Sunday, June 30, 2013

Being A #GirlLikeUs Is Nothing To Be Ashamed Of

One of the things I learned early from my trans mentors and I (and we as a community) have to constantly focus on is dealing with the shame and guilt issues that plague us.  

Since we have much Hateraid aimed at us, it can be a challenge at times to practice that self love that needs to happen from time to time and feel pride not only in yourself, but being a girl like us.

It can be a challenge when those 'unpretty' days descend upon you, but you can't let it get you down.  You have to fight through those moments with every fiber of your being and believe you are the finest thing walking Planet Earth.

Well, there is not only nothing wrong with being a girl like us, there is nothing for us to be ashamed about either.   You are part of the beautiful mosaic of human life and God loves you too.

You come from a distinguished lineage of doctors, lawyers, politicians, models, MMA fighters, human rights warriors, sportswriters, television personalities, writers, beauty queens and wives and mothers raising kids.   Your predecessors started a movement in 1969. 

So stand tall and be proud of who you are because being a girl like us is nothing to be ashamed of..


TransGriot Note: photo is of Kylan Wenzel, the first American trans person to compete in a Miss Universe system pageant.
  


Saturday, June 29, 2013

Hello 2013 Camp Aranu'tiq West Campers!

Today is the first day of the opening session of Camp Aranu'tiq West in its double secret California location.that runs until July 6

So what's Camp Aranu'tiq?  It's a summer camp for trans and gender variant kids ages 8-15 that has double secret locations to keep away the haters in California and New England.

They are probably too busy having fun and meeting each other to be concerned about what this trans elder blogger has to say but just in case they are reading this blog, here goes.

***

Hope you're having a wonderful time at camp.   It's something many of your trans elders wish we could have taken part in and reminds us that while there have been some remarkable trans friendly changes in the world since we embarked on our transitions, we still have much work to do and much more to accomplish toward the goal of making this a world safe for you to accomplish whatever big dreams you come up with.

What I said in last year's post applies in this one because it hasn't changed one millimeter, Camp Aranu'tiq campers.  Know that your trans elders and our allies love you.  We are doing everything we can to fight for a world in which you have an easier time navigating it.  Have fun while you're there at camp and be proud of the men and women of trans experience you are growing into.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Shut Up Fool Awards-Moni's Mile High Edition

After a long drive from my southeastern corner of the Lone Star State I'm in Denver for a family reunion. 

While I'm here in between the scheduled reunion activities with my blood family, I'm also trying to catch up with and squeeze in quality time with my Colorado based trans family like Eden Lane, Kelley Winters, Matt Kailey, Elizabeth Clair and a few other peeps from now until the time I depart late Sunday afternoon.

Already bummed I'm going to miss crossing paths with Dainna Cicotello this time.

The last time I was in the Denver metro area was for a 2008 gender conference I was honored to be the keynote speaker for on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder that took place three days after the 2008 POTUS election.  

You know what they say about time flying, and you also know what happens on Friday on this blog.  It's time to shine a bright spotlight on the fool, fools or group of fools who dare to show the world their ignorance, stupidity or off the charts hypocrisy..

So lets get busy deciding who gets our Shut Up Fool award this week..

Honorable mention number one is a group award for the Horizon Science Academy in Ohio.  The charter school sent a letter to parents banning braids and Afro puffs

Michelle E. Brown's commentary says it best for me as to why that was a cluelessly bonehead move.   What next, are y'all gonna ban burqas, too?.

Honorable Mention number two goes to somebody I'm gonna have to take out of retirement temporarily to properly eviserate in Uncle Ruckus, er Injustice Clarence Thomas.  He cast the deciding vote to invalidate Section 4 of the VRA and wanted to go even further to prove how pathologically deep his self hatred is by saying he would have voted to kill Section 5, too. 

Honorable mention number three goes to Rep. Louie Gohmert (Teabagger-TX) who stated that sex education reminded him of the Soviet Union.

member imageAnd this week's landslide Shut Up fool winner is another Texas Teapublican at the state legislative level in Rep Jodie Laubenberg (Teabagger-Parker).   She was trying to explain why an amendment proposed by Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston) to her bill to ban abortion after 20 weeks in the exceptions of rape, incest and the mother's life wasn't necessary.

"In the emergency room they have what’s called rape kits where a woman can get cleaned out. The woman had five months to make that decision, at this point we are looking at a baby that is very far along in its development."

WTF?   Laubenburg's bill would also shut down 37 of the 42 abortion clinics in the state of Texas.  She's also not only on the House Public Health Committee, she's chair of the Texas chapter of ALEC.

Rep Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston) the dean of the Texas House, let Laubenberg and the GOP have it too when they voted down her amendment.

All together now gang, Jodie Laubenberg, shut up fool!

 

Thank You Sen. Henry!

I'm already stoked that Delaware has become the 17th state to enact anti-trans discrimination legislation.  I'm even more stoked about it after I discovered some interesting tidbits about the senator who sponsored the legislation, Margaret Rose Henry.

She is not only the first African-American to serve in the Delaware state Senate, she also has a Texas connection, having earned her undergrad degree from Texas Southern University here in Houston. 

In the wake of white gays (John Aravosis) trying to throw that tired 'Blacks are more homophobic' shade (that needs to die), I find it interesting and amusing in the wake of that Illinois legislative debacle that an African-American legislator not only sponsored this trans rights bill that is the law of the land in Delaware

So John. me and the African-American community are still waiting for that apology for your loud and wrong pronouncement of a few weeks ago.

Since that's not going to happen, let me move on to what his post is for.

***

Dear Senator Henry,
We in the national trans community breathlessly watched as this just SB 97 legislation you introduced back on May 31 wound its way through the Delaware legislature and eventually became law. 

On behalf of the national trans community, thank you for sponsoring it.  I know the trans community of Delaware deeply appreciates your efforts, and so do their trans brothers and sisters around the country and the world.

For African-American members of the trans community, it gave us a great sense of pride to know that the sponsor of the Delaware Gender Non Discrimination Act is one of us and was standing up for our humanity and our human rights.   It lifted our spirits at a time when we face unacceptable levels of anti-trans discrimination and hatred aimed at it.    It was also wonderful to note that even in the wake of a period in which we lost three more African-American trans lives in April to that violence, to see a person who shares our history and ethnic background stand up so publically and forcefully for trans human rights.

