March 24th, 2017
posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 12:00pm on 2017-03-24

Posted by Monica Roberts

As many of you TransGriot readers are aware of, I'm in Orlando for the 8th annual LGBT Media Journalists Convening.   We had a mixer last night, and now we are knee deep into our first day of sessions.

But since it's Friday, and I have y'all spoiled, it's  time for our weekly post in which I call out our fools, that are everywhere.

So let's get to it.

Honorable mention number one  the Trump administration for pick an outrage this week

Honorable mention number two is Neil Gorsuch for trying to cover up his far right conservative judicial rulings during his confirmation hearings with a fake aw shucks demeanor. 

Naw homes, we know you're a younger version of Scalia and unfit for the SCOTUS.

Honorable mention number three is the Republican Majority for trying and failing so far to replace the ACA and replace it with Trumpcare

Honorable mention number four is Steven Hotze.  This long time Houston area gaybaiter just put out a video recently urging Texas lawmakers to support SB 6.
 
Really fool?   Don't you have a medical practice in Katy to run?

#NoMoreHotze  #ByeHaterHotze

Honorable mention number five is the National Organization for Marriage, who is mad that their hate bus got vandalized, and had the nerve to call it a 'hate crime'...

Naw you idiots, what you're doing to trans folks is a hate crime.

Accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence, Rick Perry speaks after being sworn in as secretary of energy. On Friday, he addressed the department's employees.Keep going for a look back at Rick Perry's tenure in Texas through the eyes of Houston Chronicle editorial cartoonist Nick Anderson.  Photo: Olivier Douliery, MBR / Abaca Press
This week's Shut Up Fool winner is my former governor Rick Perry, who seems to be more concerned with a student government election on the Texas A&M campus than his job as Secretary of Energy.  

Secretary Goodhair is mad that the students at his alma mate elected an openly gay SGA president.

Gig 'em!   And dude, you have more important things to do than reading The Battalion and paying attention to A&M campus politics.

And oh yeah, Rick Perry, shut up fool!

   

Posted by Monica Roberts


Image result for Black woman reporter
As much of the country is aware of, we have now had eight trans women murdered due to anti-trans violence.   We know that seven of the eight were Black, and one was native American.  We also know all of them were under age 40.

But we have some people in Trans World who wish to count a trans man who died as a result of a police incident as a murder when it wasn't.   We also have people that wish to include folks who have committed suicides.

No to both of those, and here's why.

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First of all, the trans man in question, Sean Hake wasn't murdered.   It was a police domestic disturbance situation that ended with a weapon being discharged and Hake dying as a result of it.   It wasn't a murder, and it's disrespectful to the memory of the eight women who have had their lives taken from us in 2017 to call it that.

Not all suicides involving trans people a result of anti-trans violence.  The reasons for a person committing suicide are as varied as the person committing it and them leaving a note behind explaining why they did so.  .

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As someone who has been tracking trans murders for over a decade, accuracy in how we talk about these cases matters.  Now that we're finally getting some media attention concerning the issues of anti-trans violence, we cannot afford to be perceived as fudging or inflating the numbers with cases that clearly aren't murders..

Accuracy matters when we're telling the story about our trans siblings murders.  It's even more important to be accurate about it because the victims are predominately people of color, and we're dealing with a media that is predominately made up of cisgender white people .    .

The numbers alone are horrific enough.   We don't need to cast doubt on them by calling a police incident an anti-trans murder when it isn't, or claiming suicides are 'anti-trans violence'
March 23rd, 2017
posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 04:00pm on 2017-03-23

Posted by Monica Roberts

Image result for rosen centre hotel
Had an amazing morning at IAH wandering Terminals C and E before I boarded my United flight to Orlando.  It was nice seeing some of my old co workers, and I see some more when I return on Sunday.

I've arrived in Orlando for what is basically a business trip.  I've been to the Orlando airport before to catch connecting flights, but this is the first time I've visited the city.

I've always wanted to visit Disney World, and when I was working at CAL is was something on my travel bucket list, ,but never got the chance to do so while I was an airline employee and had the ability to fly there.

I'm checked into my 17th floor Rosen Centre hotel room with a nice view of the Orlando Convention Center across the street  and downtown Orlando in the distance.  I also gleefully discovered I have a 7 Eleven less than a block away, so that means Slurpees will be destroyed on this trip

Image result for mangos orlandoI'm getting ready for the first event of this year's 8th Annual LGBT Media Journalists Convening, which is an icebreaker reception at Mango's Tropical Cafe.

I alway enjoy getting to see and spend quality time with my TBLGQ media colleagues from across the nation.   But this year's edition of LGBTMedia17 is happening at a time in which we have a so-called POTUS who seems to think it is okay to attack the media.

This convening is needed and even more necessary at a time when journalism is under attack.  For those of us in Trans World who are in attedace, we're here at a time when not only our humanity and human rights are under assault, we had our 8th trans woman of 2017 murdered in Baltimore a mere 24 hours ago.

It's going to be an interesting few days as we get our learn on about various issues that impact the TBLGQ community, network and get to see some of Orlando beyond the hotel.

You can check out the action at the #LGBTMedia17 hashtag, our Facebook pages, and our various blogs and media stories.

And so ready to get my media learn on.
posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 07:00am on 2017-03-23

Posted by Monica Roberts

Image result for Houston Intercontinental Airport terminal C
It's time for me to hop on another plane to take me to another community event.  But this time I'm leaving out of as we call it in H-town the Big Airport, or Houston Intercontinental

It's always an emotional trip for me every time I fly out of IAH.   I spent 14 years of my life there working in the airline biz and have some fond memories of it and many of the people I worked with.

Probably going to be even more emotional because I'm getting close to the April 4 anniversary day I clocked in for work as me for the first time.  It would have also been my 30th anniversary year this year.

 I transitioned in the middle of Terminal C, and I still have friends there who haven't retired yet who started at CAL-UA when I did and I run into when I transit it from the ticket counters to the gates to the shoe shine guys.

Image result for Houston Intercontinental Airport terminal CThat means from the moment I arrive in Terminal C,  I'll be running into former coworkers from the time I arrive at IAH until the time I return.

And if it's a Houston based flight crew on either leg to MCO and back, that means I'll also possibly be running into flight attendants or pilots I know either on the plane or in the halls as I'm heading to my departure gate.  It's also a good thing that people still think highly of you, even though I haven't worked a flight in that building since February 2001.

While that a good thing, the bad news is that IAH is on the opposite side of town from where I currently live.

But hey, I get to see some of my IAH peeps, fly on a 737-900 for the first time and if my United flight is on time, in a few hours I get to see my homies and homettes from the LGBT media world
posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 12:00am on 2017-03-23

Posted by Monica Roberts

Image result for Alphonza Watson
We have now lost eight trans women in 2017 to anti- trans violence.  Seven of them have been African American trans women.

