Long COVID, ME/CFS, and Patient-Led Care: Jo’s Experience of Post-Viral Chronic Illness

[content warning: discussion of chronic illness and brief discussion of suicidality]

I recently got a lounge chair for my afternoon crashes. It’s firm with coarse gray fabric, and it is long enough that I can lie with my legs propped up on pillows. For one to four hours many days, I am here, letting gravity pull the blood to my brain, watching my world constrict to the leaden confines of my body.

My breaths feel slow and heavy as if oxygen thickens in my lungs. I can’t stand up for more than a few seconds at a time. Words escape me, and even if I can grasp them long enough to form a sentence, I often don’t have the strength to propel them into speech. My every sense feels so overloaded that anything – any light or noise – feels excruciating. Every sound is a cleaver and I am raw nerve.

This is called post-exertional malaise (PEM)– a drastic and disproportionate worsening of symptoms after physical or mental exertion. The experiences vary from person to person, but for me it comes with physical immobilization and cognitive dysfunction along with an assortment of lightheadedness, headaches, nausea, stomach cramps, and inflammation and pain. 

I’ve been experiencing it for at least four years, but for the first two, doctors told me there was no such thing– that perhaps I was just stressed or getting older (I’m 34 now, around 29 or 30 when I began asking). In most countries, PEM is now a required diagnostic criterion for myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). Not until recently, however, with PEM appearing in a majority of long COVID patients, has PEM become part of public vocabulary.

While its cause is unknown, the majority of ME/CFS cases are traced to some viral trigger– very much like long COVID. Research has shown ME/CFS to cause damage or dysfunction in the neurological, endocrine, and immune systems. Among other things, studies find neuroinflammation, mitochondrial abnormalities, immune irregularities, and chronic infections. Counterintuitively, exercise or any sort of overexertion can make ME/CFS patients worse.

Though the CDC has known of ME/CFS for decades, the condition (or cluster of related conditions) has been grossly underfunded and under-researched

I am telling you this because even with the groundbreaking new investment in long COVID and post-viral conditions, we have so far to go to provide care for the tens of millions of people in the US alone who are or will be chronically ill.

Along with PEM, ME/CFS also garnered more public attention in recent years, as doctors speculate about the significant overlap between long COVID and ME/CFS– with some even asking whether they’re “one and the same.” While it is too early to know exactly how closely related long COVID and ME/CFS are, patients of either or both conditions can benefit from knowledge-sharing and collective power.

I hate talking about this. I hate that every day I have to play the most mundane version of “Would You Rather?” Would I rather deal with my health insurance company or get groceries? Would I rather cook or do laundry? Would I rather get 20 minutes of activity and a mild crash or spend another day feeling pent up and angry about everything I cannot do? 

To be upfront: I’ve never been very athletic. I was an asthmatic, indoorsy kid picked last for just about every team sport. For most of my adulthood, however, getting up and moving was the way I broke from my very desk-bound, cerebral job. Whatever I lacked in athleticism, I compensated for in activity. I enjoyed learning to move in new ways and being present in this body. It is perhaps this last part that feels especially cruel. As someone who came to terms with my transness later in life, it took me until age thirty to have any sort of a relationship with my body– to want to be present in it, and by this time, I was already ill. 

I spent most of my twenties in CrossFit and weightlifting gyms– first as a member and then as a coach (which is its own terrible story for another time). I’ve done full-day fitness competitions, and I’ve sparred for 45 continuous minutes with a jiujitsu teammate just because I could. Now, overexertion – whether physical, emotional, or mental – risks leaving me bed-bound. 

The fact that I can (now) tolerate daily walks and mild activity puts me on the much gentler side of ME/CFS, but my days of running or sparring or olympic weightlifting feel a lifetime away. In 2019, over a few months, I went from doing some sort of sporting every day to daily crashes in response to any movement.

I hate talking about this, but I am telling you because a recent report from the National Center for Health Statistics finds that 12% of trans adults are currently experiencing long COVID, compared with 5% of cis men and 7% of cis women. Of course, this is not surprising. 