It gives us renewed hope that other African-American legislators and thought leaders will follow your sterling example and I hope your constituents in your senate district and the state of Delaware realize how fortunate they are to have you as a champion and shero fighting for them 

God bless you Senator Henry and continued success in all your future endeavors.

Sincerely yours,
Monica Roberts
the TransGriot

   

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Second Kenyan Transperson Wins Legal Case

Sometimes all it takes is one person standing tall, unapologetically living their lives and fighting tooth and nail for their own human rights to empower others to come out of the shadows and do the same.

It appears that is what's happening in Kenya right now.

Alexandra Nthungi  (using femme derivative of old name until I find out the name she goes by) was working in her grocery shop in January 2011 en femme in the town of Thika near the Kenyan capitol of Nairobi when police arrived, arrested her claiming she had assaulted a cis woman and taken to the Thika police Station for questioning about the assault.  Nthungi was stripped nude in front of the media to ostensibly discover her gender identity 

On June 18 Justice Mumbi Ngugi awarded Nthungi Sh200,000 ($2328.20 USD) for having her rights and dignity violated by officers at the Thika Police Station.     

Justice Ngugi stated the police did not have the powers to strip him to ascertain his gender and that the best they could do was to refer him to a medical doctor for assessment. She ruled that by subjecting her to a search, the police had an intention of humiliating Nthungi because she was dressed as a female and it was unlawful to strip her.
She ruled that whatever Nthungi’s choice was in relation to her mode of dressing and regardless of the fact that she perceived herself as a woman, she still retained her inherent worth and dignity to which all humans are entitled.

Of course Audrey Mbugua was pleased about the outcome of Nthungi’s case. “Although we are happy about the judgment, the judge should have compelled the police to offer a public apology. Sometimes it’s not about being compensated with money but being recognised as human.”

On The Road Again-Denver Here I Come


Doing an interstate road trip for the first time since I moved back home as of this writing.  It's also the first time in over a decade I've done one with members of my blood family in the vehicle.

I'm hitting the highway for a family reunion on my mother's side of the family that's taking place in Denver this weekend.

As of the moment you're reading this we're now a few hours into the drive and on out way out of Texas enroute to Denver on the I-45/I-35 leg of the trip

My mom's side of the family has frequent family reunions of which the first one I was able to attend was mere weeks after I returned to Houston in 2010 since it was our turn to host it.   My family on my mom's side is clustered in Texas on both ends of I-45 in Dallas and Houston, in the Greenwood-Yazoo City-Itta Bena, Mississippi area all up and down US 49, in the Cleveland area, the Memphis, TN area,, the Chicago-Gary, IN metro area and in the Tampa, FL metro area.

We have cousins in the Denver mtro area which we will meet when we gather for the reunion this weekend. I'm hoping I'll get a chance while I'm in the area to finally meet Eden Lane if she isn't too busy and see Kelley Winters again.

But have a few more hours and a lot of interstate highway miles to travel before I'm staring at the Rockies again for the first time since 2008.    

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Congrats on DOMA and Prop 8 Being Overturned...But

the, world, may, literally, end, before, doma, is, struck, down, I don't feel much like celebrating when my human rights went backwards yesterday no thanks to another narrow 5-4 Supreme Court decision. 

When the conservafool dominated SCOTUS fracked with the Voting Rights Act Section 4 yesterday, it was akin to a punch to the gut

It was even more infuriating because a Oreo cookie chomping knee-grow sellout cast the deciding vote to help disenfranchise his own people.

I know civil rights is not a zero sum game, but that's the way it looks to a lot of African-Americans today inside and outside the trans and SGL community. One group got their rights advanced while the centuries old historical pattern of crapping on the human rights of African-Americans made a comeback.

The bitter irony in all of this is the SCOTUS VRA ruling was aided and abetted by a self hating Oreo cookie chomping knee-grow sellout who isn't fit to shine the shoes of the great justice Thurgood Marshall, much less follow him onto the Supreme Court. 

An additional bitter irony to SGL and trans peeps is that the same Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is being loudly praised in non person of color GL circles today for his marriage equality rulings is the same one who sided with the majority to roll back our human rights. 

It also takes place in a
Supreme Court in which the Chief Justice of it made his reputation and his fortune working to kill the Voting Rights Act. 

I believe the SCOTUS ruled the way they did on the VRA to throw the conservative movement a bone over DOMA and Prop 8 rulings they knew the conservative movement would excoriate them for.

And I'm not the only African-American member of the SGL and trans community who doesn't really feel like celebrating today.   Take it away Jasmyne Cannick:
(Courtesy: U.S. Supreme Court)The white gay community has been banging its head against the glass ceiling of a room called equality, believing that a breakthrough on marriage will bestow on them parity with heterosexuals--because in all other areas including employment, home-ownership, wealth, healthcare, education, etc. one could argue that they are already equal in terms of access. Well congratulations, on today's rulings, you are that much closer to being equal with your white counterparts.

And while Black same-gender loving couples may benefit from today's rulings, I would be remissed if I didn't say that the right to marry does nothing to address our access to employment, home-ownership, wealth, healthcare, education, etc. and so for many of us the fight continues because being able to get married is half the battle, the other half, is being able to have a home to live in, a job to provide for your family, access to affordable healthcare to share with your family, and access to the type of education to make all of the above happen.

Not to mention our voting rights are now exposed to once again being suppressed and rolled back by the neo-Confederate Republicans who are hellbent on taking our human rights back to 18th century levels.

And some of you GLB folks enable that oppression by voting for them as 'proud conservatives'.

I can't forget that and the four century tortured history as an African descended American as you GLB folks are giddily hailing a major civil rights win.

50 years of hard, painstaking human rights work that people fought, marched, shed blood and died for just went poof at the hands of four black robed white males and their honorary white man (as declared by Pat Buchanan) Uncle Ruckus Thomas

It's also a wakeup call for this generation of kids and their elders not paying attention to the news cycle.  We just got the reminder yesterday by the Supreme Court that for African-Americans, we never have the luxury of presuming that our human rights are secure because they are always under attack. 

