Saturday, September 24, 2016

National Museum of African American History and Culture Opens Today

It was an event 100 years in the making, but how apropos that when the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) was opened, the first African American president of the United States was there.

The effort dates back to 1915, when Black Civil War veterans pushed for a memorial to recognize he role they played in fighting for and winning their own emancipation.   Of course, their pleas were ignored and funding never came for that memorial.

After the success of the African American civil rights movement several decades later,  there was renewed interest in our history and recognizing it with a museum.

Image result for NMAAHCCivil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) introduced 13 different bills to make that happen, which drew opposition from everyone from Sen Jesse Helms (R-NC) to federal land use watchdog groups that objected to the site of the museum on the National Mall.

The museum bill finally passed in 2003 and was signed into law by President GW Bush.

The work then began to raise the $270 million dollars in private donations and get the thousands of artifacts needed to fill the cavernous museum building's exhibit space.

Construction finally started on the NMAAHC in 2012 and was completed in November 2015,  The Smithsonian's newest museum that tells the story of African Americans is now open for all of us to enjoy.  

Here's President Obama's speech at today's NMAAHC museum grand opening ceremony.



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Musing About The DNC 2020 Trans Contingent

Transgender Delegates at the DNC
The 2016 DNC Convention in Philadelphia is over and it was a historic and record breaking one. We had a trans contingent of 27 people from across the country that included two superdelegates.

We had Sarah McBride making a historic address Thursday as the first out trans person to speak at any major party convention

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Marisa Richmond was not only attending her third consecutive DNC convention, she also made history when she became the first out trans person to hold the position as the DNC convention official timekeeper.

This 2016 Democratic Convention is fading into the history books as we concentrate on the important business of getting our Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton elected to the Oval Office as our first female POTUS, and have as many Democratic senators and congress members join her in DC as possible.   We also are focused on the mission of getting Democrats elected at all levels of government.

However, it's not too early for us in Trans World to start musing about how we are going to exceed the  27 trans folks that came to Philadelphia when the gavel comes down for the start of the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

Image result for sharron cooks delegate

One thiis we definitely need is more diversity in our trans DNC contingent.   That should always be one of the Prime Directive level missions for us.   Another Prime Directive mission for us should be to have trans federal, state, and local elected officials in our DNC 2020 trans contingent.

As the GOP led attacks on our human rights has made abundantly clear to us, we must have trans people in the committee rooms to write the good laws that affect us and poised to kill the bad ones.

We also need more trans people involved in the DNC and the state and local parties.   I'm proud of Babs Siperstein and Laura Calvo, our two trans superdelegates.  But I want to see more trans people engaged in the Democratic Party apparatus.  

And finally, I not only want more than 27 people in it,  I want geographic diversity at the same time.

Will it happen for us in 2020?  We'll see when they gavel in that 2020 DNC in a host city to be determined.

And FYI DNC, how about holding the 2020 one in Houston?  Tired of the last national party convention that was held here being the odious 1992 one in which Pat Buchanan gave his infamous 'culture war' speech.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

TransGriot 2016 NFL Picks-Week 3

Image result for houston texans 2016 jj watt
Week 2 of the 2016 NFL season has come and gone, and my fave NFL footballers are still unbeaten and sitting atop the AFC South Division standings.

But tonight the Texans are about to be tested by the team that many people consider them to be modeled after in the New England Patriots.   They are also catching them with Tom Brady sitting out a four game league imposed suspension for Deflategate and his backup in Jimmy Garoppolo being injured.

Can the Texans knock them off in Foxborough and get a leg up in this clash of AFC playoff contenders for the early lead for home field advantage in the AFC playoffs?   We'll see in a few hours.

Speaking of early leads, after two weeks, my campaign to defend my TransGriot NFL prognostication title and repeat as champion is off to a successful start.   Won the first week, and tied with Mr. Watts in Week 2.    

Translation, I have a two game lead, and want to build on that or at least maintain it.   Have 16 more games to pick this week to keep the positive momentum going.

Y'all know the drill.   Team I'm picking will be in BOLD print.   Home team is in CAPS   A link to Mike's picks will be here.