To quote JD Davids, co-founder of the Network for Long COVID Justice: “Of course [trans people] have higher rates of long COVID. We have lower rates of being treated as humans.”

We are already familiar with health care discrimination, with having our testimonies about our own experiences and needs dismissed. We are also more vulnerable to educational, housing, and employment discrimination– all of which makes it more difficult to receive competent care.

When I first went to my doctors complaining of PEM and they dismissed it, I went back to the gym and I went back to boxing and jiujitsu, and I pushed myself in that way that I miss so badly – to that uninhibited sprint where your entire body feels like a roar. I did it again and again and landed myself in the emergency room again and again. If I overdo it by a little, PEM hits a couple hours later or a day at most. If I overdo it by a lot, the worst doesn’t strike for another 48-72 hours. 

Because my doctors had never been trained to recognize PEM, it took me a third trip to the ER to speculate that there was a connection between a hard round in jiujitsu and the subsequent fever, plummeting blood pressure, pain, lethargy, and the collapse of my nervous, immune, and digestive systems. 

I am telling you this because– even as someone with decent health insurance, the privilege and resources, the peer-reviewed research studies, and expertise in rhetorics of medicine and illness– it took me years to find any physician who would believe my symptoms. In those especially helpless years, watching my life scroll by from the flat of my back, I found other patient groups as a lifeline. Resources compiled by organizations such as #MEAction provided an understanding of pacing while physicians were still telling me to keep exercising as before.

Jennifer Brea’s award-winning documentary, Unrest, which brought unprecedented attention to ME/CFS. Copyright Shella Films.

It took me another year to pull back enough so that I did not spend much of the day trying to will myself up back to my feet.

The limited studies (and many experiential anecdotes) place ME/CFS patients, like trans people, at significantly higher risk for suicide. As with trans people, this risk is not an inherent part of who we are– it is built into structures designed to ignore or even magnify our pain. Studies on patients with chronic illness attribute elevated suicidality to lack of resources and understanding, loss of employment and community, and the general hopelessness that descends with so much loss and forced isolation. 

I am telling you this because even with the groundbreaking new investment in long COVID and post-viral conditions, we have so far to go to provide care for the tens of millions of people in the US alone who are or will be chronically ill. I am telling you this because disabled folks and trans folks– and particularly disabled trans folks– have a long history of caring for one another where structures fail. 

Before I finally found physicians who recognized and at least attempt to treat ME/CFS, I survived by the wealth of resources assembled by ME/CFS patients and activists and other chronically ill writers and organizers. Even now, the vast majority of strategies and tools I have came from their toolkits rather than medical providers.

If you’re just getting started in your chronic illness journey, if you get nothing else from this essay, I hope you’ll hear this: you are not alone. This is not your fault, and there are people out here fighting for the care you need and deserve.


There is an expansive number of organizations and communities for ME/CFS, long COVID, and chronic illness more broadly. If this ends up being a topic that folks have interest in seeing covered, I’ll continue writing about and provide more resources in the future. Below are simply the ones that have been most impactful for me.

Groups/Communities:

ME Action Network – one of the most impressive examples of patient-led research and activism that I’ve seen. This international organization has been critical to building community around, driving research about, and promoting awareness of ME/CFS and post-viral conditions.

Body Politic – a queer feminist COVID-19 support group that provides peer support, patient-led research, and public education 

Both the above, among other excellent organizations, are partners of The Network for Long Covid Justice.

Evidence-Based, Accessible Coverage:

David Tuller, a Senior Fellow in Public Health and Journalism at UC Berkeley has provided extensive coverage of ME/CFS and its outrageous bureaucratic and scientific neglect.

Individual Stories/Memoirs, Journalism, and Other Nonfiction

that discuss ME/CFS or related conditions such as chronic Lyme, mold toxicity, and fibromyalgia:

Racial Disparities in ME/CFS and Long COVID:

Ashanti Daniel, Wilhelmina Jenkins, and Chimére L. Smith have been central to spotlighting the neglect of POC with ME/CFS and long COVID.

