Sunday, April 23, 2017

We Don't Need Alt-Facts In Black Trans World

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One of the things I've been pondering in the run up to the start of BTAC 2017 in Dallas is the recent incident with a Black trans woman with a large YouTube media following in TS Madison Hinton having a trainwreck of an interview with a person who misgendered and disrespected trans men by calling them lesbians.

Note to that person, trans men are men.

That interview justifiably pissed off my trans brothers, and to TS Madison's credit, she wants to clean up the media mess she helped create and have a trans man on her channel who actually knows something about and can expertly talk about being a Black man of trans experience.

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But that incident drives me to make this point.  Our social media platforms, whether they are on blogs or video channels, are powerful informational tools that are not to be played with.  When you have a large media following, great responsibility comes with that social media platform, and what you say and how you say it matters.

When you put something out there on your social media platforms, especially as a Black trans person, it needs to be accurate and on point.because you don't get to make mistakes.  Neither should you be putting alt-facts out there either.

Not everyone is qualified to talk about trans issues, especially if you aren't living our trans lives.   There are also some folks in Black Trans and SGL World who need basic Trans 101 'ejumacation' themselves.

We already have the burden in Black Trans World of overcoming the myth with cis Black people fed by right wing kneegrow sellout preachers cooning it up for white fundie pastors that being trans is a 'white thang'.   There's also that myth in LGBTQ World that Black people are 'more homophobic' that needs to die as well.  

We Black trans peeps are far too often invisible to the media except when they want to cover another Black trans woman being murdered, and still screw it up.  

That media invisibility is even more pronounced for Black trans men, who get little to no coverage about the issues of importance to them   Neither do Black trans kids or their supportive parents.

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It's rare where we are shown in the media speaking intelligently about TBLGQ politics and other issues beyond the 'tragic transsexual' meme, so when we get those media moments as Black trans people, they are priceless educational opportunities to be used wisely.

That also includes our blogs and video platforms.  It takes a long time to build them up as credible sources, and it only takes one of two egregiously bad mistakes to ruin the years of hard work put in to get them to that point.

We also must remember that some of the peeps we need to educate on what ails the Black trans community are in our own cis Black community.   We must also be cognizant of the fact that with this ongoing national Republican push to pass unjust anti-trans laws, some of the legislators who will be voting YES or NO on those unjust bills share our ethnic heritage and are being lobbied by those misguided sellout pastors spouting facts free lies about us.

So facts about our Black trans lives matter.  Accurate telling of our Black trans stories matter.   Factually accurate discussions about our Black trans lives is mandatory, especially when you have a camera or a microphone in your face.

It's why we don't need nor should we tolerate any alt-facts about Black trans people in our Black trans community.
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It Is Not Godly To Oppress Trans People

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He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both [are] abomination to the LORD.   Proverbs 17:15

One of the things that bothers me as a Christian is when our right wing pseudo faith based opposition tries to hide behind Scripture and use it to justify their bigotry and hatred.

It is a centuries old tactic for conservatives to try to use the Bible as a shield in their attempts to other and demonize people, and now they are attempting to do so against transgender people.

The Southern Baptist denomination made it the official policy of their church in 2014 to hate trans people, following the Roman Catholic Church in doing so.

One of the basic commandments of our faith is to love thy neighbor as you love yourself.  It's obvious these faux faith based so called 'christians' hate themselves since they are so busy spending their time and hate orgs money bearing false witness against transgender people.

And the most odious part of their transphobic hate rants is that they are aiming them at transgender kids and their parents

I have a major problem with that.   My pissivity about it is heightened even further when you try to claim that God is on your side when you spout your loud and wrong facts free anti trans comments

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God hates injustice and the people who push it.  It's even more odious when you pastors are getting paid to push anti-trans hatred for your personal and political gain at trans kids and their parents who unconditionally love them.

Hate is not a Texas value, much less a value in our Christian faith tradition.  Love is.

It is not godly to oppress trans people, and if you pseudo faith bathed oppressors keep pushing that bald faced lie, you will reap what you sow, and the trans folks you are trying to oppress will be standing tall as your efforts to oppress them continue to fail.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

BTWI Statement Concerning The Death Of Chayvis 'Chay' Reed


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 22, 2017
Contact: Monica Roberts BTWI Media Chair
Carmarion Anderson  BTWI Founding National Director
855-255-8636 Ext 11
media@blacktranswomen.org

Black Transwomen, Inc is saddened and angered to hear about the loss of another precious life to anti-trans violence in the person of 28 year old Chayvis Darice 'Chay' Reed of Miami. FL.

