Monday, July 28, 2014

100 Days Until The Election

Well people, it's 100 days until the critical November 4 midterm election happens across the country, and the clock is ticking.

Control of the US House and the US Senate is on the line along with various state legislatures.  

In the Lone Star State we have a US Senate race in addition to the nationally watched governors and lieutenant governor's races.  

After 20 years of GOP misrule, I want nice things for my home state.  For that to happen, that means Wendy Davis needs to become my governor and Leticia Van de Putte needs to become my lieutenant governor   

Bottom line is for those of you in Texas, if you aren't registered to vote, you have 71 more days to do so before the deadline to be eligible to vote in this election.

If you don't live in Texas and aren't registered to vote, this is also your hint from Moni to get busy doing so before the registration deadline in your locale

And I expect the campaign commercials will start ramping up soon, but even more so after Labor Day. 
 

TBLG Youth Of Color Survey About LGBT Movement

The negative way some of my haters bump their gums about the subject, it's only Moni talking about and calling out the lack of intersectionality and diversity in the LGBT movement. 

Y'all can keep hatin' because I'm not going to stop talking about the subject until something is done to fix the problem.  

Besides I'm not the only person in Black trans, bi and SGL complaining about the issue.  Other peeps who look like me inside and outside our community are talking about it, and you ignore this discussion at your political peril.

There was an interesting NewsOne discussion I was sent a link to by one of my regular readers about a recently compiled report by the Black Youth Project entitled  Moving Beyond Marriage: What LGBT Youth Of Color Think About The LGBT Movement

A survey of 1500 youth between the ages 18-30 was recently conducted during June 2014.  The BYP's main findings in the report are as follows:
  • More Black (80.2%) and Latino (74.9%) youth believe the marriage equality movement has taken too much attention  away from other important LGBT issues compared to white youth (64.0%).
  • More Black youth (58.0%) believe that LGBT issues in communities of color are not well-represented by mainstream LGBT organizations than Latino (45.9%) and white youth (42.7%).
  • More than a third (35.0%) of Black youth reported that HIV/AIDS is the single most important issue for LGBT organizations to address. Latino youth reported that bullying (20.1%) is the most important issue, while white youth (21.3%) reported that same-sex marriage is the most important issue.
  • Young people of color are more supportive of policies that would provide sensitivity training for police around transgender issues (77.8% and 73.2%, respectively) and require health insurers to provide coverage for transgender health issues (64.5% and 65.8%, respectively) than white youth (66.2% and 56.3%, respectively).

The NewsOne discussion about it facilitated by Roland S. Martin featured Jasmyne Cannick, Cleo Manago, and Terrance Laney of BYP





This survey documents that Black and Latino LGBT youth have a very different perspective about what issues this LGBT movement should be focusing on.   

We'll see if anyone's paying attention  

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Why Isn't Gwen Ifill Being Suggested To Host 'Meet The Press' ?


ifill_news_hour1.jpgThe iconic NBC Sunday morning interview show Meet The Press under current host David Gregory has slid to a distant third in recent ratings for the Sunday morning news talk shows, and rumors are flying amongst the chatterrati that Gregory is about to get canned for it.

The rumored replacements for Gregory should this turn out to be true are Joe Scarborough and Chuck Todd.

Time for me to go into Maya Wilkes mode at the thought of either of them in that iconic Meet The Press chair. 

If NBC thought their ratings are bad now with Gregory, if they make that colossal programming mistake, wait until they tank still further with either of those two in the Meet the Press anchor chair.

Instead of putting another conservative leaning white male in the chair, I submit NBC needs to do something bold since they are bringing up the ratings rear anyway.

Those Sunday morning talk shows are highly influential programs and set the tone for political inside the beltway discussions and Capitol Hill debates.  Those shows have been dominated for far too long by white male 50+ conservative Republicans, and it's past time to clear the stagnant vanillacentric privileged air and add the thoughts and opinions of other people who live in this diverse country of ours. 

It's past time to put a journalist of color or a female one in that chair to break up the Washington Conservative Boys Club and bring perspectives and questions into these discussions that white male journalists because of their privilege and other societal blind spots wouldn't think to ask.  .  

Rachel Maddow seems to be the person that chattering class peeps are frequently thinking and talking about as a possible candidate to replace Gregory in that chair should NBC execs pull the trigger and fire him.  

I have another suggestion for a possible replacement that people are ignoring:  Gwen Ifill. 

Gwen Ifill is a longtime journalist and political analyst who moderates and is the managing editor of Washington Week on PBS.  She a Simmons College grad who has worked for NBC, the Washington Post and the New York Times.  She is the co-anchor with Judy Woodruff of the PBS NewsHour.   She has also been the moderator of the 2004 and 2008 Vice Presidential debates.and has appeared on Meet The Press herself.

So with that pedigree, why hasn't she been suggested to take over the hosting duties for Meet The Press?

Do I have to state the obvious here? 

As for the two rumored leading candidates to take over the Meet The Press spot, neither Chuck Todd or Joe Scarborough moderated TWO Vice presidential debates as Ifill has.  Neither have worked for the Washington Post (1984-91), the New York Times (1991-94) and NBC (94-99) as Ifill has in addition to hosting two PBS news shows?  

And if NBC did name Ifill, it's a win-win on multiple levels.  They get to make history, take a bold step toward diversifying one of the whitest hours of television, bring one of their former journalists back, and are guaranteed to get a ratings bump because liberal-progressive peeps like me who got tired of Gregory and the conservative white men he panders to will come back to the show, especially if Ifill is hosting it.  

Ifill hosting it will also draw new non-white viewers who turn past Meet the Press to watch the more diverse Melissa Harris- Perry show on MSNBC

So NBC programming execs, what are you waiting for?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

6th Annual TTNS Hits The Road Next Month

One of my favorite events to attend since I'm moved back home and haven't missed is the Texas Transgender Nondiscrimination Summit.

The second TTNS summit at Rice University was the first in state and in town event I attended mere weeks after my May 2010 return to Houston, and I haven't missed one since. 

This 6th annual edition of the TTNS is going to be a historic and interesting one because for the first time it ventures out of its Houston area backyard and hits the Lone Star roads as founder Josephine Tittsworth intended it to do.  