2016 NFL Week 2 Results                                         2016 NFL Season Standings            

TransGriot   11-5                                                        TransGriot    22-10
Mike            11-5                                                        Mike             20-12
Eli                ----                                                          Eli                 ---


Thursday Night Game

Texans over PATRIOTS

Sunday Early Games
Cardinals over BILLS
PANTHERS over Vikings
Broncos over BENGALS
PACKERS over Lions
Ravens over JAGUARS
DOLPHINS over Browns
GIANTS over Washington
Raiders over TITANS

Sunday Afternoon Games 
SEAHAWKS over 49ers
BUCCANEERS over Rams
COLTS over Chargers
CHIEFS over Jets
Steelers over EAGLES

Sunday Night Game
COWBOYS over Bears

Monday Night Game
SAINTS over Falcons

Texas Trans Pioneer Linda Phillips Passes Away

Was sad to hear the news via Gordene MacKenzie's Facebook page that pioneering Texas trans woman Linda Phillips has passed away suddenly at age 81 on Monday

Linda Phillips had been crossdressing since age 3,  and had the epiphany that she was trans,and transitioned later in her life.   She married Cynthia on January 10, 1958 in Dallas.

 Linda and Cynthia  were well known figures in many of the Central and South Texas transgender organizations in the late 80's and 1990's , and joined the Boulton and Park Society shortly after its 1986 founding

Linda was the past editor of the Heart of Texas Gender Association newsletter Cross Currents, and Gender Euphoria, the Boulton and Park Society newsletter. in addition to serving as the organization's Secretary and Treasurer.  As one of the principal organizers for the Texas T Party, Linda also served as the Secretary and President of the Texas T Party conference.

linda phillips & cynthia phillips
The Texas 'T' Party that started in the late 80's was the Texas based trans themed convention held in San Antonio that grew to become the largest trans themed conference on the planet at the time before it ended in 1996.  

That Texas T Party conference was also important in not only connecting the national trans community of that time to each other, but also led to the start of the series of Houston based ICTLEP trans policy conferences from 1992-1996 that became the foundation of the modern trans rights advocacy movement.

The couple also spent the 1990's discussing their longtime transgender-cisgender relationship on talk show television, at colleges and universities and serving on the board of the International Foundation For Gender Education (IFGE).  Their papers are archived at the University of Texas -San Antonio

My condolences to her wife Cynthia, and I thank them both for being pioneering possibility models for my generation of trans people to follow.   I'm even prouder to note that they were fom my home state and setting the leadership bar high for future Texas trans leaders to emulate.

We have lost another trans pioneer, and while she will be missed, Linda Phillips will not be forgotten.

TransGriot Note: Linda's in the white cowboy hat in the first  photo on the left, and on the right in the second one with her spouse Cynthia. 

As of yet haven't heard any information concerning a date or location for either the funeral or memorial service.  I will pass that info along as soon as I receive it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

I Don't Need Your Permission To Have My Humanity Respected

askmefirst
In the latest example of white faux christian conservafool arrogance, a new anti-trans campaign with two white women as spokesmodels is trying to push the message that we trans people need to 'ask them first' before we push policies are are necessary because of their intolerance.

That's mighty white of them to demand that we 'ask them first' for policies that tell them they aren't allowed to disrespect and dehumanize us.

Image result for Trans people matter memeNot no, but hell no to this bull feces .  Trans people are not some late 20th century concept.  #WeExist, and we're tired of your attacks on our humanity that is not up for debate by you, right wing politicians or your loud and wrong pastors.

I didn't need your permission in 1994 when I transitioned and I damned sure don't need it now. Neither am I or anyone else in Trans World is going to beg you to deal with the reality that I and other trans people exist.

As me if I care if you trans oppressors like that or not.  Nor do I care for your extremely flawed interpretation of Scripture that you and other right wing organizations are using to try to mask the stench of your anti-trans hatred and bigotry.

Image result for Trans people matter meme

Trans people are part of the diverse mosaic of human life, and we are perfectly made by and loved by God.  Contemplate that as you read Isaiah 56: 3-6, Matthew 19:12,  Galatians 3:28 at your next Bible study at your right wing hate megachurch.

We are exactly who we say we are.   Why does that scare you so much?

Get it through your skulls that I don't need your permission to have my humanity respected and my constitutional rights as a American citizen protected.


