Wednesday, January 28, 2015

2015 Williams Watch- Good And Bad News Quarterfinal Day

My fave tennis playing siblings made it to the quarterfinal round of the 2015 Australian Open and if they made it through their respective matches, would play each other in the semifinals with a Aussie Open finals slot on the line.

While Serena handled her business and took out 2014 Australian Open runner up Dominika Cibulkova in straight sets.6-2, 6-2, to move on to the  semifinals, unfortunately that wasn't the case  for Big Sis.

Venus came out flat against American teen phenom Madison Keys and lost in three sets 3-6, 6-4, 4-6 despite Keys suffering a left thigh injury that necessitated a medical timeout in the second set.

It is the 19 year old Keys who will face the world's number one ranked player for a spot in the final against the winner of the all-Russian Ekaterina Makarova - Maria Sharapova semifinal.

Despite Venus' time in Melbourne being done, Serena is still alive for her fifth Australian Open title, her first since 2010 and her 19th Grand Slam title overall.

Another African-American Trans Woman Killed In Kentucky



Damn, I barely have calmed down from the rant I unleashed yesterday about too many of my young African descended transsisters being killed before I was sent news of this one from my old Louisville, KY stomping grounds.

It has all the disrespectful AP Stylebook violations I loathe when writing about these murders of African-American trans women.

Using mugshot photo in WHAS-TV story: CHECK.   Using victim's dead name: CHECK.   Misgendering her throughout the story:  CHECK

Surprised the WHAS-TV peeps didn't disrespect Ms. Edwards further by inserting whatever criminal record they could find since they found the mugshot.

The 20 year old Ms. Edwards (I refuse to use a name that is in violation of AP Stylebook standards for covering trans people) was found shot to death at the Fern Valley Motel in the 2700 block of Fern Valley Road on January 9.

She was from Indianapolis, and after LMPD was called to the scene, she was transported to a local hospital where she was declared dead upon arrival after suffering a single gunshot would to the chest.

LMPD is searching for 20 year old Henry Richard Gleaves in connection with this homicide and if you have eyeballs on him, please call the anonymous LMPD tip line at 502-574-LMPD.

For those of you in the Louisville area or Indianapolis area where Ms.Edwards was from, if you have some pics of her or know her femme name, please get it to me ASAP so I can properly and respectfully cover her story unlike the stenographers at WHAS-TV.

And this now make three transsisters we have lost to anti-trans violence since this year started, all 30 years old or younger.   

And this month still isn't over yet.

#BlackTransLivesMatter    Once again how many more of us have to die before the Black community gives a damn? .

TransGriot Update.  Typed the last name as Williams instead of Edwards.   That's what I get for writing while watching Serena play tennis.   It has been corrected in the post. 

Henry Gleaves, the person who is alleged to have committed the crime, is now in LMPD custody and has been charged with murder.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Monica Jones' Walking While Black Trans Conviction In AZ Overturned!

Have some good news to report on this day in terms of the Monica Jones 'Walking While Black Trans' case in Arizona.

You'll recall that the local activist was walking several blocks from her home on May 17, 2013 to meet some friends at a bar and was profiled by an undercover cop executing a prostitution sting.  She was arrested and convicted of violating an unjust law in Phoenix.

She subsequently appealed her conviction for Walking While Black Trans in August, and yesterday the Arizona Superior Court overturned her April 2014 conviction for manifesting intent to solicit prostitution under an unjust Phoenix law the ACLU, Ms Jones and other have argued is unconstitutional.

Of course Ms. Jones and her legal team were ecstatic  about the victorious outcome

Monica Jones“Today is a great day! My wrongful conviction under the Phoenix manifestation law was vacated this morning. I am so grateful to my legal team and all of my supporters across the country and world. My conviction being vacated is important but it is a small win in our larger fight for justice. There are so many trans women and cisgender women who might be charged under this law in Phoenix and similar laws across the country. There is so much more work that needs to be done so that no one will have to face what I have no matter who they are or what past convictions they have.”

