Tuesday, September 01, 2015

The Fight To Keep HERO-September 1

The calendar page flips to September, and this month promises to be just as contentious politically as August turned out to be as the fight to keep the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance played out at City Hall and in the courts

Since we have twelve weeks to go until November 3, just thought I would direct this post at the peeps who are being either hoodwinked and bamboozled by sellout ministers to vote against their own human rights or those who just straight up hate the Houston TBLG community.  

If you smugly think that voting against the HERO is sticking it to the Houston trans, bi and SGL community with zero consequences for yourself, here's some food for thought on that issue.

For those of you considering voting against the HERO because of your dislike of LGBT people, ask yourself this question.  ado you hate the Houston LGBT community so much that you are willing to give up the 2016 Men's Final Four, the 2017 Super Bowl, future convention business and potential corporate relocations to satisfy that hatred with a NO vote to kill the HERO?

If your answer to that question is yes, you're a fool.   You may get the short term psychic satisfaction of believing you've stuck it to Mayor Parker and 'The Gay Agenda', but the reality will be is that what you have done is screwed yourself by voting against your OWN human rights and screwing our city for years to come on top of it.

Far from being a gay rights ordinance as the sellout ministers and their suburban out of town white conservative controllers are telling you, the HERO provides discrimination protection in housing, employment and public accommodations.  It covers 15 categories, including sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, religion, familial status, marital status, military status, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, genetic information and pregnancy.
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In the post HERO passage period from May 28, 2014 to January 15, 2015, 54% of the complaints reported to the City of Houston Office of the Inspector General were for RACIAL discrimination. 17% of the OIG received complaints were for gender discrimination, 15% were for age discrimination and only 4% of the OIG received complaints were for gender identity and sexual orientation.

Until the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance passed, there was NO local remedy for H-town discrimination. Contrary to the lies the opposition are telling you, the state of Texas doesn't have an anti-discrimination law that covers anyone.  With GOP control of our legislature and a GOP governor, we're not getting one anytime soon.

The LGBT community is NOT covered by any federal human rights legislation yet.   it has been introduced, but it is just an introduced bill   And once again, with GOP control of the House and Senate, it is going nowhere.

But the need for humn rights protection is still there.

And note to Steve and Becky Riggle.  It's over a year later, and we still haven't had any bakers forced to make swastika cakes inside the Houston city limits.   Neither have we had in Houston an off the charts jump in crossdressed bathroom predators. 

The NCAA and the NFL are not playing when it comes to their signature events.  Both sporting organizations have policies that bar cities and states with discriminatory policies from hosting their championships. 

If you think I'm selling you woof tickets on that, the NFL yanked a Super Bowl from Arizona  in 1990 they were scheduled to host in 1993 for refusing to make the Rev. Dr MLK Jr's birthday a state holiday.  Arizona nearly repeated the legislative stupidity in 2014 when the GOP controlled Arizona legislature passed a right to discriminate law that only then Gov. Jan Brewer's (R) veto of the unjust legislation kept the NFL from making it happen again. 

J. Kent Friedman, the chair of the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority, already warned the conservative hardheads on City Council last month that if the HERO is struck down, based on what happened in Arizona in the 90's, and the NCAA threatened to do to Indiana in the wake of the March passage of their discriminatory RFRA, the 2017 Super Bowl and next year's NCAA Men's Final Four at NRG Stadium could be in jeopardy.  And that's before we even start talking about the potential convention business we will lose along with corporate relocations.

So if I were you, I'd be voting to keep the HERO, and telling your friends and neighbors to do the same.

Ashton's Open Letter To HPD Police Chief McClelland

In light of deputy's murder, HPD chief gets frank about state of country, crime
About the same time I was unleashing my post blasting Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman (R) for his problematic comments in the wake of the Deputy Darren Goforth murder, HPD chief Charles McClelland was making some problematic comments of his own that Ashton Woods called him out about at his Strength In Numbers blog.