The latest murder happened in Baltimore, MD  yesterday morning, and the person we will be saying her name is 38 year old Alphonza Watson.

Watson grew up in Washington DC, but moved to Baltimore 10-15 years ago.

She was found at 4:15 AM by police officers suffering from a gunshot wound to the stomach in the 2400 block of Guilford Ave ion the north side of Baltimore.  She was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital where she died from her wounds several hours later.

Baltimore Police media relations chief TJ Smith stated that witnesses reported an argument between Watson and two men took place before the gunshots happened.   Those witnesses reported that immediately after the gunshots two men were spotted running  and getting into a dark colored vehicle before speeding away from the scene.

Image result for black trans women's lives matter
Baltimore has been a particular deadly city for trans women.  Since 2005 there have been 14 murders involving trans women, with Crystal Edmonds being the last person killed.

Edmonds case is still open, but the others according to Baltimore PD have been closed.

I'm also refusing to use  the mugshot that has been plastered all over Baltimore media out of respect for the deceased.  If someone who knows her has a nicer photo of our deceased sister, please send it to me so I can then share it with the media,

If you have information that will bring her killers to justice, you are urged to call the Baltimore Police Department at 410-396-2100, text a tip at 443-902-4824 or call Metro Crime Stoppers at 866-7LOCKUP  (866-756 -2587).

Rest in power and peace, sis.   The community will not rest until the people who did this are caught and justice is served.
March 22nd, 2017

Posted by Monica Roberts

Feds reject school district's plan for transgender student, locker room
Normally school board races can be low key and non controversial in nature unless something happens during the campaign or a controversial candidate is involved.

There's a school board election happening on April 4 in District 211 in Palatine, IL near Chicago that is fitting that description..  District 211 has been at the epicenter for a trans human rights case involving a trans feminine student at Township High School that was allowed access to the locker room after the district was found in violation of Title IX
Image result for palatine high school district 211 illinois

The District, the Department of Education and the Department of Justice entered into a settlement agreement, then were sued by a group of transphobic parents and students backed by the right wing anti-trans group Alliance Defending Freedom, an SPLC-certified hate group..

Fast forward to the looming election.   Incumbent District 211 board members Anna Klimkowicz and Robert LeFevre voted for the settlement that was worked out with the DOE and DOJ.   D211 board candidate Edward Yung is a former member seeking to rejoin it that has expressed his support for transgender students.  

Image result for palatine high school district 211 illinois
They are being challenged by a trans hate slate of candidates calling themselves the 'Parents For Privacy' that are backed by the Alliance Defending Freedom, and they are dumping lots of cash and lies in this race in order to get majority control of the D211 board and rescind the settlement.

Klimkowicz , LeFevre and Yung have been endorsed by the Daily Heraldone of the area newspapers , Equality Illinois PAC , and a group of parents called Progress for D15 and D211'.

Trans United Fund, sensing the importance of this upcoming election, has not only endorsed the pro-trans incumbents, but has already spent over 80 hours organizing with the moms, who have limited resources compared to the professional hate group .

Those parents are concerned about the ADF meddling in their school board race, but don't quite have the funds they need to combat the money flowing in the Parents for Privacy camp.

Image result for palatine high school district 211 illinois
The rights of trans students are on the ballot in this April 4 school board race, and if you live in the area and support trans human rights, hope you're registered to vote, will participate in this election and prove that you support trans students by voting for Klimkowicz, LeFevre and Yung to sit on that D211 board.  
March 21st, 2017

Posted by Monica Roberts

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I got up at 3:30 AM CDT so I could board a bus headed to Austin to participate in the All In For Equality Lobby Day.  I was also tapped to be one of the speakers at the rally happening on the south Texas Capitol steps, and if you wish to hear my comments, they start around the 13;00 minute mark of the video

And here's the link to me, Sara Ramirez and other orators speaking truth to power outside the Texas State Capitol.

Posted by Monica Roberts

Image may contain: 4 people, people standing
In addition to some blogger y'all know making a little speech, engaging with our elected officials and their staffers under the Pink Dome yesterday, and talking to the various people in different organizations, one of the cool things about a lobby day is also having the opportunity to have those one on one conversations with attendees and the general public.

There are also those unexpected moments that happen that tug at your heart.

I have said and been cognizant of ever since I started taking these lobby day trips to Austin in 1999 that it wasn't about me, it was about the next generation of kids who were behind me and making it better for them.

It it happened that my work to pass laws and policies that expanded trans human rights benefitted me in the short term, that was all good as well

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In this one snapshot taken in the rotunda of our Texas state capitol building, there are three generations of Black trans women here.  I made my first lobby day trip before all of them were born, but we're here together on this March 20, 2017 day repping our community.

Every time I look at that picture, it not only makes me cry happy tears, but also puts a smile on my face.   To them, I am a respected trans elder who not only is passing down their history to them, I'm also role modeling what it will be possibly like to be a fab Black trans women when they hit my age.

I get to see these amazing Black trans women in their teens, twenties and thirties, and it reminds me of why I have been fighting since 1998 for visible Black trans representation in our movement, in the media and other spaces.

Because it matters.

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It matters to Texas Black trans kids like Zuri and their parents.  It matters to Mia and Jessica to see their fourth generation Texas trans elder confidently speaking to over 1000 people with cameras trained on her firing up a diverse crowd before they went to their various meeting with state legislators under the Pink Dome.

It matters that our Black community knows that #BlackTransPeopleExist, we are concerned Texans who are expressing ourselves to our legislators about the issues that matter to us, and we thought it was so important to do so we took a day out of our lives to make it happen

It matters for me to be hugged by Mia  and Jessica, and having a two hour intergenerational conversation on the bus ride back to Houston about the issues we deal with as Black trans women and our hopes, fears, insecurities and aspirations for the future,

It also was heartening to know that these young women also shared my concerns about the media images of Black trans women and were determined to role model being quality Black women who just happen to be transgender.

It mattered to be called Aunt Monica by Zuri.  While it brought on a momentary twinge of sadness with the thought crossing my mind that I don't have biological kids of my on and at this stage of my life, it's probably not gonna happen for me, the trans kids are basically my kids as well.

But Zuri's presence also reminded me that this Texas trans human rights fight is about ensuring that she has a Texas and a country she can grow up in that will allow her to become the amazing Black woman she is well on her way to becoming.

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Would I love to see more Black trans representation when we have these lobby days in the 2019 session?   Absolutely.  

That's one of the goals we need to make happen, and it become even more important in light of the fact some of the members of the Texas House and Senate share our ethnic heritage and history as Black Texans.

