Saturday, April 18, 2015

Girl Meets World Season Two Starts May 11

Girl Meets World in its first season on Disney Channel managed to masterfully meld the new cast of this Disney series with the beloved characters of Boy Meets World.  

It was so successful that the BMW sequel was renewed for a second season.

Girl Meets WorldCory and Topanga are the parents of Auggie and teenager Riley, the focus of this show. 

Shawn Hunter has popped up in several episodes. Harley Kiner, who terrorized Corey in his childhood, is the janitor at John Quincy Adams, the school Corey works at. 

Stuart Minkus has popped up as the father of Farkle, one of Riley's friends and Corey's students.   Josh Matthews has popped up and will be going to NYU.   Even Cory's parents Amy and Alan appeared in the Christmas episode.

We won't have to wait long for the start of Season 2 of Girl Meets World and to find out what BMW alums pop up in this season.   Mr. Feeny will pop up in a few episodes, and big brother Eric will be seen in several season two episodes along with Mr. Turner.  

And yes, Angela is coming back for a few episodes.  

The initial episode of the season starts May 11 on Disney Channel and will continue with four more episodes that week, and so looking forward to seeing it..

Friday, April 17, 2015

Judge Shafer Rules For City In HERO Trial

There has been a ruling in the HERO trial, and the city of Houston has emerged victorious.

Judge Robert Shafer ruled  moments ago for the city of Houston in the trial that the talabaptists sought to force a HERO repeal vote despite failing to collect enough signatures to do so.

"(As) a matter of fact and as a matter of law the Referendum Petition is not valid or enforceable in all respects," the judge ruled.

Judge Shafer ruled that the opponents didn't come up with enough signatures to force a repeal referendum  They came up with 16,684 signatures, well short of the 17,269 signatures they needed to place HERO on the ballot for repeal.

"This is a great victory in the courts, and a great day for civil rights in Houston, Texas," said City Attorney Donna Edmundson. "The jury found for the City, and now the judge has found in favor of the City too. I am gratified that the judge signed a final judgment rejecting the plaintiffs' claims and confirming that their pro-discrimination referendum petition failed. We will be prepared if the plaintiffs decide to appeal.”

Mayor Annise Parker was also pleased with Judge Shafer's  ruling.

“I would hope that the plaintiffs would not appeal, they lost during a jury trial and today they also lost with the judge's ruling. Now all Houstonians have access to the same protections.”

Will the Pastor's Council and their sellouts appeal?   Stay tuned to these TransGriot pages to find out.

But I would hope that they don't so we can implement this much needed human right ordinance for the city of Houston immediately.

Brazilian Trans Woman Beaten After Arrest

VerĂ´nica Bolina.Trigger Warning  anti-trans violence and police brutality.

It's been way too quiet news wise about our trans sisters in Brazil, and this police brutality story was brought to my attention by my sis Aleika Barros

Model Veronica Bolina, for reasons that are still unclear, was arrested for assaulting a senior citizen in her apartment building April 12 in Sao Paulo.

She was sent to a male prison, which is problematic to begin with, and during a prison transfer allegedly got into a scuffle with a police officer that resulted in half his ear getting bitten off.

The police claimthey didn't do it, but how did Veronica end up with her hands and feet handcuffed, breasts exposed, head shaved and severely beaten to the point she was hospitalized?  

The Brazilian media predictably misgendered Veronica, and focused on her alleged scuffle with the police officer while conveniently neglecting to mention what they may have savagely done to her.

Embedded image permalinkBolina told Alessandro Melchior, the coordinator for LGBT policies in the city of Sao Paulo, that she was also attacked in the hospital she was sent to recover in from the injuries she received from the police beating.

The horrific pics are circulating on Brazilian social media and has the Brazilian trans and LGB community outraged over what has happened to Veronica.  

They are tweeting #SomosTodasVeronica (We Are All Veronica) in support of her.

Aleika and other Brazilian trans women would agree that what Veronica is accused of doing in the assault is unacceptable, and if she committed the crime, she should do the time for it.

However, my Brazilian sisters would also tell you they draw the line at Veronica being thrown in a male jail cell, exposing her to the possibility of sexual assault, having her head shaved and being savagely beaten. 

Being savagely beaten and humiliated by the police or whoever did it should never be part of a jail sentence, and it points out the  need for human rights laws in Brazil that cover trans women in a country in which 113 trans women were murdered last year,

It's even more imperative trans human rights coverage happens in a Brazil in which faith based hate is directed at the Brazilian trans community on an almost daily basis.

Congratulations To The 2015 Houston Pride Grand Marshals, But...

Was at last night's Pride Houston kickoff party at the Audi Central location before the thunderstorms arrived. 

I was hoping to watch a little Houston LGBT history being made, and I enjoyed seeing many of my friends inside the community and getting the opportunity to chat with them. 

