Wednesday, July 27, 2016

BTAC 2017 Keynote Speaker Nominations

BTAC 2017 will be here before we know it, and one of the cool things about this conference is there is space made for community input for some of the events like the Awards Gala and the keynote speakers.

The nominations for 2017 keynote speakers have opened, and BTAC is looking for trans masculine and trans feminine nominees to do their keynotes for the conference that is set to happen April 24-30.

Who Will Be Your Next Keynote Speaker? BTAC 2017 National Keynote Speaker Nominations NOW OPEN for trans, transmen, transwomen!!!
If you or someone you know would be a great candidate for this opportunity, please nominate them today. The deadline to submit keynote speaker nominations is October 30, 2016.
Here's the link to nominate your candidates for BTAC 2017 keynotes.

British Columbia Finally Passes Trans Human Rights Law!

Provincial trans rights laws in Canada have been on the fast track since 2012, with seven Canadian provinces, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan and Alberta  plus the Northwest Territories being ones that have laws that explicitly protect  transgender people from discrimination..

New Brunswick, Quebec, Nunavut Territory and Yukon Territory don't have explicit language in their human rights acs, but interpret the current laws in ways that imply trans human rights are covered in those areas

We are also awaiting action on C-16, the federal trans rights bill that has been tabled by the Liberal federal majority and has passed its first reading.

Thirteen-year-old Tru Wilson, on right, with parents and brother at the B.C. Legislature Monday. Tru, who was born a boy, fought her school to be treated as a girl, the gender she identifies with.On Monday British Columbia finally joined that list of provinces that protect the rights of their trans citizens thanks to the passage of Bill 27, a bill that was fast tracked through the legislature in one day as transgender BC residents like Tru Wilson, her family and others came to Victoria to lobby for its passage
NDP MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert has been trying for five years to get four different private members trans right bills through the BC Legislature without success, so it was a surprise that the BC Liberal majority finally decided on July 25 to table and pass in all three readings Bill 27.

Bill 27 is now awaiting royal assent by BC's lieutenant governor, and adds explicit trans rights protection to the BC Human Rights Code.  Gender identity and expression are now listed as protected classes, and BC trans folks can no longer be fired, lose housing or face discrimination just for being their trans selves.

While Bill 27 was passed unanimously,  there was opposition from one of the ruling Liberal Party MLA's in Laurie Throness.  He cited the usual anti-trans BS to justify his opposition to the bill, called it 'unnecessary', but abstained from voting against it.,

Well peeps, if you live in the Chilliwack-Hope provincial riding, y'all know what to do in the next provincial election.   Vote this transphobic bigot out of office.

Congrats British Columbia for finally recognizing that trans rights are human rights, and doing the right thing in protecting the human rights of BC residents.

Meet Our DNC 2016 Black Trans Delegates

Trans people have been part of the DNC convention landscape since 2000, but it wasn't until 2008 that we African American trans folks got our first out trans delegate  in Tennessee's Marisa Richmond.  She was in the Mile High City for that historic convention that Sen. Barack Obama was nominated at, and eventually won the presidency while carrying our party's label a few months later.  

In 2012 Richmond was joined in Charlotte by another person used to making history.   Trailblazing trans leader Kylar Broadus of Missouri became our first out Black trans masculine delegate.

This year in Philadelphia we have a record contingent of 27 trans people in the Wells Fargo Center house and attending the various events and panels  Marisa Richmond is attending her third consecutive DNC convention, but this time she is making history again by serving as the DNC convention's official timekeeper.

But fear not dear readers.  Just as in 2012, the #DNCinPhilly event will have Black trans masculine and Black trans feminine delegate representation in the house for the second consecutive event as part of this record trans DNC contingent thanks to Pennsylvania homegirl Sharron Cooks and Merrick Moses of Maryland.

Both Cooks and Moses will be attending their first DNC convention, and both of our trans siblings are excited to be at another historic Democratic convention as we nominate Sec. Hillary Clinton for president.

"It is an honor and a privilege to be a part of the democratic electoral political process. I am so excited and thrilled to be a first time delegate for Pennsylvania Congressional District 1 especially since Philadelphia is the DNC host city," Cooks said.

She's also proud to be representing the Black trans feminine community here at #DNCinPhilly, and is cognizant of the importance of being here.

"This experience is so humbling, educational and is an amazing opportunity to network with lobbyists and legislators, which I believe is very valuable, because as a community organizer, advocate and activist; it helps when it comes to securing the rights and protections for the LGBTQ community," she added.