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There are some arguments I can make while lobbying in a Black legislator's office that frankly, a white trans person can't.  It's one of the many reasons why we need to start being hired and paid as lobbyists or to do work in equality orgs that profess to work for the entire community but are still overwhelmingly white in their employment and staffing rolls.

It's either do so or don't get mad and whine 'Why are you separating from us?" when we form our own organizations to do the work you refuse to do or hire us for.   That's why BTWI, BTMI and Black Trans Advocacy exist in the Lone Star State right now.

And our right wing opposition has no problem hiring Black sellouts to deploy and use against you

And speaking of that sustained Texas Black trans representation, much of the heavy lifting and elbow grease required to make it happen also is on us Black trans Texans.   If you want orgs that rep you, you have to support them not only with your sweat equity but with your dollars so they can do the work you say you want and need to have happen.  

Do I hope to see in my lifetime Black trans women standing in the Texas House or Senate as elected representatives, judges or accomplishing whatever their heart desires and their skills take them?.

Do I hope to one day see an end to cadres of Black ministers selling out our community and preaching anti-trans hate from their pulpits as white fundamentalists and conservative Republicans smile?

Do I hope to have my Black community say in one loud voice that Black Trans Lives matter and I see an end to the obscene levels of anti-trans violence aimed at us?

I sure do.

It's why building Texas Black trans representation is needed, necessary and needs to expeditiously happen.\

posted by [syndicated profile] revlyncox_feed at 01:07pm on 2017-03-21

A homily written for a multigenerational service about the Spring Equinox, March 19, 2017. Listen to this sermon on the UUCY website.

There are at least three ways I can think of to maintain balance. I can demonstrate the first one with a magic trick. I need a few volunteers. Pick a card. These are cards with ideas about kindness. Pick any card. Now hold your finger straight up in the air. Put your card on the tip of your finger and try to balance it. I have been practicing a little bit and I can’t do it every time, but I’m going to try to balance it now.

If I am able to succeed at balancing a card on the tip of my finger, my success has a lot to do with a secret ingredient: lip balm. Petroleum jelly can work, too. You put a little bit of something sticky, invisible, quiet, and easy to wipe off on your finger. The lip balm becomes a kind of glue. Our chalice stays balanced on its pedestal and never falls off because it has sticky stuff on the bottom of it. The secret to this kind of balance is being stuck.

Being stuck is a fine way to maintain balance if you are a mountain or a sculpture or a building. Sometimes there are things we need to keep safe, or to keep track of, and it’s better if we try to make sure the thing just doesn’t move. What works for things doesn’t always work for people. People fidget and wiggle. People grow. People like to explore. We might stick ourselves to a spot temporarily, such as with a seatbelt or a safety harness. After awhile, though, people need to move. Being stuck like glue is usually better for things that are not alive. Things that are alive need to be able to change.

I can demonstrate the second way of maintaining balance with the help of a friend. I would like a volunteer who is about as tall as I am and who is steady on their feet while standing. Come and stand next to me.

Stand next to me, we’ll both face the congregation. I’ll put my hand on your shoulder, you put your hand on my shoulder. I’m going to lift one foot off the ground. You can do the same if you want, or you can stand there on both feet. We’re going to keep each other balanced. I’m going to lift my foot off the ground. I can balance on one foot by myself, but the longer I try to stay balanced, the more likely I am to need help. At this stage in my life, I probably wouldn’t fall without a friend, but having a friend here helps me to be more confident and to try a kind of balancing that I wouldn’t try if I didn’t have someone I trust beside me. Let’s give our volunteer a hand.

The kind of balance I just demonstrated is balance in a group or a system. People and solar systems and ecosystems find balance through relationship. Stars and planets affect one another with their gravity as they stay balanced in their orbits, even as they move through space at high speeds. Habitats are balanced as things grow, are eaten, decompose, and nourish new life growing again. In the story, Demeter and Persephone found a solution for the balance of the world, springtime and harvest, death and rebirth, being a family of people near each other and being a family far away from each other. In a community, people find balance in their lives as we support one another, lifting one another up with hope in good times and bad times.

A third kind of balance is the kind where something is in motion all the time, but you might not be able to see it. I find that when I’m on a bicycle, it’s easier to stay balanced if I’m in motion. Maybe you have noticed that when you are on a balance beam, it helps to hold out your arms, which gives your body a clue about your center of gravity. You might move your arms a bit while you make corrections.

If I stand straight up in mountain pose, then lift up one leg and bring my foot to the inside of my other leg, I can maybe reach my hands up in the air like we did for steeple pose. This is tree pose. If I’m lucky, I can hold this for a little while. It may look like I’m standing still, but my muscles are making tiny little movements, little corrections to keep me balanced.

A long time ago (in 1904), a Universalist minister and professor named L. B. Fisher said, “Universalists are often asked to tell where they stand. The only true answer to give to this question is that we do not stand at all, we move.”

Universalists and Unitarians and Unitarian Universalists sometimes find balance by being in motion. We know we can’t ever be perfect, and the Spirit of Life doesn’t need us to be perfect, but we always want to try to move closer to making good choices and creating a world of justice and kindness. We find balance by trying to learn new things and make progress on important goals and–this part is important–talking to each other so that we can travel together and make room for everyone who wants to be part of the movement.  

In your life, I hope you are finding the kind of balance that lives and moves and gives and receives support among others. So be it. Blessed be. Amen.

March 20th, 2017
posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 12:00am on 2017-03-20

Posted by Monica Roberts

If it seems like I was just in Austin two weeks ago, yeah I was up along with trans people from across the Lone Star State and our allies giving Lois Kolkhorst hell for pushing the Texas Transgender Oppression Act.

I was there for the Trans Texas Lobby day, but missed the GLBT Caucus one last Monday because frankly, still hadn't adjusted to the time change and was still a bit tired from last week's lobby day plus the marathon State Senate Affairs committee hearing and needed to rest a bit.

Now that I've done so, I'm ready to head back up to the ATX and talk to our reps about stopping SB 6 and other bad anti-TBLGQ bills in addition to explaining why they should support some good bills that will help our community.

Will also take the opportunity to thank in person the Terrific Ten Democratic senators who stood tall for the human rights of transgender Texans.

Image result for texas capitol building
This one is the Equality Texas All In For Equality Lobby Day, and is also cosponsored by the Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT) , the ACLU of Texas and the Human Rights Campaign

There's over 900 people registered, and that makes it the largest EQTX lobby day ever.  Definitely beats the days when we would consider more than a dozen people showing up a great lobby event

We're scheduled to be there from 10-4 PM CDT, and proud to rep my hometown and my Black trans fam.

