July 21st, 2017
posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 07:00pm on 21/07/2017

Posted by Monica Roberts

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Diane Gherson, IBM's Senor Vice President for Human Resources recently posted this message to all IBM employees outline their opposition to the anti-trans legislation that the Texas GOP is trying to pass during the Special Oppression Session.

July 17, 2017
IBM Community,
This week, I’ll be traveling to Austin, Texas with IBM Chief Diversity Officer Lindsay-Rae McIntyre and nearly 20 IBM leaders—the majority of whom are Texans–to voice IBM’s longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.
IBM rainbow 8-bar logo
Logo showing IBM’s commitment to diversity and equality.
Why Texas? And why now? On July 18th, the Texas legislature will start a thirty-day special session, where it is likely some will try to advance a discriminatory “bathroom bill” similar to the one that passed in North Carolina last year.
It is our goal to convince Texas elected officials to abandon these efforts.
IBM wrote its first Equal Opportunity policy in 1953—a decade before the Civil Rights Act was enacted. We were one of the first companies to include sexual orientation in that policy over thirty years ago, and have stood up to ensure that LGBT IBMers across the globe can live and work free from discrimination in any form.
A Texas bathroom bill stands squarely against these deep-rooted IBM values.
A bathroom bill like the one in Texas sends a message that it is okay to discriminate against someone just for being who they are. It threatens IBM’s ability to bring the best and brightest to our Texas workforce—a community that is now over 10,000 strong and represents a diversity of perspectives, backgrounds and experiences.
This bathroom bill also undermines IBM’s goal of bringing more people into New Collar job opportunities—a top company priority. Through partnerships with local high schools and community colleges, we’ve been able to support over 100 P-TECH schools that have created 21st century skills education programs. In May, Texas signed on as the latest state to fund its own P-TECH program.
A bathroom bill could target LGBT youth and students attending such schools—and every other public educational institution across Texas. We will strongly oppose legislation that would marginalize any current or future IBMer.
That’s why we are heading to Texas to engage directly with government officials on this bill.
I am proud of IBM’s leadership in the push for diversity and inclusion and thank all of you in the IBM community for living these values each and every day.
I look forward to reporting back on our work in Texas and on our broader efforts to ensure that diversity remains central to IBM’s company values and culture.
Diane Gherson
Senior Vice President, Human Resources

Thanks IBM for being on the correct side of history.  

Posted by Monica Roberts

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As y'all know I'm out here in San Diego for my first ever Comic Con, and what a way to kick off your first ever visit to this megaconvention by doing a panel discussion.

The plan was for me not to think about or discuss Texas politics while I was out here, but that died the nanosecond the GOP controlled Texas Senate decided to have their hearings on their unjust anti-trans bills.

So I going to enjoy the conference and the weather, and handle my Friday business of calling some fools out before I hop on the shuttle bus o take me to the Convention Center from the hotel.

It's time for this week's Shut Up Fool Awards!

Honorable mention number one is  a group award for Cheetolini and the Trump misadministration for pick an outrage  

Honorable mention number two is the Texas GOP for trying to ram discrimination down the Texas trans community's throats.

Honorable mention number three is the woman that Faith and I encountered at SDCC yesterday we caught in blackface, accompanied by Klingons in blackface.  She tried goalpost shifting justifications that ranged from being a fan of Star Trek, of Whoopi Goldberg, claiming she was 'representing and honoring Black women' because we weren't here at Comic Con, and a few other BS reasons I'll talk about in a later post.

Honorable mention number four is Sean Spicer, who is resigning today as WH press secretary

Honorable mention number five is Texas senator Lois Kolkhorst, the go to trans oppressor

This week's Shut Up Fool winner is Caitlyn Jenner.

This week she claimed she had the ear of the Trump misadministration on trans issues, and is now contemplating a run for the US senate against Sen. Dianne Feinstein..  