I enjoyed meeting some new people, and hope we continue the conversations that we started last night.  I enjoyed seeing HISD school board president and longtime ally of our community Anna Eastman finally get that elusive ally marshal spot she so deserves.

I even enjoyed the dinner conversation afterwards at 59 Dimer and yes, my sincere congratulations to Ryan and Britt as well for being elected the 2015 Houston Pride Parade Grand Marshals.

But what I had a problem with, and it seems that feeling was shared by many of the attendees at the Houston Pride event last night, was the perception that Fran Watson got screwed in the female grand marshal race.

It continues the problematic pattern of their NEVER having been a Black female Houston Pride Parade Marshal in a city in which we've had two trans feminine ones in Phyllis Frye and Jenifer Rene Pool, and a Latina one just last year in Christina Canales Gorczynski.

I have to ask the question if someone with Fran's (and Augie Augustine's) record of service to the entire Houston LGBT community can't get recognized and be subsequently elected to become a Houston Pride Parade Grand Marshal after nomination, when will it happen?

I was asked by several people to jump into the 2015 female Pride Marshal race and declined it for that very reason.   Why waste my precious time and energy in pursuit of that when it's obvious some people in the Houston LGBT community have a problem with folks who look like me?

And when you have a Pride Marshal selection process that calls for election by peeps in the Houston area, that bias will always impact a city wide elective race.  

And that's before I even bring up my loud and proud trans self into the mix.

This Houston LGBT community unfortunately still has a race problem that needs to be expeditiously fixed, and progress has been made toward doing that.  

However, last night's Pride event didn't help an organization that has a board perceived to be out of touch, insular, and tone deaf to the Houston LGBT community of color, and one in which just five months ago we in Black TBLG Houston and our allies had to raise hell just to get them to move the pride parade back to its traditional last weekend in June date from the Juneteenth date they cluelessly set it for.

Last night didn't help dispel that perception, and it's going to take a lot of deeds, and not words to shake that perception in Black Houston LGBT World, and with our allies.

Shut Up Fool Awards- Day Of Silence Edition

This isn't just another Shut Up Fool Awards Friday.   Today is the GLSEN Day of Silence, in which students across the nation vow to take a form of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools

The Day of Silence has grown since the first ever event at the University of Virginia in 1996 to
become the largest single student-led action towards creating safer schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. 

The Day of Silence is a student-led national event that brings attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools. Students from middle school to college take a vow of silence in an effort to encourage schools and classmates to address the problem of anti-LGBT behavior by illustrating the silencing effect of bullying and harassment on LGBT students and those perceived to be LGBT.

And with anti-LGBT bullying happening beyond the school setting in the societal and political arena, and eight trans kids having taken their lives this year, the timing is perfect to point out how it has a deleterious effect on people's lives.

Okay, so let segue to something I can't be silent about in terms of the off the charts idiocy, WTF moments, and outright hypocrisy in our world I just have to call people out on.

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

Honorable mention number one is a group award for the GOP idiots debating Civil War II.

Did you fools not learn from the ass whupping you took 150 years ago?

Honorable mention number two goes to Cheryl Rios, who made Texas conswervafools look bad once again by stating that women shouldn't be president because of 'different hormones' and that she would move to Canada if Hillary Clinton became president.

You promise?    I'll bet if Sarah 'Palin was the woman running, she'd have a different opinion about the capabilities of women leading this country,.

Let's remix Cheryl's comment: Republicans, and especially Republican women for unassailably logical reasons, shouldn't elected president or to ANY elective office because of their propensity for off the charts stupidity
Honorable mention number three is Ann Coulter, who said on FOX Noise she wants to bring back an old school white supremacist suppression tool in literacy tests.

Not no, but...

Honorable mention number four is Creflo Dollar, who in the wake of his failed campaign to get his christosheeple congregants to fork over $300 each so he could buy a new Gulfstream jet, opened his mouth to claim 90's kids watching Pokemon made them gay.

Really Creflo?   You're married to a woman named Taffi, and you wanna claim a cartoon character makes people gay?   Christokneegrow please! 

Honorable mention number five is Steven Anderson, who believes women should shut up in church.

Thou fool!  Taketh thine own advice and zippeth those lips.

Honorable mention number six is FOX Noise's Jeanine Pirro, who partied her lips to say that minority communities need to be trained to be more sensitive to the police.

When the po-po's stop killing and oppressing non white people and minority groups, then maybe we'll think about changing our attitudes toward them

This week's Shut Up Fool winner is Arkansas state Rep Justin Harris (R).  Despite having an adopted daughter go through being sexually assaulted by a man he handed her over to, is sponsoring
HB 1424, a bill that would change Arkansas’s current parental consent law to make it harder for underage rape victims to get abortions.

