lyle, and it will take place at the Mount Horeb Library from 6:30-8 PM.   Like the reading by the Mount Horeb SAGA group, Lyle organized the library reading as a way to support the trans feminine student an her family.

"We were concerned about how the family would be feeling and we felt  a need to communicate to them that there is support in our community." Lyle said in a Wisconsin State Journal interview. "We want all LGBT youth to feel supported and feel accepted, and to know that Mount Horeb is an accepting place for all."

Thank you Mount Horeb for demonstrating that acceptance and not falling for the anti-trans fear mongering.  hope the trans community in the area will thank these groups by supporting the Wednesday readings.

Just to stick it to the Liberty Counsel, I'd take it a step further and start donating copies of I Am Jazz to local primary school and public libraries around the country.

H/T Lexie Cannes

Trans Houstonians Go To Church At Second Baptist


One of the most vocal and transphobic opponents of HERO was Rev Ed Young, the senior pastor of the Second Baptist megachurch in West Houston who preached more than a few anti-trans hate sermons during that battle and violated the Ninth Commandment about the what the ordinance actually does.

And he was hypocritically preaching anti-trans hate while one of his former youth ministers was being sentenced for child molestation.

In the wake of that loss, Melissa Murry decided to organize a protest at the west side megachurch.   Instead of the confrontational approach some folks wished to do, Murry's idea was to simply get dressed up and attend the 11:11 AM Advent service, and let the media know about it.

A dozen trans people and allies decided to attend yesterday's service including longtime advocate Ray Hill who agreed with Murry's concept for the protest.

Hill told 11News he hoped that by giving churchgoers a chance to meet him and his friends."they would be less vociferous and less apt to tell the bathroom hoax lie."

I doubt it, but since this is the Christmas season, there's always hope for a miracle.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Trans Bolivians Gain Ability To Change Gender On Identity Documents

LGBT Pride Parade in La Paz, Bolivia, 2012.
South American nations have been international leaders  in passing trans friendly human rights laws, and Bolivia just became the latest South American nation to do so.

While Bolivia's constitution since 2009 has prohibited discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation, unfortunately hearts and minds have yet to catch up with the laws.  But TBLGI activists keep fighting for their humanity and respect despite that slow pace of acceptance.

After local trans activist Raysa Torriani proposed a bill three years ago to the national assembly that would allow trans Bolivians to change their name and gender markers on official identity documents, the Ministry of Justice announced an administrative policy change that will allow trans Bolivians to do so.

Bolivia: Transgender people will soon be able to officially change names, gendersJustice Minister Virginia Velasco Condori announced at a Wednesday press conference that the Ministry of Justice has issued an administrative order that changes the law and policies relating to civil registration that include the General Service Personal Identification Number and the Civil Registry Service.

Persons wishing to change name and gender markers on identity documents must apply to the Ministry of Justice and undergo a psychiatric examination before the process is approved.

It's not as good as the Argentine Gender Identity Law that is considered the gold standard of international trans identification laws, but it's a start.

Can We Please Stop Hating On Trans Women For The 2015 Holidays?

I know I've asked for this for the last several years, and I think I may have figured our why it hasn't happened and make that correction in this year's post.

I forgot to say 'please'.

The holiday season is in full swing.  Peace on Earth, goodwill toward men and all that jazz as the combat continues in the Middle East and Afghanistan and a terrorist attacks happens in Colorado.  

Something else I'm tired of that is the ongoing hatred aimed at trans women around the world.

What about the TERF's?  Those rhymes with witches are still marinating in their disco era hatred and racist desires to oppress someone and will never change.

But Christmas is a season in which we ask for the impossible to happen and hope it plays out, so I'll ask for these things to happen in the 2015 holiday season.

And yeah, I'll say please when I do.

Can y'all cis peeps in the 2015 holiday season please refrain for one month from killing or injuring my trans sisters or at the very least, making disparaging transphobic remarks? 

Can we trans folks please have a 2015 holiday season in which not a single transperson anywhere in the world is killed or injured? 

Can we please have a 2015 holiday season in which I or my trans fam don't have to read or hear hate speech or misgendering comments about us coming from friends, frenemies and foes.

Can we please have in the 2015 holiday season one in which we trans folks don't see anti-trans commentary from Pope Francis, anybody else in the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy or from religious leaders of other denominations? 

Can we transpeeps please have in this 2015 holiday season for the next 30 days, not seeing a positive story about us on the Net be polluted by a comment threads with an avalanche of transphobic, hateful and ignorant comments?

