Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Moni's Leaving On A Jet Plane -To Philadelphia

Philadelphia downtown hotel entrance
This is my first trip of 2017, and I'll be heading to a place that I've gone to since 2012 almost as much as Washington DC in Philadelphia.

This time I'll be headed back to the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection for this year's edition of Creating Change, and as I talked about in last week's post about me going to #CC17, I was actually looking at not going this year after having attended three straight ones since we hosted Creating Change in Houston  in 2014.  

But here I am once again getting ready to board a plane bound for a Creating Change host city for the fourth straight year.  This time I'm on Delta, and will be going through Atlanta to get there.

So while I'm at #CC17, as always I'll be tweeting and writing about what I see, hear and experience while I'm in the #CC17 host hotel.

See y'all in a few hours.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Loving The Netflix 'One Day At A Time' Reboot

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I watched the Norman Lear produced CBS show One Day At A Time back during my teen years which aired from 1975-1984.   When I heard the show was coming back on Netflix with an interesting rebooted twist and Lear down with it, I was intrigued

I was even more ecstatic about it when I heard that Rita Moreno was one of the cast members and the revamped theme song 'This Is It' was being sung by Gloria Estefan to reflect the fact the family in this version is Cuban-American.

The Netflix version of this classic Norman Lear show debuted January 6 and features Justina Machado playing Penelope Alvarez, a nurse, Afghan War vet and single mom separated from her husband who left the Army, but is doing private security there.   Penelope is raising two teenage kids with the help and sometimes hindrance of her mother Lydia, played by Moreno..

It is set in Los Angeles now instead of Indianapolis like the original show, and the separated Penelope is raising a tween son and a feminist teenage daughter in another change from the original show instead of two teen girls .  

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 And yes, Dwayne Schneider, the building superintendent is in this version as well, played in hipster style by Todd Grinnell   Mackenzie Phillips from the original show makes a cameo appearance in one episode.

In addition to showcasing the dynamic of three generations living under one roof, the rebooted One Day At A Time also tackles issues in this first season such as immigration and deportation, religion, PTSD, the issues unique to female vets like Penelope, dealing with the VA bureaucracy, dating,.sex and a coming out story all with an unmistakable Latinx flavor.

The writing in this show is also up to the performances of this wonderful cast.

So if you're looking for something on Netflix to binge watch, check out the 13 episode first season of One Day At A Time.  You'll be happy you did.. .   .

Happy 53rd Birthday To Our Fab FLOTUS

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Today is the 53rd birthday of our fabulous FLOTUS Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama, who was born on this January date in Chicago in 1964.

This is (sniff sniff) the last birthday she will celebrate as our amazing First Lady, and I'm definitely not looking forward to seeing her go back to her civilian life this Friday after eight fabulous history making years

Like the POTUS said doing his farewell speech, you have represented our nation with dignity and class despite all the haters and the racist, misogynist and transmisogynist hatred thrown your way,.

You have been a wonderful possibility model for not only our youth, but myself/  We also deeply appreciate and love you in TBLGQ world for being an ally for our community..

Happy birthday Madame First Lady!   Looking forward to seeing what the next chapter in your life brings.
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2017 Williams Watch - The Australian Open Starts

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As you longtime TransGriot readers know, I'm a big tennis fan, and two of my fave players are the fabulous Williams Sisters

The first Grand Slam of the 2017 tennis season is already upon us in the Australian Open in Melbourne, and this will be an interesting one.

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It will run until January 29 in Melbourne and for the first time in several years, Serena Williams is not going to be the world's number one ranked player in the world going into a Grand Slam after tying Steffi Graf's record of holding it for 186 consecutive weeks.

That's Angelique Kerber (for now), the defending Australian Open champ who is also the number one seed in this 2017 edition of the Aussie Open. Serena is now number two in the world and also and the number two seed while Venus starts this Australian Open as the number 13 seed.

Opening round play got underway yesterday and both my fave tennis playing siblings got through it to the second round.

