Houston City Council Votes To Join SB 4 Lawsuit


People with United We Dream celebrate after council members voted to join the lawsuit against SB4 during a City Council meeting at City Hall Wednesday, June 21, 2017, in Houston. Photo: Godofredo A. Vasquez, Houston Chronicle / Godofredo A. Vasquez
After a contentious city council public session yesterday that featured over 200 impassioned speakers, several state legislators along with weeks of grassroots pressure to do the right thing, they Houston City Council finally got off the sidelines and into the legal game on SB 4.

Houston is home to according to the Pew Research Center the third largest population of undocumented immigrants in the US behind New York and Los Angeles.

On a 10-6 vote with one abstention in CM Jack Christie, Council voted to join the lawsuit filed by Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, El Paso County, several local governments, and nonprofit organizations in a  consolidated suit against the state of Texas over its racist and unjust SB 4 law that gets a hearing on Monday in San Antonio.

Mayor Sylvester Turner said prior to the vote," This it not an issue of our choosing, but when it ends up on your plate, you have to address it

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Mayor Turner was one of the ten YES votes in addition to Councilmembers Dwight Boykins, Karla Cisneros, Ellen Cohen, Jerry Davis, Amanda Edwards, Robert Gallegos, Larry Green, Mike Laster and David Robinson.

Voting NO in opposition to joining the lawsuit were Councilmembers Mike Knox, Michael Kubosh, Steve Le, Dave Martin, Greg Travis and Brenda Stardig.

It was also laughable to hear the conservative councilmembers hypocritically whine about taking laws you don't like to court when you lose legislatively because that's exactly what they did to stymie implementation of and eventually kill the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance.

The vote came after the majority of the citizens who came to City Hall yesterday to offer five hours of testimony, urged council to join the lawsuit.

SB 4 was recently signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott (R) an allow police if they stop someone to inquire about their immigration status.   It also threatens sheriffs and police chiefs who refuse federal requests to hold immigrants detained for other alleged crimes with jail time and fines for non-compliance with the unjust law.

Unless SB 4 is declared unconstitutional in federal or state court, it will take effect on September 1.

Here's hoping that happens.

The 2017 Shut Up Fool Of The Year Race- Midyear Review


It's June, and as you longtime readers know, every year on New Year's Eve I choose a TransGriot Shut Up Fool  of the Year.

Last year Donald Trump became the first ever repeat winner of the TransGriot Shut Up Fool Awards, and so far may be cruising toward the threepeat.

But there's a long list of contenders for this award and a lot of opportunities between now and December 31 for the fools to reveal themselves.

In my home state, there's Lt. Gov Dan 'Potty Mouth' Patrick, Gov Greg Abbott , Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R), Steven Hotze, Jonathan Saenz, Dave Welch,  state Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr  (DINO) and perennial contender Rep Louie Gohmert (R)

From north of the border is Canadian Sen.  Don Plett

There's also Ted Nugent, Wayne laPierre, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Tucker Carlson, Jeffrey Lord, Omarosa, Ben carson, Betsy DeVos, Sean Spicer, Kellyanne Conway, Susan Sarandon, Bernie Sanders and Caitlyn Jenner.

Will other fools rise to the occasion between now and December 31, 2017?    You can count on it.

Handle Your Election Business, GA 6


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Today is the runoff election in the Georgia 6th Congressional District between Democratic Candidate Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel.

Last month Ossoff just missed winning this congressional seat outright on April 18, getting 48% of the vote to Handel's 18% in a crowded field,  This was a seat that was once held by Newt Gingrich for 20 years and hasn't been held by a Democrat since Jimmy Carter lived in the White House.

And both sides want it badly.   The Democrats want it because it'll put them one seat closet to taking back control of the House in 2018 along with the psychic satisfaction of taking away a seat that once was a GOP bastion.    The Republicans are just as determined to keep it, and that has resulted in both sides spending $56 million in this race.

After all the ads, the campaign stops in the district, the ground games and canvassing for both sides being unleashed, it's all in the hands of the GA 6 voters to decide who gets the seat and momentum toward the 2018 midterm elections as the nation and national news media awaits the results.

So if you live in the GA 6th Congressional District, go handle your electoral business .  This one is extremely close and your vote could decide this election.   You have until 7 PM EDT to cast it, so go do so and take a few friends to the polls with you.

Handle your election business GA 6.

2017 Texas Lege Liberal To Conservative Analysis


Since we're less than 30 days from the start of our Texas Lege Special Oppression Session, time to start doing our homework and preparation for when we finally get to the Pink Dome and see the folks who are really on our side and who are a waste of our valuable time to talk to.

