I’ve probably done more travel inside the state of Texas in 2017 than I have outside of the borders of the Lone Star State.
But my out of state travel will probably catch up to my instate travel before the year is over,
I’ve done five trips to Austin with only one of them being the personal business variety. The other four (so far) were to battle Texas GOP legislative oppression and looks like I’ll have to do that again in July. I just came back from the ATX at the invitation of United We Dream to speak at their Memorial Day rally.
I attended a transgender leadership training in the Dallas suburb of Irving back in February, and recently returned to the DFW area for the Black Trans Advocacy Conference in Dallas
The dates for this trip have been on my calendar since the conclusion of last year’s event, but as you read this I’m headed NNE up I-69 (the highway formerly known as US 59) or the Eastex Freeway to native Houstonians, for the 9th annual Texas Transgender Nondiscrimination Summittaking place June 9-10. .
I haven’t missed a TTNS since my return back to Houston from Da Ville in May 2010, and the first event I attended after I came back home was the 2010 edition of it that was held at Rice University.
I had the honor of being the keynote speaker for it last year.
Over the last few years, the TTNS has ventured from its Houston area roots to hit the Texas roads and be hosted on various college campuses around the state. In the last few years we have gone to San Marcos (Texas State), Richardson (UT Dallas), and last year Killeen (Texas A&M Central Texas). This year it was time to bring it to East Texas, and I know that trips to The Rio Grande Valley, West Texas and the Panhandle are probably in the TTNS future along with its desire to one day be on one of our Texas HBCU campuses.
So what’s the Texas Transgender Nondiscrimination Summit? TTNS is two days of teaching, learning and plotting the path of social justice in the Lone Star State and beyond.
It has been instrumental in getting trans friendly policies and procedures implemented at Texas state colleges universities and several Texas school districts . The TTNS is also two days of us getting to network, chat with with old friends and meet new ones.
There was a moment during last year’s event in Killeen in which myself, Josephine Tittsworth, Jenifer Rene Pool and Phyllis Frye got to do something we don’t get to do very often in Houston. We sat down at a table and the four of us got to talk for longer than five minutes during a quiet TTNS moment.
The reason I’m going to this year’s TTNS is to teach my Contemporary Texas Trans History seminar again.
This year we’re headed to Lumberjack Country and the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, which is 140 miles NNE of Houston.
Nacogdoches is not only the hometown of Stephen F/ Austin State University, it also has the distinction of being the oldest town in Texas, beating out San Antonio for that distinction by being founded in 1716 and incorporated in 1837.
This year’s TTNS Friday keynote will feature one of our trailblazing leaders in Barbra ‘Babs’ Casbar Siperstein, and the last time I saw her in the flesh was at last year’s LGBT Pride reception at the White House.
Looking forward to seeing and spending some quality time with her and our Saturday TTNS keynote speaker in Jeremy Ivester.
So for those of you making the trip to Nacogdoches to be there for the TTNS, thanks for doing so and see y’all at the Baker Pattillo Student Center on Friday and Saturday.