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Venus had a tough opening round match with Ukraine's Kateryna Kozlova, but she prevailed for a 7-6 (7-5) and 7-5 straight set win   She's in the same half of the bracket as Kerber, so there's a possible clash brewing with Kerber should both keep winning.

Big Sis faces qualifier Stefanie Vogele of Switzerland, who upset Kurumi Nara of Japan, in the second round.
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Speaking of winning, second seed Serena started with a tough opening round match with Belinda Bencic of Switzerland.   Little Sis prevailed in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 and will face the Czech Republic's Lucie Safarova.

Are the Williams Sisters playing doubles in this Grand Slam?  Yes they are, and they are seeded 15th in the Australian Open doubles tournament    They will face the doubles duo of Timea Babos of Hungary and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia  ,

Can they take some more Grand Slam singles and doubles titles back home when their business trip to Melbourne is over?   We'll  see.  

Monday, January 16, 2017

About Kingian Love

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This is another one of Toni D'orsay's commentaries from her Facebook page that needs to be shared with the world, especially on this last King Day celebration with Barack Obama as our president.

And now, here's Toni


So today I have been honoring a man who's life is, far too often, invoked as a condemnation of my efforts.
Of the efforts of any person of color, of any woman, of any disabled person, of any LGBT person.
"You are too vulgar, too confrontational, too angry, too egotistical, too masculine, too aggressive, too loud"
This is their words, their too and their much, and their too much of me in their head and in their eyes and in their face and space and I am just over and through and around and within them and that offends them into defends of their too and their much and their too much.
They start seeing me in my paleness, bleached by the dark and the hiding from the sun, and think me like them even as I call out my darkness and my difference and shed the things they put on me to reveal my many colored robe and all the truths within it.
Patchworked and frayed, like some country tune, my robe of many colors is cast in drab hue and cry and the then they see me only as the black one that deceives and lures and now they forget that I am more than one thing and so never so easily contained, oiled and slick from the failures of their own efforts to punish and silence me by drowning my brilliance in the darkness they concoct and convene and conveniently they tell themselves they can escape now.
"Be like King!" They extol and exhort and exhale and hex bring this marvel of a man as a shield for themselves, coopting and co-owning and appropriately appropriating the approximation of what they see as acceptable and allowable and apple pie a man with dark skin and a dream they breathe to lift themselves up and never my peoples, never my tribes, never my families.
They catch a drift and caricature the cacophony and complain about the noise like a short king to a wizard, hey man the peasants are revolting and you can say that again.
But hey, they are good and they are loving and you cannot grasp what love is without knowing what you are loving and like they have made me they are too thin and pale to grasp the color of love and the weight of it and burden of having to be the ones that love when all that is returned is hate.
Love is telling you that you are wrong, and love is you listening and asking and thinking and realizing that you are wrong.
If I say to you that need you need to step back and let that black or brown sister step up and you need to point to her and say hey, listen up, that is me being loving and me loving you and loving the work and yet you turn to me and you say that you cannot find a woman to lift up or that woman isn't deserving or good enough or useful enough or pretty enough or why don't you just say it plain and real that she ain't white enough you saltine looking piece of work.
Love does not mean you, with your newfound struggle, are better at this than we, for whom this struggle is as old as the blood and bone in our bodies, weaned on The Talk that you don't even have to have to have because to you the Talk is about sex and for us it is about living and how your code switching in your newfound world is stolen from we who have done it from the moment we learned that the world was out there.
If I tell you that rap is your poetry slam, your spoken word art and you roll your eyes at fuck tha police and can't tell a Run from a DMC and say yeah, but that ain't your jam I am gonna laugh.
Because who gave you your jam, but we?
You call it eggshells, correctness, politics, and what that is is you being careful not to be nonracist but to not show how fuckin racist you already are and how sleeping you are while we are woke and shaking in the middle of a long dark night you don't even know is there.
You think of me and you think of rambling lessons and crystalline posts that make you feel good or feel bad but make you feel without feeling it, and then I bust a piece of heart like this here and you blow it off and wonder why I don't just stick to shouting at windmills since my lance has been broken and my Pancho is a coffee bean you drink with a pretty label that says the right words even though we all sit in a nation where even a child makes more as an allowance than that coffee bean farmer does in a year.
I don't want your guilt. I want your blood, your sweat, your tears, your risking your job and family and hopes and dreams because that is what we risk walking down the street around you every day.
And now, no matter how many of you get this and cheer this and celebrate this know that it wasn't We who put hell in office.
It was you, and you are they, and we don't have the luxury and the privilege of saying but it was those bad ones.