Jean-Jacques Cabou, a partner at the law firm of PerkinsCoie who represented Monica in her appeal and argued her case, said: “Monica was convicted in an unconstitutional trial, under an unconstitutional law, of a crime she didn’t commit.  We are incredibly pleased that the appellate court agreed that Monica was unconstitutionally denied the presumption of innocence and that the court vacated her conviction.”    

Monica Jones“Like so many trans women of color, Monica Jones was profiled and targeted by police for walking down the street," said Chase Strangio, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project. "Today’s reversal of her conviction is an important validation of Monica’s brave fight to be seen and treated like a human being.”

“Monica Jones was targeted by law enforcement after her public opposition to the coercive treatment of sex workers by Project ROSE," said Dan Pochoda, senior counsel at the ACLU of Arizona.  "The demise of this Project is based on the inaccurate claim that most adult sex workers are "trafficked" is further vindication of Monica.”

This case may not be over just yet.   The State of Arizona may wish to refile the charges, so stay tuned.  But Monica won this legal round, and congrats to Ms. Jones and her legal team for standing up for her human rights and striking a blow for justice.

Unchecked Anti-Trans Hate Speech Kills

Right now I'm pissed the hell off. 

In the last two weeks we have had two Black trans women, aged 24 and 30 killed in Virginia and Texas.   Both have been misgendered and disrespected in their local media, and Lamia was further disrespected by having her arrest record salaciously added to the story by media stenographers who failed to read their AP Stylebooks

Meanwhile I'm observing a large corporation fighting a discrimination suit filed by another Black trans woman by asserting they have a right to discriminate against Leyth Jamal and by extension, all of us.

And yeah, seeing King Hater Dave Welch and Steve 'Swastika Cakes' Riggle accompanied by his not so merry band of sellout kneegrow ministers at the opening of the HERO trial here in Houston yesterday isn't helping my mood right now.

Because I'm thinking about two more Black trans women in Lamia and Ty that not only won't live to see my age as a Kennedy Baby, they won't live to celebrate their 40th birthdays.   

Hell, Ty won't know what it's like to celebrate her 30th birthday.

So if you wonder why I get pissed off when I see media misgendering of my living and deceased sisters, or call out people spreading anti-trans hatred and lies in comment threads or in the blogosphere, it's because unchecked anti-trans hate is not harmless.

I'm also beyond sick and tired of lesbian, gay and SGL peeps ignorantly or willfully enabling that anti-trans hate online, while we're trying to live our trans lives interacting with the world, and in their not so quiet rainbow rooms. 

Unchecked anti-trans hate speech kills.  And I'm tired of the Black and Latina trans feminine communities having to deal with the violent repercussions of that anti-trans hate speech morphing into families having to prematurely bury their child or starting a gofundme to come up with the cash to do so.

I'm sick and tired of the lost potential to us and the world at large of these young trans women who have left us far too soon.  Ty was studying to be a nurse, so we will never receive as a society the benefits of her permanently interrupted nursing education.

#BlackTransLiveMatter.    Unchecked anti-trans hate speech kills whether it's online, in the media or from the pulpit.   When is the Black cis community going to focus the same level of urgency of stopping the genocidal level of murders of Black trans feminine people as they do for the rest of cis Black America?

How long Black America before the loss of Black trans women to senseless anti-trans violence is also unacceptable to our community?

How many of us trans folks have to die before you cis people care? 

RIP Ty Underwood

It saddens and angers me to write another post informing you TransGriot readers about the loss of another trans sister to anti-trans hatred and violence.

This time the location of our latest hate murder is in Tyler, TX and her name is Ty Underwood.   She was just 24 years old.

She was found shot to death early Monday morning in North Tyler on  Twenty Fourth Street.  A woman called 911 saying a car had hit a telephone pole and that her children heard gunshots. Underwood's roommate Coy Simmons believes Underwood was targeted because she is a transgender person.