Merrick Moses echoed Cooks' excitement about being at his first convention/  He felt honored to be there in Philadelphia and part of the record trans DNC contingent and the Maryland delegation..  He's proud of representing the Black trans community and the state of Maryland. He also been pleased about the diversity being showcased to America an the world at this #DNCinPhilly event. "We have a large number of LGBT delegates, and I am so happy the party has been intentional about showing our diversity." he said. "It's been interesting, I'm loving the experience and hope that more Black trans folks join us in 2020."
Well, I'm working on it.

Both Cooks and Moses have also expressed interest in wanting to meet each other, exchange information and take photos with each other before the convention closes Thursday

Thanks to you and Sharron for repping our community in Philadelphia and making a little Black trans history while doing so.

Thanks to both of you for not only being witnesses to American history being made at this DNC convention, but actually playing a part in making it happen on behalf of the people you're  representing  in Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

2016 DNC LGBT Caucus Meeting

Yesterday in downtown Philadelphia the 2016 DNC LGBT Caucus meeting took place in a packed room at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

11.5% of the delegates here for the #DNCinPhilly are members of the LGBT community, which is an increase over the 7.5% of the delegates our community made up at the 2012 DNC in Charlotte.

While we're repping different letters of the alphabet and in some cases multiple intersectional identities, we are united in LGBT World in ensuring that Donald Trump goes down to crushing defeat on November 8 and ensuring our civil rights are protected.

During the LGBT Caucus event, that started at noon EDT, in addition to discussions about the Equality Act, HB2 and other issues of importance to the community, some of the 28 trans delegates in attendance at this event were introduced to the LGBT caucus crowd.

Barbra Casbar Siperstein, who is on the DNC Executive Committee and one of the two trans superdelegates, was also on hand to give out the Jane Fee Award, which is quadrennially given at the DNC convention and named for the Minnesotan who in 2000 became the first out trans delegate to attend a DNC convention..

It;s given to the trans ally within the Democratic Party who has stood up for and is supportive of trans rights issues within the party.

Mike Honda, Democratic National Convention, gay news, Washington Blade
The Jane Fee Award was given to Rep. Mike Honda, (D-CA) who has been openly supportive of his transgender grandchild and has been not only on an evolutionary journey to understand the terminology of our community, but has stepped up to become a trans supportive legislative champion..

First Lady Michelle Obama's DNC 2016 Speech

For those of you who didn't get to witness it live, First Lady Michelle Obama took to the DNC 2016 stage last night and delivered a speech for the ages that reminded me at times of the one her hubby dropped at the 2004 DNC event in Boston.

No wonder Melania Trump plagiarized the FLOTUS' 2008 DNC speech last week.

This #DNCinPhilly speech was so outstanding that when she was done she should have dropped the mic and walked off the stage when it was over.

But hey, judge for yourselves.   Here's the video of the DNC 2016 speech.

Marisa Richmond Named Official 2016 DNC Convention Timekeeper

This #DNCinPhilly convention is tuning out to be even more historic for trans kind than I anticipated.  In addition to having a record 27 trans delegates attending the event and the American trans community eagerly awaiting Sarah McBride's Thursday podium speech, there's more news cementing this Philadephia DNC convention as one of the most trans friendly events in American political history.

Longtime Nashville based trans advocate Marisa Richmond has been active in Democratic Party politics for years and has been a delegate to several DNC conventions including the 2008 one in which she witnessed history in then Sen. Barack Obama's historic nomination.

She'll have a lot closer seats than she did in 2008 to witness another historic nomination this time, like on the convention stage.

She was tapped to become the official timekeeper for the 2016 Democratic National Convention. This makes Richmond possibly the first out trans person to be named as a major party convention podium official, which is also a big deal.

Marisa's task as the convention's official timekeeper is to keep all the speakers on schedule and within their allotted time limits.  Through her roles with Trans United For Hillary and the Democratic Party's  LGBT advisory board she was contacted and subsequently offered the position.

"It's a personal honor and privilege to be up there on the stage," said Richmond in an interview with The Tennessean.  "I'll be just a few feet away from all of the speakers all four nights.  it's literally one of the best seats there."

Marisa Richmond at DNC with arrow.jpg"It shows that this is easily the most trans friendly convention ever, " she said.  "It shows that this party has really made progress in terms of inclusion and diversity."

Speaking of seats, if you're looking for her, during the television telecasts, where the arrow is in the photo by Mara Keisling is where Marisa will be sitting and doing her timekeeping duties during the convention.

The Tennessee Democratic Party was also pleased about Richmond being chosen as the 2016 DNC convention timekeeper, and Tennessee State Democratic Party Chair Mary Mancini said she was thrilled by her selection.

