Monday, February 22, 2016

TMP Endorsment: It's About More Than an Election, It's About a Movement

Sabrina Samone, TMP

I knew the time had come two weeks ago, as I came home one evening, turned on the Tele to catch my  favorite show, and realized that during the entire episode I hadn't actually seen a normal commercial. It was South Carolina's turn in the primaries, and the heat was on. In '08, there was no doubt by this time who I'd be voting for...Barack. Here now in 2016 to this very day, to the dismay of several friends, I remained on the fence. Week after week  I answered the questions, "So I know you are supporting this one or that one.", from family, co-workers, and friends. I really admired several things about all the candidates for my  party, but admit I enjoyed having family and friends try to sell me on whom they were supporting.

When the eyes, this past week, turned on S.C., and I knew that the time was now. It was decision time. Thanks to my parents who were active locally, and apart of the civil rights movement in their home states, voting or not voting once you turned 18 in our household was not an option. Too many died to have this right, so I proudly say I've never missed one, and I wasn't going to miss this one. But who? By now, looking at the pictures, you, my readers know now that I am endorsing Bernie Sanders for President, but why? Let me answer that with three questions.


Besides it being physically impossible for me to vote republican, just kidding, I simply can't vote against myself. I prefer to say voting against myself than the popular, my self interest, because I am also interested in better immigration, that a government should spend money responsibly, that we should have a strong foreign policy, and that we should take care of American Veterans. Seriously who doesn't? I really  loath the way many Republican politicians and voters would say that as if they are the only ones that care about the country, or safety and our livelihood.  To me, implying that no other party cares about that is too insulting in itself for me to vote for them.

I choose not to vote for someone who would want to hurt me, deny my rights, limit my potential in life, who does not see me as an equal, and pass legislation to show me they don't. As a trans southern, multi-racial woman of color, whose a Kabbalistic hippie, I see zero of any  of that represented, treated with respect, granted rights or even the pursuit of happiness by anyone who wears the name Republican. So it's a big fat zero vote ever while I have a breath in my body from me, BUT what the heck is up with them actually contemplating voting for 'The Donald'. I'm still waiting to exhale from this nightmare to be told it was some brilliant political ploy to through the election for the Dems. They really can't be contemplating having him run this country, our military and remain respected in this world do they?


Over the past several months, I have been teased for my love and admiration of the Clinton's. I still, and will always say that Bill Clinton had to be the best POTUS, minus Barack, that we've had since Abraham Lincoln (I know Republican, but different era). Then there's Hillary, and there is so much I will let you say in my presence about this woman. Say what you will, but Hillary Clinton has more cajones than any man in politics. She deserves way more respect in this country than she gets. What woman or MAN, has gone from first lady of Arkansas, the White House, the Senate, Secretary of State, and to being a constant major rival for the Presidency of the United States, all while being attacked ruthlessly every step of the way and yet succeeding time and time again.

When I honestly think of what politician can stand against anything , and anyone in politics and thrive, I can't help think of anyone but Hilary.


Bernie Sanders first peeked my interest as a Representative, when his Socialist ideas were compared to a Socialist govt. I admire, France. Socialism, I believe, if it is equally distributed socially, and democratically with balanced representation of the people and corporations, is a good thing. I've often been baffled at the Republican propaganda machine about Obama, for instance, being a socialist or promoting socialism, when this country has been more socialist than democratic since Roosevelt. The only true Democracy in history, in my opinion, was the Greek empire, but that's a whole other story.

Yet, there is something more important than a party at stake here, and that was the one thing that kept me on the fence about Bernie for so long. It is obvious, with the arrival of Ted Cruz, and Donald Trump, that our MTV, 'Fifteen Minutes of Fame' generation has hit an all time low. The very creation of the T Party a decade ago, by mega billionaires, to protect their own pharmaceutical, and insurance industries from the Affordable Care Act, by selling the most outrageous propaganda to a gullible mass, and lead them to believe it was possible for Barack Obama to be a Socialist, Marxist, Communists who was also Muslim simultaneously, was proof of that. How that machine would stand against Bernie Sanders, an open socialist would make for a formidable opponent, and could be Sander's Achilles heel.