“She was lovely, just a lovely person. Very real, down to earth person who didn't deserve this, did not deserve this at all,” Simmons told KYTX-TV in an interview.

Tyler Police detectives do have a few leads, but nothing substantial enough to lead to a warrant  or an arrest. “We will follow any leads that come in, we will follow them completely because this was a senseless murder,” Detective Andy Erbaugh said.

Detective Erbaugh believes Underwood was in or near her car when shots were fired. She then tried to drive off, but the car got stuck in a grassy area.

If you live in the Tyler area and know something, call the Tyler Police and tell them what you know.

And yes Ty, you transsisters and all who loved you are not going to rest until the waste of DNA who committed this crime is apprehended, tried, convicted and rotting in a TDC jail cell.

We are also going to make it our business in the 2K15 to let people know that #BlackTransLivesMatter, and the anti-trans hate speech being uttered from pulpits and on right wing talk radio is getting people killed


Rest in power, Ty.

Monday, January 26, 2015

2015 Williams Watch- Venus and Serena In The Aussie Quarters

http://celebmafia.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/serena-williams-2015-australian-open-in-melbourne-round-2_1.jpgI've been having some problems with my cable, which has prevented me from watching my fave tennis playing siblings kick butt in the 2015 Australian Open 

My cable problems have cleared up just in time for me to discover that Serena and especially Venus are having a successful so far business trip to Melbourne.

I'll start with Little Sis' road to the quarterfinals which started with a 6-0, 6-1 opening round waxing of Belgium's Alison Van Uylvanck that took only 61 minutes. 

That set her up for a second round 7-5, 6-0 straight set win over Russia's Vera Zvonareva in which she got off to a slow start, saved three set points but eventually kicked it up to Serena mode 
She was clinically efficient in that closing set, taking only 27 minutes to complete it and move on to the third round.

She faced Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, and after dropping the first set 4-6, she regrouped to take the second set 6-2 to even the match, then blitzed her 6-0 to move on to the fourth round.

Spain's Garbine Muguruza also took the first set in their fourth round match 2-6 before Serena flipped the script and roared back to take the second set 6-3 and the deciding set 6-2 to head to the Australian open quarterfinals for the first time since 2013.

The world number one and number one tournament seed faces 2014 Aussie Open runner up Dominika Cibulkova, who survived a three set battle of her own with Victoria Azarenka. 

18th seeded Big Sis is having her best Australian Open since she made it to the Aussie Open finals against her sister in 2003.  She's made it to the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time since the 2010 US Open.

Venus' path to the quarters started with a first round 6-2, 6-2 straight set win over Maria Torro-Flor of Spain.

That punched her ticket to a second round clash with fellow American Lauren Davis which ended with a 6-2, 6-3 straight set victory which propelled her to the third round.

She faced Italy's Camila Giorgi and battled to a hard fought 4-6, 7-6 (7-2) , 6-1 victory that sent her to the fourth round against 6th seeded Agnieszka Radwanska.    Venus took down Radwanska 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 to advance to a quarterfinal match with American teen Madison Keys.

Should the Williams sisters win their respective quarterfinal matches, they will face each other in the semifinals for a spot in the 2015 Australian Open final.

PTHC 2015 Workshop Deadline Is Friday

Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference 2015
The 2015 edition of the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference will be happening June 4-6, and the deadline for submitting proposed workshops and panels is fast approaching.

The Philadelphia Trans Health Conference is considered the largest trans themed conference in the United States, and draws international attendees as well as trans people from across the country.

If you want to present a workshop at PTHC, need to get it in to them by Friday January 30.

The PTHC team is also interested in proposals that target the African-American and Latino/a trans communities, trans masculine people, and Professional Development tracks just to name a few areas they are interesting in having programming and workshops for.

I attended my first ever PHTC last year and really enjoyed the experience and the people I met there including Jazz, and hope that I can return for the 14th annual edition of the event this year.   I also encourage those of you in range of Philadelphia and our trans community allies to consider attending this free conference that will be housed at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.   You just need to register for it.

