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A 58 yr. old single transwoman who loves quiet walks and 'pushing the envelope' in transadvocacy. A great sense of humor, loving to laugh, but dead serious when involved in human rights efforts.

WELCOME

Welcome to the blog that is intended for education, information, entertainment, news and advancement...and it's all about the Transgender community! If you're a transgender individual, I hope it provides you with all of the above as well as empowerment; if you're not a transgender, hopefully this blog will help in giving you a better understanding of the transgender community and that community's issues, achievements/abilities, "temperaments" and diversity. Overall, I hope your visit proves to be an interesting one.

Remember: "Communication is the Doorway through which Understanding may Walk."

Winnona Houston

Monday, April 14, 2014

So What's With Gay & Lesbian Celebs and "Newspeople" When it Comes to the "T"???

by Cheryl Courtney-Evans
posted April 14, 2014



Over the years as my own activist/advocacy work, concerned as it is with the progress of the transgender community is so often closely tied in with the progress of the Gay, Lesbian (and Bisexual) communities, whether we like it or not...and even though often times those pieces of progress don't explicitly extend to us 'automatically', but need to be amended to fit, I've come to enjoy, and in most cases [except in the express cases of Don Lemon and Dan Savage] respect gay and lesbian celebs like Ellen Degeneres, Rachel Maddow or RuPaul.

HOWEVER, recently I've begun to re-think my affection for them because every last one seem to have no recognition for the transgender community. Not one mentions the transgender community in any positive, knowledgeable light. Don Lemon, when he's mentioned us at all, has been clueless, with his assertion about the "emotionally crazed transwoman" at the NAACP Summit at which he was a panelist, because she spoke up about the exclusion of transgender issues in the conversation, then came back substitute hosting for Joy Behar, with a really dimwitted interview of  Laverne Cox, Chaz Bono and Harmony Santana, posing such idiot questions such as, [to Chaz] "What does it feel like, having to shave?" [duhhh], missing the opportunity for any possible teachable moments that would enlighten the community at large about the transgender community. It seems that gays and lesbians who have been fortunate enough to have been granted some mainstream spotlight and attention, all seem to have gone "deaf, dumb & blind" when it comes to their 'second cousin twice removed' the transgender community.

I have yet to hear Ms. "Current Events/Community-Responsible", Ellen Degeneres speak on her popular television program about any transgender issue, even though she has had something to say about the "It Gets Better" campaign (concerned with gay bullying), and is joyfully lesbian and married. She's had nothing to say about CeCe McDonald's injustice or the tragedy of Islan Nettles' death (even though I'm sure it's gotten some publicity play in "LGBT" media.

On MSNBC, (to my knowledge) heterosexual Melissa Harris-Perry has had more to say about transgender issues, actually hosting Mara Keisling (of the National Center for Transgender Equality) to discuss them. Now regardless of how one feels about Ms. Keisling being able to speak for "all transgenders", because she presumably can't speak to the conditions transpersons of color are living under, at least there was an attempt by MH-P  to cover and address our community, while Ms. Harris-Perry's lesbian MSNBC colleague, Rachel Maddow, reports evening after evening about everything political under the sun, touching on gay & lesbian issues, with a clever newswoman's delivery and many tongue-in-cheek references to people/politicians who exhibit anti-gay sentiments & actions, she has never talked about any transgender progress, actions or injustices; she acts as if we don't exist [even though even President Obama has mentioned us in his speeches...she has mentioned his gay community references, but ignores his specificity with regard to the "T" of 'the LGBT community']. So even though I had come to really like her show, I now have begun to question if she (or even Ellen) might be a member of the TERF (Transgender Exclusionary [or Exterminating] Radical Feminist) persuasion. I have actually tweeted Rachel to question this overlooking, but I suppose she didn't (or doesn't) see my inquiry was worthy of her response [because she didn't tweet me back]...anyway I find myself not caring that much for her any more, and I've completely stopped watching Ellen at all. 