Nevertheless, there's something TMP feels is more valuable, and important to our trans society than even an election, and that is unity in the birth of the trans vote. Throughout the history of American politics, there have been voting groups, and politicians to cater to them. In the early 1900's it was newly legalized Irish, Italian and Jewish citizen's votes.  By the sixties the Catholic vote had placed J.F.K in  office, and later would come the vote of women that was sought after election after election. After the Civil Rights Act of 1968, which I was also pleased to see that Bernie Sanders had lead a campus integration at the University of Chicago in 1962; these events would mark the beginning of the African American vote. A vote that grew each decade until finally, the long overdo arrival of our first African American President, Barack Obama. In our lifetime we have also seen the growth of the Latino vote, and during the '08 campaigns, politicians were no longer ignoring the growing influence of the Gay and Lesbian votes. It may have been noted then, and now as the LGBT vote, but as most of us in trans culture feel, that rarely represented us.

One thing that has fascinated me about Bernie Sanders is his openness to court what he, and a few in media are now calling the trans vote, and in that, is power in the future for trans society. Why is that single acknowledgment powerful you may ask? Politicians careers depend on a vote, and when there is a collective voice using the muscle of that vote, those same politicians can no longer pass or introduce laws based on their reason's for not knowing anyone in that group. They begin to tread lightly on the rights of that voting block. It is true that our community is as diverse as any, and therefore there are fragments of supporters for other candidates naturally as well. I have never witness such a large group within our community, unite, be represented, and acknowledged by a Presidential Candidate like we have seen thus far with Sanders.

Bernie Sanders Stands Alone in Tweeting Support for Trans Housing Rights

Over the past few decades, what our community has worked the hardest for was representation and visibility. To be acknowledged, and respected openly. To have our issues, and burdens not only addressed but given a plan of correction. Because this has been found genuine in Sanders, our community has united in large numbers that are visible to the entire country, behind a candidate. In this act alone, we arrive at the door of legitimacy. We also show not only to the world, our country, our neighbors, but even our sisters and brothers amongst us, that we indeed can unite with a majority behind a candidate that we are visible too.

For that reason, among all others, I endorse, and encourage the continued, uniting support from our community for Presidential Candidate Senator Bernie Sanders.

There are issues in both candidates that have been acknowledge in our community, but I am pleased to see the willingness of both candidates to address those issues. Hilary Clinton now taking on wall street more, and Bernie Sanders making more of an effort to reach, and address the African American vote. I was actually disappointed to have seen O'Malley drop out so soon, as he was one of the first Governors, of one of the First states, M.D., to address and stand with the transgender community. As I said in the beginning, this was hard because they are all Democrat and stand for what I believe, and each have strengths I'd admire in a President. Anyone who votes Dem is a friend of mine regardless lol. Ultimately, I have my fingers crossed for a Sanders/Clinton or Sanders/O'Malley ticket. Now that's a force I'd love to see crush 'The Donald'.


How to help a candidate that wants to help you? Support Bernie Sanders, and his campaign that would increase the rights of transgender Americans. Go to , pledge your support by donating to a campaign free of super pacs, share with friends, volunteer, and encourage regardless of what Democratic candidate, that your members of your local chapters of transgender support groups are registered to vote, and have a way to go cast that vote.



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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

There's a Call That We are All Asked to Make

By Sabrina Samone, TMP

If you've taken a break from the recent news of what our bigots are up, apologies for dropping the bomb, but we are under attack. In fact,  The National Center For Transgender Equality, recently sent out an action alert about the wave of anti-trans bills sweeping across American States. In several states, including my own South Carolina, which House Bill 0108 would deny transgender people in prisons to have access to medically necessary transition-related care. Several bills in various states are either in process or stuck in committee, like ridiculous Oklahoma's House Bill 2215 that would require marriage applicants to state on their application whether they have had transition related surgeries, and for the information to be listed on marriage licenses.  The majority are targeting the most vulnerable among us, trans youth. The exact segment of the teenage population experiencing the greatest amount of bullying, and attempts of suicide.

This past Monday, Feb 15th 2015, South Dakota became the most alarming among those states by passing House Bill 1008. This bill targets transgender students, and would force them to use separate bathrooms, and locker rooms. A move exposing them to even more bullying, that would ultimately lead to even more suicides, among an already alarming epidemic of suicides among transgender youth.

According to The LGBTQ Task Force ;

  • Thirty-five percent of  transgender youth that have been bullied, harassed, assaulted or expelled because of their gender identity or expression while in school said that they used drugs or alcohol to cope with the effect of discrimination, compared to 21 percent of those who had not had similar experiences in school.
  • Twenty-five percent reported they were currently or formerly homeless, compared to 14 percent of those who did not report mistreatment in schools.
  • Those who reported they had to "leave school because the harassment was so bad," had an HIV infection rate of more than 5 percent, which is more than eight times the HIV infection rate for the general U.S. population.

