Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Seriously? Cops Justified In Shooting a 12 Year Old?

Cleveland Browns wideout Andrew Hawkins walks onto the field wearing a protest shirt during introductions prior to the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland on Sunday.If you want to know why I call the police forces in this country the stormtroopers of white supremacy and Black America is still singing NWA when it comes to the po-po's, hope you had a chance to check out the jacked up interview on MSNBC last night with Cleveland Police Union President  Jeffrey Follmer.

He whined about Cleveland Browns players wearing 'Justice For Tamar Rice' shirts before their game with the Bengals on Sunday, but had no empathy for parents worried that their kids would be the victims of a shooting by out of control white cops.

"How about this? Listen to police officers commands, listen to what we tell you, and just stop," Follmer said during the interview "I think that eliminates a lot of problems. I have kids too, they know how to respect the law. They know what to do when a police officer comes up to them.

"I think the nation needs to realize that when we tell you to do something, do it, and if you're wrong you're wrong, and if you're right, then the courts will figure it out."

How about this Officer Follmer?  How about weeding the racist cops out of your departments instead of protecting them?   How about you and your fellow trigger happy white cops who have the same dismissive and racist attitudes, stop treating all Black people like suspects.

You also need to consider that this negative drama between white cops and Black people goes back over 50 years and we're beyond sick and tired of it.

Happy Hanukkah 2014!

hanukkahWanted to take a moment to wish all my Jewish trans family, friends and allies a Happy Hanukkah.

This year it starts at sundown tonight and will run until Christmas Eve.

Hanukkah is also known as the Festival of Lights, and celebrates the rededication of the Second Temple of Jerusalem during the second century B.C., when Jews led by the Maccabees revolted against their Greek-Syrian oppressors.

When the Maccabees rededicated their temple which had been desecrated under their oppressive occupation in which the Jewish religion had been outlawed and pigs had been sacrificed on its altar, they needed to light the menorah in the temple as part of that process.   They only had enough consecrated oil to do that for one night, but miraculously that was enough to light it for eight days and find a fresh batch of oil.

Each night during the eight days of Hanukkah a candle is lit on a menorah from a central helper candle.  They are lit from left to right.

So for my Jewish friends, trans family and allies, Happy Hanukkah!   

Monday, December 15, 2014

Laverne Cox Named To 2014 EBONY Power 100!

Laverne CoxLaverne Cox has broken historic ground on a number of fronts in 2014, but I discovered another historic first that she'd accomplished when I picked up some reading material for my long wait for my homeward bound flight from New York a week ago.

The EBONY Magazine Power 100 issue was the one I purchased , and I was excited to discover that when I looked through the peeps that had been named to it for 2014, Laverne Cox was among them.

It is a BFD in the African-American community to be named to the EBONY Power 100.  

EBONY has been selecting the heroes and sheroes of this community and inspiring African-Americans in various categories for over 70 years to compile this list.. 

This year, for the first time ever, I got to see a transperson included in those EBONY Power 100 ranks.  When I thought about the magnitude of what I was seeing as I read the article in the LaGuardia terminal, it made me cry tears of joy.   I'd actually lived to see one of our own sheroes  be named to that EBONY Power 100 List.

It also is emphatic evidence of what I been saying in these electronic pages for years when I point out that we are part of the kente cloth fabric of the African-American community.

Laverne is the first out trans person to be named to the EBONY Power 100, and I couldn't be more proud of her.

Congratulation Laverne to adding another groundbreaking accomplishment to a long list of them you have achieved in 2014.   Can't wait to see what happens for you in 2015.

Happy Birthday Dr Z!

Couldn't let today pass without giving one of my fave trans men a TransGriot birthday shoutout!

Today just happens to be the 34th birthday of Dr. Kortney Ryan Ziegler, the hardest working tech entrepreneur in our community

Had the pleasure of getting to see him again during that recent event in New York, and looking forward to seeing where his wildly successful Trans*H4CK pops up in 2015 after happening in Oakland, Chicago and most recently Boston..

Happy birthday Dr. Z!   May this one be full of blessings for you and may 2015 be an even more dynamic and successful year for you than this one was.

Chicago Trans Activist Joy Morris Dies

Have some sad news to report to you about one of our activist trans sisters.

Was advised by Philip Esteem and a Windy City Times article that Chicago based activist Joy Morris died December 6 after a long battle with cancer.

The homegoing service was held at the Mountain of Hope church on Saturday December 13.

Joy's activism was focused on the transgender and HIV/AIDS communities, and she was a determined warrior that demanded inclusiocommunity."n and recognition for both since the 1990's.