So whats the Texas Transgender Nondiscrimination Summit?  

The TTNS is a two day event that invites interested parties in higher education and interested advocates to discuss and come up with strategies and best practices in regards to codifying inclusion of "gender identity and expression" into institutional policy. 

The TTNS summit serves as a way to facilitate that policy and procedural inclusion.  It does so via discussion of divergent and respective strategies in regard to overcoming the inevitable barriers that always arise when proposing policies that will expand education opportunities for transgender students and the human rights for all.

The
2014 edition of the TTNS will take place at the LBJ Student Center on the campus of Texas State University August 8-9.  

Our keynote speakers for this year will be Dr. Gage E. Paine, Vice President for Student Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin and Daniel Williams, Field Organizer and Legislative Specialist for Equality Texas.

In addition to the keynotes, the TTNS will have two days worth of seminars covering various topics,  chances to network with other people doing this work and hopefully the TTNS chocolate break.

For the second straight year yours truly will be doing more than just chronicling the TTNS happenings, I'll also be teaching a seminar. 

What subject?   You'll have to roll to San Marcos and join us to find out.

But you still have time to do precisely that.
 

I'm So Houston.....


There's been a meme going around on Facebook in which people are reminiscing about their hometowns triggered by the words 'I'm so (your city here) I remember' 

Being the proud native Houstonian I am along with some of my other Houston Facebook friends, our personal and group ones got long quite quickly as people chimed in with their personal memories of our beloved hometown.   It inspired me to write a post about it.

PictureI'm so Houston, I remember when my hometown had 1 million less people and its tallest building for a minute was One Shell Plaza at a measly 50 stories before the building boom of the early 80's reshaped Houston's skyline forever.  .

I'm so Houston, I remember when Astroworld opened in 1968.  I spent many a happy summer there.   I was thoroughly pissed off when it closed in 2005 due to Six Flags management incompetence.

I'm so Houston, I remember when Palm Center was a real mall with Montgomery Ward on one end, JC Penney on the other and thriving shops in between.  I also shopped at the old Gulfgate, Meyerland and Sharpstown Malls and local chain Weiner's.

I'm so Houston, I remember going to movies at the Shamrock 8, the Almeda 8, The Greenway 6, the Gulfgate 4, the Majestic Metro Downtown and OST locations and the McLendon Triple and Chocolate Bayou drive in's.

I'm so Houston, I can remember when low income TBLG peeps could actually afford to live in the Montrose gayborhood.  I remember going to Studio 13, Chances, QT's, EJ's, Cousins, and when they closed for the evening, to Charlie's for something to eat.. 

I'm so Houston, I remember when the Shamrock Hilton dominated the Med Center area skyline and going to a few events in its ballrooms.

I'm so Houston, when somebody says 'inside the Loop', I'm thinking the Loop 610 freeway that encircles the city.  I know what a feeder road is, how to say Kuykendahl, Humble is pronounced with a silent 'H', and I-45 has been under construction since I was born..  

I'm so Houston, I grew up watching Cadet Don in the morning, Kitirik in the afternoon and Marrrrrvin Zindler, Eyyyyewitness News.   

I'm so Houston, I got to see Barbara Jordan and Mickey Leland represent our city in Austin and Washington DC.   My first mayoral election I was able to participate in was the one in which Kathy Whitmire became our first female mayor.  I cast another history making vote for Lee Brown in 1997 as our first African-American mayor.

I'm so Houston. I root for every Houston based sports team at the high school, college and professional level, celebrate their titles and mourn their losses.   And no, do not ever mention a certain traitorous NFL football team in my presence or a certain 1983 NCAA Final Four championship game.. 
.
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I'm so Houston, the first thing I did when I moved back home was eat at Frenchy's and destroy some Shipley's Donuts later in the week.   And yes, was delighted to discover a Timmy Chan's up the street from my house.

I'm so Houston, I remember when the western edge of the city was Spring Branch, FM 1960 was the northern edge of it, and the Woodlands actually had trees.

I'm so Houston, it ain't barbecue unless it's marinated, cooked over a pit for several hours, smoked over some kind of wood (mesquite, hickory, apple or pecan), has brisket available and the sauce is on the side.

I'm so Houston, I can tell you the names of the legions of music artists and movie stars born here like Beyonce Knowles-Carter, Destiny's Child, Jade, The Geto Boys,  Debbie Allen and Phylicia Rashad, Wilmer Broadnax, Archie Bell and The Drells, Patrick Swayze, Jaclyn Smith, Randy and Dennis Quaid, JoBeth Williams, Loretta Devine, Everette Harp, Jim Parsons, Alexis Bledel, Shelley Duvall, Annette O'Toole, Haylie and Hilary Duff, Chandra Wilson, Lisa Hartman Black, Yolanda Adams, Kenny Rogers, ZZ Top, Johnny 'Guitar' Watson, Sippie Wallace, Lightnin' Hopkins, Leon Haywood, Arnett Cobb, Isaiah Washington, Brent Spiner, Teresa Graves, Michael Urie, Barbara Mandrell, Jaci Velasquez, Ronnie Laws, Joe Sample, The Crusaders...  


I'm so Houston, I love all 628 sq miles of my hometown. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Shut Up Fool Awards-Texans Opening 2014 Training Camp Edition

It  was not a great 2013 NFL for me or my fave NFL team.. year.  I had the worst year ever of NFL prognostication after coming into it as the defending champion against newbie Eli and Mike Watts.

Eli walked away with the 2013 prognostication title as I brought up the rear thanks largely to the Texans collapse..    

After starting out 2-0, they went 0-14 the rest of the way.   That led to longtime coach Gary Kubiak's firing after an embarrassing season sweep by Jacksonville and interim coach and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips and the rest of the coaching staff getting sacked after the season. in favor of Bill O' Brien.  
          
The 2-14 trainwreck of a season resulted in the Texans landing the number one draft pick which they used to select South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney.   

So another NFL season is rapidly approaching as the start of NFL training camps today around the country including here in H-town signals.   I'm also planning to redeem myself in this year's NFL prognostication contest and will have more details about who I'll be picking games against as we get closer to NFL Opening Weekend September 4-7.

