March 26th, 2015
posted by [syndicated profile] wapsisquare_feed at 04:28pm on 2015-03-26

Posted by Paul Taylor

wapsi_vol_6_cover ebook w

Howdy folks!  I’m doing a pre-order for Wapsi Square’s Book 6 that will run until April 17th!  All books will come with a free sketch!  Please let me know in your order who you’d like a sketch of (keep it simple), any orders not including a choice will be left to me to decide.  After April 17th, it should take about 4 to 6 weeks to get your books with the sketch.  Place your order by clicking the button below.  Thanks much for your support of Wapsi Square! =D




posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 12:00pm on 2015-03-26

Posted by Monica Roberts

Because we can definitely use it right now with several states proposing unjust laws to criminalize our existence and national organizations being silent about it, our trans teens committing suicide, lies being told about our community and pimped by ministers and a propaganda network, and us feeling besieged.

But despite this, and still we rise.   We still strive to speed up the day when trans human rights is not just a distant dream but a concrete reality across the planet.   We yearn for the day when trans kids will be supported, loved and not thrown out of their homes like yesterday's trash

We also know that we are people loved by the Creator who wonderfully made us and are part of the diverse mosaic of human life.  While some may revile us, others embrace us and consider us a blessing in their lives.

And we also need to spread that same love amongst each other in Trans World as we receive it from the people who love and care about us.

If you as our allies genuinely feel that way, let you trans friends know that now as you give them a hug they most definitely need.

Keep calm.   This storm of anti-trans hatred and intolerance shall pass and will give way to the bright sunlight of freedom, love and acceptance..  
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

- Helen Keller (via practicinglent)
posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 09:30am on 2015-03-26

Posted by Monica Roberts

For the second straight week I'm boarding an airplane at Hobby that will fly to Chicago. 

And if Southwest handled their aviation business properly, I should be airborne as you read this.

But this time when I arrive there I'll be getting off and leaving the confines of Midway Airport to head to the Hyatt McCormick Place for a Transgender Law Center organized National Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Anti-Violence Convening on Friday and Saturday.

The Color of Violence Conference will also be convening while we are here. and as I'm flying toward the Chicago area will be kicking off with two per-conference institutes before the opening plenary that features our sis CeCe McDonald.

I'm going to try to find some time while I'm up here in the Windy City to not only see some of my Chicago based trans family, but make another pilgrimage to Giordano's to destroy another deep dish pizza.

And while I'm up here, the Trans 100 reveal show at the Mayne Stage will also take place on Sunday, so I;m going to have a activity filled weekend before I head back to H-town.
filkerdave: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] filkerdave at 08:54am on 2015-03-26 under , ,

Last night I went to City Center to see Björk. She's touring to support her latest album, Vulnicura.

Vulnicura is a very emotionally raw album, but brilliant. The first half of the show last night, with songs from the album, was much the same. The latter half was much more eclectic, drawing on a lot of her lesser known back catalog (with the exception of "Come To Me").

One percussionist, one DJ/synthesist. A 15-piece string ensemble. And, of course, Björk. I've seen her live once before, at the Virgin Music Festival in Toronto in 2006. She was good then, but this was a much more intimate performance in a much better venue (I love live music, but it's a whole different experience than a festival).

No pictures to speak of but I did sneak some audio recordings on my mobile.

Really great show.

(And, no, I couldn't resist that title for this post)
location: New York, NY
Music:: Björk, "Thunderbolt"
Mood:: 'impressed' impressed

Posted by Monica Roberts

Charlotte LawsWe've all seen the stories about the so-called 'Sodomite Suppression Act' that if it collects the 365,000 signatures it needs to make it to the ballot, calls for the execution of gays and lesbians in the Golden State.

Activist Charlotte Laws on Monday filed a counterproposal to the unbridled genocidal 'Kill The Gays' initiative proposed by attorney Matt McLaughlin (have they yanked his law license yet?) entitled the Intolerant Jackass Act

"Any person, herein known as an 'Intolerant Jackass,' who brings forth a ballot measure that suggests the killing of gays and/or lesbians, whether this measure is called the Sodomite Suppression Act or is known by some other name, shall be required to attend sensitivity training for at least three (3) hours per month for twelve (12) consecutive months," the initiative reads in part. "In addition, the offender or 'Intolerant Jackass' must donate $5,000 to a pro-gay or pro-lesbian organization."
Laws told The Advocate via e-mail why she filed it.

“I felt that ridiculing this man was the best way to defuse his vicious proposal and take away his power,” Laws told  The Advocate via email. “By filing the Intolerant Jackass Act, I am attempting to speak out against prejudice and hatred. It is important to fight injustice and intolerance. I want the world to know that Matt McLaughlin’s wretched and small-minded perspective is in the minority. Most people in California are caring and loving individuals who welcome the LGBTQ community.”


As delicious as this would be for this to go through the ballot initiative process and become California law, it may not be likely to happen.  Even if it did, it would probably be struck down as unconstitutional

But it sure will be fun to watch and see what happens.


posted by [syndicated profile] wapsisquare_feed at 05:00am on 2015-03-26
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posted by [personal profile] mrs_sweetpeach at 12:55am on 2015-03-26 under , ,
Click here )
location: Home and on my corner of the couch
Music:: Forensic Files (on tv)
Mood:: 'tired' tired
mrs_sweetpeach: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] mrs_sweetpeach at 12:53am on 2015-03-26 under , ,
Click here )
location: Home and on my corner of the couch
Music:: Forensic Files (on tv)
Mood:: 'tired' tired
mrs_sweetpeach: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] mrs_sweetpeach at 12:47am on 2015-03-26 under ,
Click here )
location: Home and on my corner of the couch
Music:: Forensic Files (on tv)
Mood:: 'sleepy' sleepy
March 25th, 2015

Posted by Monica Roberts

And now, time for some much needed good news .
My Denver based sis Eden Lane recently received a wonderful surprise from Westworld, the local alternative weekly newspaper

Every year the editors of Westworld along with their readers select 'Best Of' winners in various categories.  And guess who won 'Best Non-Network TV Personality''?

Here is what they had to say about our hard working media sis.:

Since 2009, Eden Lane has been hoofing her heels all over Denver to cover the burgeoning performing-arts and media beats, using a scant crew to grab an interview with new talents and introduce them to the world via her weekly, self-produced In Focus show on Colorado Public Television (Channel 12 to those in Denver). Always professional, effervescent, creative and dressed to kill, Lane's recent openness on living life as a trans woman just might bring her to national eyes as a role model for how journalism should be done.

Take note of that underlined last sentence.

Hey, I've seen In Touch, and you can also watch the show on YouTube.  I'm still wondering why some network or local station hasn't hired her yet..   But nice to see quality work and a quality person recognized!