But what's got a lot of people fired up is her posing with Steven Tyler of Aerosmith and joking that 'she's working on a duet with him' to sing the transphobic song 'Dude Looks Like A Lady' and calling it her theme song.


Caitlyn, Caitlyn Caitlyn....I just can't with you this week.  I have real transphobic oppression to fight in Texas    Shut up Fool

Driving Lessons: Sophomore Year by Annameekee Hesik

Abbey Brooks has recovered from her end-of-freshman-year heartbreak and has vowed that this year, her sophomore year at Gila High, will be different in every way. Her to-do list: get her driver’s license, come out to her mom, get (and keep) a girlfriend, and survive another year of basketball. As always, though, nothing goes according to plan. Who will be there for her as her plans start to unravel? Who will bring her back to life after another round of heartache and betrayal? These remain a mystery–even to Abbey.

But one thing is for sure, she’s not confused about who she is. And that is going to make all the difference this time.

This is the second book in the series. Check out my interview with Annameekee on the release of Book #1, "The You Know Who Girls."

And add your review of "Driving Lessons: Sophomore Year" in comments!

Posted by Monica Roberts

It figures that while I'm in San Diego for Comic Con that the Texas GOP Senate transphobes would not only file two anti-trans bills  (SB 3 and SB 91) authored by Lois Kolkhorst, but hold a hearing on them that starts at 9 AM CDT

Texas trans folks will be in the ATX to oppose them when that Senate State Affairs Committee takes place.  .So go get 'em Texas trans folks.  Let our GOP oppressors know that these unjust bills are bad for Texas and bad for us.

Send them the message we are wide awke and cognizant of what they are trying to do.

You can sign up to testify against them starting at the Texas state capitol at 7 AM. We also need people and our allies calling these senators and asking them to oppose SB 3 and SB 91.

Call the members of the Senate State Affairs Committee too while you're at it..

TransGriot Update:  After 10 hours of hearings, it was deja vu all over again.  An 8-1 vote (7 Republicans, 1 DINO)  sent this legislative abomination to the Senate floor.

Thank Sen. Judith Zaffirini for voting NO once again as she did back in March, and let's redouble our efforts to make Eddie Lucio, Jr an ex-senator 

Posted by Monica Roberts

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There's this interesting creatively altered segment of a Wonder Woman comic book in which the dialogue seems to suggest that Diana and half of the women on Themyscira are trans.

The actual issue of Wonder Woman in which this panel was taken from and the dialogue changed doesn't say this, but it did jump start some hard solid thinking about the 'what if' Wonder Woman was trans feminine?

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We know from Greek mythology about hermaphrodites, so it is not beyond the realm of possibility that in Wonder Woman's home society that didn't have men as part of it, if you free your minds to ponder that possibility, you would probably have girls like that as part of it.

So what is Wonder Woman was a girl like us?    What would change about her character? What parts wouldn't?

But it's definitely something interesting to ponder.

July 19th, 2017
posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 10:00pm on 19/07/2017

Posted by Monica Roberts

Image result for TransGriot Comic Con
Well people, as I feared, my Spirit flight left late from IAH, and the Air Marshal ended up touching down in San Diego 45 minutes before the gratis hotel shuttle stopped running.  

And that was before I got misgendered twice when I called the Hilton San Diego Airport Harbor Island front desk and they couldn't find my name in the reservation system.  

He better be glad I was too tired and frustrated after a day that started for me at 7 AM Houston time moving to a new place and belongings in my storage space to cuss his azz out.:

I'm finally in my hotel room and ready to go to sleep so I can be on my A game in the AM and get adjusted to Pacific time as quickly as possible.

This is also the first trip I've done to the Left Coast since I flew into San Francisco last September to attend the GLAAD Gala San Francisco.

Image result for Comic Con San Diego Convention CenterThis time I'm in southern California to be at Comic Con, soak up all the ambiance of this giant convention and participate in a Comic Con panel.  