Remember this on the Day of the King, and know that love never tears down, that love can sting, and that love sometimes means discipline to show you a better way.

Actress Ivory Aquino Comes Out As Trans

I know I have some amazing trailblazing trans people in my life that I'm also blessed enough to call my friends.   One of those people is Cecilia Chung, who I happily discovered has actress Ivory Aquino playing her in the upcoming ABC miniseries When We Rise scheduled to be broadcast on February 27.

The cool thing about the actress playing Cecilia in this miniseries is that she is a girl like us.

(Photo by CHRIS DELMAS/AFP/Getty Images)
Ivory Aquino, who will play my homegirl in this ABC miniseries that is based on longtime gay activist Cleve Jones' memoir When We Rise: My Life In The Movement chronicling the TBLGQ rights movement in San Francisco., recently came out as trans.

The 26 year old transpinay always knew she wanted to act, but initially gave up on that dream because she felt there was no place in Hollywood or the acting world for someone like her.

Interestingly enough, when she auditioned for the role of Cecilia,, producer Dustin Lance Black was pissed at casting because they hadn't found any trans actresses for the role, and he was determined to cast a trans person in it.  

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Aquino came out publicly for the first time during the recent Television Critics Association conference.  She tearfully said in an interview that she can hardly believe that she's part of this project.

"You spend your whole life dreaming of these things,"she said. "And it's really humbling when your dreams come true."  

Looking forward to seeing you play Cecilia when this miniseries airs February 27-March2

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Happy Birthday Re.v Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr 2017

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Today would have been the 88th birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was born in Atlanta on this date in 1929.   The federal holiday is tomorrow

Dr King's birthday and holiday are falling as we are in the last week of the administration of the best president of my lifetime and a president who shares my ethnic heritage.    He is being succeeded on Friday by a boorish, nekulturny racist and sexist loudmouth who has less class than President Obama has in his pinky finger.

President Obama, and the country deserved better than what were about to get

Dr King if he were here would be appalled at the looming Trump presidency and the people that are filling leadership positions in it.   He would especially be alarmed, as his wife Coretta was back in 1986 that Jeff Sessions was nominated by this man to be our nation's attorney general.

In a time when it's hard for us to generate infinite hope in the face of the crushing disappointment of the November 8 election results, it's what we must do right now..   Our kids are counting on us to fight for them and the America we want to see harder than this conservafool nightmare the right wing fought hard for decades to make happen.  

We must resist the GOP tyranny and Twitler with every fiber of our beings and resolve to crush Trump's enormous ego still further by working our azzes off over the next four years to make him a one term president.

We also need to in liberal progressive world fight our common enemy instead of each other.  I need far left people to fight the Republicans harder than they do the Democrats.  We're not your enemy. The Republicans crapping on the Constitution are.   How about you deal with that reality?

Dr. King once said, 'The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

Looks like we're about to find out where a lot of people stand on both sides of the political aisle in this challenging and controversial moment of American history.

Moni's Will Be Headed To LGBTMedia17!

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Got the word last month that I've been invited to attend the LGBT Media Convening that will take place in Orlando March 23-26.

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It will be the fifth one I've attended since 2013, and I'm looking forward to hanging out with my friends in the LGBT media world.

It's hosted by the National Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association with sponsorship from the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund and the Arcus Foundation.

It's an opportunity along with my media colleagues to hone and build on our reporting skills, discuss issues of importance to the TBLGQ community so that we are better versed in covering them, and also network with each other.