In order to facilitate the goal of trans inclusion in the HIV/AIDS community, Morris founded TransActions along with being the organizing force for the Legends Lunch All Star Awards that have exponentially grown under her watch.

'The community has lost an outspoken activist whose voice cannot be silenced.  Joy's 30 year lve with HIV was the inspiration for a different kind of battle. She powerfully and tirelessly fought for recognition, inclusion and equality and her resounding cry "What about the transgenders?" was singularly recognizable in the HIV community." stated Kenis Williams, Trisha Holloway, Sheila Cooper-Webb and Hannah Anderson in a statement..

Rest in power and peace, Joy.   You will be missed by your colleagues, the community and all who loved you.  

They will never forget your contributions toward making Chicago, the state of Illinois  and the world a better place.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Shut Up Fool Awards-Creeping Closer To Christmas Edition

Well peeps, only 13 more days until the Festival of Conspicuous Consumption (AKA Christams) arrives.   I 'm doing double duty in the shopping department looking for stuff to set up my apartment with and presents for my nieces and close friends and family.

There are two peeps however who will be getting a lump of coal if that much from me on December 25.

Moving on before I commence to writing Grinch-like commentary..

It's Friday, and it's time for the weekly TransGriot post you longtime readers love in which I call out this week's fool, fools, or motley collection of fools deserving of group recognition

So let's get busy shall we?

Honorable Mention number one is the not so dynamic duo of Craig James and Peter Sprigg.  The FRC spokesoppressors were hatin' on transpeeps for the holidays by suggesting a federal gender identity constitutional amendment be passed to roll back the human rights of trans people.

I got a constitutional amendment for you.  How about one that bans the use of constitutional  amendments or referendums to roll back people's human rights?

Honorable Mention number two is Geraldo Rivera, who sold out to his Fox Noise paymasters and joined in the faux vanillacentric outrage over the 'I Can't Breathe' shirts that many NBA and other pro athletes are starting to wear in solidarity over the Garner case.

Geraldo, how about a nice tall glass of shut the hell up?

Honorable Mention number three is a group award to everyone in Fayetteville, AR who drank the right wing Kool-Aidl voted to repeal the just passed in August non discrimination ordinance expanding coverage to LGBT people.  That'll make the University of Arkansas' job of attracting LGBT scholarsand students much harder.

Time to modify the calling of the hogs cheer .   Boooooooooooooooooooo  Pig Sooie.

Honorable Mention number four is my governor until January, Rick Perry, who opened his mouth and let something else stupid fly out of it by claiming the Bible proves that poverty is inevitable.

Something else that is inevitable is a Texas Republican saying something, sexist, bigoted, racist or off the charts stupid.

Honorable Mention number five is a group award for every GOP legislator filing or trying to pass 'right to discriminate bills.  For all you peeps who sat out the November election, this is the bullcrap you enabled when you refused to participate in the election.

This week's Shut Up Fool winner, just to point out that my search for fools is international,  we go all the way to New Zealand for 

This week's winner is Logan Robertson, the pastor of a church in Auckland, NZ who sent a hate-filled e-mail to prominent gay Christian author Jim Marjoram in which he 'prays he commits suicide'.

How sad.  Another hate pastor who worships Conservagod.   All I have to say is that some of you good christians are going to be very surprised who gets Left Behind.

I pray that Robertson repents and gets over his foaming at the mouth homophobia.   But somehow I doubt that's gonna happen anytime soon with this christohater..

Logan Robertson, shut up fool!

Black Community, Does My Black Trans Life Matter?

imageIn the wake of another young Black transwoman being murdered in Los Angeles, am definitely going to signal boost this post by Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi asking the Black community a question that's on the minds of all African descended transpeople no matter what our age is.

Do our Black lives matter?   

They most certainly do.   #BlackTransLivesMatter.    Here's a taste of what Lady Dane had to say.


Trans women are not killed by trans women, we are killed by cisgender men. Often cisgender black men. Is this why our black community is so afraid of having this conversation? Trans folk are the greatest embodied form of revolution against colonization. Our very existence spits in the face of all that colonization wishes our black community to hold true: is this why our black community is so afraid to have these conversations? Is it that the poison of colonization has seeped so deeply into the  veins of  the black movement that it is easier to ignore black trans folk and use them as place holders then to honor our existence? We must begin to honor not just our fallen  cis brothers but our fallen trans siblings and cis sisters. We must fight against the notion that we black women must ignore our brutalizers, although many of us are forced to co-exist with them


You can read the entire to the Black community she wrote by clicking this link.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

FRC Hatin' Transpeeps For The Holidays

I should've known better than to ask for as a Christmas wish that we trans women and transpeeps in general get a quiet, transphobia free holiday.