Mancini noted that Richmond, the former chair of the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition, has been one of the strongest LGBTQ advocates in Tennessee and across the country for many years."

And yes, I'll definitely cosign that sentiment.  I've had the pleasure of knowing her trailblazing self since the late 90's, and I'm proud of her for getting this amazing honor.

2016 DNC Convention- Day 1 Recap

What a first day for the #DNCinPhilly    Debbie Wasserman Schultz gets called out at the Florida delegation breakfast and subsequently resigns as chair of the DNC because of the drama stirred up by the Wikileaks hack.   Donna Brazile as a result becomes the interim chair of the DNC.

The Berners showing their assess in the Wells Fargo Center convention hall by booing Rep. Marcia Fudge, & Rep. Elijah Cummings, which isn't sitting too well right now with the Ohio and Maryland delegations and Black Democrats like myself, and only adds to the pissivity we feel about Sanders supporters.

The Sandernistas were ranting on social media (and probably still are) claiming that Bernie was cheated out of the Democratic presidential nomination because the process was 'rigged'.

Naw Bernie boo boo kitties, Hillary beat him, and he lost because he and his campaign team forgot that in Democratic Party primaries, #BlackVotersMatter.   Even your own peeps are admitting that the process wasn't rigged.

They got mad at me on social media because I called them out about the #DNCinPhilly bigotry eruptions aimed at women and POC speakers.  Don't care if you don't like it and my block game on Twitter is strong once I get tired of playing with y'all.   Not happy about you dissing Black Democrats as y'all have done during this entire Democratic primary process, and gonna call out the Green Tea Party bigotry when I see it.

As for what network I'm watching for my DNC coverage, I'm predominately watching C-SPAN.  I got tired of the incessant CNN and MSNBC chatter about e-mails and Hillary's 'likeability' and flipped it to C-SPAN at 3 PM CDT.  

They cover everything with no commercial interruptions and no talking heads commentary.

It was also cool seeing my New York homegirl Melissa Sklarz on stage with the rest of the New York delegation as they took to the stage to express their support for Sec. Clinton, who was their former junior US senator from 2001-2009

But once the speakers starting hitting the stage, the beautiful diversity of our party revealed itself.

We had more lesbian and gay peeps on stage in the first three hours of DNC 2016 once it was gaveled into session by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake than the Republicans had in their entire four day run in Cleveland.   We still have my trans sister Sarah McBride's historic speech coming on Thursday.  She been getting a lot of media attention as this profile story attests to.

Speaking of trans people making history, was pleased to hear one of my trans sisters in the struggle in Marisa Richmond is doing so by serving as the DNC's official convention timekeeper.

Congrats Marisa on this honor.  Will be paying closer attention to the podium for the rest of the DNC Convention

Loved the speech by my Texas homegirl Eva Longoria before she introduced Sen. Cory Booker to the stage.  

She is a longtime Democratic  Party activist, and was asked a few years ago to consider running for the US Senate in the Lone Star State which she declined for now.

Longoria had a few mic drop line of her own she talked about herself being a 9th generation Texan, and stated during her remarks 'we didn't cross the border, the border crossed us.'

#NoLieDetected in that comment.    Also keeping up with all my Texas homies and homettes via their Facebook pages concerning their experiences at #DNCinPhilly

Speaking of speeches, besides the FLOTUS, loved Sen. Elizabeth Warren's and Sen. Cory Booker's speeches despite the rude chanting by disgruntled Berners during them.

I also watched the Bernie Sanders speech waiting to see what he was going to say in support of Clinton.

Day One was one full of drama, and we'll see starting at 3 PM CDT what happens during Day Two of the #DNCinPhilly.

Monday, July 25, 2016

RIP Dee Whigham

Dee Whigham in a photo shared by a relative. Whigham was a registered nurse who worked at Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg.
We've lost another trans sister to senseless violence, this time in Mississippi

Dee Whigham is her name, and the 25 year old registered nurse was found stabbed to death Saturday in a hotel room in St Martin. MS.   She was just starting her career in the medical field and worked for a hospital in Hattiesburg.

And once again, another Black trans woman who won't make it to her 30th birthday.

Whigham had traveled to the South Mississippi area with several friends in order to attend the Gulf Coast Black Rodeo in Biloxi, and she and her friends were staying in Room 127 at the Best Western Plus Cypress Creek Hotel just north of I-10 near the Ocean Springs exit

There is a person of interest in the murder that Jackson County sheriffs are looking for.   A man was spotted by the hotel security cameras around 8:35 PM wearing a green shirt and carrying a backpack, but at 8:58 PM showing the same man leaving with his shirt off and hanging around his neck.