Here's a taste of what Ashton had to say in his open letter to Chief McClelland.

t is sad that many people who look like us share the same same sentiments, until it happens to them. The reason why the phrase "all lives matter" is such a triggering flash point is that it is born out of racism. WE say BLACK LIVES MATTER because we live in a legal system designed for, around and to benefit WHITE PEOPLE. The critical infrastructure that supports all levels of government is inherently RACIST.  You, of all people should know this, but I cannot assume that this is part of your thought process. We will say all lives matter when the systems of institutional and systemic racism, classism, and economic discrimination comes to a full and complete halt. 

If you wish to read the full letter, click the link here.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Sheriff Hickman, Stop Blaming Black Lives Matter For A Problem White Dominated Police Forces Created

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As many of you TransGriot readers are aware of, we had a Harris County sheriff's deputy named Darren Goforth murdered as he pumped gas in his police cruiser Friday night.   Shannon Miles, the suspect in the killing was captured Saturday, charged with capital murder, and arraigned in court this morning

But what has pissed me and many folks in H-town was our appointed Republican sheriff Ron Hickman using his Saturday press conference about the Goforth killing to attack Black Lives Matter.

The motive for the killing has not even been established by detectives investigating the murder of Deputy Goforth, but Hickman was quick to blame the Black Lives Matter movement and suggest Shannon Miles did so in retaliation for unpunished death by po-po killings of African-Americans around the country..

Hickman claimed the "dangerous rhetoric" against law enforcement has "gotten out of control," and went another step too far . "Cops' lives matter, too," Hickman said, "So why don't we drop the qualifier and say lives matter."

Because as far as you and your fellow white conservatives are concerned Sheriff Hickman, white lives are the only ones that matter, which is what you demonstrated when you selected an all male predominately white command staff meme weeks into taking over for former Sheriff Adrian Garcia.  

It's why we Black folks have to remind your asses constantly about our humanity.  It wouldn't be necessary to quantify that Black Lives Matter if your fellow police officers around the country didn't show so much contempt for those Black citizen lives of all ages and genders they are supposed to protect and serve.

Sheriff Hickman, since you`re decrying inflammatory rhetoric, how about you start in your own vanillacentric law enforcement house?   How about you calling on your brothers in blue to chill with the racist rhetoric they spew every time they mount over the top defenses of those predominately white `bad apple` police officers that get away with killing civilians that far too often share my ethnic heritage?

And how about taking the step of ending the practice of being Officer Friendly in white areas of town but Officer Oppressor in mine and other non-white neighborhoods?   Black Lives Matter is not anti-police as far too many white GOP voting law enforcement people and FOX Noise has tried to paint them.   They are anti police abuse and want accountability and transparency in police policies, practices and punishment for rogue officers.

That's a problem that has existed well before the formation of Black Lives Matter.  This negativity between Black people and the police didn't just pop up since Ferguson, it has historic roots that predate it, and you need to get out of your vanillacentric privileged bubble along with DA Devon Anderson and recognize that.

So Sheriff Hickman,  how about you recognize the fact that Black Lives Matter didn't create the problem that white dominated police forces have created.for over a century and demonstrating the leadership you so far haven't done so to help solve it? 

The Fight To Keep HERO-August 31

Labor Day is the traditional start for Houston civic campaigns, but this 2015 election cycle is not any normal electoral cycle.  The politics have been as hot as the August weather, and it revolves around the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance.   

Since I`m getting e-mails and phone calls from around the country and my friends around the world concerning whats happening in our Houston human rights fight to keep the HERO, it`s time to start doing regular update posts from now until November 3.

We H-town trans peeps and our allies can breathe one sigh of relief in that Dave Wilson`s odious attempts to enshrine anti-trans bigotry into the Houston City Charter has failed.and will not be on the ballot.

Hallelujah!

However, no thanks to partisan Texas (Republican), Supreme Court rulings, the HERO is on the ballot as Proposition 1, and the final ballot language now sets it up as a simple YES or NO vote.