And as a final 2015 holiday gift to us, can we trans women around the world please be able to live our daily lives without drama for the next thirty days?

UH Cougars Are AAC West Division Champs!

After being upset last week 20-17 by UConn with their all world quarterback Greg Ward, Jr on the sidelines for much of it, my fave college football team came into this matchup at TDECU Stadium with number 15 ranked Navy with a lot on the line.  

The chance for an undefeated season were gone, but the Coogs still had much to play for Friday afternoon. The Cougars were not only playing for the AAC West Division title and hosting the inaugural American Athletic Conference Championship Game, they were also playing to keep their hopes alive for a New Years Six bowl game.

The Coogs took the opening kickoff, marched efficiently down the field to score and take a 7-0 lead they would never relinquish against a talented Navy squad determined to make their own history with their Heisman Trophy candidate senior quarterback Keenan Reynolds.

Navy quickly answered, but UH took a page out of the Midshipmen playbook by executing long clock eating drives and capping them off with touchdowns, helped immensely by going 16 for 19 on third down and going 2 for 2 on fourth down to forge a 24-14 lead at halftime.

But it was the Cougar defense stepping up big once again by forcing a critical turnover on Navy's opening drive of the third quarter and converting it into a touchdown that gave them a 31-14 lead.

Embedded image permalink

But Navy didn't quit.  They fought until the final whistle. but UH was just too good on offense and prevailed 52-31 to clinch the AAC West Division title, move to 11-1 on the season and ensure the AAC Championship game would be held in H-town.

They will face AAC East Division Champ Temple (10-2) on December 5, and I'm hoping I can get tickets for that game.  I'm also hoping they make more history by winning the AAC title and getting that spot in a New Year's Six bowl game.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Trans Teen Makes Vancouver 50 Most Powerful People List

I keep saying that our trans younglings are going to do some amazing things if just given the opportunity and the chance to live their lives to the best of their ability. In some cases, they are role modeling for their trans elders the courage and leadership it will take to make trans human rights laws, trans acceptance and recognition of our humanity a reality.

More evidence of that is coming from north of the border in Vancouver.


magazine recently published their 15th annual list of the 50 most powerful people in the city. On this list that includes CEO's, politicians, labor leaders, First Nations leaders. and other movers and shakers in the city, at number 20 is 12 year old trans teen Tru Wilson

“I didn’t expect to be on posters and people recognizing me and making a difference for other kids,”says Tru. “I just wanted to be me.”

Tru Wilson, 12, named by Vancouver Magazine as one of the 50 most influential people in the city, has influenced a catholic school to include transgender people.  Arlen Redekop/PNG
But that's exactly what happened.   Because Tru and her family refused to take no for an answer from the Catholic school  powers that be and pushed for her humanity to be recognized, the successful human rights complaint forced the Vancouver Catholic school system to develop policies for trans students like herself that the Vancouver Public Schools were already working on.

Global TV was also telling their story at the time, and since that successfully mediated BC human rights complaint Tru has continued speaking out about transgender issues with a bigger goal in mind.

What's that goal?   To have a chat with new Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about getting trams people's human rights ensconced into federal law in the Great White North.

Congrats Tru!  So proud of you and looking forward to seeing if you get to have that meeting with not only Premier Christy Clark in your home province of British Columbia, but the one with PM Trudeau as well.

Four Black Trans Women Breaking Barriers

Just now getting around to it, but was notified by a few peeps that I'm paired up with three amazing trans women that were mentioned in a story written by Heather Jones at Wear Your Voice.

Tona Brown, Elle Hearns, Janet Mock and I were featured in a story written by Jones highlighting Black trans women breaking barriers.

Thanks for the shout out Heather, and thanks for the recognition of my sisters profiled in it.   I'm just one of the amazing trans women around the country who are doing what they can to use their talents to educate, inform and make human rights a reality for all trans people.

It also helps us drive home the message that trans women are women, and get us a step closer to the day that we get our cis counterparts to realize we have talents we wish to contribute to the greater society to make it better.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Shut Up Fool Awards-Carving Up Jive Turkeys Again Edition

We're all recovering after eating our fill of turkey and all the trimmings, and are either taking part in the madness that is the after Turkey Day shopping, or trying to get back home after flying or driving to our holiday destinations.

It's Friday, and y'all know what time it is.   I'm about to carve up some jive turkeys who made it clear their were idiots, just said some stupid off the chain stuff, or made you say 'WTF?' when they were talked about in the news.

What's a jive turkey?  It's 70's slang that originated in the Black community for a BS artist.

