Friday, February 28, 2014

100 LGBTQ Black Women You Should Know

Thanks to Autostraddle for this post of 100 LGBTQ Black Women You Should Know just in time for the last day of Black History Month and segues nicely into the start of Women's History Month in March.

Check it out and get your learn on.    There are some trans women included in this post as well.

Shut Up Fool Awards-2014 LGBT Media Convening Edition

As you TransGriot fans are reading this I'm winging my way to Washington National Airport (I refuse to call it Reagan National) and the East Coast to participate in the 2014 edition of the LGBT Media Journalists Convening.

It's my second one, and I'm pleased and honored to be heading inside I-495 to represent myself and my community at this fifth annual event.  

If you wish you keep up with moi and what happening, you can check out the media convening's Facebook page or our Tweets at the hashtag #LGBTMedia14.

I'm excited to be catching up with all my journalistic and blogging colleagues and as many of my friends in the Washington DC area I can possibly squeeze quality time in with.

Since this is Friday, I know y'all didn't surf over here at this 12 noon CST time to hear me jibber-jabber about the convening.   Y'all came here to find out who gets smacked with this week's Shut Up Fool Award.  

And remember, at 7 PM Sunday night I reveal who the five new fools are in the 2K14 who received TransGriot SUF Lifetime Achievement Awards.

So let's get to it..

Honorable Mention number one is a group award to the Arizona Legislature's GOP majority who tried to pass a Religious Right To Discriminate bill.   When the righteous condemnation came down upon their heads, three members who voted for it claimed they made a mistake and then urged Gov. Jan Brewer to veto it, which she did mainly because it would have cost Arizona millions plus the Super Bowl had she done so. 

Honorable Mention number two is Paula Deen, who put her Southern fried foot in her mouth once again and stated that her attempt come back from all her self inflicted drama was 'just like that black football player coming out.'

Umm Paula, flag on the play.   First up hon, if you're going to compare your situation to someone else, learn their name.   Second is Michael Sam being gay and trying to make the NFL is in no way analogous to your  n-word uttering Confederate flag waving drama that destroyed your media empire and resulted in BlackTwitter calling your azz out.   

Michael Sam inspires people.  You inspired revulsion and derision. 

That's a nice segue into Honorable Mention number three, who is Washington DC lobbyist Jack Burkman, who tried to pimp a bill that would ban gay players from the NFL.  

”We are losing our decency as a nation,” Burkman said in a statement. "Imagine your son being forced to shower with a gay man. That’s a horrifying prospect for every mom in the country. What in the world has this nation come to?”

NFL players who rob, shoot, kill, drive drunk and sexually assault people are okay, but an openly gay one in the locker room isn't? 

You're right.  What is this nation coming to?    

Honorable Mention number four is one I have to go to the Lone Star State for in Tom DeLay.   He parted his lips on national television to say that 'God created this nation, wrote the constitution and it is based on Biblical principles. 

Tom, guess you been sniffing those pest control fumes again.   It was the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia that wrote the Constitution that created this nation that was is, hopefully if we fight to keep it that way, a secular government that as Article 11 of the 1797 Treaty of Tripoli states and was unanimously ratified by Congress:

“the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion…”
The Treaty of Tripoli, 1797 – Signed Unanimously by Congress
Honorable Mention number five is a group award for Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, Ugandan MP David Bahati and hate minister Scott Lively.    Museveni signed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill crafted by Lively and introduced in the Ugandan Parliament by Bahati that is a huge setback for Ugandan democracy, and is sadly going to result in LGBT people or people falsely accused of being LGBT being killed, injured or jailed. 

And it's even more reprehensible that Museveni and Bahati claim that Uganda is a Christian nation while trying to justify this law that will unleash untold terror on their fellow citizens as Scott Lively cackles and dreams of the day they can do the same thing on US shores.   .  .  

May y'all rot in hell for the unjust law that you are unleashing on Uganda.
Louie Gohmert speaks to World Net DailyThis week's Shut up fool winner is Rep Louie Gohmert (Teabagger-TX)..  I guess since Texas Independence Day is coming up March 2, he had to unleash his Lone Star conservaignorance upon the world since he has competition with the junior senator from Alberta.     . 

This week Gohmert Pyle unleashed the howler during a Wednesday radio interview that "African-Americans had fought in the Civil Rights Movement for the right to support an Arizona bill (SB 1062) that would protect businesses which discriminate against LGBT people on the basis of “religious freedom.”

He also endorsed SB 1062 BTW for challenging the 'Religion of Secularism'

But back to slamming Louie for his radio interview. 

WTF?   Naw Louie, we went through the Civil Rights movement to throw off the yoke of oppression aimed at us by people who looked like you.  Many of those East Texas oppressors are your constituents who are still mad that they can't do what they used to do to 'nigras' back in the day and get away with it. 

So after going throw 246 years of chattel slavery hell, and another 100 years of oppressive Jim Crow segregation, there is no way in hell those of us who remember that history would willing sign up to oppress someone else. 

But I guess that's in the GOP nature. 

Louie Gohmert, shut up fool!

Enroute To DC Again

K Street is shown. | M. Scott Mahaskey/POLITICOMoni's once again enroute to DC via a jet plane from Houston.   Seems like that's been a recurring theme in my life over the last 20 years.   

But this time it's for my second trip to participate in the LGBT Media Journalists Convening and in addition to hanging out with my fellow bloggers and journalists, I'll be armed with my Christmas present from my homegirl Samantha Master, my new laptop.

I'm still a novice in the world of laptop computing and far more skilled with a desktop than a laptop.  If I can figure out how to get my new laptop online, I'll be tweeting and discussing the happenings as they occur. 

If I can't, I'll do what I usually do.  Take notes and post the stories in a diary I'll put up on the blog later. 

If my flight leaves on time at 11:45 AM, I'll be arriving at DCA at 3:35 PM ET, then will head off to my NW DC hotel.  

In addition to a welcoming reception later tonight that starts at 7 PM which will have MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell doing a keynote speech at it, we'll have a packed Saturday of events and seminars that starts with breakfast and a White House tour.

We'll also be living up to this year’s #LGBTMedia14 theme of ‘Honing Our Game’, because this year's event will be focused on journalistic skill building.