Congrats Eden!   Hope this is just one of many awards you'll get and it results in more positive attention for you!

redbird: full bookshelves and table in a library (books)
I finished a few books in the last two weeks, but the only one I'm really enthusiastic about is the one I'm not supposed to discuss. So:

Recent reading:

Murder in the Ball Park, by Robert Goldsborough. This is authorized fanfic for Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe books, assuming that there are readers who want more of the same kind of story. Goldsborough sets this one during the Truman administration, which gives him Archie Goodwin, Nero Wolfe, et al. in their prime. The titular ballpark is the Polo Grounds; Archie and Saul Panzer are there to watch a game and happen to see a state legislator shot dead. It seemed to me like a reasonable pastiche of Stout's style; I was annoyed by a few swipes (in authorial/Goodwin's voice, with Wolfe clearly agreeing) at the idea of a married couple admitting to not being monogamous. Sorry, that is not the same as the established fact of Wolfe refusing to have anything to do with divorce/infidelity cases. (And then it turns out that at least one of them is not as happy with the other's having an outside lover as he claims. Sauce for the goose. Cliche. I suspect non-poly readers might disagree but would be less annoyed by this bit of judgmental commentary.) Spoiler warning: Guvf vf nabgure zlfgrel abiry jurer gur fbyhgvba uvatrf ba gur qrgrpgvir ernyvmvat gung "jul jbhyq fbzrbar jnag gb xvyy uvz?" vf gur jebat dhrfgvba orpnhfr gur ohyyrg jnf npghnyyl nvzrq ng fbzrbar ryfr.

Comet in Moominland, by Tove Jansson: not bad, but Mris was right that this isn't a good place to start the series. The comet is a villain/menace, right out of medieval legend, but after adventuring and genuinely scary events, it turns out home=safety. This does show a chunk of backstory on how a bunch of previously unrelated people of several species wound up as part of the family in Moominmamma's house.

A Dead Red Oleander, by R. P. Dahlke. I got this mystery as a freebie ebook. It's fast-moving, but too much of the plot is driven by people (to some extent the narrator, and especially her cousin) diving into things that they either don't know much about, or know they shouldn't be getting involved in. This is a classic example of an amateur sleuth not telling the police/sheriff/etc. what know, made worse because in this case the narrator/amateur is engaged to one of the relevant police officers. She does at least have the wit to realize that if she can't talk to Caleb about the fact that she's investigating a crime, maybe they shouldn't be getting married, but the communications issues are handwaved at the end. The story was just good enough that I finished it, but I won't be getting the next one, or going back to the first two in the series.

Current book(s): There isn't one; I'm posting this between books.

What I will read next: I'm not sure, but I need to pick something, and I have a few possibles on the kindle, including one I paid for; a freebie by an author I've liked in the past; and some Project Gutenberg oddities.
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posted by [personal profile] jayblanc at 03:16pm on 2015-03-25
Ugh. All I have to say about today’s celebrity ‘news’ is if you think an abusive bully prone to violence and threats against his staff deserves to keep his job, you may be an asshole.
posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 08:00am on 2015-03-25

Posted by Monica Roberts

“I’m still a person, and trans people are still people. Our bodies just don’t match what’s up (in our heads). We need support, not people looking down at us or degrading us or overlooking us. We are still human.”
Blake Brockington

I have mixed emotions as I'm writing this post because I have the sad duty of informing you courtesy of QNotes that history making trans activist Blake Brockington took his own life March 23.

18 year old Brockington made history last year as the first ever African-American trans masculine homecoming king when as an East Mecklenburg High School senior he beat out 12 other nominees and raised $2355.55 for a school chosen charity to win the honor.

Since his graduation from East Mecklenburg HS he has been involved in the #BlackLivesMatter movement, a mentor to other trans kids and an outspoken advocate for our community.  I had the pleasure of meeting and talking to his at the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference to congratulate him on his historic win and tell him how proud I was of him.

And that's one of the parts that is pissing me off and literally has me in tears as I compose this.  Brockington is the third trans person of color youth suicide this year, and that unhappy trend must end.  22 year old Aubrey Mariko Shine jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge February 24, and was preceded by the February 11 death of 19 year old Melonie Rose of Laurel, MD.

And to add insult to both those deaths, the families of Shine and Rose added to the hurt and anger we feel over these death by deliberately erased their trans identities at their funerals

We lost another one of our trans younglings to the ramped up anti-trans violence and hatred.   If #BlackLivesMatter,  don't #BlackTransLivesMatter too?

Trans younglings, your best revenge is living well and setting the goal of living to see your 20th, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th and 70th birthdays.  If you need to talk to someone, find a trans elder or call the Trevor Project.  
It would have been interesting to see how Blake's life would have turned out, but we've been robbed of that opportunity.   

Rest in power, Blake


 For TBLG youth (ages 24 and younger) contemplating suicide, the Trevor Project Lifeline can be reached at 1-866-488-7386. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 can also be reached 24 hours a day by people of all ages and identities.


mrs_sweetpeach: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] mrs_sweetpeach at 09:54am on 2015-03-25 under , ,
Click here )
location: Work
Music:: Lindsey Stirling: Crystallize
Mood:: 'sleepy' sleepy
mrs_sweetpeach: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] mrs_sweetpeach at 09:53am on 2015-03-25 under , , ,
location: Work
Music:: Lindsey Stirling: Crystallize
Mood:: 'sleepy' sleepy
“Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.”

- Harvey Fierstein (via practicinglent)
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
posted by [personal profile] liv at 10:36am on 2015-03-25 under ,
Recently read
  • Via [twitter.com profile] nanayasleeps a very evocative description of a really terrible sex party. NSFW, obviously; the article is plain text and illustrated with a fairly vague modern art pic, but the site is a sex magazine and most of the links to related articles have more or less porny thumbnails.

  • The [twitter.com profile] embassthon account in its entirety. It's a charity stunt by [twitter.com profile] scattermoon, in which she dressed up as Carmen Sandiego and visited every single embassy in a single a weekend, and was sponsored to raise money for a refugee charity. I know a lot of my friends are into effective giving and are against fundraising stunts as a matter of principle, but [twitter.com profile] embassthon is just a lovely piece of performance Twitter in its own right. Worth reading from the bottom up; there are cryptic clues to which embassy is up next, snarky comments about the embassies and their countries, lovely stuff.

  • Network surfing led me to [personal profile] melannen's adorable Big Hero 6 / Pacific Rim crossover.

  • [livejournal.com profile] cavalorn is slightly locally famous for debunking lots of silly fluff Pagan stories. This year he's come up with a rather amazing piece about church history: On Bede, pagan kings, rival Churches, and the Great Anglo-British Miracle-Off, where he explains, with great humour how: Rather than a simplistic matter of The Christians versus The Pagans, we are dealing with multiple cultural groups and multiple iterations of Christianity.

    Currently reading Two thirds of the way through Imajica. Things are getting apocalyptic, which means it's not as slow to read as it was in the earlier sections. I think there's some very cool fantasy in this, but it's rather more padded than I prefer.

    Up next I'm going to be acquiring some of the stuff you recommended for medical students for myself, no question. Well worth having a look back at that thread if you're interested in books you can learn something from.

    Other than that I've come down with a very annoying digestive TMI bug. I'm not seriously ill, I was able to get on with giving feedback on student work yesterday, just uncomfortable and annoyed. And since I do have the kind of job where I can get away with doing this, I'm being good about staying away from public areas until I'm properly better. I'm especially grateful for technology, and thoughtful friends who use it, so that I haven't actually been stuck on my own with no company for the past two days.