Oh yeah, before I forget it, I'll be revealing who the 2015 Shut Up Fool Of The Year will be on New Year's Eve, and I'll do it well before you leave for your New Year's Eve parties.

And now, it's time for this week's edition of the TransGriot Shut Up Fool Awards.

Honorable mention number one is FOX Noise's Brian Kilmeade, who let his inner ignorant bigot out once again, but this time it was aimed at FOX fembot Harris Faulkner.

Honorable mention number two we'll travel across The Pond for and give it to the Loose Women, whose panel on oversharing information with kids took a transphobic turn that angered British viewers and our British trans cousins

Honorable mention number three is a joint award to Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel for that press conference in the wake of the release of the Laquan McDonald police execution video trying to explain why they held it back for a year.

Honorable mention number four is Sarah Palin for being made a fool of on national TV once again,. this time by Seth Myers.

This week's Shut Up Fool loser is Donald Trump, who was doing his racist Grand Dragon impersonation at his campaign Klan rallies as the racist thugs AKA the GOP base, er Tea Klux Klan followers ate it up.

He also took it to another even detestable low for him by mocking a disabled reporter, then trying to deny it as usual.

I've called out Der Donald so much I'm beginning to feel like Ugly Betty's Wilhelmina Slater.  I don't have the energy when it comes to his azz to say no anymore.

But I do have the energy to say Donald Trump, Heil Hitler, er Shut Up Fool!

What's The Secret Trans Agenda Again?

Contrary to what the lying scumbags of the Reich Wing and their sellouts will tell you, the trans agenda has been transparent all along.   I even posted it nearly five years ago.

The 'secret transgender agenda' is for transpeople simply to be treated as any other human being in society without having our constitutionally guaranteed civil rights or our ability to live our lives fracked with by y'all because you hate us.

Simple, isn't it?    All we trans people want is to be treated like human beings.   But some of y'all have a problem with that, which is why legislation is necessary to make that happen.

And I have a major problem with you anti-trans haters,especially in the Black community.

Black trans people exist.   Get over it.  Stop letting the Republicans and their sellout ministers hoodwink and bamboozle you into voting against your own human rights because you wish to irrationally hate on me.

The bottom line is that I and other trans advocates aren't going to rest until our human rights are secured, and we can go about our day without somebody getting their jollies on by messing with us or  some cis male feeling because he got his fee fees hurt by being rejected by a trans woman to arrogantly think he is justified in killing us.

So what's the not so secret trans agenda again?

1. Treat us like human beings.
2. See number one on the list.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving 2015!

Happy Thanksgiving peeps!  Today is the day in which we get our grub on and give thanks for the blessings we have received this year.

It has been an up and down year for me in that department.  While I've been blessed to finally restart my HRT, it also came with finding out that I'd blown up to 275 pounds, my blood pressure was elevated and I was too close to crossing over into diabetic territory.  But it led to me dropping 35 pounds and changing my diet to make that happen.   I'm getting closer to my goal of being down to 210 pounds, and I'm much happier these days now that I'm back to consistently being on my hormones.

Now if only that positivity would cross over into my dating life.

TransGriot is not only approaching its 10th anniversary on January 1, I passed the 6 million hit milestone this year.  Still trying to figure out how I wish to celebrate that 10th anniversary

It also continues to get attention as an informative go to blog, and I thank you TransGriot readers for that.   Megathanks also to those of you who drop some change from time to time in the TransGriot Tip Jar.

I was also blessed to get to attend and participate in a few major conferences this year.  I got to attend Creating Change for the second straight year in Denver, another LGBT Media Journalists Convening that happened in Philly, an anti violence conference in Chicago that coincided with the reveal of this year's Trans 100, the Black Trans Advocacy Conference in Dallas, and OUT on the Hill in DC for the first time since 2012 along with invitations to speak or participate in panels here and elsewhere around the country.

It was an honor, pleasure and a blessing to go to Fantasia Fair for the first time ever and make a little history as the first African-American transperson to be given the Virginia Prince Transgender Pioneer Award.  

I also got to head to the White House again and see some of my trans family at different events and conferences.   I look forward to the next time I get to spend some quality time with y'all at another event inside or outside the Houston area in 2016.

Speaking of family, I realize the holiday season can be a serious downer for many members of the trans family who have been rejected by their blood family.  Their loss.   Do yourselves a favor and hang out today and during this 2015 holiday season with your chosen family and people who unconditionally love you.

And trans fam, be looking out for our trans peeps that may be feeling depressed.  If you can, spend some quality time with them.  You may be preventing a suicide by doing so.