Jackson County Sheriffs are looking for any information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the Whigham murder case, and if you do have information that will help solve it, call Detective Leo Allen at 228-875-0292, the Jackson County sheriff's dispatchers at 228-769-3060 or Crime Stoppers at 877-787-5898 or online at

Rest in power and peace sis.   We won't rest until your killer is brought to justice.

TransGriot Update: An arrest has been made in the Dee Whigham murder.   20 year old  Dwanya Hickerson has been charged with her murder.

2016 DNC Day 1 Convention Musing

The 2016 Democratic National Convention gets started in Philadelphia today with the opening gavel in the Wells Fargo Arena scheduled at 3 PM CDT.  Should be much better than the Klan rally masquerading as the Republican convention in Cleveland last week even with the drama of Debbie Wasserman Schultz's resignation

The featured speakers lineup for today is First Lady Michelle Obama, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT), Sen Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)  and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ).

Looking forward to once again seeing a Democratic convention hall that looks like America, and I'm exceedingly proud of the fact trans Democrats will be in the hall in full effect.  There will be a record 28 person DNC trans delegation and they and Trans World will witness a historic Thursday speech by Sarah McBride from the convention stage..  

I'm taking a moment to give a TransGriot shout to my Houston home peeps who are part of the Texas DNC delegation.   Like I've said before, we have some amazing advocates repping H-town at the DNC, and those Texas delegation meetings at your host hotel should be a lot of fun.

Wish I could be there with you for this historic convention which will witness the first woman to be nominated as a major party presidential candidate but have another commitment I made I must fulfill. But definitely will be with y'all in spirit.

160724-DNC-GettyImages-579548202.jpgAlso sending love to my Kentucky peeps who made it to #DNCinPHL and all the peeps on my FB pages and Twitter feeds who will be in the house with their various state delegations.    

Already enjoying reading your Facebook statuses and tweets, and anticipating the pics and posts I'll see as the DNC is gaveled into session later today and it winds to its climax of Sec. Hillary Clinton's acceptance speech on the 28th..

Hope y'all have fun, handle your business, get to spend a little time enjoying the city and make some amazing memories while you're in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection.

The 2016 Democratic Presidential Election Process Wasn't Rigged

It's become fashionable in the media, in Green Tea Party circles and with disgruntled Sandernistas ti loudly claim that Bernie was cheated out of the nomination because the process was 'rigged' in favor of Sec. Hillary Clinton.  They, the media and Donald Chump Trump have seized on a Wikileaks dump of documents on Friday before the opening of the DNC as 'proof' that the process was stacked against him.

Um no Bernie Boo Boo Kitties, it wasn't, and Moni's going to tell you why.

Let's get the obvious part of the way that Sanders was a DINO trying to execute a hostile takeover of our presidential primary.   Sanders also has a long history dating back to 1985 of demonizing the Democratic Party, called for President Obama to be primary challenged in 2012, and admitted he was only joining the Democratic Party to make it easier for him to run for president instead of doing so as an independent.

In Hillary Clinton, Sanders was going up against a woman that not only had 40 years of history and working relationships with the key constituent groups in the party, but has been the First Lady, a two time elected senator for New York, served as President Obama's Secretary of State, narrowly lost a contentious 2008 Democratic presidential primary race and worked to unify the party for the 2008 election campaign.

So  if one of your Democratic finalists is a long time Democrat with 40 years of history in the party versus a DINO attempting to execute a hostile takeover of your 2016 nomination process, who in Hades do you think they will support?

Clinton didn't win because the system was 'rigged'. she won because she soundly beat Bernie and used the tactics that beat her in 2008 against Sanders in 2016.

Bernie's support was with predominately white independents and young voters.  Non-white Democratic voters weren't 'Feeling The Bern' because we aren't looking for ideological purity in a candidate like many white far left people are, we're looking for Democratic candidates who can win elections and govern when they get there.

Non-white voters are political pragmatists, and in addition to Bernie's campaign not recognizing that point, they also failed to connect with non-white voters who they discovered far too late, would make or break his campaign.

#BlackVotersMatter in Democratic primaries, and there are three states, MO, KY and IL in which Black voters showed up and helped give Sec. Clinton narrow primary wins.

Bernie failed to explain how his pet issues could not only be accomplished, but how they would improve the everyday lives of non-white Democrats.  The disastrous New York Daily News interview was a glaring example of that.

And oh yeah, loudly saying 'Hillary Sucks' and repeating 25 year old discredited Republican lies about her is not a compelling argument for me to support you when you have done a piss poor job of articulating why I should vote for you.  Making excuses for your repeated failures to connect with non-white voters, claiming the system is corrupt, making specious charges of voter fraud and railing against 'The Establishment' also wasn't a good look for your campaign.