    So, if anyone wants to send me links I would be most grateful. At this stage of being not exactly ill but still in quarantine, I'm more interested in distracting, interesting, meaty stuff than cute adorable stuff.
  • location: Keele University, Staffordshire, UK
    Music:: Vérité: Echo
    Mood:: 'sick' sick

    Posted by Monica Roberts

    It took a little longer than expected, but Sen. CB Embry anti-trans Bathroom Bounty Bill is finally dead with the end of the 2015 Kentucky General Assembly session at midnight EDT.

    You'll recall that back in February the Kentucky senate Republicans shadily passed the bill out of committee, then passed the unjust bill it in the GOP controlled Senate on a 27-9 vote.

    But SB 76 was DOA in the Democratically controlled House, and it was parked in a committee with no intention to let it out to the House floor much less bring it up for a committee vote.  

    With the clock ticking toward the end of the session, Embry decided to tack his unjust bill to HB 236, a bill that overwhelmingly passed the House that would allow for a student representative to be appointed to school superintendent search committees. 

    Dismayed Kentucky students from across the commonwealth not only saw the bill they had worked so hard to pass being hijacked by Embry, but also being altered Tuesday after two student rallies in Frankfort and news coverage about the impasse.

    HB 236 was altered by the Kentucky senate to allow the student to sit on the search committee,  but the student would not be able to vote on who is recommended for the job.    The 'Student Religious Speech' amendment was also attached to HB 236  by Sen. Albert Robinson (R) to permit students to voluntarily express religious viewpoints in schools.  Senator Alice Forgy Kerr (R-Lexington) successfully attached another amendment that would make HB 236 immediately come into force after it became law with Governor Steve Beshear's (D) signature. 

    Coat of arms or logoSen. Embry withdrew his 'Bathroom Bounty Bill' amendment and the altered  HB 236 passed 27-9. But the damage was done, and the amended HB 236..has no support in the Democratically controlled House when they voted overwhelmingly for the original bill.

    While I'm sad that a great bill that would have empowered Kentucky students fell victim to GOP political shenanigans, the bigger picture is that the unjust anti-trans bill is FINALLY dead. 




    posted by [syndicated profile] wapsisquare_feed at 05:00am on 2015-03-25
    March 24th, 2015
    twistedchick: (Default)
    mrs_sweetpeach: (Default)
    Have you seen this? I was innocently scrolling i-don't-know-what when I fell across this page:
    http://www.theverge.com/2015/3/24/8284131/x-files-new-series-david-duchovny-gillian-anderson
    location: Work
    Music:: Drew Smith: Good Company
    Mood:: 'surprised' surprised
    posted by [syndicated profile] revlyncox_feed at 03:10pm on 2015-03-24

    The spring equinox is another opportunity to declare a new year, and to make positive changes in our lives. When faced with major turning points or big obstacles, spiritual discipline helps us to gather our inner resources. Resilience, balance, and persistence are some of the fruits of practice. This sermon was written for the UU’s of Fallston by Rev. Lyn Cox, March 22, 2015.

    The bakers in our house are in the process of changing our ways. Out of the five of us, one of the adults and both of the children have made an enthusiastic conversion to measuring flour by weight rather than by volume. Most recipes are written with reference to a certain number of cups of flour, so it requires some research, some math, and some experimentation to find the best number of grams or ounces of flour and then write that number in the margins. Key words like “math” might tell you which grownup is very keen on this change, or at least give you the hint that it’s not me. The kids find it easier and more fun to scoop flour into the bowl on the scale until the right number comes up than to very carefully hold the measuring cup in midair over the flour bin without spilling.

    Intellectually, I know scales are the way to go. Flour can be persnickety with its volume, depending on the season and the weather and on how much running and jumping in the kitchen has shaken up the pantry. Measuring by weight is more accurate. I’m less likely to lose count. “Was that one and three quarter cups I’ve already added, or three and one quarter?” If I’m measuring flour into a bowl on the scale, I can scoop some out again if I put in too much. If I’m using a measuring cup, the mistake is more complicated to correct.

    On the other hand, I find it deeply satisfying to run the back of my knife over the top of a measuring cup to level it off. That’s how my dad taught me. That’s how I’ve always done it. There is a certain adventure in not knowing exactly how much flour I’ve added, but perhaps it would be better to add excitement with intentional experiments rather than leaving things to chance. All it would take to learn a new way is practice. The scales may be a better way, yet I resist.

    The use of level measurements was a gift from Fannie Farmer, famous Unitarian Universalist and culinary revolutionary. Her edition of the Boston Cooking-School Cook Book in 1896 brought standard measurement and consistent results into home kitchens. She is reputed to have said, “Progress in civilization has been accompanied by progress in cookery.” I feel a little like it’s a betrayal of Fannie Farmer if I don’t use level measurements by volume, but maybe it’s a better tribute to her spirit if I accept progress in civilization and cookery.

    The spring equinox is a good time to consider weights and measures. We hang here in the balance between day and night, on the threshold of an uncertain spring. The things we can touch and count help us navigate through a transition that can be spiritual and emotional as well as atmospheric.

    The spring equinox is also a good time to set our intentions for the months of ahead, to do the wise planting for what we hope to harvest later in the year. Pagans have been thinking about the path ahead this week in celebration of holidays such as Ostara and Mabon. As I understand it, there are Hindu, Baha’i, and Zoroastrian new year celebrations around the time of the spring equinox. So let us begin anew with spiritual practices that bring us in tune with spring. In particular, let’s cultivate spiritual practices that may later yield the fruits of resilience, balance, and persistence.

    Resilience

    Spring reminds us of resilience. We learn that, after a hard winter, something will grow again. We learn that grass that bows in the morning dew reaches upward in the heat of the day. As the wheel of the year turns, perhaps some of us are wondering if we will ever grow again. Bouncing back might seem like a random occurrence, yet one of the ways we can prepare for it is through repetition. With regular practice, putting one foot in front of the other becomes second nature, even when our minds are distracted. Practice gives a foundation for improvisation. My colleague John Newcomb Marsh puts it this way:

    An old upright piano serves as an altar in our home. I see it as a place of daily ritual; a place where the temporal meets the eternal; where, in the words of the poet W. H. Auden, we “practice the scales of rejoicing” and sometimes encounter the holy. My children are just as likely to view it as a place of human sacrifice, where the precious moments of their childhood are torn from them and offered to a god about whose goodness they harbor many doubts …

    One of the things I like best about the study of music is that it provides the opportunity for correction without reproach… If they miss a note, or play the wrong note, it does not mean that they have been inconsiderate or greedy or that they acted out of anger or lied about the truth; it simply means they have hit the wrong note and need to try again. The trying again can be trying on their patience, but they can also hear and understand improvements in their playing. Learning how to benefit from correction is no small accomplishment …

    There are moments, however, when the melody engages and my children, in spite of themselves, are glad of the moment. The practicing of the scales of rejoicing falls away and all is rejoicing.

    (From “Practicing the Scales of Rejoicing” by the Rev. John Newcomb Marsh, printed in Essex Conversations: Visions for Lifespan Religious Education. Marsh currently serves the First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa, Canada.)