And Republicans and the conservative movement are all too willing to engage in rolling them back.

So congratulations GLB community for your hard fought marriage win.  But I won't be at the party raising appletini toasts with you. 

Voting Rights Act Messed With By Roberts KKKourt



I'm still too pissed off about this to even write about what happened to the Voting Rights Act right now after a busy, roller coaster emotion filled news day yesterday and prepping for a road trip to Denver for a family reunion.

This cartoon pretty much expresses how I feel about the VRA and Uncle Ruckus, er Thomas making the unjust ruling happen.

Allyson Robinson's Statement To OS-SLDN Members, Families and Supporters

allyson-robinson-1.jpgTransGriot Note: Here's the statement from OutServe-SLDN magazine of Allyson Robinson to the members, families and supporters of the organization.   What I said in my earlier post still stands. Allyson got screwed, this stinks, and I detect the rotten stench of transphobia in this situation.   TAVA, step up, salute and handle your business, please.

On 24 June 2013
This weekend’s events were most unfortunate and deeply troubling for many of us, but for my part, as from the beginning of my tenure with this organization, I am fully and firmly committed to our LGBT service members, veterans, and their families and to their fight for equality. For that reason, and to honor those who’ve shared those values with me, it is my intent to continue to lead OutServe-SLDN in the near term as we approach an historic moment for our community and our country. After that, at a date to be determined, I have decided of my own accord to step down, and will work with our members to ensure an orderly transition to the next phase of this organization’s life.


Very few people ever get the opportunity in this life to hear from those whose lives they’ve touched just how much they are loved and respected. I have no words to express my gratitude for the hundreds who have reached out to me privately or stood up for me publicly over these last 24 hours to show their support: from the military community, the LGBT community, and most especially, most dear to me, the troops of OutServe-SLDN and their families. For that, I am blessed beyond measure.

In light of the momentous events the coming days hold for us all, I intend to put this matter behind us and look forward to shifting the focus back to where it belongs: our LGBT service members, veterans, and families, who sacrifice so much every day, and their ongoing fight for full equality.
— Allyson Robinson, Executive Director, OutServe-SLDN

C-279 Vote Stalled By Conservatives At Third Stage

Canadian SenateWell, it was only a matter of time before the Conservatives in the Canadian Senate showed their anuses and did so as Bill C-279 was on the verge of passing.  

For those of you new to this story, C-279 is a  Canadian federal trans rights bill would add gender identity to the list of  grounds protected from discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act and under the hate propaganda section of the Criminal Code.  

It passed successfully out of the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights on June 10, but with it being only a tantalizing two hours of debate, an affirmative vote and Royal Assent away from becoming law the fun started in the Conservative dominated Senate chamber to slow its roll toward that happening

First Conservative lesbian senator (why am I not surprised) Nancy Ruth added an amendment to C-279 on June 13 that adds "ethnic origin, sex, gender identity or sexual orientation” to the bill citing the specious reason 'that it was time to do so'.  

“This bill will add the category of gender identity to section 318 of the Criminal Code, but one of the categories missing in that enumerated ground is the category of ‘sex,’” Ruth said on the floor of the Senate

“We had a chance 10 years ago when we put ‘sexual orientation’ in that section of the Criminal Code. This is the time to add now the category ‘sex’ for the women of Canada.” 

You've been in the Canadian Senate since 2005 and you haven't been concerned about that issue until a bill that protects the rights of transpeople in the Great White North is about to pass.   Transphobic much? 

If Ruth’s amendment were to pass which was unlikely according to Sen. Mitchell since it didn't have support,  the bill would have to go back to the Conservative dominated House of Commons and pass again.  If the amendment was defeated and the bill subsequently passed, C-279 would move on to royal assent stage and become law.

But first it has to get a vote, which Conservative Senator and Government Leader Marjory LeBreton isn't allowing to happen according to Liberal Senator Grant Mitchell, the senate sponsor of C-279. 

“The real disappointment that has become clear in the last few days is they are not going to allow it to come to a vote. The bill will not be voted on, amended or unamended,” he predicted in an Xtra.ca interview.
“They are not calling a vote because the leadership in the Senate doesn’t want to have a vote. Because the prime minister voted against it, probably,” he said.

“I deeply care about this,” said Senator Mitchell. “My caucus deeply cares about this. It is a betrayal of democracy that elected MPs representing 65 percent of the popular vote supported this bill and the Conservative leadership in the Senate won’t even allow a vote.”

So do trans Canadians, who were hoping they would have something to really celebrate on Canada Day.

Even if they don't allow a vote on C-279 before the Senate goes on summer break June 28, it would return to the order paper at the third reading stage in the fall unless Prime Minister Stephen Harper prorogues Parliament.  If that happens, because it is a private member's bill, C-279 would start all over again in the Senate at the first reading stage.

Well, as Dr. King once stated, we must accept finite disappointment, but we must never give up infinite hope.

You will see that day my Canadian trans cousins when your human rights are protected by your federal legislature far sooner that it will happen south of the 49th parallel. 

It just won't be before July 1 as you'd hoped.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sen. Wendy Davis Filibuster For Texas Abortion Rights

State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, completes her filibuster at midnight of SB1811 on May 29, 2011.For you folks who think progressive Democrats are extinct in Texas, au contraire.   I'm one of them. 

When a draconian unjust anti-abortion bill was proposed by the GOP oppressors, the Texas Democrats in the House and our allies used any means necessary to slow down and stop its progress.

We also got an assist from Gov. Goodhair because he added the abortion issue to the special session agenda late in the session, thus giving the Democrats a way to stop the bill and putting the Teapublicans under time pressure to pass it.

There was the 'people's filibuster' in which 700 opponents signed up to speak against the bill at a Thursday Austin hearing and dragged it out to 3:45 AM Friday morning despite State Affairs committee chair Byron Cook (R) trying to shut it down after midnight.  

The House Democrats showed up late to deny a quorum, used the rule book and basically did everything they could to frustrate and slow down the passage of that unjust bill.  The drama in the house led to the major gaffe by Rep Jodie Laubenberg (R-Parker) not knowing what a rape kit is for   

When it finally passed the House on a 97-33 vote,  Sen Wendy Davis was lying in wait to filibuster it, which started at 11:18 AM CDT this morning. 