So let's do another reality check.  In the only poll that counts, more people voted for Hillary (16,847,075) than Bernie (13,168,214).  She won 34 contests, many in diverse states by in many cases blowout margins, while Sanders was winning 23 contest in predominately white states.   She has 2764 total delegates to his 1894.

On Tuesday night, she will make history by become the first female nominee of a major political party, and cement the fact that a majority of Democratic primary voters wanted her as our nominee.

So nope, the Democratic presidential election process wasn't rigged, it worked exactly as it was designed to do, to produce a nominee capable of winning a general election contest.   Bernie knew the DNC rules when he made the call to jump in our race, he lost and y'all Sandernistas need to get over it.

Something else that needs to happen is that the sour grapes cries of a 'rigged' process need to cease and desist.

The Black And Brown Electoral Firewall Blocking Trump

Denise Oliver Velez at the statue of Dred and Harriet Scott in front of the Old Courthouse, in St. Louis Missouri
For those of you wondering why I'm so calm about this upcoming 2016 presidential election, it's because I have faith in the Black and Brown electoral firewall that will save this country from making a massive mistake on November 8

The Black and Brown electoral firewall has already demonstrated its power in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary with Hillary Clinton becoming the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.  Donald Trump will also go down to defeat in large part because he is massively losing Black and Latinx voters

Denise Oliver Velez has this interesting Daily Kos post discussing the Black and Brown firewall, and here's a taste of it.

Black folks are not buying what Donald Trump and the rest of his raft of Republican racists are selling. Neither are Latinos, Asian-Americans and Native Americans. As the traditional media tries to sell us on a neck-and-neck horse race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump—ignoring the electoral college—and as Trump and other Republicans ramp up the racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic volume, there is one thing Democrats need to keep in mind: A big part of our voting base is black and brown, and that base is growing.
I found it fascinating, and thanks to Denise I get to signal boost it on these TransGriot electronic pages.  Here's the link to the rest of Denise's Daily Kos firewall post.  

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Hillary Clinton Taps Tim Kaine As VP Running Mate

Presumptive 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton finally made her choice for her vice presidential running mate, and she tapped Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) to be that person.

While I liked Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) , Sen Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and HUD secretary Julian Castro as possible veep picks, the problem with the three senators favored by many people in liberal political circles is that had Sec. Clinton chosen then, they would have been replaced with picks by Republican governors in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Ohio and made our push to get a Democratic Senate a little harder.

Kaine has served as mayor of Richmond, VA, as Virginia's governor, and now as its junior senator.  He speaks fluent Spanish because of his time as a missionary in Honduras.

So this pick made sense from that a political standpoint even if elements of the Green Tea Party wing hates it.

'"Sen. Tim Kaine is everything that Donald Trump and Mike Pence is not," said Clinton. "He is qualified to step into this job and lead on Day 1. And he is a progressive who likes to get things done."

The Democratic running mates appeared together for the first time at an event in Miami yesterday.  and here's the video of the rally

This 2016 election will be critically to the future of our country, and it looks as thought Sec. Clinton with the selection of Kaine, has made another wise decision that underscores how prepared she is to be POTUS.

Sarah McBride To Speak From DNC Convention Stage!

I'm hoping that the 2016 trans DNC contingent during their time in Philadelphia will actually see more trans history made with one of our people actually making a speech to the convention attendees and hopefully the nation from the convention stage. 
-TransGriot  July 24, 2016

Wow, talking about speaking something into existence.  I mused about having a trans speaker in a 2012 DNC post along with literally posting several hours ago my expressed hopes that the upcoming #DNCinPhilly event would witness one of the out members of our community speak from the DNC convention stage for the first time.

I'm happy to announce that Sarah McBride will get to make that history on Thursday as the first out trans person to speak from the Democratic National Committee stage in Philadelphia.

She said in a statement to The Hill that she is honored to have the opportunity to do so.

“People must understand that even as we face daily harassment, tragic violence, and an onslaught of anti-LGBTQ political attacks across the country, we are real people merely seeking to be treated with the dignity and respect every person deserves," she said in a statement. 
"I'm so proud to stand with the LGBT Caucus and speak out in support of Hillary Clinton, because we know she stands with us.”

What an honor for Sarah, and what an amazing and apropos step forward for the American trans community in a year in which we will send a record 28 trans people to the Democratic National Convention.   
That's a huge evolutionary step from Jane Fee being the lone trans delegate in Los Angeles in 2000.  Since then we have had six trans DNC delegates in Boston in 2004, eight in 2008 in Denver and the then record 13 in Charlotte.