For those of you wishing to keep up with what we're up during the LGBT Media Journalists Convening, you can check out our Facebook page for the event, and follow people tweeting at #LGBTMedia14.  

There will also be a fan meetup event tomorrow at the Green Lantern (1335 Green Court NW in Thomas Circle) that starts at 9:30 PM and is open to all our fans and readers to attend.    We hope you take advantage of the opportunity to meet many of your favorite TBLG bloggers and reporters in one spot.

And yeah, it goes without saying I'm looking forward to hanging out with my blogging and journalistic colleagues again. 

Open Letter To The UHD Black Student Alliance

Photo: African American Perspective in the LGBTQ Community!

Great even put together by UHD SafeZone!As you TransGriot reader are aware of, I was part of a wonderful panel discussion yesterday with Augie Augustine, Dee Dee Watters and Ashton Woods entitled African American Perspective Within The LGBTQ Community.

It was a no holds barred discussion in which we touched on a lot of issues inside and outside the bi, SGL  and trans communities and was enjoyed by the people in attendance.   I thank LaTrina Carter and Safe Zone once again for the opportunity to be a part of it.

One group that was supposed to be a part of it was the UHD Black Student Alliance.  They had agreed to co-host the event with Safe Zone, but I discovered when I arrived on campus that they pulled out with as of this writing no explanation.     .  

That didn't sit well with me, and I decided to write this open letter to express why they should have followed through with their agreed commitment, especially in this case.


Dear UHD Black Student Alliance,

As one of the participants in yesterday's panel discussion that you were supposed to co-host with Safe Zone, it bothered me to hear when I arrived on campus that you pulled out of the event at the last moment.

And the salient question I have for you at this moment which compels me to write this open letter is why did y'all pull out of the event with Safe Zone today?

Was it fear of the unknown? You didn't want to be associated with 'those people'? Not willing to step out of your comfort zone and learn something about a group of fellow African-Americans that love being Black as much as you do and also happen to be LGBT? You don't want to walk the walk when it comes to unity in our community?

Or was it a case of unresolved phobias, hate and bias toward the SGL, trans and bi community?

You missed out on an opportunity to not only get your learn on about the Houston Black LGBT community, you also missed an opportunity to ask us questions, learn about how we navigate our lives, and also about the issues we deal with as we interact with the various communities we intersect with as African-American LGBT people. 

But the thing I'm most saddened and concerned about for my Safe Zone fam was that it was a lost opportunity to do some chocolate community building  and jump start an on campus dialogue between that is sorely needed.  

As the passage last week and subsequent veto of SB 1062 in Arizona emphatically proves, all oppressions are linked.   That bill aimed at the GLBT community would have also had deleterious discriminatory impact on you cis Black straight peeps as well.   

You would have also discovered had you shown up in Room N420 today that Black trans issues are Black community issues.   If the NAACP and other legacy organizations in our community understand that, why can't you?  

The voter suppression laws that the state of Texas passed knocked me out of the 2013 election cycle, but because you no-showed, you didn't get to hear me talk about that.  

You would have also been surprised to discover that I and my fellow panelists are just as concerned about other issues that impact the Black community besides TBLG ones.  

You also missed hearing about the other interesting aspects of my life and the lives of Augie, Ashton, Dee Dee, LaTrina and some of the people in the audience who spoke today.

You would  have also discovered that I'm unapologetically Black and a member of the BTLG community like 'errbody' else on that panel and our moderator was yesterday.  We also aware of what we need to do individually and collectively to uplift our people and also own our power in the LGBT community we are an important part of.

That's what you missed by not showing up, and it's your loss.  But you do owe your fellow Gator LaTrina Carter, who worked hard to put the panel together, an honest explanation along with the members of Safe Zone as to why you did so.

The bottom line is that not I nor anyone else on that panel forfeited our Black Cards when we acknowledged we're also members of the trans, bi and SGL communities. 

We were all looking forward to having that dialogue and building that sorely needed community on the UHD campus and within the 600 plus square miles of Texas soil that we call Houston.  We have more that unites us than divides us, including a shared community history and African ancestry and batturd delusional conservafool politicians that have a foaming at the mouth hatred of Blackness.

In closing, I'd like to say this.  If you claim to love Black people, then you must love ALL Black people, including trans, SGL and bi ones, without exception.

Respectfully yours,
Monica Roberts
The TransGriot

Final Day To Early Vote In 2014 Texas Primary Elections

The first steps toward turning Texas blue start in the primary elections. 

Now that I finally have the Texas ID issues sorted out, I've made up for being suppressed out of the mayoral elections by handling my primary electoral business on Tuesday and have November 4 circled on my calendar in blue Sharpie pen ink.  ..

Today is the last day you can early vote in the party primary elections.   It's a long ballot, but not a lot of contested races on the Democratic side.

But one of those contested races is the US Senate Democratic one that has Lyndon LaRouche troll Kesha Rogers in it.  Please do your part to make sure she doesn't get int the runoff or heaven forbid, win.   We need a real Democrat facing off against John Cornyn.

If you don't do it today, you'll have to wait until March 4 to handle your electoral business, and you will have to go to your regular polling location to do so. 

And if you want to make sure we don't have anti-human rights legislation coming out of the Lege next January, or we have judges who will fairly rule on our cases, this is where it starts.

All elections matter.   

Bottom line is that you need to handle your electoral business Texas, and then prepare to do so again this November 4.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Janet On Colbert Report

Tuning into The Colbert Report tonight? If so, you may see a familiar face discussing self-definition, trans-ness + Redefining Realness. This is me cheesing in front of my greenroom!
"Get it the fuck together!" is said quite a few times. 
I usually don't watch the Colbert Report, but I had a reason to do so last night because Janet Mock
was on.

Here's the video from the show.

The Colbert Report
Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Video Archive

White Suburban Houstonians-If You Want Rail...

Tell your GOP legislators representing you to stop messing with METRO's ability to get federal dollars so we can build it faster.

As y'all know I am an enthusiastic proponent of public transit, especially when it comes to adding rail to the mix. 

One of the reasons our local transit agency METRO was founded in 1978 was to take over the HouTran bus system which was plagued with frequent service problems and an elderly bus fleet ina rapidly growing city.   Part of the sizzle that sold the initial creation of METRO and the 1 cent tax many of us in the area pay to fund it was the promise of a heavy rail subway system that was supposed to have become operational in the 1990's.  

