Friday, November 17, 2017

Special PISD Board Meeting Today

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Today at noon the Pearland ISD is having a special board meeting. 

In the special board meeting announcement it says one of the issues being covered is 'to deliberate the duties of the Superintendent of Schools.'  Looks like they are probably going to be discussing the interesting revelations that surfaced last week concerning Pearland ISD superintendent John Kelly's son Patrick.

Patrick's now taken down Facebook page was a hot racist mess of white supremacist negativity aimed not only at various ethnic groups, but the transgender community as well.

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Dr. Kelly, while screeching about 'parental responsibility' on his PISD website blogs, has also made some homophobic and transphobic remarks, and was also in Austin back in March gleefully testifying in favor of an SB 6 bill that would oppress many of his students in the rapidly diversifying city and school district.

While Dr. Kelly has been loud and proud about demonizing Kai Shappley and the TBLGQ community, he's been cricket chirping silent about the allegations concerning his own white supremacist son as PISD parents increasingly want to know what is going on with the man tasked to oversee the district in which their children are being educated.

Pearland Independent School District
So it's going to be interesting to see what transpires at the end of this special school board meeting and if some statement comes out of 1928 N. Main St.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Memorial Hermann Has A Medical Transphobia Problem

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Went to visit my friend Samantha yesterday who was taken to Memorial Hermann in the Texas Medical Center after having several grand mal seizures on Tuesday morning.

And I was not happy to find out when I arrived late Wednesday morning that what she has experience runs counter to what Memorial Hermann posts

Image result for medical transphobiaOne of the fears we have in Trans World is when we must access the medical establishment while trans is being mistreated

We trans peeps have to access the medical world for things besides transition related health care for things such as flu shots, general healthcare exams, mammograms and pap smears   Some of us have had to access emergency health care as well for broken bones or other issues.

Some of us have experienced everything from being repeatedly misgendered by hospital personnel to being hit with outright refusals of doctors and other medical personnel to treat us based on their faux faith based prejudices. 

Medical transphobia can have deadly consequences for us as we transpeeps and our allies are all acutely aware of and has been documented in the 2015 US Transgender Survey.

23% of the respondents in the USTS survey have declined to see a doctor or seek medical treatment because of the fear of being mistreated as a transgender person.

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When Samantha recounted to me what had transpired since she was admitted to Memorial Hermann, combined with the misgendering I personally witnessed,  pissed me off.  It also pissed off Kandice Webber, Mo Cortez, Ana Andrea Molina and a long list of people in the Houston advocacy community.

The fact this is happening during Trans Awareness Week in what is considered one of the best medical centers in the United States adds another level of pissivity to what is going on .

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Samantha has been repeatedly misgendered by doctors, nurses, and the staff.  The Patient Advocate, after being requested by Samantha Tuesday, wasn't grasping the gravity of the situation and didn't see her until Kandice, who when not doing activism is a supervisory nurse, put them on blast about their piss poor care of her. 

The question that is running through all of our minds as we battle for Sam to have the respectful trans competent healthcare she deserves is  how man other Houston area trans people have suffered through the same crap?

To borrow Kandice's words to the Patient Advocate and other as we witness continues screwup in relation to Samantha's care, "Don't apologize for your mistakes, do better!"

But it is blatantly obvious to me and everyone else who has visited Samantha that Memorial Hermann in the Texas Med Center has a serious case of virulent transphobia, and it's a problem that needs to be rectified immediately. 

TransGriot 2017 NFL Picks- Week 11

Been a crazy week in which I've been focused on stuff more important than the NFL right now.  But since this prognostication contest is part of my self care regimen and I do want to threepeat, that's why you see this post every Thursday. 

And yeah, still pissed at the owner of my local NFL franchise.

In a much better mood after Week 10's games went down.   I built my lead back in the 2017 prognostication up to five games after going 11-3  to end Mr. Watts's winning streak as he stumbled to a .500 week.

I'm ready to get to this week's NFL games.  This week features another international game, but this time in Mexico City instead of in Great Britain, a a clash between the New England Cheatriots Patriots and the Oakland Raiders.

Can I keep the positive momentum going toward the threepeat?    We're about to find out

Another 14 games with the Colts, 49ers, Jets and Panthers on their bye week.   My picks in bold print with the HOME team in caps.   Mike's Week 11 picks are here.