Arkansas state rep. Justin Harris, who handed his adopted daughters over to a man who raped one of them, still thinks he's entitled to pass legislation that could force teen girls to bear their rapist's child.
Right now, the law requires minors who want abortions to either get parental consent to do so or subject themselves to the humiliating, arbitrary judicial bypass process.

However, there is an exception for girls who have become pregnant through rape or incest. This new legislation would remove that exception.

Well, because some of y'all sat out the last election cycle, these are the types of zealots and fools you gave by default the power to write legislation over your lives.

Rep Justin Harris, shut up fool.

Marjorie Silva & Azucar Bakey Under Attack From Sore Loser Wingnuts Again

Marjorie Silva in Denver was just victorious in a recent loud and wrong racist human rights complaint in Colorado filed against her and her Azucar Bakery by right winger Bill Jack over a hate cake he wanted her to bake. 

Unfortunately she's going to have to defend herself again from another copycat filing by a second white male right wing troll who wouldn't know discrimination if it slapped him in the face multiple times, but does know how to oppress people.

Azucar-MarjorieRobert Mannarino filed his 'discrimination' complaint March 6 with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission claiming he is the 'victim' of 'religious discrimination'.

Ordering a wedding cake with hate speech on it is NOT discrimination.  Too bad your dumb azz wasn't paying attention when Jack lost his case.

He's also attacking her five star reviews by leaving nasty messages on the wedding sites, and that people use to find bakers for their special day.

I'd be laughing my azz off if it weren't so serious for Ms. Silva, or the fact that these racist trolls keep trying to attack this Latina bakery and ruin her business to prove a failed point. 

Business is booming since they attacked her, and let's ensure it stays that way.   After Ms. Silva wins again, hope she civilly sues Mannarino and Jack for damages.

I hope that peeps on our liberal-progressive side will continue to support Ms. Silva because she stood up for us as an ally, and we need to make sure we continue to stand and deliver for her as the wingers continue to demonstrate and do what they do best:

Oppress people that don't look like them.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

2015 Pride Houston Kickoff Event Tonight

Had to put them on blast a few times for other issues, but like everyone else in TBLG Houston I want to know the answer to one question:

Who will be the Pride Houston parade grand marshals for 2015?  

We'll find out the answer to that question later tonight at a Pride Houston kickoff event at Audi Central Houston.   The Grand Marshals will be announced at this FREE event that will start at 7:30 PM.  

Everyone's welcomed, but you have to be 21+ to consume adult beverages and need to show your photo ID.   Those who attend will also find out the schedule for all the 2015 Pride Houston events leading up to its first ever downtown parade on June 27.

Some of those Houston Pride Week® events that will be announced like Pride Superstar®, Dine with Pride, Rock the Runway, Salvation Pool Party, Wonderland Houston®, the Houston LGBT Pride Celebration® and more.

The Grand Marshals races this year had so many worthy candidates who all deserve to win and ride in the historic first parade.,

But unfortunately we'll only have one in each category voted on by those of us residing in the Houston area.

Audi Central Houston is located at 2120 Southwest Freeway inside the Loop at S. Shepherd, and tickets aren't needed for this first event of the upcoming pride season.

Unjust TX HB 2801 Bill Must Die

Yesterday the Texas Transkid Bounty Bill, HB 2801 was scheduled to receive a hearing in the State Affairs Committee.  

It was one of the bills I lobbied against Monday, and Jessica Farrar, my state rep is on state affairs.  They have already seen my smiling face in their ATX office, and will hear from me again soon.

Pena's other legislative travesty attacking transkids in HB 2802 and Debbie Does Discrimination Riddle's unjust bills criminalizing being trans in Texas (HB 1747 and HB1748) have also been assigned to State Affairs but as of this writing don't have a hearing date set.

But back to the more important ones criminalizing and putting a bounty on trans kids in HB 2801

We are already facing the unacceptable situation of 85% of Texas trans* students being harassed in schools.   46% of Texas transgender students have experienced physical assault.  9% have experienced sexual assault.   11% of Texas trans students drop out because of these issues.

And Rep. Gilbert Pena (R-Pasadena) has proposed two bills that don't solve these problems, but exacerbate them? 

This unjust HB 2801 bill is also in violation of Title IX, the federal law that prohibits discrimination based on sex in schools, and transpeople are covered in Title IX. 

This unjust bill will also cost cash-strapped Texas school districts thousands of dollars.

Rep  Pena came before the committee yesterday in a hearing room packed with transpeople, parents of trans kids and other supporters and asked the State Affairs Committee not to hear it yesterday because he is rewriting the bill. 

The State Affairs committee hearing on HB 2801 has been until next week, so that gives us time to build the pressure to kill it.  We do have allies on that committee who don't like those unjust bills either.  

So it's time to do something to help our trans kids.  If you want to help them, pick up your smartphone and call the members of the State Affairs Committee and let them know you oppose this bill.   If you are a constituent of these state affairs committee members, even better because you have heightened clout and influence in this situation.   Same goes if you are a mother, mother of a trans child, teacher, or school administrator..