But enough jibber-jabber about football.   It's Friday, and time for me to select our first round draft choices for our weekly TransGriot  Shut Up Fool Awards.  It's time to determine who needs to be sacked for their off the charts hypocrisy, willful ignorance and mind numbing stupidity.

So let's get to it

Honorable mention number one is a group award for the NFL.   You suspend Joshua Cribbs for a year for smoking weed, but Ray Rice knocking out his girlfriend turned wife only merits a two game suspension? 

WTF? 

Honorable mention number two is Governor Goodhair, AKA Rick Perry, (R-TX).  His pandering on the border is going to cost Texas taxpayers a few million dollar and not going to do anything to solve the humanitarian crisis of kids streaming north from Central America to escape narcogang violence our drug habits and lax gun laws unleashed. 

Honorable mention number three is Bert Farias, who laughably said that gay people are possessed by fart demons.   Hmm sounds like somebody had writer's block when they were compiling a sermon and was watching too much of the movie Dogma that night.

Honorable mention number four goes to the AFA's and Fox contributor Sandy Rios, who in her transphobic  rant against the POTUS' executive order opened her lips to say that transgender FBI agents will come after you.

Gee Sandy, what were you snorting to come up with that one? 

Honorable mention number five goes to Bryan Fischer, who engaged in more Obama Derangement Syndrome antics by stating that President Obama was going to use the Malaysian Airlines crash in Ukraine to advanmce his radical homosexual agenda

Bryan, we're tired of you lying through your teeth to advance your racist radical dominionist agenda. 

Honorable mention number six goes to Teabagger Ted Cruz.   The junior senator from Alberta parted his lips to say something else stupid by claiming the prudent FAA ban on US carriers flying into David Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv after Hamas rockets landed a mile from it was an 'economic boycott against Israel.  

You are an embarrassment to the once proud  legacy of Texas congressional and senatorial leaders

Honorable mention number seven is former NFL coach and analyst Tony Dungy, who opened his mouth and inserted cleats into it by hypocritically and homophobically stating he wouldn't have taken Michael Sam in the NFL draft because it would have been a 'distraction', then reversed himself when the condemnation for his comments started raining down on him. 

Guess you forgot that you were a 'distraction' when you were hired by the Tampa Bay Bucs as their head coach and the year you won the 'Soul Bowl' against Chicago 

Honorable mention number eight is Andrea James for once again selling out the trans community and trying to make the dead argument on behalf of gay males in a Queerty post about the t-word not being a slur when a majority of the community, and especially trans women of color have repeatedly said it is.
 

NugentThis week's SUF winner (or loser, take your pick) is Ted Nugent.   After two Native American tribes in Washington state and Idaho cancelled gigs for him at their casinos over his racist remarks, support of Daniel Snyder in keeping the offensive nickname of the Washington NFL Franchise and disrespecting Native American culture, Ted fired back by unleashing a diatribe against 'unclean vermin'.

Yeah, right he who didn't bathe for 30 days and crapped his pants so he could dodge getting drafted to fight in Vietnam

Ted Nugent, have several sections of seats at Ford Field and shut the hell up, fool!

Say Hello To Andreja!

So it will be interesting to see in 2012 how Andrej Pejic tops this and what other interesting developments happen in Pejic's life gender wise..
--TransGriot, January 15, 2012,  Andrej Pejic Does Bra Ad.


There has been an interesting development and major change in androgyne supermodel Andreja Pejic's life recently.  

Nope, that's not a typo. As many of us in Trans World had an inkling would probably happen after the Bosnian born Aussie first burst into the fashion world's consciousness by doing androgynous fabulousness while ripping the worlds fashion runways, the 22 year old Pejic on Wednesday came out as trans and revealed she has undergone SRS.

Pejic also revealed she recently changed her name in addition to releasing a statement that from now on she would only exclusively model women's clothes.   She also noted in the statement she is receiving support from her modeling agency, friends and family.

She also conducted an interview with GLAAD published on Style.com that discussed her transition. 
 

Andreja also had this to say in a message on her Facebook page directed at trans youth.

"I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for the love and support throughout the years. You've all helped me through this journey and I have learned a lot and really come into my own and the response to today’s announcement truly overwhelmed me and reminds me of why I chose to do this publicly.

I think we all evolve as we get older and that's normal but I like to think that my recent transition hasn't made me into a different individual. Same person, no difference at all just a different sex

I hope you can all understand that.

I would also like to to reach out to all young gender non-conforming youth out there: I know it's hard, I've been there, but remember it’s your right to be accepted as what you identify with---you deserve the same respect as any other human being on this planet. As a transgender woman I hope to show that after transition (a life-saving process) one can be happy and successful in their new chapter without having to alienate their past. Most importantly differences should not equal divisions, let's all stand together in union." ‪#‎betruebeyou‬

***

Welcome to the trans fam Andreja!  

Glad you're a girl like us and you are officially joining the long and increasingly stylish line of trans models.   Fashion Week should be quite interesting in September.

HERO Updats, Notes and News-July 25

I spent an interesting Thursday night over at Resurrection MCC with Dee Dee Watters and 25 leaders leaders in the Houston African-American trans bi and SGL community.  

We spent two hours having a much needed tell it like it T-I-S is discussion about issues in our community that needed our attention.

We were hit with the sobering news that many of the petitions to repeal the HERO were signed by people in Districts B, D and who lived in Rep Sheila Jackson-Lee's congressional district.  

Never mind the fact the push to pass the HERO started because a straight Black female judge was denied entrance to a Washington Ave club along with members of the Houston Dynamo MLS team in a separate incident.   

We also talked about the demonization of the trans community that even elements of the  Houston Black SGL community are complicit in engaging in, the lack of engagement on our end with the non-gay Black community and our legacy orgs, the invisibility of our Houston Black TBLG community and the complicity of the white Houston LGBT community in that invisibility.  

We spent that two hours doing an overview of the HERO, its history, who it covers, and where to find accurate information about it.   We also discussed some problems in our own ranks.  Strategies to deal with the diagnosed problems short and long term were envisioned.   The leaders in attendance also came up with suggestion and concrete steps to engage our SGL, bi and trans ranks to get more involved in ours and the African-American community and engaging the local Houston media to deal with the Black LGBT invisibility issue.    

