Transphobia At The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

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Love my sis Daroneshia Duncan, who as the founding executive director of the Birmingham based TAKE Resource Center,  has been doing some wonderful things getting the Birmingham and Alabama trans community the services they need and organizing them to own their power.

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This weekend they hosted in Birmingham their first ever Alabama Trans Persons of Color caucus, and after the two days of empowering seminars and events, they took the attendees to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute on Sunday for a tour. 

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Unfortunately Duncan posted an account of the visit on her Facebook page in which she stated that several of the attendees were constantly misgendered and harassed throughout their tour of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, and a male employee took pics of them on his personal camera without their consent. 

When he was asked why, he tried to use his alleged status as a godchild of the late civil rights warrior Rosa Parks as a human shield for his problematic behavior.

Sinseriti Starr asked to see a BRCI manager to express her dissatisfaction with how their group was treated, and she and the TAKE group was approached by an all cis male security staff, disrespectfully told no manager was on duty and to immediately leave the Birmingham Civil  Rights Institute building.

And nope, Moni ain't happy hearing about that.

One thing they are going to learn at BCRI is to not piss off and disrespect my Magic City family

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It seems as though the BCRI has embedded transphobia they need to address with their staff.   When Duncan posted about their less than pleasant experience at the BCRI, another person responded that the same thing happend to a youth group she was chaperoning .

One thing they need to learn is that Black trans people are Black people.   We didn't forfeit our Black Cards or Blackness when we transitioned, and that Civil Rights Movement history is history we are immensely proud of.

We are also perusing that history in order to replicate the success of the African American Civil Rights movement into the trans rights one.

Another lesson they will get taught and hopefully learn is that you will treat Black trans people with the same dignity and respect you would demand for yourself,

And you will learn that lesson starting today.

New 'Black Panther' Movie Trailer

I already have February 16 circled on my calendar.

So what's transpiring on that day?   In addition to it being in the middle of Black History month, it's the day the long awaited and highly anticipated Black Panther movie hit your local multiplex. 

The new trailer has just been released with a nod to Gil Scott Heron's classic song'The Revolution Will Not Be Televised' playing in the background.

But don't take my word on how awesome this movie trailer and the movie is going to be, see for yourselves.


Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Happens To Trans People, Too

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I've been checking out the messages across social media in the #MeToo campaign in which people have been talking about their experiences with sexual assault and sexual harassment.

This campaign has revealed just how huge the problem is in the United States.  It shouldn't be a surprise when you have someone who admitted they did so on tape and he still becomes president.

Because as a media person I know there are times I need to keep stuff quiet until it's ready to be released, and my elder status in this community, I have had people come to me and tell me some of their most intimate secrets.

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Some of those intimate secrets have been sexual assaults and sexual harassment related . And yes, some of the people telling me about those incidents have been trans masculine and trans feminine people

So for those of you who believed Dan Patrick's and Lois Kolkhorst' lies in this recently concluded Texas legislative session, news flash for you, trans people are far more likely to be the people preyed upon.   Of the 1,490 Texas trans folks who responded to the 2015 US Trans Survey, 1% of them reported being sexually assaulted or physically attacked while in a restroom.

In other revealing information points from the 2015 US Trans Survey, nearly half of the respondents to it (47%) reported being sexually assaulted at some point in their lifetime, and (10%) reported they had been sexually assaulted in the previous year (2014) .

Image result for Trans people sexual assaultThe trans respondents who have done sex work (72%) who were experiencing homelessness (65%) or who had disabilities (61%) were more likely to have experienced sexual assaults in their lifetime.

That's before I start talking about the far too numerous stories about my trans family who were sexually harassed or assaulted by law enforcement personnel, or while they were incarcerated in prisons or ICE facilities by guards and other inmates.

Image Channel 4 - Channel 4 Crocodile Dundee Trans Sexual assault for laughs yes, can't forget the Crocodile Dundee movie in which a trans woman was sexually assaulted when her crotch was grabbed in a NYC bar by Dundee and that scene was played for laughs.