But hey, I had to wish for something other than for myself while sitting on Santa's lap..

So it looks like we'll have another transphobic Christmas in which the haters come out to play and we are already mourning the death of one of our sisters before the arrival of December 25, much less Kwanzaa and Hanukkah.

Bah humbug.i.

Courtesy of the longtime haters employed by the Family Research Council, spokesgrinches Peter Sprigg and Craig James (yes Texas peeps,the former SMU running back mate of Eric Dickerson), parted their lips to propose a constitutional amendment to ban recognition of gender reassignment.

Nope peeps, this is not an Onion holiday headline, these paid haters actually came up with this jacked up idea.

The Transphobic Oppressors proposed this idea during a recent episode of Washington Watch in which James stated that transgender rights issues will have to be the next ones the Religious Reich combats in their 'war against the LGBT community.'

Sprigg then piled on with his suggestion that conservatives may need to consider a constitutional amendment regulating gender identity to being fixed at birth.

Not no, but hell no...

So word to the wise transperson.  Stealth status will not protect you from the evil the conservative movement wants to do to you and transkind.  If you are a conservative identified transperson, better wake up and stop voting GOP because your wallet doesn't trump my human rights.

And it's unfortunately another example of cis folks hatin' on us for the holidays, and why our inclusion in proposed or existing human rights laws is necessary.

On Monday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” James explained how transgender rights issues will likely be the next issue that the Religious Right will have to “combat in this war that we’re on with the LGBT community.” - See more at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/frc-spox-proposes-constitutional-amendment-ban-recognition-gender-reassignmenta#sthash.vcpeIBqn.dpuf

On Monday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” James explained how transgender rights issues will likely be the next issue that the Religious Right will have to “combat in this war that we’re on with the LGBT community.” - See more at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/frc-spox-proposes-constitutional-amendment-ban-recognition-gender-reassignmenta#sthash.vcpeIBqn.dpuf

TransGriot 2014 NFL Picks Week 15

Had another great week of picking NFL games with a respectable 11-5 Week 14 record.  

However, it still wasn't good enough to make a dent in Mr. Watts' sizable lead and I have only three weeks left in the regular season.

Our WTF Game for Week 14 had to be the San Francisco 49ers losing to the Oakland Raiders.

I guess the Raiders wanted those NFL Bay Area bragging rights worse than the Niners did.

Speaking of football teams, my fave NFL ballers have a critical game this Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.  However, the Texans are 0 for Indianapolis in their franchise history, and probably need to win this game and the upcoming ones against the Ravens and the Jaguars to finish 10-6 and have a shot at joining the AFC playoff party.

Will they do it?  Not sure.   The Texans have had buzzard's luck in the RCA Dome and Lucas Oil Stadium.   It was self explanatory when Peyton Manning was the Colts QB, but the Texans inexplicably lost a game in Indy when the Colts were struggling to finish 2-14 and they were rolling to an AFC South division title.

We'll see if that negative 0 for Indy streak ends when they kick off at Lucas Oil Stadium at 12 noon CST.

I know JJ Watt will be on his A+  NFL MVP level game.   Just need Ryan Fitzpatrick to play somewhat close to that level for the next three weeks.

But back to discussing the 2014 prognostication season for a moment.   Me and my fellow prognosticators all tied for top honors last week, but that was not the case in Week 14.  Mike rolled to a 13-3 record to pad his lead to a whopping 11 games.  Short of a massive collapse, he's well on his way to taking his first  solo  prognostication title.

Well, at least I'm not bringing up the rear this year. 

Week 14 Results

TransGriot    11-5
Eli                 10-6
Mike             13-3

2014 NFL Season Record

TransGriot     133-74-1
Eli                  127-80-1
Mike              144-63-1

It's Week 15.   Sixteen more games as some NFL teams jockey for playoff positioning while others are fighting for 2015 NFL draft positioning.

Thursday Night Game
Arizona over St Louis

Sunday Early Games
Pittsburgh over Atlanta
NY Giants over Washington
New England over Miami
Kansas City over Oakland
Indianapolis over Houston
Cincinnati over Cleveland
Baltimore over Jacksonville
Green Bay
over Buffalo
Carolina over Tampa Bay

Sunday Afternoon Games
NY Jets over Tennessee
Denver over San Diego
Detroit over Minnesota
Seattle over San Francisco

Sunday Night Game

Philadelphia over Dallas

Monday Night Game
New Orleans over Chicago

It's Imperative Black SGL Community, You Care About My Trans Rights Issues, Too

I attended at the Montrose Center a few weeks ago a Teach For America sponsored meeting on the State of LGBT Education.   When it was over I was offered a ride to the MetroRail Wheeler Station during our post meeting conversation.

