Saturday, August 23, 2014

Houston Dash End Tough Inaugural Season

We Houston women's soccer fans were thrilled to discover a few months ago that we'd been able thanks to the Houston Dynamo to get an expansion franchise in the National Women's Soccer League that is supported by the United States, Canadian and Mexican soccer federations.

The Houston Dash on Wednesday ended that inaugural NWSL campaign with a 1-0 road loss in New Jersey to Sky Blue FC.

Houston DashThe Houston Dash were born in a frenetic dash (pun intended) of offseason activity starting in December 2013 when they became the first ever NWSL expansion club and the second owned and operated by an MLS parent club.   Retired Dynamo star Brian Ching was named as the club's managing director as he and team president Chis Canetti set about the task of building a club in the Houston Dynamo mold of being a scrappy, team oriented unit that could compete for a top four NWSL playoff spot immediately.

Randy Waldron was hired as the team's head coach January 3 and the Dash selected Kealia Ohai with the first pick in the NWSL draft as they built their inaugural team. 

When they took it to the defending league champion Portland Thorns in a 1-0 loss in their inaugural game at BBVA Compass Stadium in front of 8,097 people April 12 and had a tying goal in stoppage time disallowed, it looked like the Dash were on the right track to actually meeting that lofty goal of competing for a playoff spot in their inaugural season.    

But season ending injuries to Lauren Sesselmann, Aya Sameshima and Brittany Bock.the 0-6-1 stretch between the April 20 comeback 3-2 first franchise win against Boston and the 2-1 May 31 win over Western New York, lack of team depth, international call-ups, and lack of experience playing together as a cohesive unit eventually doomed their chances to make the playoffs. 

The Dash finished last in the NWSL with a 5-18-3 record, but nine of those losses were one goal games, and that leads to hope of better results in 2015.   

The Dash also have a dedicated fan base.   Despite only winning twice at BBVA Compass stadium this season, the Dash's average attendance of 4,650 was second in the NWSL behind soccer mad Portland.

The ninth place finish means we'll have the number one overall draft pick in 2015, but it is hoped that with time to use the long offseason to improve the team and put them on the road to being consistent threats to compete for and win the NWSL title.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Shut Up Fool Awards-Aww Mo'Ne's Gone Edition

Was hoping I get to see the remarkable story of Mo'Ne Davis continue to play out in this year';s edition of the Little League World Series, but that was not to be.

Her Taney LL Dragons from Philly exited the LLWS one game short of the US Championship with a 6-5 elimination loss to the Jackie Robinson West LL team from Chicago.

It is they, and not Mo'Ne and company who will face the unbeaten squad from Las Vegas' Mountain Ridge LL for the US Championship.tomorrow.   The US winner will face the International Championship winner between South Korea and Japan.   

It's Friday, and y'all know what that means.  It's Shut Up Fool Awards day.    My fools once again runneth over this week, and it's time to determine who struck singles of outright lies, doubled up on the falsehoods, tripled on the jaw dropping ignorance, hit home runs of hypocrisy and struck out in common decency

Let's get started with this week's SUF Awards shall we? 

Honorable Mention number one is a group award to the Westboro Baptist Church .  They claim they're going to Iraq to protest ISIS.   Seriously?   After all the anti-Islamic things that the late Daddy Phred said?

I know these fools are selling woof tickets, but if they did, any bets on how long it would take for ISIS to snatch them off the Iraqi streets and behead them for crimes against Islam?

Honorable mention number two we'll stay international for in Spain's Senator Luz Elena Sanin, a member of the ruling Spanish conservafool party.   She opened mouth and inserted pumps to say that the reason for Spain's $1.3 trillion dollar debt is 'the gays'.   

Word of political advice for you Senator.   Trying to imitate soon to be ex-Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) is not a good look for you in Spain or internationally.
Honorable mention number three is the so far unknown TeaGOP staffer who wasted our time and tax dollars trolling Wikipedia to make transphobic edits of Laverne Cox's Wikipedia page and other transgender specific sites.

Another reason why the TeaGOP needs to lose control of the House November 4. Got too much time on their hands to hate.

Honorable mention number four is Mike Ditka.  Iron Mike parted his lips to level a conservablast at folks who want the racist nickname of the Washington NFL franchise changed by stating anyone who was in favor of that was a 'politically correct idiot.'

As one of my FB friends said on my page when they commented on it, maybe all of Mike Ditka's concussions are catching up to him.