    Marsh goes on to suggest that the futures his children will be able to bring about, ideas beyond the horizons of his own imagination, might be launched from structured foundations. Although he admits that repetitive study is not necessarily the most exciting thing, Marsh is saying that our ability to recover from mistakes and our courage to try new things can both be supported by regular practice. He uses the example of playing scales on a musical instrument. There are other structures that can be useful for learning resilience.

    In our “Spirit in Practice” class, we have been talking about and experiencing different kinds of spiritual disciplines. We tried out a guided meditation, longer than we would probably use in a regular service. We experimented with free-form movement and with creating visual art for process rather than product. I think it’s fair to say that one of the obstacles we’ve discovered is that many spiritual practices don’t feel comfortable, let alone transcendent, at least not right away. If the discipline is also something we do by ourselves, such that nobody else might know whether or not we are maintaining it, keeping up is doubly difficult.

    One of the things I have discovered in the class is the value of setting goals and partnering with others. Honestly, I don’t do guided meditations that often. Gathering in a group with spiritual intention spurred me to attempt it again. Setting a goal to explore new practices within a finite period of time made it more likely to happen. Perhaps one of the things that makes musical scales work is that, presumably, the musician is also working on other projects and hearing progress from the totality of different ways of practicing. Scales and drills and attempting new challenges and returning to old favorites all come together for a productive discipline.

    Practices that yield resilience remind us of our connections to each other. Resilience is supported by an atmosphere safety, where we can try again without reproach. These practices may be repetitive, yet come in a larger context of comfort and challenge. By repeating something like prayer or meditation while being mindful of community, forgiveness, and complexity, we may learn to move into a new season of our lives in the same way.

    Balance

    Another fruit we might cultivate at the spring equinox is balance. The hours of daylight and nighttime dark are equal. We are somewhere in between the weeks of endless ice and the assurance of consistent warmth. For any of us whose lives are affected by the rhythms of gardens, sports, academia, or seasonal work, this is a time for shifting our weight and getting our bearings. A consistent spiritual practice might help us make the transition as the days change, little by little and all at once.

    One of the practices we talked about in our class was sacred rest. It is possible for some of us to build a few minutes into a day or a week when we protect our time from deadlines, interruptions, and economic activity. Some people can even work up to a whole day of rest every once in awhile.

    Our group found, though, that entire days to unplug are rare. It is easier to think in smaller increments. Turning off the phone for 24 hours may not be realistic, but maybe turning it off for an hour over dinner is an achievable goal. Set aside ten minutes for quiet journaling on a regular basis before scheduling a weekend of silent retreat. Neither rest nor spiritual practice is an all-or-nothing proposition. Balance is a dance in motion, with 360 degrees of variation. Just as the spring comes along with the sun rising a few minutes earlier each day, temperatures careening back and forth in an eventual trend upward, we might achieve balance through a bunch of small adjustments that add up.

    Small adjustments are harder than they sound. We can take hope in the fact that little rituals throughout the day make a difference; trying again today even if we missed yesterday matters. On the other hand, small obstacles also add up, so it helps to be prepared to overcome them. More importantly, we need to get over the false promises of commodified spirituality, the market forces that try to sell us enlightenment in a weekend or soulful contentment in a five-step manual. Sometimes dramatic change happens quickly, but more often it’s the visible result of a long-term process. It would be nice if spiritual growth came in economy-sized chunks that we could identify right away and put into our calendar ahead of time. I don’t think it usually works like that.

    Which is not to say I haven’t tried. I have certainly done the routine where I throw myself into a trendy religious discipline or inspirational book, crammed like I was about to have an exam, and waited for my life to change once and for all. There are times when I thought I had the final answer, and I wanted to catch up on all the time I lost not having it. I keep having to learn that there is no single final answer, at least not for me. There are lots of little intermediate answers, balls to keep in the air in relationship with each other, and even more intermediate questions.

    Disciplines like prayer, meditation, and sacred rest are not the only temptations for sudden immersion. I have tried this with different musical skills, parenting techniques, scrapbook projects, and D.I.Y. home repair. There are cases where an intensive period of study and experimentation can help a person make progress, if that period is part of a larger arc. Sometimes jumping into something too deeply and too soon makes it more difficult to continue in a sustainable way.

    For the last year, I have been learning about balance through running. I have learned to think of the balance between activity and rest in incremental terms, not simply as a binary. I started out with a plan to run just a few minutes at a time, alternating with walking a few minutes at a time. When I started, I could not imagine running for twenty minutes in a row. Now I can actually do it, not just imagine it.

    In my enthusiasm, I forgot that progress is not a straight line. I kept working on my skills fairly consistently until about November. Between some minor surgery and the little bit of ice we had this winter, I hit a wall.  Not literally, although I did have one or two encounters with the sidewalk. About the middle of last month, I was in despair about reaching my goals. My cousin reminded me that (1) my journey is my own and need not stick to “shoulds” defined by someone else, and (2) I could use a strategy of balancing running and walking, just like I did at the beginning of my training. She flew up from Austin to join me, and we completed a half marathon together last weekend. We ran most of it and walked parts of it.

    Motion and rest are not all-or-nothing values. We have gears and gradations. Running isn’t for everyone. I do think that breaking our goals down into smaller parts with different levels of intensity can help them seem more achievable. Whatever it is that will help us feel more balanced probably comes in smaller packages. There are times for high energy, times for total rest, and times to roll forward slowly. Even if we can’t take a holy week or a Sabbath day, we can take a moment to (as the song says) breathe in peace and breathe out love. The spiritual practices of spring may yield balance.

    Persistence

    A third possible result for making a new commitment at the spring equinox is that our practice could yield a greater capacity for persistence. Those among us with green thumbs will probably tell us that gardens need to be weeded more than once in a season. Anybody with furry or scaly members of their family knows that living beings need food, water, and other kinds of care on a regular basis. Spring reminds us of life, and life is an ongoing process.

    In her essay, “Amethyst Beach” (from the meditation manual of the same name), my colleague Barbara Merritt (now retired and honored as the Minister Emerita of the First Unitarian Church in Worcester, Massachusetts) writes about sustaining the energy for a search. While on vacation in Nova Scotia, her family heard about a place by the ocean where it was possible to find and collect your own amethysts. Merritt continues:

    I’m unsure whether my children, the rock hounds, were more excited than the adults. We brought along a large canvas bag to haul back all of our semiprecious gemstones. We found the beach with the black smooth volcanic rock and the white lines. Using our hammers and safety goggles, we went to work.

    An hour later we were still smashing at rocks for no apparent reason. Deep within the white crystal cracks, we discovered a lot of rock, but no amethyst.

    Initially I scanned the boulders for visual clues for hidden caches of amethyst. I’d make a thoughtful scientific appraisal of the area, following fault lines, looking for subtle gradations in color, listening for hollow echoes with my hammer. At each spot where I initially chose to chip away, my hopes were high. I was sure that this was it. It wasn’t.

    Later I decided to use my intuition. I “opened” myself to the presence of amethyst; I tried to become emotionally in tine with the geological harmony of the place. I attempted to be “guided” to the right spot. When everything felt “just right,” I’d strike with the hammer. And lo and behold, underneath the surface, were more rocks …

    As we were leaving the beach, with my still empty canvas bag, I saw out of the corner of my eye, a small piece of black rock. I picked it up, turned it over, and I saw it—a faint pinkish cast to the crystals. I tucked it in my pocket and went on my way…

    Having spent a little time on Amethyst Beach, I suspect the ones who “find” are the ones who never give up the search.