Much of what we discussed is in the 'Houston Black GLBT Revolution Will Not Be Televised' territory, but you will see action occurring over the remainder of the year and into 2015 to solve the identified problems.  

As for other HERO news, more events to do training and petition checking  are on the agenda.    A HERO petition training and work session will happen at Resurrection MCC tomorrow starting at 1 PM.  If you've got a spare two hours, come on down to 2025 W.11th St and the Gathering Place.  The verification process training is quick and easy, and once you're trained, you can get busy verifying the petitions because the deadline to do so is August 3.

Please bring a laptop (or tablet if you are comfortable with that). Resurrection will also provide a limited number of laptops for use and snacks.

There will also be a sisterhood discussion on July 31 at the Montrose Center designed to help cis and trans women break down barriers that inhibit sisterhood amongst each other.  More details coming soon in this TransGriot space.  

The struggle to protect the HERO continues..


 

Calling Out The US Conference Of Catholic Bishops Transphobia

U.S. BISHOPS/TransGriot Note: Another guest post from Fallon Fox.  She had a lot to say about the US Conference of Catholic Bishops letting their transphobia flow while hating on President Obama's recent TBLG rights protective executive orders.


"The executive order prohibits “gender identity” discrimination, a prohibition that is previously unknown at the federal level, and that is predicated on the false idea that “gender” is nothing more than a social construct or psychological reality that can be chosen at variance from one’s biological sex.".

Thus saith the willfully ignorant (A.K.A. - stupid as hell ) United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. What they are saying is that they are butt hurt over their slipping grip on discrimination of transgender people.

"In the name of forbidding discrimination, this order implements discrimination.", they say. I could have sworn that we have a separation of church and state. A simple Wikipedia search, or fifth grade text book, could easily inform the USCCB of the contents of the US Constitution.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.   What's messed up is that they willfully recognize that what they want is discrimination.

The USCCB says, "The executive order prohibits “gender identity” discrimination, a prohibition that is previously unknown at the federal level..." and, "With the stroke of a pen, it lends the economic power of the federal government to a deeply flawed understanding of human sexuality, to which faithful Catholics and many other people of faith will not assent. As a result, the order will exclude federal contractors precisely on the basis of their religious beliefs."
So, basically what they are saying is that they recognize their particular brand of Catholicism is discriminatory against a certain minority group. They admit that and their religion demands that discrimination.

I am in no way religious. But, if I were to feel froggy enough to dabble in a belief system that ignores the peer reviewed evidence of scientist and doctors, because I felt that I needed to hold on to something for whatever reason, I certainly wouldn't pick the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops brand of Catholicism. Because, that would be an asshole-ish thing to do to other human beings, no? Subscribe to a religious view that seeks to implement, or keep in place, hateful governmental policies in order to bolster the belief system that makes me comfortable as a navigate my way in this world? All of these restraints on fellow humans lives in minority groups, and supposed self defined 'government protections' for myself, when I would have absolutely positively not one single solitary shed of evidence for the religion I am basing all of this discrimination on.

It only took a second for the words "What kind of insanity is this?" to fly out of my mouth and for my fist to slam my desk when I read the USCCB website today.   See, there is clear scientific peer reviewed evidence that transgender women have differences in their brains than cisgender males. That is a fact. One can argue if it is a matter of nature, nurture, or a combination of the two before toddler age or such that leads to the neurological configuration of transgender women's brains. But, what they have found is that transgender women's neurology is different. There is no denying that even for the USCCB. The scientific and medical communities know this and the government knows this.

On the flip side, when science attempts to find evidence for a god, neither the scientific, medical, or governmental entities can find absolutely no concrete evidence that points to the god of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, or any other god that has been written into religious text. And if any scientist, doctor, or politician were to ever find such evidence, they would be the most popular person on planet Earth. The Vatican would love to see such hard evidence of their claims pushed to the forefront. It would be a worldwide game changer. It would most certainly cause enough of a stir to cover up the child molestation problem that is rampant within their institution. Yet, silence abounds in the halls of hard scientific evidence when questions of God are concerned.

Now, I'm not here to preach to you that there is or is not a god. That's just not my thing. I personally have no religious belief. But, as long as a religion doesn't try to harm anyone, or hinder someone else's life, it's not really an issue for me. I'll say again for those who are sensitive about the issue of religion. As long as religion doesn't seek to put roadblocks in the way of my well being and freedoms that all humans should have, then I'm pretty much live and let live in that regards. That's pretty much the mindset of most non believers. But, let's think about what's going on here in this particular situation with the USCCB and transgender rights. Because this is where a conflict can and does arise constantly when some (but not all) religions try to impose their belief system on others lives.

It's well known within medicine and science that transgender women are women in their brains regardless of surgeries or hormone replacement therapy. There is clear evidence of this fact. On the flip side, there is zero scientific evidence of the god of the USCCB. Yet, we don't hear transgender atheist complaining about sharing restrooms with members of the USCCB. We don't even hear transgender Catholics complaining about sharing restrooms with members of the USCCB. As a matter of fact, I haven't heard of any group complaining or suggesting that members of the USCCB be segregated from male restrooms. One would think that would be an issue that someone should bring up. Given the documented rapes by Catholic priests time and time again on young boys, everyone knows that Catholics have a problem in this area. Yet, transgender folks, and most rational people, realize that Catholic rape tends to happen often, you can't paint one entire group of people with one broad brush and be hyper paranoid about sharing spaces like restrooms with them.

Let's flip that coin again. You will rarely, if ever, find transgender women molesting children or raping anybody in a restroom. Not that it could not happen. There are crazies in every group I am sure. But, it's just not a reoccurring thing, and it is not pervasive by any stretch of the imagination. I've never heard of a transgender person in a restroom raping anyone ever in my life. You don't hear about repeated cases of rapes dished out by transgender women. And transgender women have been using women's restrooms since restrooms were invented. No, it's actually the opposite way round. You actually find repeated cases of transgender women raped by the hands of others. That has also been happening since the invention of the restroom.