I'm also determined not to think about Lone Star State politics for a few days.

That panel will happen at 5 PM PDT today and it's entitled Moonlight and Magic, Black LGBT Contributions to Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Comics and Genre. moderated by Faith Cheltenham.

My fellow panelist are Viktor Kerney, Ajuan Mance, Sean Maker, William O Tyler, and Eliot Sutler.  While I've known Viktor for years going back to the 2012 Netroots Nation in Providence, everyone else I'll be meeting for the first time.

In a few hours I'll need to get up, head to the San Diego Convention Center and pop into that long line to pick up my badge.  

And nope, didn't do a costume.   This time.,

On a LARP by Stefani Deoul

Question: Do any of you know the truly scary part about being seventeen?

Answer: Your brain doesn't actually know, understand or care what it can't do; and, while this sounds great in theory, in my particular case, my under-developed brain apparently didn't know I couldn't fly.

So I jumped . . .
And I plummeted . . .

And I promise you, if I somehow manage to survive this act of immature-brain-encased-in-unbelievable-stupidity, I will gladly tell you exactly how I got here.

Which for the record, is chasing a dark-web killer through the middle of a live action role-playing game, better known as a LARP.

Join brainiac Sid Rubin and her posse, Jimmy, Imani, Vikram, and Ari as they join forces with Detective Robert "Tsarno the Barno" Tsarnowsky and his partner, Detective "Goddess" Emma Macdonald, and become embroiled in a virtual world of clues that will lead them to a very real, very deadly, very steampunk'd world of murder and mayhem.

Add your review of "On a LARP" in comments!
posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 12:00am on 19/07/2017

Posted by Monica Roberts

Hilton San Diego Airport/harbor Island, Ca Hotel - Hotel And Harbor Area
Back when I was traveling to Tucson for their TDOR last year, my flight there went to San Diego and flew over Tucson along the way.   I got to spend two hours in the San Diego airport on a gorgeous fall day checking out the view of the airport area and saying that I'd love to come back and visit,

Well, guess I spoke that trip to San Diego into existence, and it couldn't have come at a better time for me.

After a trying few days that found me at Defcon 1 levels of stress bumping up against a July 15 deadline to move from my current place, find a storage spot, a new place to live with the date for the Texas Special Oppression Session also approaching along with my 9:18 PM departure from my old IAH airport stomping grounds, let's just say that I needed a trip out of Houston even if it is booked on (yuck) Spirit Airlines.

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I'm not happy about that because you have to pay for everything on Spirit including carry on bags, drinks and snacks, the seats don't recline, and you don't have WiFi.

The only redeeming features of this upcoming flight on Spirit is that they have new Airbus planes, I got TSA Pre on the San Diego bound leg and both legs are nonstop to and from IAH's Terminal A.

And I get to go to Comic Con!  

The other cool thing I get to do is that I finally get to meet another of my trans elders in Tracie Jada O'Brien, and on top of that I get to San Diego in time for her birthday on the 22nd.

So happy early birthday Mama Tracie!   Looking forward to finally meeting and spending a little quality time with you .

I'm also looking forward to not thinking about Texas politics for a few days either and enjoying my first trip to San Diego.

July 18th, 2017

Posted by Monica Roberts

Well peeps, this is the day we've been dreading across the Lone Star State in terms of the start of the Special Oppression Session called by Governor Greg Abbott (R) after being bullied into it by Lt Governor Dan Patrick (R) and the Texas Oppression Freedom Caucus.

The Special Oppression Session is slated to last 30 days, and the initial call on June 9 is to have some must pass sunset legislation pass that reauthorizes several Texas governmental organizations, including the Texas Medical Board that licenses doctors across the Lone Star State.

As to what to expect in this special session, the legislative process is the same except for two key differences.  There's less time than in a 140 day regular session, and if a bill is filled that doesn't fit the governor's call, it is out of bound and can't be considered.

Bills could be filed 30 days before the special session started.