    (Excerpted from Amethyst Beach: Meditations by Barbara Merritt.)

    Merritt and her family may have come home with a rock with some gems hidden in there somewhere. It also sounds like they took pleasure in the search. She describes her children as “rock hounds.” They may have had some previous experience with seeking without finding, exploring an unfamiliar landscape as a kind of meditative presence as well as a quest for something in particular.

    We are human beings, not human doings. I need that reminder as much as anyone else. Our worth does not depend on achievement or product or contributing to the economy. We are precious sparks, one with the universe, just as we are. And. I think many of us like to have a little bit of doing, challenges to reach for, signposts along the search for meaning.

    Perhaps we are both being and doing. It may be that the secret of persistence is the ability to hold both the focus of a quest and a non-attachment to outcomes. If we can revel in the search and also not worry to much if we find something other than what we’re looking for, we might last a little longer and enjoy more companionship along the way. As anyone who brushed snow off their car on the first day of spring can tell you, transitions are unpredictable. Let us cultivate persistence in our practices this equinox, and be open to surprise.

    Conclusion

    I did use the kitchen scale this week, though not for flour. I used it to measure spinach. I will consider this a victory in my incremental journey toward progress in cookery. Maybe getting more familiar with the practice of weighing food for cooking will help me transition to using it for baking. I will have to overcome my conservative attachment to level measurements by volume. Small adjustments matter. Besides, I can try out a new way of doing things without committing to a drastic change for all time. Balance can come from moderation. I hope to keep cooking and baking regardless, even if deciding between the measuring cup and the scale is kind of a speed bump. Taking pleasure in the process as well as setting flexible goals for the outcome may yield persistence.

    This spring, may you find resilience. May you feel embraced by this beloved community and by the Spirit of Life, knowing that relationship endures through minor corrections. May your ordinary, everyday habits give you a launching pad to try extraordinary things.

    May you find balance. May you enjoy times of passionate intensity, quiet rest, moderate advancement, and thrilling reversals. The dance of life uses the whole ballroom floor. Make the most of it.

    May you find persistence. There may not be a final destination in the search for truth and meaning. Let’s keep our eyes on the horizon anyway, and let’s cherish this moment of the journey, right where we are.

    So be it. Blessed be. Amen.

    twistedchick: (Default)
    Oh, hell fucking no to the highest power. This is a disgraceful situation. It tarnishes the Smithsonian's reputation and it misleads the public.

    Goliath sues David for David's water so Goliath can frack away the town.
    nancylebov: (green leaves)
    I wanted to bring the usual "the Weimar Republic lifted restrictions on the Jews" into a discussion, and I thought I'd do a little research on the details first.

    It turns out that a search on anything like [Weimar Republic Jews] gets pretty much swamped by anti-Semitic material (I'm really angry about this, and open to suggestions for improving the situation), and the little that isn't anti-Semitic doesn't have the information I wanted. I did find out that Jews got more opportunities to be professors and have high level civil service positions, and also that there were anti-Catholic laws which were gradually being lifted.

    After some thought, I went to Google Books and found this, but as is typical of all real history, it's full of details, and as is typical of most real history, it's pretty depressing.

    It does talk about a gradual and unreliable lifting of restrictions against Jews in German academe which started centuries before the Weimar Republic and at this point, I have no idea whether there was strong improvement in policies towards Jews then. The book excerpt says not for academe, but I don't know about other parts of life.

    So does anyone know what was actually going on in the Weimar Republic in regards to Jews? Or know of an online source about it? And if a subject is swamped with anti-Semitic links, how do you get past them?
    nancylebov: (green leaves)
    posted by [personal profile] nancylebov at 01:06pm on 2015-03-24
    I was thinking about what effect temperature would have on how long it takes particles to settle out of a liquid, and came up with three guesses.

    One is that higher temperatures would make particles take longer because heat would keep the liquid stirred up. Another is that heat would cause settling to happen faster because heat makes everything happen faster. Ok, that's probably not quite true, but a very cold and sticky mix wouldn't let the particles move down very fast.

    I'm betting on number three-- this is actually something very complicated, and it's why industrial processes need engineers using approximations to figure out what's likely to happen. In particular, it wouldn't surprise me if there's a temperature range for fastest settling of particular combinations of particles and liquids, and the behavior of the particles will be affected by their size and shape, not just their chemical composition.
    twistedchick: (Default)
    posted by [syndicated profile] wapsisquare_feed at 05:00am on 2015-03-24

    Posted by Monica Roberts

    On Wednesday morning while I was rolling toward Austin to fight some anti-trans bills at the Pink Dome, the CBS soap opera Bold and The Beautiful was dropping a cliffhanger that would light up the Twitterverse for several hours in terms of the Maya Avant character, played by actress Karla Mosley, being revealed to be a trans woman. 

    Seven years ago I wrote about the importance of Rebecca Romijn playing Alexis Meade on the ABC show Ugly Betty.   I compared it at the time to Nichelle Nichols playing Lt. Uhura on Star Trek in terms of the groundbreaking nature of it.

    Now for the first time ever, we have a soap with a trans African-American character.   You know I not only have wanted to see a regular trans character that reflects my ethnic background for years now, I have also expressed my frustration at the ignorance level of elements of my people when it comes to trans issues.

    The Maya Avant character has the potential if handled correctly by Bold and the Beautiful writers, to finally bust some myths about what a trans person of African descent is like, and educate about many of the issues we deal with.

    And while we African-American trans women have had amazing possibility models in Janet Mock and Laverne Cox capture the country's and the world's attention, and are an immense source of pride in our ranks, we now have a fictional character gracing the nation's television screens and the TV screens of the 100 nations where this soap is broadcast.

    So when Bold and the Beautiful returns following the weekend's March Madness games, we'll see what happens with this unfolding storyline that suddenly has a lot of people inside and outside the trans community talking and  paying attention to the exploits of Maya Avant..
    March 23rd, 2015
    posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 07:30pm on 2015-03-23

    Posted by Monica Roberts

    Whoopi Goldberg
    Ted Cruz has declared he is running for president in 2016 (stop laughing).  The junior senator from Alberta was an unrepentant birther, and now it is going to be delicious to whack him relentlessly with the same shade he and his birther crew threw at President Obama.

    Teabagger Ted fits their scenario they tried and failed to pain the POTUS with.   He was born in Canada, has an American mother and a Cuban father.  

    As I love to say, karma is not only a you know what, but wears a dress and stiletto heels.

    And Whoopi Goldberg got the party started on The View earlier today by demanding to see Ted Cruz's birth certificate.  We don't care if you released it in 2013.  What if it's a fake?

    Posted by Monica Roberts

    Back in 2010 I took an idea birthed during a conversation with Ethan St. Pierre and rewrote the Beastie Boys song (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right To Party' as a protest song against the bathroom meme that was then being used to try to scuttle trans inclusion in ENDA.

    It's now five years later, ENDA is still not the law of the land, and the bathroom lie is being used to attack trans human rights in general now.