Honorable mention number five is CNN's Rosemary Church, who did her best FAUX News fembot impression by asking why the oppressors  po-po's didn't use water cannons on the Ferguson, MO. protestors.

Birmingham, AL May 1963 ring a bell?    And you wonder why CNN's losing viewers.

Honorable mention number six is The Ferguson, MO PD for well, you know.......

Honorable mention number seven is Ferguson, MO mayor James Knowles, who claimed in an MSNBC interview with Tamron Hall there's no racial tensions in his city

Really?  When China, Egypt and the UN are calling your city out for its oppressive police tactics that have Palestinians tweeting tips to protestors on how to deal with tear gas and other tricks of the protest trade, you have a race problem.

Honorable mention number eight we stay in Missouri for in  Missouri RNC executive director Matt Wills.  He seems to think that the efforts to register Black voters in Ferguson are 'disgusting'  

Why Matt, that's mighty white of you and so typical of your party to oppose the efforts of registering new non-white don't want to compete for.

Honorable mention number nine is Michelle Duggar.  The reality TV show personality was pressed into service to cut spots opposing the Fayetteville, AR city council's attempt to pass a nondiscrimination law that covered sexual orientation and gender identity.   And what tired trope did they use out the oppression playbook in those spots?   If you said transgender bathroom predators, give yourself a hand.

Despite trying to slime the trans community, in these commercials, the trans oppressor failed.   Fayetteville, AR, the home of the University of Arkansas, passed its inclusive law after 10 hours of testimony Wednesday on a 6-2 vote   

That deserves a celebration Arkansas style.  Time to call those hogs!

Honorable mention number ten is for Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX).    Gov Goodhair got indicted

This week's Shut Up Fool winner is Missouri Lt. Gov Peter Kinder (R), who blew the GOP dog whistle on MSNBC's Ronan Farrow Daily show and stated we need Anglo-American justice' in Ferguson.

That racist 'Anglo-American justice' in this Michael Brown shooting and failure to arrest and prosecute Darren Wilson, the cop who executed Brown is why you have all the unrest and protests in Ferguson now.

Have several levels of seats in the TD Waterhouse Dome and shut the hell up, fool.


Read Your AP Stylebook, JIm Kiertzner And WXYZ-TV

When I took a trip up to Boston recently for the National Association of Black Journalists convention to discuss the coverage of Black transwomen, one of the things I implored them to do was make sure they got it right the first time because white run media consistently screws up when it coves to covering us.

And right on cue, thanks to Can We Talk 4 Real  podcast host 'Michelle Brown bringing it to my attention, here's another example of messed up media coverage courtesy of WXYZ-TV and reporter Jim Kiertzner..

In the process of reporting a on string of attacks on trans women in Detroit's Palmer Park, one fatal, Kiertzner got it horribly wrong.

Let me do your job for you and write the story properly before I put you on blast for failing to read your AP Stylebook.

(WXYZ) - Detroit Police say they are investigating three hate crimes that may be related.

All three targets were transgender men women. One was killed in Palmer Park last Friday.  In that case, the killer drove off, crashed into another car and ran away on foot, but a gun was left behind.

Another shooting on Sunday and another last week were not fatal, but the victims were also transgender men women. Police are not releasing any identities of the victims.  No one is in custody but police say they have a person of interest.

Palmer Park is located along Woodward Avenue between 6 and 7 Mile.    The area east to John R and up to 8 Mile is also a well known Detroit "red light" district.  Many in the LGBT community live here and some work the streets for sex.
For now, in this area, a killer is on the loose.

2013 coverNow, let's get to discussing the problematic August 20 video report.    Jim, a male to female transperson is a transgender woman, NOT a 'transgender man'.   You also use FEMININE pronouns when referring to that person.

And using 'lifestyle' in the context of a report on a transgender person is problematic and offensive.

But you would have known that Jim had you referred to the AP Stylebook, The National Gay And Lesbian Journalism Assn (NGLJA) guide or GLAAD's guides

The way this story was reported was not only confusing to those of us in the trans community and our allies, but has raised questions of just how committed you and you station are to respecting the humanity of transpeople and reporting accurately on our lives.

History Repeating Itself In Chitown?

Chicago SkylineTransGriot Note: We African-American transwomen painfully remember that our sis CeCe McDonald spent 41 months in a Minnesota prison unjustly incarcerated after defending herself from an unprovoked racist attack by cisgender transphobic bigots.

Is the same thing about to happen to another African-American trans woman in Chicago?   This guest post by Channyn Parker suggests it's possible.