But fighting the creation of that METRO rail component has been a staple of local conservafool politics since the 1980's.   A coalition comprised of the Harris County Republican Party, right wing Houston Republican councilmembers like Rob Todd in concert with Rep Tom DeLay and Rep. John Culberson along with the useful fools with NIMBY syndrome have fought every METRO plan to that sough to add a rail component to our large bus oriented system citing cots or other specious reasons as our city continued to grow along with the traffic problems on our expansive freeway system. 

DeLay as part of those efforts to block rail got $65 million in federal funding stripped from the project.  But other leaders and visionaries who had Houston's long term future in mind also noted that a city as expansive as ours could no longer have a transit system exclusively reliant on buses, needed a rail component and fought just as fiercely to make it happen.  
They got around the federal funding roadblock that DeLay placed in its way by coming up with a locally funded plan to build a 7.5 mile long light rail line from Reliant Stadium to downtown Houston terminating at UH Downtown.

That plan was fought in the courts with rail proponents prevailing, and on March 13, 2001 ground was broken on the METRORail Red Line that opened to service January 1, 2004. subsequent narrowly approved 2003 referendum authorized the expansion of METRORail with non-white communities providing the critical votes to get that victory.  Construction subsequently started on the North Line (Red Line extension), East End (Green) and Southeast (Purple) lines while planning on the University (Blue) and Uptown (Gold) continues.

While the sorely needed east-west oriented Blue Line has gotten the final FTA approval it needs before construction can begin, it's the lack of federal money that's the problem. 

The start of construction on the Blue and Gold Lines has been on hold pending additional federal funding, but a BRT (bus rapid transit) proposal to get the Gold Line through the Galleria corridor started has been gaining ground.  One of the appealing parts of the plan is that it could be completed as early as 2017 with the ability to convert it to light rail later if needed.

Where the grousing has been coming from is the outside I-610 Loopers whining about the fact the initial rail lines have not only been built inside the Loop, but have been extended to predominately Black and Latino neighborhoods.

Well, let's be real about that.  Black and Latino voters were the major reasons the 2003 rail expansion referendum passed, and it's logical and only fair that the first expanded lines went to serve those neighborhoods who actually use public transportation.

Since the goal is to eventually connect the light rail system to Hobby and Intercontinental airports via the Red and Purple lines, the ideal routes to get there pass through those same predominately Black and Latino neighborhoods chock full of people who have no qualms taking public transpeople and who will use the light-rail system once it is built because it's faster than taking the bus.

The Purple Line passes by the University of Houston on its way to its current southern terminus at the Palm Center Transit Center which is 5.5 miles from Hobby. (and a few tantalizing blocks from where I currently live)   The Green Line on its 3.3. mile journey passes BBVA Compass Stadium.  Once the lines merge at the stadium they share track together into downtown past the George R. Brown Convention Center, Discovery Green, Minute Maid Park and terminate just past the Wortham and Hobby Centers.

The Outside the Loopers not only want light rail routes to their areas, but also want commuter rail.  I agree with them. 

I'd like that too as an Inside the Looper   I'd love to have another way to get to Galveston besides driving down I-45 south or a Greyhound bus ride.  A commuter rail route would be just the ticket to do so, especially if it made a stop in the Clear Lake area so you could access NASA, Space Center Houston and the Kemah Boardwalk.  Since Galveston now has cruise ships departing from it, would be nice to have a way to get down there for those cruises and leave your car parked in your driveway   

Frankly we could also use commuter rail from Katy eastbound to connect with the future Gold Line and in that 290 Cypress-Jersey Village corridor to that point as well.   A commuter rail line would also be helpful coming from the Woodlands and Kingwood south, from Baytown going west and the Pearland-Manvel area going north.   There is a commuter rail line being discussed and studied that would run from Missouri City-Sugar Land to connect with the METRORail Red Line Fannin South terminus. here the rub to making that all happen.  Money is the first issue.  The other is many of those areas I mentioned are represented by Republicans, a party that as I have noted is anti-public transportation, anti-progress and anti-rail.   
The bottom line is that we cannot keep building freeways in the Houston metro area forever. We are now working on a third freeway loop around the city of Houston primarily connecting the exurbs called the Grand Parkway, and building freeways is more expense than the initial costs for installing a rail system the anti-rail folks like to harp on..

White suburban Houstonians, the onus is on you if you want much needed rail in your Outside the Loop and exurban locales.  You have to help us Inside the Loopers fight for it, too. You need to tell your GOP legislators to back up off of METRO and let the federal money flow toward building an extensive rail network across this area.   And if they aren't willing to do that, then you replace them with legislators who will fight for rail in this area as part of a smart and comprehensive transit plan for our Houston metro area..      

UHD Safe Zone Panel Today

Before I jet off to our nation's capital tomorrow for the upcoming 2014 edition of the LGBT Media Journalists Convening, will be hanging out with the UHD Gators this afternoon. to participate in a panel discussion.

It's jointly sponsored by Safe Zone, the UHD LGBT on campus organization and the UHD Black Student Alliance.

The panel is entitled African American Perspective Within The LGBTQ Community.

We want to bond the gap between the movement of racial justice and LGBTQ Equality. We are also trying to take action to eradicate both homophobia and racism in our own community. We are looking for ways to deal with disparities in the African American community concerning social issues (religion, culture, family and occupational issues in the LGBTQ community.

With YOUR help!
The panel is running from 2-4 PM CST in Room N420 on the UH-Downtown .campus main building at 1 Main Street.   The UHD campus is easily accessible via the METRORail Red Line if you don't feel like dealing with fighting downtown traffic and trying to find a parking place for your vehicle.

Thanks once again to LaTrina Carter and the gang at Safe Zone for the invitation to participate in this panel and blessing me with the opportunity to be on your campus again.  

All are welcomed to attend, and hope I'll see as many of you as possible in N420 for what I'm sure will be an interesting discussion..   

TransGriot Update: After I arrived on the UHD campus, discovered that the BSA suddenly pulled out of co-sponsorship of the panel with no warning and no explanation.   Their loss.