Just as in the regular sessions, bills have to be sent to a House committee, passed out of that committee, go to the Calendars Committee to be scheduled to the floor for a vote, then if it passes the process is repeated in the Senate. for it to be placed on the Senate Intent Calendar for a floor vote.

Image result for greg abbott special sessionOnce that sunset legislation passes. the governor added an additional 19 items that he wanted to see hit his desk including the anti-trans bills we killed in the regular session, but they can only be heard once the sunset bill passes. .  

HB 46 and HB 50 are the anti-trans bills filed that we'll be focusing our trans community attention on.along with SB 23, so keep lighting those GOP trans oppressors office phones up and urge your Texas state senator or House rep to oppose these unjust bills.

The resistance to this oppression starts on the south steps of the Pink Dome with an 11:00 AM rally calling out the unjust bills that the Texas GOP wishes to pass.

We have 30 days to kill these bills.   Let's get busy doing so

July 17th, 2017

Posted by Monica Roberts

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I remember when the first International Conference on Transgender Law and Employment Policy (ICTLEP) convention organized by Phyllis Frye happened in a southwest Houston Hilton hotel back in  August 1992.  

Those six ICTLEP conferences not only generated the International Bill of Gender Rights, laid the advocacy foundation for the modern trans rights movement and trained my generation of trans advocates, but also facilitated the coming out of many of our trans attorneys of the time and signaled the beginning of them being more open about who they are.

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Trans attorneys have played important roles in the National LGBT Bar Association and you can see many of our trans legal heroes and sheroes participating in panel discussions at the Lavender Law Conference and other events in the legal community.  Some have also been called by national networks to be pundits when legal cases involving our community are discussed.

I also know a few trans peeps who are currently enrolled in and excelling in law school right now.

And like Phyllis, Kylar Broadus, Shannon Minter, Jillian Weiss, Chase Strangio, Abby Jensen and Harper Jean Tobin just to name a few, many of them are trailblazers not only in the legal world, but trailblazing leaders in our community.

25 years have passed since that first ICTLEP conference happened, and we not only have a large, distinguished and growing cadre of trans attorneys, some of which I am proud to call my friends, I noticed that there's a new organization called the National Trans Bar Association

Related imageSo why is the founding of this organization important?  I note from my perusal of Black history that many of our human rights victories came via the court system and NAACP legal heroes and sheores like Charles Houston, Thurgood Marshall, and Constance Baker Motley.

Our trans attorneys, like these trailblazing African American ones, have been successfully fighting in the court system for decades as advocates to advance our human rights.  Some are also working to provide the legal services our community needs.  The National Transgender Bar Association is a welcome addition to their ranks    .

The National Transgender Bar Association is based in Washington DC, and the mission of the NTBA is summed up in these four points:

*Recruiting, supporting, and developing the skills of trans and gender nonconforming (TGNC) legal professionals and law school students.
*Increasing access to affordable, legally and culturally competent legal services for trans and gender nonconforming communities.
*Fostering bold, incisive and creative legal strategies to expand formal legal protections for trans and gender non conforming people and meaningfully address  issues of equity
*Elevate intersectional work and cross cultural collaborations.
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To fulfill this mission statement, in conjunction with the National LGBT Bar Association, the National Trans Bar Association will be hosting during the annual Lavender Law Conference set to take place in San Francisco August 2-4 a day long Transgender Law Institute on August 4

In light of the fact we have people in the Trump misadministration that are hostile to our human rights, this will be a timely and necessary institute.

I wish the NTBA great success and long life as an organization, and wish them even greater success in executing their mission and expanding our human rights.

Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

Jeanette is adopted and brought up by her mother as one of God's elect. Zealous and passionate, she seems destined for life as a missionary, but then she falls for one of her converts. At sixteen, Jeanette decides to leave the church, her home and her family, for the young woman she loves.