Self-Defense is Murder When You're A TWOC.

A Trans-Woman sits in Cook County Jail, Division 9, and there she awaits trial. Why?, because she refused to not defend herself.

While on the city of Chicago's West Side, she and a friend were accosted by a barrage of slurs and epithets at a near by gas station. Two neighborhood men, violently informed the young woman and company, that she was not welcome in her own community because she is transgender. Refusing to be berated, thus speaking up for herself, blows to the face were delivered by one of the men. She proceeded to fight back, the result; the accompanying man called for back up.

In an attempt to get away, the young woman and friend, got in the car, in an effort to drive off. By this time, another vehicle full of the assaulting individual's friends had pulled up, thus blocking her from behind. To the side of her, was the man now pulling at her door in an attempt to force her out of the car. In a panicked frenzy to get away, she ran her car into the man thus pinning his leg to the wall.

Amidst the chaos of the situation, the two women fled from the vehicle and hid from their attackers until she was met by safety.

At the urge of her mother, she eventually turned herself in. Here, she was to discover that her attacker was not only injured during her attempt to escape, but the injury cost him his leg. It had to be removed.

Now, a young woman trans woman sits; 26 years old, detained in the Cook County Jail, facing 10 years imprisonment for 1st degree attempted murder. Her crime; defending her life.

This crime comes on the heels of rampant violence against TWOC on our city's west-side. This travesty of justice proceeds the murder of Paige Clay and preceded the death of her friend that accompanied her that very day. Yes, she was later found murdered, her death goes unsolved.

So, here she is.... another victim of being fed up. Here she is, another victim of the devastating reality of the social injustice Trans-Women of Color face.

I could go on and on with all of the crushing details that this case entails. While sitting with this woman today, it took all that was within me not to cry. She holds fast to her innocence as her public defender offers little defense. Again community, I urge you to offer your support.

With her permission, I have offered to gather whatever resources I can to help her go public with this. All I know is that a trans-woman sits, eyes glazed with fear, uncertain of her future. As always, hold her in loving light and prayer. Write her, as your letters of support are welcome. Rally whomever and whatever support you can offer.

TransGriot Update: The transwoman in question's name is Eisha Love, and a #FreeEisha campaign has started complete with a petition requesting her freedom.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Rest In Power, Kenishia Hubbard 1964-2014

Was stunned to hear that one of our transsisters, Left Coast advocates and my fellow Texan Kenishia Hubbard suddenly passed away at age 50 on Monday August 18 in San Diego, CA..

From Kenishia's daughter Nita Hubbard:  (multiple pronouns changed to avoid misgendering Kenishia and respect her life)
For those of you who are unaware my father suddenly passed away at the age of 50 years young yesterday afternoon. I am saddened and in shock but more importantly I want to make sure that everyone who knew Kenishia is aware of her death so they may join our family and friends in her home coming. Please spread the word.  I will keep everyone posted on the wake and funeral services. Rest in peace daddy, I love you. Kenishia "KiKi" Hubbard January 3, 1964 - August 18, 2014.

Kenishia was born in Fort Worth, graduated from Dunbar High, studied at Tarrant County Junior College and served our country proudly as a US Marine.   Kenishia was also a mentor to many transsisters in the San Diego area .

I had the pleasure of meeting her along with many of my BTAC family at the recent edition of the Black Trans Advocacy Conference in Dallas.

Kenishia was my roommate for the event and we spent a few long nights discussing our lives up to that point and her desire to expand her outreach wings in the San Diego and national trans community.   She had a heart as wide as our home state and never failed to put a smile on my face and everyone else who she came in contact with during the time we were together at BTAC 

And as I found out to my chagrin at the Saturday fun day, she plays a mean game of dominoes.

I made a friend during that weekend, and saddened I didn't get the opportunity to build on the connection we made during that weekend in Dallas like I wanted to do.    

A reminder to all of us.  Tell the people that you care about and who mean a lot to you how much you appreciate them while they are in this plane of existence to hear it..   Once they are gone, it's too late to do so. 

Services for Kenishia Hubbard are pending at this time, and as I get information about the homegoing service arrangements or any memorial services being planned in the San Diego area, I'll pass that info to you as soon as I receive it.

If you wish to send donations, flowers or cards, you can do so via Kenishia Hubbard's daughter Nita Hubbard.  Phone number is 972-750-1929 or you can call 619-506-7505.

Rest in power and peace Kenishia.  Until we meet again.  