Honing My Game At The 2014 LGBT Media Journalists Convening

I'm leaving the 70 degree warmth of H-town on Friday to head to a much colder Washington DC and hone my game this weekend at the fifth annual LGBT Media Journalists Convening.

It's my second consecutive time attending this invitation only event which was previously held in New York, San Francisco, Houston and Philadelphia.   

And yeah, still mildly pissed off about missing the one that took place in my Houston backyard.

The theme for the 2014 edition of the LGBT Media Journalists Convening is 'Honing Our Game', so yes, this a basically a business trip for me. 

I will get to have some fun, reunite with my fellow TBLG journalists and bloggers from around the nation and meet others who are here for the first time or couldn't make it last year.  And if I'm lucky, may actually get a chance to spend some quality time with some of my friends who live in DC.   

At the last two Convenings in Houston and Philadelphia we've had the honor and pleasure of having Mayor Annise Parker and Mayor Michael Nutter come and speak to us for a few moments.  Wonder if the trend will continue and we'll see Washington DC Mayor Vincent Gray?  

The Convening is sponsored by the National Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association (NGLJA) and the Haas, Jr Fund.   Many of us will be tweeting what's going on this weekend via the #LGBTMedia14 hashtag and have already started the Twitter party in advance of the weekend.  

There is also an LGBT Media14 Facebook page that you can peruse to that will have event news post from many of the journalists and bloggers in attendance.   And just like in Phlly, there will be trans masculine and transfeminine representation in the #LGBTMedia14 house.     

The whirlwind weekend starts off with a Friday reception in which MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell is slated to be our keynote speaker.   Then after a Saturday morning tour of the White House, we dive into our all day seminars and training sessions.

There's also a meet up event scheduled at the Green Lantern on Saturday night March 1 starting at 9:30 PM in which the public and our fans and supporters are encouraged to hang out with us . The Green Lantern is located at 1335 Green Court NW, Washington, D.C. 20005. 
The event concludes with a Sunday morning bus tour of Washington DC's monuments.  I've been to DC a few times on other trips and have seen some of those monuments including the MLK Jr one, but I'm looking forward to that tour as well before heading back home to Houston.

I'm making sure I'm getting my beauty sleep, because I have a feeling I won't be doing much of that this weekend except on the plane rides up and back.  

Trans* H4CK Las Vegas TV News Interview

Photo: photography by Moloko PlusKortney is taking Trans* H4CK on the road this year, and has the frequent flier miles to prove it. 

The Las Vegas edition was held last weekend and get ready Chicago, it's coming your way next month, March 28-30 at Dev Bootcamp.

So if you wish to take part in it, now is the time to sign up.

But while Dr KRZ was in Las Vegas, he got the opportunity to talk about Trans* H4CK, its goals, and the mission of using technology to solve real world trans social justice problems and create economic empowerment for the trans community at the same time

Here's the interview Kortney did with the local media covering Trans*H4CK. 


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Today Is The Anniversary Of Trayvon Martin's Murder

Photo: All  about  respect.
And I didn't want this particular anniversary to get buried under today's avalanche of breaking good news. 

While we have every right to be happy about the news that Texas' unjust same sex marriage ban was struck down by federal Judge Orlando Garcia and Gov. Jan Brewer doing the right thing and vetoing the unjust  SB 1062, I still have spent most of the day saddened by pondering that today is the infamous day one year ago that Trayvon Martin was murdered by George Zimmerman and the ALEC sponsored Stand Your Ground Law and a Florida jury llet his racist azz walk.

Justice still has not been served in that case, and we won't rest until it happens.   We also can't rest until those odious Kill a Black Person With Impunity Stand Your Ground  laws that give white people a license to shoot and kill non-white folks and not go to jail for it die. 

And if you think I'm being harsh or over the top about that previous statement, the mounting evidence is that the Stand Your Ground doesn't work for people of color.    Marissa Alexander was aggressively prosecuted by Angela Corey and sentenced to 25 years just for firing a warning shot into the ceiling of her home to warn an abusive ex-husband to back the hell up away from her and her kids.  

Michael Giles is two years into a 25 year sentence he received for Standing His Ground that like Alexander's is also being appealed..  

In the year since Trayvon was murdered, three other unarmed young African-Americans, Jordan Davis, Renisha McBride, and Jonathan Ferrell have died at the hands of white people holding guns.

Ferrell's killer was wearing a Charlotte police uniform.

So my joy over the two other breaking major news stories of today is tempered  by the sadness I feel when I i think about Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin mourning the loss of their child, and being joined in that sorrow by the parents of Jordan Davis and Jonathan Ferrell.

The struggle continues.

SB 1062 Has Died-Brewer Vetoes Unjust Bill

Gov. Jan Brewer will see controversial SB 1062 on her desk as many political and business leaders voice opposition to the measure that would allow businesses not to serve gays for religious reasons. (Capitol Media Services file photo)
I asked in a post a few days ago if Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) would do the right thing or the right wing thing in regards to SB1062. 

With pressure mounting on her from outraged people in her state, the TBLG community, business leaders and even the NFL starting to make the initial moves to take next year's Super Bowl out of the state if she signed it,  Brewer finally announced that she has vetoed the unjust SB 1062 bill.

From her press conference remarks moments ago::

Good evening, and thank you for joining me here today.

I am here to announce my decision on Senate Bill 1062.

As with every proposal that reaches my desk, I gave Senate Bill 1062 careful evaluation and deliberate consideration. I call them like I see them, despite the cheers or boos from the crowd.

I took the time necessary to make the RIGHT decision. I met or spoke with my attorneys, lawmakers and citizens supporting and opposing this legislation.

I listened . . . and asked questions.

As Governor, I have protected religious freedoms when there is a specific and present concern that exists in OUR state.

And I have the record to prove it.

My agenda is to sign into law legislation that advances Arizona.

When I addressed the Legislature earlier this year, I made my priorities for this session abundantly clear…
Among them are passing a responsible budget that continues Arizona’s economic Comeback.

From CEOs -- to entrepreneurs -- to business surveys -- Arizona ranks as one the best states to grow or start a business.

Additionally, our IMMEDIATE challenge is fixing a broken Child Protection system.
Instead, this is the first policy bill to cross my desk.

Senate Bill 1062 does not address a specific and present concern related to religious liberty in Arizona. I have not heard of one example in Arizona where a business owner’s religious liberty has been violated.