One thing for certain is this. If transgender women, or any other group were to even hint at the possibly, if they were even to whisper the idea that Catholics should be banned from restrooms because - well, you know - some Catholics are known for raping kids, Catholics would have a fit. They would no doubt scream, "This is hateful discrimination! Not all Catholics rape kids!" from the mountain tops.   And they would have good reason to, as that would certainly be hateful discrimination based on the evil deeds of a few.

What would happen if transgender women who were not Catholic said this?  "Prohibiting 'religious discrimination', a prohibition that should be known at the federal level, and that is predicated on the false idea that the "USCCG's god" is a real being that interacts with humans on earth - is wrong. We need to have religious discrimination! Their lifestyle and desires conflict with our own. We actually feel quite uncomfortable sharing restrooms with Catholics. So, we would like 'religious discrimination' implemented in the case of Catholic restroom usage. We don't mind if Catholics use the restroom of course. We know they need to go potty when they need to. We just don't want them doing it anywhere near us. We propose a restroom separated from non-Catholics for those special Catholic needs. The restrooms we have in mind are clearly marked with a lower cased "t" so that they will be easily recognizable by Catholic restroom usage. Look how merciful we are! We even propose a place for Catholics to go number one and two! Just keep them far far way from us please."

The above scenario would never happen. Every secularly minded non believer that I know of has no problem simply sharing a restroom with someone of a different belief system as themselves, or disagrees with them on an issue. It's just not a thing that is rampant among rational empathetic humans. If a non-believer were to hold such a hateful bigoted position and paint every single believer with such a broad brush they would be wrong. And this progressive atheist transgender lesbian would go to task in fighting them on that harmful suggestion. I don't have to though, because as I said, it doesn't happen. Yet, the USCCB, and some other far right religious institutions are drunk with unnecessary irrational fears of their fellow humans.

Fortunately, there are more empathetic and progressive Catholics and Christians on this planet that I can respect. And even though we may disagree on the concept of a divine creator, we realize that we can judge each individual on an individual basis. We don't have to unnecessarily fear or judge whole minority groups, or each other for the acts of a few individuals. We can respect each other, live in peace, and be friends actually.

Fortunately, the younger generation is more understanding than their elders and won't stand for their elders insensitivity in the long run and most certainly will throw the bums out in the future. And that my friends gives me much hope for humanity.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Houston Black Community Needs To Be BETTER LGBT Allies

Steve RiggleYou and your misguided friends are hypocritically siding with the same conservative oppressors that oppose the African-American community on human rights issues of importance to us such as voting rights and workplace fairness, and it's a disgusting spectacle to witness.
--TransGriot, May 18, 2014, Houston Black Pastors, Sick Of You Denying Our Humanity 


As my readers already know, I have no problem telling it like it T-I-S is and calling out friend, foe or frenemy when it's warranted. 

Since I unleashed a  post taking the Houston LGBT community to task for its failure to work intersectionally, it's time to also call out the ways in which the Houston African-American community has also failed to do the same with the local LGBT community instead of pointing fingers and smugly thinking their feces is malodorous.

There is a perception in elements of the white LGBT community that Black people are 'uniquely homophobic'.  Yeah, I know it's bull feces and we in Black LGBT world are constantly doing battle with that meme when it comes up in conversation with our white GLBT brothers and sisters.

But that perception is cosigned when you have loud and wrong ministers like Max Miller and company and others nationally in the community like Bishop Eddie Long twisting Scriptures trying to mask their homophobia and participating in anti-gay rallies. 

It's also an infuriating head scratcher to us in LGBT World that elements of the African-American community would partner with the same white Texas GOP conservatives like Jared Woodfill who have oppressed and hated on our community for decades in order to scuttle a mutually beneficial Houston Equal Rights Ordinance..

Dave Welch, another one of those white conservative haters, is the executive director of the far-right Houston Area Pastors Council and one of our community's long time enemies.  He was the founding Executive Director of the Christian Coalition of Washington, the National Field Director of Christian Coalition, the Executive Director of Vision America and chickened out of a debate with Cristan Williams, after she handed him his bigoted behind on FOX 26 back in 2010.  

He's also the local affiliate for NOM, who has been since 2009 engaged in a cynical campaign to drive a wedge between the African-American and BTLG communities.

“The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks—two key Democratic constituencies. Find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage, develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots…”

***

“These documents expose NOM for what it really is—a hate group determined to use African American faith leaders as pawns to push their damaging agenda and as mouthpieces to amplify that hatred,” said  Sharon Lettman-Hicks, National Black Justice Coalition Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer at the time.

Max Miller and the Baptist Ministers Association of Houston and Vicinity are making King Hater Dave Welch smile.   He gets to sit back, plug y'all into that NOM game plan and let Max Miller and the rest of you be the useful spokesfools in the divide and conquer game they're running as he and his white conservatives laugh and use y'all as human shields to hide behind and claim they have a 'diverse coalition' to oppose the HERO.  

Meanwhile you're pissing us SGL peeps off by being in bed with one of our major longtime enemies, and you wonder why the Houston LGBT community coolly sits on the sidelines and their wallets for issues you deem important. 

Speaking of crap, me and my fellow Houston trans people are more than upset about being demonized in this anti-HERO campaign and y'all falling for the bathroom predator okey-doke.

We are facing 26% unemployment, have transpeople openly being denied jobs or having them rescinded when their trans status is revealed, fired for BS reasons, have recently had five transwomen across the nation killed in a six week period, and you wanna trip about where we poop and piss?   

ILopezThe Izza Lopez case and what happened to Tyjanae Moore and other Black trans and SGL women is why gender identity was added to the 15 protected classes of the HERO.  

And FYI, HISD has has a non-discrimination policy that includes gender identity since 2011 with none of the parade of horribles Max and Dave have been peddling.    As a matter of fact, there have been no cases of trans predators attacking cis women in bathrooms, but we sure do have examples, including here in Houston on the University of Houston-Downtown campus, of trans women being attacked and harassed by cis women  in the bathroom.   The UHD attack led to the passage of a policy that created designated gender neutral bathrooms in UHD buildings.

FYI, contrary to the 'gay affluence' fiction, while some peeps in the community are doing well, there are others who have been priced out of Montrose.   There are others for who living in the gayborhood will be a never fulfilled pipe dream because they are trying to get by on below poverty level wages of $10,000 a year.   Many of the folks who are trying to live on that $10K  a year share your ethnic heritage.