Po-po's, Stop Killing Black People

One of the things I'm beyond sick and tired of being sick and tired of is turning on the TV to hear of another instance where an unarmed Black person is shot and killed by trigger happy predominately white police officers.

It needs to stop, and we know y''all have the training and capacity to do it, especially when it comes to white criminals.  Y'all took Dylann Roof alive and then fed him on the way to booking him for killing nine Black people at Mother Emanuel church, so why can't they exhibit the same respect for white lives when it comes to unarmed Black citizen just trying to get through their day alive after encountering you?

If you are afraid of Black people, and yeah anti-Blackness and irrational hatred of Black people is a major component of why this is happening..then you don't need to be wearing a police uniform.

Thank you Sheryl Underwood and Aisha Tyler for expressing on The Talk the frustration of  Black Americans over the ongoing slaughter by cop of our people.

And yeah, a cop that shoots an unarmed civilian that is no resisting and doing everything possible to communicate to you they are not a threat to you is a bad cop.



Po-po's stop killing Black people.  Good cops, call out the bad ones, and police departments need to do more to weed out the bad ones and also communicate to their offices that they need to treat Black lives with the same level of reverent restraint they treat white ones or face termination and permanent blocking of your ability to work as a peace officer anywhere in this country...

It's either do that or watch the frustration that Black people have with death by cop boil over into the language of the unheard while singing a certain NWA rap song..

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Dee Whigham Case Update

Dwanya Hickerson (Photo source: WLOX)
This update in the Dee Whigham case is trigger warning worthy because it is going to discuss just how savage her murder was and how the waste of DNA who killed her deserves to be thrown under the jail, or even get lethal injection for it.

Whigham was found dead in her St Martin, MS hotel room on July 23. and the waste of DNA who allegedly killed Whigham was in court on September 12 as Jackson County Sheriff's Deputy Leo Allen described what happened from the witness stand.

The waste of DNA I'm talking about is 20 year old Dwayna Hickerson, who was captured on hotel surveillance video walking into the hotel room with Whigham, then leaving alone 23 minutes later.

According to Allen's testimony. the autopsy report revealed that Whigham was stabbed 119 times, with over 100 of those stab wounds to her face.  Her throat was also slashed three times.

The murder victim, 25-year-old. Dee Whigham was transgender. (Image Source: WLOX News)
Hickerson stole a Coach bag belonging to Whigham along with her cell phone and other personal items. His bloody clothes were found in a dumpster not far from his Keesler Air Force Base barracks, and base surveillance camera captured him throwing a large garbage bag in the trash.

The items stolen from Whigham were found on a beach near Keesler AFB partially burned.

Hickerson has been charged with capital murder in this case, and I will be keeping an eye on developments in it to see if Dee Whigham receives justice.

Must See Trans TV Alert-STRUT Premieres Tonight

STRUT: Dominique Jackson, Ren Spriggs, Laith De La Cruz, Isis King, Arisce Wanzer
Here's a Must See Trans TV alert for you.

Premiering tonight is the Oxygen debut of the Whoopi Goldberg produced show STRUT, which follows a group of trans models that features Isis King and Arisce Wanzer

The show will premier later tonight at 8 PM CDT, and I''ll be checking it out later this evening.

Miss SaHHara Places In Top 5 In 2016 Miss Trans Star International Pageant

Miss SaHHara (L) fled to London more than a decade ago from her native Nigeria where homosexuality and transsexuality are illegal
In case you're wondering how my British sis via Nigeria Miss SaHHara fared in the just concluded Miss Trans Star International pageant in Barcelona, she ended up placing in the top 5 finalists for it.

But along the way to her top 5 finish in Spain, she also shed light on the horrific way that Nigeria treats trans folks like herself and same gender loving people there by jailing them for up to 14 years.

She dealt with imprisonment, anti-trans street harassment. two suicide attempts and transphobic bullying from her family in her native Nigeria before leaving for London in 2004.  She is a singer-songwriter, model and the founding director of the TransValid  NGO.

"There is no way I could have survived in Nigeria.  That is why I had to leave."

After arriving in London, she performed at Madam Jojo's Kitsch Cafe until it closed in November 2014, earned a master's degree in digital media from London Metropolitan University, has walked the runways of London Fashion Week in addition to competing in trans beauty pageants around the globe.

