Monday, August 03, 2015

Happy Birthday Eden Lane!

Couldn't let today pass without giving a TransGriot birthday shout out to my trailblazing Denver based television producing sis in Eden Lane.

I say trailblazing because she is the first out trans reporter and journalist to cover a national political convention.  She covered the 2008 Democratic National Convention for PBS when it came to Denver.

She has also produced the show In Focus with Eden Lane for the last seven years on Colorado Public Television, and is seeking to raise $15,000 to produce another season of the weekly show that focuses on the local arts scene in Denver and the state of Colorado as she works on other media projects..

And if her name seems familiar to you, you have probably seen Eden's insightful commentary pop up recently on CNN and other television shows. 

Lane was also recently voted by readers of the local Westworld  newspaper as the 'Best Non-Network Television Personality', and I definitely hope she gets the birthday present of a major network or local station in the Denver area giving her an on-air job.

Happy birthday Eden!  May your special day find you enveloped in love, be a stress free one, and you receive the ultimate gift of celebrating many more of them.

And so looking forward to the next time we get to spend some quality time together.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Registration Now Open For BTAC 2016!

Dee Dee Watters and I zooming past our old hotel on the DART  light rail (and I'm not kidding about the zooming part) on our way to and from Richardson and the just concluded TTNS reminded me that the clock is ticking toward the next time the BTAC family gathers in the Dallas Ft.Worth area for the 2016 Black Trans Advocacy Conference.

The theme for 2016 is 'Thinking and Speaking A Better World' and the dates are April 25-May 1 for this fifth annual edition of it.   The BTAC will have a new hotel hosting it.the Dallas/Addison Marriott Quorum by the Galleria.   Personally I'm gonna miss the Doubletree Campbell Center, especially since it was on the DART Red and Orange light rail lines, had great views of the downtown Dallas skyline and was an easy trip from the downtown Dallas Megabus dropoff point for me, but sometimes change is necessary for your event to evolve and be positioned for greater success and growth.

Wow, it has been five years for this growing event in which I have been a part of since 2013 when I was asked to be a keynote speaker that year. 

Since it happens so close to Cuatro De Mayo (my birthday) and it's just a four hour drive or Megabus ride up I-45 from me, it has quickly become one of my fave conferences. 

It's also one of the few national conferences in which you get to meet many of our Black trans masculine and trans feminine leaders.  We were also honored to have some trans folks from Brazil, Panama and other places in the African diaspora in the house in 2015, and hope that trend line continues.

And trans women, did I mention all the handsome trans men that will be in the house?  Okay, just wanted to make sure I pointed that out.

I'm not only planning on being there but hopefully taking a more active role in BTAC 2016.  I plan on doing two seminars in 2016 and looking forward to administering more dominoes beatdowns at Family Fun Day  

You have been warned. 

And yes, it goes without saying that cis and trans community allies are also enthusiastically welcomed to attend BTAC 2016.  If you wish to have further information about BTAC 2016, you can click on the following link to do so.

Hope i do see y'all in the BTAC 2016 house.

See y'all in Dallas in a few months for BTAC 2016.  Looking forward to checking out the new hotel, seeing my.BTAC family and meeting more allies during that extended birthday celebration weekend for me.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

2015 TTNS UT-Dallas -Day 2

Day 2 of the 7th annual Texas Transgender Nondiscrimination Summit kicks off on the UT-Dallas campus with a block of concurrent sessions before we move into the keynote speech by Dr. Heather Snow.

And yeah, I get to stop playing reporter for a moment and do a session later this afternoon starting at 1:05 PM on 'Contemporary Texas Transgender History'

Congratulations DFW area!   You stepped up and broke the all time attendance record with 70 attendees for yesterday`s session.

You folks at Texas A&M Central Texas in Killeen will have some work to do to beat that for #TTNS16

So if you're in the Dallas-Ft Worth metroplex, looking to get your learn on about what you can do to advance trans human rights in Texas school districts, colleges and universities and meet a bunch of cool people from around the state while doing so, you may wish to swing by the UT Dallas campus in Richardson.

The UT Dallas campus address is 800 W. Campbell Rd. and hope to see you there in the UTD Student Union building .

Friday, July 31, 2015

Shut Up Fool Awards-Chillin' At TTNS 2015 Edition

UT Dallas Logo - Color
I'm in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for the seventh edition of the Texas Transgender Nondiscrimination Summit that is taking place as you read this at on the UT-Dallas campus.