As I've pointed out more than a few times on this blog, Black LGBT issues are also Black community issues.  None of us gave up our Black cards because we began to live our SGL truth or transitioned.   Like myself, many of us also have deep roots in the Houston African-American community and are just as proud of our Black heritage as we are of being unapologetically LGBT people.

So stop trying to pretend like we aren't Black because we are also part of the TBLG community, because our haters, elements of our white LGBT counterparts and the world sure don't let us forget we're Black. 

Some of us are dues paying members of the NAACP, the Divine Nine  frats and sororities, faithful tithing members of various churches, and support other organizations in this community.  It is disingenuous and angering to us when you try to play that game of SGL, bi and trans peeps not being "Black enough' for this community when what ails the Black community also ails us, and we have an extra layer of oppression heaped upon our Black bodies because of our BTLG status.

And we in LGBT world are not liking the cricket chirping silence or flip-flopping of legislators our endorsements, votes and dollars support.  

Neither do we appreciate Black community orgs when we need you to come out of the closet and be fierce advocates for our policy concerns being silent or being consistently inconsistent about your LGBT community support.  .   

So yes, it's past time for the Houston Black community to be BETTER allies to the LGBT community

HERO Updates, Notes and News- July 24

Photo: Parker has really hit her stride as a dynamic speaker! Wow.
It's time for another HERO news update.  

Since my last one, the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance is a few days short of being two months old on Monday.  It's still in effect, our opponents are still hatin' on it, and  no Houston bakers have been forced to bake swastika cakes. 

We are still in signature verification mode on the haters petitions to force a referendum on the HERO, and yes they are the jacked up convoluted mess we thought they would be.

Speaking of those signatures, another verification work group event is jumping off from 3-9 PM today sponsored by the GLBT Caucus.  Location for it is 4617 Montrose Blvd, Suite C222.   You can stop by at anytime that you're available during those hours and bring your laptop or fave computing device.

On Tuesday the Meyerland Democrats held their monthly meeting in which the guest speaker was none other than Mayor Annise Parker and the city council  members who passed our long awaited human rights ordinance.  They received a well deserved standing ovation from the assembled crowd for their efforts.    During that meeting Ashton Woods announced the anti-HERO petitions were now online and public record

Out of the closet you come H-town transphobes and homophobes


Since there was a lot of shady and illegal behavior by the faith-based haters in collecting these petitions, you may wish to check and see if your name wasn't placed on them illegally.   If you didn't sign that petition but find your name on it, you can submit an affidavit and mail it to city secretary Anna Russell's office.

In addition to the petition check event tonight, the Houston African-American SGL, trans and bi community and our allies will hold a HERO Civil Rights Strategy meeting at Resurrection MCC starting at 7 PM CDT.

I'm looking forward to it, and according to the organizers, invitations to African-American political and community organizational leaders were sent out.  

We'll see who shows up because intersectionality works both ways, Houston Black community.   You don't get to gripe and point your critical fingers at the Houston LGBT community asking the justified questions of why LGBT peeps aren't showing up for your issue concerns and you hypocritically not reciprocate when we ask you to show up for one of our events to discuss our concerns as unapologetically Black TBLG people. 

This initial community meeting will provide an overview of the HERO, its history and the 15 categories of people it protects.  It will discuss the opposition and their arguments.  It will outline who is providing the most opposition  It will cover the attacks against the transgender community do some myth busting.

We'll also at that meeting come up with strategies for coalition building, stress the importance of participation by communities of color, and how can we better educate our community about the HERO
so the don't get hoodwinked and bamboozled should it go to a referendum into voting against their own human rights.  

I got an opportunity last Thursday along with Noel Freeman, Christina Gorczynski and Daniel Williams to appear on a Houston Media Source TV presentation concerning the HERO.   The second half of it Christina and I got to battle King HERO Hater Dave Welch and HERO opponent (why?) Kathy Blueford-Daniels. 

Thanks to Fran Watson and Durrel Douglas for the invite, and I understand there will be more of these HERO shows on HMS-TV soon.
Next Monday will be the HERO forum sponsored by one of our oldest African-American newspapers in town, the Forward Times.   Mayor Parker and several council members were invited to participate, and I plan to be there along with a few friends in the CWA Hall that evening located at 1730 Jefferson St.   

It's scheduled on the deadline day for the City Secretary's office to complete their anti-HERO petition count, and we'll probably know at that time whether the haters succeeded or failed in putting the HERO on the ballot.   Still have time to submit your questions to the Forward Times for the upcoming forum at forwardtimes@forwardtimes.com   
 
And yeah Majic 102, still waiting for pro-HERO people to be invited on Sunday Morning Live to tell the truth about the ordinance. 

The struggle to keep the HERO continues.

Laverne Cox On 'The View'

My Emmy Award nominated sis showed up on ABC's The View a few days ago to discuss the remarkable 2014 she's having and talk about her role on the Netflix smash hit series Orange Is The New Black along with other subjects. 

Here's the video from that interview


Race Wasn't Involved In NYPD Garner Killing? Yeah, Right

As my brother Dr. Kortney Ziegler pointed out, in a life imitates art moment, 43 year old Eric Garner's cause of death last Friday, like Radio Raheem in the Spike Lee movie Do The Right Thing, was death by po-po.

Spike Lee thought so as well.   He recently mixed the video of Garner's fatal encounter with the NYPD with the Radio Raheem fictional one from the film.

The father of six was killed by an illegal choke hold after being agitated about being harassed by NYPD police.

Eric Garner's funeral was yesterday, but the firestorm surrounding this latest episode of NYPD behaving badly when it comes to non-white denizens of New York  is just getting cranked up.  

You add to it the ridiculous statement by NYPD Police Commissioner William Bratton. who is in his second stint of leading NYPD (1994-1996 was the previous one), that "race didn't have anything to do with the tragic death of Garner."

Seriously?  You may wish to rethink that based on the racist online comments of NYPD officers let loose in the wake of last Friday's murder by po-po of Garner and the negative spotlight once more being shined on the New York Police Department.

bill brattonWhen now thirteen people of color have been killed in various ways over the years by NYPD officers, other non-white New Yorkers complain of harassment and less than respectful treatment, and the reaction you have to it is deny you have a race problem, not good.