And as a TransGriot public service and my effort to #StandWithWendy, I've got the live feed of the filibuster up in this post. 

She has to stay on her feet, stay on the bill topic, take no bathroom or food breaks and keep talking until midnight when the special session ends and killing the bill..




Governor Goodhair can simply call another special session, but the legislative process on that unjust bill has to start all over again.

And I would love to see Sen. Davis run for governor someday or the US Senate and replace either one of the two worthless excuses for senators we have desecrating them now. 

TransGriot Update:  Lt Governor David Dewhurst tried to stop Sen Davis filibuster at 10:03 PM claiming that her discussion of the sonogram bill they passed in 2011 wasn't germane to SB5.  That triggered a procedural floor fight by Democratic senators that lasted until  midnight and the Republicans having to wade through several procedural votes before they could even clear the decks to stage a vote to pass SB 5 which they attempted to do.  But since that SB 5 vote started after midnight, the bill was dead for this special session.
  

2013 Williams Watch- Next!

Serena Williams strikes a backhand Serena opened up her quest for a sixth "Williams'-don title with a first round Centre Court match against Mandy Minella of Luxembourg that only took her 57 minutes to complete

She blitzed Minella in straight sets 6-1, 6-3 with the first set taking only 20 minutes.   

In the second set there was a little hiccup as Serena dropped a service game and found herself down 0-2.   Two service breaks and a held serve later and all was right in the tennis world as Little Sis regained a 3-2 lead and went on to win the match.

It sets up a second round clash for the tournament number one seed with Caroline Garcia of France with the winner taking on the winner of the Kimiko Date-Krumm - Alexandra Cadantu match.

TPOCC Press Release On Wallace Atttack

TransGriot Note: The TPOCC press release concerning the Wallace attack.
The Trans Persons of Color Coalition (TPOCC) is saddened to hear about the violent attack on Bree Wallace on June 21 at 1 a.m. where she was found lying in the street outside of her apartment building at 2400 15th St Place S.E. after being lured to the location at 3038 Stanton Road, S.E., Washington, D.C. where the attack took place

This is unfortunately part of a pattern of anti-trans violence aimed at transwomen of color not only in the Washington DC area but across the nation.  Since April we have had three African-American transwomen killed in Baltimore, Maryland, Orlando, Florida and Cleveland, Ohio with only one arrest in those three cases.

In the Washington D.C. area there have been the fatal murders of Deoni Jones and Lashai Mclean in addition to anti-trans violence aimed at other transwomen. The National Coalition of Anti-Violence reported in 2011 that 87% of LGBTQH murder victims were people of color and 45% of hate murders involved transwomen.

Ms. Wallace is recovering in a local hospital.

“We join with the Washington DC trans community and our allies in hoping that the perpetrator who committed this heinous act is brought to justice. From the reports that we’ve heard, the neighbors came to her aid immediately by contacting local authorities. We are thankful for their assistance and hope more people choose to be active in assisting others in distress. Our communities cannot stand by and watch human beings be beaten, harmed or killed any longer. We urge our neighbors, friends and particularly communities of color to step up and help stop the violence, Kylar W. Broadus, executive director, TPOCC.

We know that local activists Earline Budd and Ruby Corado are on the ground working with local authorities. “Our role is to support and assist local activist when these horrible crimes occur. We hope others that have information will come forward and cooperate with local authorities as well. We wish Ms. Wallace a speedy and total recovery, Parker T. Hurley, deputy director, TPOCC.

***

TPOCC is an organization to inspire and nurture collaboration among communities of color dedicated to anti-racism, fighting transphobia and the empowerment of transgender persons of color. We work to strengthen and mobilize individuals, families, and communities by changing laws, educating the public, and building social and economic strength among all persons of color.

http://www.transpoc.org/


Why The Unacceptable Levels Of Anti-Trans Violence Aimed At Us?

Gay News, Washington Blade, Bree Wallace, transgenderDanielle King touched upon the frustration and anger we all feel about Bree Wallace, another Black transwoman being viciously attacked last Friday morning in the Washington DC area and us being beyond sick and tired of being sick and tired about it.  

I'm also praying along with the DC trans community and her sisters around the world for Bree's swift recovery from her injuries.


Someone asked in the comments on my Facebook page why we African-American transwomen (along with our trans Latina sisters) are facing unacceptable levels of anti-trans violence, and I submit it's multiple factors playing into this.

*The anti-trans hate speech regurgitated by TERF's, conservative religious groups and Fox Noise.
*The meme injected into American society since slavery that a Black life isn't worth that much or as important as a white one and a trans l
ife is even less important.
*The lack of visibility and respect for trans people of color inside and outside our community.   
*The outright media disrespect for Black trans women as exemplified by the Cleveland Plain Dealer's journalistic hate crime aimed at Cemia Acoff.
*Black trans women getting killed or having anti-trans violence aimed at them and the perps either never getting arrested for it or when they do, getting little or no jail time for it or getting acquitted.

If you don't think that DC cop Kenneth Furr getting off for discharging his service revolver at three transwomen didn't play into this or the fact that I as of yet can't hit Bing or Google and find any information about Gary Niles Montgomery's trial for killing Deoni Jones, you are sadly naive.

There's a perception that it's open season on Black transwomen in DC and beyond, and too many people and our legacy orgs have been cricket chirping silent about it.  Time for that sorry dynamic to change ASAP. 

Bottom line is that the POTUS and FLOTUS need to know about it.  The Congressional Black Caucus.   The NAACP.  The Urban League.  Our national, state and local politicians.  Every organization in Black America and our people need to be aware that Black trans women are catching hell besides TPOCC and the National Black Justice Coalition.

Why?  Because Black trans issues are Black community and Black LGBT issues.  What affects us also affects the entire African-American community and vice versa. 


And yes, Black SGL community,  let me repeat what I just said in that last sentence in terms of Black trans community issues being Black LGBT issues because some of your Black trans sisters also intersect and interact with the LGB and same gender loving end of the community.

Black LGB community, you will also need to do your part as well of being standup allies for us just as we are for you instead of elements of you trying to suck up to the Gay, Inc power structure that hates you just as much as they hate us. 

