Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Last 'Scandal' Episode

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After seven seasons and over 100 episodes, the last episode of one of my fave shows is happening tonight. 

I've been a Scandal fan since the first episode in large part to my love of Kerry Washington .  I also love well written scripted shows, and Scandal definitely fit that bill as being one of Shonda Rhimes' hit shows.

The Blackness of this show also appealed to me. 

One of my favorite Scandal episodes is one in which her father Rowan has her repeat one of the lines that literally all Black children are told in this country as a way to deal with the anti-Blackness in this country.

'You have to be twice as good to get half of what they have." 



The various season ending cliffhangers that gave us a WTF reaction and scrambled what we thought we knew about the Scandal universe combined with the Washington DC setting and the storylines that seem at times ripped from the headlines.

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But after seven years, Scandal is being broadcast for the last time tonight, and Thursday nights won't be the same for me when it ends.


I'm Down With 16 Year Olds Voting

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A lot of debate has cropped up recently because Washington DC is considering lowering the voting age to 16 just in time for the 2020 election.

Image result for Marjory Stoneman Douglas studentsDC Council member Charles Allen (D-Ward 6) introduced the measure in large part because he was impressed by the recent March For Our Lives in DC and the ongoing eloquence of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas students.

The proposed voting age change has majority support on the DC council (7 members out of 13), and will probably pass if it comes to a vote.

But why stop in DC?   Let's lower the voting age to 16 across the United States.   16 year olds in many cases are more cognizant of the issues that affect them than their elders twice or three times their age in many cases.

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The youngest member of our Houston Mayor's LGBT Advisory Board, Lily Pando, was just 16 years old when she was tapped to join it when it was formed two years ago.  It wasn't a publicity stunt because she is an intelligent young woman and one of our rising star young leaders here in Houston.  When Lily speaks, we elders listen.

It's not unusual for me to see our TBLGQ World teens leading the charge for the expansion of trans (and everybody's) human rights and being eloquent voices for other policy issues of concern to them.

If you think I'm kidding about that, does  Jazz Jennings ring a bell?

It also hasn't surprised me that the MSD students in the wake of the mass shooting on their campus have been kicking butt and have the NRA, the Republican Party and right wing media on the defensive.

I was 14 when Jimmy Carter got elected POTUS.  I would have loved to have been able to vote in that 1976 presidential election instead of holding up a sign and marching through my neighborhood with several other kids imploring people to vote for him.

I turned 16 in 1978. Had I been eligible to do so, I definitely would have done my part to keep Bill Clements out of the Texas governor's chair.   One of my presents I received for my 18th birthday in 1980 was a voter registration card. 

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If 16 year olds can drive, be tried as adults for any serious crimes they commit, and work jobs in which their wages can be taxed,  then why shouldn't those same 16 year olds have a say in who runs the government?

It's also a good idea for democracy.  The earlier you get someone to start consistently voting, the more it becomes a lifelong practice.

So yes, I'm down with 16 year olds voting, and the sooner we pass this policy change, the better. .

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Help Trans United Fund Elect More Trans People To Office

TransGriot Note: In the interests of journalistic integrity, I sit on the board of the Trans United Fund.


As you know, I do a lot of writing through my blog, TransGriot (which just won a GLAAD Media Award, making history as the first time a trans person has won for Best Blog!) But what you may not know is that I'm a Board Member and key leader in Trans United Fund, a trans-led organization working to build political power for trans and nonbinary people across the country.

One of the main ways we build this power is electing transformative trans leaders. We are decisive in electing trans leaders because when we do that, there are more trans people who see ourselves reflected in leadership, and more people of our communities who believe they can run. When they do run, they come to Trans United Fund as the go-to organization for help in their races, and we need the resources to help them win.

Will you stand up and help build political power that our communities need with me and Trans United Fund? Whether it's in your budget to give $15 or $150, every dollar makes a difference in the lives of trans people like me, and our ability to join the decision making tables where decisions about us are made. Nothing about us, without us!

In this environment, with a presidential administration which is actively hostile towards trans people, it is crucial that we elect trans folks to public office at all levels of government. It is critical to elect trans people to office not only to defend against the attacks of the opposition but to advance our interests, rights, and needs in decision making bodies at the local, state and national level..
As a trans-led, trans-run organization, run by a majority of trans people of color like myself, Trans United Fund has proven that we have the best interests of trans people at heart. We are actively working to build political power across the country by building a diverse coalition of leaders across different identities, experiences, and backgrounds.

And that's exactly the group we need leading this charge to make change right now.

Join us and our work and pitch in now: we can go so much farther together.