If you have any other questions about the PTHC that are not answered on their website, please contact PTHC coordinator Samantha Dato at sdato@mazzonicenter.org

And you have until Friday to get those workshop proposals into the PTHC organizing team

CC15 Delegates, Let's Support Marjorie Silva While We're In Denver

When we start gathering in Denver next week for Creating Change 2015, I hope that one of the places we delegates visit and patronize is the Azucar Bakery owned by Marjorie Silva.

Remember the ridiculous 'swastika cakes' line that Houston suburban hate preacher Steve Riggle uttered during our HERO fight last year?  

It stems from a Colorado case in which a right wing leaning baker named Jack Phillips ran afoul of Colorado's anti-discrimination law for refusing to bake a weeding cake for a gay couple.  Because white privilege addled right wingers wouldn't know discrimination if it slapped them in the face like it does non-whites, TBLG people and women on an almost daily basis, they have a loud and wrong conservainterpretation of it that is not based in reality.

They seem to think their religious beliefs trump human rights law.   Um, no they don't.

And by the way Steve, Houston bakers still aren't being forced to bake swastika cakes.  But Houstonians are still having to deal with discrimination inside our city limits because HERO hasn't been implemented because of your friends baseless anti-human rights lawsuit.

Okay, back to Ms Silva's story.

In their zeal to prove a false equivalency,  right wing activist Bill Jack rolled over from Castle Rock, CO and trolled 40 year old Marjorie Silva's Denver bakery and asked her to make a Bible shaped cake, which she agreed to do. 

But when they were about to complete the order, according to Silva, Jack then handed her a piece of paper with hateful words about gays that he wanted written on the cake. He also wanted the cake to have two men holding hands and an X on top of them.

"It's just horrible. It doesn't matter if, you know, if you're Catholic, or Jewish, or Christian, if I'm gay or not gay or whatever," said Silva to KUSA-TV, adding in the interview that she has made cakes regularly for all religious occasions. "We should all be loving each other. I mean there's no reason to discriminate."

Silva said she would bake the cake, but would give him a pastry bag and icing to write the hateful anti-gay words on the cake himself.   

Jack didn't want that, claimed he'd been 'discriminated' against and subsequently filed a complaint against Azucar Bakery with the Colorado Civil Rights Division.

"There's no law that says that a cake-maker has to write obscenities in the cake just because the customer wants it," said Mark Silverstein, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Colorado.

And that's the key difference in the Silva and Phillips cases.   She didn't refuse to bake the cake, she refused to write the offensive message on it.   She offered a solution for the customer to do it himself that he rejected.  That's a First Amendment free speech issue, not a public accommodations one

And I'm also not liking the racist fact the right wing christobigot chose a Latina owned bakery in Denver to attack.

Since Creating Change 2015 will be kicking off in Denver next week, why don't we show Ms.  Silva some love and support and buy any baked goods needed at the conference from her Azucar Bakery while we're in the Mile High City? 

There is also a gofundme campaign that has been started to help defray her legal expenses from this right wing trolling of her.

And for you TBLG peeps and allies in the Denver metro area, may I suggest pre and post CC15 you put Ms. Silva's bakery on your support list when you need to purchase a cake or baked goods for your future rainbow community events.

This is also a golden opportunity to show the nation and the world that we TBLG folks stand by and with our community allies when they are unjustly attacked while sticking it to the right wing christobigots at the same time.

And I can't think of a more delicious way to fight anti-LGBT hatred.

When Is Vandalism NOT Vandalism?

View image on TwitterWhen white kids engage in it.

In our latest episode of White Privilege Gone Wild, several University of Michigan fraternities and sororities did their best Animal House impressions and trashed two ski resorts in Gaylord and Harbor Springs, MI during the January 16-18 weekend.