These bills attacking our trans kids in a school setting and offering bounties targeting them are not only unjust, but do nothing to help Texas create a climate conducive to learning.   Texas teachers and school administrators should not be put in the position of policing gender identity.

Transphobia Rep Pena, is not good for business.   Those unjust bills will have a deleterious effect on attracting corporations and talented people to the Lone Star State.    

Don't need trans hate in the Lone Star State!

The Lege and Rep. Pena need to expeditiously find out what happens when you mess with Texas transkids.  Call, write and e-mail them.

And yes HB 2801 needs to die.

"Active, Intentional Dialogue"

There is still palpable anger and feelings of betrayal in Trans World over NCLR and the Task Force withdrawing their  support from an Equality Michigan sponsored petition that has the goal of ending the trans feminine exclusion for those trans women who desire to go to the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival.

The intent is to engage in 'active, intentional, dialogue with a long time foe of the trans community in the hopes she will reverse their longtime ban on trans women entering The Land'.

Active, intentional dialogue with someone like Lisa Vogel who doesn't even trcognize the humanity of trans women?   Yeah, right.  I have some waterfront property I'd like to sell you along I-10 in the Atchafalaya Swamp.

Toni D'orsay  has written a post at her Dyssonance blog commenting on the controversy:

There are folks who know Kate and Rea better than I do.  By far. One thing I do know is that both of them have a common history that is very much a commonality among many lesbian leaders of established organizations.  In something that goes back as far as the involvement of lesbians with the work for women that Eleanor Roosevelt did, there is a strong and persistent line of what we think of today as radical feminism that informs them and their outlook on the world.

I am not a lesbian, I am bisexual, and I share much of that — it is part of the time and place and the world we grew up in.

Like most, though, they backed away from the uglier parts of it as trans people moved forward and they knew the lies they were being told were lies.

But they also understand that mindset — far better than most of my peers do.  Not all — and believe me, I am not saying they are part of the TERF movement, they are merely people who understand it.  They are, after all, cis women, and one of the most potent attacks that the TERFs have been using is the whole basis behind the argument about trans women and cis women being lovers and the problems around that.

Because they incorporate an element of “lesbian hate” into their arguments. One that ignores the fact that said hate is coming from other lesbians, but that’s because they refuse to see them as women, and therefore not lesbians.

Exciting, isn’t it?

Here's the link to the rest of the Dyssonance post entitled ''Active Intentional Dialogue': Michfest, NCLR and the Task Force  that definitely needs to be signal boosted.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

It's Jackie Robinson Day!

Today is not just the federal tax deadline day, it's the 1947 day in which Jackie Robinson broke the baseball color line with his major league debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Robinson stepped onto the diamond at Ebbets Field to become the first African-American major leaguer in the modern era and go on to a have a challenging but successful season in which he was named the National League Rookie Of The Year.

MLB will honor this day by having all its players wear Robinson's number 42, which was retired for all major league clubs in 2007.

And in honor of this day, I'm putting up the YouTube video of the Count Basie Orchestra singing the 1949 classic "Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball?'

Another Landmark Trans EEOC Ruling

Just in time for our next lobby day in Texas (which be a Trans* one on April 27) comes this wonderful news about a case that could potentially put an end to the GOP rush to demonize trans people with bathroom bills.

The U S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruled on April 1 in a recent case brought by trans woman Tamara Lusardi that denying transgender people access to restrooms or respecting name changes violates federal sex discrimination law.

The EEOC ruling also confirms the October 2014 ruling by the Office of Special Council that the Army had discriminated against Ms Lusardi. 

The Army also has to pay the trans lady an unspecified amount in damages and provide discrimination training in the office where Lusardi works..

Lusardi is a civilian Army employee in Huntsville, AL and filed the case after she began her transition in 2010.   She was forced to use a single stall restroom and denied use of the women’s restroom.   Lusardi also stated that a team leader persistently referred to her using male pronouns and made other hostile transphobic remarks.

This EEOC ruling in the Lusardi case expands upon its previous findings in Macy v Holder that Title VII sex discrimination protections include transgender people.  It also sends a clear message that denying trans employees access to the correct gender presentation matching restroom is discrimination.

The reason I'm surmising this would potentially put an end to the conservafool attempts to demonize trans people by using bathroom bills is twofold. 

The Department of Justice has recently begun interpreting Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to be inclusive of trans people for sex discrimination    It was the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that ended racially segregated bathrooms, and it could also be interpreted to mean that these laws that GOP legislators are rushing to try to enact will be a waste of time because they will overruled and eventually found unconstitutional.

At any rate, this is a huge win with the potential to have ripple effect beyond just Lusardi's case. ,

"From the start, this has been about getting a fair shake to work hard at a job I love," said Lusardi in a statement. "This decision makes it clear that, like everybody else in the workplace, transgender people should be judged by the quality of the work we do, not who we are."