Academics/Researchers:

  • Emily Lim Rogers – takes an archival and ethnographic approach to the politics of ME/CFS, looking at patient activism and the limits of Western medicine with both critical insight and compassion
  • Vyshali Manivannan – writer, creative/critical scholar, and activist who deftly combines autoethnography with rhetorics of health and medicine 

10 Trans APA Changemakers You Should Follow

My birthday lands at the beginning of June, when “Asian Pacific American Heritage Month” transitions into Pride. I’ve joked that this must have been a sign– that of course I would turn out incorrigibly trans and queer. My actual relationship with all these identities, though, is a bit more complicated. 

I grew up in the age of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” without any trans or queer role models. To my recollection, I was the first person forcibly outed at my high school. My story has the predictable pages of absence, loss, and rejection, which I won’t recount because you know them– because loss, rejection, and isolation are the stories we know of trans life, especially trans POC. 

TransGriot has never shied away from pain, but it has also explored the many different forms that healing might take. With this relaunch, I want to keep an eye on trans possibility and imagination, and on the joy that comes with community and care. 

This post is a little late for Pride month, but like many other QTPOC, I never felt like Pride was for me. At least, not Pride with the Capital P– with the parades of conventionally attractive (usually cis) white folks, the rainbow-tinted merch from major corporations, and the notoriously inaccessible venues and events.  

In the spirit of celebrating trans brilliance and innovation every damn day, here are 10 APA trans artists, activists, and worldbuilders whose work taught me to fight for more than the scraps we are given and whose journeys continue to guide me:

1. ALOK

Alok Vaid-Menon in a denim jacket, from a 3/4 view. Their dark hair is streaked with red and brushed high away from their face. They're wearing heavy gold earrings and a floral shirt.
ALOK

A writer, performer, public speaker, and comedian, ALOK uses their many talents to explore conditions of belonging and alienation. Their work illuminates the racial, colonial, and ableist histories that inform Western gender norms, navigating complex topics with nuance and clarity. They share accessible “book reports” on some of these histories on their Instagram, which have provided models for some of my students’ assignments. You can also catch them on Facebook, YouTube, and their webpage.

2. Tita Aida

Tita Aida has built a long career advocating for HIV/AIDS awareness and Asian American and transgender folks. She’s played a critical role in destigmatizing HIV/AIDS among trans and queer Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, and continues to lead as the Director of Programs and Community Engagement at the San Francisco Community Health Center. Writer Celeste Chan has written a fantastic profile on Tita Aida for Hyphen Magazine, and you can find Tita Aida on Twitter.

3. Kay Ulanday Barrett

Kay Ulanday Barrett in a tan blazer, one hand on a microphone, another reaching out toward the audience. They're on a stage, speaking animatedly.
Kay Ulanday Barrett speaks at a poetry reading at the Western Washington University Perfoming Arts Center on Thursday, April 18. (Photo by Julia Vasallo)

In their own words, Barrett is a “disabled Filipinx-amerikan transgender queer” poet, performer, educator, and cultural strategist. Their poetry and their activism provide brilliant examples of gender dynamism, crip wisdom, and revolutionary masculinities. These are two of my favorites among Barrett’s poems; I revisit them every time I need a long, slow breath. When my crip, trans body feels like “carnal waves collapsing,” I follow their voice to the shore. Catch Barrett on Instagram or on Twitter, and keep up with their work on their webpage.

4. Keiva Lei Cadena 

Keiva Lei Cadena in a denim jacket with one hand on her cheek, smiling at the camera.
Keiva Lei Cadena

A leader in HIV activism, Cadena is the Director of Harm Reduction Services at the Kumukahi Health & Wellness Center and serves on the steering committee for the Transgender Law Center’s Positively Trans program. She draws from her experience as a Native Hawaiian trans woman living with HIV to dismantle HIV stigma and to bring culturally-informed health education and care to her communities. In this fantastic interview, she reflects on the role of cultural understanding in achieving better health care, and she speaks on the interpersonal and communal connections behind her work. You can find her on Facebook or on Instagram

5. Kris Hayashi 

Kris Hayashi in a dark suit with a blue shirt and red tie. He stands with his arms crossed, smiling at the camera.
Kris Hayashi