Well, need to figure out where I'm going to get my grub on later.  Hope you TransGriot readers have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day.

2015 TransGriot NFL Picks- Week 12

It's Thanksgiving Day and in addition to us scarfing up turkey in a few hours, we'll get to start NFL Week 12 with a Thursday NFL football feast.  

Three games are on the menu highlighted by the clash at Jerry World between the unbeaten Carolina Panthers and the Arlington Cowchips who just got Tony Romo back. The Philadelphia Eagles will take on the suddenly surging Detroit Lions in the early Turkey Day game and the nightcap game features the Green Bay Packers hosting another NFC North Division hatefest between themselves and the Chicago Bears

As for our prognostication contest, it's tight going into the last five weeks of the season with me and Eli closing fast behind defending champ Mike.

Eli and I tied for Week 11 honors thanks to me listening to my football intuition and reversing my Dolphins-Cowboys pick before I posted it as Mike halted his losing streak.  

Meanwhile, the hot streak Eli is on continued with him either winning or tying for weekly honors for now four straight weeks.  He's back in contention for the 2015 TransGriot NFL Prognostication title that Mike is trying to become the first person to win in back-to-back seasons.

With the bye weeks over, we're back to picking 16 games for the remainder of the 2015 NFL season, and those next five weeks will determine which teams are playoff bound, which ones may be Super Bowl bound, and which one will be picking first in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Time to get busy with my Week 12 picks

Week 11 Results
                                          2015 Season Record.

TransGriot    11-3                                        TransGriot      100-60
Mike             10-4                                        Mike               102-58
Eli                 11-3                                        Eli                    99-61

NFL Week 12 (Home team in CAPS)

Thanksgiving Day
LIONS over Eagles
Panthers over COWBOYS
PACKERS over Bears

Sunday Noon
TEXANS over Saints
CHIEFS over Bills
BENGALS over Rams
Chargers over JAGUARS
JETS over Dolphins
FALCONS over Vikings
Giants over WASHINGTON
Raiders over TITANS

Sunday Afternoon
Cardinals over 49ERS
SEAHAWKS over Steelers

Sunday Night
Patriots over BRONCOS

Monday Night
Ravens over BROWNS

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

More Ads The HERO Defenders Should Have Been Running

Yep, still pissed about the human rights malpractice that happened here in Houston in terms of the Houston Unites coalition badly botching the defense of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance.

I want to point out that Houston City Council meetings are televised on municipal cable channels, and there was video from both sides that could have been used not only for a pro-HERO commercial, but for an attack ad as well.

Let's start with the video from last year's HERO hearings that could have been used in a pro HERO commercial.

I start with Cassandra Thomas, from the Houston Area Women's Center, who for 20 years has been a nationally recognized authority on the subject of sexual assault.

Now, why wasn't this testimony used as part of a concerted effort to destroy the bathroom predator lie or information pointing out that in the other Texas cities that have similar laws to HERO, no such problems have occurred?  

I'll wait.

Our next video is Noel Freeman's brilliant August 2 takedown of the bathroom lie on ABC13

The Houston media failed to do their job debunking the opposition lies until it was way too late.

Now for one that Houston Unites could have turned into an attack commercial like the one I previously talked about.

Here's local faith based hater Becky Riggle testifying that because of her Christian faith, she had the right to discriminate against Jews.

This was a Christmas present from the opposition that should have been turned into an endless attack commercial loop highlighting their faux faith based bigotry and used to drive a wedge between the non-white ministers and their GOP controllers.

But it wasn't.

8 Holiday Comebacks For Shady Transphobic Relatives

For those of my trans family members about to travel home for the holidays, while some of you are unconditionally accepted by your family and looking forward to the opportunity to break bread with them, some of you with more complicated relationships with your blood family are dreading the trip home to break bread with them because of transphobic relatives that may drop by.

You may have had at one time or another while happily getting your grub on at the holiday dinner table some transphobic comments get dropped either in ignorance or microaggressively aimed at you by less than accepting relatives.

Thanks to MTV News, Kat Blaque and  Franchesca Ramsey have come up with eight comeback lines for you to fire back at the transphobes related to you if you find yourself during the holidays getting shadily served by your relatives an unwanted side of transphobia with your holiday meal.

As a TransGriot public service, I'm signal boosting the MTV video so you'll have it in a nice convenient spot to quickly view on your phones, laptops or tablets on the way to dinner with your blood family.

Safe travels to and from your holiday destinations, and here's hoping that your holiday meal is free of transphobic drama.

Trans Ally Bingo Card

One of the things that is microaggresively maddening to those of us in Trans World is hearing all these comments on this BINGO card.