See y'all in a few hours..

March 17th, 2017

Posted by Monica Roberts

I love my home state, but hate is Republican controlled government that seems cant go one day without embarrassing the Lone Star State without some Grade A stupidity, idiocy or WTF level arrogance.

So since we had a bumper crop of Texas based idiots this week, it's time to do a TransGriot Shut Up Fool Awards with a Texas twang and barbecue some Lone Star fools.

Honorable mention number one goes to Sage Steele for opening her mouth and saying that racism would end if Black people stopped saying the n-word

Really fool?   Comments like that are why woke mixed race folks can't stand your behind and neither can those of us with TWO Black parents

Honorable mention number two to the Trump Administration for pick an outrage

Honorable mention number three is Oklahoma state Senator. TBLGQ oppressor and pervert Ralph Shortey. (R-Oklahoma City)

Lock him up!   lock him up!  Lock him up!

Honorable mention number four is a group award for the Texas Senate Republicans 

Honorable mention number five goes to Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr (DINO-Brownville) for being the lone Democrat to support SB 6.   Somebody in the Brownsville area please primary challenge his azz next year.

Honorable mention number six is Sen Joan Huffman (R-Lake Jackson) who got caught on a hot mic during the SB 6 Senate Affairs committee hearing calling Dr Colt Keo-Meier a 'pervert'.

Since you want to call people names.  Here we go.  You're  an ignorant bigot and a trans oppressor. .

This week's Shut Up Fool winner  goes to Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) for uttern that she was a feminist and continuing to assert her SB6 bill is not discriminatory against the Texas trans community.

Image result for sen lois kolkhorst
You can stop telling that lie because you had more than a few opportunities when amendments were offered to prove that SB 6 wasn't about discriminating and oppressing the trans community, and you turned down one amendment specifically exempting the trans community because you said 'it would 'gut the bill'

So naw Lois, you ain't fooling nobody.   And BTW, shut up fool! ...

Posted by Monica Roberts

Image result for Ralph Shortey
How deliciously apropos in the wake of the Texas senate passage of SB 6, the Texas Transgender Oppression Act which is laughingly claimed to be about 'protecting our children', that another conservative Republican legislator gets busted on child prostitution charges.

If the GOP was serious about protecting our children, they would ban Republican male legislators from the bathrooms.

This time it's north of the Red River in Oklahoma, and the GOP legislative perv that got busted for being in a hotel room with an underage by is Oklahoma state senator  Ralph Shortey (R-Oklahoma City) .

Shortey voted to advance a failed trans oppression (bathroom) bill out of committee last year that has stirred up anti-trans animus in the state,  and now he's been busted  for engaging in the predatory behavior against our youth he and his fellow Republicans repeatedly accuse transgender people of engaging in.

Image result for Ralph Shortey
Shortey was also Trump's Oklahoma campaign manager during the state's GOP primary.

The married Shortey was busted on March 9 in a Moore, OK Super 8 motel room with a 17 year old male juvenile with a history of soliciting himself online according to his parents and the Moore PD.  

When they arrived at the motel room there was according to the Moore PD a strong smell of marijuana and an open box of condoms in the juvenile's backpack.   Shortey claimed he was there 'just hanging out with a friend'  

Image result for Ralph Shortey
Communications records from the teen's Kindle Fire that was also in his backpack say otherwise.   KFOR-TV reported that when the teen told Sen. Shortey that he needed money for spring break, Shortey allegedly responded, "Would you be interested in sexual stuff?"

Shortey was arrested and charged with three felony counts of engaging in child prostitution, engaging in prostitution within 1000 feet of a church, and transporting a minor for prostitution  

The Oklahoma Senate in the wake of this serious unanimously voted to strip Shortey of his legislative privileges.  While he still gets to collects his monthly Senate paycheck and can still vote on legislation, he has been stripped of all committee assignments, barred from his office and stripped of his right to have an executive assistant.

Hopefully the voters of his senate district will strip him of his legislative seat in the next election cycle.

Freedom Oklahoma noted Shortey's support of the failed OK bathroom bill in their comment about his arrest to the Norman Transcript:

"We find it highly ironic that Senator Shortey voted to advance these bills out of committee and less than a year later, he was caught in what appears to be actual predatory behavior toward a vulnerable youth.  
There has never been a legitimate recorded incident in Oklahoma of a transgender person harming anyone in a restroom, yet there are numerous accounts of predatory behavior by anti LGBTQ legislators who have taken bigoted votes akin to the one Senator Shortey cast last year. "

And once again I and the trans community collectively ask, who are the perverts?   And FYI, Shortey wasn't in drag when he committed his crimes.

Will be keeping an eye on this case to see what happens.,
posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 12:00am on 2017-03-17

Posted by Monica Roberts

Image result for 2017 Final Four wiki
Unlike the NCAA men's tourney, I've had a lot better results (6-3) picking the champion in the NCAA women's tournament ranks.  Then again, when you're dealing with the sustained excellence of the UConn women (107 wins and counting) it's a huge upset and a major news story when they don't win a game or make it to the Final Four.

In 2008 I started doing a bracket for the NCAA women's tournament in honor of Women's History Month and frankly because I believed the lady collegiate ballers needed some love and March Madness attention on this blog as well.

These are my 20092010201120122013 , 2014 and 2015 TransGriot NCAA women's tournament brackets.here 

In 2016 I only got one of the Women's Final Four teams correct, but it was the eventual champion in UConn.  But in 2015 I correctly predicted the title game, and I've also correctly picked all four women's NCAA Final Four teams in 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2015.
Like I said, I do a better job on the NCAA women's tournament.

So now it's time to see who are going to be the last four teams standing when they get to American Airlines Center in Dallas on March 31 and who will be playing in the women's title game on April 2

Will UConn win their fifth straight title, 12th overall  and complete their seventh perfect season?     Or will somebody in this field pull off the upset for the ages?

We're about to find out starting in a few hours.