    With all the GOP anti-trans bathroom bills out there filed by Debbie Does Discrimination Riddle and Gilbert 'Potty Panic' Pena in Texas,, Frank 'Flush Away Our Humanity' Artiles in Florida, CM 'Bathroom Bounty Bill' Embry in Kentucky and other GOP conservafool legislative oppressors at the behest of ALEC, it was time to pull this song out of the TransGriot archives and tweak the lyrics for the 2K15.

    So y'all know the drill.  Fire up those iPods or your fave music program and sing along with Moni's remixed lyrics.

    And yeah, if you want to use it at a #WeJustNeedToPee protest, have fun.  Just give me the credit for composing this little ditty.

    (We Gotta) Fight For Our Right To Potty 2015
    sung to the tune of  (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right To Party by the Beastie Boys.



    Kick it!

    Trans people need to pee but we don't wanna go
    Needs to be gender neutral but the right wing says, "No!"
    On anti-trans bills they went to work
    As they started hatin' on us like transphobic jerks

    We gotta fight for our right to potty

    Presentation based bathrooms need to happen today
    GOP oppressors are saying “No way!”
    Facing trans discrimination can be so sad
    Erasing our humanity makes trans folks fighting mad (Busted!)

    We gotta fight for our right to potty

    Don't like that I transitioned? Why should you care?
    Don’t need to know the genitalia that I have down there
    I’ve got to pee so bump that noise.
    I’m not (will be) going to use the bathroom with cisgender boys!

    We gotta fight for our right to potty
    We gotta fight for our right to potty

    Posted by Monica Roberts

    I saw this meme on Nephew's AKA Jaison Gardner's FB page that some fool with too much time on his hands created that I am compelled to call out.

    It levels an old charge in Black non- SGL circles they aim at the Black TBLGQ community that Black gay people are 'not loyal' to the Black cause because they are 'only loyal to gay rights'.

    Which is straight up bull feces.

    SGL, bi and trans folks first up are Black people.  We have to deal with the everyday microaggressions and macroaggressions of just navigating life in a Black body just like straight Black folks, with an extra heaping helping of transphobia, biphobia, and homophobia dropped on top of that.

    In addition to having to fight the conservative movement tooth and nail just to avoid being dehumanized, we have to also deal with the same crap coming from people who share our ethnic heritage uttering the same loud and wrong BS at us.

    We in Black TBLGQ World are sick and tired of being 'too Black' for our gay counterparts and 'not Black enough' for some of you peeps regurgitating that anti-gay propaganda you've been fed by sellout ministers and FOX Noise

    The reality is that Black LGBT issues are Black community issues and vice versa.

    I guess the ignorant creator of this meme didn't learn anything about Bayard Rustin in school, who not only created the concept of the Freedom Rides so skillfully used by Diane Nash and SNCC two decades later, also was a brilliant movement organizer, leader, and advisor to the Rev. Dr MLK Jr. 

    If it weren't for Rustin, the 1963 March On Washington wouldn't have been the spectacular success it turned out to be.   And yes, Rustin was a Black gay man.

    Lorraine Hansberry, the creator of the play A Raisin In The Sun, in her brief life was a civil rights movement warrior who was also concerned about the African liberation struggle.

    Guess whoever created this meme (and I wouldn't be surprised if it was someone in the National Organization for Marriage)  also forgot about James Baldwin and Angela Davis

    This meme may be part of their well documented plan to drive a wedge between the African-American, Latino and SGL community, and if the fool who created this is Black, then I pity him for allowing himself to be hoodwinked and bamboozled by NOM's propaganda.

    And as Coretta Scott King pointed out in a March 31, 1998  speech:
    "Gays and lesbians stood up for civil rights in Montgomery and Selma, in Albany, Georgia, and St. Augustine, Florida, and many other campaigns of the civil rights movement. I salute the contributions of these courageous men and women who fought for my freedom at a time when they could find few voices for their own."
    It's not just in the civil rights era that Black LGBT peeps handled their human rights business on behalf of the Black community, it's happening in 2K15 America as well.  

    The Black Lives Matter movement founders, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometti rep the L.   Black TBLG  peeps in Houston including yours truly busted their behinds to get the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance passed last May while being opposed by Black ministers and Black people on the loud and wrong side of this human rights issue.

    We have the common goal along with our non-gay Black peeps of eradicating the anti-Black societal attitudes that deleteriously impact all of us.  Black BTLGQ people are not only concerned with advancing human rights for our own community, but simultaneously uplifting the Black community we intersect and interact with.

    And there are many times we are doing Black community uplift work, but you just aren't aware that the person involved in your local civic club, chapter of the NAACP, or community leader is also part of the Black BTLGQ community.

    While there are moments that the Black non-SGL community pisses us off with the internal homophobia that expeditiously needs eradication, the fact remains that we Black LGBTQ peeps are and historically have been an undeniable part of the kente cloth fabric of the African-American community. 

    Our fate as Black TBLGQ people in this country is inextricably tied to the rest of Black America, and Black folks wishing to divide the Black SGL and non-SGL communities would do well to remember that.

    So to say that Black LGBTQ peeps only care about gay rights is not only a blatant lie, it is a narrative contrary to the historical evidence.

    “If I choose to bless another person, I always end up feeling more blessed”

    - Marianne Williamson (via practicinglent)
    synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
    posted by [personal profile] synecdochic at 10:35am on 2015-03-23 under
    Mondays, every week, let's celebrate ourselves, to start the week right. Tell me what you're proud of. Tell me what you accomplished last week, something -- at least one thing -- that you can turn around and point at and say: I did this. Me. It was tough, but I did it, and I did it well, and I am proud of it, and it makes me feel good to see what I accomplished. Could be anything -- something you made, something you did, something you got through. Just take a minute and celebrate yourself. Either here, or in your journal, but somewhere.

    (And if you feel uncomfortable doing this in public, I've set this entry to screen any anonymous comments, so if you want privacy, comment anonymously and I won't unscreen it. Also: yes, by all means, cheer each other on when you see something you want to give props to!)
    liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
    posted by [personal profile] liv at 12:56pm on 2015-03-23 under
    Reason for watching it: I went to the cinema with friends including a teenager, and it was his choice. It would probably have been quite low down in my own priorities, given it's the middle of a trilogy where I've neither seen the first nor read the books, and YA dystopias aren't terribly my thing anyway. But I was very glad to join my friends on their cinema trip.

    Circumstances of watching it: I'm working from home today, which meant for once I was in Cambridge Sunday evening, and was able to join the party going to the Light cinema in the complex behind the station, along with [personal profile] jack, [livejournal.com profile] ghoti and her oldest.

    Verdict: Insurgent is watchable even if it's not the kind of thing I'm usually into. I also agree with [personal profile] jack's review quite a lot.

    detailed review )
    location: Dystopian Chicago
    Music:: Bronski Beat: Smalltown boy
    Mood:: 'nauseated' nauseated

    Posted by Monica Roberts

    Kerry Washington at the 26th annual GLAAD Media Awards 
    As y'all know, I have much love for Kerry Washington, and look forward to the day when I can meet her and let my inner fangirl loose,

    In accepting the Vanguard Award last night, she cut loose with a powerful speech that brought the assembled crowd to their feet.  One portion of it was calling out the hypocrisy of marginalized communities turning on each other.