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

'Dear White People' Returns May 4

One of the things I get to celebrate on my upcoming Cuatro de Mayo birthday besides getting another year older is the return of the Netflix television show Dear White People for its second season.

Dear White People Season 2 Teaser
The show stars Logan Browning from VH1's Hit The Floor as Samantha White, and she's back behind the Winchester University radio mic to critique along with her Black classmates at this PWI all the things the see on and off campus from their eyes.

In season two's ten episodes they will tackle the alt-right white supremacists, do battle with online trolls and dealing with integration of their previously all Black dorm 



Will we see more 'Defamation', the show's parody of Scandal?   Good question. 

It's one that will be answered on May 4

Joy vs 'Killer Mike'

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While I was in my Vegas hotel room, was surprised to see this AM Joy interview with Michael 'Killer Mike' Render. 

I definitely had a problem with him appearing on NRA-TV and making the loud and wrong comment that 'Wakanda Had Guns' along with him being there with an anti-Black org in the first place.

Dude, go watch Black Panther again

Anyway, here's the interview for those of you who missed ir.


Monday, April 16, 2018

TX Log Cabin Sellouts Denied A Booth At TX State GOP Convention

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The Texas Log Cabin Sellouts Republicans must feel like Charlie Brown at this point when he tries to kick a football that Lucy is holding.

But like Charlie Brown's failed attempts to kick that football, the Texas Log Cabin Republicans keep trying and failing . 

What they keep failing at is having a booth at the Texas Republican State Convention.   For the last 20 years they have tried to get that booth, while other GOP party affinity groups get theirs with no problem .The Texas Log Cabin Sellouts keep getting kicked in the teeth and smiling after it happens for the whole world to see.

This time the State Republican Executive Committee debated for two hours before they came up with the inevitable no.   While they had some supporters, they were dwarfed by the faux faith based TBLGQ bigots in the room

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And at that Texas state convention, the Texas Republicans passed a platform that endorses the scientifically debunked reparative therapy for gay people.

Texas and national Log Cabin Republicans, when are you going to leave a party that has made it clear they don't want you? 

It's sad and pathetic that you continue to shill for people who continue to do everything possible to oppress this community

Friday, April 13, 2018

Shut Up Fool Awards -Viva Las Vegas Edition

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As y'all know, I'm here in Las Vegas to do a political training conducted by the Working Families Party, and it's been an interesting one so far.

I'm here as the NHL playoffs are happening, and it's all about the Vegas Golden Knights, the NHL expansion club that won the Pacific Division in their inaugural season and are know locked ina playoff series against the Los Angeles Kings. 

LA is a mere 263 miles down I-15 from Las Vegas, so this playoff series is already intense because no matter what the sport, everybody wants to Beat LA in it  . 

I have something else I'm doing in town besides watching hockey or heading to the casino.  This is a business trip, and I'm here for the Working Families Party Spring School and get my learn on.

It's also Friday and that means I have to conduct my usual TransGriot business of calling out a fool, for group of fools out. 

Image result for taylor swiftThis week's Shut Up Fool winner is Taylor Swift

As a longtime Earth Wind and Fire fan, I was ready to regurgitate my breakfast when Swift tried it and Pat Booned a classic song that probably has Maurice White spinning in his grave because she did so.

What possessed her to even do so?

This is the original for those of you who aren't aware of it or have been in isolation for the last 40 years. 

I'll spare you Swift's WTF version of September.

Umm Taylor, stay in your lane, because you damned sure didn't have the chops to 'sang' (not sing) this iconic in Black America song. 

And naw, boo boo kitty, don't think Moni or Black America forgot you remained mute when the opportunity to call out her  alt-right white supremacist fanbase presented itself/

Taylor Swift, shut up fool, and never desecrate one of our seminal songs with you alleged singing ever again. 

TransGriot Wins GLAAD Media Award Outstanding Blog!

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The GLAAD Media Awards were held in Los Angeles last night, and was surprised to learn from Fiona Dawson that my third nomination for Outstanding Blog was finally the charm and that I've won the 2018 Outstanding Blog award.

Thanks to all of you who have congratulated me (and they are still rolling in as I write this) for the win in a category that had several wonderful and equally deserving winners. 

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But I'm happy it was finally me.    With the win I made a little history.   TransGriot is the first trans owned and operated blog to win in this category!

Thanks GLAAD for bestowing me with this honor and honoring the hard work I put into it since January 2006 to make it a go to source for news and commentary about the trans community and other subjects I enjoy commenting about

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Moni's In Las Vegas!

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My first trip outside of Texas takes me to Las Vegas, and the landing was a little more exciting that I wanted, but I'm here in one piece until Sunday.  It's also the first time I've ever spent time in Clark County, NV besides transiting the airport.