The bill is broadly worded and could result in unintended and negative consequences.

After weighing all of the arguments, I vetoed Senate Bill 1062 moments ago.

To the supporters of the legislation, I want you to know that I understand that long-held norms about marriage and family are being challenged as never before.

Our society is undergoing many dramatic changes. However, I sincerely believe that Senate Bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve.

It could divide Arizona in ways we cannot even imagine and no one would ever want.

Religious liberty is a core American and Arizona value, so is non-discrimination.

Going forward, let’s turn the ugliness of the debate over Senate Bill 1062 into a renewed search for greater respect and understanding among ALL Arizonans and Americans.
Thank you..

And if she hadn't vetoed the bill, Arizona's ability to attract businesses would have been crippled for at least a decade.   Whatever her reasons were for making her decision, bottom line it was the right one.

You do not have the right to discriminate, and you deeply held religious belief are not to be used as a shield for you bigotry and hatred of others.

Texas Gay Marriage Ban Struck Down

This is a day I thought I wouldn't see in my lifetime when the Republican majority passed that unjust Todd Staples' penned constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage in 2005.   

While that travesty was going on, it was being denounced by Rep. Senfronia Thomson (D-Houston) in a thunderous floor speech in which she called out the haters and told it like it T-I-S is.  

But there is joy in the Lone Star state about Judge Garcia's ruling as the GOP oppressors are doing their usual grumbling, oblivious to the fact they are on the wrong side of history and the US Constitution.

I awoke to the news that federal Judge Orlando Garcia (Clinton appointee) has declared the gay marriage ban unconstitutional.   

Judge Garcia wrote in his opinion striking down the unjust law: "Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our United States Constitution," Garcia wrote. "These Texas laws deny plaintiffs access to the institution of marriage and its numerous rights, privileges, and responsibilities for the sole reason that Plaintiffs wish to be married to a person of the same sex."

It is still being enforced pending an appeal that Attorney General and Texas GOP gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott is swiftly filing. 

In this Feb. 12, 2014 file photo, Cleopatra De Leon, left, and partner, Nicole Dimetman, right, arrive at the U.S. Federal Courthouse, in San Antonio, where a federal judge heard arguments in a lawsuit challenging Texas' ban on same-sex marriage.Judge Garcia said that the couples who filed this suit are likely to win their case and the Texas ban should be lifted, but he would not enforce his ruling until ruling are rendered on two other cases pending before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals,   

Mark Phariss and Victor Holmes filed their federal civil rights lawsuit saying Texas’ ban unconstitutionally denied them the fundamental right to marry because of their sexual orientation. Cleopatra De Leon and Nicole Dimetman filed a lawsuit saying Texas officials were violating their rights by not recognizing their marriage conducted in a state where gay marriage is legal.

Attorneys for the state tried to argue Texas voters had imposed the ban through a referendum and that Texas officials were within their rights to defend marriage traditions.   

Bigotry and discrimination is not 'marriage traditions', and bigotry and hatred are not values.  
Another Texas gay couple has filed a separate lawsuit in federal court in Austin in which they are arguing that the Texas same gender marriage ban is unconstitutional because it discriminates against them based on their gender.  That case is scheduled for a hearing later this year.

Texas is in the conservative leaning and New Orleans based 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, and Judge Garcia will give the state time to file their appeal and be on the wrong side of history and human rights again .

The cool thing people, is we have a chance to punish both Abbott and Staples at the polls.  Staples, the author of it, is a candidate for the GOP nomination for Lt. Governor and predictably blasted the decision as 'judicial activism'.   Abbott tried to steer a down the middle path in his comments. 

"This is an issue on which there are good, well-meaning people on both sides," Abbott said in a statement. "The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled over and over again that States have the authority to define and regulate marriage.".

Well, is it possible that we will actually see same sex couples getting married in the Lone Star State? I sure hope so.  But we still have a long way to go and more legal wrangling to come before same sex couples can say I do in Texas.

It's past time that happened and so happy for my Texas SGL peeps concerning this positive news.

Busy Weekend Coming For Me

The tail end of January was busy for me with 4000 of my TBLG friends and allies descending upon Houston for Creating Change, and the end of February for me promises to be just as busy,

I'll be back on the UH-Downtown Campus hanging with the Gators for a Black History Month event jointly sponsored by UHD Safe Zone LGBTQA student org and the UHD Black Student Alliance entitled African American Culture Within The LGBTQ Community. 

It will take place on the UHD campus on February 27 and run from 2:00-4:30 PM  in Room: North 420. 

When that event is concluded, I'll be finishing whatever last minute packing I need to do and prepping to leave Friday morning on a jet headed to Washington DC to participate in the fifth annual LGBT Media Journalists Convening.  

This year’s theme is ‘Honing Our Game’ and will focus on skill building.

It's my second one and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone and getting my learn on at the same time.  You'll also be able to follow us on Twitter at #LGBTMedia14 

It will be a whirlwind weekend just like last year's in Philadelphia jam packed full of events and seminars, and the best part about it is that I will get to see many of my TBLG blogging and journalistic colleagues.

So just like I did before Creating Change, definitely made sure I got my beauty sleep last weekend because this is the weekend I'm going to be quite busy and probably not working on a lot of rest.   

Jaci Adams Memorial Service March 21

AdamsJust was passed the word by the organizers that the memorial service for Jaci Adams will happen March 21.

The service to celebrate the life of our departed sister will take place at the St. Luke and the Epiphany Episcopal Church, located at 33 South 13th St. in Philadelphia, PA.

It will start at 5:30 PM ET with a reception occurring after the service  

Texas Dems: Don't Vote For This Woman

Normally if I have a chance to vote for a qualified African American candidate for public office with the bonus of them  being from my hometown, I'm jumping at the opportunity to do so. 

But this woman is not even close to what I would call being one of those qualified candidates.

Meet 37 year old Kesha Rogers. 

She's a PK and 2001 Texas State University grad with a degree in political science and speech communications.  She unsuccessfully ran for the chairmanship of the Texas Democratic Party in 2006. 

And she's a follower of Lyndon LaRouche.  She has called for the impeachment and execution of President Obama and has been photographed holding a poster of him with the Hitler mustache drawn in.   She has criticized the Affordable Care Act, calling it 'fascist' and baselessly claiming it will kill Americans'.  She rejects global warming, and argues that London based banking interest are trying to ruin America's economy.