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Moni's Excellent Texas Freedom Advocacy Lobby Day

Equality TexasYesterday I got up at the crack of dawn to make the two hour ride from Houston to our state capitol to join other TBLG Texans in opposing the GOP controlled legislature's attempts to legislate anti-BTLG hatred in the Lone Star State.

After scooping me up at Casa de Monica, TS Williams, Lou Weaver and I made that journey to our state capital and joined over two hundred people from across Texas, student leaders from the Texas Freedom Network, LGBT advocates from Equality Texas,  HRC supporters and volunteers and other concerned Texans for Freedom Advocacy Day in Austin.

While there have been over 20 anti-GLBT bills filed by Teapublican legislators in this 2015 Texas Legislative session, on the plus side there are also 12 pro-TBLG bills that deserved our support.

After TS, Lou and I arrived at the Capitol Visitors Parking garage, we walked across the south capitol grounds , we headed to the First Methodist Church for a training session and our group assignments.   Because I've been coming to Austin since 1999 to do lobbying trips, and was just in the city last month to hit some offices, I was given the responsibility by Cavan O Raghallaigh to lead a lobby team.

Rep Ron ReynoldsAfter the training by Daniel Williams of Equality Texas, some role playing and lunch, we headed to a noon rally on the north steps of the capitol in which openly gay Rep. Mary Gonzales (D-Clint) and Rep. Ron Reynolds (D-Missouri City) spoke before we headed off to hit our assigned offices.

“When we humanize policy, we create good policy,” Rep. Gonzalez said during the rally. “When we disconnect it from people’s lives, we negatively impact people’s lives. … I know sometimes they are extremely personal, but today is a day to be brave, to share, to not let people not recognize the negative consequences of these laws.”

Before I could do that, a problem developed with my team.  One member couldn't come to Austin, another local member had a meeting she had to attend, and another person who was part of a social justice org got immediately called back to her office.   My team had dwindled down to just me until Heather Ross joined me off the other trans centric team.

Heather and I were tasked with hitting the Pink Dome offices of Sen. Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) , Sen. Sylvia Garcia (D-Houston), Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston)  Rep. Dawnna Dukes (D-Austin), Rep. Rene Oliveira (D-Brownsville) and Rep. Sylvester Turner (D-Houston) to talk about Rep Gilbert Pena's unjust HB 2801, the 'Trans Kids Bounty Bill' that is getting a hearing tomorrow.

All of these reps and senators have seniority, are longtime supporters of the TBLG community, but need varying levels of education on trans issues along with their staffs.  I was a constituent of Sen. Ellis and Rep Coleman until I moved in November.   So I had more than a few personal cards to play as Heather and I walked into these offices.

After clearing security on the east side of the capitol building, we started with Sen. Ellis' office, and Heather and I had a pleasant conversation with his LA Liliane Bedford as we pointed out the problems with HB 2801 and got out initial visit out of the way as we got a feel for each others lobbying styles

Sen. Garcia's office was a few short steps away down the hall, and as we talked in the hallway with Sam Robles, Sen Ellis stopped literally feet away from us talking to another citizen lobbyist..  

Arrgh.  Opportunity lost to talk to him directly.  

But what the lobbying fates take away, they giveth as well.   A few minutes later Sen. Garcia walked up, and I took that moment as Heather continued chatting with Sam to thank the senator for standing up for our human rights this session.

After finishing up with Ms. Robles, it was time to see Rep. Coleman.   But where Sen Ellis and Sen Garcia's offices are in the Capitol building is in what is called 'The Secret Hallway' because you have to cross the senate gallery to get to it from the rest of the capitol

Once we remembered that point from our training, we crossed the Senate gallery and headed to Rep. Coleman''s office

A few minutes into our ,pleasant visit sitting on the patio with a beautiful view of the north capitol grounds and parts of the nearby University of Texas campus, Rep. Coleman walked into the office. I thanked him for continuing to push for the streamlined name and gender change bill, and told him the story of how it took me nine months to get my TDL with the help of his Houston office.   He also made it clear that he didn't want what happened in Indiana repeated in Texas.

Heather and I then headed to Rep. Oliveira's office, and continued to point out to his LA's how this bill was problematic not only to trans schoolkids, but would also impact  ISD's, teachers and administrators before we headed to Rep Dawnna Dukes office.

Because Heather was from Austin, I thought it was better for her to lead on this one.  If any issues came up that were Austin-centric, she'd be better able to answer them than I would be, and we had another pleasant chat with Na'Asiaha Simon.   

Her boss is on the powerful Appropriations Committee and the fiscal argument resonated with her.  Rep. Dukes is also on the State Affairs Committee that the unjust HB 2801 will get a hearing in.