We are at lunch right now,  and we have heard our TTNS Day 1 keynote speaker Dr. Stephen Sutton give an interesting and well received speech to the people in attendance as I think about my seminar tomorrow.

But today is Friday, so it`s time to get to our normal weekly business and call out the fool, fools or groups of fools for our illustrious award

Not going to tease you this week with a long list of fools that were in contention for this week's award, I'm going to get down to SUF 'bidness' and let you know who won it.

This week`s Shut Up  Fool Award winner is Mike Huckabee.

Whether he was violating Godwin`s Law by invoking concentration camp imagery in his critique of President Obama and the Iran nuke deal to saying something else offensive about the trans community being able to serve in our country's military, and tripling down on it while continuing to defend pedophile Josh Duggar.

And on that note, Huckabee can have several seats and a heartfelt Shut Up Fool from moi.

2015 TTNS UT-Dallas - Day 1

UT Dallas Logo - Color
The 7th annual Texas Transgender Nondiscrimination Summit gets cranked up on the UT-Dallas campus this it continues its ongoing mission of working to enact  transgender friendly non discrimination policies and procedures in Texas school districts, colleges and universities.

And hey DFW, let's see if y'all can break the all time TTNS attendance record that was set last year when Texas State University in San Marcos, TC hosted it.

The fun gets started with an opening breakfast, the TTNS opening ceremonies, and a keynote speech by Dr. Stephen Sutton before we dive into the Day 1 sessions.  

In case you're wondering, yes, I will be teaching a seminar, but it happens tomorrow.   Today I'm in reporter mode.

This is the second consecutive year the TTNS has ventured from its home base territory in the Houston area, and the first time it has been in the Dallas-Ft Worth Metroplex. 

Would love to see you at the UT Dallas Student Union building, and the campus is located in Richardson, TX at 800 W. Campbell Rd.  

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Moni's Arrived In Dallas!

Well, actually I'm in the Dallas suburb of Richardson, TX.   I'm chillin' at the hotel and getting ready for the 7th edition of the Texas Transgender Non Discrimination Summit that will be held on the UT-Dallas campus starting tomorrow.

This year's sponsors in addition to UT-Dallas are Rainbow Guard UTD, UTD Pride, and the Gallerstein Women's Center.

This is the second straight year the TTNS has hit the road and began to do what founder Josephine Tiittsworth and the board envisioned for it when it started back in 2009.   It not only is helping to push for trans inclusive non discrimination policies on Texas college and university campuses and school districts, it is also being held in different parts of the state as it does so.

It';s been fun to witness the growth of the TTNS since I became aware of it in 2010, and I'm not only eager to teach my own seminar on Saturday, I'm looking forward to seeing if the Dallas-Ft Worth metroplex can break the all time TTNS attendance record set just last year when Texas State hosted it. 

And did I get my Slurpee on the way to the hotel?    What do you think?

TransGriot Update: I not only got my Slurpee at the DART St. Paul Station 7-Eleven, I qualified for a free one during that visit to the DFW`area. There were two walking distance 7-Elevens in walking distance on either side of my hotel in Richardson, and my app got a workout.

Arizona Cardinals Hire First Ever NFL Female Coaching Staff Member

When the Arizona Cardinals gather at University of Phoenix Stadium for their first training camp practice on August 1, there will be a woman standing on the sidelines watching practice, and she won't be holding a mike, be a player or coach's wife or a cheerleader.

The Arizona Cardinals have hired 37 year old Dr. Jen Welter for their training camp as a linebacker coaching intern  

Welter played 14 years professionally as a linebacker and running back, and one year against the boys in the the Champions Indoor Football League for the Dallas based Texas Revolution as a running back and special teams player before moving to coaching.

Welter has some impressive credentials besides actually playing football.   She is a Boston College grad with a master's degree in sports psychology and a doctorate in psychology.

So yeah, are the NFL boys ready for her?  If she can make them better players, they don't care.   And if the Cardinals like what they see, this training camp hire could turn into a full season gig for her.

Coaching is nothing more than teaching,” cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians said Monday. “One thing I have learned from players is, ‘How are you going to make me better? If you can make me better, I don’t care if you’re the Green Hornet, man, I’ll listen.’ I really believe she’ll have a great opportunity with this internship through training camp to open some doors for

At any rate, she's not only making history, but potentially opening doors for herself and other women who wish to have coaching careers in the NFL.