So if you consider yourself a trans ally, these are a sample of the microaggressive comments that irritate the hell out of me and other trans folks.

Please avoid them, especially for the upcoming holidays and beyond.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

My Thoughts About 'The Danish Girl'

The Danish Girl movie about pioneering trans woman Lili Elbe is being released this Friday, and it is already getting some Oscar buzz for its star Eddie Redmayne.

Alicia Vikander and Eddie Redmayne in 'The Danish Girl'
There has been a lot of commentary in Trans World about our irritation over Hollywood once again using a male actor to play a trans woman, and I share that irritation.  I would like to see more trans actors getting roles, especially when it comes to a trans woman playing a trans role on the silver screen or the small screen.

I'd also like to see reciprocity in trans actors getting to play cis roles since the excuse justifying this that comes out of cis people's mouths is 'the best actor should get the role'.   Okay, if that is the case, when will we see more trans persons, when they are  best person for the role, playing cis people?

Bella Maddo proved that we can do it, if given the opportunity.

I do have to admit I'm also somewhat conflicted about The Danish Girl as the opening date for the movie is fast approaching.    I'm curious about how this movie about one of our historical figures will be received.  .

Based on the increasing Oscar chatter and it getting moved up from a January 1, 2016 release date to one on Thanksgiving weekend, it may potentially be a lucrative reception.

The societal one is to be determined.

The Fascinating Story Of Mary Jones

The ongoing mission of TransGriot is to unearth nuggets of our trans history so that we drive home the point that trans people didn't just pop up in the second half of the 20th century.

We have not only been part of the divers mosaic of human life, we have also been as I have stated more than a few times on this blog, part of the kente cloth fabric of the Black community.

Thanks to Mey from Autostraddle and Transas City, I was introduced to another historic Black trans person in the story of Mary Jones.

Jones was born Peter Sewally, and spent time in New Orleans working with call girls there.  In addition to making their beds, she would welcome their clients and collect the money.

She was encouraged by them to wear feminine attire because in her words, 'She looked better in them' and continued to do so during her time living in New Orleans.  Jones became a New York resident in the 1830's and in addition to making a living engaging in sex work, also was a pickpocket.

It was that second talent that got her in trouble in 1836 for lifting a wallet containing $99 ($2600 in current US currency) from a white john she'd slept with.   When she was arrested, interrogated and strip searched it was discovered she not only had male genitalia, but a leather device in the shape of a vagina she wore around her waist to keep her clients from learning her secret.

When police searched her home they discovered more wallets, trinkets and watches she'd liberated from her wealthy clients who were fearful of reporting the thefts in an increasingly morally conservative time period.    

At her sensationalized trial that began on June 11, 1836, she testified that she had always dressed in femme attire while living in New Orleans and attending parties amongst our people.   But this trial was also happening in the wake of recent anti-abolition and anti-amalgamation riots, and it was unlikely she as a Black gender variant person was going to escape punishment for the crimes committed against New York's upper class citizens in that environment n which as she was led into the courtroom was jeered, accosted and prodded.

The media also humiliated her, referred to her as 'the Man-Monster' and revved up the hysteria

Hmm, Thus setting the trend that has continued in today's media climate of demonizing Black trans women.

Sarcastic moment over, back to the story.

On June 18 she was convicted of grand larceny and sentenced to five years imprisonment.  Upon being released from serving the grand larceny sentence, Jones was convicted and sentenced to another five months in Sing Sing for crossdressing.

After serving that time, Jones disappeared from recorded history.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Carl(a) Trailer

As y'all know, I'm always on the lookout for trans themed movies that feature trans folks playing trans characters, and here's another one that should be on your radar starring Laverne Cox,

It's entitled Carl(a) and has two trans actors in it. Joslyn DeFreece in the title role as a trans woman facing opposition from her family as she is completing her physical transition and Laverne before she blew up.  The 2011 movie also stars Greg Bello and Mark Margolis and is directed by Eli Hershko.

Carla falls in love with a man named Sam who seems to love her for who she is, but he questions their relationship when Carla finally get the means to finish it.  She is faced with the choice of being herself or being with the man she loves.

Carl(a) will be distributed in limited release by Ariztical Entertainment in select theaters across the country on December 10, and hope we in Houston get to see it.

The Ad The HERO Defenders Should Have Been Running

This is an example of the type of hard hitting ads I've been saying that should have been run starting in September about our HERO haters.

Had Houston Unites had the political cojones to do that, we'd probably still have a HERO.