Malcolm X-The Ballot Or The Bullet Speech

This April 4, 1964 speech delivered by Malcolm X at Cleveland's Cory Methodist Church is ranked (number 7) as one of the 100 Greatest Speeches in American history. 

It is sadly, in the wake of what's happening in Ferguson, MO still relevant 50 years later..

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

HERO Updates, Notes And News- August 20

Last night Team HERO took a moment to celebrate and recognize the team of folks who helped get the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance passed back on May 28, verified the oppositions petitions, or did whatever it took to make the HERO a reality.  

In addition to just being in the same Resurrection MCC church space with each other, we had the pleasure of hanging out with Mayor Annise Parker and State Rep Sylvester Turner.

As you can see by the photo, a certain blogger was there, and I got to hear Mayor Parker thank us for collaborating in the effort to get it passed and showing the world that Houston doesn't discriminate.

Mayor Parker in addition to thanking us provided an update on HERO's status.  The implementation of it is unfortunately on hold pending the legal case, but she also stated that if you are discriminated against, bring your cases to the OIG anyway so they can start tracking them,deal with them and have documentation to bring to the January 19 trial that HERO is needed to tackle the discrimination that does happen.

As for what the faith-based haters were up to?  Probably licking their wounds after the dual legal setbacks they received on Friday.   But the biggest loss for them is that the HERO repeal vote will not be on the November 2014 ballot. 

It gives us time to educate and fundraise should it hit the November 2015 one, and the money they're wasting on the lawsuit is cash that won't be going to right wing candidates in this election cycle.

Speaking of that education effort, the Houston Forum will be having at 6:30 PM their event tonight at Social Junkie entitled '10 Things I Hate About You: Why Houston Needs HERO.   Featured speakers will be Councilmembers Ellen Cohen and Ed Gonzales (who sponsored and voted YES for the HERO).  

I won't be at that one because of a scheduling conflict (darn) but if you wish to attend it, 
Social Junkie is located at 2412 Washington Ave.   You'll need to e-mail an RSVP to Lillie Schechter at in order to do so.

Photo: Kim was the promoted to Assistant Director last night for the telecast.  Here is her POV.On Houston Media Source TV tomorrow at 6:30 PM is another in their series of HERO conversations hosted by Fran Watson and Durrel Douglas. 

I'll be a panelist along with Brandon Mack, Michael C. Webb, Jr and Tarah Taylor in that discussion from the perspective of Black allies and supporters concerning the issues that cropped up during the unnecessarily contentious HERO debate in the African-American and mainstream communities.

The reason I won't be there for the Houston Forum event is because I'm signed up to participate in a African-American specific training that starts an hour later several miles away at the Montrose Center.
The Real Talk: A Message Of Equality training is jointly sponsored by the Movement Advancement Project and Equality Texas

The rationale behind this messaging training is that the best messengers to get the HERO word out amongst African-Americans are other pro-human rights minded African-Americans. 

It's past time that happened, since our predominately conservative white male opponents have been playing the game of using sellout kneegrow pastors to christopimp their message of hate and claim they have 'broad based support'.

If you wish to attend the event, it will happen at The Montrose Center, located at 401 Branard St.   An RSVP is required
for your attendance.  Please go to this link: to register for it and hope to see you tonight starting at 7:30 PM

Finally on Sunday, August 24, the Educating Us About Us Forum facilitated by Austin D.Williams will take place starting at 3:30 PM.  Yep, I'll be at that one too and hope you'll be in attendance for this much needed conversation.   

This facilitated conversation will do some HERO mythbusting liebusting, break down misconceptions about different groups in the African-American SGL, trans and bi community and facilitate community building    Should be an interesting and much needed three hour discussion.

The fight to keep the HERO continues.

Smithsonian Adds Trans Items To Expanded LGBT History Collection

14772026379_59e4dbaaac_zYesterday The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History added hundreds of photographs, papers and historical objects to its collection to document the history of trans, bisexual, gay and lesbian people.   And in case you're wondering about it, yes, the trans end was ably represented on this day. 

One of the trans items donated was a wooden tennis racket from Renee Richards, who turned 80 years old yesterday and was one of the newsworthy trans folks of the 1970's.  After she was denied entry to play in the 1976 US Open because of a hastily enacted USTA women-born-women policy, she won a landmark New York Supreme Court trans rights decision in 1977.

Another of the trans-specific items donated for historical posterity was the original trans pride flag created by longtime Atlanta based trans advocate Monica Helms back in 1999 along with a Transgender American Veterans Association button, a rubber wrist bracelet, Trans and Proud and Trans Ally buttons  and items from Monica's military career in the US Navy.  