    "So when Black people today tell me that they don't believe in gay marriage… the first thing that I say is please don't let anybody try to get you to vote against your own best interests by feeding you messages of hate. And then I say, you know people used to say stuff like that about you and your love. And if we let the government start to legislate love in our lifetime, who do you think is next?" 

    "We can't say that we believe in each other’s fundamental humanity and then turn a blind eye to the reality of each others existence and the truth of each other’s hearts. We must be allies. And we must be allies in this business because to be represented is to be humanized. And as long as anyone, anywhere is being made to feel less human, our very definition of humanity is at stake and we are all vulnerable."

    And here's the video of that Vanguard Award acceptance speech.


    posted by [syndicated profile] wapsisquare_feed at 05:00am on 2015-03-23
    March 22nd, 2015
    twistedchick: (Default)
    posted by [personal profile] twistedchick at 10:47pm on 2015-03-22

    Posted by Monica Roberts

    "In my two decades of lived experience as a Black trans woman, I have seen more than a few young gay males who liked doing drag, claimed it was 'a hobby', only did it for pageants or gay nightclub talent nights and swore up and down they were gay men and had no intention to transition.

    But a year or two later after having that gender epiphany, those same gay males were declaring they were trans, swallowing hormones, answering to feminine names and transitioning to live full time as female."
    -TransGriot, February 2, 2015,, The Case For Edwards Being A Trans Murder Victim"


    Well, as this Dominic Holden March 6 BuzzFeed article points out, Moni was right.

    A trans woman who knew Ms. Edwards and was also at the January 9 murder scene named Tiffany, came forward and publicly confirmed what I was hearing from multiple Louisville contacts.

    “Papi got shot because she was a transgender female,” Tiffany told BuzzFeed News in a phone interview this month. “That is exactly why she was killed — because of gender identity.”

    The photo in this post is a surveillance camera still shot of Ms. Edwards moments before she was killed.  And she is clearly presenting as female moments before she was killed. 

    Henry Gleaves, the alleged shooter who prematurely ended Papi's young life, just had another court hearing March 26, with the trial due to start in Da Ville on October 27.

    We have had eight trans women killed this year.  I expect there will be more before the calendar turns to January 1, 2016.   This Edwards case underscores the importance of police departments when they encounter trans murder victims, ACCURATELY identifying and publicizing the fact they are dealing with a trans murder case.

    Because the sooner the trans community knows we are dealing with a trans murder case, the sooner we can spring into action to help you peeps in law enforcement solve them.



    gingicat: the hands of Doctor Who #10, Martha Jones, and Jack Harkness clasped together with the caption "All for One" (all for one)
    “I don’t want to explain this whole life business through truth, science. There’s so much mystery. There’s so much awe.”

    - Jane Goodall (via practicinglent)

    Posted by Monica Roberts

    The Trans 100
    Next Sunday at the Mayne Stage in Chicago, the latest edition of Trans 100 honorees will be revealed in a show hosted by our fave trans couple in Precious Davis and Myles Brady.

    The Trans 100 event will not only have our fave trans couple in the house, but will feature keynotes from Tiq Milan and Lana Wachowski and musical performances by Tona Brown, Laura Jane Grace and Rocco Katastrophe

    Slide 1
    Yeah, in case you're wondering, I was honored in the inaugural 2013 class of Trans 100 honorees.  And thanks to me being in Chicago for a fortuitously timed conference  I will be in the Mayne Stage house for the first time to actually witness the reading of the names in the Trans 100 Class of 2015.

    For those of you who won't be in Chicago for it, you can watch the live feed of it.

    I'll also be interested to see which Trans Texans join Phyllis Frye, Carter Brown, Katy Stewart (2013), Lou Weaver, Cristan Williams, Sharyn Grayson, Robyn Morgan Collado, Tye West  (2014) and yours truly as Trans 100 honorees.

    I'm so looking forward to the Trans 100 reveal.  I'm looking forward to getting another\ opportunity to not only see some old friends , but finally get the opportunity to meet Lana Wachowski and Laura Jane Grace

    We'll see what happens next Sunday.

    March 21st, 2015
    synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
    posted by [personal profile] synecdochic at 08:20pm on 2015-03-21

    posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 12:00pm on 2015-03-16

    Posted by Monica Roberts


    For the third consecutive year I was blessed to get an invitation to attend the 6th annual LGBT Media Journalists Convening along with LGBTQ journalists from 22 states and the District of Columbia.

    Before I even left for Philly, I had four activism events in two days in Houston, and got back home from the Misfits panel at almost midnight.  

    Since I had to allow for METRO bus travel time, I had to get up at 4 AM to get to the airport early enough to check my bag and clear TSA security before my flight.  That meant I was getting barely three hours of sleep before I bounced to Hobby to start my trek via Chicago to Philadelphia.

    My lack of sleep started messing with me early when I got off my initial bus block one stop too soon to connect with the 50 Harrisburg that would take me to Hobby.  After realizing my error, I had to quickly walk with my roller bags from Washington Ave two blocks over to the stop on Memorial Drive in the shadow of the municipal courthouse..

    I made it to the stop in time because my 50 Harrisburg bus was a few minutes late, and made it to Hobby Airport without further incident.  I checked one bag, cleared TSA security and headed to Gate 51 to wait to board my 8 AM CDT departure to Philadelphia via Chicago-Midway.

    I was surprised to see Cristan Williams pop up in the Gate 51 lobby area a few moments later and we ended up traveling to Philly together. 

    After arriving in a cloudy and cool Philly and getting to the Radisson Blu Warwick Hotel a little after 4 PM  EDT, we settled into our rooms in preparation for the reception that would happen at Comcast Center several blocks up the street at 7 PM. 

    I called Mom to let her know I'd safely made it, then fired up my trusty laptop to take advantage of the comp WiFi and check my e-mail.

    LGBT Media Journalists ConveningI was hungry, and noted a small diner called Little Pete's that was just across 17th Street from our hotel.  I ambled down from my 10th floor room, wandered in and ordered some mild buffalo wings to go. While I was waiting for those wings, I had this strange deja vu feeling about this place, and I would find out later at the reception why.

    The four events in two days along with the flights, the food and my quiet room sent me to dreamland, and I woke up at 7:15 PM.   After quickly getting dressed, I made it up those six blocks as fast as I could for what was left of the #LGBTMedia15 kickoff reception in the spacious lobby of the building.

    I made it, and even managed to get one glass of wine in along with greetings and hugs from several peeps and my friends in the LGBT writing world.  One of them was a local Philly attendee who not only thanked me for my TransGriot posts about the 1965 Dewey's Lunch Counter Sit In, let me know I was staying right across the street from it.

    It floored me to know that I'd just bought wings from the place that 50 years ago next month was the site of some trans history before I sat down and waited for the keynote speech from the Rev Dr William Barber.

    Soon to be birthday girl Faith Cheltenham joined me, and we were inspired along with everyone else by the dynamic keynote speech that Dr Barber gave us that urged us to not only reclaim the moral high ground in our movement that we have mistakenly ceded to our opponents, but build an intersectional movement at the same time that will fight just as hard for voting rights, a woman's right to choose and a livable wage as we do for marriage.