Add your review of "Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit" in comments!
July 16th, 2017

Posted by Monica Roberts

The critically acclaimed Ava DuVernay produced show Queen Sugar on OWN, debuted on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) on September 6 for a thirteen episode run and was renewed for a second season that started on June 20.

The show is garnering an ever increasing audience with its diverse and complex characters, is based on the 2014 debut novel of the same name by Natalie Baczile, and tells the story of a woman who unexpectedly inherits a struggling Louisiana sugar cane farm.

Queen Sugar was nominated for five NAACP Image Awards, and won the Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Writing In A Dramatic Series one.

One of the characters on this show, Antoine 'Toine' Wilkins, recently debuted as the high school friend of major character Ralph Angel Bordelon, played by Kofi Siriboe.

Ralph protected Toine from the bullies during their high school days, and Toine feels a sense of loyalty to him as a result.  We'll see how this plays out during the rest of the Queen Sugar season two.

Brian Michael Actor, Actor Brian Michael
Toine is a trans masculine cop, and you know I and a whole lot of trans people inside and outside of Hollywood have complained about cis actors playing trans roles.

Interestingly enough, Brian Michael Smith, the actor who plays Toine, has recently come out as trans masculine.   Tiq Milan interviews him here.  

Smith has been performing since childhood, but acting professionally for five years.   He has played cisgender roles prior to this announcement.  He was also in this Toyota commercial featuring Eli Manning.  He's also appeared on the shows Detour, Girls, Blue Bloods and Law and Order : SVU

Smith is hoping not only to bring more authentic trans characters to life on screen and stage, he also wants to play a wide variety of trans and cisgender roles.

Have another show I need to watch and support when I have time to do so.

Posted by Monica Roberts

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TransGriot Note: The Black Trans Advocacy statement concerning HB 46 and HB 50

As a Texas based organization that serves the Black trans community, we are once again raising our voice to join those from across Texas in opposition to HB 46 and HB 50.

You would think that after fair minded Texans made it clear they didn't want the unjust and transphobic SB 6 and HB 2899 bills to become Texas law, and hundreds of Texas citizens including some of our BTA members came to Austin to overwhelmingly testify against those legislative travesties, that the Texas Republican majority would have given up on trying to aim legislative oppression at transgender Texans after those bills died during the regular session.

It's why we are outraged that the Texas Republican Party is wasting $800,000 of our tax dollars on a special session that starts on July 18 designed to oppress transgender Texans and other groups they don't like for their political gain.

It is for this and other reasons that Black Trans Advocacy,  Black Transmen, Inc., Black Transwomen, Inc., the Black Trans Advocacy Conference and the Black Trans International Pageantry System are expressing our vehement opposition to HB 46 and HB 50.

Those anti-trans bills, far from being about 'privacy issues' as the Texas Republicans have repeatedly claimed, are nothing more than naked legislative oppression aimed at the Texas trans community.
Unfortunately, it is our Black trans community and other trans communities of color that will be disproportionately affected by the negative repercussions of it should these bills unfortunately pass.  

The dehumanizing anti-trans rhetoric they have used to try to pass the failed SB 6 and HB 2899 has already resulted in the death of one of our Texas trans sisters in Kenne McFadden of San Antonio.

We are also disturbed about Rep. Scott Sanford's harmful rhetoric attacking Texas trans kids and their parents, and the legislative attack on the humanity of Texas trans kids..

Once again, Black Trans Advocacy urges fair minded Texas legislators to resist the anti-trans extremism coming from the Texas Republican Party, and spend the next 30 days of this special session coming up with policy solutions for the problems that ail the Lone Star State.
posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 12:00pm on 16/07/2017

Posted by Monica Roberts

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, people standing
One of the things my friends and my blog readers know about me is I grew up with a mother and godmother who instilled a deep love of history within me.

I would read the accounts of the African American Civil Rights Movement, watch the documentaries as a kid growing up in the 70's and wonder if I were twenty years older at that time, how involved would I have been in fighting for the freedom of my people and making this country better as a result?