It damned sure was about race.  It's about the vanillascented privileged mentality that too many white police officers have when they come into our neighborhoods from their gated suburbs and treat us as less than human.  

If you're a bigot with a badge and gun, that is destined to cause a problem sooner or later.       

I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the comment of Eric Garner 'bringing it  it upon himself'   In what FOX Noise addled conservaworld did you come up with that specious crap? 

How does breaking up a fight justify death by po-po?

All y'all had to do was let Garner off with a warning and let him go on his merry way. home   But y'all couldn't resist the temptation to go into Officer Oppressor mode, and one of you went too far with the fatal choke hold which BTW, is illegal under NYPD policy..

Meanwhile we people of color keep finding ourselves in the situation of having to bury our loved ones after negative and deadly interactions with predominately white cops fir trivial crap..   

And we're sick and tired of it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Moni's Heading To The NABJ Convention!

This time next week I'll be headed to Boston for the 39th annual edition of the National Assn of Black Journalists Convention that is being held at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center. 

I'll be there to take part in a GLAAD organized panel discussion that has me in some pretty distinguished company in Kenyon Farrow and  Kellee Terrell. Tiq Milan will be moderating it.

The panel will be a timely one in terms of discussing violence against Black trans women and the media responses to it.

Sometimes the reporters I've had to call out on these TransGriot electronic pages concerning the most egregious examples of disrespectful reporting of our fallen transsisters have been my own people.

But I'm so looking forward to this panel and being in the NABJ convention house.  I've always wanted to attend this conference and the stars and my schedule finally aligned so I would have the opportunity to do so.

I've been to Western Mass twice as you longtime readers are aware of and was 90 miles away from it in Providence in 2012 for that historic Netroots Nation panel.   This will be my first time ever in Boston, and I'm excited about it.

And this time it didn't take me four years to return to Massachusetts.. 

I'm also excited that after more than a few years of being acquainted with her via Facebook, I'll finally get to meet Kellee Terrell and see Kenyon Farrow again.   Hopefully I'll also get to see L'lerret on her home turf.

And if I have time, as a history buff who loves visiting presidential libraries, would sure love to go to the JFK Presidential Library there.

And oh yeah, hashtag for the conference for those of you wishing to follow along on Twitter on the July 31 date of our panel is #NABJ14

See y'all next week, Beantown

TransTech's First Orientation

There have been some amazing things going on in Trans World lately, and what transpired in Chicago on Sunday is just the latest example. 

TransTech Social Enterprises (TTSE), announced the launch of their tech ­focused training and apprenticeship program for the LGBT community with a focus on trans identified individuals.

The Trans Tech leadership team is Founding Executive Director/CEO Angelica Ross, Board President Precious Davis and Communications and Operations Director Joey Grant

The TTSE venture will have two components: the Training Academy with workshops focusing on professional development and the TransTech Apprenticeship Program which is a creative design firm that offers a graphic design and web development apprenticeship.

"At TransTech, our programs aim to equip people with a technical skill set for survival," says CEO Angelica Ross. " We start with entry level skills and build on those to increase an individuals experience and proficiency in an increasingly technological job market."

This past Sunday TransTech hosted a free orientation at the Center on Halsted to introduce their program to the local community.  The orientation simulated a model workshop following their TTSE signature e3 structure of empowerment, education, and employment for the 40 people who signed up to attend and learn more about it. .


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Fallon's Fun With Flawed TERF Sports Thinking

TransGriot Note: Been a while since I had a guest post up from my sis Fallon Fox and one slamming the TERF's. 

I get to gleefully do both at the same time with this guest post in which Fallon takes aim at the TERF's who are loud, wrong and scientifically illiterate while attacking trans women who participate in sports. 


TERFs. Every single time they have made, and will continue to make themselves look rather silly when they open their mouths against transgender women.

This reality struck me more than it has in the past with this recent small time WordPress blog from Culturally Bound Gender entitled "All the things you can't deny: Title IX, trans women, and the reality of neutrality.".

The article focused primarily on the physical height that some transgender athletes may have as a result of a likely ratio of taller transgender women in sports, and society in general. The moment I stumbled across this despicable piece of paranoid delusional drivel, I knew that it would be great idea to knock the dunce hat from atop it, grab it by the ear, drag it from obscurity, and pull it directly to the front of the room for the whole class to see. Pretty much the ones still actively promoting the ridiculous notion that trans women as a whole have 'unfair' advantages because of skeletal related 'advantages' are bigots, misinformed individuals, and TERFs also known as Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists.

The latter is an unfortunate offshoot of the feminist movement that most feminists (including the one writing this) tend to steer clear of because of their blatant hatred for men in general, and their day to day straw man attacks against transgender women. TERFs tend to see transgender women as men. A mindset that could not be farther from the actual truth, and actually goes against the documented peer reviewed findings and collective consensus of those in the fields of psychology and medical fields.

Because of not having the power to hurt men in any meaningful way out of spite for the wrongs inflicted on them by the hands of some, they seek to harm what they view as the next best thing - transgender women. They are so blindsided, so hate filled, so bitter about by their hatred of men, that they refuse to deeply fathom the reality that some women were unfortunately born with male genitalia, yet have female brains. 


A reality that has been stated repeatedly and accompanied by peer reviewed testing within the scientific and medical communities that study transgender women's brains. . This reluctance by TERFs to embrace the medical and scientific reality make me ponder if I should attempt to contact Lisa Vogel - the owner of the deeply transphobic Michigan Womyn's Music Festival  and propose that they build a gigantic mountain in the center of Michfest.    Then they could hold that shindig in the middle of winter with a womyn atop that mountain spraying it down with a fire hose just so that a small percentage of the participants who are against trans women's participation can have practice with ice skating uphill.

They'll need the ice skating practice.  Because as the months and years pass by, we learn more and more about transgender women's brains and bodies, especially when it comes to a sports setting.   Fighting the gravity of those findings is something they really need to get used to. On one hand, it hurts me to see someone so lost that they lash out on the innocent.