With over two decades of movement-building experience, Hayashi has been at the forefront of justice-based movements for trans people. He became Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center in 2015, and has since led the organization in combatting trans detention and supporting trans and queer migrants. Kris writes about the limitations of trans visibility and the power of showing up for one another here. His social media presence is through the Transgender Law Center, which you can find on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

6. Janet Mock 

Janet Mock on a white backdrop. She's standing at a 3/4 view and looks sideways at the camera.
Janet Mock [Photo credit: Juston Smith]

Someone who probably needs no introduction, Mock’s influence pervades trans media and activism. She has written two memoirs, helmed three award-winning television shows (Pose, The Politician, Hollywood), and continues to carve out more space for trans voices and experiences. She writes thoughtfully on the role of television and representation in creating trans futures here. Find her on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and her webpage

7. Jian Neo Chen 

Jian Neo Chen in a dark denim jacket, standing in front of a bridge and a large body of water.
Jian Neo Chen [Photo Credit: Billie Chen]

A leading scholar in trans, queer, and Asian American studies, Chen models scholarship guided by love and service for one’s communities. You can hear them speak on trans of color aesthetics and the futures they’re building on this podcast episode. As someone in trans and Asian American studies, I’ve admired the ways that all of Chen’s work pulls us toward more comprehensive ways of understanding and caring for one another. You can learn more about Chen on their faculty page and/or follow their Instagram

8. Emmett Schelling 

As Director of the Transgender Education Network of Texas, Schelling has had an impossibly demanding year. The ACLU’s Chase Strangio profiled Schelling and his thoughtful, compassionate leadership when Schelling was named one of TIME’s 100 most influential people of 2022. Keep up with TENT’s activities via Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

9. Kai Cheng Thom 

An author, performer, cultural worker, pleasure activist, and NB Chinese Canadian trans woman, Thom is one of the thinkers on community-building and compassion whose work transformed my thinking (and feeling). If you read nothing else this month, might I suggest Thom’s essay on neoliberalism and trans liberation? Find Thom on Twitter or on Instagram, and learn more through her webpage

10. Willy Wilkinson 

A black and white photo of Willy Wilkinson. He wears a dark button-up shirt and is smiling at the camera, before a white backdrop.
Willy Wilkinson

A writer, speaker, and public health advocate, Wilkinson has a deep history building community with and agitating for trans, Asian American, and HIV+ communities. A groundbreaking figure in trans Asian American history, he was the first Asian and first transgender community health worker to conduct street-based HIV education and crisis interventions for sex workers and drug users in San Francisco. His autobiography, published in 2015, reached me like a beacon of light. It was perhaps the first proof I found that transmasc Asian Americans existed– that I was possible. As an MPH, Wilkinson also writes compellingly on cultural competency. Find more of his work on his webpage.

[Note: I was unable to reach those on this list without photos. If you would like me to add yours (or remove your name from this list), please do contact me.]

The “War on the Word ‘Women'” is a Dangerous Distraction

Following the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, many states have rushed to establish comprehensive bans on abortion. As more of these take effect, there will be devastating consequences for victims of rape and abuse, for parents trying to conceive, for pursuits of racial and gender equality, for individuals’ health and futures, and even for state economies and the GDP. Bafflingly, many major newspapers—including many purportedly left-leaning outlets—continue to publish vapid opinion pieces blaming trans people for this blow to reproductive freedom. I will not link them all here, though you can find them in outlets such as The New York Times, The Atlantic, and The Guardian. Rather than confronting the racist, patriarchal foundation of anti-abortion politics, these writers worry that phrases like “pregnant people” are responsible for the downfall of Roe v. Wade. 