As an adult I don't have to imagine what I would have done, I'm involved in a freedom fight right now that is just as critical to the future of this country as the Civil Rights Movement proved to be.

Image result for Dan patrick TexasTransgender people here and around the world are fighting for their human rights and recognition of their humanity.  

Here in the United States, our opposition is the Axis of Transphobic Evil comprised of the Republican Party, TERF's (trans exclusionary radical feminists), right wing fundamentalist evangelicals, the Southern Baptists, and even the Ku Klux Klan

These folks are all colluding to deny the humanity and human rights of transgender Americans, and ramping up their anti-trans hate speech and efforts to pass unjust legislation to do so.  
Those efforts of the Axis of Transphobic Evil got a major boost in the wake of the unfortunate results of the November 2016 presidential election.

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It should be undeniably apparent to you that in this July 2017 moment, you're witnessing at this present time in a human rights fight. The Republicans, fundie 'christians'  and the conservative movement have made it clear that they have declared war on the transgender community, and want to exercise their oppressor gene like their Jim Crow segregationist parents, grandparents and great grandparents.

The Axis of Transphobic Evil is even going there and attacking trans kids, their parents and trans soldiers.   We can't as their trans elders allow those attacks on our trans kids to go unanswered and must push back hard against them.

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Neither can we allow any attacks to go unchallenged on the 15,000 trans people currently serving in our nation's armed forces or trans vets who proudly put their lives on the line in defense of this country.

It's even more distasteful when the anti-trans rhetoric is coming out the mouths of chickenhawk Republican legislators who dodged the draft like Rep. Steve King (R-IA) or ignorant people like Rep Vicky Hartzler (R-MO).

But then again. both of them along with my lieutenant governor keep proving my point that the most dangerous transphobe is the one with the power to write or pass legislation, and the Republican Party has a bumper crop of them.

So what will you do?

Will you fight to oppose these unjust anti-trans laws when they pop up in your locale?   Will you be one of the people gleefully working to pass them?   Will you be helping to grease the skids for their passage by spouting loud, ignorant and wrong transphobic comments?   Will you sit on the sidelines and do nothing?   Will you gripe about and hate on the people actually fighting to keep these laws from passing as you sit on the sidelines?

Will you be helping to educate your fellow cis people and dispel the anti-trans lies that the Axis of Transphobic Evil is trying to put out there?

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What will you say to future generations of your family about your role in the civil rights fight of your lifetime?

I know what I'll be doing.   I'll be fighting the passage of this unjust anti-trans legislation with every fiber of my being until I can't..
July 14th, 2017

Girl Meets Boy: The Myth of Iphis by Ali Smith

Imogen and Anthea, sisters that are opposites, work together at Pure, a creative agency attempting to “bottle imagination, politics, and nature” in the form of a new Scottish bottled-water business with global aspirations. Anthea, somewhat flighty and bored with the office environment, becomes enamored of a female “interventionist protest artist” nicknamed Iphisol, whose billboard-size corporate slurs around town are the bane of Pure’s existence. And when Anthea and Iphisol meet, it’s a match made in heaven.

Okay, for those like me that didn't know this off the top of our heads, "The myth of Iphis is one of the happier of Ovid's metamorphoses: the girl raised as a boy to avoid her father's wrath falls in love with another girl, upon which her gender is changed by the sympathetic goddess Isis to enable them to marry." -That's from the book's review in The Independent.

This book was recommended for teens by the Scottish Book Trust. Add your review of "Girl Meets Boy" in comments!
July 13th, 2017

Posted by Monica Roberts

Image result for Venus williams beats Johanna Konta wimbledon
It's been a long time since we last saw Venus Williams playing in a Wimbledon final.  It was 2008 to be precise as the defending Wimbledon ladies singles champ, and she was playing against her little sister Serena.