Sexual assault isn't a joke, and I'm not laughing about it.   Because scenes like that can escalate quickly into anti-trans hate violence,  and murders

It is a serious issue that happens to far too many of our people, and even happened to yours truly on a METRO bus.

So yes, sexual assault and sexual assault happens to  trans people, too

Hertha Berlin Takes A Knee In Germany

Players of Berlin kneel down prior to the German Bundesliga soccer match between Hertha BSC Berlin and FC Schalke 04 in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. Hertha Berlin nodded to social struggles in the United States by kneeling before its Bun
The NFL players taking a knee just got additional support from their fellow athletes across The Pond who play the other football.

The German soccer club Hertha Berlin took a knee yesterday before their Bundesliga match with Schalke which unfortunately for them was a 2-0 loss   The Hertha Berlin starters linked arms and took a knee on the pitch while their coach Pal Dardai, General Manager Michael Preetz and the rest of the Hertha team kneeled on the sidelines before kickoff in solidarity with NFL players.

"We wanted to take a stand against racism," said Hertha captain Per Skjelbred in an interview after their 2-0 loss

The symbolism of this 'take a knee' protest was magnified because Hertha Berlin plays its home games in the renovated Olympiastadion, which was built for the 1936 Olympic Games by Nazi Germany.

Germany in recent years post reunification has also had their problems with racism rearing its ugly head there as the country becomes more diverse.

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The Olympiastadion stadium announcer said to the more that 50,000 fans in attendance, "Hertha Berlin stands for diversity and against violence.  For this reason we are joining the protest by American athletes and setting a sign against discrimination."

Hertha Berlin also said in a statement on the team's Twitter account "Hertha BSC stands for tolerance and responsibility!  For a tolerant Berlin and an open minded world now and forever."

Hertha Berlin's players were unanimous in their support for yesterday's action and admitted they were inspired to do so by the NFL protests. 'We stand against racists and that's our way of sharing that  We are always going to fight against this kind of behavior as a team and as a city," said Hertha Berlin forward Salomon Kalou.

This is just another undeniable sign that the NFL players are on the right side of history.  The rest of the world is watching the unjust things you do, and are commenting on it.

And in some cases, thy are doing so by taking a knee.

LZ Granderson's TEDx 'Gay Agenda' Talk

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I had the pleasure of meeting and having some insightful conversations with CNN and ESPN journalist LZ Granderson during the 2012 edition of NBJC's OUT on the Hill, and have mad love and respect for him.

This TED talk that he conducted May 2012 during TEDxGrandRapids is mocking the right wing talking point of "The Gay Agenda', and needs to be seen again.

So here is his TedX talk that was held in Grand Rapids, MI entitled 'The Myth of the Gay Agenda'

TransGriot 2017 NFL Picks-Week 6

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Week 5 was very very good for me, and horrible for my fave NFL ballers. 

The Texans defense lost JJ Watt and Whitney Mercilus to season ending injuries, and trailed the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs at halftime in this primetime NFL game 23-7 before making a game of it in the second half. and falling 42-35.

As for moi, I picked up two more games on Mr Watts in our season long NFL prognostication contest by going 9-5 to his break even 7-7 week.

That expanded my lead on him to 4 games in my quest to threepeat as NFL prognostication champion.   

It's time to keep the positive momentum going in Week 6.  Four more teams, the Bengals, Bills, Cowboys and Seahawks get to chill this Sunday and watch everyone else play during their bye week , so Mike and I only have 14 games to pick. Speaking of picks  Mike's picks are here.   

Team I'm selecting to win is in bold print with the home team in CAPS.