Our final visit happened in Rep Sylvester Turner's office, and Heather and I both had a wonderful time talking to Erica Smiley and Emma Oliver.    They relayed to us that Rep. Turner was concerned about the unjust bills.

Heather and I completed our mission at 3:30 PM, and ran into my ride back to Houston in Brandon Mack and Ashton Woods near the Capitol Rotunda.   After having lunch at a wonderful Cajun place on Rosewood St in East Austin, we headed to the legendary Scholtz Garten to connect with the rest of our fellow lobbyists to hear how their day went and let some of Austin's infamous rush hour traffic on I-35 die down before we headed back to Houston.

Got a feeling I may have to make one more trip to Austin before this session ends. 

I Am A Trans Texan

The current political modus oprandi of the Texas GOP to exhibit 'Proven Conservative Leadership' is to attack the humanity of trans Texans.

While I expected it and have for years, it still pissed me off as a proud native Houstonian and native three generational Texan.

I am not happy about this current unjust effort by white conservafools either here in my hometown or while doing their part time legislative gig in Austin to legislate demonization of trans people, and I will fight it with every millimeter of my being to ensure they don't become law.

Yeah, my human rights are so important to me I took the entire day to travel to Austin to talk to legislators to tell them why they must oppose these unjust Texas anti-trans bills probably crafted by ALEC.

They can attempt to ignore the reality of our lives all they wish, but the bottom line is that trans people are an undeniable part of the diverse mosaic of human life, and many of them like myself proudly live in Texas.

I am the heir of a proud legacy of struggle, trailblazing accomplishments and resistance that I have the responsibility of shepherding to the next generation of trans Texans behind me.

I have the responsibility because of the set of talents and blessings that I have been given, to use them to uplift my trans brothers and trans sisters, and work intersectionally with all the communities I come in contact with to make trans human rights a reality.

And the fact that I am trans does not diminish the fact that I am a proud trans Houstonian and proud trans Texan.   I love every millimeter of the 698,200 sq kilometers (268,820 sq miles) of Texas soil and my beloved hometown, and how dare you conservafools attempt to criminalize my and my trans brothers and trans sisters existence in order to score cheap political points.

What's even more reprehensible is you are not only attacking children, but you are doing so on a lie.

And no, Black peeps, I'm not letting y'all of the hook because some of you along with a cadre of sellout ministers have been aiding and abetting this effort to demonize trans people. 

If you haven't gotten the message by now, some trans people are Black, and I'm one of them.  I didn't give up my Black Card when I transitioned, and my unapologetically Black self doesn't give a rats anus about what you think about me being trans or not.  

Where I draw the line is when your failure to pay attention to medical science tied to a specious interpretation of scripture leads you to ignore the unassailable evidence that trans people exist and irrational fear and hatred of us.

That irrational hatred and fear of trans people in Black community ranks leads to black trans Texans being discriminated against, assaulted, or killed as Ty Underwood tragically was/.

I'm a Black trans Texan, and I'm proud of it.   You will not sell me and other Black trans Texans out so you can curry favor with white conservafools that hate the entire Black community, and I will call your ass out when you attempt to do so.  Black trans people are part of the kente cloth fabric of our community, and it's past time you got that message through your naturally curly haired heads..

I am a trans Texan, I exist and I am a registered voter.  And I will not be ignored or have my humanity disrespected inside or outside of the SGL community because of your failure to recognize my humanity.

Mika Mashes Fiorina Misinformation

The Right Wing Noise Machine is on full blast after former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton declared she is a candidate for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.  

They have deployed the GOP women pundits to attack Hillary, and some have as usual gone to ridiculous lengths to do so.

One such attack on Clinton came from Carly Fiorina, the failed HP executive that for some reason is tapped for her business experience by Republican candidates.

Watch Mika Brezinski do her job and masterfully point out to Fiorina that she was throwing her partisan shade at Clinton while living in a glass house.

Roll that beautiful YouTube video.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Sunday Houston Trans* Political Forum Conversation

2015 is a city election year for Houston, and in addition to the increasingly crowded field we'll have to select our next mayor, we'll also have some contested at large city council seats and the controllers race on our November 4 ballot.

One thing we don't want on it is a HERO repeal, but that's up to the judge handling the case.

Yesterday at the home of Nikki Araguz Loyd the first of several Trans Political Forum conversations took place.

The idea behind it is to have politicians talk to the trans community about issues of importance to trans Houstonians.

The inaugural conversation was with Jenifer Rene Pool, who is making her third run for council in the At Large Position 1 race.

In this two hour event she fielded questions from trans Houstonians, the TransGriot and our allies about issues ranging from education to streamlining our city government permit process to expanding rail to both airports.

And yes, HERO and the discredited bathroom meme was also discussed.

Pool also discussed the importance of the trans community getting mobilized, engaged and replicating that enthusiasm and energy we put into Annise Parker's first at large city council run in 1997.