Typical LaRoucheite stuff.   

She unexpectedly won in the 2010 cycle a Democratic primary in the 22nd Congressional District race against Doug Blatt and Freddy John Wieder, Jr,  who combined garnered 6814 votes out of the 14,281 cast in that primary election.

Since Texas has open primaries, I suspect Rogers' win was largely aided by Teapublicans crossing over to frack with our primary so freshman Republican incumbent Rep. Pete Olson could retain the seat.  He did by soundly beating her in the general election. 

Rogers again filed to run in the 2012 election cycle in the Democratic primary for that US House seat and once again faced Doug Blatt and newcomer KP George.  

Despite opposition from TX-22 Democratic leaders, she prevailed in the primary once again by 103 votes.   The Democratic state and local party apparatus refused to support her, and Rep. Pete Olson once again got a free ride to reelection. 

Now Kesha Rogers is aiming higher after her two primary wins and has filed to run in the US Senate race.  There are four unknown candidates in the Democratic Senate primary besides her in David Alameel, who is backed by Wendy Davis, Maxey Scherr, Harry Kim and Michael Fjetland.

And scarily enough, in a recent UT/Texas Tribune poll Rogers leads the best financed candidate in Alameel 35%-27%.  Scherr has 15%, Kim 14% and Fjetland has 9%.   Rogers has raised $26,000 for hers.

David Alameel, if you have some commercial time bought and ads in the can, now would be the time to run them. 

In a election cycle which shows promise of being the best one in over 20 years for the Texas Democratic Party, the last thing we need is an Alvin Green scenario here or even worse, the nightmare scenario that Rogers survives the primary and a potential runoff to become the Democratic Party nominee against incumbent Sen. John Cornyn (R).

I damned sure don't want that happening, and neither does the Texas Democratic Party.    

They have gotten busy getting the word out that Rogers is NOT a Democrat, but a LaRouche Trojan Horse running in our primary.  These are the Democratic candidates supported by the TDP and note that Kesha Rogers name is not on this official TDP website. 

Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa is making it quite clear that she is not a Democrat.
“The Texas Democratic Party does not support the candidacy of Kesha Rogers or anyone that aligns themselves with the LaRouche Movement. Our State Democratic Executive Committee even issued a resolution against her campaign. Do not vote for Kesha Rogers in the primary.

“Rogers’ candidacy is an insult to our Party, our President, our state, our Democratic values, and to all the work you are doing to move our state forward.

So Texas Democrats, you have a few days to run, not walk to your local early voting polling place and ensure this doesn't happen.   If you can't make it before early voting closes on Friday evening, then make damned sure you're voting on Tuesday, March 4 in the primary election on that date

Because I can guarantee there are Teapublican activists and pranksters who will cross over to vote in the Democratic Party primary just to make sure this nightmare scenario does occur.  

I would love to see an African-American woman run for and one day become the first African-American US Senator from my home state.  

Kesha Rogers ain't the person I want to see making that history, much less making history by getting the Democratic nomination for that US Senate seat.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I Want Nice Things For Texas

I got a chance this afternoon to walk a few blocks up the street to my early voting center and cast my vote in the Democratic primary.  

Y'all know that after the eight month stress-inducing drama I went through before finally getting my Texas drivers license January 9, it was a triumph for me when I showed my TDL and the now orange Texas voter registration card at the check in desk. 

I was handed the slip with the access code from the smiling female poll worker on the other side of the table, headed to the proper bank of eSlate machines, input the four digit code and began voting in my first Lone Star election since the 2012 presidential one. 

And yeah Texas Republican Party, I'm still highly pissed off about being suppressed out of the recent Houston mayoral one, and will be gleefully participating in the general on November 4.

I have an orange 2014-15 Texas voter registration card that I ironically received the same day I passed the driving test (with a 94 score thank you very much) and a TDL.  I'm currently working on getting my US passport since it is the other document you can use as ID to vote.  

And yeah, I'm highly motivated for the next two years and beyond to use both of them and be standing at the polling centers ready to throw the Lone Star GOP bums out. 

After what happened to me in 2013, I'm even more motivated than ever to turn Texas blue so my little niece Kacielyn and big niece Chantoya spend their teen and adult years in a Blue Texas like I, their father and mother grew up in. 

And I want nice things for Texas, too.   Nice things like a Texas government that works to solve problems for its citizens lives, not create them.  A government that answers to the citizens and voters of the Lone Star State, not the 1% 'bidness' interests or conservative white people.    

I want nice things for Texas like for the first time in 20 years, a resident of the Governor's Mansion in Austin we can be proud of, not ashamed of.    I want nice things for Texas like a wise Latina state senator as our lieutenant governor who will not ignore other female senators when they raise their hand and their voice to be recognized in that body to speak. 

I want Texas to have nice things like a budget surplus, a booming economy that works for all of us, high speed intercity rail, a top notch highway system and infrastructure and a world class education system with great public schools that teach facts based science, not Flintstones science. 

I want nice things like world class universities with reasonable tuition.  I want nice things like a Texas which encourages people to vote in each and every election and makes it easier to do so, not erect barriers to discourage people from exercising that right. 

I want nice things like a Texas with fair and sensible workplace safety regulations that are enforced.  I want nice things like a Texas with clean water to drink and less pollution in the Lone Star skies so we can see how bright the stars really are at night. 

I want nice things like a Texas that values all its citizens, not disrespects them for political gain, demonizes urban, TBLG, women, immigrant and non-white Texans or has leaders that ignorantly calls certain areas of the state during their election campaign 'third world countries'. 

I want nice things like a Texas that doesn't declare war on love.  I want nice things like a Texas that repeals the amendment desecrating its constitution banning same-sex marriage that fuels as Rep Senfronia Thompson said in 2005 when it was unfortunately passed by the GOP majority, the hellfire flames of bigotry    I want nice things like a Texas that allows all of its citizens to get married to the person they love, not erect barriers keeping it from happening inside our state. 

And finally I want nice things like a Texas that recognizes we trans Texans exist, want to do mundane things like work, play, get married and not have our human rights messed with. 