Because, it is truly tragic that TERFs are the way they are because of despicable misogyny against women. But, that's how many hate groups have been formed throughout history. And I almost think that it is a good thing that the TERF's continue to print and promote such rhetoric as what gets posted now and then on WordPress sites that not many within their right minds agree with.

Those irrelevant articles TERFs tend to write give those of us on the right side of history something to point at and say, "Now, look at the utter ridiculousness of what they are saying. Go ask those in the medical communities who actually study transgender bodies on a day to day basis the reality of trans women's bodies. Go ask the psychologist who actually work with transgender women on a day to day basis. They will disagree with these insane statements."

I learned a mindset within the martial art of jiu jitsu a long time ago. The thought process is, it is highly beneficial for one to sometimes use the energy and momentum of the attacks against oneself as momentum for ones own attack. This concept can be used in many situations. So that's part of the reason why, when I look at the forest before the trees, those articles that caused me to lose sleep in the past when I first came out as a transgender athlete are now the articles that cause me to sleep more soundly.

There's a shift that's been happening, a momentum for widespread understanding of transgender people and their bodies that has taken off within the last year. There is no doubt opposition to the shift. But the more the opposition flails, the more they fight, the more they sink into the quicksand of their own hatred and bigotry.


There's even beginning to be a shift within government  and businesses around transgender equality. And let's just face it one of the major reasons why TERFs and the religious right are clinging to trans participation in sport is because if we're involved in sports in any meaningful number, that will speak to the "person on the street" in a way that sports personalities reach their fan base.

If society were to see a trans woman on the Olympic team, who won for the USA, as an example, that would send a shockwave through the right. Who would they have to hate if what some consider sports to be is the last bastion for equality of humans? What straw man could they erect for Americans to hate then?

We are winning, and I'm quite sure that behind closed doors they are whining to each other and responding within their group like bunch of near death Darth Vaders. They look to each other and say, "Our arguments are dying!". The response back is heavily breathed response, "Nothing... can stop that now."

Except I highly doubt that there will a redemptive move on their part that the audience of the world will applaud in the end. Yes, on a long enough timeline the TERFs are political toast. I say that not to encourage complacency. Actually, I propose the opposite. I suggest those of us on the more rational and all around more empathetic end of spectrum shine an even bigger light in their hateful ideals as much as possible. I think it's time to lay waste to that antiquated framing that bone structure in a minority group should be cause for concern within sports.

It's about time that we poke fun and at the hate groups who stand against transgender people like we do the other hate groups that attack other minorities and seek to exclude them. Then again, it's not like I even have to wish or call for it. It's already beginning to happen in some progressive circles outside of the transgender collective.

So, let's have a little fun with them shall we? Let's examine the TERFs claims. Gather round y'all, it's fun for the whole family. Let's examine the "All the things you can't deny: Title IX, trans women, and the reality of neutrality." nonsense.

Let's observe the height of Gabrielle Ludwig, the college basketball player the blog attempts to attack. Then, let's compare that height to the best WNBA player on the planet. Gabrielle Ludwig's height is 6' 6". Wouldn't you know it? The blog was correct! That's incredibly tall for an average woman in the United States, that is for certain, no?

Then we have Britney Griner, a cisgender woman who stands at a whopping 6' 8". Two inches taller than her transgender competitor.

Only, she's not Gabrielle's competitor.  Britney Griner is a WNBA player and one of best in the world.  Her skill level would likely crush our transgender college player if they played one on one.  That's not to say Ludwig is not talented. She is!  It's just - well, like other women, some can be more talented, or have a higher skill level than others.

If we think about the blog's perspective, that when certain minority groups have populations that happen to be taller than others, we should separate those groups in competitions all by themselves, we naturally have to consider what that would mean for minorities across the board.

See, what slipped by the TERFs is that height disparities among other minorities happen all of the time in sports. Take the Dinkans for example. Dinkans like model Atong Arjok are statistically the tallest group of humans on planet Earth. Yet nobody in their right mind would question their participation in the height category.

If you have a basketball player who happens to be of Dinkan ancestry, it's likely that they will be hella tall! Now, do we say that because of this, we ban all Dinkan people from basketball as we must look out for the interest of Asian people who may be at a disadvantage in the height department?

No, we don't. Because we realize doing so would be racist as hell. Not to mention that not all Dinkan people will be tall, and not all Asian people short. And what if all Dinkan people happened to be over 6' tall? Do we then say that no Dinkans can participate in basketball? No, we don't.

As I mentioned earlier. Asians are the shortest ethnicity by ratio. Almost everyone knows that this is a fact. You will rarely see a tall Asian in basketball within the United States, although it does happen. I only have to mention the names  Zheng Haixia or Yao Ming to illustrate my point.

Remember Manute Bol ? All 7' 7" of him? Remember how he was actually celebrated for his height? What a marvel! What a player we'd like to have on our team! What a hero! He had Dinkan ancestry yet nobody says a damn thing about banning Dinkans from basketball. Know why? Because being against Manute Bol's participation in basketball because of his height would be racist.


Guess what? Being against Gabrielle Ludwig's participation in basketball because of her height would be (and is) transphobic. Of course, it's quite obvious what is going on here. We happen to live at the time in our American history where we are at the tipping point where transgender people are beginning to gain rights, and the bigotry of years past is starting to fade a little bit as more correct information is getting out there, and people are starting to see us as fellow human beings.

And have we all noticed noticed how opponents of trans participation in sports have been laying off of the whole strength advantage nonsense lately because the correct medical authorities who were in the know, exposed their pseudoscientific ignorance within this last year?  Those who were more sane and educated beat the opposition back, and held a light to their bigotry. All of this happened because some had the audacity to actually stand up and fight for themselves, and their allies heard the drum beats of those calling for promotion of the truth, and took the initiative to stand with them. We will beat them back on this height and bone structure nonsense also. It's the last thing that they have to cling on to, and their grip is slipping quickly.

So, TERFs, I know that you're out there dabbing the sweat from your foreheads as you click and type away from your keyboards. My message to you is bring it! Give us more and more fuel to politically dump over your bigoted mindsets that are already going up in flames. This is comedy at this point. And I'm loving every moment of it. Please write more. We will be waiting.