As far as I know, there has been no substantive effort to prevent people from referring to pregnant women as pregnant women. Rather, trans and nonbinary people have been fighting for space within movements for reproductive freedom. The argument for trans and nonbinary inclusion is not to “erase cisgender women” but to recognize that our reproductive rights, too, are imperiled (have long been imperiled) and that—like cisgender women of color, disabled cisgender women, and poor cisgender women—we are more likely to experience health care discrimination, to be targets of policing and incarceration, and to encounter barriers to culturally-competent care

Like many cisgender women, we have been fighting for our right to decide whether, when, and how we bear and raise children. Even with Roe, many trans folks had our reproductive options curtailed by compulsory sterilization, insufficiently trained medical providers, and/or widespread discrimination. Our struggle does not take away from yours. In fact, these struggles are irrevocably bound—all shaped by white supremacy’s need to control which children are born and raised safely in this country. Think of the politicians and pundits spouting “Great Replacement” propaganda—from Representative Steve King’s (R-Iowa) insistence that “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies” to Tucker Carlson’s claim that Democrats are importing “more obedient voters from the third world.” More recently, Representative Mary Miller (R-Illinois) declared the overturning of Roe v. Wade a “victory for white life”—the same woman who quoted Hitler in saying “Whoever has the youth, has the future.” 

I am a scholar of public rhetoric. I research how public discussions affect people’s lives and options for survival. It means I am deeply invested in the power of words and their impact on our actions. It also means that I am acutely aware how words are also used to prevent action. The asinine hand-wringing about “whether we can use the word ‘women’” has been an astoundingly effective distraction from conservatives’ widespread efforts to establish reproductive control.

I use the word control because that is at the heart of attacks on trans health care and on abortion access. When Idaho banned gender-affirming care for trans youth, Representative Julianne Young (R-Idaho) made the connection explicit, stating, “We are not talking about the life of the child, but we are talking about the potential to give life to another generation.” The vast majority of laws denying care for trans youth speak in terms of “fertility,” often falsely claiming that puberty blockers cause sterility. More, the youth at the center of conservatives’ anti-trans panic are largely “middle to upper middle-class white girls”– by which they mean trans boys and nonbinary youth, whom white nationalists require to “bear white children.” 

Instead of focusing on – and building coalitions from—these related attacks on bodily autonomy, influential editors and writers have used their platforms to pretend that “both sides” are attacking “women.” Let’s be very clear: even if imaginary powerful “trans activists” were shouting down people for using the word “women,” demanding inclusive language is a very far cry from stripping people of their rights to basic health care and to live safely in their own bodies.

White cisgender women have been integral to the anti-choice movement, but rather than address this key component of right-wing ascendency, many self-described feminists would rather blame the phrase “people with uteruses.” The misdirected hostility toward trans people not only wastes precious resources, but it further harms a population for whom reproductive health care is already difficult and often inaccessible. More, this antagonism ignores the knowledge and experience that trans people bring to reproductive justice

Too many cisgender people remained quiet about attacks on transgender rights, but the anti-abortion movement is funded by the same major organizations, driven by the same agenda, and has leveraged transphobia as a way to divide the left. There is no “war on the word ‘women.’” Pro-choice activists lose nothing by including trans people, but too many are willing to sacrifice the lives of cis women and trans people for the sake of trans exclusion.

For trans-inclusive views of reproductive justice, consider following:

Katelyn Burns

Jules Gill-Peterson

Cazembe Murphy Jackson

Chase Strangio

SisterSong

The Yellowhammer Fund

#SayHerName Brazil Johnson

Milwaukee police are investigating a homicide that occurred on Wednesday, June 15 in the 2200 block of N. Teutonia Avenue at 6:30 a.m. officers arrived on the scene to find 28 year-old Brazil Johnson dead on arrival. Brazil who identified as a Black trans woman died due to a fatal gunshot injuries.  

Brazil Johnson

The circumstances leading up to the shooting are under investigation. It is our hope that justice will be served and those involved in her murder will serve time for their crime.

There’s multiple stories going around and due to this being an active investigation there’s not much that we can verify at this moment.

Presently Milwaukee police continue to seek unknown suspects which is a sign that they may have persons of interest. On behalf of TransGriot and our contributors we send our love to the family and friends of Brazil. We are currently working with the family to assist in ways of honoring Brazil and seek justice for her murder.

This would make Brazil’s murder number 17 according to HRC which has reported 16 murders to date that they are aware of, the most recent on their list is Sasha Mason a trans Latina in North Carolina.