You cannot play nice with people who are willing to lie to win, and that should have been obvious when we fought the prevaricating faux Christian human rights oppressors to pass HERO last year.

Better late than never...


During This Holiday Season Trans Family, Love Each Other

The 2015 holiday season is about to start, and it can be a depressing, suicide triggering time for members of our community estranged or cut off from their blood relatives and family while relentlessly being bombarded with Christmas music and movies with family themes.

Please keep an eye on our peeps feeling down during this holiday season and try to spend as much quality time with people in that situation as you can.
And note to those trans fam members in that situation, please remember you also have chosen family members not related to you by blood who also love you and can help you though this trying period.

Some of my favorite holiday memories happened with my chosen family during the nearly nine years I lived in Louisville, and I miss them now during the holidays as much as I did my blood family when I was living in Kentucky.
Take the time this holiday season to watch out and love each other, trans family, and Happy Holidays!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

I-71 Interstate Highway Stretch Where Leelah Alcorn Died Named For Her

For those of you that travel on I-71 through Warren County, Ohio, you'll be able to note the signs that the Ohio Department of Transportation erected that named a two mile stretch of it for Leelah Alcorn.

It is the same stretch of interstate near the intersection of I-71 and Ohio Route 48 in which the 17 year old trans teen stepped in the southbound lanes of it in front of an oncoming truck a few hours before her 'fix society' suicide note went viral.

Chris Fortin, who is a 2001 graduate of the same high school Alcorn attended, believed there should be some permanent memorial to Leelah.   Despite now living in Milwaukee, he filed paperwork with ODOT in August to get that section of interstate named for her as part of the state's Adopt-A-Highway program.

He hope to schedule the first cleanup of that stretch of I-71 sometime in January, and says he has far more volunteers than he can count eager to do so.

Open Letter To President Obama Concerning WH Trans Movie Night

TransGriot Note:  An open letter to President Obama concerning the upcoming Trans Movie Night on Monday from Annalise Ophelian that needs to be signal boosted

Dear Mr. President,
On behalf of Miss Major and everyone on the MAJOR! production team, we’re excited about the upcoming transgender movie night at the White House, as part of your LGBT Artists Champions of Change campaign. But we can’t help but notice that your media selections, The Danish Girl and episodes of Transparent, don’t offer particularly robust representation of transgender people. In particular, we’re concerned that you’ve chosen two works about trans women who are played by cisgender men, and that they focus on a limited white European perspective.
To help correct for this imbalance, we’d love to offer the White House an advance screening of our own documentary, MAJOR!, which follows the life and campaigns of Miss Major Griffin-Gracy. Miss Major is a 74-year-old Black transgender elder and activist, a veteran of the Stonewall Uprising and a survivor of Attica State Prison, who has been advocating for trans women of color for over 40 years.
We’d also like to suggest you check out the following films, which were made by trans folks or feature trans actors and actresses playing trans characters, and focus on the stories of trans folks of color. It’s not an exhaustive list by any means, but it’s a place to start, and we get that you’ve got a busy schedule.
You’ll notice that a lot of these films are documentaries. We think this has something to do with the incredible need for authenticity and truth telling about transgender lives.
STILL BLACK: a portrait of black transmen, dir. Kortney Ziegler (2008)
Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria, dir. Susan Stryker & Victor Silverman  (2005)
Remember Me in Red, dir. Hector Ceballos (2010)
Tangerine, dir. Sean S. Baker (2015)
Pay it No Mind: Marsha P. Johnson, dir. Michael Kasino (2012)
The Believers, dir. Todd Holland (2006)
Gun Hill Road, dir. Rashaad Ernesto Green (2011)
Transgender Tuesdays: A Clinic in the Tenderloin, dir. Nathaniel Walters-Koh & Mark Freeman (2012)
And in 2016, we hope you have the opportunity to check out Happy Birthday, Marsha! and Free CeCe!, two amazing upcoming films that center Black trans women in their own narratives of survival and resilience.
With warm regards,
Annalise Ophelian, Psy.D.
Producer/Director: MAJOR!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Taking Some More Me Time This Weekend

After three local TDOR events over three consecutive days, need to take the weekend off from the blog so I can recharge the creative batteries and exercise a little self care.

Haven't treated myself to a mani-pedi in a while and this weekend would be as good a time as any to do so.  There are a few folks I want and need to chat with across the country and locally.  

I'm even thinking about doing something I haven't done in a while in terms of heading to the nearest bowling lanes to the crib and rolling a few games.