This ceremony also took place on the 15th anniversary of the August 19, 1999 day she created the trans pride flag she is donating to the Smithsonian.  

Helms was in Washington DC for yesterday's donation ceremony and obviously thrilled to be representing the trans community on this momentous day.  In her remarks she spoke to the importance of the 'T' being repped in this expansion of the National Museum Of American History's LGBT collection.

Thank you Director John Gray, Katherine Ott, Jennifer Jones and Valeska Hilbig for all that you have done to make this moment possible. This is a historical honor for all transgender and gender non-conforming people across our country. We have always been part of America’s history since the beginning, yet we have also been marginalized the entire time.

Now, the Smithsonian and the American Government are saying that our history is worthy of being displayed, along with that of our fellow Americans. The Transgender Pride Flag was created to give our community a unique symbol for us to show that we are proud of who we are. Not only have trans people in America embraced the flag, but trans communities in other parts of the world have also embraced it. If weren’t for them we would not be here today. The honor goes to the people of the world’s trans community. Transgender and gender non-conforming people of America are truly part of this country that we all love.

And, since the Smithsonian will be displaying items from my military career, they are also acknowledging that we have contributed to the security of our country since the Revolutionary War. We only hope that the Department of Defense and President Obama hears this message and allows transgender and gender non-conforming people the right to serve openly in the military, like our gay, lesbian and bisexual brothers and sisters are doing today.

Thank you for this honor.

nullSea Monica shot me an e-mail before her departure to DC for yesterday's donation ceremony and I asked her a few questions.

TG- What prompted the Smithsonian to seek to enshrine the original trans pride flag and when did they contact you?

MH- I contacted the Smithsonian a year ago. They are starting to collect LGBT artifacts, so I contacted them at the right time.

TG- How excited were they about getting the original trans pride flag and to your knowledge what other trans historical artifacts are going into their collection?
MH- They were very excited. I was surprised.  They became more excited when they understood how important this was to the trans community.

TG- How soon will Smithsonian visitors be able to see it?

MH- It may take them a year or more before the display is put together and put out to the public. They will let me know. It will be on permanent display versus temporary.  It will be in their Armed Forces Flag display section, because I was in the Navy.


So how important is this?  BFD important.  Just as it happened when the April Ashley exhibit opened last September in her hometown Liverpool Museum, it notes to the world and our haters that transpeople exist. 

It loudly says to the world we have a proud history we can show to our transkids and others that The Smithsonian thought was worthy enough to be enshrined in its National Museum of American History halls.    It's one of the reasons I participate in efforts locally and elsewhere to document trans history on behalf of my African-American trans community.   It's why I keep a lot of my papers and memorabilia around so I can pass them on so future generations can enjoy them.

Thank you Sea Monica for helping to ensure that when The Smithsonian was looking to expand the LGBT collection, items representing the trans end of the community were included.

Domonique Newburn Case: One Year Later

Domonique Newburn, 31, aspired to be a reality TV star and the first transgender performer with a hit song on iTunes.As Islan Nettles was lying in a New York hospital bed in a coma after the vicious transphobic attack on her, today was the day a year ago the national trans community discovered we'd  lost another one of our sisters.

31 year old Domonique Newburn had been found dead in her blood spattered Fontana, CA apartment after reports of a disturbance were relayed to the local police.  

Newburn starred in a 2010 YouTube reality TV series called Hollywood Houseboys about four trans and SGLl friends trying to make it in the entertainment industry.

The prime suspect, Dantjier Domenick Powell, allegedly dated Newburn for several years.   He was spotted loading items in Domonique's black Mercedes C240 that was later found abandoned at Perris Hill Park in San Bernadino, CA.

Dantjier Powell, 18, of San Bernardino, left, is the prime suspect in the killing of Daymond Watford — also known as Domonique Newburn and Domoniique Duffy. He is believed to traveling with Nicole Cotton, 25, of HighlandThe now 19 year old Powell fled the state by bus along with now 26 year old Jaime Nicole Cotton.  That led to a $1 million arrest warrant with extradition back to California being issued for Powell and Cotton.  

Powell was eventually captured in Springfield, MO., charged with murder and extradited back to California to face the legal music in February.   He has been held at the Adelanto Detention Center without bail since then.  

A hearing was held on Monday, August 11 before Judge Michael R. Libutti, with the result of Powell’s case being sent to Superior Court Judge Shahla S. Sabet for further action.