And my beautiful Black transsisters, yes I understand your concerns, but visibility is what will ultimately stop this wave of anti-trans violence directed at us, not hiding in the closet and cowering in fear.  That's what the haters want so they can deny we exist.  

It's nation time, Black trans women.  It's us being out, proud and open about our lives that will eventually stem the  tide of anti-trans violence along with us interacting with all the communities we intersect and interact with.  

We Black trans women have to come to grips with the fact we are walking targets for anti-female violence and sexual assault.  We must be hyper vigilant about our surroundings and the situations we potentially end up in.   One small lapse in that vigilance can result in us being seriously injured or having our names read at the next Transgender Day of Remembrance memorial ceremony.   

We have had three African-American trans women killed this year and all were under age 30. There is a pattern of anti-trans violence and disrespect in DC that Earline Budd alluded to that has existed since the mid 90's. That's gotta end.

What also has to end is
nobody caring about a Black trans woman unless they need her in a photo to prove their organization is diverse or they want to use us as bargaining chips to pass GL rights only legislation.

I can write about what happens to African-American trans women every day, but if you aren't sharing my TransGriot posts or talking about it, the news doesn't get disseminated. To borrow a slogan from the ACT-UP era, Silence=Death     

Your votes also put those national, state and local politicians in office.  Let them and the folks in these organizations know this is an unacceptable situation and ask them what concrete steps will they be taking to help stem the tide of anti-trans violence aimed at African-American trans women.   If they try to spin their way out of it, don't accept that.

I want you 40 and under African-descended transwomen to not only enjoy your lives, but know what it's like to get to my age so you can be mentors to the next generation of trans women.

It's why I want to do my part to ensure the unacceptable levels of anti-trans violence aimed at African-American trans women in DC and elsewhere in this country ends as expeditiously as possible.
   

DC Trans Woman Stabbed 40 Times In Attack

Gay News, Washington Blade, Bree Wallace, transgender
In a continuation of a disturbing pattern of anti-trans violence aimed at trans women of color over the last several years, another Washington DC trans woman was violently attacked over the weekend.

29 year old Bree Wallace was lured to what turned out to be an abandoned house at 3038 Stanton Road SE in Southeast Washington DC at 1 AM Friday morning according to a Washington Blade story and stabbed over 40 times by a person who she was acquainted with.  

She manged to get away and run to her nearby apartment building at 2400 15th St Place SE before she collapsed in the street and was taken to Prince George's Hospital in nearby Cheverly, MD.

Washington DC Metro Police hasn't confirmed that the attacker has been arrested and charged yet, but it was listed on the filed police report in the Lou Chibbaro, Jr story as an assault with intent to kill. 

Wallace is recuperating after being treated for multiple stab wounds in her back and chest and severe lacerations on her hands.  She is well liked in the Washington DC trans community and was one of twelve trans women chosen as part of a recently conducted calendar girl contest for Casa Ruby.

DC trans activists Ruby Corado and Earline Budd knew Wallace, who a client at both their community outreach organizations.   Wallace told Corado that she was acquainted with her attacker but had declined to get involved in a romantic relationship with him and had received a text from the attacker to meet her at that Stanton Road address prior to the attack.

Budd was concerned the DC Metro Police had not issued a public announcement about the assault over the weekend to alert the media and the community that a trans person had been attacked.

Sgt. Matt Mahl of the DC Police Gay and Lesbian Unit stated in the article they were advised about the attack but weren't authorized to comment on it because the attack was still under investigation.

The attack on Wallace also caused Washington DC activist Danielle King to write this comment on her Facebook page:

I'm quite aware that in the coming days the majority within the minority, may say I lost my marbles, but WTF! My sisters, black trans woman continue to be disproportionately impacted by violence and hate crimes, while others continue to enjoy privilege. It is true that trans people as a whole have had some monumental wins lately but damn, we're talking the difference between not being harassed or imprisoned while peeing and getting stabbed, shot or murdered before even making it to the bathroom. Black Trans women - African American Trans Women - are getting slaughtered. To the powers that be - I will not let this one go! It's time I reach out to the White House!

“I just want to make sure that it gets out there, that this attack happened and how brutal it was,” Budd said in the Washington Blade interview. “And also the message needs to be sent that transgender folks need to be very, very cautious in terms of their surroundings, who they are talking to and especially in the nighttime hours.”

Bree, will be praying for your speedy recovery and hoping you, your family and the DC trans community receive justice.

I will also be keeping up with the developments in this case and posting them on TransGriot as it evolves
 

Naw, It Ain't Your Business To Know Jazz's Or ANY Transperson's Old Name

Y'all know I have much love for my baby sis Jazz.  I keep up with her activist exploits on the blog and I'm looking forward to the day I finally get to meet her.

What prompted this post was this question I received in my comment feed from some person who shall remain nameless.
I have a question that you don't have to answer if you don't want to or feel uncomfortable with answering but do you know Jazz's original male name

Oh, I'm going to answer this question alright, but not in the way you expected me to.

Whatever Jazz's birth name was is not yours, mine or anybody else's business.  Even if I knew the answer to that question, I wouldn't put that information out there because she's a minor for starters and we have real haters out there that in many cases seek to do harm to us. I've also seen far too often in my time in this community that when that information gets out it tends to be used negatively by our detractors.  

Frankly, I like seeing news stories when they are written about Jazz that don't have the derailing line 'born as ___________'  or 'legal name is __________' in them.  

All you need to focus on is the fact that Jazz is a happy, healthy, well adjusted girl like us who is trying to live as normal a teenaged girl's life as possible.

She just happens to be a teen who has met a former president,. lobbied the US Soccer Association, been interviewed by Barbara Walters twice, spoken at various conferences, been featured in a documentary, appeared in a movie, and has a worldwide community who loves her and has her back.

A trans person's old name fall into none of your business territory along with whether we've had genital surgery.   Focus on the name that fits who we are now and what we told you what our name is to begin with.  

Your desire to know that personal information does not trump our desire as transpeople to keep that information private.  It's why I proposed an adjustment to the AP Stylebook guidelines concerning writing stories on trans people that prohibits the practice of injecting those old names into the story because transphobic ignorance follows.

So naw, it ain't your business to know what Jazz's or any transperson's old name is because it is not germane to who we are now. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Is The Texas Special Session Over Yet?