The ballot language for Proposition 1 was approved by Council last week, and it reads as follows:

"Are you in favor of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, Ord. No. 2014-530, which prohibits discrimination in city employment and city services, city contracts, public accommodations, private employment, and housing based on an individual's sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial status, marital status, military status, religion, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, or pregnancy?

For those of you in the Houston city limits,  voting YES on Proposition 1 keeps the HERO in effect, voting NO kills it and as the head of the Houston Sports Authority warned, potentially puts next year's Final Four, the 2017 Super Bowl and hosting future sports events, corporate relocations and convention business in jeopardy.

Question for you folks irrationally opposing the HERO because of two of the 15 categories it protects.  Is your hatred of LGBT Houstonians so strong you'd risk our city's economic future?

The Houston Unites coalition to keep the ordinance has already been busy along with HOUEquality and other groups with volunteer trainings, phone banks,  and canvassing over the last two weekends to get the truth out about the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance protecting ALL Houstonians

And right on cue, the anti- HERO haters started running ads bringing up the discredited bathroom scaremongering on several radio stations including the conservative leaning talker.

Houston unites responded quickly with their own radio ad to counter the disinformation.

Speaking of radio, on Majic102.1  yesterday, HERO supporter Fran Watson jousted with HERO Ron Jackson and shut down the one trick pony lies on Sunday Morning Live.   Majic102.1 is one of the most listened to radio stations in the Houston African-American community, and this conversation is significant because during the fight to pass HERO last year, Majic102.1 was guilty of anti-HERO fearmongering..

On August 20 HERO supporter Ashton Woods went on FOX26's The Isiah Factor to confront anti-HERO Councilman Michael Kubosh, who declared last year at a Steve Riggle hate rally that 'God put me on City Council to oppose the HERO'

Here's the clip of that debate here.

But yet CM Kubosh laughingly tries to claim he's isn't in favor of discrimination.   Your multiple anti-HERO votes say otherwise.

The Houston Chronicle finally published a better late than never article that took on the bathroom predator meme.   They have also been guilty along with FOX26 of lazy, one sided transphobic reporting and it's about time they got the facts out there.

It's going to be a long contentious few weeks until November 3..  But it's a human rights fights we Houstonians who love our diverse city and value human rights for everyone must win.




2015 Williams Watch- All Eyes On Serena

The 135th edition of the US Open kicks off today and runs through September 13, and there's something new for this event.   As part of a $500 million renovation,  a roof is being constructed that will cover Arthur Ashe Stadium that is scheduled for completion in time for next year's open.

That's the future along with a planned roof for Louis Armstrong Stadium and a 8000 seat Grandstand Court, so now let's talk about the present and the historic opportunity that presents itself for her.

Serena walks onto the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center grounds in NYC as not only the world's number one ranked player and number one seed in this tournament, but a favorite to take the women's title.  Big Sis Venus is seeded 23rd.


If she does so, it will not only be her fourth straight US Open title, but her fifth straight Grand Slam and as every tennis fan on the planet knows, her first calendar year Grand Slam.  And oh yeah, she would tie Steffi Graf with 22 career Grand Slam tournament titles.

But the road to tennis history starts with this first round match against Vitalia Diatchenko while Venus faces off against Puerto Rico's Monica Puig.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Our Black Trans Lives And Human Rights Matter

TransGriot Note:  I wrote this post for Equality Texas.

Ever since the conservative moment lost their culture war to stop marriage equality from happening in Texas and across this nation, they have been increasingly shifting their attacks to demonizing the trans community.  That increased anti-trans rhetoric and attempts in several states including Texas to criminalize trans peoples lives has had deleterious effects on trans women of color and especially the African-American trans community.

While the 2011 Injustice At Every Turn survey revealed the extent of the problems that trans America faces, that inaugural survey also pointed out Black Trans World is catching hell.  In addition to 26% unemployment, 41% of the respondents reporting experiencing homelessness, 21% reporting discrimination in health care, 20% reporting being HIV+ and 34% of the respondents reporting a household income of less than $10,000.

Another area we're catching hell at is the unacceptable level of anti-trans murders disproportionately affecting Black trans women  Since Islan Nettles was murdered in August 2013, we have had 25 trans women killed (and counting) with the overwhelming majority of them being Black trans women.