Prosecutors have filed charges of accessory after the fact against Cotton.   She was aware of the heinous crime Powell committed and helped him flee the state of California to avoid prosecution.

Will be keeping you posted on the outcome of this case and hoping that at long last, Domonique receives justice.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

2014 Honor 41 List Initial Videos

41-listThe links to the 2014 Honor 41 List honoree videos are becoming available. .  

So what's the Honor 41 list?  It was founded by Alberto B. Mendoza last year to recognize and celebrate LGBTQ Latin@ community role models.   The inaugural list had 5 trans people on it, this year there were nine trans people selected.  One of them was my DC homegirl Ruby Corado.

I'm going to compose an Honor 41 post highlighting all the trans Latin@ peeps selected this year and those nine videos..

In the meantime, congratulations to all the people selected this year, and to see the posted so far Honor 41 List videos, just click on this link.

Educating Us About Us Forum Sunday

One of the things the HERO battle exposed in our Houston African-American SGL, trans and bi community was not only a need to do a better job of owning our power, but also understanding the component parts of our communities and debunking the stereotypes and myths the component groups have about one another.

Austin D. Williams is facilitating a conversation on Sunday, August 24 to do precisely that

Acceptance is a beautiful thing! We all want to be accepted, but to understand those who make up the LGBTSQA-SGL community will make us better as a community. If we don’t take the time to know where others are coming from in our own community we limit our potential on where we can go. I want to invite you to join us in an in depth discussion on the following topics:

Understanding Transgender
Understanding the Lesbian
Understanding the Gay Christian
Understanding the Gay Republican
Understanding the Gay Man
Understanding DL
This conversation will take place at the Montrose Center 401 Branard St. from 3:30-6:30 PM CDT.  I'll be taking part in that discussion and hope you can attend. 

Diamonds Are Mo'Ne's Best Friend

Marilyn Monroe once sang diamonds are a girl's best friend.   But in 13 year old Mo'Ne Davis' case, it's a baseball diamond.

Mo'Ne is the 18th girl to make it to the LLWS, but she has the sporting world's attention as one of the few girls in the 67 year history of the LLWS to be the star player of their Little League team.

Her Taney Youth Baseball Association Little League of Philadelphia squad got to the 2014 Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA on the strength of her pitching arm and her 70 MPH fastball.  

In addition to the personal history Davis is making, her Taney squad is also making it as a team. They are the first team from Philadelphia to make it to the LLWS. 

In the Taney Dragons first game on Friday a 4-0 win against Nashville, Tennessee, Davis proved she was no joke as she pitched her second complete game,   She gave up only two hits and struck out eight batters enroute to becoming the first girl ever in the 67 year history of the event to pitch a shutout. .

AP Photo/, Elizabeth FrantzIn the game last night against Pearland East, my H-town suburban homies and the overflow crowd  of 32,000 found out that Mo'Ne can hit, too. 

Her first inning single made her only the sixth girl to record a hit in LLWS play and help her Taney Dragons team to a 7-6 win that puts them two game away from the US Championship.

They face Mountain Ridge LL from Las Vegas in the winners bracket on Wednesday.

Hopefully Mo'Ne and Taney LL will continue to prove that baseball diamonds are a girl's best friend, too.

Monday, August 18, 2014

HERO Updates, Notes And News- August 18

HERO 4-HERO haters 0

Despite the faith-based oppressors trying to spin this as a 'victory', the reality is they lost twice in court Friday in their bid to force a November repeal vote of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance.

Because the 152nd District Court has a Democratic judge (which is more ample evidence that elections matter) the haters tried to get the case heard in the  14th District Texas Court of Appeals in the hopes they would get a conservative leaning judge.

Former city councilor Jolanda Jones speaks about Equal Rights Ordinance on August 15, 2014 at 201 Caroline St. in Houston, TX.
The strategy didn't work, because the 14th District Appeals Court refused to hear their case and sent it back to the 152nd District Court and Judge Schaeffer

While all this legal maneuvering was going on, Team HERO was holding a noon press conference before the court hearing at the steps of the Harris County Civil Courthouse telling our side of the story.

The pro-HERO peeps are continuing to hammer home the points why this non-discrimination ordinance needs to be implemented without delay instead of being delayed .  

This news story that broke last Thursday about an African-American cis man being denied access to a downtown public bathroom in a public building is more evidence why HERO needs to be implemented in H-town without delay. 