RuPaul's repeated disrespectful references to the transgender community [i.e., "I think to be a transactivist is really stupid", use of the "tranny" term, etc.] is beneath my addressing much; suffice it to say I don't watch his tripe either.

 Perhaps it will take more of us, and our gay, lesbian and bisexual allies/friends, publicly questioning these people about their omissions (and disrespects) to get replies from them...but until that happens, I suppose I will still be wondering "What's with gay and lesbian celebs and 'newspeople' when it comes to the 'T'???"

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Disobedience Should NOT Equal Death!

by Cheryl Courtney-Evans
posted February 24, 2014






One of the social change groups that I belong to is multi-racial, and meets once a month to have frank discussions about race and ways to reduce or eliminate racism. We all agree that while things are much improved in the United States, there is still a long way to go.

One indication of this, we discussed this Sunday evening, is this repeated scene of White men shooting to death Black young men and women [and let's not forget the 8-year old boy shot in the face while playing tag in his yard]. While everyone was talking about the "fear factor" of these men that made them shoot Blacks they have a 'fear' of, I spoke and said that was merely a label they hide behind in order to make use of the 'stand your ground' laws in their states; my belief is that unlike someone who said they were "trying to shoot their fear away", my belief is that they were "shooting their hate away", because it was just plain hate that they are feeling. Another member suggested that the "fear" these White men are feeling is the fear of losing control or dominance in our American society. 

In further discussion, the question was asked, "What made these young people deserving of a death penalty? They were sentenced to death without benefit of a trial, jury or anything...was it unlawful to buy tea & skittles? wear a hoodie? play loud music?" After some thought, I came to the conclusion that there was/is one common denominator in these deaths.

I believe it's based in an attitude that goes all the way back to slavery days, includes the period of Jim Crow and survives in that hard core crew of today (that even now wants to redesign GA's license tags to include the Confederate flag) that believe Blacks are to be subservient and OBEY Whites. (This struck me again when I got home and watched the "Diary of Miss Jane Pittman", where the White folks insisted on this obedience or Blacks were subjected to being "kicked off their property"...) In each case, there was a Black person 'disobeying' a White person, and it led to their death...Treyvon Martin "disobeyed" Zimmerman's order to stop and explain his presence [regardless of his real racial background, as racism is often a "visual pathology", Zimmerman's pale skin allowed him the benefit of White privilege, as witness his "friend pool" and supporters during the trial]...Jordan Davis "disobeyed" Michael Dunn's demand that he cut down the music he didn't like, and he immediately ran 'white hot', leading to the shooting of Jordan...Renish McBride was shot on Theodore Wafer's porch, disoriented and in need of help after a one-car accident; she had violated/disobeyed his unposted, unstated law against "violation of his space" by going up on his front porch to knock on the locked screen door [of course, he's claimed "fear" of her being there outside the door].

There may be other death sentences that have been levied that have not yet made the mainstream media, but the fact remains that these sentences have just been too harsh for such minor "disobedience", with the perpetrators all hiding behind a law legislated by Whites fearful of losing control of the race they have dominated for so long. Disobedience should NOT equal a death sentence!

Friday, February 21, 2014

A Day of Outrage in Atlanta, GA.!!

by Cheryl Courtney-Evans
posted February 21, 2014





My followers who have read abitchforjustice for a while, have probably see the piece I did on the whammy that was attempted to be perpetrated on the 'survival sex' workers [predominantly African American/transgender; there is some less stressed impact on other areas that are worked by cis females] of the Midtown area of Atlanta. It was a "banishment amendment" to an already over-used Solicitation Ordinance here. Since then I wrote two other pieces, one being an admonition for folks NOT to "take their eyes off the ball", the other being an update and call for action...