The family of Brazil has already made arrangements and will be releasing additional information soon for community members to join in support. If you’d like to send flowers (flowers must be sent by June 28th) please email Dee Dee Watters at imdeedeewatters@gmail.com for the funeral home details.

If you were in the area of Teutonia and Garfield and saw anything we encourage you to contact Milwaukee police at 414-935-7360 or to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 414-224-Tips.        

WNBA star Brittney Griner is presently in custody

WNBA star Brittney Griner is presently in custody after being arrested after a search of her luggage.

Russian Customs Service said that Griner was in possession of cartridges that were said to contain oil derived from cannabis, which could carry a said maximum penalty of up to 19 years in prison.

An airport worker searches Griner’s bag.

Russian Federal Customs Service

Sadly in many countries drug charges are ridiculously high, while traveling to Indonesia a few years back I heard a message that was played over speakers warning travelers that the penalty of drug possession was death! 

For those that don’t know or ask the question, why was she even there? 

Griner has been said to be one of the best players in the WNBA and is presently listed on the 2022 roster for her present team the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA and for the last 7 summers she has played for UMMC Ekaterinburg in Russia where she earns more than $1 million per season which is more than quadruple her WNBA salary.

Although there isn’t much information to go on at this time, Griner’s wife Cherelle Griner took to social media to express her appreciation for their support of her wife and asked for privacy after Griner’s arrest.

Cherelle’s Instagram post is below 

“Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me regarding my wife’s safe return from Russia. Your prayers and support are greatly appreciated. I love my wife wholeheartedly, so this message comes during one of the weakest moments of my life. I understand that many of you have grown to love BG over the years and have concerns and want details. Please honor our privacy as we continue to work on getting my wife home safely.

Thank you!”

As mentioned we don’t know much about the date she was arrested but know that her last activity on social media was a post of an image which is provided below. 

Her last post was on February 5th an image of Griner and her teammates of the Phoenix Mercury 

Brittney Griner was arrested at a Moscow airport after Russian authorities said a search of her luggage revealed vape cartridges said to have oil from cannabis.  

Which comes with mixed details and reports on how long she could be in jail, some reports say 10 years maximum while others say 19 years maximum. We at TransGriot just want her back on US soil immediately! Especially as this war is being pushed on the folks of Ukraine and so many sanctions hitting Russia our fear is that, Puttin will try to use Brittney and two other popular US citizens that are presently in custody in Russian prisons to try and force the hands of the US in whatever way he can.

Not only are members of the LGBTQ+ community showing support for the release of Brittney Griner the WNBA made the following statement

“Brittney Griner has the WNBA’s full support and our main priority is her swift and safe return to the United States,” the league said.

Join in by signing the petition to bring Brittney home! https://www.change.org/p/secure-brittney-griner-s-swift-and-safe-return-to-the-u-s?signed=true 

#FreeBG

#BringBrittneyHome

And the attacks on Trans athletes continues

As of January 1st, 2022, Trans athletes and people with medical conditions which require hormonal treatment. This rule book update is one made by the United States Powerlifting Association which prohibits the use of any hormones in tested competitions.

It’s interesting how all of these changes are taking place in the sports arena around trans athletes! Last week we covered the news around the requirements for trans swimmers and look at this. I must point out that this update was made prior to the requirements set by NCAA but it’s all the same, they said they were going to listen to the science but I guess that’s changed.

The first rule that has language about trans athletes is rule 1.8.28:

“Transgender athletes are not eligible to compete in the drug-tested division and must compete only in the non-tested division.”

And this is rule: 1.8.19 (which is the language justifying rule 1.8.28)

“The USPA/IPL does not allow any therapeutic use exemptions. This means no lifter using  any hormone, regardless of medical necessity or choice, or other banned substance (see sec. 12), is allowed to compete in the drug tested division.”

They also made a statement saying

“The USPA doesn’t make a distinction between transgender or non-transgender athletes in non-tested competitions. Everyone is welcome to compete in the USPA and will be held to the same set of rules as stated in our rule book, whether lifting as a male or female… The USPA welcomes all lifters and will always do our very best at all times to accommodate all members.”