In a time in which we have an incoming president that hates the media, it is even more important that we have media willing to speak truth to power and fight back.  We also need media that will fight the lies and falsehoods disseminated about our community

As I get closer to my departure date for the event, I'll be giving y'all more details about #LGBTMedia17 as I get them.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

2016-17 NFL Playoffs- Divisional Round

I ran the table and got all four of my picks correct during the Wild Card weekend round of the playoffs, and now it's time for the Divisional Round of the 2016-17 NFL Playoffs

All the teams remaining are division champions, and now the number one and two seeds get to play after a week off.  The teams winning in these games go on to face each other in the AFC and NFC Championship Games next week. .

Now it's time for me to make those picks.

Saturday Games

NFC Divisional Game

#3 Seattle Seahawks (11-5-1) vs  #2 Atlanta Falcons (11-5)  3;35 PM  CST  on FOX

This Divisional Round game at the Georgia Dome is a rematch of a wild and controversial game in Seattle that Seattle pulled out late courtesy of a Steven Hauschka field goal with 1:57 left .

Atlanta's attempt to win the game ended on a 4th down pass breakup by Richard Sherman on Julio Jones that the Falcons were screaming warranted a pass interference call.  The officials said otherwise and the game ended in a 26-24 Seahawk victory.  

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This time it's in the Georgia Dome with higher stakes.  You can probably bet that the NFC South champion Falcons not only want some payback, they don't want this game to be the last one they play in the Georgia Dome. They move to the new Mercedes Benz Stadium next door later this year.

The Falcons also have a lethal offense that was held in check for a half in that October 26 game by a Seattle defense that is missing key players in this rematch. .The Falcons also had a week off while the NFC West champion Seahawks were sending the Lions packing after they spanked them 26-6 ..

So who is going to win it?   Going with the Falcons.

AFC Divisional Game

#4 Houston Texans (10-7) vs #1 New England Patriots (14-2)  &:15 PM CST on CBS

This nightcap game is also a rematch, and no one outside of NRG Stadium and Harris County is even giving the Texans a chance in this playoff game. They are a two touchdown underdog.

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The AFC South champion Texans were shut out 27-0 in their previous trip to Gillette Stadium on September 22 that occurred while Tom Brady was serving a four game suspension.  It was also the game in which JJ Watt was lost for the season.  The Texans are also 0-4 against the Patriots in that stadium, including a 2013 playoff loss.

But the Texans have the number one ranked defense in the league thanks to Jadeveon Clowney staying healthy and having an All Pro season on top of it,  That gives them a chance if they can force some turnovers, they don't turn the ball over and even get a pick six out of the dea

Unfortunately, the Texans don't have an offense to go with that championship level defense, and the Patriots have a future NFL Hall of Fame quarterback.  .

It was a nice playoff run while it lasted.   Patriots to win this one, but you know I'll be happy if this pick is wrong.

Sunday Games

NFC Divisional Game 

#4 Green Bay Packers (10-7) vs #1 Dallas Cowboys (13-3) at 3;40 PM CST on FOX

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This is the only playoff game in the Divisional round that isn't a regular season rematch.   This is one in which the red hot NFC North champion Packers have won seven straight games, including their playoff win at Lambeau field last week against the New York Giants.

This matchup is also dripping with NFL playoff history  

The NFC East champion Cowboys went 8-2 after their bye week, but stumbled a bit against the Eagles in their regular season finale.  The question that will be answered is did the layoff hurt or help the number one seeded Cowboys, who are also facing the playoff debuts of rookie sensations Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott?

I think it helps Green bay since they have momentum.  The Packers and Aaaon Rodgers will pull this game out in an upset and save us in Houston from the spectacle of seeing the Cowboys play in the Super Bowl we're NRG Stadium.

AFC Divisional Game

#3 Pittsburgh Steelers (12-5) vs #2  Kansas City Chiefs (12-4) at 7:20 PM CST on NBC

This is a rematch of an October 2 game at Heinz Field in which the Steelers curb stomped Kansas City 43-14. After that game the Chiefs went on their bye week, regrouped and went 10-2 to capture the AFC West title and a season sweep of the Raiders that allowed them to grab the number 2 seed.