But it's not a vacation,  it's actually a business trip.  I'm here for the Working Families Party Spring School along with some of my colleagues from Trans United Fund.

Home - Working Families - Working FamiliesIn case you're wondering who and what is that group, the Working Families Party is a progressive organization founded in New York in 1998 by a coalition of labor unions, civic organizations, and advocacy groups.

They are a growing progressive organization dedicated to fighting for an economy that works for all of us, not just the 1% billionaires and a democracy in which every voice matters.  Working Families now has chapters in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Oregon and Washington DC

The policies they are pushing for are a livable wage, affordable housing, raising the minimum wage, universal single payer health care, better public schools, and more investment in public services.

This Spring School is a multi day training that is happening here, and it's going to be interesting to see what other persons and organizations are here and what transpires over the next few days until I head back to the Lone Star State.  

Leaving On A Jet Plane To- Las Vegas

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My first trip outside of Texas in 2018 is also to a place that I'm visiting for the first time in Las Vegas, Nevada.   It also comes with a large slice of deja vu attached to it.

I get to travel out of IAH on United.   I get to not only see my former coworkers who haven't retired yet, I also get to walk through Terminal C and E exactly one week after my transiversary. 

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When I made my first trip to Portland, Oregon back in 1996, we hadn't started non-stop trips to PDX yet, so I had the options of either flying to Las Vegas, Phoenix or San Francisco on Continental, then fly an America West flight up there from whichever of those airports I chose up to PDX and back and back.   We has a code share and pass agreement with America West at the time, so it wasn't going to cost me more than the standard pass charges no matter which way I went.

I decided to go through Las Vegas.   I had a 45 minute layover, and I knew about the slot machines in the McCarran International terminal waiting to relieve you of more cash.   I had every intention of sitting there, exercising my Taurean willpower and resisting the temptation to play until my flight boarded.

That only lasted 10 minutes, so I ended up playing one of the nearby quarter slot machines.   

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$1.75 of playing later I hit it for $25 dollars just as it was time for me to board my America West flight to Portland, so I was forced to grab my money and go. 

My luck was even better on the America West flight.  The head flight attendant on this trip was one I helped non- rev on one of my CAL flights two weeks earlier.   She raved to her crewmates about the service I'd provided for her at my gate, and was determined to return the favor.  Her America West crew spoiled me rotten on that flight to Portland even though I was in the back with a row to myself.   
Image result for mccarran airport las vegasOn the way back to IAH I had a much longer layover in Vegas for my Continental redeye back to Houston, so once again I killed some time by playing the airport quarter slot machines.   

It only took me only $1.25 of play this time to hit for a $15 payday.  I immediately quit while I was ahead of the game and took my winnings to grab something to eat in the airport food court before it was time to board my plane back home. 

It took 21 years, but this time I get to leave the airport and stay in the city for the first time.  It had always been on my domestic trip bucket list, but never got the opportunity to take it as an employee.

Now I get to go to Vegas for a multiday training and also stay in a hotel on the famed Las Vegas Strip.  I also have two cousins who live there that hopefully I'll get some quality time with before I have to come back to Texas on Sunday
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See y'all in a few hours Las Vegas,       


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

UH GCSW 2018 Scholarship Luncheon Today

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One of the things I've noticed is that i have a lot of people in my social circles who are social workers.  Many of them went to school or graduated from the UH Graduate College of Social Work, and I've gotten to know its dean Alan Dettlaff from my with him time on the Houston Mayor's LGBT Advisory Board

The UH Graduate College of Social Work gets to well deservedly pop its collar over the fact that it was just named one of the top 25 Social Work colleges in the nation! 

It jumped fifteen spots to now be ranked at number 24, and congrats to Dean Dettlaff and his team for their hard work to get it there.   I also like the fact that the UH GCSW has a social justice mission as part of its vision statement.
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Today I get to spend a few hours chilling with them at their annual scholarship luncheon, and their guest speaker for it is an old friend of mine in Laverne Cox.

Some awards will also be given out during this luncheon as well .

Yes, I know her.  Met her during a 2012 OUT on the Hill when she was the moderator for that all Black trans feminine panel I was on with Rev Carmarion Anderson, Danielle King and Valerie Spencer.

Back to the post.

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The 2018 UH GCSW Scholarship Luncheon is being held starting at 11:30 AM CDT at the Post Oak Hotel in Uptown Houston (AKA the Galleria area). 

The 30 story hotel owned by billionaire UH Board of Regents chair Tilman Fertitta is so swanky it has its own Rolls Royce showroom.

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I get a chance to check it out, or at least the conference center ballroom part of it today, and see a few friends in the process. 

Go Coogs, and see y'all in a few hours.