I believe the increased anti-trans rhetoric may be a factor in the unprecedented numbers of trans women of color being murdered in 2015.  As of this writing 17 trans women have been killed across the United States in which 12 have been Black, and another Black trans woman is in critical condition in a Philadelphia hospital after being savagely attacked on August 20.

Sadly two of the lives lost, Ty Underwood of North Tyler and Shade Schuler of Dallas are Texans. The other pattern that is alarming me is that many of the trans women who have lost their lives this year have been under 40.  While we haven't lost any trans Houstonians yet, I fear it's just a matter of time with this current battle over HERO all the hateful anti-trans rhetoric that has been uttered by our opponents focused on their despicable strategy of bearing false witness against and demonizing the trans community.

What is infuriating to me as a proud African-American native Houstonian who fought hard with a group of my fellow Houstonians to pass the HERO was seeing a cadre of African-American ministers joining with out of town conservative gaybaiters to spread debunked anti-trans lies to hoodwink and bamboozle people into voting against their own human rights.

Contrary to these modern day Pharisees loud and wrong opinions, trans African Americans have been part of the of the kente cloth fabric of Black life for several decades.

When will our lives matter not only to my people, but to our fellow human beings as well who assert they are our allies?   One of the things allies can do to show support for us is helping a Fran Watson created We The People White House petition get to 100K signatures by its September 10 deadline.  It calls for a federal investigation into the causes of anti-transgender violence but unfortunately has only 4,663 signatures at the time of this writing.

It's past time for our Black lives to not only matter to people inside and outside our community, but have our allies fight just as hard to make our human rights a reality as Marsha, Sylvia and countless other trans women have done for yours.

Ask A`Trans Attracted Man: Trans Murders Part 2

This is Part 2 of Troy's thoughts about the epidemic of anti-trans murders aimed disproportionately at Black trans women.

If you wish to check out Part 1 of Troy's commentary, you can do so by clicking on the link 

Katrina 10th Anniversary

Today is the tenth anniversary of the devastating 2005 landfall of Hurricane Katrina in the New Orleans area.   It would turn out to be the fifth deadliest storm to ever hit the United States and caused the reported deaths of 1,833 people   It also resulted in once the levees failed in 80% of New Orleans being flooded and major damage to the roof of the Superdome.

It also had far reaching effects post landfall in forcing the largest movement of African-Americans since The Great Migration of the early 20th century and affecting the politics of the states of Texas, Louisiana and Georgia.

Because of Katrina evacuees, the population of Houston grew by 35,000 people, and enough stayed to where we ended up expanding City Council after the 2010 census. Georgia picked up a congressional seat and Texas picked up four congressional seats.

Conversely, New Orleans lost half its pre-storm population and the state of Louisiana lost 4.8% of its pre-Katrina population and a congressional seat. Louisiana also went from being a swing state to a reliably Republican voting one.

And yes, Katrina also affected the lives of our trans family who lived there.

The badly botched government response by the Bush Administration was probably a factor in the Democrats getting control of the US House and the Senate in the 2006 midterms the next year.

New Orleans and the area has bounced back ten years later,  Many of the people who left the city in the wake of Katrina have returned.   The Superdome reopened, and the levees and highways damaged by the storm have been rebuilt.  President Obama visited the city earlier this week, spoke with residents and Mayor Mitch Landrieu and gave this speech.



There will also be commemorative events across the area today as people remember the folks that were lost in that devastating storm.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Shut Up Fool Awards-Blue Bell's Back Edition

Image result for blue bell ice cream returnsThe Great Blue Bell Famine of 2015 is about to end in the Houston area! 

After the Alabama production plant was cleared to resume making the Best Ice Cream In The Country, it is making four flavors, homemade vanilla,  Dutch chocolate, cookies and cream and The Great Divide (chocolate and homemade vanilla combined) until they can get back up to full production.