Personally, I'd love to see the Houston trans community elect one of our own to sit in one of those nice leather chairs in City Hall, but that isn't up to me.

The voters of the city of Houston will have that final say in who sits in that At Large Position 1 seat, and if the Houston trans community wants th person taking the oath of office next January in the Wortham Center to be Jenifer, then we;ll have to bust our butt to make it happen, and show up to vote for her on November 4.

Nikki Araguz Loyd who hosted the event, stated to me that there will be more of these conversations with various candidates during the 2015 election cycle, and they are in discussions with at least two to replicate this informative enjoyable conversation.

Looking forward to finding out who that next candiate for Houston public office will be.

Back To Austin To Lobby

The Texas Legislative session is still going on for another several weeks, and we still have 20 unjust anti-trans and anti-SGL bills that have been filed that have yet to get a hearing.

The last time I'd been to Austin to lobby was 2001.   This will make my second trip to our state capitol this year because of my deep concern for those anti-trans bills filed by Reps. 'Debbie Does Discrimination' Riddle and Gilbert Pena.

I'm headed up to the ATX to participate in the Equality Texas organized Freedom Advocacy Day.   'Once again me and a few friends from Houston and elsewhere in our state are inside the Pink Dome to remind our state legislators that we are proud Texans who love this state, and passing unjust laws that attempt to legislate anti-TBLG  hatred will have dire consequences for this state's economy.

The 2016 Final Four and the 2017 Super Bowl are scheduled for Houston.   I'd like them to stay there and not get yanked because of GOP legislative stupidity.

I hope you're also listening to business people in your own conservative ranks that are basically saying the same thing we are in terms of this bills are not good for the business climate of the Lone Star State

Will let y'all know how things transpired on this latest day trip to Austin.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Where Does Hillary Stand On Trans Issues?

Former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton declared today she is a candidate for the 2016 Democratic nomination for president. 

While many people are justifiably excited on our side of the political spectrum that she has finally done so, she's seen as a prohibitive favorite to win the nomination, the general election and be inaugurated as the 46th and first female president of the United States, there is still a long way to go until that possibly happens.

Should we have that happen, and on January 20, 2017 we end up with a second President Clinton, one of the questions we are currently asking in Trans World is whether she would be as great a president on trans issues as President Obama currently is.

The question on whether she would be that trans friendly president combined with her early endorsement by an HRC we were royally pissed at in 2007 is why many of us in Trans World (myself included) not only supported then Senator Obama, we also took the unprecedented step of putting our money where our mouths were by setting up an ActBlue page.

That page raised over $10K for his ultimately successful capturing of the Democratic nomination in June 2008 and the presidency five months later, and as we'd hoped, President Obama did indeed become the most trans friendly POTUS ever.

Now there is no fracking way I'll be voting for a Teapublican in 2016.  I know this election is far too important.   Four SCOTUS seats may pop open during this next term. There are still vacant seats in the federal judiciary.   We have serious issues like income inequality and global warming amongst others to tackle. 

And with the GOP controlling both houses of Congress, we will need a Democratic POTUS standing by with her (or our eventual nominee) veto pen.

You ignore the trans community at your political peril, as we proved in 2008.   But I have to ask if a President Clinton will appoint a qualified trans person to either her cabinet or to positions in her administration?  Will she continue the trans inclusive policy direction that the Obama administration has set in motion?  

Will she push for a trans inclusive ENDA?   Will her attorney general interpret the 1964 Civil Rights Act as covering trans Americans and vigorously prosecute anti-trans discrimination?

Will she even say 'transgender' or acknowledge our existence during and after her we hope will be successful campaign?

She stated she wants to be a champion for everyday Americans/   Does that extend to trans* Americans?

These are questions that many of us in Trans World will need to have answered by her or her campaign before many trans skeptics will be 'Ready For Hillary'.


Trans* Political Forum Today

Speaking of events to check out, Moni chatting with Houston City Council candidates continues as I head to an event starting at 2 PM being hosted by Nikki Araguz Loyd.

It's the first of a series of candidate political forums in which the Houston trans community will get to talk to candidates about issues and concerns of importance to our community like housing , unemployment, HERO, and the latest attempt by Dave Wilson to enshrine anti-trans discrimination into our city charter.

To kick this series off, the first one will involve the only declared trans candidate running for public office in this 2015 city election cycle in Jenifer Rene Pool.

Jenifer is running for the city Council at large Position 1 seat against some formidable competition, and will be interesting to hear he take of local political developments.

Intersectional Houston Saturday

Yesterday, April 11 was a Saturday in which I woke up with two events on my mind, and ended up at three.  

My day started at the Montrose Center for the HPD-LGBT Community Dialogue that kicked off at 10 AM and was scheduled to run until 1 PM.   HPD Chief Charles McClellan and his command staff, along with LGBT Liaison EJ Joseph and several LGBT officers were in the house to discuss the spike in Montrose crime  which has sadly taken a life, along with John Gaspari, who was shot in a hate crime, and other concerned residents.