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The AFC North champion Steelers are on a bit of a hot streak themselves, going 7-2 after their bye week.  They have won eight straight games, including last week's 30-12 Wild Card round playoff demolition of the Miami Dolphins .

But the rematch is in Arrowhead Stadium, and the Chiefs aren't the same team the Steelers rolled over in Week 4.   The Steelers do have momentum on their side.  So do the Chiefs, who got to chill and watch everyone else play during Wild Card weekend..

So who is going to win this game?   Going with the Chiefs in this one.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Shut Up Fool Awards- First Friday The 13th Edition

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This is the first of only two Friday the 13ths on the 2017 calendar with the next one happening in October.   But the date that is really going to be a scary nightmare is seven days from now at 12:01 PM EST.

It's time for our weekly TransGriot business of calling out fools, so let's get to it.

Honorable mention number one is Diamond and Silk for coonery above and beyond the call of duty.

Honorable mention number two is the group of kneegrow pastors who held a press conference to urge the confirmation of unrepentant segregationist Jeff Session for AG

 Uncle Ruckus would be proud of you.   This is also prime evidence why I can't stand conservative kneegrows.  They will sell you out for their own selfish gain every time.

Honorable mention number three is Uncle Ruckus in real life in Ben Carson, who partled his lips to say that TBLGQ Americas don't deserve 'extra rights'  

Naw you ignorant mofo, demanding that people respect you humanity and human rights is not 'extra rights', it's a constitutional imperative.

Honorable mention number four is Sen. Mitch McConnell, for just pick an outrage.

Honorable mention number five is Kellyanne Conway, for lying every time she opens her mouth.

Honorable mention number six is to Steve Harvey for his bigoted comment about Asian men.  Some friends of mine are married to Asian men and are extremely happy and satisfied they have them as their life partners.

Honorable mention number seven to Matt Walsh for his racist The Blaze column  insinuating that Black youth aren't human.  That's mighty white wing of you considering you're descended from people who enslaved, sexually assaulted  and brutalized Africans for several centuries

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This week's Shut Up Fool loser winner is Jeff Sessions.   During his confirmation testimony to become the next attorney general, he claimed he worked on civil rights cases on issues he has actively opposed and was called on it by Sen Al Franken,

He also whined ''it's hard to be a white southern senator' in response to a question by Sen. Lindsey Graham ,

Naw Senator, you have been a documented unrepentant bigot for much of your public service life, and now you're upset about being called a racist?   Coretta Scott King wouldn't have written that 1986 letter opposing your nomination to the federal bench with the words 'Jeff Sessions would irreparably damage the work of my husband, Martin Luther King Jr' if you weren't a racist.

If you didn't support the KKK and push racist policies, maybe that pointed hood wouldn't fit so well.

Sen. Jeff Sessions, have several seats and shut your lying azz up,fool

Wear Black On Inauguration Day!

I'm going to be in Philadelphia for Creating Change when it happens, but I already know what color I'm going to wear on that day:  Black/

Hey, it's what you wear to a funeral, and at 12:01 PM EST hope is going to die 139 miles away from me along with the America we got to enjoy under the Obama Administration when Twitler gets sworn in.

And make sure your TV is turned to any channel not showing his inauguration or watch Netflix.

While it may be a glorious day for white supremacists and Republicans, it won't be for the 65, 844, 954 Americans who didn't want this vile waste of DNA in the Oval Office.

So what do you do when you attend a funeral and are paying your respects to the deceased?  You wear black.   .That'a what I'm planning to do on this Inauguration Day in protest of Trump desecrating the presidency and the White House

Hell, I may even wear my Black beret with it.

So for those of you who wish to join me across the nation and the world in protest this outrage, please join me in wearing black next Friday.  

Valentina Sampaio Appears On Cover Of Brazilian ELLE

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While we were embroiled in the final stages of our contentious presidential election, there was a little trans history being made in Brazil from the modeling world.