Mon's Getting On The Bus Again-For The TTNS

The last trip I took was to Dallas for the 2015 Black Trans Advocacy Conference ( BTW, the 2016 BTAC will happen April 25- May 3, so start making your plans now to be there) and it was via Megabus.

Since I returned from Dallas, haven't been traveling as much because I had to sort out housing issues that caused me to decide not to go to this year's Philly Trans Health Conference and Netroots Nation in Phoenix.

The Texas Transgender nondiscrimination Summit  is a trip I've had on my schedule for a while, and haven't missed since I moved back home from Louisville in 2010.  As a matter of fact, the first local event I attended mere weeks after returning home was the TTNS that was hosted by Rice University.

So once again I'm getting on the Megabus in a few hours and heading up I-45 to Dallas, but this time for the 7th annual edition of Texas Transgender Nondiscrimination Summit.

This year it's not only on the road for the second straight year, it's going to take place starting tomorrow for the first time ever in the Dallas-Ft Worth area.   The TTNS will on the UT-Dallas campus in Richardson, TX. in their Student Union building and I'm looking forward to it.

The UT-Dallas campus address is 800 W. Campbell Rd. in Richardson, TX

UT Dallas Logo - Color
What I'm not looking forward to is getting up at the crack of dawn to head downtown for this early morning Megabus departure.   However, getting up that early means I'll be up and out of town before that Houston heat gets cranked up, and it's predicted to be 101 degrees F today.

I'll also have time on that 4 hour ride up I-45 to figure out who gets tomorrow's Shut Up Fool Award.

The other benefit is I'll get there before noon.   When I arrive in Dallas and get to the St Paul DART station a 7 Eleven will be there in which I will eagerly get reacquainted with my fave frozen beverage.

And naw, it's not a margarita, although I'm not gonna lie, it's a close second.

but back to talking about the first ever TTNS in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex.  Looking forward to seeing all my friends in the DFW area, and for those of you in the Dallas-Ft Worth area or nearby, we'd love to have you join us.for the 7th annual TTNS starting Friday morning.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Councilman Boykins, LGBT People Of Color Exist

Because I had pressing business to take care of, I was reluctantly forced to miss yesterday's Houston City Council public session in which HERO was the major topic of discussion.

And after hearing about how some of the public comment hearing transpired, wish I was in the room to counter some of the faux faith based conservamadness I was told about by people who attended it.

I was told by people who attended the meeting that District D Councilmember Dwight Boykins, the only African-American councilmember who voted against HERO last year, parted his lips to make the outrageously logic defying statement that :during all this Black Lives Matter situation , the LGBT community wasn't there.'.

Oh really?  I have a news flash for you.  Black Lives Matter was founded by Black lesbian women Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi.  LGBT people have been involved in Black Lives Matter from the beginning.  

And yeah, the LGBT community also includes LGBT people of color, and I'm not happy about this attempt to once again erase TBLG people of color from our respective ethnic groups and paint the LGBT community as monoracial..   

What the hell do you think my unapologetically Black trans behind and Dee`Dee`Watters are?  even when some of our people don't love us, we're standing up for the entire community to make Houston better.   And neither do I nor she appreciates our names being called by you in vain when your butt is getting chewed on for those idiotic remarks, your negative HERO vote last year and your problematic pattern of palling around with Black anti-LGBT sellout ministers

And may i remind you once again Councilmember Boykins, District D also has LGBT people, our allies, and our family members living in it who aren't happy about your anti-HERO vote.

The statement that 'LGBT people aren't part of a movement we founded is as offensive as it is a bald faced lie.  Your comment is also being interpreted in Houston LGBT communities of color as saying 'we don't exist'. 

But let me pivot and focus on the erasure part of this.  There are 2.3 million people in the Houston area.  It's estimated about 10-15% of the population are part of the BTLG community, and of those folks you'll find moi and other TBLG Houstonians of color..

#WeExist, and are part of the Houston communities of color we intersect and interact with.   We are tired of being erased by you and other straight cisgender people of color.   Many of us in LGBT World have taken part in various movements that impact our community including #BlackLivesMatter .

And you do recall yours truly was at HISD headquarters in 2013 and 2014 blasting them for attempting to shut down my HS alma mater Jesse H Jones?

But one of the reasons the Houston LGBT community is rising up to defend HERO is because our backs are against the human rights wall.  We still as LGBT Houstonians and American citizens don't have basic civil rights in Texas and federally, and now the Texas Republican Supreme Court has fracked with our local human rights ordinance that covers 15 categories, not just our community 

We're also angry when we see the city of Dallas, 262 miles up I-45 and San Antonio in 2013 to the west of us on I-10 pass laws similar to our HERO with a lot less drama that we're dealing with in Houston..   Dallas in November 2014 strengthened theirs.   These are cities that we compete with for convention business and sporting events like NCAA Final Fours and Super Bowls.