We at Black Transwomen, Inc express our deepest condolences to Ms. Reed's family and all the people in her all too brief life who loved her.

According to a witness a group of people were walking up a sidewalk in the West Little River neighborhood near the intersections of Northwest 27th and Northwest 93rd Streets when one of them ran across Northwest 27th Street at approximately 5 AM EDT.   Six or seven shots subsequently rang out according to the witness and that person fell to the ground.

The shooter fled the scene and is being sought by Miami-Dade police.  The incident was captured by the home surveillance cameras of the witness, and the video is being reviewed by Miami-Dade police detectives.

We at BTWI are also upset and angered to note that once again, a deceased Black trans woman has been misgendered and disrespected in the local media.  

Reed is the ninth trans woman of color murdered in the US in 2017, and the eight African-American trans person killed  this year.   Out of those eight Black trans women we have lost this year, seven of them are under age 40.

If you have any information that will bring Chay's killer to justice, you are urged to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305- 471-TIPS (8477)

Rest in power and peace, Chay.   Know that all who love you will not rest until justice is served in this case.
   

Now There Are Nine - Rest In Power And Peace, Chay

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We've lost another Black trans woman to anti-trans violence, and as you probably guessed, she  was misgendered by the media. 

The location for the ninth US trans murder this year is Miami, FL and it happened at approximately 5 AM EDT this morning according to a witness.  

28 year old Chayvis 'Chay' Darice Reed according to this witness was walking with a group along Northwest 27th Street and Northwest 93rd Street in the West Little River neighborhood.  The witness stated that one person ran across the street, six or seven gunshots subsequently rang out and a person fell to the ground.  

The shooter fled the scene and has not been located at this time.  The witness has home surveillance footage which is being reviewed by Miami-Dade police detectives. 

Chay is the ninth transperson of color killed in 2017, and the eighth Black trans woman this year.  
Of the eight Black trans women killed this year, sadly seven of them have been under age 40.

If you have information concerning Chay's murder that will help capture the perpetrator of it, you are urged to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS (8477)

If I hear of a memorial service for Chay, will pass along those detail as I receive them.

Dee Dee Watters will also be hosting a moment of silence in Chay's honor starting at 9 PM CDT this evening on her Facebook page.

Rest in power and peace, Chay.  Your trans family will not rest until the waste of DNA who killed you is rotting in a jail cell.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Shut Up Fool Awards- Countdown To BTAC 2017 Edition

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It's that time of year when I get to hang out for a week in Dallas at this year's edition of the Black Trans Advocacy Conference that runs from April 24-30.  It's a unique experience because it's one of the few that unapologetically focuses on the Black trans community with a family reunion feel.

That fun for me starts on Monday.    But today is Friday, and it's time to call out some fools for their usual shenanigans and idiocy.

So let's this this Shut Up Fool Awards party started

Let's just jump straight to this week's winner in Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III. our Confederate Attorney General who seems to have a problem with the concept of judicial review.  .

Sessions is 'amazed' that a judge in Hawaii can squash a presidential executive order.   But had Jee been paying attention to or even much less reading the Constitution, he wouldn't and shouldn't be surprised about that.

But he didn't have any problems with judicial review when it was working to shut down executive orders that POTUS 44 was writing.

Coretta was right.  You're not only not qualified to be a federal judge, you're unqualified to be Attorney General of the United States.

Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III,shut up fool!

Moni's Texas Travel Bucket List

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Since today is the anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto that led to Texas' independence from Mexico,  I thought this would be an apropos day for this post.

I have been blessed to travel around much of the US, and much of my France sized home state.  I have done the long drive along 1-10 from Houston to LA twice, have visited the LBJ Ranch and his presidential library on the UT campus, and gone to Dallas so much I can drive around it without a map.   .

But there are still parts of the Lone Star State I haven't seen or visited.   Here's my Top 10 spots that I'd like to visit inside the Lone Star State

1. Corpus Christi

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It's Selena's hometown and the gateway to another spot I'd love to visit in Padre Island.   Would love to see the Selena Museum and some of the other sights of Corpus Christi before zooming across the Queen Isabella Causeway to Padre Island.