19 year old model Valentina Sampaio became only the second trans person ever since Lea T did so in 2011 to grace the cover of ELLE Brazil.
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That ELLE Brazil cover featuring Sampaio was released in November 2016.

There was also a L'Oreal commercial that ran during International Women's Day of Valentina getting made up to take her new Brazilian ID photo.


She's just the newest member of the long stylish line of trans models that goes back to the 1960's that gets more beautiful , groundbreaking and expansive very day..

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Anthony Anderson's On Point 'Black-ish' January 11 Episode Monologue

And soon, Dre — who'd remained uncharacteristically silent on the matter up until that point — lays bare the betrayal he feels, not only from the election results, but from the conversations in its wake.
Last night i was busy flipping channels between Star and the Black-ish episode entitled 'Lemons' that focused on the tensions that have been exacerbated in this country since Trump (yuck) won this contentious 2016 presidential election with three million fewer votes.

Anthony Anderson's character Andre Johnson during his monologue encapsulated many of the feelings I and many African Americans have concerning this recent election and the subsequent loud and contentious debates that in some cases have ended friendships.

Here's the full monologue.

“You don’t think I care about this country? I love this country, even though at times it doesn’t love me back. For my whole life, my parents, my grandparents, me — for most black people, this system has never worked for us. But we still play ball, try to do our best to live by the rules even though we knew they would never work out in our favors. Had to live in neighborhoods that you wouldn’t drive through; send our kids to school with books so beat up you couldn’t read them; worked jobs that you wouldn’t even consider in your nightmares. 
Black people wake up every day believing that our lives are going to change, even though everything around us says it’s not. Truth be told, you ask most black people and they’d tell you that no matter who won this election, they didn’t expect the hood to get better. But they still voted, because that’s what you’re supposed to do.
You don’t think I’m sad that Hillary didn’t win? That I’m not terrified about what Trump’s about to do? I’m used to things not going my way. I’m sorry that you’re not and it’s blowing your mind, but excuse me if I get a little offended that I didn’t see all of this outrage when everything was happening to all of my people since we were stuffed on boats in chains. I love this country as much if not more than you do, and don’t you ever forget that.”

Truth.  I emphatically get what that Anderson monologue to the tune of Billie Holiday's Strange Fruit was saying about many African Americans feeling like this country doesn't love us back.
 I expressed the same sentiments in a TransGriot post I wrote in the immediate aftermath of Trump being declared the winner.
Right now I'm once again processing the fact that my country hates me.   That's not something I wanted to or needed to ponder before going to sleep tonight.
-TransGriot,  November 9, 2016 

I hear 'I hate you' with every white person gleefully cheering for Trump. stating they proudly voted for him or expressing pride that he won.  I hear that with every white supremacist I see giving Nazi salutes while hollering 'Hail Trump' and every smirking Bernie or Buster who loudly and wrongly claims Bernie would have won.

That's why he is #notmypresident, and I will never respect him.  I will gleefully be dancing in the streets when he leaves office on January 20, 2021 

United, Undaunted, Unstoppable Trans United Fund #CC17 Event

For those of you attending #CC17 in Philadelphia next week and looking for things to do and check out that are away from the host hotel, here's something for you too put on your #CC17 event calendar.

The Trans United Fund is hosting an event at Philadelphia City Hall on January 19 that is a fundraiser with the goal of raising money to build the political strength of the trans community.

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The United, Undaunted Unstoppable event will feature the Trans United Fund team, Minneapolis City Council candidate Andrea Jenkins and Danni Askini,  the Executive Director of the Washington state based organization Gender Justice League.  Washington is facing another potential anti-trans statewide referendum this November if the transphobes gather enough signatures (259,622) by July to put it on the ballot. .

The goal of the event is to raise $5,000 to help support these efforts to build trans community political power.  If you can't be at the event or aren't going to be in Philadelphia for Creating Change, you can still support it by clicking on this link to donate to the cause.   Even $1 will help  

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If you can attend, suggested donation is $10, and it will take place in Room 201 at Philadelphia City Hall starting at 6:30 PM.   Address is 1 Penn Square, Philadelphia, PA 19107.