Bridgeport Regional
First Round .
Connecticut, Iowa State, Texas A&M, UCLA, West Virginia, Maryland, Temple, Duke

Second Round
Connecticut, Texas A&M, Maryland, Duke

Sweet 16
Connecticut, Maryland

Bridgeport Regional Champ
Connecticut

Oklahoma City Regional
First Round
Baylor, LSU, Tennessee, Louisville, Oklahoma, Washington, DePaul, Mississippi State

Second Round
Baylor, Louisville, Oklahoma, Mississippi State

Sweet 16
Baylor, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City Regional Champ
Baylor

Lexington Regional 
First Round
Notre Dame, Purdue, Ohio State, Kentucky, North Carolina State, Texas, Kansas State, Stanford

Second Round
Notre Dame, Kentucky, Texas, Stanford

Sweet 16
Notre  Dame, Stanford

Lexington Regional Champ
Stanford

Stockton Regional
First Round
South Carolina, Arizona State, Marquette, Miami (FL), Missouri, Florida State, Creighton, Oregon State

Second Round
South Carolina, Marquette, Missouri, Oregon State

Sweet 16
South Carolina, Missouri

Stockton Regional Champ
South Carolina

Final Four Connecticut  Baylor, Stanford,  South Carolina

Image result for UConn 2017 women's basketball team
Championship Game
Connecticut, South Carolina

2017 NCAA Women's Champion
Connecticut

March 16th, 2017

Posted by Monica Roberts

Image result for Sylvia Garcia in opposition to SB 6
For those of you who were wondering where were the Texas Senate Democrats in opposition to SB 6 and its 21-10 passage in the Texas Senate on Tuesday and Wednesday to sen it to the Texas House, they were live and in full effect in opposing this bill.  Unfortunately we hand one DINO in Sen.  Eddie Lucio, Jr who joined the Texas GOP trans oppressors

But elections matter, and the GOP has a 20-11 edge in the Texas Senate.   You don't like that, vote the GOP oppressors out starting in 2018.   That DINO Lucio needs to primary challenged.

Ten senators rose in opposition to the Texas Transgender Oppression Act that Houston GLBT Caucus president Fran Watson has dubbed 'The Terrific Ten'

Here are their words in opposition to the unjust bill.


Sen. Sylvia Garcia



Sen. Judith Zaffirini 



Sen. Jose Menendez 




Sen Chuy Hinojosa 



Sen John Whitmire 



Posted by Monica Roberts

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It's been a while since I've posted one of Diamond's videos, and this one definitely deserves to be signal boosted.

I've said what I've had to say about Chimamanda Adichie, and now Diamond Stylz weighs in on Adichie's problematic comments about trans women

posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 12:00am on 2017-03-16

Posted by Monica Roberts

Looking forward in one week to being on a flight to Orlando and joining my media colleagues from around the nation at the 8th annual LGBT Media Journalists Convening

The LGBT Media Journalists Convening is sponsored by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund and the Arcus Foundation of which I am a member..



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This year we'll be in Orlando at the Rosen Centre Hotel.   While we'll be in the middle of all the touristy things Orlando has to offer starting next Thursday, this is a business trip that is coming at an unprecedented time in our nation's history.  

It's a gathering of TBLGQ media people at a time in when journalism and the media in the US is under attack by the reprehensible regime of 45.   We're needed now more than ever to fulfill our historic role as the check and balance on the government and ensure that our citizens are informed about what their government is doing..

It is also coming at a time that for the trans media people in attendance, our very human rights and humanity are under attack by GOP controlled state and the federal government..

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The LGBT Media Journalists Convening will use an interactive approach to help attendees build their journalism skills, learn more about LGBTQ-centric topics beyond marriage equality and employment law and expand audiences through on-site media training with broadcast experts.
Next week I'll be tweeting the action along with my colleagues at the #LGBTMedia17 hashtag.  
And even better for moi, there's a 7 Eleven near the hotel, so Slurpees will be destroyed on this trip.

This is definitely going to be an interesting few days in Orlando, and looking forward to seeing all my media colleagues next week.
March 15th, 2017

Posted by Monica Roberts

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I warned a few days before the 2016 presidential election that the humanity and human rights of trans people were on the ballot.   Since he took office, Trump has made that warning prophetic along with Republican state parties around their country with their legislative attacks on trans people.

I've been asking where are the orgs in our community and why haven't they been standing up for us like we Black trans women have been for every one else's movements and causes.

GetEqual has called for a National Day of Action for today to celebrate the lives of Black trans women, since six of the seven women we have lost to anti- trans violence in 2017 are Black trans women ,

As part of this National Day of Action, several cities are hosting events as part of this day, and these are just a few of the announced events taking place today.

Hope those events will have people show up and show out for them, because we need that to happen

Posted by Monica Roberts


Despite the valiant efforts of the Terrific Ten Democratic senators who offered multiple amendments to give the GOP oppressors an opportunity to prove SB 6 wasn't anti- trans discrimination, it passed 21- 10 late Tuesday afternoon.

It also proved a point I've been making for several years now in that the most dangerous bigots are the ones who have legislative power.

There was one alleged Democrat, Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr  (DINO-Brownsville) who voted for the reprehensible bill.   Somebody in the Valley needs to primary challenge his transphobic azz in 2018.

Ironically his son, Rep. Eddie Lucio III opposes SB 6.

Thanks to Sen Sylvia Garcia, Sen Jose Rodriguez, Sen John Whitmire and other Democratic lawmakers opposed to SB 6 who offered numerous amendments to give the GOP a chance to prove that SB 6 wasn't anti-trans legislative oppression, and they led by Sen Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) swatted them down while disingenuously trying to make the laughable claim the bill wasn't discriminatory.  

SB 6 will now move on to the Texas House, where it faces a much tougher road to passage and one in which Speaker of the House Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) has already stated his opposition to the unjust Texas Transgender Oppression Act.

Transgender Texans, the Texas business community, convention planners in Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio and fair minded Texans across the state hope he isn't selling woof tickets about that, and he buries the bill in a House committee that won't let that affront to Texas values see the light of day again..

March 14th, 2017

Posted by Monica Roberts

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Later tonight at our brand new Hamburger Mary's location in the heart of the gayborhood the Transgender National Alliance will be hosting a fundraiser event there.

So what's the Transgender National Alliance?   It's a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization that seeks to employ and empower the transgender community by providing funding, outreach, education and support for the issues affecting our community and allies. Focusing on providing name and gender marker changes, we distributed more than $50,000 in 2016 providing surgical procedures and legal funding to more than 50 people.

TNA exists to support and give a voice to our trans community in addition to empowering them with name and gender marker changes.  

I was one of the most recent recipients of one of those gender marker changes last month, and it helped complete a nearly 20 year journey for me in terms of getting my documentation changed.

I would love to see a full house at this Hamburger Mary's TNA fundraiser tonight so that other trans people may also experience the joy of knowing that their documentation matches the person they know they are and present to the world.

The Hamburger Mary's Charity Drag Bingo night will also feature in addition to their wonderful dinner menu, games and performances by their showgirls with the proceeds to benefit the Trans National Alliance .

There will be $10 bingo cards and $5 raffle tickets available for purchase, and six prizes valued at more than $1000 will also be given away during the evening

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Also neat to know that international fashion model, founder of Gender Proud and trans advocate Geena Rocero will also be in the house tonight. along with some GLAAD award nominated blogger y'all know.   Thanks to TNA, after a 19 year journey, I now have my documentation in order thanks to a TNA New Year's Eve fundraiser that raised enough money to also cover my gender marker change.