2.  Padre Island

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I was supposed to go there for a high school senior trip but didn't.   Even during my airline days I put it on the back burner of places to go see because I now had an expanded list of places and famous beaches to visit.   It's also home to Padre Island National Seashore, which protects 70 miles of the 113 mile long barrier island from the development that has turned South Padre Island iato a spring break destination.

3. The Rio Grande Valley

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It's considered to be the three counties along the southernmost tip of the Texas-Mexico border, Starr, Hidalgo, and Cameron counties plus Willacy County.   Despite having a lot of friends and people I know who grew up there, I've never been to 'The Valley', which is also predominately Latinx.

I would love to visit the cities of Harlingen, McAllen, Brownsville and check out its blended culture. They do host a gender conference at UT- Rio Grande Valley, so maybe that will happen for me sooner than I think.

4. Big Bend National Park

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While I'm not one of those girls who loves camping out, still have to check out Big Bend National Park and all it has to offer scenery wise.

It hugs much of the Texas-Mexico border in West Texas, and because it is sparsely populated and a long way from city lights, it is considered prime territory for star gazing and has the McDonald Observatory nearby.

Image result for amarillo tx5. The Panhandle

It consists of the northernmost 26 counties in the state and has Amarillo as its major city, connected to Lubbock by I-27.   It also has Palo Duro Canyon in the region just south of Amarillo, which is the second largest canyon in the United States .

Speaking of Amarillo, which is on I-40 and the fabled Route 66, it has some attractions of its own like the Cadillac Ranch sculpture and the Big Texan restaurant with it's 72 oz steak that free if you can complete its food challenge.

6/  Texarkana

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While I've driven through it twice in 2006 and stopped to get gas there on my way from Louisville to Dallas for my cousin's wedding, I'd still like to see State Line Drive and the Texarkana City Hall that straddles the border between Texas and Arkansas.

7. Lockhart

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In a state that is well known around the world for its barbecue, Lockhart is the mecca for it with four well known spots to pig out on it (pun intended)   And yes, this town has been on my radar for some time.

There's Smitty's,  Kreuz marker, Lockhart BBQ and Black's, and they all have people arguing constantly over which one serves the best barbecue.

Image result for fort worth water gardens8. Ft. Worth

While I have gone to Dallas frequently for a lot of reasons including family visits and the BTAC convention, that's not the case for its next door neighbor in Ft. Worth,

I've been there only once because I tagged along with my godbrother on a drive in 1981, and after Brent finished some TSTC school registration business in Waco, decided to head north on I-35 to visit his then girlfriend at TCU.

But there's a lot more to visit than the TCU campus, and that includes the Ft. Worth Stockyards, the Water Garden, the Ft Worth Zoo, and Billy Bob's Texas .

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9. Waco

The home of Baylor University and county seat of McLennan County is another place I haven't visited that does have some things to see besides the campus.  The Waco Suspension Bridge that was completed in 1870 and is open to foot traffic only, is on the National Register of Historic Places.  It was the first bridge built across the Brazos River, and was used by people driving cattle along the Chisholm Trail.

And yes, just east of town was the 1993 Branch Davidian standoff.

10..Nacogdoches

It's considered the oldest town in Texas, being founded by the Spanish in 1716, two years before San Antonio was founded.

It is the home of Stephen F. Austin State University, where the Texas Transgender Non Discrimination Summit will be held this year..  It also hosts the Texas Blueberry Festival,

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Late Night In The ATX Fighting Trans Hate

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It was a long day and a late night for all of us justice loving people who were there from across the state of Texas to register our opposition to the unjust HB 2899.

Registration didn't start for oral testimony until 10 AM, but when it did I was one of the first peeps at the computer set up in our hospitality room to sign up to have my say.  I was surprised because my name got called a little early in the evening to testify, but once again, being in Austin for the last few days thanks to a major assist from my BTAC fam in Maddox and Rebecca Jackson made that possible.

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There were 389 people who registered to testify on HB 2899.  Of that number, the overwhelming majority of us were in opposition to its passage with only 18 people for it and 2 neutral.

And after a day that started for many of us a 7 AM CDT, the hearing finally got cranked up at 11:45 PM and went on until 4:40 AM.  

This committee was more diverse than the Senate one that couldn't hide their disdain for us a few weeks ago when we Texas trans folks, Mama and Papa Bears and our allies once again bumrushed our state capitol to express our opposition to the unjust SB 2899.

House State Affair Chair Rep. Byron Cook (R) was making sure that he ran the proceedings in an evenhanded and fair manner.