    And I got to ask a question of Dr Barber, who remembered that we'd met in Louisville back in 2005 at the Unity Banquet there, what was the NAACP's stance about the legislation popping up in Florida, Texas and the now dead one in Kentucky seeking to criminalize being transgender?

    Answer.  NAACP is opposed to it.   So trans community and allies, get your state and local chapters busy calling the wingers out about those unjust laws

    The next day began with breakfast at 7 AM and then heading to the hotel's Grand Ballroom at 9 AM to get our learn on. After the welcome from Bil Browning and singing Happy Birthday to Faith, we got down to the business of getting our learn on in the panels discussions.

    The initial panel of the day was entitled The Latest Rightwing Attack: The Danger Of 'Religious Liberty' Laws.   It featured Katherine Grainger breaking down the spate of "Religious Liberty" laws designed to gut the human rights progress we've made over the last 50 years with Matt Foreman asking the questions..

    At 9:45 AM the Erin Rook moderated panel entitled What Happens When The Dog Catches The Car with panelists Tiq Milan, Spectra Asala and Urvashi Vaid discussing what's next after marriage equality is achieved.

    That gave way after a spirited discussion to a 11:30 AM Brynn Tannehill moderated panel after our 15 minute break entitled Naming and the LGBTQ Community

    Panelists Diane Anderson-Minshall, Dr Scout and Eliel Cruz had a  wide ranging, fast paced discussion that took us into lunch.

    During that lunch, the new Philadelphia LGBT Liaison Nellie Fitzpatrick not only gave us a rousing speech entitled Fighting For Equality From Within: How Government Officials Are Advancing LGBT Rights,  but read a proclamation on behalf of Mayor Nutter declaring Saturday as 'LGBT Media Journalism Day' .

    After lunch, we LGBT Media attendees had a choice between two break out sessions. Bijacked: Bisexuals Strike Back Against Inaccurate Reporting or Allies in Race and Gender.

    Once those were done, me and my trans cohorts took our break  opportunity to head across the street from our hotel and take group photos in front of the former Dewey's.   Hope there will be a 50th anniversary commemoration of that transcentric historical event next month.

    We returned for the final session of the day entitled Three Great HIV Story Ideas You Could Write Tomorrow in which the panelists led my moderator Mark King went through some suggestion of HIV centric stories that we could immediately compose..  We were also given an HIV Style guide to take home with us.

    After the feedback session, the #LGBTMedia15 panels were over.   But we still had a visit coming to the John C Anderson Apartments later that evening for a wine and cheese reception there..   It's a LGBT -centric senior apartment building that had just broken ground for construction when the LGBT Media Journalists Convening was last in town   Now it was finished, and the Philly LGBT community was eager to show it off.  

    In addition to proudly noting that it had a 150 name waiting list to get into the building, I was also pleased to get my tour of it conducted by a trans elder.

    We also spent some time while we were there in a LGBT Women in Media discussion in which a intergenerational group discussed some of the issues affecting the community from our perspectives.

    While some of our crew headed to the 11 PM public event at Tavern on Camac, the four vents in two day before I left Houston was finally catching up with me, so I decided to get y cheesesteak ata a place i spotted on the walk from the hotel to the Anderson Apartments and call it a night.

    I was obviously still tired because I slept through my alarm and the start of the Sunday closing brunch.

    And just like that, my #LGBTMedia15 weekend in Philly was over and I was boarding a shuttle to take me to the airport and my semi-boring life in Texas.

    We'll see if I get the invite to participate in #LGBTMedia16 in Baltimore.   If I get to do so, definitely looking to destroy some crab cakes.

    gingicat: (just me - lace&pearls)

    Posted by Monica Roberts

    The 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, LA Division will kick off in a few hours at the Beverly Hilton and I'm pleased to hear that one of my fave actresses in Kerry Washington will be honored with this year's Vanguard Award.

    The GLAAD Vanguard Award is presented to the media professional who have made a significant difference in promoting equality.

    Some of the previous Vanguard Award recipients have been Janet Jackson, Charlize Theron, Kristen Chenoweth, drew Barrymore, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Taylor, Antonio Banderas and Sharon Stone.

    In addition to appearing in LGBT-inclusive projects like Scandal, Peeples, She Hate Me, The Dead Girl, and Life is Hot in Cracktown (in which she played a trans woman),Washington has tirelessly spoken out in support of full equality and human rights for TBLGQ people. She has has participated in GLAAD's annual anti-bullying campaign, Spirit Day, by wearing purple to show her support for BTLGQ youth, and talked about the importance of stopping bullying on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

    Congrats to Kerry, and looking forward to seeing her later tonight along with her acceptance speech.

    Posted by Monica Roberts

    Was pissed when Ronan Farrow Daily and Joy Reid's The Reid Report shows were cancelled on MSNBC for two reasons.   In addition to the fact I loved Joy's show, I was in talks with the Farrow folks to do a show talking about the off the charts murders of African-American trans women that had spiked at that time.

    The other reason I was not happy about the cancellation of the show besides my lost opportunity to talk to a national audience is because when it comes to media outlets, the Ronan Farrow Daily show was the gold standard when it came to respectful and diverse coverage of trans issues.

    And they also did something groundbreaking that has only been replicated so far on Melissa Harris-Perry.  They brought trans people on their sets to talk about trans human rights issues.

    It was Ronan Farrow Daily that along with Mel Wynore debunked the bathroom predator lies surrounding the Maryland trans rights law last May and forcefully called it a myth. 



    It brought Allyson Robinson on to talk about trans military service.  Tiq has been on the show multiple times to discuss the TIME trans tipping point article and the detention of trans immigrants.  

    And in the wake of the Leelah Alcorn suicide, Ronan Farrow Daily did a week of trans themed programming coveting a wide variety of issues that earned him a GLAAD Media Award nomination.

    It remains to be seen whether we'll get the same level of coverage about issues of importance to our community on other MSNBC shows.  Lord knows we're still waiting for Rachel Maddow to even say the word 'transgender', much less cover our issues in depth on her show.

    We lost a media friend and trans human rights ally when Ronan Farrow Daily was cancelled, and it will be interesting to see what MSNBC show picks up that torch and is willing to use its broadcast platform to discuss our issues.
    .
    twistedchick: Big Dipper -know where you are? (know where you are?)
    posted by [personal profile] twistedchick at 11:51am on 2015-03-21
    6 important things about how your brain learns information.

    In a culture now that devalues working with one's hands to make something concrete, shop class as soulcraft.

    This man invented a type font that helps people with dyslexia read. It works. Here it is, free for individual use.

    In the Mennonite Church, scisms over whether people who are gay are accepted, and whether a church that accepts GLBTQ peoople and officiates at their weddings can still be Mennonite. I know this church; I know this pastor. She is part of the group of us who sing together; the church is where we recorded the music used on NPR last year. It is a welcoming, nurturing place that is going through a very difficult time.

    In a TED talk, Monica Lewinski on the price of shame and the culture that has grown up around publicly humiliating people for profit. And who better to talk about it?
    twistedchick: watercolor painting of coffee cup on wood table (coffee)
    posted by [personal profile] twistedchick at 11:19am on 2015-03-21
    I am so tired of feeling so tired.

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