According to the ACLU of South Dakota, HB 1008 was secretly passed by the Senate Education Committee last week, despite not hearing from transgender students, members of the clergy or LGBT family members or allies that opposed it, a direct violation of The United States Freedom of Information Act, a law passed in 1967 to keep the public informed with the right to voice their opposition.

Currently HB 1008 is on it's way to South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard desk to sign into law. Every leading Trans and LGBT advocacy group is urging all Trans people, their families, and allies to join us in stopping this beginning genocide of transgender people ignited by the South Dakota Senate, by calling in your opposition to the bill @ 1.605. 773.3212.  More often than not, since this bill and the growing protest , you will be directed to Public Safety 1.605.773.3536. So I'm also including the Gov. Daugaard's address , Twitter, so that all our voices will be heard. He's office has only recently deactivated his Facebook page. An action that could only be taken as his unwillingness to hear the voice of Transgender Americans.

Sadly the news only gets worse, not only for our sisters and brothers in South Dakota, but for all transgender people. If S.D., lawmakers didn't think HB 1008 wasn't enough, they have leashed a second attack on transgender kids. Today the state's House State Affairs Committee voted 8 to 4 to advance yet another attack on vulnerable trans youth in the form of HB 1209, which is different from the HB 1008,  1209 focuses in on birth certificates in a veiled attempt to block transgender kids from participating in sports programs, and other activities in a manner that's consistent with their gender identity. The bill would have a broad array of unintended consequences for all South Dakotan's, and transgender people everywhere, because it would require any public body to accept as valid all information on a person's birth certificate, even if that information is outdated and incorrect. This bill, if it would become law would also set a precedent for several other states that have similar bills in legislation to be passed.

Representatives of that state have also passed HB 1107, a bill that would explicitly authorize recipients of taxpayer funds or other state recognition to discriminate against same-sex couples, transgender people, and single mothers. It is disguised as an attempt to protect religious beliefs, a move growing among Republican controlled states.

We urge all our friends, trans allies, brothers and sisters to join us, and make this call. Genocide starts with discrimination, and segregation before murder. Let's not take that chance...act now!

Thomas Lewis photo - veto H.B. 1008



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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Twenty Inspiring Trans People of Color; #Morethanonemonth

By Sabrina Samone, TMP

I've always believed that to inspire, you must first be inspired. One month a year, society takes the time to observe African-Americans whose legacy has inspired many generations. In the trans community, representation of trans people of color is often limited to a few well known celebrities, or the news of tragic murders that plaque our community. Sadly too often on social media, and throughout trans culture, any representation of trans people of color are often overlooked, attacked or worse, simply ignored.

Many in our community claim to desire unity, yet time and time again we only like, share, or follow those in our community who are NOT trans people of color. Where is even the support of those who are trans people of color for other trans people of color who are writers, musicians, and activist? Too often we here a cry for fair representation of all those that fall under the transgender umbrella, but sadly that rarely includes people of color who are trans.

Acknowledging the work of many trans people of color only during one month, is a slap in the face to half of the transgender people of this world who are of color. Yes, this month we honor the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, but we should never forget the many faces of color who are trans that are a part of this revolution.

For those who are not familiar with anyone outside of their race, I'd like to share a few of my fellow sister's and brother's of color that are making a difference for the entire trans community, even in the face of trans-on-trans racial discrimination. Here are a few of those that have, and continue to inspire me everyday to do what ever I can for my trans community. We should always celebrate trans people color, and for more than just one month out of the year.

                 Monica Roberts

Monica Roberts, of Transgriot, is a native Houstonian and trailblazing trans community leader.  She works diligently at educating and encouraging acceptance of trans people inside and outside the larger African-American community and is an award winning blogger, history buff, thinker, lecturer and passionate advocate on trans issues.

Laith Ashley

When he's not helping our community as an insurance navigator at New York's Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, Laith Ashley is breaking barriers, not just in the modeling world as one of the first trans male models to appear in a national campaign, but in helping increase visibility of trans men of color.

Sgt. Shane Alejandro Ortega

Shane Ortega is considered the first person to serve in the U.S. Military while being openly transgender. In a statement to media outlets he said, "My commitment to serving this country runs deep. I have been a team and squad leader, a crew chief, and a machine gun section chief. I have been on over 400 combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and fought side by side in fox holes, and remote operating bases. As I fight for my country in foreign lands, all I want is to be able to serve openly while keeping the job that I love."