I am happy and proud that Sarah will be the person on that DNC Wells Fargo Arena stage, and frankly it's not surprising me that she's the one being tapped for it.

Ever since I met her as a White House intern back when I was attending a 2012 National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) OUT on the Hill White House briefing, she struck me as someone who was going to do some wonderful groundbreaking things for our community, and over the last four years I have been proven correct in my assessment of her.    

The only question I have is will Sarah's DNC speech be in prime time on Thursday or sometime during the convention day?   If it's during the convention day, I'll have to watch the C-SPAN DNC feed to be able to see it without the network pundits and commentators chattering over it. 

Congrats Sarah, this is one amazing accomplishment, and I'll be along with Trans America and our allies eagerly awaiting your historic speech.

2016 DNC Pre-Convention Trans Delegate Musing

One of the things I'd like to see in that 2016 DNC transgender delegate contingent besides more people and continued ethnic diversity is that trans DNC delegation in 2016 and beyond include trans people who are elected to public office.  That would be in addition to the trans people already diligently working inside the various levels of the Democratic Party to ensure we have a voice in it at the policy formation tables.
TransGriot, September 6, 2012

When the 2016 Democratic National Convention is gaveled into order for its first session at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, we will have a record 28 trans folks in the house and taking part at this historic convention which will  see Hillary Clinton officially become the first female presidential nominee of a major political party.

The Green Party and Jill Stein doesn't count as a major political party and she doesn't have a credible chance of taking the oath of office on January 20, so stop hatin' fauxgressives and deal with that dose of political reality.

We've come a long way in Trans World from the 2000 days in which Minnesota's Jane Fee became the first out trans person the attend a DNC convention and was the lone trans delegate in Los Angeles.

Trans representation at the DNC convention has grown exponentially to the point that we had our most diverse delegation ever in Charlotte with 14 people in 2012,   One of the 14 people in attendance in Charlotte was a superdelegate in New Jersey's Barbra Casbar Siperstein.

Babs has been blazing the trail and active in New Jersey and national Democratic Party politics for years, and will be one of the superdelegates in attendance in Philadelphia, the other super being Laura Calvo of Oregon.  

I'm hoping that the 2016 trans DNC contingent during their time in Philadelphia will actually see more trans history made with one of our people actually making a speech to the convention attendees and hopefully the nation from the convention stage.

It's even more vital the American people see that in the wake of the Republicans putting together a virulently anti-trans and LGB platform.  We need to make it clear as a party that we are proud of the most pro-trans platform in Democratic Party history, and putting a trans Democrat on stage would put an exclamation point on our values of treating trans people with dignity and respect.

We already know the Texas DNC delegation will have its first ever out trans masculine representative in Lou Weaver, and Montana will be sending its first ever out trans delegate in Anita Green.  Monica DePaul will be the first ever out trans delegate from Florida.

There will also be just as in 2014, two African American trans representatives in Merrick Moses from Maryland and Sharron Cooks representing the host delegation from Pennsylvania

While I'm proud of the record numbers of trans people headed to Philadelphia, many for the first time, we do have room for improvement in terms of the diversity of our trans DNC delegates.   It's been a dream of mine to one day be a DNC delegate, and I hope I can make that happen someday.

I would also like to see more trans people of all ethnic backgrounds showing up at future DNC's as elected representatives, and hope the 2016 election cycle is the first step toward that becoming a reality.

Speaking of reality, will be nice to not only see a political convention that's grounded in reality, but looks like America at the same time.

Scott Turner Schofield Drops Some Bathroom Knowledge

One of the many people I met during my Fantasia Fair experience last year was actor Scott Turner Schofield.  He is one cool guy, and I loved his one man show Debutante Balls that he performed for us during #FF15 you've got to see.

Scott is also from North Carolina, and like everyone else who calls the Tarheel State home, is not happy about the passage of HB2, the transphobia it is  and the economic damage it is wreaking on his home state.

Scott posted a commentary on his Facebook page that must be signal boosted. It's short, sweet and to the point about the potty panic the conservative movement has been using to demonize trans people and attack everyone's human rights and you ignorati are falling for it..