Well guess what? The Mayor's so-called "working group" began by 'postponing' meetings [I suppose they expected the enthusiasm of those of us who were attending every one for oversight, might wane if they did this; (NOT) we were ready to go whenever they cranked them up again]...then they just stopped having them altogether (none for the last 5 months). I suppose their next plan is to determine how long they should wait before they re-introduce this draconian amendment to the City Council.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Black Trans Advocacy Conference 2014: And I've Been Asked to Speak!

by Cheryl Courtney-Evans
posted February 20, 2014






I know my loyal readers who check daily to see if I've written something wonder at times just what's happening to me. Well, life is happening in real time; I've been very busy trying to keep TILTT, Inc. afloat and a viable resource to the greater Atlanta community...as well as participating with SNaP Co (Solutions Not a Punishment Coalition), an organization formed in order to combat the attempts of the powers that be to enact the 'banishment amendment' to the city's "Solicitation Ordinance" (more about this later when I post about our "Day of Outrage") and organizing around a new initiative to establish a transgender-focused emergency/transitional housing facility here in Atlanta...as well as my own day to day survival...

So it might be forgiven that I am tardy in posting this exciting piece of news, because I just haven't been to my blog for a minute...but this morning I had a "hand slap against the forehead,  "I could've had a V8!"..." moment, as I realized that while I had shared this news with my TILTT, Inc. listserve, my facebook groups/friends and other social networking sources, I HAD NOT POSTED THIS ON MY OWN BLOG! Stupid, stupid stupid of me...duhhh!







As you all can see by the above advertisement, yours truly Cheryl Courtney-Evans, has been asked to be a keynote speaker for the Black Trans Advocacy Conference 2014!! I was (and still am) so honored and gratified to be asked. This conference is being hosted by Black Transmen, Inc. in Dallas, TX. It's their Third Annual conference, and runs from April 29, 2014 to May 4, 2014, at the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Dallas. There will be five (5) days of empowerment, with a Black Trans Community Summit, Transgender Advocacy Awards Dinner, Mr. & Ms. Black Trans International Pageant and more...

I feel terribly intimidated to be among such august speakers as Dr. Kortney Ryan Ziegler (by all accounts a technological genius), Ignacio Riviera, and Arianna Unurritegul. These are all transgender activists that I have never met, but heard and read about, so that I cannot wait to get that pleasure! I kinda feel like the country preacher who's been invited to dinner with mega-church leaders...

But here's the thing, my friends...as with almost everything "transgender", particularly "Black transgender", when it comes to financing we must depend on ourselves, our friends and allies. So in order for this conference to be as awesome as it's planned (including providing for us keynote speakers, lol), we must urge our sista and brotha trans*folk, as well as our friends/allies to assist via sponsorship. Please visit this sponsorship link

We will be appreciative and thank you in advance for any support that you may give in our names!


                                           





Friday, January 31, 2014

And WHERE is Rev. Al Sharpton NOW??

by Cheryl Courtney-Evans
posted January 31, 2014





It's been since August 17, 2013, when mad dog and waste of breathable air, Paris Wilson attacked and murdered Islan Nettles, a beautiful young transwoman in the prime of her life. 


            Islan Nettles

Not that it would have made it any more justifiable, but Ms. Nettles was not involved in any "unacceptable" behavior, like sex work. She didn't accost Wilson or do anything other than mind her own business with her own set of friends and acquaintances when she was victimized by this man who at first wanted to 'get next' to her, before berating her when realizing her transgender status.

After first being arrested and surely on his way to justice, this character managed to get one of his cohorts to come forward and claim "to have attacked" Islan also, in order to muddy the waters and rebut the eyewitness accounts of the incident. It so complicated the issue that the police released this murderer and no justice has been achieved to this day!

This murder seems to have sunk beneath the surface of the sea of "national news", to disappear from public scrutiny. Fortunately however, we've got such transgender notables as Laverne Cox, who made it a point to publicly remind us of this injustice to Islan Nettles as an example of the overall injustice that we as transgenders (particularly #girlslikeus of color) must face and endure daily, when she brought forth her name during her appearance on the Katie Curic show, "katie". 

What I want to know is this...WHERE is the renowned humanist/activist/civil rights leader, Rev. Al Sharpton? Does his silence all this time mean that he only gets involved with "racial" issues, like the Treyvon Martin case? He's hopped on the 'marriage equality' bandwagon; does he only view gays as worthy of human rights and attention?