At the Treetops resort in Gaylord, 120 members of the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity and Sigma Alpha Tau sorority did $50,000 in what was termed significant damage.  

They were staying in 45 rooms at the resort and according to reports, damaged hallway ceiling tiles, broke windows, broke and damaged furniture, ripped lights out of fixtures and generally left the place a filthy mess before they were escorted by Michigan State Police off the property.

Meanwhile at the Boyne Highlands resort in Harbor Springs, the Pi Kappa Alpha and Chi Psi frats and the Delta Gamma and Alpha Psi sororities were merrily engaged in destroying furniture and fixtures, putting holes in the drywall, broke doors and ruined carpet in the 12 condo units they were renting to the tune of several thousand dollars.

The resorts are considering filing charges in the wake of this incident, the Michigan State Police are still investigating, and the University of Michigan Greek Life office is still doing their own investigation that could result in sanctions for the orgs involved.

"The entire University of Michigan community is deeply saddened by the actions of some of our students last weekend at two northern Michigan ski resorts," said UM spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald

View image on Twitter"The damage caused by out-of-control students fueled by excessive alcohol consumption at Treetops Resort and Boyne Highlands is an affront to the thousands of respectful, hard-working students on our campus."

The Sigma Alpha Mu chapter national office has suspended the chapter indefinitely as chapter president Joshua Kaplan issued an apology for the actions of their off the chain members

But it was interesting to note in the comment sections of the stories about the college students gone wild, how quick people were to try to excuse their behavior.   Non-whites in those story comment threads pointed out that if these had been Black kids or Black Greek orgs, those resorts probably wouldn't have waited until Sunday to call the po-po's, and you can bet those kids wouldn't have been politely escorted off the property by the Michigan State Police.

A Black frat or sorority engaged in the same level of nekulturny behavior would have had the cops called on them as soon as the music got too loud.    The state police would have showed up with guns drawn, hauled people off to jail upon arrival and the resorts would have immediately filed charges.

FOX Noise would be putting this story on an endless loop, calling the kids 'thugs and hooligans' as they did so, castigated their parents, dissed the frats and sororities, injected the arrest mugshots in the story and gleefully used it to race bait the entire Black community.

They would have also found some kind of way to blame President Obama for it.

We'll be watching in Black America to see what actually happens to these affluent frat and sorority kids that were involved in this reprehensible incident, but we're pessimistically expecting that affluenza and white privilege will prevail as we wait for Bill O'Reilly, Geraldo Rivera  and Sean Hannity to call out the bad behavior on their shows.

But judging by what we've observed from the justice system over the last few months, we have a reason to be pessimistic.


Sunday, January 25, 2015

'Passing' Trans Masculine Documentary

Screenshot 2015-01-20 18.51.45_1-1One of the things the world definitely needs to see and hear are the voices of trans men of color.

Just as the modern trans feminine narrative since 1953 has been dominated by the voices and stories of white trams women, the story is unfortunately the same for trans men of color.

Passing: A Short Documentary is a film by Lucah Rosenberg Lee and J. Mitchell Reed that focuses on the lives of three nondisclosed Black trams men.  The film explores what life is like living as a Black man when no one knows you are transgender and how each of them now perceives their own journey with gender after many years of being interacted with by the world as a biological man.

It will also explore how cultural attitudes towards race are central to how transgender men of color experience their maleness in today’s society because their experiences are different from the experiences of white trans-men.

The documentary film has been completed, and the Passing team is on a second Indiegogo campaign with a $3500 goal to raise funds to take it to multiple film festivals, pay for music licensing fees, and cover travel expenses for two of the actors to travel from Houston and New York to attend the premiere




Hope you hit that fundraising target, and hope I get to see it at my local H-town filmfests like Worldfest and QFest Houston..

Ashton Speaks At #MillionsMarchTexas

One of our fave local activists here in the Houston area, Ashton Woods was asked to speak at the recent #MillionsMarchTexas event in our state capital of Austin.