In the Friday afternoon court hearing, the faith based haters went in trying to accomplish three things.  
*A temporary restraining order to stop HERO from being implemented. 
*An order forcing City Council to vote to repeal HERO in its entirety
*An order forcing a City Council vote to place it on the November 2014 ballot.

Never mind the fact the HERO haters screwed up and failed to follow clearly set out city charter parameters for conducting petition drives and they know it.  Now in their faith-based phobic arrogance want the special right to ignore the rules that everyone else has to follow.

At the end of the hearing, the HERO haters failed to accomplish any of their goals.  They agreed to withdraw the TRO request since Mayor Parker made it moot by suspending implementation of the HERO pending the results of the court case

The trial date will be January 19, 2015, which means that the earliest election date that can happen for a HERO repeal vote will be the November 2015 city elections.  

The haters were trying to get it on the ballot this November, and the deadline to submit ballot language to the Texas Secretary of State for the upcoming election was today.   It's why the HERO haters were so pressed to force City Council to act on it.  

But while a HERO repeal referendum will not be on the November 2014 ballot, it also means the HERO will not be in effect either until the legal issues are sorted out.   The silver lining is that it gives us time to educate the people who have been bamboozled into believing the faith based lies and flip them into becoming supporters of the ordinance once we lay out the facts

Moving on to other HERO related news.   On Tuesday August 19 there will be a HERO Volunteer Appreciation Event at Resurrection MCC featuring Mayor Annise Parker.

At the event will get an update on where the legal challenges against HERO-our new landmark nondiscrimination law stand, take a moment to celebrate the amazing work that our broad citywide coalition has done and accomplished so far and hear what we need to do to ensure that HERO remains City of Houston law.

The Volunteer Appreciation event will start at 6:30 PM at the church, located at  2725 W 11th St. 

On Wednesday August 20 at Social Junkie, the Houston Forum will present starting at 6:30 PM entitled '10 Things I Hate About You: Why Houston Needs HERO.   It will feature Councilmembers Ellen Cohen and Ed Gonzales      

As is so apropos to this HERO discussion, Social Junkie is located at 2412 Washington Ave, the street where clubs located on it have been going buck wild discriminating against anyone that isn't a heterosexual white male.  

The Houston Forum is a space for like-minded people to meet, network and discuss current issues and to foster the progressive community in Houston.   If you wish to attend what should be an interesting event,  e-mail Lillie Schechter at to do so. 

Meanwhile at the Montrose Center that same night, starting at 7:30 PM will be the Real Talk: A Message Of Equality event jointly sponsored by the Movement Advancement Project and Equality Texas.

African Americans are the best messengers for LGBT equality in the African American community. This training brings national experts from the Movement Advancement Project and Equality Federation to lead a conversation among African Americans about the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance. Our presenters will provide evidence-based information on effective messaging that can be difficult to hear, but is vital to broader public education efforts.
RSVP is required for your attendance.  Please go to this link:

The struggle to keep the HERO continues.

Fallon Has A New Fight-With Wannabee 'Advocate' Tamikka Brents

Our fave MMA warrior is now in training for her next fight with 24 year old Tamikka Brents

Y'all know I have much love for Fallon Fox and I'm looking forward to meeting her in person.  I wish the 'Queen of Swords' the best of luck as she gets ready to handle her business inside the octagon on September 13 in Springfield, IL.

And Fallon's probably got some extra motivation to be on her A+ WMMA game with this upcoming opponent after Tamikka Brents flapped her gums and let loose some dog whistle transphobia back on May 25, 2013. 

“I am tired of Fox getting all this publicity just for being a transgender fighter rather than having great skills. I think it’s unfair anyway but as long as the opponent knows and accepts the fight then go ahead… I mean Allana took her to the third and she’s not even a 145er; she’s a more of a 135er who can probably go even lower to 125 pounds. She’s using all that attention as a good publicity tactic – go ahead and ride that free publicity train as long as you can. I’ll gladly derail that s#*t quickly so the world can go back to giving the publicity and notice to the female fighters who earn it. It just pisses me off that Women’s MMA has fought to get away from being seen as a side show. She’s using that to further her career while setting Women’s MMA back in the process.”
And this from a woman who claims in a November 2012 Bleacher Report piece she wants to be an LGBT advocate.   Well, she said she wanted this fight with Fallon bad, and she's about to get her wish. 