It will start hitting Houston store shelves on August 31, but after I get reacquainted with one half gallon of the returning flavors, will have to wait until the diet stuff hits the grocer's freezers.

Enough jibber jabber about my favorite ice cream, it's time to start calling out fools.  

Honorable mention number one to Donald Trump for being a racist azzhole.and getting us a step closer to that permanent political allegiance switch of Latinos to the Democratic Party happening by kicking Jorge Ramos out of an Iowa press conference.   He also let another sexist comment fly at Megyn Kelly among his other WTFery on the GOP campaign trail this week.

Keep it up Donald.  Your Latino community poll numbers are probably lower than Yolanda Saldivar's now.

Honorable mention number two is Megyn Kelly, for putting her pumps in her conservafool mouth and demanding that Dr Cornel West explain why #BlackLivesMatter hasn't in her words discussed lack-on black violence, and he schooled her azz.

Honorable mention number three is the now suspended ODU Sigma Nu chapter for hanging some offensive signs at their frat house over the weekend.  Semester hasn't even stared and they have already earned an 'F' in treating women with dignity and respect.

Honorable mention number four is SD state rep Roger Hunt, (R) who is proposing genital inspections of transgender athletes because he's pissed off about the South Dakota High School Activities Association’s recent adoption of a trans equality policy.

Figures it would be a GOP legislative pervert proposing this latest attack on trans kids

Honorable mention number five is Michael Brown, who is still trying to spin a decade later the 'heck of a job' he did as head of FEMA in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

 Dude, stop trying to spin you way out of the abysmal job you did.  History and the videotape don't lie.

Honorable mention number six is the FOX Noise kneegrow fembot Harris Faulkner,  who parted her lips to say that parents need to keep their daughters in the kitchen to prevent fraternity rapes.

And when did you have that wash, set and GOP cranial rinse?

This week's Shut Up Fool winner is Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.   The word got leaked they are pitching a new reality TV show in which they counsel the victims of sexual abuse.

Really?  The peeps who failed their own daughters miserably on that subject now want a TV show to counsel somebody else's childrenwho have fallen victim/to people ilke the predator son they protetced?

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What next?  A show featuring Jared Fogle talking about how to avoid online child molesters?   Bernie Madoff giving investment advice?

Jim Bob and Michelle, your 15 minutes is up, and I need to say this razorback style:  Woo pig sooie, PHOOEY! 

Translation:  Shut up fools!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Tired Of The Black Cis Community Denying Our Humanity

"To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity."
Nelson Mandela

One of the things I'm really getting sick of is people who share my ethnic heritage reciting right wing anti-trans talking points.

The latest example of that comes from the head of the Houston Black Area Democrats (HBAD), Edward Pollard, who is catching heat for their endorsement of HERO hatin' Council Member Michael Kubosh.

I woke up this morning thinking about the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) and was wondering if gender identity is protected as a class, why isn't age identity or race identity protected as well. If a person was was 50 but identified themself as 21 and put that on her job app, shouldn't she be protected too from discrimination? Or what about a college kid who got a scholarship to a public school for being Asian but was really Hispanic, shouldn't he be protected too? What are your thoughts on age and race identity? ‪#‎mondaymorningthoughts‬

WTF?  Let me spell this out for you.  HERO protects from discrimination in 15 categories that include , race , sex, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial status, marital status, military status, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, and pregnancy.

In the cased of discrimination reported to the City of Houston from May 28. 2014 until January 15, 2015, 54% of the complaints were based on race.  17% were gender, 15% age, 4% for disability and national origin,, and 2% veteran's status.  

Where did sexual orientation and gender ID complaints rank?   4% of the complaints the OIG's office received cited that as a factor.

But let's get back to what I really wanted to gripe about in terms of elements of the so call Black community leadership denying the humanity of Black trans Houstonians

But first, need to do a little Trans 101 and explain the concept of gender identity to you, The short version is it's a person's inner sense of being male or female and how they project and express that to the world.   If your gender identity happens to line up neatly with the body you are walking Planet Earth on, and that makes you cisgender.   Mine didn't, and that makes me transgender.  