And as someone who does a lot of air travel with a trip coming up next week, I'm ecstatic that this upcoming trip will be the first one I take in which I get to show a driver's license with corrected gender markers  

I want others in our community to know what that feels like, and I hope you'll join us from 6-10 PM   Hamburger Mary's is located at 2409 Grant #A.

Seating is limited, so call Hamburger Mary's at 713- 677-0674 for reservations.
posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 12:00pm on 2017-03-14

Posted by Monica Roberts

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It's that time again when the entire country goes gaga over NCAA college basketball and spends the next few weeks checking their brackets to see how accurately they pick what team eventually advances to win the NCAA championship.

I'm a huge college basketball fan, and like everyone else I also do a bracket.  Since 2007 I've been posting mine on the blog for everyone to see and pick apart

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In 2015 my March travel schedule was so jam packed I didn't  have time to make out a bracket and just made a pick that Duke alums are still reminding me I got wrong.  I also got wrong what team would be cutting down the nets in NRG Stadium last year when Villanova upset North Carolina

That dropped me to a 4-5 record over my blog's history of picking NCAA men's brackets.

Speaking of brackets, here's the previous NCAA men's brackets that I posted on the blog for 200820092010201120122013 and 2014   

It's 2017, and once again I'm going to attempt to pick what team will be cutting down the nets April 3 when the championship game is over at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Here's my picks

First Four
New Orleans, Wake Forest,  UC Davis, USC

East Regional
First Round
Villanova, Wisconsin, Virginia, Florida, SMU, Baylor, South Carolina, Duke

Second Round
Villanova, Virginia, SMU, Duke

Sweet 16
Villanova, Duke

East Region Champion
Duke

West Regional
First Round
Gonzaga, Northwestern, Notre Dame, West Virginia, Maryland, Florida Gulf Coast, VCU, Arizona

Second Round
Gonzaga, Notre Dame, Maryland, Arizona

Sweet 16
Gonzaga, Arizona

West Region Champion
Arizona

Midwest Regional
First Round
Kansas, Michigan State, Iowa State, Purdue, Creighton, Oregon, Michigan, Louisville

Second Round
Kansas, Iowa State, Oregon, Louisville

Sweet 16
Kansas, Louisville

Midwest Region Champion
Louisville

South Regional
First Round
North Carolina, Arkansas, Minnesota, Butler, Cincinnati, UCLA, Wichita State, Kentucky

Second Round
North Carolina, Butler, Cincinnati, Kentucky

Sweet 16
North Carolina. Kentucky

South Regional Champion
North Carolina

Final Four
Duke, Arizona, Louisville, North Carolina  

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Championship Game
Arizona, North Carolina

2017 NCAA Men's Champion
North Carolina   

Posted by Monica Roberts

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Once again we have a situation in which a cis woman has put her pumps in her mouth, spouted loud and wrong opinions about trans women in the media, and gotten mad and because she's being called out for uttering the loud and wrong disco era TERF flavored lies about trans women.

Well, not caring if you are mad Chimamanda Adichie.   You had the option of letting trans women speak for themselves, but instead you waded into a topic you know nothing about and are getting called out on the Net and by us for it.

Let's say this one more time so there is no mistaking it.   Trans women are women.

Now repeat that for the people in the back who didn't or the transphobic bigots who didn't want to hear it.

Image result for janice raymondPeople have spouted their loud and wrong opinions about trans women (and trans men) since the 70's with little pushback from us.  The most gleeful anti- trans cheerleaders have been the TERF's (trans exclusionary radical feminists), of which many of them were lesbians.  

Because of the way that transitions were done at that time, we were encouraged to hide and assimilate in plain sight.  That had the unintended effect of silencing our voices to push back against this onslaught of anti-trans rhetoric coming from Janice Raymond, Mary Daly, Germaine Greer and other predominately white second wave feminists.

Meanwhile, it was trans folks like Christine Jorgensen and other people fighting local battles through the 70's, 80's and 90's who were holding up the trans banner while fighting for their humanity and human rights.

But because we were hiding in plain sight, and y'all had a louder megaphone unless we were outed like Renee Richards, Tula and a too long list of trans women at that time were, our voices were effectively silenced.  
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Now we trans people are unapologetically out and proud of who we are, and we are going to speak our minds, tell our stories and defend our human rights and our humanity as we do so.  We're also going to call your cis behinds out when you disrespect or attempt to legislatively oppress us.

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Don't like it that trans people are standing up to defend our humanity and human rights? Too bad.  You can roll your eyes, suck your teeth and snake your necks all you wish about what I just wrote,

But the facts are, and I'm going to say this one more time, that trans women are women.

Image result for transwomenWe are beyond sick and tired of 40 years of predominately white cis women, TERF's and others having a mostly unobstructed run of facts free sliming of the trans community for your fun, profit and personal electoral gain.

We in Trans World really don't care if you or anyone else don't like it when the trans community calls bullshyt on cis people's unsolicited opinions about our lives, because those unsolicited opinions result in the deaths of non-white trans women .

And that's unacceptable to me, our trans men and other trans women. 

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If you want to learn about trans women and our lives, how about doing the simple thing of actually talking to a trans person, reading our books, inviting us to speak (and paying us fairly to do so) on college campuses and having us do the media interviews to talk about our lives. 

That is the only way to accurately learn what it is like to walk in our pumps and live our trans feminine lives.

Just as there is no universal experience for being a woman on this planet, neither is there a universal experience for being a trans woman.  


But the salient point I want you cis women to take away from this is that the existence of trans women is not up for debate, period.

We exist, and we're tired of you cis women and your allies trying to deny the obvious fact that we do.
March 13th, 2017
posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 12:00pm on 2017-03-13

Posted by Monica Roberts

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The Texas Legislature is in session, and those of us whose human rights are being targeted by our GOP majority are making sure they know we're watching what transpires in this legislative session.

At 6 AM CDT this morning the Houston GLBT Caucus along with their partner organizations United We Dream, the Transgender Foundation of America, Women and Allies,  the Iota Chapter of Delta Phi Upsilon, the TransAdvocate, the Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce, and the Montrose Center got on the bus and headed to Austin.

They are there as you read this to talk about SB 6 and other unjust laws that impact our diverse state and the city of Houston such as racial justice, immigration, economic equity and LGBTQ equality.

They plan to be at the capitol until 7 PM and then head back to Houston.

Best of luck while you're up there and hope that you get to talk to as many of our legislators and state senators as possible.
posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 12:00am on 2017-03-13

Posted by Monica Roberts

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Hate thoughts + Hate Speech = Hate violence/ Hate murders.  