We've watched a whole movement get started, leading to the passage of a hate crimes bill, because a gay man [Matthew Shepard] was murdered. Does this mean that only a Caucasian gay man is worthy of that kind of attention? Yes he was a college student, and for all intent and purposes was "doing good things" with his life, but so was Islan Nettles; she was a popular woman, just getting a start in fashion design. A thoroughly good person, by all accounts.

Why has there been no sustained outcry from organizations like the National Center for Transgender Equality, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Human Rights Campaign?

The New York African American/Latina transgender community has not forgotten Islan, and continue to put together rallies and demonstrations to push the New York Police Department to do something about her death (such as the rally below), but to no avail [yet]. We need more, and in more locations if possible. Perhaps a nationwide effort to hold one "in tandem" on August 17...

 


I feel that Islan Netttles' murder is just as important as Matthew Shephard's or Treyvon Martin's, and should get some attention from Rev. Al and the above-mentioned organizations.

Let's keep her name out there in the public airways, like Laverne, and out in the internet world, until something is done. Perhaps both of those asswipes were involved in the attack; then charge and try both their asses, but something must be done...

This was a human being whose life was snuffed out, and it deserves retribution!

Monday, January 13, 2014

CeCe McDonald Breathes Free Air Today!

by Cheryl Courtney-Evans
posted January 13, 2014

cece

While the community at large is salivating and doing 24-hour reporting on "big bully" Gov. Chris Christie's problem with 'bridge-gate' (his administration's move of retribution against the mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey by causing a 4-day traffic jam of the "busiest bridge in the world", the Geo. Washington Bridge), we of the TGBLQ community can focus and celebrate a positive event...CeCe McDonald is set to breath FREE AIR today!!

CeCe McDonald, as you all may recall was the victim of a cisgender, transphobic, hate attack on June 5, 2011, and in the midst of the TGBLQ community anger, horror and protest at the huge injustice of her arrest and the charge of murder due to her [and her friends] defending herself [and themselves] (and with a resulting cut to her face requiring numerous stitches) against the attackers, and one of those attackers (Jonothan Schmitz) dying of a stab wound in the melee. An online petition against this injustice was posted, garnering over 18,000 signatures, and we believe that petition, added to continued public protest from the TBGLQ community, convinced Hennepin County DA Michael O. Freeman to not only reduce the charge to manslaughter, but as well as finally charge the cisgender woman, Molly Shannon Flaherty, who started the altercation (and was the person who injured CeC)e's face with a bar shot glass) for her part, and giving her 180 days to serve. However White, cisgender, "heteronormative" privilege was confirmed by his office and Minneapolis' judicial system levying 41 months on the victim, CeCe McDonald, 19 months of which she has served before being released today. This even though "justifiable homicide, due to self defense" would have been the more righteous outcome.


CeCe McDonald


We are ecstatic to welcome CeCe back "in the world" with us, but we fully realize that while she will be glad to join that world again, she will initially want a little while to herself with immediate family and close friends. 

On January 7, the CeCe McDonald Support Committee  Issued the following statement:

Dear CeCe McDonald supporters,

The rumors are true: CeCe is scheduled to be released from prison in January. She will wait and write a public statement about her release after she gets out of prison, because she wants to tell you all in her own words and own time. She would like to spend her first days out in privacy, with people she feels close to. Again, information about her release will be shared when CeCe feels it is the right time to do so. In the meantime, she and her support committee ask everyone to be patient.

We are excited to throw her a party soon after her release. As soon as the venue and date are confirmed, we will announce! This party is a chance for everyone who has been supporting CeCe to come out and celebrate her release with her.

Many of you are eager to send contributions of money or materials, to aid in her transition home. Keep an eye on the Facebook page for specific ‘asks’ in the future. Right now, because of the incredible support of her community here in Minneapolis and around the world, she will be safe, comfortable, and cared for when she rejoins us. Please consider sending a donation to other incarcerated people or abolition movements. (Check out the Rainbow Defense Fund).