But let me focus on Tamikka Brents' advocacy, or lack thereof.   The only thing you've done is take a rainbow flag a few hundred feet into an octagon twice.   I haven't seen op-eds written by you in TIME magazine, the TransAdvocate, or much less my GLAAD Award nominated blog   I have yet to see you at an National Black Justice Coalition event or do anything in support of the SGL, trans or bi  community.

While you bump your gums in a puff piece about wanting to be an advocate for the LGBT community, Fallon Fox is role modeling it. 

So stop hatin'.

And here's your first advocacy lesson, Tamikka.  The 'T' in LGBT stands for transgender.  Without transfolks like Ms. Fox showing up and showing out at Stonewall in 1969 fighting for everyone's human rights including our own, you wouldn't have a movement to consider being an advocate for.

And what pisses me off Tamikka is you piling on Fallon.   She's handled this lemon situation of being outed and the subsequent microaggressive and macroagressive publicity it generated with class and dignity while trying to build her reputation in women's MMA.  

She has remained classy as you and several of your women's MMA colleagues like Ronda Rousey, Ashlee Evans-Smith and Allana Jones have been transphobically shady towards her while spouting jaw dropping anti-trans ignorance.

So yeah, looking forward to September 13.   

Musing About These Austin Gender Variant Photos

I've talked about the point more than a few times that Black gender variant people are an intertwined part of the African-American community and not something that just popped up out of thin air in the late 20th-early 21st century . 

Thanks to Max Reddick, I have some more proof of that and some interesting photos to peruse.

The cool part is that these photos were taken at a club in the Lone Star State.

Max sent me a link to a story in the Arts Labor Austin blog by Michael Corcoran dated February 7, 2014.    In it Corcoran discusses finding some photos dated October 7, 1955 while searching for another legendary Austin establishment called Charlie's Playhouse.  

The photos weren't of Charlie's, but possibly of the IL Club which was on East 11th Street    The east side of Austin was predominately African-American at the time but due to gentrification of those historic neighborhoods and the rising cost of living, Austin's African-American population is falling. 

It's interesting to note these photos are of drag artists of that time period performing at a blues club.

Not a big surprise to me, knowing that the Halloween Finnie's Ball in Chicago and elaborate drag balls in New York's Rockland Palace dating back to the Harlem Renaissance were quite popular and drew large crowds during that period.  

The winner of Finnie's Ball was covered in Jet magazine from the 50's through the late 60's-early 70's.  
And just across the Sabine River, New Orleans has had a longtime gender bending reputation and Mardi Gras events that lent themselves to celebrating gender variance .

As I look at these photos I'm curious about the lives of the people in them.  How old were they at the time these photos were taken?  Did they continue to live in the Austin area or move on to cities with larger gender variant populations?

Did their gender variance cross over into transgender territory? 

To see more photographic evidence of gender variant people prior to my arrival on the planet is exciting to me and drives me to want to learn more about this Austin scene and the snapshots taken on this October 7, 1955 night.   It's even more exciting to note that it's in my home state, and these folks share my ethnic background..

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Islan Nettles-One Year Later

21 year old Islan Nettles was just beginning to have some positive things happen in her life.   She had just started a new job.  She had recently moved into her own apartment in Harlem and the budding fashion designer was starting to work on her own clothing line.

She was also beginning to blossom into a confident young woman as her transition progressed..

But that came to a screeching halt one year ago today.  Nettles was out with a group of trans girlfriends when they ran across a group of cis men around 11 PM EDT on that fateful Saturday night at the corner of West 148th Street and Eighth Ave in Harlem. 

When the men on that corner realized the women they encountered were girls like us, they began spouting transphobic slurs at first that progressed up the transphobic violence scale to knocking Nettles to the ground and  savagely throwing punches at her until she was rendered unconscious. 

Nettles was taken to Harlem Hospital where she remained on life support for several days.  She was declared brain dead, taken off life support on August 22 and subsequently died of her injuries.

It's a year later and Nettles alleged killer Paris Wilson still hasn't been brought to justice, to the major pissivity of my New York area trans sisters   TWOCC and others in the area continue to stay on the case to ensure that Islan's memory and what happened to her doesn't fade from our consciousness.  

They are also determined that the perpetrator of this heinous crime is tried, convicted and sentenced to extensive jail time

Islan Nettles rallyRest in Power, Islan.  Know your New York sisters and all who loved you will keep fighting to ensure justice is served in your case.

TransGriot Update:  There will be at 4 PM EDT a demonstration at the same corner and police precinct where Islan Nettles was murdered.    Gathering at the corner of 147th St and Fredrick Douglas Ave in Harlem,  NYC 10030.