There are some of you who don't believe this Equation of Oppression to be true, but those of us in marginalized communities know this all too well what happens when bigots and bullies feel empowered to be as hateful as the wanna be, especially when they believe that particular hate speech they espouse against a group has a governmental stamp of approval.

DC LGBT community center vandalized; worker assaulted
Was angered to hear that yesterday the Casa Ruby LGBT Community Center on Georgia Ave in northwest Washington DC was vandalized and the trans person on duty who was working at the time was assaulted/

And this isn't a hate crime Washington Metro PD?

This was a mere  two days after Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and Metro DC Police Chief Peter Newsham reported a 62% increase in hate crimes aimed at TBLGQ Washington residents in 2016 from 66 incidents to 107 in 2016.    Crimes in DC against the DC trans community according to Ruby Cordao have gone up 100%

This also happened two days after anti-trans comments from a feminist blew up on the Net.

I have had more than a few pleasant visit to Casa Ruby in the last few years, and it pisses me the hell off that an org that is doing much good in the District and is the largest employer of trans folks there is having to deal with this level of destructive ignorance.

DC LGBT community center vandalized; worker assaulted
Metro DC police are looking for this suspect, and hope the waste of DNA who is swiftly captured and brought to justice.

I will also pass on any additional news from Ruby if the center needs anything besides your donations to fix what was damaged.
 
March 12th, 2017
posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 07:00pm on 2017-03-12

Posted by Monica Roberts

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Another Thai winner.  

Jiratchaya  Sirimongkolnawin was crowned on March 10 as the newest Miss International Queen winner.  The runner ups in Miss International Queen 2017 were a pair of girls from South America. First runner up was Nathalie Oliveira of Brazil and the second runner up was Andrea Collazo of Venezuela.



While I ain't mad at those girls who won or were the first and second runners up, I've had a problem with Miss International Queen on a lot of levels since 2011.
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My dissatisfaction with this so-called most prestigious premiere international pageant for trans women has only increased since I wrote this post in the wake of the controversial end of the 2011 pageant calling for Miss International Queen to have an international judging panel.

I have serious questions about the impartiality of an all Thai panel with uncomfortable connections to the host Tiffany's venue, and also have serious concerns that those Thai judges have a cultural bias against dark skin girls.

If that's not the case, then why has there in the history of this MIQ pageant NEVER been a Black trans woman to win it, and only three who have even placed in the top three of the pageant since 2004?

Black trans girls across the African Diaspora don't even bother trying to enter the Miss International Queen pageant because of the perceived anti-Black bias.

It's also problematic when all four Thai winners of the Miss International Queen title also won the Thai only Miss Tiffany's Thai pageant that year, and the Tiffany's show bar in Pattaya is the host venue for Miss International Queen.

So nope, still going to be giving Miss International Queen the side eye until they decide to make the changes necessary that will take the pageant to the next level, make it a truly international event, and people who wish to compete in it don't feel like it's rigged in favor of a Thai or Asian trans girl.
posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 12:00pm on 2017-03-12

Posted by Monica Roberts

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Have some more good news to report in the Deenequia Dodds case

To refresh your memory banks, 22 year old Deenequia was our DC sister who was shot during a robbery on July 4 in NE DC and died nine days later in the hospital.

Three men, 26 year old Jalonte Little, 21 year old Monte Tyree Johnson and 21 year old Cyheme Hall have been arrested and charged in this case  with a robbery conspiracy and first degree felony murder while armed that was motivated by Dodds trans status.

These three reprehensible people are also being charged with four other robberies that occurred that day including the trio robbing another DC trans woman.

Little, Johnson and Hall are facing a potential 60 years in jail if convicted, and with the hate crime enhancement, if the judge in the case chooses to do so, bumps up the potential sentence to 90 years in prison.

Longtime DC trans activist Earline Budd praised the indictment in her comments to the Washington Post.

"It sends a message that it's not OK to go around and shoot, harm and kill transgender people," Budd said. "It sends a message that we are human like anyone else." 

Now they just need to enhance the message being sent by finding them guilty of their crime and sentencing them to the maximum sentence allowed 


I will be keeping track of this case as well and seeing if justice is served in Deenequia's case.
posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 03:00am on 2017-03-12

Posted by Monica Roberts

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If you're reading this post and don't live in Arizona, hope you have moved your clocks forward one hour because Daylight Savings Time started today.

If you don't, you'll be an hour early for many of your events and pissed off because you cost yourself an hour of sleep.

So move those clocks and watches if you have one forward an hour.

You'll get to move it back on November 5

March 11th, 2017

Posted by Monica Roberts

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Before you part your lips to say something this cluelessly ignorant about us ever again.

Some of my TransGriot readers have asked me what are my thoughts concerning the jacked up comments that Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has made in a British Channel 4 interview in which she made some negative comments about trans women,



After seeing the video, it pissed me off to the point I needed 24 hours to craft a response to it.

It's obvious in this series of WTF level contradictory statements that Adichie has neither talked to or spent any time talking to trans women, and especially Black trans women.  

If she had, she wouldn't be facing the firestorm of criticism she's getting now and me writing this post telling her to have several seats.

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Doesn't matter if trans women's parents attempted to raise them as males with the male privilege that comes attached with that.  The nanosecond we start taking hormones and our bodies morph to that female form, we lose whatever male privilege we have and get all the gender specific BS aimed at women on this planet.

There also crap that we get simply for being trans or seen as effeminate..

We in Trans Feminine World don't and never have denied the fact there are certain aspects of our lives that are intrinsically different from a cis woman.  But at the same time neither can you deny or dismiss the fact that there are also similarities in feminine life experiences with cis and trans women.

Neither can you deny unless you are being willfully ignorant and intellectually dishonest about it that trans women get sexually assaulted, murdered, discriminated against and disrespected simply for being and living as women on a plant hostile to femininity.

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The fact that we have increasing numbers of trans women who have experienced life on this planet as female from childhood makes her comment problematically clueless.  It also makes Adichie guilty of doing to trans women what she cautions people about in terms of making blanket statements based on a single narrative.

Chimamanda, it's not like I and other Black trans women haven't been telling our stories.  Like your fellow feminists, you refuse to hear it.  We're tired of the facts free sliming that comes from feminists and TERF's. We're also tired as Black trans women of the racism that comes with those facts free lies about us we've heard since the disco era.

It's also comments like these to borrow the words of my homegirl Bryanna Jenkins, that make Black trans women as reluctant to trust and embrace Black cis women as Black women are to trust white women.

But with a hostile Republican administration in place in Washington DC and various US states, if we want to solve the problems that impact all women, both cis and trans Black women are going to need to have those hard ongoing conversations in order to build the sisterhood we'll need to make that collective  action happen.