The Texas Tribune recently compiled a left to right political analysis of the Texas House and Texas Senate to find who are our most liberal and conservative legislators in both parties.

It's an analysis that will come in quite handy if you're planning to lobby under the Pink Dome this summer during the upcoming Special Oppression Session that starts July18.

It'll help you peeps who haven't been paying close attention to who these peeps are or where their politics fall.   It also give some of you planning to run for the state House or Senate the ammo you need or confirmation enough of their political orientation to run against some of those Texas legislative and senate peeps in 2018.

So let's start with the Texas Senate.

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In our 31 member senate that has a 20-11 GOP majority, the most liberal member was state Sen. Sylvia Garcia (D-Houston), and the most conservafool, oops conservative was Sen. Van Taylor (R-Plano)

The most conservative Democratic senator was drum roll please, Sen Eddie Lucio, Jr (DINO-Brownsville)  and the least conservative Republican one was Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo)

Moving on to the Texas House

In our 150 member Texas House that has a 94-56 GOP Majority, Rep. Lina Ortega (D-El Paso is the most liberal House member, and the most conservative House member is a tie between Briscoe Cain (R-Deer Park), Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford) and not surprising (Matt Rinaldi (R-Irving)

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All three are members of the twelve member Texas Oppression Freedom Caucus that caused so much trouble in the latter days of the 2017 regular session.

The most conservative Democratic House legislators was a tie between Rep Joe Pickett (D-El Paso) and Ryan Guillen (D-Rio Grande City) and the least conservative state rep was Rep. Sarah Davis (R-Houston)

Davis still pissed off a lot of people in her liberal leaning district with that affirmative SB 4  vote

And it also illustrates why the Republican caucus had some entertaining and contentious intra-party squabbles during that last session, because in effect, they are basically split into two groups, the Centrist Conservatives and the Tea Klux Klan-Movement Conservatives.  

So hope this post was helpful in getting you to understand where the legislative and senate players stand ideologically in advance of July 18.

Juneteenth 2017- Moni's Message To My Texas Black Trans Family


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While we fought off anti-trans legislation in our state this time, the transphobes will try it again in 2017, and we need to start preparing now to deal with that.   --TransGriot  June 19, 2015

Today is Juneteenth, the day that Union Major General Gordon Granger read General Order Number 3 that freed all Texas slaves.   For the last several years I have been writing a post aimed at Texas Black transpeople on this emancipation day with undeniable Texas roots.

Don't know why I didn't write my traditional Juneteenth post last year, but I did write 76 posts that month, and it was a presidential election year, so it probably got put on the back burner with all the breaking news that was happening at that time and i never got around to writing it.

But it's a year later, and I made sure this Juneteenth post would happen this year,

We Texas Black transpeople find ourselves on this date having to prep to fight for our humanity and human rights in a Texas Special Oppression Session that starts in four weeks.

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We also are in Black Trans Texas on this Juneteenth mourning the loss of one of San Antonio transsisters in Kenne McFadden, who unfortunately became the 12th transperson we've lost in 2017 to anti-trans violence back in April just before we held the Black Trans Advocacy Conference later that month.

Due to Kenne being misgendered, we only found out about her death two weeks ago.


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But there are positive things I can talk about in terms of another successful BTAC conference in Dallas in which we broke another attendance record and had people from Brazil and Jamaica in attendance in addition to people from Alabama, California, DC, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Tennessee, New York, Washington state, and Wisconsin joining their trans Texas cousins from Dallas, Houston and Austin for our weeklong event

I'd like to see more trans masculine representation from Houston in addition to more of my trans sisters from H-town come to BTAC next year.   We also would like to see more diversity at our Afrocentric event.  The dates for next year's conference are April 23-29, so start saving your money now to be there.

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Because Mama Moni will be ready to defend her domino championship

But beyond BTAC, we need and must continue the work we started in Dallas of continuing to build those connections with each other inside the Lone Star State.  In light of the politically motivated TX GOP attacks on us via SB 6 and HB 2899, that Lone Star Black trans community bonding is needed and necessary

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Something else that is necessary and needs to happen is for our Texas lawmakers, and especially those Black Texas lawmakers to see us walking the PInk Dome, in their Austin and district offices on a regular basis to let them know #TexasBlackTranspeopleExist and care about this state. .

While I know I'm good at it.  I don't want to continue to be one of the few Black trans faces walking the Capitol repping Black trans Texans.  Need some of y'all to step up now or in the next few years to be the leaders you are and I know with every fiber of my being you can and will be.

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We can multitask my Texas Black Trans family.  As we get through this Special Oppression Session and plan for the 2018 BTAC conference, we must be looking toward the future.