Along the way Miss SaHHara is becoming an internationally recognized voice when it comes to eloquently discussing gender identity issues and as she has said, 'being a voice for the voiceless in Nigeria'.

Nigeria's loss of her talents and intellect because of their transphobic idiocy is Great Britain's gain.

"London gave me my opportunity to pursue my dreams and be my true self." Miss SaHHara said in an interview. "I'm hoping that by speaking out and coming to Miss Star, I will try to influence people or perhaps my government to revoke 14 years of imprisonment for LGBT people in Nigeria."

Image result for Miss Trans star international 2016 Rafaela Manfrini
Miss Brazil Rafaela Manfrini was crowned Miss Trans Star International 2016.  Ta'alin Abu Hanna of Israel was first runner up.

As for what's next for Miss SaHHara?  Stay tuned.

Miss Sahhara poster
I have no doubt that whatever this talented woman puts her mind to accomplishing, she will achieve it.

Models Geena Rocero and Tracey Norman Make History On 'Harper's Bazaar India' Covers

More trans history was made as models Geena Rocero and Tracey Africa Norman appear on a groundbreaking series of Harper's Bazaar India covers for this month's issue.

In the nine versions of this cover available, Art Director Christopher Sollinger cast a different woman of color for each one of the covers while wearing a headpiece by American artist Isaac Aden.

He also casted for this cover modeling icons and new faces.

"Shooting white woman after white woman on covers does not work anymore- we need to show the women of the world that is of now",said Sollinger. "The world is changing and with this story, we wanted to be part of that global revolution."

The other women of color cast for this series of covers included fellow Americans Tyra Banks, Pyper Smith and Daisy Smith, Soo Jun Park of South Korea, Hannelore Knuts of Belgium, Cora Emmanuel from Martinique, Emanuela de Paula of Brazil, and Hind Sahli of Morocco.

Geena and Tracey made history together as the first out trans women cast for any Harper's Bazaar cover.

Image result for tracey norman clairol
Said Norman about the groundbreaking Harper's Bazaar cover, the well deserved return to the spotlight 'meant the word to her.'

"For me to represent my community is such a humbling experience," said Norman, who recently returned to the modeling spotlight when Clairol asked her to come back for a new commercial  "I can't thank Christopher and Harper's Bazaar enough for allowing me to be on the cover."

Geena Rocero
Rocero said it was an honor to appear on the cover with women she'd looked up to. "Growing up in the Philippines, I used to dream about being on the cover of Harper's Bazaar."

And now sis, you've made it happen while writing another glorious chapter for the long stylish line of trans models.

I'm also happy to see that Tracey is also getting more work as a result of that new Clairol campaign.

And ESSENCE, once again, how about making amends to Tracey for getting outed at your photo shoot back in the day and giving her the opportunity to do another one?

H/T to NewNowNext.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Kerry Washington Puts Trump On Blast

Real Time host Bill Maher, actress Kerry Washington -- HBO screengrab
I love actress and advocate KerryWashington for a lot of reasons, and one of them is because she is  keen observer of what's going on politically in our country.

And in her recent appearance on HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher is just the latest example of of her getting political, and in this case putting the Trumpenfuhrer on blast.

Enjoy her snatching his combover off his head.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

President Obama's 2016 CBC Speech

Image result for President Obama phoenix Awards dinner 2016
Last night President Barack Obama spoke to the 48th annual Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's Phoenix Awards Dinner for the last time as POTUS, and here is his speech.

 

The Air Marshal Is Headed To Da Ville!

If you're thinking, "Didn't you just fly off to San Francisco a week ago?" yes I sure did.  But this trip isn't for business, it's a vacation

Yep, I can actually spell that word, and I'm going to spend a week with my homies and homettes in Louisville.   Hey I did promise after my last visit to the city in 2014 that it wouldn't take me four years to come back,

I also think it's apropos that I come back to the city where ten years ago, I founded TransGriot and spent nearly nine years of my life that was critical to my development as an advocate and a person.
And frankly, I wanted to see some of my friends and chosen family here in Da Ville.