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n between the time I was at the Capitol talking to numerous people, getting my lunchtime Slurpee and wings and contemplating how and what I would say to the committee,  I was getting do something I don't get a chance to do back home in Houston:. television interviews.

Thanks to Adela Uchida of KEYE-TV (the local CBS outlet) and KXAN-TV along with interviews in the Texas Observer and another local media print outlet, I was getting the message out there that this bill deserved to die and discrimination aimed at any Texan is unacceptable.

By the time I finally stepped to the podium somewhere around 12:55 AM, an Anna Julia Cooper quote was echoing in my head before I took a deep breath and handled my human rights business on behalf of my Black trans community and the orgs that I represent.

What that Cooper quote, you ask?

'
Only the black woman can say 'when and where I enter, in the quiet, undisputed dignity of my womanhood, without violence and without suing or special patronage, then and there the whole Negro race enters with me'


Image may contain: one or more people and indoorI got to crash a little after 3 AM because they called my name early, but I went to sleep knowing there were more than 50+ people still waiting to testify and those folks waiting to speak their minds to the committee were overwhelmingly going to be doing so in opposition to the bill.

And once again, I got to rep my Texas and hometown Black trans community.

As for what happened when the testimony concluded, the committee left the unjust HB 2899 pending, which means they can either call it to a vote or just sit on it until May 29.

How about y'all just kill the unjust bill and call it a day?   

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

HB 2899 Hearing Is Today

Once again I'm hanging out with a few of my friends from across Texas waiting to testify against HB 2899.  It's a bill that will not only bar Texas cities from passing ne non discrimination laws, it would wipe out current passed non discrimination laws in Austin, Dallas, El Paso and San Antonio in addition to oppressing trans Texans.

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people standing, shoes and childRegistration opened up at 10 AM, and it is supposed to be taking place at the John H Reagan Building.  

It has been postponed a few times already, and we are prepared to be here for a while.

If you wish to register your opposition to HB 2899, you can do so at this link 

Check my Twitter page also for my running commentary about the hearing, or the hurry up and wait nature of this that seems to be what's going on right now.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Upcoming BTAC 2017 Press Conference

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April  18, 2017
Contact: Monica Roberts BTWI Media Chair
Carmarion Anderson  BTWI Founding President
855-255-8636  Ext 11
media@blacktranswomen.org

Black Trans Advocacy is pleased to announce our upcoming Black Trans Advocacy conference in Dallas that will be held from April 24-30 at the Dallas Addison Marriott Quorum by the Galleria.

This is the sixth annual BTAC conference with attendees from all over the United States gathering to discuss issues of importance to the Black trans community.

Black Trans Advocacy is also pleased and proud to be at this upcoming BTAC conference celebrating the fifth anniversary of the founding of Black Transwomen, Inc.

As a Texas headquartered organization, we are not only concerned about SB 6 and HB 2899 and vehemently oppose both pieces of unjust legislation, but also lament the loss of seven African American trans women this year to anti-trans violence,   We are also concerned about the disrespectful media coverage they have gotten when the media reports their deaths and the lack of funding that goes to Black trans led organizations. .

We will also be discussing at this April 28 press conference BTA's thoughts about the current state of Black trans America, our Black Trans Advocacy conference, and other issues of importance to our community.  
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We are inviting members of the media to attend a press conference that will take place at the conference hotel starting at 12:30 PM CDT on Friday, April 28 at our conference host hotel, the Dallas Addison Marriott Quorum by the Galleria.

The hotel is located at 14901 Dallas Parkway, Dallas, TX 75204 and we at BTA look forward to seeing you there.    

  

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Black Transwomen,  Inc  is a national not for profit organization based in Dallas TX  that is part of the Black Trans Advocacy Coalition,  a social justice alliance of the Black Transmen Inc, Black Transwomen Inc & Black Trans International Pageantry System organizations. BTA is committed to the advancement of black and trans people and the liberation of all disenfranchised people by working collaboratively to help end race and gender inequalities   

Monday, April 17, 2017

Black.Trans. Unapologetic.

I am an unapologetic Black trans woman. I cannot and will not be intimidated. I will fight for my humanity and my human rights, and I'm not going anywhere.
-Monica Roberts 


I have loved Rep. Maxine Waters ever since I briefly met her in her office during a 1999 GenderPac Lobby day.   I was looking at the quote she said in the wake of the attacks being aimed at her by the conservafools and I basically did a moni remix of it for myself and my Black trans sisters.