I want nice things for Texas like human rights laws that cover me and the SGL community so that we can be part of the greater Lone Star society we are building..  I want nice things for Texas like trans Texans being able to change their documentation without being hassled or requiring expensive surgeries before you do so.   

I want those nice things for Texas because I was born here in its largest city, and I love the 268,581 square miles of Planet Earth inside our borders and everything else about my home state that makes it a special place to live.   

It's past time we started electing leaders that want nice things for Texas as well, and work diligently to make them happen. 

Tim Gunn, Trans Models Have Curves

To borrow the words from my sis Isis King, Et tu, Tim Gunn?

Tim Gunn said this in response to a question concerning the recently unveiled Barney's campaign using a group of trans models.

"I’m conflicted. On one hand, I don’t want to say that because you were a man and now you’re a woman, you can’t be in a women’s fashion show. But I feel like it’s a dicey issue. The fact of the matter is, when you are transgender– if you go, say, male to female– you’re not having your pelvis broken and having it expanded surgically. You still have the anatomical bone structure of a man."

That picture of rising model Ines Rau to the left, who is part of that campaign says otherwise, Tim.

Hell, based on the transphobia I routinely see breaking out on certain gay blogs in their comment threads and the idiotic transphobic comments coming from predominately white gay men, looks like some intensive Trans 101 is warranted.

School is now in session.   

First the basics.   When we trans women undergo HRT, we put on weight and get curves.  Genital surgery comes later if we are in the position that we not only want it, but can afford it.

Second point.  You refer to a transperson with their preferred pronouns, and if you don't know ask.  Andrej Pejic, who you were primarily slamming in your comment, refers to herself as 'she'.   

It may also be a shock for you to know that trans feminine models just didn't pop up in the second decade of the 21st Century   Trans feminine models have been gracing the world's runways since April Ashley first sashayed down them in the early 1960's.  

And she damned sure didn't look like a boy when she was handling her modeling business back in the day.

Neither did the models who followed her such as Amanda Lear, Caroline Cossey, Lauren Foster, Tracy Africa Norman,  Teri Toye, Roberta Close, Carmen Xtravaganza or the current crop of trans models like Isis King, the aforementioned Ines Rau, Arisce Wanzer, Carol Marra, Lea T, Felipa Tavares or Carmen Carrera.   

Trans models have just as much variation in ethnicity, skin tones, heights, and body types as their cis feminine counterparts. 

And are just as beautiful, too.

As Pejic tweeted to you and I emphatically cosign, trans models deserve a fair shot at making it in a vanillacentric skewed fashion world that has long had a problem with diversity.   

And for you Tim Gunn as a gay man, to pull out the discredited 'bone density' trope that has been used far too often to attempt to bar trans women from playing in sports, is reprehensible.   Guess you forgot it wasn't so long ago the fashion world wasn't so accepting of people like yourself.

Trans models have curves and with trans feminine kids transitioning as early as age six, that trend will continue. 

President Obama's Statement About Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Obama speaks about the sequester in Washington
Well, the Ugandans went there.   Scott Lively and David Bahati are smiling as Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni despite massive international condemnation, signed the Anti-Homosexuality bill that was passed back in December and is already triggering anti-TBLG violence against the community there.

Here's what President Obama had to say about it in a statement.


As a country and a people, the United States has consistently stood for the protection of fundamental freedoms and universal human rights.  We believe that people everywhere should be treated equally, with dignity and respect, and that they should have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential, no matter who they are or whom they love.

That is why I am so deeply disappointed that Uganda will shortly enact legislation that would criminalize homosexuality.  The Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda, once law, will be more than an affront and a danger to the gay community in Uganda.  It will be a step backward for all Ugandans and reflect poorly on Uganda’s commitment to protecting the human rights of its people.  It also will mark a serious setback for all those around the world who share a commitment to freedom, justice and equal rights.

As we have conveyed to President Museveni, enacting this legislation will complicate our valued relationship with Uganda.  At a time when, tragically, we are seeing an increase in reports of violence and harassment targeting members of the LGBT community from Russia to Nigeria, I salute all those in Uganda and around the world who remain committed to respecting the human rights and fundamental human dignity of all persons.

Spike Lee Confirms 'School Daze' Sequel On The Way!

School Daze film poster.jpg
School Daze has always been one of my favorite Spike Lee movies and I still pull out my DVD to watch it from time to time even though the movie was first released 25 years ago back in 1988.

It was still an encapsulation of many of the issues college students of the 80's were talking about from South African divestment to fraternity hazing.

And with a cast that featured Laurence Fishburne, Giancarlo Esposito, Tisha Campbell Martin, Samuel L. Jackson and Jasmine Guy who was then lighting up the small screen on A Different World, that Spike Lee joint had us packing the multiplexes and made $14 million. 

With the $71 million success of The Best Man Holiday, the sequel to the 1999 The Best Man movie his cousin Malcolm Lee wrote, produced and directed, now that we (hopefully) have Hollywood's fiscal attention, I wasn't surprised that renewed attention has now been focused on classic African-American movies hat should have been made into sequels a long time ago. 

Spike Lee recently confirmed in a Black&Sexy TV interview that he has completed a script for a sequel to School Daze that takes us back to the Mission College campus 25 years later. 

“I had the script for ‘School Daze,” said Lee in a recent interview.  “But, what people have to understand is that it’s a contemporary version. So it’s the same school, Mission College, 25 years later,” explained Lee. “Hopefully I can get Laurence Fishburne to play Dap. He’ll be the president now of the school. And we would deal with issues around Historically Black Colleges today.”

He says he would not only tackle some of the issues Black college students deal with in 21st century college life, he would also tackle the subjects of pledging and homophobia

I hope you can get Fishburne to reprise his Dap Dunlap role and even better, get this sequel filmed.   

AB 1266 Repeal Referendum Fails To Qualify For 2014 Ballot!

Great news out of California!  The Forces of Intolerance-California Division have failed in their mission to overturn AB 1266!  

The School Success and Opportunity Act was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown August 13 and took effect January 1.   It requires that the gender identity of trans students in grades K-12 is recognized and they have access to facilities, activities and sports teams based on their gender identity

Of course the right wing haters didn't like that, and mobilized in an effort to get AB 1266 repealed. The spot check was at just a high enough percentage to move the verification process to the next step of verifying all the signatures and cause concern for the trans community and our allies in California and across the nation. 