Although we’re only in February there’s already been a victim to this rule book update and that’s Angel Flores. 

Flores 22 years old trans weightlifting competitor is the USAPL Gold medal winner in the MX Division. 

Note the MX Division was created by the USAPL, which allows athletes of different gender identities to compete.

Flores took to social media and posted a video on her instagram (link) 

Saying “This was going to be my very first meet alongside my cisgender peers.” Please watch the video to hear fully what she said.

You see all we’re wanting as trans folx and especially trans athletes is to compete alongside our CIS peers! 

USPA Texas reached out personally to Angel and invited her to compete as a guest lifter.

 And Flores did her thang! 

Squat: 189.6 kg (418 lbs)

Bench Press: 109.7 kg (242p lbs)

Deadlift: 199.5 kg (440 lbs)

Total: 499 kg (1,100 lbs)

Congratulations to Angel although she couldn’t compete against her CIS peers she stilled killed it and represented for the trans community! Angel you’re an inspiration and have so much ahead of you so keep being you! 

Please follow and support Angel here’s her Linktree

Prostitution is a FELONY in Houston!

According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, Texas is ranked No. 2 in the nation in reported sex trafficking cases. In 2020, the state Department of Public Safety reported that approximately 1.8 million online commercial sex ads were posted and over 300,000 were suspected to be children.

As of Sept. 1, due to recent changes approved under HB 2795 makes Texas the first to make solicitation of prostitution a felony! According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, Texas is ranked No. 2 in the nation in reported sex trafficking cases.

During a press conference with a large police presence, elected officials and local media gathered off the track in front of one  of the multiple orange signs posted all up and down Bissonnet.

Council member Pollard said the problem was brought to his attention several months ago in a letter from a young girl who attends school in the area.

“She said it bothered her to leave school and see prostitutes walking up and down the street,” said Pollard. “She questioned if I cared about the area. That letter really touched me and I vowed to my staff that we make this issue a priority.” Looks like he did just that! He joined forces with other elected officials, law enforcement and area businesses that had been affected by the prostitution in the area.

Council member Pollard said that in order to make an impact we gotta hit the money! Charge the Johns and they’ll stop. 

Although the felony charges aren’t aimed towards the sexworkers it still affects them in multiple ways as for many sexworkers, sexwork is for survival! The “plan” has multiple components like a larger police presence, possible felony charges for the John’s, cameras recording activity but most importantly the lowered activity from the John’s. 

We reached out to a Black trans woman that works in the area to see how it’s impacted her making money. “I don’t think it changed much for me, I just moved to another track and now the dates call me instead of riding around.”

Although I can see how this bill HB 2795 will possibly slow down sex trafficking in the area I totally see how it will make life a lot harder for a sexworker that works the Bissonnet track. Just know that if charged with the felony it could be punishable of up to two years in jail.

Look at how the tables have turned

What’s most important is that we take a moment to honor the loss of a community member who sadly her incident with this fool shined light on who he was and what he’s capable of doing! 

RIH Muhlaysia Booker 

Muhlaysia Booker

It hasn’t even made 2 years since his conviction and this fool is now on trial for murdering a Black CIS woman 🤦🏽‍♀️. 

“He wouldn’t hurt anyone and he only did it because he was provoked!” Just one of the things that were said about this waste of DNA by Black folx following the brutal attack on Muhlaysia Booker back in April of 2019. 

One month following the attack Muhlaysia was found shot to death on a street in Far East Dallas. Although it wasn’t Thomas who murdered her, the suspect in that case is Kendrell Lyles. Lyles is being charged with multiple murders including the murder of Chynal Lindsey.

Edward Thomas was charged with misdemeanor assault for that attack on Muhlaysia and was only sentenced to 300 days in custody by a jury that didn’t think he deserved to get the felony charge unfortunately. 