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We come from a long line of women who have been fighting for our humanity and human rights since that first involuntary boat ride from Africa.    I'm also part of a long line of Black trans feminine multitaskers who have not only fought for our right to exist, we have also fought tooth and nail to be recognized as the women we are while fighting for everybody's  human rights.

And nope, just because Republican legislators are trying to attack our humanity and human rights for their own electoral gain next year doesn't change that fact.

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We aren't going anywhere.  We are part of the diverse mosaic of human life.   We are part of the kente cloth fabric of the Black community.   We are wives, sisters, daughters, aunts, friends and beautifully human people who just want to be left alone from political attacks so that we can concentrate our intellect and talents on simply being able to do our part to contribute to society and looking fly while doing so.

It's past time Black community, that you recognize the fact that if our human rights as trans people aren't secure, yours aren't either.   I'm also tired of seeing ministers who look like me colluding with Republicans and white fundamentalist preachers to spread falsehoods about the trans community.

Black trans women like me exist here and across the African Diaspora.   Our lineage goes back to ancient Egypt.   We are beautiful.  We are talented.  We are intelligent.  We are girls like us who if just given the opportunity, can accomplish amazing things.

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And if you think we're Black T Girl Magic personified, wait until you see the next generation of Black trans women.

I am Black.   I am a woman of trans experience.   I am unapologetic about it,and will keep saying it until you peeps get the point.that trans women are women. .

Trans Texans Talk About SB 6

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As many of you TransGriot readers are quite aware of, been in the fight to make sure that SB 6 and any other anti-trans discriminatory bills die.

SB 6 has gotten much of the attention, and while I was at the Capitol building back on March 20, I ran into on the south lawn the GLAAD film crew that had just come from the nearby University of Texas to talk to trans Longhorns about the unjust bill and heir thoughts about it.

The video is finally up, so check it out.

In The ATX Again To Lobby

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The 85th Texas Legislative session doesn't end until May 29,  and that means until that sine die day our human rights and humanity will still be under attack by the Texas GOP majority in Austin literally until midnight CDT on that day.

So once again I'm up in Austin for a few days to support a good bill in HB 192 that prohibits housing discrimination in the Lone Star State on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and fight the odious HB 2899, the bill born out of GOP frustrations that SB 6 is stuck in committee.

HB 192 gets a hearing today in the House Business and Industry Committee,  so let the member know you support that bill.

HB 2899, the latest anti-trans hate bill will get its hearing on Wednesday so I expect to spend a long day at the Capitol for that one.   We also need y'all calling the members of the House State Affairs Committee to express your opposition (politely)  to the bill.

But while I'm in the ATX, I'll catch up with friends and chosen family until I head back to Houston on Thursday.


Friday, April 14, 2017

HB 2899 Must Die!

Looks like the Republican trans oppressors in the Texas House were watching what was happening in North carolina when they passed their non-repeal of HB 2.

Several Texas House Republicans led by Ron Simmons. dismayed that the unjust SB 6 isn't moving in the House, filed this HB 2899 bill along with co sponsors Cole Hefner, Tom Oliverson, Terry Wilson, Jodie Laubenberg and Valorie Swanson.

It is basically a copy of the discriminatory bill that was just passed in NC, and seeks to do the same thing that SB 6 does in stripping Texas cities of their ability to write human rights law for their citizens in addition to oppressing trans people.

Rep Simmons, the sponsor of this bill is trying to paint HB 2899 as a 'reasonable compromise' but it is still state sponsored discrimination and needs to be called out for what it is.

It has been assigned to the House State Affairs Committee, the same committee where SB 6 is currently bottled up.  You may want to call the members of this committee and politely urge them to kill this legislative abomination.

There will also be a hearing on HB 2899 on Wednesday April 19, so if you can get to Austin, I urge you to do so to make your voice heard about this unjust bill.    

Dionne's Thoughts

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TransGriot Note:  Guest post by A. Dionne Stallworth.


All hate is wrong. Discrimination is wrong. One can’t call someone out for hate and discrimination on one day and return it people on the next.  I can only hope that Bill Shakespeare won’t mind my taking a few liberties with his words.