Week 10 Results                                                                2017 NFL Season 
TransGriot  11-3                                                                 TransGriot  93-53
Mike             7-7                                                                 Mike           88-56

Thursday Night Game 
STEELERS over Titans

Sunday Early Games
Cardinals over TEXANS
Jaguars over BROWNS
Buccaneers over DOLPHINS
PACKERS over Ravens
Lions over BEARS
Rams over VIKINGS
Chiefs over GIANTS
SAINTS over Washington

Sunday Afternoon Games
Bills over CHARGERS
Bengals over BRONCOS
Patriots over RAIDERS (Mexico City)

Sunday Night Game
Eagles over COWBOYS

Monday Night Game
Falcons over SEAHAWKS

2017 TDOR at the PODCC

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One of the things that has bothered me at times is that when we have TDOR events, the lists of the people who we memorialize are predominately Black and Latina, but the people speaking at and taking part in the memorial services have been predominately white.

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I shared that disconnect in a conversation with Dee Dee Watters not long after I met her in 2010, and it was one of the things that prompted her to organize a Black trans person centered TDOR event that for the last several years has been hosted by her radically inclusive church Progressive Open Door Christian Center. (PODCC) on the TSU campus.

I have had at this TDOR event the honor of being a keynote speaker, a name reader and for the last two years, as the community historian, talking about why the TDOR exists.

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Last night at PODCC the 2017 edition of the TDOR Dee Dee organizes was held.   In addition to yours truly breaking down the history behind the event, BLMHOU members Kandice Webber and Brandon Mack were there reading the list of names as event attendees lit candles in memory of the people we lost in 2017 to anti-trans violence .   

One of the moments at this TDOR that also drove home the point of how serious a problem anti-trans violence is was when Mia Lopez came from the audience and discussed an attack that happened to her on Halloween night in the Montrose area, the same night that Candace Towns was killed.

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PODCC Pastor Marvella Walker was also in the house to offer prayers, and Dee Dee did another one of her powerful dramatic pieces before the event concluded with the a capella singing of the Stevie Wonder classic song 'Love's In Need Of Love Today'

One of the things I would love to see for next year's PODCC TDOR is more public officials from our community in attendance for this. 

It would be nice to know that you stand for your trans constituents as well, especially in light of the fact that the names we read every year are overwhelmingly trans people of color.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Wesley Muhammad Houston Hate Event Is Canceled!

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Received the wonderful news a few moments ago that the hate lecture by Wesley Muhammad will NOT be held at the S.H.A.P.E. Center!

Told y'all we were NOT going to allow this hate monger to desecrate the 713 and the S.H/A/P/E Center with anti-science, anti-TBLGQ, anti- intellectual claptrap and ask people to cough up $25-$50 for the miseducation.

The infuriating part about this whole Muhammad deal was having to expend energy shutting this anti-intellectual crap down in the first place when we have more important issues cropping up like the PISD superintendent's white supremacist son and the medical transphobia at Memorial Hermann.

And yeah, in case some of y'all forgot or were unaware of, this is Transgender Awareness Week leading up to the November 20 Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR).

Thanks to everyone who played a role in making this hate 'lecture' die.

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Guess Wesley will have to find another venue for this steaming pile of caca.  And if he does find one at this late date,, we'll be waiting and ready to protest outside of it.

Go home Wesley!  I hope we have sent the message that your facts free ignorance is not welcome in H-town.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Australia Votes YES For Marriage Equality

Congrats to our Australian TBLGQ!  After a two month mail ballot campaign that got nasty at times, the Australian Bureau of Statistics announced that 61% of the population voted YES in favor of marriage equality, with 38% against.

More than 12.7 million people, or 79.5% of the Australian voting age population took part in the marriage survey that opened on September 12 and ran until November 7.   .Every Australian state and territory voted in favor of marriage equality

The vote clears the way for the next stage of the fight to take place in the Australian Parliament,

People in the crowd celebrate as the result is announced in Melbourne on November 15.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull wants it to become law by Christmas, but the conservatives gearing  up for a last ditch battle to keep the will of the people concerning Marriage equality from being enacted into law.

Stay turned, because this is about to get very interesting Down Under.

Not Happy With SHAPE (And Some Peeps) Right Now

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I spent a long frustrating day waiting for a meeting to happen that finally took place at the S.H.A.P.E Community Center Almeda location at 7 PM with myself, and Ashton Wood and Kandice Webber of BLMHOU in attendance.

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The hate event is still happening at SHAPE Center as I write this, and if it does, will definitely be getting protested.

But the thing I'm most angry about is the seemingly cavalier dismissal of just how problematically bad Wesley Muhammad and his ignorant hate message is and the concern in Houston Black trans, bi and SGL World about it.

You can put a disclaimer on the website and posters that Muhammad's view don't represent SHAPE Center's values.  But by letting him rent your property for the event, you tacitly endorsed those hateful views.

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We see Muhammad's hate event it as an attack upon us.  I'm also pissed off about the timing of it, falling right during Trans Awareness Week just before our local TDOR memorial events. 

And yeah Nation of Islam, where you at?