The Orwellian named Privacy For All Students opponents were spearheaded by NOM's Frank Schubert, who orchestrated the Prop 8 repeal campaign. 

PFAS needed at least 504,760 signatures to force a public vote on AB 1266 and get the repeal referendum placed on the November 2014 ballot.   Had that happened, it was sure to be a just as nasty and divisive a campaign as the Prop 8 one was.

PFAS submitted 619,387 signatures, but California county election officers determined that just 487,484 of them were valid, according to a final count posted on secretary of state Debra Bowen's (D) website.

Translation: they qualify.

While the PFAS anti-trans coalition is telling their supporters they will continue the fight against AB 1266, the Support All Students Campaign that introduced and passed the law is celebrating along with transpeople across the country.

Said Transgender Law Center Executive Director and Campaign Chair Masen Davis: “This law gives schools the guidelines and flexibility to create an environment where all kids have the opportunity to learn. We need to focus on creating an environment where every student is able to do well and graduate. This law is about doing what’s best for all students — that’s why it’s supported by school boards, teachers, and the PTA.”
- See more at:

And the big winners today are the trans students in California.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Goodbye Sochi, Hello Pyeongchang

The Sochi Winter Olympic Games closed last night after seventeen days of competition and a $50 billion pricetag, exceeding the estimated $40 billion the Chinese spent on the Beijing Games.    

Guess Russian President Vladimir Putin and his people will consider it a great investment.  The host Russians made up for their by their standards poor showing of 3 golds and 15 medals overall in Vancouver by riding the home soil competition wave and owning the podium  

Usa-opening-ceremonyThey led all nations with 13 gold medals and 33 overall.  Norway was second with 11 gold (26 overall) and Canada third with 10 golds (25 overall).  The USA was fourth, Germany (19 overall) and The Netherlands (24 overall) tied for fifth with 8 gold medals. 

While the USA had the second highest total medal count with 28, only 9 of them were gold, reflecting the disappointing showing of the speedskating team, the aggravating losses to Canada in men's and women's hockey (arrgh), some medal favorites not coming through, and the failure of the women's figure skaters to medal in ladies singles for the first time since 1936.

yuna 2Hey US Figure Skating Association, guess y'all should have taken.Mirai Nagasu to Sochi instead of snubbing her in favor of Ashley Wagner.    Wagner did get a medal in the inaugural team figure skating event, but still finished sixth in ladies singles.

And speaking of figure skating, it wouldn't be a Winter Olympics without a figure skating controversy that revolved around the judging 

South Korea's Kim Yu-Na was robbed of a gold medal repeat due to some (surprise, surprise) alleged shady judging that led to Russian teen homegirl Adelina Sotnikova who trailed Kim after the short program winning gold to the delight of the Russians in the audience and the derisive whistling (the international version of booing) from the rest of the crowd in attendance at the Iceberg Skating Palace.  

Olympics: Bobsleigh-Women'sSpeaking of failing to medal, one of the two US Summer Olympic team members who was a winter Olympian at these Games is coming home with a history making medal and it isn't Lolo Jones.

Lolo Jones along with Lauryn Williams became the ninth and tenth Americans to make both a Winter and Summer Olympics team and were part of a US women's bobsled team that had four African-Americans on it.   

Jones convinced Williams to try out for the bobsled team, and despite being in the sport for only six months, she became only the fifth athlete ever to win medals in a Winter and Summer Games.   Williams narrowly missed by .10 seconds becoming the first woman and only.the second ever person to achieve the rare feat of winning gold in a Winter and Summer games and the second African-American to win a gold in bobsled

(Left to right) Bobsledders Lolo Jones, Lauryn Williams, Aja Evans, Elana Meyers, Jamie Greubel and Jazmine Fenlator of the United States arrive in SochiShe and Elana Myers were leading in the women's bobsled competition before being bumped off the top of the podium by the Canadian duo and defending Olympic champions Kallie Humphries and Heather Moyse. 

Jazmine Fenlator and Lolo Jones in USA-3 were also trying to make history as well.   Fenlator was trying to become the first African-American bobsled driver to win a medal and Lolo Jones was trying to win her first Olympic medal period but they finished 11th.   The duo of Jamie Greubel and Aja Evans took the bronze, which marked the first time ever the US has taken two medals in the sport in the same Olympics. 

The USA women were up 2-0 and 58 agonizing seconds away from a gold medal, ending Canada's feminine women's hockey dominance and me unleashing a hockey themed rewrite of the Canadian national anthem on this blog and the world until the Canadians scored late to tie it up and then won their fourth straight gold medal in overtime.

It didn't help I had to hear about that 3-2 overtime gold medal game loss and 1-0 loss of the USA men's team in the semis the next day from a certain Canadian.

Shani Davis came into these Games seeking his third straight gold in the 1000m but shockingly finished in 8th place   Like I mentioned earlier, it was a bad Olympics for a US speedskating squad that left Sochi with only one medal in the 5K relay. but a great one for the Dutch speedskaters who made themselves, the Dutch royal family and their orange clad fans feel at home in Adler Arena.

Sarah HendricksonTwo time Olympic halfpipe champ Shaun White also failed to leave Sochi with a medal
And in the inaugural edition of the women's ski jump the American women favored in it failed to make the podium.  Sarah Hendrickson did battle back from a serious injury to make a little history as the first woman ever to jump in Olympic competition. 

But there was more drama away from the competition venues that at them.   While the feared terror attacks failed to happen, there was the video of members of the activist group Pussy Riot being horsewhipped by a Cossack militiaman, the arrests of former Italian MP Vladimir Luxuria for protesting Russian anti-gay policies, and the escalating violence in Russia's neighbor Ukraine that led to an emotional gold medal victory for the Ukrainian women over Russia in the biathlon relay .   

Now the flame has been extinguished and the hosting torch passed to Pyeongchang, South Korea who after two narrow losses to Vancouver and Sochi finally get to host the 2018 Games.  

Wonder if Dennis Rodman's good friend Kim Jong Un is going to demand like his daddy did when Seoul hosted the Summer Games.back in 1988 that the South Koreans let him host some Olympic events at the brand new ski resort he's having built? 

We'll have four years to see how that plays out.