CeCe has one more request: after her release, she’d like to make a scrapbook documenting the worldwide support she’s received. If you’ve organized an event, held a sign at a rally, or created art inspired by CeCe, please send it to mpls4cece at gmail dot com.

Thanks everyone for supporting CeCe, and for supporting her now in the way she most needs: with your patience.
~ CeCe Support Committee


We would hope that all who support Ms. McDonald will respect the wishes of her and her intimate friends and family in this hour of jubilation.

We also look forward to the documentary addressing the injustice perpetrated against Ms. McDonald to be produced by the esteemed Ms. Laverne Cox, star of "Orange is the New Black", and notable trans*activist and advocate. 

For now, 'abitchforjustice' would like to add it's voice to the rest that is shouting, WELCOME BACK, CECE!! (HELL YEAH!)


source: 

Friday, January 3, 2014

My "Mental Meanderings" as We End 2013 and Start 2014...

by Cheryl Courtney-Evans
posted January 3, 2014




Hello my lovelies!! I know for many of you, there's been a wondering of what's happened to "abitchforjustice". Well as I told my son, besides there just not being anything that has affected me so strongly that I just had to talk about it, I've been so busy with "in real life" issues and actions that I just hadn't gotten around to posting anything. "But Ma", he says, "you have so many opinions on so many things daily, you could just post about any of them.

Well, although I thought this was also true, I generally feel [felt] that I like topics that I felt like posting more than "just a couple of lines" about...I felt like I wanted my posts to have substance. As a result of this conversation, I've decided to allow my mind to wander over some of the things I've thought about lately as we end one year and begin the next. They are important or not so important, personal or "not affecting me, per se"... A couple will concern the community as a whole, while I'll also post 'trans*focused' items...this post will truly be my "mental meandering"...

Sooo, one of the things I'm going to 'write a couple of lines' about is my Christmas present; you all may have noticed the browser connecting you to my blog nowadays...my son's bought me a "domain" for 'abitchforjustice'! There is no longer a need to remember [or type in] '.blogspot.com' when visiting my blog! Just www.abitchforjustice.com gets it. And he's insisted, "Now you'd better use it, too!" So there's the first item in this, my "mental meanderings" to end 2013, and begin the new year, 2014. I thank my son for my NEW DOMAIN! (I felt kinda like Dolly Parton/Truvy in "Steel Magnolias", when she got another beauty salon, and she said, "I'm a chain!", LOL)

Another thing I've had on my mind lately is the case of the poor 13 year old child, Jahi McMath, who's family has finally won the legal battle to move her to a hospital from Califonia to New York, because the hospital (Children's Hospital Oakland) they have her at has determined that she's brain dead, and really wants them to accept the fact that she's dead and "let her go"...the parents want to move her to a hospital that will continue her ventilator and intravenous fluids.

What I have continued to wonder about through all this legal wrangling that has continued "after the fact" is...just WHAT THE HELL did the quack doing the everyday, commonplace surgery, a TONSILLECTOMY, for cryin' out loud, do that would  cause such a situation to happen in the first place???? I mean, I had one years ago when there were far fewer drugs and pieces of equipment available to press into service for possible "complications"...and here I am with no problems, tonsils gone...I'm just sayin'...for me, if I were her mother, Nailah Winkfield, my lawyer wouldn't be filing just to move my daughter, he would be filing suit for malpractice.

"In real life", I've been working with SNaPCo  (Solutions Not a Punishment Coalition), the group addressing the attempt at banishment of girls in certain parts of Atlanta...the "working group" established by Mayor Kasim Reed seems to have ceased meeting (the last two meetings have been "postponed" [but not rescheduled]...). SNaPCo has been gathering postcards signed by supporters, of a "Pre-booking Diversion Program" that would provide services that would change the trajectory of a street worker's life toward one that is more productive and positive, rather than repeat the same steps of recidivism as they practice now, that we intend to deliver to Mayor Reed, that he might seriously consider this route...in order to continue funding this work, we are selling some jazzy t-shirts with our logo on them (see facebook page for information). We had an 'end of the year party right before Christmas. 