The Houston Black TBLGQ community and our allies are royally pissed about this.  The animus between the Black community and Black TBLGQ community building since the 2014 HERO passage and subsequent repeal led by the Harris County GOP in concert with sellout Black ministers is a factor.

So what is going to need to happen is a 'come to Jesus' meeting or series of meetings between the Houston Black TBLGQ community and the Houston Black community at large once Wesley's NOI flavored hate carnival leaves town.

How, where, and who shows up at that come to Jesus meeting is still being determined, but one thing I can definitively state is that it's long overdue.

2017 Remembering Our Dead

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The 22 people we've lost in 2017 to anti-trans violence and hate, and I pray we don't lose anyone else between now and the rest of the year.

In the US in 2017 we have lost 17 African-American trans people (16 trans feminine, 1 trans masculine), 2 Latinas, 1 Native American, 2 white trans people .

 And it's worse on the rest of the planet.    #StopKillingUs  #TransLivesMatter   

What would all of these people have accomplished for our community and society at large if they hadn't been violently taken away from us? 

***


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Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow, 28, Sioux Falls, SD

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Mesha Caldwell, 41, Canton, MS

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Jojo Striker, 23  Toledo, OH
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Jaquarrius Holland, 18   Monroe, LA
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Keke Collier
, 24, Chicago, IL

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Chyna Gibson, 31, New Orleans, LA

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Ciara McElveen, 26, New Orleans, LA
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Alphonza Watson, 38, Baltimore, MD
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Chay Reed, 28, Miami, FL
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Brenda Bostick, 59, New York, NY

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Sherrell Faulkner
, 46, Charlotte, NC

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Kenne McFadden
, 27, San Antonio, TX

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Josie Berrios, 28, Ithaca, NY
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Ava Le'Ray Barrin, 17, Athens, GA

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Ebony Morgan, 28, Lynchburg, VA

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Tee Tee Dangerfield,
32, College Park, GA 

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Gwynnevere River Song,
26, Waxahachie, TX

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Kashmire Redd,
28, Gates, NY

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Derricka Banner, 
28, Charlotte,  NC

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Ally Steinfeld, 17  Cabool, MO


  
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Stephanie  Montez, 47,  Robstown, TX

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Candace Towns, 30  Macon, GA

Monday, November 13, 2017

Minnesota Republican State Legislator Unleashes Anti-Trans Tweet

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Not everyone in the Land of 10,000 Lakes thought that Andrea Jenkins and Phillipe Cunningham's historic Minneapolis City Council seat wins were something wonderful to celebrate. 

Minnesota state Rep.Mary Franson (R-Alexandria) did what Republicans do and deployed the anti-trans hatred when asked about it.

mary franson tweet Republican Rep. Franson Criticized For Anti Transgender Tweet
On Wednesday she unleashed this transphobic Tweet from her now deactivated account.

The Minnesota LGBTQ Legislative Caucus quickly fired back in a letter to their transphobic colleague

***
It is a shame to read on social media a statement by a public official that perpetuates a false and pejorative stereotype about transgender people.

We encourage our colleague, Representative Mary Franson, to get the facts and to get to know transgender people herself. She will quickly learn that, as the American Psychological Association says, being transgender is not a mental illness. Problems arise for transgender people from lack of support and acceptance that creates the path for discrimination, and all too often assault, that almost all transgender people experience at one time or another. When leaders who hold positions of respect casually trade in negative comments about transgender people, some interpret that as an invitation to treat their fellow Minnesotans poorly.

Our job as state legislators and policy makers is to ensure that there is as much opportunity as possible in Minnesota so that all people can pursue their dreams and aspirations. Putting barriers in place for anyone, doing active harm to our own neighbors, is antithetical to our country’s core values – a place where everyone is free and everyone is equal. We all are better off when people are able to contribute the best of themselves in every Minnesota community.

We celebrate that two transgender people, Phillipe Cunningham and Andrea Jenkins, both with deep and broad experience, have stepped up to public service and won election to the Minneapolis City Council. In Virginia, we are delighted to welcome the first transgender member of a state legislature elected as an out transgender person, Danica Roem. We know that they all will serve their constituents with distinction and hard work.

#

Minnesota DFL Chair Ken Martin also called Franson out:

Minnesota made history Tuesday night. Voters elected the first two openly transgender African-American candidates to City Council in the nation. Republican Representative Franson’s hurtful remarks attempt to cheapen this historic victory and take the wind out of the sails of equality. We won’t let that happen,”
“In the face of divisive rhetoric at the national level, Minnesotans are doubling down in our efforts to ensure the diversity of our government reflects the diversity of our people. We are immensely proud of Andrea Jenkins and Phillipe Cunningham. We know they will work tirelessly to serve the people they represent equally and without prejudice, unlike Representative Franson.”