Here's what he had to say on the subject of intersectional justice.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

RIP Bianca Baxter

Community Mourns Loss of Ballroom Star Bianca Baxter aka Barbie MizrahiSad news from the ballroom community courtesy of ELIXHER. 

On December 21 the House of Mizrahi suffered the untimely loss of their House Mother Bianca Baxter, known in the Ballroom world as Barbie Mizrahi.

The cause of death of the actress and model from Charlottesville, VA  hasn't been confirmed, but she was a popular and well loved figure in the ballroom world.

Every trans woman in the ballroom and pageant community is my sister, too. We have much to learn and teach each other, and need to do a better job in 2015 of connecting and working to solve our common problems together.  
And while  I'm saddened to hear about Bianca leaving us far too soon, the cool thing is there is plenty of video of our ballroom sister, and you can check it out here.




Know Your Rights With The Police Event At Resurrection MCC Today

The latest Know Your Rights With The Police event will be taking place at Resurrection MCC at 12:30 PM CST.

It is organized and presented by Ashton Woods, with the #KYRWTP  training taught by former Houston city councilmember and longtime 20 year attorney Jolanda Jones,

It is designed to give you an overview of what your constitutional rights are if you get pulled over in a traffic stop, or live in a home or apartment.   Knowing those rights can head off potential police harassment that could escalate into something more serious.   They could be the difference between life or death or proving who's telling the truth between you and the police in a court of law

So check out this free event at The Gathering Place on the Resurrection MCC campus.  The address is 202 W.11th St  in Houston, and the METRO 40 Pecore/Ella line runs past the church for you public transportation peeps.

Gratis refreshments are also being provided starting at 12:15 for attendees. 

Hope to see you there.

High School Students Call Out FOX Noise

"Based on our studies about the field of journalism, we have determined that you're not practicing journalism. You're practicing rank propaganda." [...]
"By watching Fox News, we have learned buckets about journalism - what to do and, more importantly, what never to do. It is our hope that Fox News can learn the very same from watching us."
Mount Anthony Union HS, Bennington VT


Too bad the people watching that alleged network don't get that point that the students of Mount Anthony Union High School learned while studying journalism. 

But I'll let you watch their video and let them tell you themselves..



Also points out why the Republicans hate public schools.  They teach kids to critically think, and that's bad news for conservatism, that requires lots of bamboozled voters to keep them in power.

But the Mount Anthony high school students are far more optimistic about FOX than the rest of us are about the lying news leopard changing its spots.  

It won't.  It is a political arm of the Republican Party and the conservafool movement.  If you didn't know that already, the kids at Mount Anthony just helped 'ejumacate' you to that.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Shut Up Fool Awards-Chain Of Fools Edition

If the title of this week's Shut Up Fool Awards sounds familiar, it's borrowed from a classic Grammy Award winning Aretha Franklin song that was released in November 1967.   

Chain of Fools went number one on the R&B chart for four weeks and hit number two on the pop chart in January 1968 for two weeks.   It later won the Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.

So let's get to our usual Friday business of calling out a seemingly unbroken chain of fools for this week's awards.

Honorable Mention number one is Sen. Joni Ernst (Teabagger-IA).  She claimed during her State of the Union rebuttal speech infomercial that she grew up poor, but family got over $460K in federal farm subsidies.

Honorable mention number two  is our fave Oklahoma homobigot in state Rep. Sally Kern.    She's Exhibit A of my repeated statement that most dangerous bigot is the one with the power to write legislation. 

Sally's in the news again by pushing a trio of bills that would make it extremely difficult for LGBT people to live in Oklahoma.   Never mind the fact the hypocrite has a gay son and was officially rebuked by her House colleagues for uttering racist and misogynistic remarks..

Still haven't given up on your dream of making Oklahoma LGBT free, eh Frau Kern?

Honorable Mention number three is Patsy Keever.   She's running for the chair of the NC Democratic Party along with trans candidate Janice Covington Allison, and let loose an anti-trans insult at a candidate forum in Gastonia, NC on Tuesday.