“I am an (add race, gender expression/presentation/identity, class, religious or spiritual identity (or lack of one), sexual orientation, political affiliations, country of citizenship, species or anything that makes a living being different from one another). Have we not eyes? Have we hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same summer and winter as each other? If you cut us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, do we not revenge or avenge?”

We all differ in many ways – some obvious and in others, not so much. This is the only planet we have, the only corporeal existence we know, and the only time we have. Given the finite resources The One has given to us, shouldn’t we learn to share them for the betterment of all concerned? Our very survival as living beings depends on how we answer that question.

I will end this with another hackneyed movie quote: “There are many ways to The One, my child.  I hope that yours is not too difficult.” Enjoy life, enjoy our gifts, our faults, our dreams, our nightmares and each other. Each of us has less time than we may think.


Have a great day and enjoy all that surrounds you and share it with someone – family, a friend or stranger.  Heed the words of this song.


None of us are Free (as recorded by Ray Charles)
Well you better listen, my sisters and brothers
'Cause if you do you can hear
There are voices still calling across the years
And they're all crying across the ocean
And they're crying across the land
And they will till we all come to understand
None of us are free
None of us are free
None of us are free, one of us are chained
None of us are free
And there are people still in darkness
And they just can't see the light
If you don't say it's wrong then that says it right
We got try to feel for each other
Let our brothers know that we care
Got to get the message, send it out loud and clear
None of us are free
None of us are free
None of us are free, one of us are chained
None of us are free
It's a simple truth we all need, just to hear and to see
None of us are free, one of us is chained
None of us are free, now I swear your salvation isn't too hard to find
None of us can find it on our own
We've got to join together in spirit, heart, and mind
So that every soul who's suffering will know they're not alone
None of us are free
None of us are free
None of us are free, one of us are chained
None of us are free
If you just look around you
You're gonna see what I say
'Cause the world is getting smaller each passing day
Now it's time to start making changes
And it's time for us all to realize
That the truth is shining real bright right before our eyes
None of us are free
None of us are free
None of us are free, one of us are chained
None of us are free
None of us are free
None of us are free
None of us are free, one of us are chained
None of us are free
None of us are free
None of us are free
None of us are free, one of us are chained
None of us are free

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Upcoming LGB and What About The T? Panel At 14 Pews

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There's an interesting panel discussion that will be taking place at 14 Pews on April 19 focused on the trans community

It's entitled LGB and What About The T?   It is a panel discussion with the goal of talking about the erasure of trans people of color, and how we can create a world in which trans folks can exist freely and without drama.

It's a timely discussion at a time in which the Republican majority in the Texas Legislature is trying to unjustly legislate oppression against the Texas trans community,

Kaleb Elijah is one of the panelists, and nope I get to be a spectator on this one.  Food will also be served from 6-7 PM with the panel starting immediately after the food is served.

Kaleb Elijah's Profile Photo, Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, sunglasses and outdoorKaleb is also challenging his trans brothers to show up for this event.

"I am asking Houston trans men of color to join me as I guest speak on this panel. The organizer told me today that besides me and one other he has not met any transmen of color, that is alarming." he wrote in a comment on his FB page.  .

"Instead of complaining that you are not heard or understood or your needs are never tended to in the community, show up in the spaces that are inclusive and have been created for your voice to be heard. The torch has been lit,  Please don't let those who are in leadership carry the load by themselves. Just like you needed someone, someone needs you."

He's right trans men of color,  I've said the same thing about you needing to show up for events and claim leadership roles in our community.  Can't be just trans women of color consistently carrying the community leadership torch.

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14 Pews is located at 800 Aurora street in The Heights, and hope to see you trans men of color in the house on that date.

We Trans Peeps Are Not An Easy Right Wing Political Win

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One of the things I thought about on the Sunday plane ride home from Boston was how proud I've been about the US trans community standing up for itself against Republican tyranny and oppression.

If the right wingers 
in the wake of their SCOTUS loss on marriage thought that by shifting their focus to attacking transgender people they would get an easy political win, they were sadly mistaken.

We are people who have had to fight a long list of people for decades that includes the TERFs, transphobic lesbian and gay folks, politicians, the media, academia, our blood families, the medical establishment and clergy just for our right to exist,

What made the Southern Baptists, the Roman Catholic Church, the Republican Party and the conservative movement think that people who have had to fight 
tooth and nail just to exist wouldn't fight their azzes just as hard to beat them?