The Teapublican controlled Texas Legislature went into a special session moments after the sine die date on the regular 2013 session that is mercifully drawing to a close. 

In addition to taking on the redistricting issue which will have a lawsuit filed against it when this session is over faster than you can say 'Rick Perry', Governor Goodhair (R) also threw a right-wing bone to the teabaggers and added the issue of abortion to the issues being worked on during the legislative special session,.

That's when the fun started. State Rep Jodie Laubenberg (Teabagger-Parker) obliged by being the House sponsor of SB 5, a bill that not only bans abortion after 20 weeks, it sets standards for existing clinics in Texas that will force 37 of the 42 clinics that currently operate in the state to close. 


Rep Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston) then introduced an amendment to the draconian bill that would carve out an exception for it in the cases of rape and incest, and it was in the context of explaining why it wasn't needed that Laubenburg made the gaffe that is going to follow her to her grave and hopefully will lead to her being voted out of the legislature next November.  

Rep Thompson's amendment was defeated but not before the dean of the Texas House engaged in some of her classic oratory excoriating the Republifools.  





With the GOP having a 95-55 Texas House majority, there was no doubt this odious bill was going to pass and it did 97-33.  But due to there being differing versions of extremism in SB 5, it has to go back to the Senate for reconciliation, where Senate Dems are preparing to welcome it with a filibuster in the hopes of killing it when the special session ends at midnight and denying Perry the chance to scribble his signature on it an make it law.

Lt Gov David Dewhurst (R) who is rumored to wanting to run for Perry's job next year is dropping hints that if 'certain measures' don't pass, we'll have another tax money wasting and drama filled special session. 

Is it November 6, 2014 yet?

National Gay And Lesbian Sports Hall Of Fame Announces Its First Class


The National Gay And Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame in Chicago announced its inaugural nomination class of inductees, and it not only includes some people I'm acquainted with, but some girls like us.

The Hall of Fame is housed at the Center on Halsted and was created by its executive director Bill Gubrud and several other individuals to celebrate the sporting achievements of LGBT people.

The initial class includes tennis player and girls like us Renee Richards and sportswriter Christina Kahrl, ESPN and CNN columnist LZ Granderson, MLB baseball player Glenn Burke, two time 1984 and 1988 Olympic diving champion Greg Louganis, tennis legends Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova, the first out boxer Orlando Cruz, Gay Games founder Dr. Tom Waddell, former pro lacrosse player Andrew Goldstein, out NBA player Jason Collins, Jerry Pritikin, and straight English Rugby league player Ben Cohen.

Congrats to Christina and LZ on this well deserved honor.  The Hall of Fame is taking nominations until July 1 for additional people that will be voted on by the board and announced during their induction ceremony.  

I'd like to see Kye Allums, Keelin Godsey, Michelle Dumaresq, Kristin Worley and Fallon Fox also get nominations and have a chance of making this inaugural class.    . 

The induction ceremony will take place in Chicago on August 3 and I hope that these folks also make it 

Janet's Back On The MHP Show



I guess Melissa Harris-Perry was serious about having Janet Mock on as a MHP show regular guest.  

She was back visiting #Nerdland on Saturday along with another one of my fave people Aisha Moodie-Mills talking about TBLG rights issues and why more than marriage is needed.


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Segment 2


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


I Welcome Your Hatred, Robyn

Because I call crap out, ain't 'scurred' to talk about whiteness, white privilege and how it deleteriously affects this community and call out the TS separatists (and others) for their racism and bigotry I have more than a few white sheet wearing detractors who straight up hate me.

Ho hum, Robyn Carolyn Montague is still bitter because I won't add her to the now 1800 people on my Facebook page.  All I have to say to you and the people that share your opinion of moi is I welcome your hatred.

And yeah, bear in mind that I've been active in this community for 15 years and contrary to your jacked up vanillacentric perspective, my friends in it who have my back don't always share my ethnic background.

The TS separatist ranks that you'd fit in quite nicely with because they are in the 'I Hate Moni' club ranks with you are chock full of bitter, rancor filled selfish idiots like you who are pissed off because they assumed they would hold the same level of white male privilege they used to have in their new femme bodies and society said otherwise.


And yeah, I sure am getting off my fine behind to help do my part to organize the next Creating Change conference coming to my hometown. I'm four videotaped hours and counting into an enjoyable oral history project at Rice University that will preserve my thoughts for posterity.  My seven year old blog is approaching 5 million hits and is archived.   I was honored by BTMI last March with an advocacy award named after me

And oh yeah, did you see who made the inaugural Trans100 List?   Sure wasn't you.

As I told your trifling, bitter butt back in February, my Facebook page, my rules.  Your continued nekulturny antics make that decision I made then to NOT add you to it look even wiser in the four months since I made that call. 

And you are still role modeling what I said about you four months ago. 

You're not a lady, you're another late transitioning asshole that still is carrying around that WMPesque attitude you spent much of your life marinating in.

So if you're going to post a derogatory comment about moi making an allegation about what I said, at least make it accurate.  Take the time to cut and paste what I said about you down to the syllable

On that note, I've wasted enough bandwith playing with you.  I have trans human rights I have to help our community get, stories I need to shine a bright spotlight on, trans people I need to inteview who are actually doing something to make a difference, speeches to write and a presentation to finish.

And naw, I'm still not adding you to my Facebook page
  .

2013 Williams Watch-'Williams'-don Starts Today

Break out the strawberries and cream, The Championships or as I call them,'Williams'-don start today and run through July 7.   

Let me get the bad news out of the way now.   Venus withdrew because of recurring bask spasms, so that means that not only will Big Sis not be there for the first time since 1996, they won't be able to defend their 2012 doubles title.  

That leaves Serena to uphold Williams family honor and their tradition of beating down all comers in the women's tennis world at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.  

Where the French Open and its clay courts have been a house of horrors for them, Wimbledon and its grass courts have been the mirror opposite. The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club has been the  Williams sisters personal tennis playground to the point that 10 of the last 13 Wimbledon singles crowns have been won by either Venus or Serena in addition to five doubles titles and the single and doubles gold medals at the 2012 London Olympics.