Transphobia is never a good look on the campaign trail, boo

Honorable mention number four is Hugh Taylor, the superintendent (R) of the DeKalb County AL schools who refused to let high school classes see the movie Selma because 'it's full of filthy language'.

But if that high school history teacher had requested to see Birth Of A Nation, you be all in for that huh?

Honorable mention number five is Mike Huckabee, for his racist hatin' on Bey Bey and other crimes against common sense..

Honorable mention number six is Dave Wilson, who is trying to get an anti-trans Houston City Charter amendment on the ballot that would fix gender identity at birth based on genitalia despite all the modern scientific evidence to the contrary.

And I had to have somebody from Texas on the list this week.

Rep. Tom McClintock (C-SPAN)This week's Shut Up Fool award winner is Rep Tom McClintock (R-CA)

In another sterling  example of why the most dangerous bigot is the one with the power to write legislation, this TeapubliKKKan parted his lips on C-SPAN to say that the minimum wage should be kept at $7 a hour for minorities because 'they aren't worth more than that.'



And racist conservative white male Republican congressmembers aren't worth the $175K in taypayer dollars we pay y'all, and I hope and pray the minority voters unfortunate enough to live in your congressional district vote your azz out next year.

The folks in Seattle have just blown up all your GOP arguments for not raising the minimum wage, because business is booming in that city because workers have money in their pockets. 

Even President Franklin D. Roosevelt back in 1936 knew what the key to a booming American economy was (and still is) and you Republicans are too stupid to realize it. 

Give American workers a living wage that allows them to pay their bills, save and have some extra disposable income to spend and they will put it back in the American economy.
'It is to the real advantage of every producer, every manufacturer and every merchant to cooperate in the improvement of working conditions, because the best customer of American industry is the well-paid worker'
President Franklin D Roosevelt, October 16, 1936.
Rep. Tom McClintock, shut up racist fool.

Rest In Peace, Lamia Beard!

Lamia BeardWell, didn't take long for me to have to write my first post of 2015 memorializing one of our fallen African-American trans sisters.

This happened in Norfolk, VA, her name was Lamia Beard, and she was 30 years old.

Lamia was found just before 4 AM EST on January 17 suffering from a gunshot wound in the 700 block of E. 25th Street.   She was taken to Norfolk General Hospital where she later died.

And as you probably guessed when it comes to media people covering the murders of our sisters, it came with another heaping helping of disrespect.   She was not only misgendered in the Scott Daugherty Virginian-Pilot article, her past arrest record was injected into the story.

#BlackTransLivesMatter

For those of you in the Norfolk area who wish to pay your last respects to Lamia, the viewing will be held on January 25, with the funeral service to take place at 11 AM on  Monday, January 26, 2015at the Metropolitan Funeral Service, Berkley Avenue Chapel

Address is 120 W. Berkley Avenue, Norfolk, VA.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact the Norfolk Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.

Rest in power Lamia!   We won't rest as a community until your killer is found and brought to justice.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Dave Wilson Proposes Anti-Trans Houston Charter Amendment


I've been aware since Thanksgiving he's been up to this shady unconstitutional BS for a while since my mom and sister got those transphobic hate pieces in the mail.|

Now it's starting to get more media coverage

Longtime Houston TBLG hater Dave Wilson wants to make Houston trans people permanent third class citizens.

In this blatant attack on Houston trans people, Wilson wants to have this language added to the City of Houston charter

"Except as required by State or Federal law, the City of Houston shall only define 'Gender Identity' as an Individual's Innate Identification, as either male or female, which Is assigned at birth. Perceived gender identification Is not allowed In defining 'Gender Identity.' Furthermore, the City of Houston shall require entities doing business with the city to adopt the same definition of 'Gender Identity.'"

Not no but hell no.  Besides, why would we trust a guy who deliberately misrepresented himself as Black to get elected to the Houston Community College system board? 