 Amiyah Scott

After performing in club balls, Amiyah quickly became a model and
video vixen of up and coming LGBT hip hop artist. She was recently approached to do the reality TV show, 'Housewives of Atlanta', but turned it down due to the exploitative nature of trans women, beginning her career as advocate.

Cheryl Courtney Evans

Cheryl Evans is the founder/CEO) of Transgender Individuals Living Their Truth, (TILTT,Inc.) An organization formed to provide a safe, supportive place for the transgender community with tools to cope with the community at large, She is also an advocate and acclaimed blogger of Abitchforjustice.

 Shawn Stinson

Shawn is a former soldier with the Prime Marine Corps. He's a personal trainer, health fitness coach and a body builder, winning the top position two years in a row in the annual FTM Bodybuilding Competion. He's also an avid blogger and advocate through FTM fitness.

 Angelica Ross

Angelica is the founding CEO of TransTech Social Enterprises and Miss Ross, Inc. (, She is an advocate, and an inspirational speaker of empowerment for trans women. A musician and actress she can currently be seen in the new series, 'Her Story,' a first for trans women and the complexities of trans dating.

Phillipe Cunningham

Phillipe was once told he could never get into politics. Now, he's the right hand man of one of the most powerful women in Minnesota. He is the Senior Policy Adviser on Youth Development, and Racial Equity in Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges. He is also co-leading the 'My Brother's Keeper', Twin Cities Initiative.

 Tony Zosherafatain

Tony's a former student of Wesleyan University, an R.N. whose future goal as a nurse practitioner would be to focus on trans-inclusive endocrinology. He is also a film producer and director of the upcoming documentary film, 'I Am The T'.

 Seven King

King is an advocate for trans men of color, a director, screenwriter, playwright,  and producer of the hit web series 'Eden's Garden', an intimate look into the diversity in dating among trans masculine men of color.

 Lucas Charlie Rose

Lucas C. Rose, is an up and coming hip hop/trap/EDM artist, dj, and lyricist. With his own company, 'Common Sense Entertainment',  he recently became an advocate for the trans community with his pride anthem 'This is What Trans Looks Like'. He continues to advocate for Queer and Trans people of color through music, and fashion.

Nil Orera Nodalo

Nil is a trans male activist from the Philippines. He 's an entrepreneur and  the creator and on the board of directors of TransMan Philipina. 

Pat Manuel

An advocate with the Brown Boi Project, Manuel is a popular boxer in the California area. He first gain recognition for his boxing pre-transition in the Women's Olympic Boxing Trails, and was the only vocally out queer fighter. He's recently launched the 'Buff Butch' website, intending to fill the void of queer fitness interests.

Kat Blaque

After appearing in a video about gender pronouns, made by Buzz
Feed, with nearly 2 millions views, Kat Blaque became an outspoken internet personality. An advocate for transgender women of color feminism, a children's illustrator, animator, she has also become a You Tube favorite.

Geena Rocero

Geena is a model, and advocate who is as known for her modeling career, as she is for her advocacy on the behalf of transgender people. She is also the founder of Gender Proud, an advocacy and aid organization that stands up for the rights of transgender people world wide. She most recently appeared on the lgbt channel, LOGO in 'Beautiful As I Want to Be'  

Diane Rodriquez & Fernando Machado

Fernando Machado & Diane Rodriquez, are thought to be the first
trans couple in Ecuador to become parents. The two recently made world headlines when they announced the arrival of their first child. The two are very well known advocates for justice in their countries, showing the diversity of trans people, and continue to show that diversity in their personal lives.

Diamond Stylz

Stylz, first gained attention through her advocacy as the first
transgender woman to attend Jackson State University, in conservative Mississippi. Through her experiences she began to advocate for transgender women through her You Tube videos. She quickly gained a huge following, and has since expanded into making music, and public speaking.

Lorena Borgas

Lorena is a transgender Mexican woman, and has been an activist
in the Queens, NY area for nearly 25 years. Speaking out for the countless trans women of Jackson Heights who have been victim to police violence for simply being transgender. Due in part to her work with trans youth, and those affected by HIV, she was honored by the Sylvia Rivera Law Project.

Jiji Parker

Parker, is an activist, writer, and creator of  GenderFabulous Magazine, and brand. An effort by Parker to create a more inclusive sisterhood among trans women. GenderFabulous offers resources, social events, fashion, and discussions designed to empower women.

Alejandro Santiago Lord

Lord is an activist from Atlanta. An awarded member, and chapter leader of Georgia's Black Trans Men Inc., he is also active with a his grass roots organization, My Brother's Keeper, that gives transition related aid to many trans men.


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