***

Haters gotta hate.   Franson, sensing a backlash developing around her tweets, issued a non apology for it later.

Image result for phillipe cunningham and andrea jenkinsWouldn't be the first time a Republican hated on a trans woman for their own political gain, and probably won't be the last until they start losing their legislative seats with more frequency like Bigot Bob Marshall did in Virginia.

Councilmembers-elect Andrea Jenkins and  Phillipe Cunningham getting elected is a big deal to me, their constituents in Wards 4 and 8,  the DFL Party, to every Black trans person in the nation and everyone else inspired by their #BlackTransExcellence.

MAJOR! Screening and Panel Discussion November 20

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I had the pleasure of meeting the legendary Miss Major Griffin-Gracy back in 2012 when I was the keynote speaker for the TransSaints conference in Charlotte

In addition to getting to know our trans elder and hear her tell me her stories about being a trans human rights warrior in a much more regressive time period, I've had the pleasure of seeing her at other events over the last few years including BTAC.

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And I get the pleasure of having her call to check in on me from time to time as a bonus.   Even better, she's not too far away in the Little Rock, AR area..

While I've seen the film, I'm still pleased and proud to be in the house for the Houston premiere of MAJOR! at the University of Houston. from 6-9 PM CST.

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The screening is sponsored by Transform Houston, and will take place in the Agnes Arnold Auditorium 2.   It will be followed by a panel discussion that includes Jessica Zyrie, Fran Watson and some blogger y'all know. 

Address is 3553 Cullen Blvd and hope to see y'all in the house for the film and the discussion afterward.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

ACA 2018 Enrollment Off To Strong Start

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Despite the efforts of the Trump Administration to sabotage the Affordable Care Act by shortening the enrollment period from November 1-December 15, cutting the advertising budget  90% and cutting funding for the Navigator program from $62.4 million to 36.8 million, ACA enrollment during the first four days has soared.

According the federal and state officials, over 600,000 signed up for ACA coverage from November 1-4, far outpacing last year's signup rate.  200,000 people signed up on November 1, the first day open enrollment started. 

1 million people have visited the official federal government website HealthCare.gov, and that was a 33% increase in traffic on the site compared to 2016.

The 2017 ACA enrollment in November and December 2016 spiked upward in large part because Trump unexpectedly won the presidency and fears about the future of the landmark healthcare legislation signed into law by President Obama in 2010.

Nearly a quarter of the people signing up for 2018 ACA overage were first time enrollees, while the rest were renewing their coverage. 

While that is wonderful news to the people and organizations who support the Affordable Care Act and  who are working diligently to ensure that every American has affordable health coverage, that news is probably not sitting well with an administration that is trying to kill the ACA.   

We will also have to wait and see if the early rush of people to sign up for 2018 ACA plans actually translates to people being enrolled for 2018.   You are not considered enrolled until the first month's premium is paid after you select a plan.

Speaking of enrollment, the clock is inexorably ticking toward that December 15 deadline to sign up for 2018 ACA coverage.   There are organizations standing by to help you find a plan that fits you budget and gives you the coverage that you need, but you do need to make that happen as soon as possible.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Happy Veterans Day 2017 Trans Vets!

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I have much love and respect for our trans vets as people who have not only served in our military, once they left the service, they took those leadership lessons they learned in the military to help build our community and advance our human rights .

So on this 2017 edition of Veterans Day, which is occurring at a time the Chump Trump Administration wants to keep trans people from serving in the biggest baddest military on our planet,  I want to say thank you to all the 15,500 trans siblings currently on active duty across the planet, and those who spent time in the various branches of the service doing their part to serve our country.



While others revile you, I am inspired by you.   I am deeply appreciative of the fact that because of you, I have the freedoms I do to not only live my unapologetically out and proud trans life, I get to call people out on a regular basis up to and including the POTUS and not be jailed for it (yet).

You know as I do that when a socially reviled group gains acceptance in military circles, the advancement of their human rights in American society swiftly follows.  It's why I stand with you in opposing Trump's military ban and the conservafools are desperately trying to enact it.

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Some of you are blazing trails within our military and reaching new leadership heights within the various service branches.   Others of you are doing the educating and advocacy work inside the military about what we trans folks can do while serving our country. 

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Thank you also for taking the time to be leaders in our community.  Some of you blazed trails while doing so.  You created our pride flag.  You helped organize conferences that set the parameters on how we talk about and advocate for our issues and organized lobby days.   You founded organizations that pushed the trans human rights agenda forward.  Others of you through bold actions took down unjust anti-0trans laws and policies.

And many of you trans vets continue to do so today. 
 
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Happy Veterans Day!   Thank you for your service to our country and our community.  You are #TransExcellence personified