Wilson would need to collect 20,000 signatures to place his anti-trans amendment on the 2015 city ballot.

Seeing that they just failed to collect enough signatures to get HERO on this year's ballot, I would hope they would have even more trouble putting something even more extreme, discriminatory and anti-human rights in front of City of Houston voters.

And there is no fracking way I will sit idly by and allow this piece of anti-trans crap to desecrate the City of Houston's charter.

I will fight that with every fiber of my trans being to ensure the Wilson Anti-Trans Hate Amendment  dies a public and painful death.

As a matter of fact, I think it's past time that we TBLG folks and our human rights loving allies push a charter amendment of our own  that seeks to ban the use of the charter amendment process to roll back the human rights of marginalized groups.

And this is also one more glaring example of why the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance needs to be implemented without delay.

Why Does This Pattern Keep Happening In Jenifer's Council Races?

You long time TransGriot readers have seen my posts since 2011 documenting the efforts of Jenifer Rene Pool to become the first out transperson elected to Houston City Council.

If she succeeds in doing so this November, she would also become the first out trans person elected to a major city council in a city with 1 million or more population.

One of the things that has bothered me while watching Jen try to make this history and get that seat in the Horseshoe for the Houston trans community is the appearance to those of us in the trans world and our allies that elements of the lesbian and gay community are actively working to keep that history from happening.

During the 2011 cycle, it was newly out Bo Fraga suddenly deciding to run for city council in that same crowded Position 2 at large race that Jenifer had declared for.   There was also the whisper campaign started that Pool 'wasn't a viable candidate' that were allegedly spread all the way to the Victory Foundation.

Jenifer despite all that drama, finished sixth in that crowded race.

Then in 2013 when she ran for the Position 3 At Large seat, there was an allegation a group of gay delegates walked out of a meeting room just before a vote that cost her a critical endorsement.

Despite the fact that she was once LGBT Caucus President, has been a longtime host of the KPFT-FM Queer Voices radio show, and was a 2012 Pride Parade Grand Marshal, the lukewarm support from the LG community also caused her to miss the runoff in the Position 3 race against Michael Kubosh by a little over 1000 votes.

That bit the Houston LGBT community in the political behind a few months later during the HERO fight.  Councilmember Kubosh, after claiming at an April 27 town hall in Montrose he was 'against discrimination', voted against the HERO a month later and proclaimed at the Riggle hate rally masquerading as a church service in June that that "God put him on City Council to oppose the HERO."

Now Jenifer is gearing up for a third run for city council.   She is running for the at Large Position 1 seat, and we in Houston Trans World were stunned to hear that Lane Lewis, the openly gay chair of the Harris County Democratic Party,  decided to make his second run for City Council, and it ain't for the soon to be open At  Large Position 4 seat.

I'm not one for conspiracy theories, but I have to ask the question what's up with this when you know the Houston trans community has been trying to get representation on council since 1991, the Houston gay and lesbian community has had it for over two decades, .and we get elements of the Houston lesbian and gay community continuing to frustrate the efforts of Jenifer and the Houston trans community to get our first ever rep on City Council.

And don't think the Houston trans community has forgotten the calls by some peeps in LG Houston to 'dump the trannies' and pass an LG only HERO when the debate over the gender identity category got loud, transphobic, and contentious.

Hey I have much love and respect for Lane Lewis.  If  he's elected ,I have no doubt he'll make a fine city council member.   But hey, I have to ask this question.

Is it just coincidence that gay males have twice decided to jump into races for the same seat Jen has announced she's running for?   Is it personal animus toward her?  Or is it as some people suspect, there's other transphobic motivation for this pattern to repeatedly keep happening?

I have no problem with the job that gay and lesbian Houstonians have done so far in their time on council and in other city positions.   But transpeople also live inside the 700 square miles of Texas soil we call Houston, and it's past time one of us was sitting in one of those nice green leather chairs helping to shape civic policy.