I'm planning on returning to write your regularly scheduled TransGriot posts on Monday, but if some breaking news happens or I get an idea for a post that can't wait until then, up it will go.

See y'all Monday

Friday, November 20, 2015

After Six Years, Nikki Wins!

After six long years, the unjust ruling of GOP judge Randy Clapp has been remanded and Nikki Araguz Loyd has finally won her landmark Araguz v Delgado marriage case!

She and her hubby William Loyd traveled the 90 miles from H-town to the Wharton County courthouse to pick up the court order at 1;30 PM CST.   It was also apropos that it was karmically happening on TDOR.

Nikki's major concern before her arrival in Wharton was whether Judge Clapp would sign it.  But after she arrived at the courthouse, she happily discovered that the final order had been autographed by him and was ready for pickup.

Congrats Nikki on this one huge step for you, but one gigantic legal leap for transkind and the marriage rights of all trans people in Texas!

Shut Up Fool Awards-TDOR 2015 Edition

Today is the 17th annual Transgender day of Remembrance, a day in which we take time out o our lives to remember the trans people we lost to anti-trans hate violence, and look forward to the day that the event is no longer necessary.

But one thing that has been necessary for me to do is all out the assorted fools that are wasting DNA and oxygen on our space rock with their unrelenting ignorance and stupidity.

And it's time to exercise some societal self care and call them out.

Time for this week's edition of the TransGriot Shut Up Fool Awards, and this week's Shut Up Fool Awards losers winners is a group award for every congressmember in both parties who cowardly voted to bar Syrian refugees from entering this country.

As Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) said, "Defeating terrorism should not mean slamming the door in the faces of those fleeing the terrorists. We might as well take down the Statue of Liberty,"'

It echoes when happened back on the eve of World War II when the SS Saint Louis with over 900 German Jewish refugees were denied entry into Havana and Miami after a two week voyage and were forced to return to Europe.   250 of those passengers subsequently died in the Holocaust.  

I have also not liked the racist, Islamophobic and xenophobic language coming out of the GOP chickenhawks mouths whether they are in the hall of Congress or the campaign trail.
Congressional Cowards, shut up fools.


TPOCC TDOR Statement

TransGriot Note: TPOCC Executive Director Kylar Broadus' TDOR statement

“Transgender Day of Remembrance allows us to honor and mourn those lost in the trans community as well put a spotlight on the work that still needs to be done to protect the rights of trans people in their pursuit of happiness. The transgender community has made great strides in its visibility, but there’s still systematic discrimination that allows trans lives, especially trans women of color, to be de-valued and violently killed.
This is the time for transgender rights to be at the forefront because transgender people are some of the most marginalized people in this country due to the lack of understanding. Too many transgender people loose their lives due to homicide or suicide because of other people's lack of knowledge or refusal to educate themselves. Most transgender people cannot get employed, obtain housing or get a ride on the bus when others discover someone is transgender. Transgender people have been around since the beginning of time. This isn't a new trend. It’s the ‘T’ in LGBT. It's time for the discrimination to end. We must all come together to combat this problem.”

Jordana's TDOR Thoughts

TransGriot Note: Guest post from Jordana LeSesne, who is a survivor of a 2000 anti-trans hate crime attack on her in Ohio and the reason TransGriot exists.   She writes her thoughts about this TDOR day.