Serena comes into this tournament as the defending singles champion, the number one ranked player in the world, the number one seed and fresh off a dominating performance across the channel in Paris.

She starts her quest for her 17th career single titles and sixth Wimbledon title with a first round match against Mandy Minella of Luxembourg.

Considering the way she's been playing lately, I wouldn't bet against Serena holding up another Venus (Williams) Rosewater Dish at the conclusion of this tennis fortnight.
   

Association of Transgender Professionals Statement About Allyson Robinson's OutServe/SLDN Dismissal

allyson-robinson-1.jpgTransGriot Note: Told y'all we're pissed about what happened to Allyson Robinson.   Here's the statement from the Association of Transgender Professionals about it

Equality in the workplace for the transgender community was set back this week by the sudden dismissal of Allyson Robinson as Executive Director of OutServe-SLDN.


“Allyson’s role at OutServe-SLDN was a beacon to all by demonstrating that transgender was finally an equal partner in the struggle for LGBT equality,” according to ATP Executive Director Denise Norris.

There are an unknown number of Transgender men and woman proudly serving in our military forces, but they can only serve if they sacrifice the same authenticity of self that was recently granted to Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual service personal with the repeal of DADT.  Allyson’s role as Executive Director at OutServe-SLDN gave hope and inspiration all service personal who were required to remain in the military’s closet.

Autumn Sandeen, an ATP member and respected transgender military and veterans activist states, “Allyson Robinson is a strong leader that many prominent trans* veterans trust and deeply respect. I’m sure I’m not the only trans* veteran who is saddened that she’ll no longer be leading OutServe-SLDN.”   Ms Sandeen, Petty Officer First Class (retired), served twenty years in the US Navy.

Norris explains that many ATP members are veterans of military service and have expressed great concern at the loss of the strong positive role model which Ms Robinson represents.

“One cannot serve with Pride if one is commanded to do so in the closet,” Ms. Norris observed.
ATP salutes all Americans on active service during LGBT Pride Month 2013.


***

About the Association of Transgender Professionals

The Association of Transgender Professionals (ATP) is a not-for-profit organization advocating economic equality and workplace inclusion for people with non-conforming gender expressions and/or identities regardless of socioeconomic standing.

To learn more about the Association of Transgender Professionals and its vision and goals, please visit www.transgenderprofessionals.org

Its three-fold mission is:
  • To promote inclusion and equality for Gender Expression Diversity in the workplace (Acceptance)
  • To provide professional development services to accelerate the acquisition of workplace skills (Talent)
  • To develop viable employer recruiting channels (Placement)

Nerve Wracking SCOTUS Watch Week

Good thing I'm going to be hitting the road in the middle of the week for a long interstate highway journey to Denver.  It'll keep me from not being stressed out reading SCOTUSblog about the potential results in several cases of importance to me and the various communities I'm a part of.  

I'm keenly interested in the Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder case which takes aim at Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the Fisher v UT Austin one and the ones the marriage equality peeps are sweating in Hollingsworth v Perry and United States v. Windsor.

Note to John Aravosis and the rest of you GL peeps pimping that tired Blacks are keeping us from getting gay marriage meme, let me drop another 50 megatons on knowledge on to you irradiate that lie. 

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund wrote friend of the court briefs in support of striking down DOMA and was part of the coalition of organizations filing in the Hollingsworth v perry care to take down Prop 8.

The LDF has been filing friend of the court briefs on behalf of the LGBT community since the 1996 Romer v Evans case. 

But back to the SCOTUS and these upcoming landmark cases.  The only thing we know about these cases is that there is no way of knowing which way they will go, and we can't even say for certain the vote will break down on 5-4 conservative-liberal lines as has been the pattern in the Roberts Court era.

For those of us who like to see human rights expand, all we can do is watch, hope and pray that justice prevails. 

These SCOTUS decisions will drop either sometime this week or next, and you will definitely know when it happens because the online chatter will be off the charts when it does.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Ask A Trans Attracted Man-Part 5


As I've stated more than a few times on the blog, we girls like us need to do a better job of being fierce advocates for and appreciating the cis men (and trans ones too) who genuinely love us and want to have long term relationships with us that may result in us getting rings put on our fingers 

And we trans women also need to tell the brothers cis and trans in no uncertain terms what we want, need and don't need as they are vying for our romantic attention.

To facilitate that conversation, I've stated posting the videos of Troy, a self identified trans attracted man who has started a YouTube video channel to do just that along with the other videos in that ongoing series.

Trans feminine video bloggers are also beginning to chime in with their thoughts and blog posts on the subject of romantic relationships..   So are our trans brothers.

In addition to having for your viewing pleasure Troy's latest video.


Allyson Robinson Ousted As OutServe/SLDN Exec Director


Back in October I was happy to trumpet the news of Allyson Robinson's groundbreaking hiring as the executive director of the merged OutServe/SLDN.   Allyson also became at that time the first trans person ever to be hired as the head of a national Gay, Inc org whose primary focus is not centered on trans human rights issues. 

Today the trans community and our allies are stunned to hear the news via the Bilerico Project that after only nine months on the job Allyson Robinson has been ousted as the head of OutServe/SLDN after a board coup.  

A new executive director for an organization is usually given a year to immerse themselves in the culture of the organization and implement their policy and procedural direction, so this unexpected firing of Robinson triggered the resignations of OutServe/SLDN senior staff, several board members and growing outrage in the trans community. 

I've been wary of OutServe/SLDN based on how military transfolks got thrown under the Humvee in the runup to the 2010 DADT repeal and questions about their cultural competency to articulate the issues facing trans military personnel and veterans.  

It also revived the perception in the trans community that OutServe/SLDN only cares about GL military people and isn't on board with helping the trans community end the ban on trans military service so that we can openly serve in our country's military.

It also put a renewed spotlight on TAVA, the Transgender American Veterans Association and the status of the ten year old organization in the wake of founding president Monica Helms' recent retirement.

United States Military: Lift the Ban on Transgender People in the MilitaryIt also plays into the larger problem that Gay, Inc orgs are cricket chirping silent about in terms of the glaring lack of visible trans feminine leadership in their ranks and the suspicion of trans people that GL transphobia is playing a major role in that invisibility. 