During that short ride to the station one of the Black SGL men in the car stated that he didn't understand being trans, didn't understand our issues and why they were germane to him as a Black gay man.

Unfortunately he said that part just as I arrived at Wheeler Station and saw my northbound train approaching,, otherwise he would have gotten this told to him that I'm writing for you peeps perusal right now.

The reason trans issues are germane to you as a Black gay man is for starters, because of our Black skin and shared history of oppression, the folks who revel in hating LGBT people hate ALL of us and don't take time to sort out which peeps they hate in the rainbow community less.

Another reason why you should care is that all oppressions are linked.   Gender discrimination affects you as a gay man because you are not discriminated against solely because who you prefer as a sexual partner when your bedroom door is closed, it is because of the violation of the gender binary.

And frankly, you wouldn't have a movement if it weren't for Sylvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson and other trans and gender variant folk who raised hell at Stonewall in 1969.  Black gender variant activist goes back to 1965 and the Dewey's Lunch Counter Sit In and Protest in Philly.

And just because I transitioned, I did not give up my Black Card.   I get seen as Black before the trans issues even come to the party.  Just like you, I'm either too Black for some segments of the communities I intersect and interact with and not Black enough for others.

It's also imperative you care about my issues as a trans person because 20% African-American trans unemployment rates hurts the African-American community as a whole.   Every trans woman who is killed is a loss of potential and talent that could benefit us.

And I need you as a Black SGL community to set an example to the rest of the African-American community by helping us stamp out the transphobia in your ranks. 

Makes it harder for me and other Black trans advocates to insist that transphobia cease and desist in other communities when you are undercutting our message by in some cases gleefully engaging in it or spreading the same lies our right wing and TERF opponents do about us.

And we as trans peeps have been loyal allies when it comes to your issues.   There are also other issues of mutual concern to us and the trans community like getting to zero HIV/AIDS cases, the uplift of the Black community, and ensuring what we have a voice at the Black community family table.

If you don't understand trans issues, ask a trans person.   Many of us are willing to do the 'ejumacation' about who we are.   Read our blogs and op-eds. Listen to our podcasts.   Watch our YouTube V-blogs.  Come to the conferences and forums in which we discuss our lives. 

All you have to do is hit Google, Bing or any other search engine to get the basic medical facts about transition, SRS and how our bodies morph to conform with on the outside the persons we are on the inside.   It ain't that hard to get up to speed on Trans 101 if you have a sincere desire to do so.

And having trans people in your circle of friends doesn't hurt either.

I and the trans community need you to do that because there are times when you are going to be in the room or other spaces I won't be in at that time with other fellow gays and lesbians  (or cis straight people), some transphobic ignorance will start, and it will be up to you as an ally to shut that BS down. 

So yes, Black SGL community, it's important that you care about my trans issues as a fellow Black  person who is interested in the advancement of human rights for all..  If you claim you are for human rights, that includes your trans brothers and sisters, too.

We are already dealing with near genocidal levels of violence and enough anti-trans ignorance from the conservative movement, the Religious Right, sellout ministers and their flocks.   We don't need our Black SGL allies adding to the microaggressive and macroaggressive crap we as Black trans people already deal with

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Plano, TX Passes Problematic TBLG Inclusive Ordinance

With Houston becoming in May the most recent Texas city to enact  an inclusive non-discrimination law with the passage of HERO, Lone Star TBLG Texans were waiting to see what Texas city would step up to the human rights plate next.

Turns out it was Plano, TX with a population of 274,000 peeps. The Plano City Council on a 5-3 vote Monday night expanded its non-discrimination ordinance that has been in effect since 1989 to include gender identity and sexual orientation in front of a standing room only City Council chamber.

Note to all you folks considering the same thing for your cities and towns.  Draft the strongest ordinance you can and bump the haters because you only get one shot to do it right.  The Plano ordinance problematically excluded bathrooms, and the expanded ordinance is STILL getting hated on.