Are you aware that the trans woman who was discriminated against in 2012 by Saks, Leyth Jamal, was a Black trans girl like me?   That LGBT people of color are in various positions in our workforce?  And by you voting against HERO last year and hatin' on it now, you send a message that you don't respect our humanity, community or human rights?.

Many of us weren't in attendance at yesterday's hearing because we had to work during the 2 PM start time of this meeting, but thanks to the folks like Fran Watson, Melissa Vivanco, Ashton Woods, James Lee and the Organization Latina de Trans en Texas who were in the house and did speak in favor of keeping HERO.

Other TBLG people of color aren't showing up for movements in the community at large because they aren't out at work and don't want to be seen or outed on television.  They fear that they will be fired from their jobs if their status as members of the TBLG community is revealed, and no thanks to the partisan Texas Supreme Court we no longer have a local remedy to combat that discrimination.

And it's comments like yours that make LGBT people feel as if they aren't wanted or needed in movements built around the common issues we face as people of color.

The LGBT that don't show up also legitimately fear being victimized by anti-LGBT violence in their neighborhoods that your hate minister buddies have been stirring up for over a year with their anti-gay sermons.  

And after 11 trans women, 9 of them trans women of color have been murdered in the US this year including one Texas (so far) in that sad number, it's a legitimate concern.

Yes, Councilman Boykins, hate thoughts + hate speech = hate violence.   And it's even more odious when that debunked hate speech is coming from a pulpit with selective interpretations of scripture to try to justify it.  It's also disgusting to witness when it is an attempt to bamboozle the flock into voting against a human rights ordinance that protects their human rights at the behest of white conservative activists like Dave Welch,  Steve Hotze, Steve Riggle and Rick Scarborough who don't even live in the Houston city limits. .

When we went through those contentious HERO hearings last year, did you forget that many of the TBLG discrimination stories at those HERO hearings were being told by LGBT people of color?

So yeah, your comment just guaranteed that my 'invisible' behind will be making an appearance at City Hall next Tuesday, and I'll be accompanied by more LGBT Houstonians of color who according to your statement, aren't there.

I consider my human rights something important enough to show up and fight  for, and so will others who will be at City Hall debunking the lies of our opponents next Tuesday..

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

First Post-HERO Suspension Council Meeting Today

Should be a hot time in the Houston City Council chambers later this afternoon, and I'm not talking about the weather that will bring us our first 100 degree day of the summer.

The Houston City Council has a 2 PM session on Tuesdays for public comment on whatever issue you wish to bring to their attention.   And with the suspension of the HERO happening no thanks to the Texas (Republican) Supreme Court, this first public comment session since the unjust ruling will probably be a lot more contentious than usual.

People in LGBT Houston are highly pissed off about what happened to a human rights ordinance we fought tooth and nail last year to get passed, have been mobilizing for action in defense of it, and will be there to let their voices be heard.  

And I don't doubt the out of town faux faith based opposition and their kneegrow useful fools will also be in attendance urging City Council to kill HERO.

And unfortunately due to some other pressing matters, i won't be at City Council for the fun, but will be there in spirit and catching the replay of the session on cable TV later.

To all the peeps signed up to speak in defense of our human rights law, give the haters hell for me and I'll see y'all at the next Tuesday session.

Happy Milestone Birthday Cecilia!

Today is the milestone 50th birthday of San Francisco based trans advocate and pioneer Cecilia Chung!

Before I had the pleasure of spending some quality time with this smart and beautiful lady from Hong Kong with a wicked sense of humor and getting to know her, I'd been a long time admirer of her and her trailblazing advocacy work on behalf of our community.

In addition to being a senior strategist at the Transgender Law Center, serving on the President's Council on HIV and AIDS, and being the first openly trans person and person living with HIV on the San Francisco Human Rights Commission of which she served as its chair.   She was one of the founders of San Francisco's Trans March and works tirelessly n the local, national and international levels to improve access to medical treatment for transgender people and people living with HIV, and to erase stigma and discrimination through education, policy, advocacy, and visibility

Happy milestone birthday Cecilia!  looking forward to the next time that we get to spend some quality time together and hope your birthday is as fabulous as you are!.