Now it's time to flush some transphobia.   Here's Scott's commentary

Dear Men & Other People Who Grew Up Using the Men's Room:
Have you ever seen a penis in the restroom? Besides accidentally (or purposefully!) casting a sideways glance at the urinal? Is it a common practice for people to wander around with their genitals hanging out?
Because I've been using the men's room for 10 years, and I've never seen so much as a pubic hair (other than on the seat).
So tell me: why are you all so scared of a woman who formerly had or currently has a penis using the women's room? They have not been trained to whip it out and walk around, even as children. And living with all the shame society spreads on us for being transgender makes all of us cover and hide our bodies in ways you can't even imagine.
Please chill the hell out. Just because we are Trans does not make us animals. We don't want your kids seeing our parts anymore than you do - and we never, ever have.
Please share to all people who are still wrapping their heads around this. Your fears are not facts. And "perverts in bathrooms" have never been legal - but we didn't get all bigoted against America's arguably most persecuted minority to prove it.
Scott Turner Schofield

Tokyo 2020 Olympics Opening Four Years From Now Today

Four years from now on this date, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo will kick off and run until August 9.   When that happens, Tokyo will become the fifth city and the first Asian one to host the Summer Olympic Games more than once.  

The other three cities who have hosted the Summer Olympics twice are Los Angeles (1932,1984), Athens (1896, 2004) and Paris (1900, 1924).  London is the only one to have hosted the Games three times (1908, 1948, 2012) and Los Angeles may join that exclusive three time host list if they successfully win the bid for the 2024 Games.

Tokyo hosted the Games in 1964, and was scheduled to host them in 1940 but those games were canceled because the outbreak of World War II.  Those 1964 Olympic Games served as their international coming out party, and one of the long lasting legacies of those Games was the completion of the bullet trains that revolutionized Japan's national transportation system.

Hosting the Summer Olympics not only revolutionized the japanese transportation system infrastructure, but also transformed Japan.   Since 1964 Japan has become an economic powerhouse nation that is on the cutting edge of developing robot technology, their women's soccer team won a FIFA world title in 2011, they are competitive in other international winter and summer sports disciplines and Tokyo has become a world class international city and the fashion capital of the Asia Pacific region.

As for what visitors to Tokyo can expect when they come to the 2020 Games, the Olympic venue game plan is to have two compact zones called the Heritage Zone and the Tokyo Bay Zone with the Olympic Village intersecting both of them.  

The venues will all be within a 8 km. radius of the Olympic Village

The TOOC will use some of the facilities built for the 1964 Games but also have some newer ones like the revised national stadium design.  

The old stadium design by world renowned architect Zaha Hadid won an international design contest in 2012, but was criticized for looking like a bicycle helmet and for its ballooning construction costs that would have made it at $2.1 billion the most expensive stadium ever built on this planet, exceeding the cost of the $1.6 billion MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.   That design was scrapped by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and a new one recently revealed by the Japan Sports Council.

The Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee won the bid for the 2020 Games back in 2013 by promising to be 'the safe pair of hands' for it.  It will be interesting to see over the next four years if they pull it off while still hosting a memorable experience for the athletes and visitors attending the Games.

Based on their past history and the flawless way they have executed other large international sporting events they have hosted including two winter Olympic Games in Sapporo (1972) and Nagano (1998), I wouldn't bet against the Japanese doing exactly what they promised to do four years from now as they prep for welcoming the world back to Tokyo for another edition of the Games once Rio finishes its Olympic business.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Dads For Transgender Equality Video

I've talked more than a few times on this blog about the 'Mama Bears', the awesome mothers of transgender children call themselves who are fighting for the humanity and human rights of their gender variant kids.

We don't hear too often from the fathers of those trans kids, but many of them are just as involved, amazing and determined to make lives better for their kids as the mons are.

I've met and enjoyed talking to one of those trans dad in Wayne Maines, and have been getting more acquainted with those trans das as my interactions with trans parents hear and around the country increase.  

One thing I'm happy to see is that Wayne and the other fathers of trans children are stepping up their leadership game and becoming more vocal advocates for their kids.

Here's a video from HRC highlighting the Dads For Transgender Equality

Friday, July 22, 2016

Shut Up Fool Awards- Meet The GOP That Hates On Me Edition

The Republicans held their Klan meeting convention in Cleveland this week to formally nominate Donald J. Trump as their 2016 presidential nominee.

All I have to say about that train wreck of a political convention is to borrow the eloquent words of the late Maya Angelou.  "When somebody shows you who they are the first time, believe them."

trump familyYes, the Republicans showed us who aren't members who they are as a party   From their overwhelmingly white convention hall, facts free podium speeches, gleeful engagement in WTF levels misogyny, racism, homophobia and transphobia, their reprehensible 2016 platform, jacking the words of a First Lady they hate, and the Triumph of the Trump.
And for once my Texas GOP politicians weren't the ones leading the charge on the rampant GOP ignorance on display.

The #RNCinCLE will go down in political infamy and hope on November 8 they will be crying in their ballrooms as the media announces another historic American election first.