Week 5 Results                                                                          2017 NFL Season Standings
TransGriot   9-5                                                                          TransGriot     50-27
Mike            7-7                                                                          Mike              46-31

Thursday Night Game
PANTHERS over Eagles

Sunday Early Games 
TEXANS over Browns
RAVENS  over Bears
Packers over VIKINGS
Lions over SAINTS
FALCONS over Dolphins
Patriots over JETS
49ers over WASHINGTON

Sunday Afternoon Games
Buccaneers over CARDINALS
JAGUARS over Rams
CHIEFS over Steelers
RAIDERS over Chargers

Sunday Night Game

BRONCOS over Giants

Monday Night Game
TITANS over Colts

National Coming Out Day 2017

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Happy National Coming Out Day everyone.

Today's 2017 edition of National Coming Out Day is a bittersweet one because of the incompetent jerk in the White House.   The incompetent jerk has unfortunately surrounded himself with even more incompetent people who are hostile to my existence as an unapologetic Black trans person

Because that incompetent, unqualified  jerk got elected, we went from having an attorney general in Loretta Lynch who had our trans backs to one in Jeff Sessions  who wants to put a knife in those backs before shoving us back into the closet.

Nope, going to fight him, 45, the faith based haters, the TERF's and his reprehensible crew every step of the way.  I will outlast this latest round of GOP tyranny. 

And news flash for my Texas trans hatemongers Dan Patrick and Lois Kolkhorst, I'm not going back in the closet or using a men's bathroom.

You may be asking yourself  why come out during a time like this?  It's the same reason Sylvia and Marsha did so.  It's the same reason that Christine Jorgensen transitioned.  It's the same reason why other trans masculine and trans feminine people throughout our history have done so. 

It's the same reason why my people have fought for liberation against the anti-Blackness that has plagued us for over four centuries.

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Because in order to live your best life, you must come out to start the process of becoming your true self, living your best life and being unapologetic about it.

If you want that quality life, you have to fight for it.   Being trans (or bi, lesbian, gay...) is a revolutionary act.   It is also one that not only will free you to live your best life, but is one that will help you own your power as my NBJC sister in the struggle Sharon Lettman-Hicks loves to say.

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Us being unapologetic about who we are scares our loud and wrong opponents.  We are unapologetically walking in our truth that we are undeniably part of the diverse mosaic of human life on this planet,  while our opposition is hiding from theirs that they are angry human rights oppressors.

They also resent the fact that we are comfortable in our skins or are well along the path of becoming that way and want to throw obstacles in our way to make us as miserable as they are.

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This is a journey that is not for the faint hearted or one to undertake if you aren't 100% certain you are ready to walk down this path.   Because to borrow a line from Star Wars, once you start down it, forever will it consume your destiny.   You need to be absolutely certain you are one of the letters in the TBLGQ  community before you take those first concrete actions to come out.  . 

And if you are, come out on your timetable.  Just because this is National Coming Out Day doesn't mean you need to do so today.

As for me, I was one of those people who didn't come out on National Coming Out Day.  It took me a while to get to the April 1994 point in my life that I finally did so, and haven't regretted it.  If I have regrets, it's basically not being able to start the process sooner as so many of our trans kids are able to do now.

Image may contain: 4 people, people smilingI have gotten to meet some amazing people along the way inside and outside the TBLGQ community.   Some are fellow activists, some aren't, but the are people who I have mad love and respect for.

I'm blessed to have a diverse sistah circle who have no problem checking me when necessary.  I'm blessed to have friendships that cross international borders. 

That probably wouldn't have happened if I hadn't taken that first tentative step into Terminal C and went through that first nerve  wracking week as moi.

While my life has also been challenging at times, the wonderful experiences outweigh those times my my smooth ride down the highway of life hits a pothole.

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As for our trans and SGL  kids, know you are loved, you matter to me and your trans elders, and we fight the powers that be so you'll hopefully have a better life than we did or won't have to make multiple trips to Austin to kill bad anti-human rights bills

Happy National Coming Out Day!    And happy first step to writing the next chapter in your amazing story.