Gender identity is not, Edward, that jacked up convoluted crap you regurgitated on Monday. 

I'm beyond sick and tired along with Black trans Houstonians of Black cis people reciting a long go debunked right wing talking point.  If you want to know what it's like to walk in my pumps or my Black trans brother's shoes, then ASK us.

Bottom line is for you to stop lying about our lives, and stop denying our humanity.   You can't spell Black lives matter without the 'T', and I and Black trans people around the country are not going to let you forget it.

Houston Trans Vigil

Was honored to participate in a vigil at Hermann Park honoring the lives of the 17 trans women we have lost in 2015.   The vigil was organized by Ashton Woods and in addition to myself being one of the speakers, Dee Dee Watters and Brenda Langer also said a few words along with Woods to close out the event that started at 6 PM and was covered by one local news station.

You can't spell #BlackLivesMatter without the 'T", and my short speech was geared toward  reminding people about that simple fact.   I also reminded people that those who wish to deny our human rights, like our HERO hatin' opponents, are denying our very humanity.

I also called out the Houston media for lying about transpeople and peddling that debunked bathroom lie and expressed my fears  that the anti-trans negativity being sowed by the faith based oppressors may manifest itself into anti-trans violence aimed at Houston trans people

I also reminded people that we are still trying to get a WH petition calling for a federal investigation of the anti-trans violence leading to our murders to the 100K mark.  It is as of this writing well short of the 100K signatures it needs by September 9, and this is a short term way to show support for the trans communities of color..

We closed it out by saying the names of the 17 trans women murdered before going back to our lives and hoping that our allies in attendance do their part to help squash anti-trans rhetoric and disinformation in their influence circles. .

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Maybe If...

Guest Post by Vanessa Victoria.   This was originally on her Facebook page, and it needed to be shared and signal boosted.

Maybe if…
Maybe if every man who has ever hired a trans escort, if every boy who has ever beat off to trans porn, if the millions who fetishize our bodies, who press us against hotel windows, who lay with us in our beds, if the men who adore me and my sisters, but only behind closed doors, would STAND THE FUCK UP AND SPEAK OUT…maybe 17 Transgender Women, wouldn't have gotten murdered in 2015.
Maybe if all of you who read this, our allies and friends and colleagues and family, would call out when others make jokes at our expense, even when we’re not around, if you’d tell advertisers and producers and journalists and writers and comics that you’re not okay with them making trans women nothing but the punchline of jokes or tragic tossaways, that you know us, that we’re not disposable….maybe groups of people would stop feeling so free to harass me and my sisters, maybe crowds wouldn’t just laugh when a man spits at me, or just watch when two young men chase me down the street yelling “shemale”…maybe if you ALL stood up and said enough, maybe a young woman just being herself wouldn’t be beat to death in the streets of the supposedly best place on earth to just be yourself.

Maybe if all the gay men who act as if equality means marriage, if all the white feminists who only serve those that look like them, if all the queers who drop “TWOC” like a shibboleth but don’t know or talk to or walk beside any actual trans women of color…maybe if all of you saw what was happening here and how your actions allow it, how every moment of silence, of waiting for people of color to start the conversation about race …maybe these women could have enjoyed a few more years of being beautiful among us.
It happened because our men won’t admit they love us, because our friends aren’t speaking out against the thousand little dehumanizing actions of others, because our own “LGBT” community isn’t comfortable talking about race and class.

Ask A Trans Attracted Man: Trans Murders

Been a while since I've had a video up from Troy, and in this one he's commenting on the far too frequent murders of Black trans women.

You can check out Troy's other videos on his YouTube channel.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Upcoming Must See Trans TV- The 'Transgender In America' Show On HLN

I'd talked about it in terms of the O'Bannon women being on this show, and now the preview videos are finally coming out.

On August 26 and 27 HLN's  Dr Drew show will be broadcasting over two nights a Transgender In America show in front of an all-trans audience starting at 8 PM CDT.

You may wish to set your DVR's for this one, and here's the preview video of the upcoming broacast .