The case brought a large amount of hate and transphobic attacks to many of Muhlaysia’s friends and chosen family, specifically a local radio show called Trans-Fusion which each of the ladies on the show knew Muhlaysia. The hate continued on to her immediate family, loved ones and of Muhlaysia as she and community  members advocated for #JusticeForMuhlaysia. Sadly many of our CIS brothers and sisters forget that this is nothing new and that Black men have been murdering Black women for decades just the same as Black trans women. 

Some of Thomas’s supporters said ridiculous things like “he was fighting like a man because she was one” referring to Muhlaysia Booker as a man or that “nothing was wrong they was both men” . So much so that his attorney Andrew Wilkerson, was arrested for disrupting the court, making side bar comments, arguing with the court and refusing to abide by the Courtroom decorum rules. Which was simply to refer to Muhlaysia using female pronouns.

Oh how I’d love to see their faces now!

On this weeks show we will invite a special guest on from Trans-Fusion

Back to the present moment, the report says that in the early hours of Sept. 20, police responded to a call of a shooting at the Williams Chicken on the 2800 block of East Ledbetter found LaShanda Wilson 41 dead in the parking lot behind the restaurant with a single-gunshot wound to the chest.

Security video shows Thomas handing one of the women a stun gun to use on Wilson.

The arrest affidavit says that after hearing her friend scream for help, Wilson pulled out a handgun and may have fired twice. At that point, according to the affidavit, Thomas got a gun from a nearby car and shot Wilson with one bullet hitting her in the chest.

Side note while this is going on Thomas was out on a $10,000 bond for a case he picked up back in April for unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon!

Thomas showed his true colors when he attacked Muhlaysia Booker and looking at his behavior I’m sure Muhlaysia wasn’t the first to encounter an attack from the 6’7 Edward Thomas. 

Sadly it’s a reality that we Trans folx know far too well, that if he hits on a CIS woman he’ll possibly hit us too. So to those that were defending Thomas after the attack on Muhlaysia Booker and painting him to a withstanding Black man in community pick your jaw up and before you say one word, allow me to say 3, SHUT UP FOOLS! 

We’ll be following this trial and hoping for justice for the young lady LaShanda Wilson that was murdered. 

LaShanda Wilson

Although it’s not justice for Muhlaysia we at TransGriot hope it’s an eye opener for folx that followed the case and supported him but most importantly he is taken off the streets and won’t hurt, harm or murder anyone else’s daughter or child.

#JusticeForMuhlaysia 

I attended the National Trans Visibility March 2021

“NO LIVES LEFT BEHIND” was this years National Trans Visibility March purpose and drive. October 9, 2021 was the 3rd Annual March for Trans Visibility, held in Orlando Florida with satellite cities in New York, Sacramento, Atlanta, & Chicago. 

The march kicked off with a rally & prayer lead by host Rev. Carmarion Anderson-Harvey. One Orlando Alliance Executive Director, Josh Bell welcomed us to Lake Eola, Orlando FL by chanting LOVE from the stage!

We were able to reflect on the past march from 2019 with clips shown on the big screen and we chanted “Trans POWER”. We also took a moment to mourn those that have been murdered this year, that we know of.

Unfortunately last year we were virtual due to COVID-19. But that didn’t put a damper on our spirit as we came back this year stronger. We as a community gathered as an army on a mission to march for visibility and to see change. When the march started we stepped into the street and demanded our inclusion, diversity, and equity that is due to us as human beings.

As I marched in the lead with my black trans siblings, I felt empowered and a sense of purpose that our voices were heard. We took up space along the route around the park & passed through areas where people were dining outside and chanting with us. Others participated in cheering us on from the sidelines with signs and encouraging words. Not once did we encounter any anti-trans terfs or hate.

Although the march was short less than an hour walk around the park, we completed our mission. The world saw us from New York, to California! We stood up & raised our voices to face another day! Together we showed the world that our lives matter & the T will not be silent! We marched for “OUR PEOPLE OUR PURPOSE”.

We had a safe and fun event as we opened the door for all the new advocates & activists to join the movement for change. Next year we will be in California, & we need all hands on deck as stated by Marissa Miller the organizer of the NTVM.

SEE YOU ALL NEXT YEAR!

#IAMJEVON

JEVON MARTIN