Don't even get me started about the lack of trans women of color in Gay, Inc organizational ranks.

That perception is only going to ossify with this highly public dismissal of a groundbreaking trans leader and the ongoing turmoil and drama it has unleashed in its wake.

Robinson said at the time she was hired as the OutServe/SLDN executive director, "We cannot stop until we reach the day when all qualified Americans who wish to wear the uniform of our armed forces have the opportunity to do so with honor and integrity – and without fear of discrimination or harassment – whether they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.”

Their ouster of Robinson after only nine months on the job leads the trans community to legitimately ask if there is rampant transphobia in the organization.   It also leads us to ask the more pertinent policy question of just how committed OutServe/SLDN is to the mission of ensuring that like GLB Americans, transgender Americans can serve their country with honor and distinction.

TransGriot Update:  Denise Brogan Kator was the first transperson to ever be hired as the ED for a Gay, Inc org not focused on trans human rights issues when she became the head of Equality Michigan. 

Netroots Nation 2014 Is Headed To Detroit

Detroit_Skyline

I couldn't make it to Netroots Nation 2013 in San Jose, CA to my sorrow after being part of the fun last year in Providence and a historic first ever all trans panel discussion..  

I was busy with my own stuff during the June 20-23 period of Netroots Nation's San Jose run so I didn't get a chance to check out the news from the just concluded convention to see if what I wrote at the end of the Providence 2012 Netroots Nation event as to what I would like to see at #NN13 actually came to pass. 


They announced the city that will be hosting Netroots Nation 2014 a few moments ago and it will be in Detroit

It will take place July 17-20 at Cobo Hall in the Motor City and will be coming at a critical time.  The crucial 2014 midterms will be taking place a few months later on November 6 and the citizens of Michigan will be striving to throw off the yoke of Republifool oppression and toss Rick Snyder and their Tea Klux Klan dominated legislature out of power in addition to selecting a replacement for retiring US Senator Carl Levin (D).

So the peeps in Detroit are excited about this opportunity to show a different side of Detroit than the one that has been depicted on the national news lately and will be wanting to roll out the red carpet for the over 3000 progressive activists headed there next July.

And with a little luck, hope I'm one of them.

Renee's Medical Update

For those of you who are wondering how our fave north of the 49th parallel frequent guest blogger is doing in combating her recent health challenge, there's some positive news to report on that front.

Renee is on the mend, in good spirits, is determined to get better and the medical team is just as determined to help her get to that point. 

She is now in the rehabilitation hospital for the next three weeks and look out world, is still armed with her tablet.  

She wants to thank all of you who continue to send her get well soon messages on her blog and who lifted her and her family up in prayer during this challenging time.  

With continued progress she'll be unleashing her wit, wisdom and commentary on the world in no time..

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Transpinay Jazz Vocalist

There are many talented people inside our  community who if just given a fair shot to show off their talents will excel when given that opportunity.

This video is a year old interview with jazz vocalist Angel Bonilla. 

Ni***r Isn't The Same As Honky

Aletha FieldsTransGriot Note: Guest post by Aletha Fields


Ni***r is the most electric racial slur between blacks and whites in America. No other word between the races carries that charge. That's why ni***r isn't the same as honky. No white person ever got enslaved, humiliated, dehumanized, raped, or sold as a part of one of the ugliest periods in American history.

Sooooooo. . . Everybody quit acting brand new and trying to justify the use of ni***r against the use of words like honky. You know it isn't the same no matter what you say. And for the record, how many black people do you honestly hear calling white people honky? Step out of the 70s please. Honky? Ni***r? Which one makes people turn their heads? Which one makes good white parents intentionally tell their children to NEVER say? Which one is often followed by actions the word ni***r provokes? Black isn't the same as ni***r.

Paula Deen knows the difference about when to not use the word. She isn't brand new. If it was actually a part of her inability to code switch, she would not have made it as far because she would have already used it publicly. No white person in America blatantly uses the word ni***r unless they mean to or want to. She needs to be punished for it. Her being honest about isn't a heroic act. That's a foolish notion in and of itself. She isn't living in a plantation culture and she isn't to be excused because she's a Southerner. She deserves every bit of public backlash for her private blacklash.

Fortunately for me, my social justice family, which includes many, many white do-gooders, taught me how very abnormal this behavior is amongst white people in America. It is THEIR honesty about anti-racist work that let me know white folks like Ms. Deen know exactly what they're doing and their intent around the use of words like ni***r.

The only thing people need to get over concerning racial slurs between whites and blacks is the notion that the use of the word ni***r by white people is not, has not been, and never will be anything than its ugly past intended.

You cannot submit to revisionist history. What happened during enslavement is not natural, is not just, is not a source of pride, is not an unintentional system of oppression, and is not passive. Get over THAT!

One Down,Three To Go In LA


One of the wastes of DNA suspected of being involved in the brutal May 31 transphobic hate assault on Vivian Diego was arrested by LAPD Hollywood Division detectives in the San Fernando Valley

21 year old Nicol Shakhnazaryan, was arrested Thursday night on felony battery charges for the May 31 attack and is being held on a $1.05 million bond.  LAPD with an assist from the FBI are searching for the other three suspects and the $25,000 reward for information leading to their capture is still in effect.

One down, three to go.



I AM YOU Trans Ally Campaign Launched In Malaysia

Malaysians at the launch of the I AM YOU: Trans Ally campaign
Was nice to hear that TBLG activists in that Pacific Rim nation launched last month a campaign designed to get people in Malaysia to be better allies to trans people there. 

We've seen Muslim transwomen be frequently arrested, charged under Sharia law with 'impersonating a woman' and fined or imprisoned for up to six months for just living their trans lives.  

While transwomen are the more well known and visible faces of the Malaysian trans community and targets for the anti-trans harassment aimed at them, trans men are increasingly being targeted for harassment if their status is discovered.

A political climate in which the various political parties trying to capture votes from the Muslim majority attempt to show righteous they are by hating on transpeople and repressing their human rights also has been problematic for the Malaysian trans community


The I AM YOU campaign launched with a screening of the three campaign videos followed by a question and answer session with several trans men and trans women complete with a mock trial demonstrating what happens when transpeople go to court to do their name changes.    

And here are the I AM YOU campaign videos.