I'm also pleased that the day before that party, I was approached by a smart, trans*attorney, who told me that she wanted to work with me to organize a Town Hall meeting around trying to excite the community about starting a movement to open a trans*focused emergency/transitional housing facility here in Atlanta!! I am so proud that she thought of me and my transgender support/advocacy organization, TILTT, Inc., as a "jumping off/starting point" for this movement! We are going to substitute the town hall meeting in the stead of our next meeting, January 14th. I will let you all know how it works out...

I watched the 'rollout' of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), while it was a little disappointing and I wished it could have been better, I've railed at the television that the detractors (Rethuglifools and weak-willed Dems) should "BACK OFF", and let it be, because any program of that magnitude is bound to have some glitches/bumps-in-the-road, and one that has obstructionists sabotaging it at every turn is sure to find quicksand to pull out of...and in spite of all the obstruction, our POTUS has managed to get the web site fixed to such a degree that millions of Americans started off 2014 with insurance that have never had it before, and in the states that worked with the law rather than trying to sabotage it, they are doing great with its implementation!! Rethuglifools just need to stop being spoilsports and see to the insurance needs of their constituents...I've also personally been glad to know that our POTUS still showed that he is "seeing" the trans*community by making sure that non-discrimination [against trans*coverage] pieces were included in this ACA law...soon the positive "ACA stories" will outnumber/outweigh the negative ones the Rethuglifools keep publicizing, and we'll see what we will see...



OITNB's Laverne Cox Is Producing a Documentary About CeCe McDonald
Laverne Cox (left) and CeCe McDonald (right)

Looking forward to the release of CeCe McDonald (I've done a few posts about this situation) in the next couple of weeks (January 13, 2014 according to the Minnesota Department of Corrections website); her unjust case has been the catalyst for some real conversation nationally around the intersection of trans*persons of color existence with discrimination on the basis of color as well as transphobia, and the results from the clashes and injustices we face at that intersection. I'm sooo gratified to also read that trans*celeb, Laverne Cox of "Orange Is the New Black", is producing a documentary around CeCe's story. I sooo LOVE seeing members of our community like the esteemed Ms. Cox, use their celebrity to achieve something truly special for our community!! KUDOS, Ms. Cox!! To an old warhorse like me, it is gratifying to see you younger girls taking the responsibility of trans*progress...I've got to stop before I tear up...and CeCe McDonald, love ya girl; know that I did try to do my part to keep your story out there, though my "material" capabilities were lacking.

There are two Caucasian men that have been on my mind today...one is a man that I'd love to have a coffee with; I read something by him that made me want to shout it was soooo good, the other such an asshole I could NEVER respect him as a so-called pastor. The first, Frank Schaeffer, a reformed 'evangelist' wrote a piece called "The Slow Motion Lynching of President Barack Obama" that is so GOOD...I would have thought it came from my own mind, it said so many of the things I have said (and thought) myself!! All I could think was, "THIS is one Caucasian who gets it!!"...THEN I was perusing my facebook newsfeed this evening and I was "swooshed" from the sublime to the absolutely RIDICULOUS bullshit [sorry y'all, had to call it what it is] of the so-called televangelist pastor, Pat Robertson; it's just a shame that there are enough right wingnut crazies out there to keep this asshole on television...probably the same fools who support that "Duck Country" crap...he's made his idiot predictions for 2014 on that waste of television airtime, the 700 club, and claiming he's "hearing these things from God"...HELL NAW! It's my considered opinion that what he's "hearing" are long, smelly farts, 'cause he's definitely talking out his ass! THIS is one so-called "man of God" who should sit down and shut the fuck up!!! [sorry folks, he just gets me riled up] 

Well you all, I suppose those are the recent "highlights" and "lowlights" of what's crossed my mind (and computer screen) of late...I will be closing now, but not without wishing all of you....the BEST IN THE COMING YEAR!!