The Plano Equal Rights Policy that takes effect in January affords equal rights to individuals regardless of “U.S. military/veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation and gender identity.”
It prohibits discrimination in places of “public accommodation, employment practices, housing transactions and city contracting practices.”
City contractors must agree to comply with the equal employment opportunity clause but may apply for a waiver “based on a conflict with federal or state law.”
Exemptions are provided for religious organizations; political organizations; nonprofit organizations, except those receiving city grant money; educational institutions; private clubs; and state and federal agencies.
Plano's Mayoral Leadership and City Council
The Plano ordinance does not require employers to provide benefits to an employee’s domestic partner

Plano is not only the sixth Texas city to do so, it is the first suburban Texas one to take that human rights step. “Providing equal rights for everyone is the right thing to do,” Mayor Harry Rosiliere said during the contentious meeting as the haters once again tried to deploy their patented  fear and smear tactics and failed.

The expanded policy has the support of large Plano employers such as Frito-Lay, Toyota and PepisCo, and the North Texas Gay and Lesbian Alliance.    Jeanne Rubin, vice president of the North Texas Gay and Lesbian Alliance said after the affirmative council vote was tallied .“I’m glad the Plano City Council did the right thing,”

But there are people gearing up to do the right wing hate thing.  There was opposition from Texas Values, Collin County GOP (surprise, surprise) state legislators like Jodie Laubenberg, Pat Fallon, Jeff Leach, Rep-elect Matt Shaheen and (indicted) Attorney General elect Ken Paxton.   The Plano based ''christian" advocacy group the Liberty Institute is threatening to file a lawsuit.

There were also threats by the sore bigot losers of recalls against the five councilmembers who voted for it and the mayor.

In big cities like Houston that have sizable progressive populations, we laugh that off, but in GOP leaning 'Collin County, it's stay tuned time to see if they make that threat happen.

Hearing that trans folks in North Texas hate the cave on the bathroom.   I'm going to be interested to hear from Nell Gaither and other peeps in the Dallas metro area to find out if they were even consulted in terms of crafting the language on this.

But congrats to Plano for trying doing the right thing.. 

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

TransMusePlanet's 20 Most Influential Trans People of 2014

Been a while since I've had the pleasure of signal boosting a TransMusePlanet post, but this is one that needs the extra eyeballs on it.

It's TMP's annual 20 Most Influential Trans People list as determined by Sabrina's readers and visitors to the TMP Facebook group.   These were the twenty people that her readers were talking about during this soon to be departing year.

And yeah, you may see a familiar name or two on this list.

So you can click this link to see who were the TMP 20 Most Influential Trans People for 2014.

Monday, December 08, 2014

RIP Deshawnda Sanchez

21-year-old Deshawnda Sanchez [KTLA-TV]So much for the 2104 Christmas season being devoid of a trans murder.

In the Los Angeles area in the early morning hours of December 3, 21 year old Deshawnda 'Tata' Thomas spent the last moments of her life pounding on the door of a Compton, CA home around 4 AM desperately seeking to escape someone.

That help arrived too late, and she unfortunately became the third trans woman on Southern California to die this year and the eleventh trans woman of color nationally to die since June .

And what's even more distressing to me, she was just 21 years old.

In what may turn out to be a huge break in this case, a surveillance camera at a nearby home caught someone getting out of a car and running toward the porch where Deshawnda was standing.   That person is spotted moments later running back toward he vehicle as it departs at high speed.

A vigil was held Friday night to point out those grim statistics and to loudly restate the point that #TransLivesMatter.

Lets hope the person pr persons responsible for this latest murder of a trans woman of color are swiftly caught and punished.

And the trans community won't rest until that happens.

Minnesota Lets Our Transkids Play

You may recall when I posted the testimony of Zeam, who was lobbying the Minnesota State HS League to let him and other trans students participate in high school sports.

The MSHSL board decision on trans participation was unfortunately delayed until December 4 and I hate when they do that because it gives the bigots of the Minnesota Child Protection League time to crank up the anti-trans hatred and disinformation.

The issue of trans participation in high school athletics came up once again in the Land of 10K Lakes..  Despite another full page transphobic ad paid for by the MCPL haters and once again printed in Sunday's Minneapolis Star-Tribune newspaper, the MSHSL by an 18-1 vote dealt the haters a crushing defeat and approved a policy to let transkids play

The transphobic ad was also quickly criticized by the LGBT Sports Coalition.

The passage of the policy was heralded by many of the state's education and political leaders, including Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN)

"I applaud the Minnesota High School League's decision to pass a proposal that tells trans students in our community their identities matter just as much as everyone else's," said Congressman Keith Ellison in a written statement. "At a time when so many transgender students are bullied and harassed in the schoolyard, the MSHSL's decision recognizes their dignity and humanity on and off the playing field. All trans students are asking for is to be treated as human beings and I stand with them."

Congratulation to Minnesota for saying no to the haters who tried to grossly distort the issue and becoming the 34th state to let transkids play.