JT Brown Brings Racial Inequality Anthem Protests To NHL

There are only 30 Black players in the NHL despite many of the ways that the game is creatively played originated in the Black hockey leagues of Nova Scotia as the book Black Ice documents.

The NHL is overwhelmingly white (93%), and probably thought they were insulated from the controversy surrounding the anthem protests about police brutality and racial inequality aimed at Black citizens being conducted by NFL and NBA players and now spreading to the collegiate ranks.

Image resultTampa Bay Lightning forward JT Brown changed all that with one clenched fist salute during a Saturday road came with the Florida Panthers.

And predictably their overwhelmingly white NHL fan base lost their collective minds.   He has reportedly had death threats aimed at him .

For those of you with melanin free skin who consistently bellow politics has no place in sports, let me remind you that politics and sports have always been intertwined, with the Olympics being the most salient example of that.

And your anti-Black white sheets are showing.

Black athletes have never been able to just 'shut up and play' because the 'woke' nature of our athletes compels up to use their sporting platforms to speak truth to power about the issues of the day 

Bravo to JT Brown for doing so in the NHL, and basically doing it alone. Thanks also for getting the social justice conversation started in the league.

Why The Dove Commercial Was Racist

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There are some of you out there wondering what the fuss was concerning the Dove commercial ans why it was getting put on blast across the Net.

Time for a quick history lesson.

Blackface has been used to demean, denigrate and disrespect Black people for over a century.   And part of that anti-Blackness campaign was using that imagery in advertising campaigns .

And when those derogatory images were used in the soap commercials of the late 19th and early 20th century, they usually showed the product turning a dark skinned person white. 

That's why the Dove commercial  was offensive despite the message they were trying to send.   If they had not gone to the white woman after the Black woman  in the commercial, they probably would have dodged the uncomfortable 21st century version of the old racist 'wash the Black off you' soap commercials they ended up with.

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It also speaks to who was in the room when they came up with the concept of this commercial.  There obviously either weren't any Black folks in the room, or ones familiar with this problematic racist history when they came up with the concept for it.

And because of the overwhelming whiteness of the advertising industry, I suspect that was the case, and there was  no culturally competent person in the room.

TransGriot 2017 NFL Picks-Week 5

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I can finally go from saying we might have a franchise quarterback to we DO have a franchise quarterback in Houston.

It only took him three weeks, but Deshaun Watson has probably cemented his position as the starter for the Texans after tying an NFL rookie quarterback record with 5 TD's (4 passing, 1 rushing) in their 57-14 rout of the Tennessee Titans Traitors.   The 57 points scored was also a Texans franchise record. easily eclipsing the previous record of 42 points, also set against the Tennessee Traitors in a 42-14 rout in 2014.

Watson's record tying performance also earned him AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors.

Another tough test for Deshaun and the Texans comes in a Sunday Night Football tilt against the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs at NRG Stadium.

As for the prognostication contest with Mr. Watts,  Week 4 saw us tie with identical 10-6 records that helped me maintain my two game lead on him.  I correctly picked the Texans game, he got the Giants-Buccaneers game right

Now it's time to get to the Week 5 NFL contests.    We have four teams, the Falcons, Broncos, Saints and Washington on their bye week, so only 14 games to pick.   As usual, team I'm selecting to win is in bold print, with the home team in CAPS.    Mike's Week 5 Picks are here.

Week 4 Results                                                                               2017 NFL Season
TransGriot   10-6                                                                            TransGriot  41-22
Mike            10-6                                                                             Mike          39-24

Thursday Night Game
Patriots over BUCCANEERS

Sunday Early Games
COLTS over 49ers
Jets over BROWNS
STEELERS over Jaguars
GIANTS over Chargers
LIONS over Panthers
Bills over BENGALS
DOLPHINS over Titans
EAGLES over Cardinals

Sunday Afternoon Games
RAIDERS over Ravens
Seahawks over RAMS
Packers over COWBOYS

Sunday Night Game
Chiefs over TEXANS

Monday Night Game
Vikings over BEARS