Tenth seeded Big Sis now had the opportunity to reach another one and keep her hopes alive of capturing a sixth Wimbledon title.   But to do so she would have to battle sixth seeded British homegirl Johanna Konta and a Centre Court crowd cheering her on.

Image result for Venus williams beats Johanna Konta wimbledonIt was a tight match in the first set with both players holding serve until the ninth game when Venus got into a 15-40 hole but climbed out of trouble.

The critical point of the match came at 30-40 in that game.  Instead of hitting a slower second serve, Big Sis instead went for broke and walloped a 106 MPH second serve that caught Konta by surprise and she missed the return.

Williams would go on from that point a 40-all to hold serve and move to a 5-4 first set lead.  Venus then stepped up the pressure in the next game and started teeing off on Konta's returns to take the first set.

Big Sis continued her stellar play in the second set as Konta tried to stay in the match, but Venus would not be denied as she takes the second set and the match 6-4, 6-2 in straight sets.

It took Big Sis her a mere one hour and thirteen minutes to survive and advance to her ninth Wimbledon final and become at age 37, the oldest player ever to do so.

Garbine Muguruza reacts after her 6-3, 6-4 win over Svetlana Kuznetsova.

She will face 14th seeded Garbine Muguruza, who Little Sis beat in the 2015 Wimbledon finals and who dispatched Slovakia's Magdalena Rybarikova 6-1, 6-1 to punch her ticket to Saturday's final.

Can Venus pick up another Venus Rosewater Dish for the Williams family trophy case?   We'll find out this weekend.

posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 12:00am on 13/07/2017

Posted by Monica Roberts

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I wrote an It's A Wonderful Life themed post back in 2007 that pondered the 'what if' question of what my life would be like if I were a cis Black woman.  

Granted that came about during a time when I living in Da Ville, and was depressed during the Christmas holidays, but Raquel Willis asking the question on her Facebook page has me doing some hard solid thinking about the issue once again.  

So what would my life been like had I showed up in 1962 as a cis Black girl?  Probably not as exciting as the one I have now, but would probably have a much fatter bank account.

My elementary junior high, high school and college experiences definitely would have been different.  Instead of playing Little League baseball as I did in junior high I probably would have been in the stands watching my brother play or being his team's official scorekeeper.

Hey, this was the 70's I grew up in.   Title IX hadn't fully kicked in yet.  And I'd probably still be a huge Houston Texans fan.

The most obvious change would be this blog probably wouldn't exist or if it did, it would have a different focus.  I definitely see me being a writer as part of my cis feminine life in this deep thought exercise.

I also would probably be trading my five White House trips during the Obama administration and trips to various TBLGQ conferences over the last 20 years for National Association of Black Journalists and sorority ones.

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Which sorority you ask?   My mom and sister wear salmon pink and apple green.

Cis feminine Moni probably wouldn't be as well versed on trans issues and history as I am now, but my social justice leanings would ensure that I was an ally to the trans community and drive me to learn more about it.

But I go from having the phone numbers of various well known trans folks programmed in my phone to basically having to fangirl about them and not knowing personally many of the international trans folks I've gotten to know.

Speaking of history, that love of history probably would be is part of my cis feminine life.  Because my mom, godmother and great grandmother were teachers, and my godmother taught at the collegiate level, there the possibility that cis feminine Moni would try to follow in their footsteps as my godmother would have been trying steer me toward being a Sigma Gamma Rho.

I'd probably would have already attempted to run for office, either for city council or the state legislature, or been counting the days to retirement from the airline biz at IAH as I travel the planet on my passes.

Do I see myself with kids?   Not sure.  One of the things that has eluded me in my life is a long term relationship, but some of that lack of success in love is probably attributable to dealing with the trans issue. With me not being trans, maybe the issues that derailed a lot of my pre transition relationships go in a more positive direction.

But that's also assuming that I have the ability to have kids.

So what are the other life challenges I would face had I been born as unapologetic Black cis girl?