Image result for louisville international airport
Assuming my Southwest bird leaves on time out of Hobby and from Midway, I should be stepping off the plane at 3;00 PM EDT, and hopefully will be destroying some Impellizzeri's Pizza before the week is over.,

Looking forward to seeing everyone when I get there

Gender Infinity 2016

Every now and then I do a Houston based event to reminds my Houston homies and homettes that I still live here, this is home and I love every nanosecond of being in the Lone Star State .

One of my fave local events is Gender Infinity.  There are local events that our trans kids, their family members and their parents attend at undisclosed locations around the Houston area so that they can be among other trans people, their trans elders like myself, and supportive allies.

Image result for Gender InfinityOver the last two days the Gender Infinity Conference, has been happening on the University of Houston campus  

It's obviously been doing wonderful work because the Westboro faux faith based haters showed up to protest.   It was met by the Rev Troy Treash, the people of Resurrection MCC church and allies who ensured the Phelps Phamily's special brand of hatred never came close to the UC.and the part of the University of Houston campus where the conference was held.

But enough about the misguided Phelps Phamily.  I spent those two days getting reunited with some peeps not only locally, but seeing Dr. Kelley Winters, our Friday keynote speaker.   It was the first time I'd seen her in the flesh and spent quality time with her in eight years.

And it was ironic script flipping because in 2008, I was the keynote for a gender conference on the University of Colorado campus when she was living there.  Now she's here as the keynote for my  hometown conference.  

I once again got to spend some quality time with Judge Phyllis Frye.  I met the parents of Black trans kids who have made the conscious choice to love their trans kids and not throw them out of their homes. I got to spend quality time with our trans youth as a trans elder.

And even got to bowl a few games (six) at Cougar Lanes during the Family Fun event.Friday night.

I thoroughly enjoyed my Gender Infinity 2016 experience, and looking forward to next year.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Trinity's Asking You To Stop Killing Us

The shock, sadness and anger over another Black trans woman being killed last night in Baltimore is not only affecting us in Black Trans World, but is affecting our trans kids. who are just as fed up and angry about this sadly repetitive and reprehensible situation as their trans elders.

Trinity's mom' DeShanna sent me this pic of her daughter Trinity. who is the young girl like us I mentioned in my speech at the GLAAD Gala last week,   Like many of us she is not happy that many of the trans people being killed share her ethnic background.

#ImAPerson   Yes indeed you are Trinity.   We all are.  Too bad some people refuse to see our pernsonhood and humanity and seek to demonize it.m

More importantly, like the hashtag she has on the sign, it drives home the a simple message and the point that we are not only persons, we are undeniably human.  That's a message that has been lost to the Republican Party, the TERFs and a long list of assorted enemies to transkind who get their jollies from oppressing us.

And the hateful rhetoric they are using to do that has filtered down to the general public. It is fueling anti-trans animus that is leading to increasing numbers of trans women being attacked and sadly murdered, and far too often it is Black trans women taking the brunt of that anti-trans violence.    

And it needs to stop.

Those Black trans women we have lost have been at the hands of other Black people, so Black community, you'r toxic masculinity is killing not only us, but is also resulting the deaths of Black cis women and any kids who don't exhibit heteronormative behavior.

#I'm A Person  #IAmHuman, she is human, all trans people are beautifully human and our #BlackLivesMatter.  

So just stop killing us.

RIP Crystal Edmonds

It's my sad duty to report we've lost another sister in 2016 to senseless anti-trans violence

32 year old Crystal Edmonds was shot in the back of the head early Friday morning at approximately 3:00 AM in the 3600 block of Fairview Avenue in northwest Baltimore.

Edmonds. who is a resident of southwest Baltimore, was taken to a nearby hospital, where she died five hours later.

Edmonds is now the 21st trans person killed in the US this year, which sadly equals last year's total

If you live in the area, a $2000 reward is being offered for any information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of the waste of DNA who killed our sister, you are urged to call police at 410-396-2100, Metro Crime Stoppers at 866-7LOCKUP or text a tip to 413-902-4824.

Will be keeping an eye on this case until Crystal's killer is arrested . convicted, and rotting in jail. If there is any information concerning a vigil or memorial service for Crystal, I'll pass that along as well. .

Rest in power and peace, Crystal.