Once again, the Transgender In America show will be broadcast on HLN, and I'm looking forward to seeing what people I know show up not only as the guests on the show, but in the studio audience.,

Why Is This Trans WH Petition Lagging In Getting The Necessary 100K Signatures?

When a White House petition posted on January 3 in honor of the departed Leelah Alcorn called for the passage of Leelah's Law to ban all conversion therapy aimed at TBLG Americans, it easily garnered its over 100,000 signatures, and got a WH response from Valerie Jarrett

Now we have a Fran Watson created White House petition posted on August 10 calling for the federal government to investigate the anti-trans violence that leads to the unacceptable slaughter of trans women of color.  

And how close are we to hitting that 100,000 signature threshold that we need to reach by September 10?   As of this writing, it has only 4735 signatures, well short of the number needed.

Ii this signature rate doesn't ramp up soon, we are probably NOT going to hit that 100,000 signature target required by September 10 to get an official White House response on this .


 And that's irritating and depressing to the trans communities of color reeling from the off the charts murders and anti-trans rhetoric being aimed at us.   I have no doubts if the racial composition of the trans murder victims was switched, and it was overwhelmingly white trans women under 30 being eviscerated, this would be 'State of Emergency' news and we would have already hit that signature target.

But since its predominately Black and Latina trans women, note it's now August 25 and we haven't even gotten to 50,000 signatures, much less 10,000.

This disappointing response is sending us in Trans POC World and our allies the unmistakable impression that All Trans Lives Don't Matter, and that the lives of the 17 murdered trans women of color we've lost in 2015 don't matter as much as one non-POC teen that committed suicide.  


The differing signature rates between the WH Leelah's Law petition and the current one aimed at trying to get action on a trans issue that overwhelmingly affects trans women of color is striking and a problematic look.  


So come on trans community and allies.  How about you showing as much love for murdered non-white trans women as you did for Leelah Alcorn earlier this year?  Black Lives Matter, how about you 
encouraging people to sign this WH petition?    Where you at NAACP?  Congressional Black Caucus?
 

Sign it and share it...Talk this petition up and also get people to understand why this is important to get 100K signatures for it so we can hit and exceed the signature target before that September 10 deadline. 

The clock's ticking.
  

JCPS Finally Passes Trans Policy Expansion!

Last night some old Louisville human rights business I'd been working on since 2007 and had to unhappily leave undone when I moved in 2010 was finally completed!

By a nearly unanimous 6-1 vote, the Jefferson County Public School Board in Louisville voted to expand the JCPS  anti-harassment and non discrimination policies to includes  added gender identity and expression to the district's non discrimination and anti-bullying policies.

And the wonderful Bluegrass State news news had me doing the happy dance deep in the heart of Southeast Texas.

It was a process that Mike Slaton and I along with a team of people had been fighting for back in 2007, and I was bitterly disappointed when the gender identity and expression language was cut in favor of adding sexual orientation only

JCPS is Kentucky's largest school district, with 101,000+ students, 172 schools, and 6,400+ teachers, With this near unanimous vote, JCPS becomes only the second school district in the state to add gender identity to its non-discrimination and bullying and harassment policies.

The Fayette County Public School Board in Lexington approved a similar policy in July 2012.


As Metro Louisville Human Relations Commissioner Dawn Wilson said in a statement on her Facebook page," Tonight, the ghost of 2007 was finally laid to rest.  No outside opposition. Room supportive. As the education chair of the Louisville Human Relations Commission I applaud the JCPS board for passing 6-1 gender ID and expression to the school policy!

The chair of GLSEN Bluegrass was also pleased with what transpired at the Van Hoose Education Center last night.
“We are pleased to see JCPS pass this policy and join Fayette County as the only two school districts in the state with fully inclusive policies that protect students regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity,” said Zoey Peach, chair of GLSEN Bluegrass. “With the knowledge that they are protected from bullying and discrimination, these policies will ensure a safe and affirming school climate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students in these schools.” 

And I'm happy for the trans JCPS students and employees the expansion of this policy will protect. .