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You're finding out that you should have left us alone, accepted your SCOTUS marriage loss and moved on.  But you conservafool wanted to continue your centuries long tradition of being wrong on the human rights issues of the day and exercise your oppressor gene against another marginalized community 

You started World War T against us, and now you're finding out that we give just as good as we get. We had no choice.  You stated attacking our trans kids, and those attacks on the humanity and human rights of our kids we trans adults could not allow to go unchecked. 

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By attacking our kids, you also got people off the fence about where they stand about trans human rights and helped us get a whole lot of allies.  It also brought the Mama and Papa Bears in our ranks. By attacking trans kids, you forced their parents into the fight to protect their humanity and human rights against your state sponsored legislative bullying.    

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You are also finding out that not only are trans adults formidable opposition, our kids are formidable leaders as well and inspire us to fight even harder for our community.. We trans folks are also justice seeking individuals who want a world better than the one that we arrived in.   

We trans peeps and our allies have the moral high ground in this international human rights fight.   You didn't and never will, and your desperate oppressive actions and anti-trans propaganda aimed at our community only make that increasingly clear to us and all who are paying attention that you are the unjust oppressors and the trans community are the aggrieved party whose human rights are under attack by you.  
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And we have legislators and a growing list of organizations on our side who are willing to stand up and call out your oppression against our community.

So if you thought we were going to be an easy political win or we would just roll over and cower in the corner as you gleefully stripped away our human rights, naw boo boo kitties, we aren't 


To borrow the words from Kara Thrace of Battlestar Galactica, we're fighting you until we can't, and we're fighting until you leave us alone to live our lives without your loud and wrong interference. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Kimberly's Faith Journey

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From time to time I've talked about one of our wonderful Lone Star Mama Bears in Kimberly Shappley, who has been on a evolutionary journey of her own along with her amazing trans daughter Kai.


     


Here's the video of the recent Today show interview that was done with Jenna Bush Hager that was recently broadcast.  If you missed it, here's the video.

Leaders Need Love, Too

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'If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.'
-John Quincy Adams  


I've been in trans activism and holding a leadership role in some capacity in it for 24 years now.   While there are times I enjoy it, there are other times it can be a pain in the rear end in terms of executing the responsibilities that come with that leadership mantle.

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While it is fun and exciting at times to be networking at various conferences, dinners, board meetings, participating in panel discussions and lobby days, and meeting, spending quality time with and getting to know some of the amazing activists, allies and leaders inside and outside our community, some of the things that aren't fun are the travel.

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Getting up before the sun rises to catch flights to and from home especially for those of us who don't live on the coasts involves a multi hour plane ride with multiple connecting flights at times. While that's great for my frequent flyer miles, your body is saying 'what the heck are you doing to me?'  

It's also interesting when you are traveling from Houston in the winter or early spring to a cold weather locale and experience a 50 degree temperature drop in mere hours and you're trying not to catch a cold because of that wild temperature swing.

Sometimes getting jacked up by TSA security isn't fun, and in some cases neither is doing that travel solo.  There are moments during those plane rides that you have time to do some hard solid thinking about whatever issues that are cropping up in your life at that time.

And if I hear the phrase 'holding someone accountable' one more time I'm gonna scream.

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There's also the keyboard activists that you rarely see doing any action, at a lobby day, or working intersectionality with other groups but have the nerve to criticize you and claim 'you don't represent them' or are spitting the word 'elitist' at you for whatever reason.

Image may contain: 6 people, people smiling, people standing and indoorI know that's part of the territory, but it's still an irritant, and we need love, too.

Being a leader ain't easy. but when you help pass good legislation and kill bad bills, make someone's day simply by talking to them, motivate people to stand up for their human rights because they are following your example, and have your classmates, community members  and former coworkers tell you they are proud of you for what you do, the rewards so outweigh whatever criticism I receive from nattering nabobs of internet negativism.

It's also where the self care aspect comes in.  Having a group of people around me that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that love you, tell you the unvarnished truth and have your back is vital. They'll give you that hug when you need it and a motivational kick in the azz when it's required

It's also nice to talk to people who do the work and discuss stuff beyond what's happening in the movement and just catching up with their lives. There are also those phone calls in which we get to vent with each other about the crap we're seeing.

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Those peeps who love and care about you will not allow you to get 'big head syndrome' either and keep you focused on why you do the work in the first place.  .

In a world that is hostile to trans people and especially trans people of color, it's vital to have people in your life who unconditionally love you.

They help make you not only a better leader, but a better human being as well.