We must continue developing our leaders and continue the ongoing process of building working relationships with other trans and SGL groups.

We must continue working in an intersectional manner with other groups across the Lone Star State and the country on their issue concerns.

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We must strive to create a Texas in which our humanity and human rights are respected and protected because our Black trans kids are counting on us as their elders to do so.

We also need the parents of Texas Black trans folks to support their kids, and on our end do what we can to support the Texas Black Mama and Papa Bears when they do step up and out there to tell their stories.

Creating that type of Lone Star State for us may call for Black trans Texans, like our white trans counterparts here and across the country, contemplate running for public office like Althea Garrison did back in 1990.

I said this in the 2015 Juneteenth post, and it bears repeating two years later.

We also need to be as Black trans Texans involved in the life of straight and SGL Black America as well.  We need to show up and handle the community's business on issues of importance to ALL of us as Black Texans and Black Americans.

So up, up you mighty Black trans Texans!  Your community, your state, and your country need you to stand tall and represent.  

And that goes for me as well.

The Rainbow Crosswalk Is Up In Houston!


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Just in time for Houston Pride Week is this first in Texas TBGLQ themed crosswalk went up at the corner of Westheimer and Taft streets in the Montrose gayborhood this weekend.

The site of the crosswalk was chosen to honor 21 year old Alex Hill, who was killed at that intersection by a hit and run driver in January 2016.   The traffic light control box is painted with a mural of Alex and his friends with a rainbow sunburst in the background.    

'While this project was initially requested by friends of Alex Hill,  the idea behind the crosswalk is to also honor  the support and friendship many people find in Houston's LGBT community," said Matthew Brollier, a member of the Houston Pride Crosswalk Committee in an OutSmart interview. "Hill's friends join countless Houstonians in encouraging the city to improve safety conditions for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers on its roadways,"

The $15,000 cost of the crosswalks were paid for by Pride Houston and will last for two and a half years.  A permanent rainbow crosswalk will be installed at the intersection when the Lower Westheimer reconstruction project gets completed by the city of Houston.

Happy Fathers Day, Papa Bears!


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I talk a lot about the amazing moms of trans kids that have earned the nickname 'Mama Bears' because they are fierce and determined advocates for their trans cubs.

But on this Father's Day, I want to highlight and give a shout out this Father's Day for the Papa Bears, the fathers of trans kids who are just as supportive and just as fiercely protective of their trans offspring as their moms are.

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I met the amazing Wayne Maines at the same time I met Jeanette Jennings, back during the 2012 Philly Trans Health Conference, and through both of them subsequently met their amazing trans daughters.   Every time I have a chance to spend some quality time with Wayne at PTHC, we have some long conversations about a wide range of issues in addition to trans politics.

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Since then I've gotten a chance to meet the Texas Papa Bears.    I've gotten to meet and know Aaron Richie and his family, and Dallas' Frank Gonzales and his family.   I'm looking forward to meeting Greg Lambert in the near future if I haven't done so already.

All three men were standing tall for their kids during the SB 6 and HB 2899 fights, and I bump into Aaron on a regular basis at various events in the Houston area.    

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And yes, there are Black Papa Bears in the person of J.R. Ford, Joseph Ghartey and Chris Neal who support their trans kids and provide them the unconditional love they need to survive and thrive in a hostile at times to trans kids world that is trying to assert despite all the evidence that they shouldn't exist.

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Happy Father's Day Papa Bears!  Thanks for all you do to not only help raise your kids, but in some cases are also sterling leadership examples that we trans elders can admire and follow.

Laverne's 'The View' Suggestion As To Why Trump Hasn't Done A Pride Proclamation


Had to chuckle when I saw this video of Laverne Cox's recent appearance on ABC's The View and Joy Behar asked her for her thoughts on Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) Orange Is The New Black, transgender rights issues, trans people in the media and why 45 hasn't issued a pride proclamation like his predecessor President Obama did.

Laverne as usual does a fantastic job in driving home the point that TBLGQ Americans are also Americans, then slides a comment aimed at 45 you'll have to watch.


Killing Black People Is As American As Apple Pie


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Like many of you, I was disgusted about the miscarriage of justice in Minnesota and seeing another police perpetrator of a murder of a young Black man get off for his crime.

But as any African American can tell you, this isn't a new phenomenon.  Killing Black people and getting away with it is as American as apple pie.

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Why am I saying that?   Because white people have been taught and conditioned because of 246 years of slavery and another 100 years of Jim Crow segregation to have little to zero regard for the lives of African descended people.