The base level of understanding we need from Black cis women to get this started is that Black trans women are women.  We can go from there.    

So sit your azz down Chimamanda and talk to a variety of Black trans women before you ever again part your lips to say something as problematic about us in a public setting ever again.
posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 10:30am on 2017-03-11

Posted by Monica Roberts

Image result for Texas drivers license black female
One of the necessary tasks that we embark on during a gender transition is changing our identity documents to make them match the person we are.    It is a costly and time consuming process to get the name, gender markers and other identity documents changed, and how fast it happens depends in large part on how much money you have in your wallet or purse to do so.

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When I started my transition in 1994, money wasn't a problem.   I was an airline employee making a nice living, so it was just a matter of getting the process started and if I incurred fees for doing so, reaching into my purse, pulling out my wallet and pulling out the cash to cover it.

But I also didn't think at the time I started the process it would take me nearly 20 years and living in two states to complete it.

I started with getting my Social Security card changed in 1998 since it is pretty much next to your drivers license a de facto national ID card. While the Social Security Administration won't change the SSN number for numerous reasons, they will change the gender marker and name on it.  

Since Clinton was president when I did so, it was a no drama situation.   During GW Bush's presidency, a problem arose with the SSA starting in 2002 to send 'No Match' letters that had the effect of outing trans people to their employers.

Image result for Texas voter registration card 2000
My next task was my Texas voter registration card.   I was determined to be voting in the upcoming 2000 presidential election as Moni, and I successfully completed that in October 2000 just a month before that election.  .Little did I know at the time that less than three months after I got that voter registration changed that I would be bounced from that airline job I'd been at for 14 years and was planning to retire from.

It was a seismic change to my life and my finances, and I now had to adjust to making half of the $40K a year I was making.   While I was upset about it at the time, the September 2001 move to Louisville produced an unexpected blessing that happened two weeks after I moved there.


Form KY AOC-295 Petition for Name Change

In Kentucky the name change process in Jefferson County where I now lived was a simple, one page administrative form in which I filled out the info, swore it was accurate and true, and when I was done signed it and paid my then $10 fee.  It was then mailed to me a few days later stamped and signed by the court.

However, while my name now was officially Monica, the only way the gender marker was getting changed under Kentucky law at the time was if I had a 'gender altering surgery'.  Because of my loss of the airline job and using the money I'd saved for surgery to pay bills in the six months I was unemployed in Texas prior to the move to Kentucky, SRS had now become a back burner luxury item

I knew I was going to need to change my birth certificate and file the name change I'd received in Kentucky back in Texas, but that also got put on the back burner as I spent time getting adjusted to my life in Da Ville and dealing with far less discretionary income in my bank account.

I moved back to Houston in May 2010 to help take care of my grandmother, but that still meant that my income was limited to deal with the paperwork issue.  I still had my Kentucky drivers license in my possession that wasn't expiring until June 2013 with correct name but wrong gender marker, but my Texas voter registration was correct.  

But two events in June 2013 would galvanize me to get serious about completing my documentation and infuse it with a sense of urgency.   The unjust ruling in the Shelby vs Holder SCOTUS case gutting Section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act meant that the unjust Texas voter suppression law could be enforced, and if I wanted to vote in the upcoming November Houston city elections, I now needed a Texas drivers license.  

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We also had a family reunion coming up in Denver in June, when my Kentucky license was scheduled to expire.  That process to simply renew my license in the time I'd been away from Texas had been made more difficult by our Texas GOP majority and it took me nine months to get my Texas drivers license.   I also spent a very nervous trip every time it was my turn to get behind the wheel on our 1700 mile drive to that reunion that took us across Texas through Dallas, Oklahoma, Kansas and eastern Colorado to get to Denver and back

Image result for Annise parker re elected as Houston mayor 2013
The urgency to have the Texas driver's license in my possession before the November Houston mayoral election did force me to get moving on filing my Kentucky name change in Austin.  I ended up as a result of that nine month Lone Star bureaucracy battle with a new Texas birth certificate and a TDL with correct name but incorrect gender markers.

But it was a driver's license I didn't receive until two months after the election in January 2014, which meant I was voter suppressed out of it..

Fast forward to the 2016 election, the next event that ratcheted up my concern for finishing the process I'd started in 1998.  Because I'm a frequent flier, I was also getting tired of showing my mismatched ID at TSA security and other locations and getting jacked up at times because of it.

But as a native Texan, I was going to need to go to court to change that gender marker, and in Harris County, many of our judges are Republicans who routinely deny name changes to trans people.   Thanks to the blue wave that swept many of those regressive Harris County GOP judges out of office and replaced them with diverse Democratic judges, I hope that reprehensible pattern changes.  

But it still costs money to make that name and gender marker process happen, and here's where another unexpected blessing happened that got me closer to completing that process.

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The Trans National Alliance held a New Year's Eve Great Gatsby themed fundraiser party at Nikki Araguz Loyd's home in which the TNA was raising money to do name changes for trans people who are on limited incomes.

They raised enough money at that fundraiser to fund two name changes, and I was shocked and surprised to find out moments after we counted down the start of 2017 that I would be one of the people receiving that name change assistance along with Dee Dee Watters.


Two weeks ago Nikki, Dee Dee and I rolled to Austin.  We made happen in the span of five hours getting Dee Dee's name and gender marker change process started, getting me fingerprinted at a nearby Passport Express location from the courthouse, the court order for the gender marker change, getting the request for my new corrected birth certificate submitted, and taking the photo for my new Texas drivers license with the only 'F' I've ever wanted at an Austin DPS office.

And before heading back to Houston, we celebrated the accomplishment while waiting for ATX rush hour traffic to die down with dinner.

Transgender National Alliance is having a dinner and drag bingo fundraiser on March 14 at Hamburger Mary's, so check it out, reserve a table and help TNA raise some money to make happen for other trans people with their identity documents what happened for me and Dee Dee.

Yesterday I received my new birth certificate and Texas driver's license in the mail.  I cried joyful tears when I pulled them out of their respective envelopes and saw my full name with the 'F' and 'female' in the gender marker box on both documents.

Image result for birth certificate houston texas
Have a trip coming up at the end of the month to Orlando for the LGBT Media Journalists convening, and can't wait to show my drivers license to airline employees, TSA security and hotel desk personnel without having a sense of dread or acute embarrassment happening when I reluctantly pull it out of my wallet.

Now it's just getting my passport so I can finally do some international travel and some other records, and the journey will be complete.   But the major mountain in terms of my identity documents has been climbed. .

It was a long journey to get to this point full of twists, turns, frustration and drama, but seeing and knowing that my documents finally line up with the person I know I am and the world sees me as is priceless.
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