That's a nice segue to getting to our usual Friday TransGriot business of pointing out what fool, fools or group of fools took greater steps toward becoming infamous in their own right.  So let's get busy calling them out.  

Honorable mention number one is conservative talk show host Laura Ingrahamfor her Nazi salute after the conclusion of her remarks.  Yeah, we in reality based America were paying attention.

Honorable mention number two is 'Pastor' Mark  Burns for his hateful benediction exalting Conservagod and the Republican Party that Uncle Ruckus would have been proud of.

And y'all wanna know why I can't stand kneegrow sellout pastors.

Honorable mention number three is Ben Carson for letting loose with the transphobia again.   Me and my unapologetic Black trans siblings find you and other kneegrow Republicans to be 'absurd' as well.   There are more than 1.4 million trans people here in the US, deal with it.

Honorable mention number four is Rep. Steve King (R-IA) for his racist MSNBC interview.  And yes Steve,non-whites have created many of inventions, created the music, and countless other innovations that benefit society as a whole.,

Honorable mention number five is the Trumpenfuhrer, Donald Trump, for pick a RNC convention moment.   The cavalcade of lies in his far too long acceptance speech, the lies he told this week, the attacks on Ted Cruz and John Kasich, the creepy feeling up his daughter on stage and the orange tanned arrogance.

And we still have four more months left until this election is mercifully over.

Honorable mention number six is NC Governor Pat McCrory (R), who continues to be in denial that it's his and the NC GOP's fault their state is hemorrhaging jobs and events because of HB2 and is trying (and failing) to blame everyone,

The NBA became the latest entity to remove an event from the state because of the unjust HB2 law by pulling the 2017 NBA All Star Game from Charlotte.

Please NC, remove Pat McCrory from your governor's mansion along with the GOP majority that blitzed this madness through the legislature in November.

This week's Shut Up Fool winner is Milo Yiannopoulos, the gay conservative Breitbart tech editor who found himself getting a permanent Twitter ban for racistly attacking and promoting abuse of actress Leslie Jones to the point she briefly left Twitter  

Jones is one of the stars in the all-female remake of Ghostbusters, which raked in $46 million in its opening weekend despite the cries of the movie bros hatin' on the remake

Yiannopoulos has proven in this ugly episode that elements of the conservative white gay male community can be just as reprehensibly racist as their straight conservative male counterparts.

And oh yeah, Milo Yiannopoulos, shut up fool!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

DeShanna And Trinity Meet Gov. Markell

I've had the pleasure of meeting and talking to over the last few years many of the mothers who are raising trans kids like Jeanette Jennings, Debi Jackson, and Kim Pearson.

In my Houston area backyard, thanks to Gender Infinity that's run by Dr. Colt Meier, I've gotten to meet more of the 'Mama Bears' as they call themselves, and Ann Elder and Kimberly Shappley are just two of the amazing mom's I've gotten to meet.

But one of the things that I have been repeatedly asked by people is where are the trans parents who look like me?   Where are the Black trans parents who unconditionally love and support their trans kids and are raising them to be the best human beings they can be and not tossing them out on the street?

Their Black Lives Matter as well, and I was jumping up and down ecstatic to hear about Delaware based mom DeShanna Neal and her precocious preteen trans daughter Trinity.  

If Deshanna's name sounds familiar to you, it's because she was one of the four mothers profiled in the Trans United Fund video that was released back on Mother's Day.

She also authored a well received post in the Advocate about why her daughter's Black Life Matters and making a better world for Trinity and all her kids.

I finally got to meet both of them at this year's edition of the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference, and it was a joy to meet DeShanna, spend some quality time with her during the PTHC, and watch Trinity interact with other kids like her at the pool party.

On July 13 she and her family got to meet with Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D) and her state representative Paul Baumbach (D).  Gov Markell has been a standup ally of the trans community, supported and signed the Delaware trans rights law when it hit his desk in 2013 and supports the DOE/DOJ trans guidelines.   Rep. Baumbach has also been a supportive ally and the Neal's are happy to have his as their state representative.

Said Neal about that recent meeting, "Hearing him express his support and acceptance for the LGBT community, and especially trans children, gave me hope for a better future for my daughter and Delaware's transgender community."

Congratulations for the successful meeting with your state's governor.   It's a light years different response from Texas top governmental officials when it comes to trans kids in my home state.

Gov. Markell's words and deeds give me and the trans elders around the country who love and support our trans kids hope as well when we hear positive news like this.. And it's even more amazing as an unapologetic Black trans person to see Trinity be showered in unconditional love. This should be the rule for our trans kids, not the exception.