I suspect that spike is crime is related to the anti-LGBT rhetoric that was (and continues to be) uttered and broadcast post passage of HERO by our not so favorite christobigots, and as Ashton Woods pointed out during this meeting, the gentrification of Montrose which leads the folks with criminal intent to think that peeps in the gayborhood are walking ATM's.

After the first segment of it involving the chief and command staff was conducted with news cameras rolling, the second segment happened with Officer Joseph and four LGBT HPD officers..  That lasted until 12 noon before it concluded with Q&A and moi being teased by Officer Joesph about my lack of quality time with her due to my recent trips to DC twice, Philadelphia and Chicago for TBLG community events.

After talking to a Houston Chronicle reporter, other African-American HPD officers and laying the groundwork for future projects and collaborations, I got snatched up by Brandon Mack and Ashton Woods to join them in a hilarious at times car ride through intermittent rain and showers to the Acres Homes area and Sylvester Turner Park for state Rep. and current Houston mayoral candidate Sylvester Turner's 8th Annual Family Fun Day.

Hey, y'all thought I was kidding about my wicked sense of humor.  But back to the post.

There was free food, water and juice along with music ranging from R&B classics to hip hop and a live zydeco band as I got to talk to several candidates for Houston elective offices like Dwight Jefferson, Laurie Robinson and see HISD school board trustee Rhonda Skillern-Jones.

I had an interesting conversation with Ms. Robinson, who is running in the Houston City Council at Large Position 4 race. in which we discussed HERO (she supports it) , my trans activist life, and life on the campaign trail as a city council candidate.

After hanging out there for two hours and grabbing a smoked turkey leg, it was time to get ready for my first HRC Houston Gala at the Westin Galleria.

35 years ago I was on the other end of the Galleria at the now Westin Oaks Hotel for my high school prom, and now I was attending for the first time at the invitation of Ian Barrett to what is referred to in Houston LGBT circles as 'Gay Prom.'

After arriving around 5:30 PM for the 18th annual edition of it, it was a succession of running into old friends, meeting new ones, seeing political leaders like HISD Board President Anna Eastman, Councilmembers Robert Gallegos and Mike Laster and killing time until we were able to sit down at our tables for the gala.

Yeah yeah, I know I'm one of HRC's longtime national critics.  But I was invited to the gala by a Houston based African-American national board member, and curiosity about what happens during one of these events drove me to accept the invitation and have an open mind about the experience.

And yeah, I got to do so while seated with Brandon, Ashton, and Synthia Walton.

The big surprise of the night for me was when HRC President Chad Griffin during his speech gave me a shout out in it.  That ended my anonymity at that event because after that I was approached my dozens of people thanking me for my longtime service to the community.

I'd like one of them to thank me with a public policy job in Austin, Houston or Washington DC, but that's another post.

I was successful in getting my fangirl moment in during one of the breaks.  I finally got to meet my slam dunking Houston homegirl Brittney Griner, who you longtime readers know I have mad love for.   Brittney joked during this photo it was nice for once to not be the tallest woman in the room.

So when I returned to Casa de Monica, I had a new collection of business cards to add to my collection, more opportunities for community building, and a bunch of pleasant memories to what turned out to be a doubleplusgood  day for yours truly practicing what I preach about intersectionality.

NFL Hires First Ever Female Referee

The 2015 NFL officials pool will have a groundbreaking member added to it in Sarah Thomas, who was recently hired as the NFL's first ever full time female official

The 41 year old Thomas is a mother of three and pharmaceutical sales rep when she's not on the gridiron, and growing up played softball and basketball.   She began her officiating career at the high school level in Mississippi and by 1996 was officiating at the Division I-A level in the state.

At that  time, the NFL wasn't the goal, but by 2007 Thomas was working games at the collegiate level in Conference USA.   In 2009 she became the first woman to officiate a college bowl game, the Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl, and has worked the Senior Bowl, the Fight Hunger Bowl, and the Medal of Honor Bowl in addition to the C-USA Championship Games in 2010 and 2014.

She also worked two seasons as an official in the defunct United Football League.

In 2011 she became the first woman to officiate a game in a Big Ten stadium when Rice played Northwestern,, and was in the NFL's officiating development program in 2013-14 working NFL preseason games, minicamps, and training camps.

"My goal has always been to be the best line judge I can be any time I get the opportunity,"said Thomas at a Wednesday press conference. "I feel honored and blessed to be in the National Football League now."

Thomas won't be the first woman to work an NFL regular season game.  That honor went to Shannon Eastin, who was called up during the 2012 NFL officials lockout and worked preseason and regular season NFL games until the lockout ended.

While Thomas is downplaying her role in sports history, it's still a big deal to a league which is decades behind the NBA, Major League Baseball and FIFA when it comes to having female officials calling their games.