My parental relationship would have changed with my dad being his first born daughter.  My womanhood would still be demonized, my intelligence discounted, I'd still be facing the prospect of sexual assault or violence aimed at me, and because I'm 6' 2", I'd still have transmisogyny or 'that's a man' shade flung at me. I'd still be pulled over by the police for driving while Black.
So naah, I think I'll take the life I have now.   It's a lot more challenging, but it's also a lot more fun at times as well..
July 12th, 2017

Posted by Monica Roberts

Image result for I hate Fox 26 Houston
I've noted to my dismay ever since I returned home from Louisville in May 2010 the rightward slant of the news department at KRIV-TV.  One of the other things I'm not fond of concerning FOX 26 is the ongoing pattern they have of demonizing, attacking and peddling disinformation about the Houston LGBT community.

And I've called them and their reporters who engage in it out about that crap.

It is a pattern at FOX 26 that was abundantly clear during the fight to keep the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance and their slanted anti-TBLGQ coverage lead was unfortunately followed by other television stations in the Houston market.   It has continued post HERO.

With the Special Oppression Session on the horizon in Austin, news coverage is starting to ramp up in advance of it.  Thanks to Media Matters, I was made aware of this problematic July 9 KRIV-TV panel since I'm not in the habit of watching FOX 26 because of their slanted and transphobic news coverage.

This latest FOX 26 panel I'm slamming was in response to the recent New Yorker article in which Texas House speaker Joe Straus (R) expressed his opposition to these anti-trans bills and said that he didn't want the death of a single Texan on his hands as a result of SB 6 and HB 2899.

Do you notice the problem with this panel?  You probably do if you're a Houston area or Texas based trans person or Texas trans ally. But for those of you who don't see it,  the problem is there are ZERO Houston area trans advocates among the six people being interviewed for this segment.

Guess it's easier to demonize a group FOX 26 when you don't invite them to your studio so they can push back against the anti-trans narrative you're trying to peddle.

Next time you wish to do a panel that discusses the lives of trans people FOX 26, it may help if you have actual Houston trans people as part of that discussion instead of a bunch of cisgender people and Republican haters who are ignorant, hostile and deliberately obtuse about our trans lives and the issues we face.

But then again, your conservative sycophants probably don't want that to happen because every time they have run up against a Houston trans advocate on your airwaves, they've gotten their azz handed to them.

Trumpet by Jackie Kay

The death of legendary jazz trumpeter Joss Moody exposes an extraordinary secret, one that enrages his adopted son, Colman, leading him to collude with a tabloid journalist. Besieged by the press, his widow Millie flees to a remote Scottish village, where she seeks solace in memories of their marriage. The reminiscences of those who knew Joss Moody render a moving portrait of a shared life founded on an intricate lie, one that preserved a rare, unconditional love.

This book was recommended for teens by the Scottish Book Trust, which is how I found out about it. Add your review of "Trumpet" in comments.

The Lantern Bearers by Ronald Frame
Sent away from home for the first time, Neil Pritchard spends the long summer of 1962 with his Aunt Nessie in claustrophobic Auchendrennan on the Solway Firth, a seascape of fast tides and sinking sands. Eager for a pastime to fill the long dull days, Neil sings for Euan Bone, a young Scottish composer whose star is rising fast. Becoming Bone's muse, Neil spends afternoons at the composer's home, hours that become the focus of his adolescent dreams. Inevitably, though, he finds himself expelled from the Eden, a betrayal which will have devastating consequences.

Asked thirty-five years later to write Bone's biography, Neil is tempted to reveal the whereabouts of the composer's lost last work, The Lantern Bearers, but this revelation would have to expose the truth of his own involvement in the violence of love's blind vengeance.

This book was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, named the Scottish Book of the Year, and cited by the American Library Association (Barbara Gittings Honor Awards.) It was recommended for teen readers by The Scottish Book Trust

Add your review of "The Lantern Bearers" in comments!


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