In order to justify owning another human being, you have to demonize them, and anti-Blackness did that.   Anti-Blackness is one of the negative legacies of America's original sin of slavery. When you spend 400 plus years demonizing African descended people, that negativity just didn't go away when the Civil War and slavery ended.
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It is deeply embedded in the American psyche to hate Black people.  It is also a deeply embedded practice to kill Black people and face little or no punishment for it via lynchings and extrajudicial killings.

As an example, when Lawrence Russell Brewer, Shawn Allen Berry and John William King were convicted in 1999 for the July 7, 1998 murder of James Byrd, Jr. by callously dragging him behind a moving truck, when Brewer and King were sentenced to death, they were the first Texas white men in over 100 years to be sentenced to death for killing a Black Texan.

That's how rare it was for a white person in Texas to be sentenced to death for killing a white person

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If you think I'm kidding about this or the title of this post is over the top hyperbole, there are pictures you can Google of Black people being lynched and the white citizens turning it into a joyous occasion they mugged for the cameras or deemed it suitable to take their precious children to.

Because of the ongoing demonization and othering of Black people by the with majority, we have sadly had a long history of other ethnic groups participating and marinating in that anti-Blackness in order to be 'more American' and attempt to set their ethnic group apart from Black people.
Even African descended immigrants from the Caribbean and continental Africa who should know better have engaged in bashing American Black people when they step on these shores.

Anti-Blackness is an international problem.  Note the popularity of skin lightening creams in Asia, the Caribbean and sadly even on the African continent because dark skin is considered 'bad'.

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It also isn't new that African-Americans have had a long, negative and ugly relationship with oppressive police to the point where we say that it's Officer Oppressor who patrols our neighborhoods, not Officer Friendly.  

And police forces across the country sadly keep proving that point with every ugly incident that happens .  
Eric Garner.  Tamir Rice. Michael Brown. Terrence Crutcher.  All killed by white police officers.   All those officers either were not indicted, or as sadly happened last month in the Crutcher case in Tulsa, found not guilty by predominantly white juries    

What will it take for a cop who kills a Black person to get punished for it?  

And miss me with that Blue Lives Matter 'be respectful to the cop' toro poo poo.  Philando Castile not only did exactly what you po-po loving conservafools screech at us,  as someone exercising his Second Amendment rights and being a licensed gun owner,  he even told Officer Yanez during the traffic stop for an inoperative tail light he had a gun and had no intention of reaching for it. .

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And he was still killed for it with his fiance Diamond Reynolds and her then 4 year old daughter in the car as passengers and witnesses to this extrajudicial murder along with the world that watched her heart wrenching Facebook Live video shot to document for posterity what happened.

The Second Amendment is for conservative white people only.   The National Rifle Association's cricket chirping silence on the Castile case proves just how anti-Black and racist they are and always have been.

When the Black Panthers marched into the California state capitol building carrying their unloaded shotguns, it's interesting to note the NRA was quick to call for gun control legislation then.

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Speaking of the Panthers, one of the major reasons the Black Panther Party formed in Oakland in October 1966 is because they and the Black citizens of the Oakland area were tired of being harassed and killed by police with impunity.

So what happened in the Philando Castile case isn't a new problem. It's just a problem that has never been properly addressed because of its systemic nature that the conservative white males and females in power don't want to deal with.because it isn't happening to 'their kids'

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They also don't want to deal with it because they will not only have to do some deep introspection into their own roles of perpetuating the anti-Blackness, but having to come to grips with how they and their ancestors benefit from it.

In the meantime, because of their inaction, Anti-Blackness, especially when it is combined with a racist trigger happy cop, is killing my people.  .  

Montgomery County Valero Station Engaging in Transphobia


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Why do I keep saying hate thoughts + hate speech =  hate crimes/violence like a mantra?  It's because that is the Equation of Oppression.

Thanks to reader Charity Goodwin, I was advised of a situation that occurred at a Valero station that was spotted by another trans woman who needed to commit a revolutionary act and use the bathroom

She found this sign on the single stall bathroom at  a Valero branded gas station on 340 Valley Wood Dr in Spring just off I-45 in Montgomery County

This is what months and years of anti-trans propaganda from the Texas Republican Party, right wing pastors and conservative media leads to.   Special conservafool snowflakes putting dehumanizing signs on the door of a single stall women's bathroom.

FYI conservafool, trans women are women who also need to poop and pee.  Guess you had this pressing need to feel better about your miserable self by exercising your oppressor gene.

Microaggressive crap like this is why we Texas trans peeps fight unjust bills like HB 2899 and call out any instances of dehumanization of Texas trans people aimed at us whether it comes from the Lt Governor or some idiot running a local gas station. .