On this day, 200 years ago, November 20, 1815 the Treaty of Paris was signed between France and Great Britain which formally ended the Napoleonic Wars and also called for the abolition of the slave trade.
On this day, November 20, 2015 the attention of many people around the world has again been focused on Paris exactly one week following a series of deadly terrorist attacks.
November 20 every year marks the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR). Those of you who have followed me for more than a year know how painful this day can be for me personally as well as for many people who have been the target of violence because who they are, their families and loved ones of the deceased.
Every year at TDOR ceremonies, a list of names of those killed around the world during the year is read by people in attendance and stories of who these people were are often shared as well.
I've taken part in TDOR ceremonies in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Seattle at one time or another. It is often those of us who survive who read the names of the dead.
The definition of terrorism according to Webster is: "the use of violent acts, terror as a means of coercion to frighten people or achieve a goal".
Hate crimes directed at transgender people would seem to follow under that definition. That may sound strange to some of you but the chilling effect of the recent spike in violence directed at transgender people is much the same as that of a mass shooting or a bomb going off.
It induces fear in a community or people because they are targeted because of how they were born or who they are thus limiting their freedom, personal security and peace of mind.
In June the Advocate reported that anti-gay violence was down but transphobic hate crimes rose in 2014 by 13 percent pointing out that transgender women and particularly transgender women of color were most at risk of being victimized in these terroristic acts.
This is no shock to anyone who has attended a TDOR. Most often the photos displayed of those murdered are transgender women of color.
This is a reason why I prefer not to let the people who attacked me in Ohio in February of 2000 know my every look and every move on Facebook. They never saw a day in court much less a day in jail. They are still out there…. somewhere. The Kent Police Dept did not classify the crime as a hate crime, were reticent to do anything and they as well as the Portage County prosecutor in some cases were hostile to my and my family's inquiries.
The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs says we're not alone. In this report they found that more than 50% of survivors reported hate violence to the police, yet the police classified a
small percentage of reports as bias crimes; those who reported violence were met with police
hostility and excessive force.…/R…/MEDIARELEASE_2014_NCAVP_HVREPORT.pdf
That's why I left the country shortly thereafter.
That's also why you don't get to see me post a bunch of selfies on FB until such time as I am back on tour, making public appearances regularly (with bodyguard at the ready) and feel secure in doing so.
And when we are able to defend ourselves against our attacker(s) we are often treated worse than those who directed violence AGAINST us. This is why I feel the Free CeCe documentary I am scoring music for is so important. Had I been able to defend myself in Ohio I might also have landed in jail for doing so.
This year started off with a spate of murders of transgender women and reached proportions that author and commentator Janet Mock declared it a state of emergency.
And I would be remiss if I didn't mention the high incidence of suicide among transgender people (esp. transgender youth) as a closely related and every bit as important facet to the larger picture of hate induced violence against transgender people for reasons of transphobia both external and internalized. This recent article explains this better than anything I've ever read on the subject and I urge many of you who are not trans to read it:…/the-truth-about-transgend_b…
Look, I know that most of you don't read my timeline for what you might view as "politics" but this is personal not political. Or if you must, "the personal IS political and the politics are personal".
That doesn't mean I will overwhelm you with this stuff but it also means you will hear more from me about it than I was comfortable talking about earlier in my career.
So to bring it back home to music you will find that this issue is one which drives me. I feel that survived the attempt on my life for a reason: To use what platform I have to say something meaningful and help others.
That goes beyond just making fun Drum 'n' Bass and other dance music I am mostly known for.
As I said that is why I am scoring the Free Cece film. That is one of the reasons I am collaborating with Julie Dstroy. That's one reason I joined the Lumyn Collective to support other LBTIQ women in electronic music.
It simply is NOT worth the personal risk if I am out there and *not* also doing something meaningful and of substance beyond the beats and bass.
People grow and are changed by their experiences in life.
If that means labels are potentially put off well then so be it. I come from punk rock roots and have a metal mentality. I'll find a way, I'm a survivor after all.
And I know that people who get it will and indeed have reached out.
Artists are often at their best when they translate their life's experiences into their art. I hope that is the case with me as well.
I have no other option but to do just that. One of those works you may already have heard without knowing.
Back in February I began working on Resistencia (the "Untitled Work In Progress" on my Soundcloud) which addresses this issue using a series of news clips and lyrics. My friend Julia More (Juli Amore) was staying at my place and we talked about these issues and that's when I began writing Resistencia. The Untitled instrumental on Soundcloud is absent the samples and vocals in the completed work.
I also began writing another song which I have yet to post but I felt that the lyrics were pertinent to this solemn day. You will find them below. Apologies if this was tl;dr hopefully this makes it worth it:
Song: 20 Novembre (State of Emergency)
One. two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine….
Count up to 20 and you still won't approach the numbers
of these crimes.
This year, November 20, my fear and shedding more tears
for the victims, those who loved them and those who held them dear.
We did not chose this, no this chose us.
When the world seems armed against us who can we trust?
I repeat, we did not chose this, KNOW this chose us.
When the world is armed against you who can you trust?
Janet Mock said its a state of emergency.
I said it is a state of emergency.
Everyone should feel a sense urgency.
As if this were a domestic insurgency.
As if this were a terrorist murder spree.
That targets you just because who you may be.
That's how I feel every year, every November 20
Every name on the list had a value and dreams.
Lives ended prematurely and survivors in pain
On tour in Ohio I barely escaped the same.
Still numb. nerve damage from my lip to my chin.
A reminder of that night, every day I begin.
And pain has kept a lot inside because , but now I'm through
'Til there are no more lists, I'll speak my mind what else can I do?
'Til justice, for us is not an exception but the rule.
'Til there are no more November 20s will you help us too?
CeCe stood up, Sydney stood up,. we're not alone.
And Shagaisha sung it out through a megaphone….