I just read the article with the new police policies towards trans people in the city. I am at William Way LGBT Community Center right now and I had the opportunity to start a conversation among a number of LGBT people here at the moment. It is a consensus: The policy announcement is a joke.
It looks great on paper but in the real world, out on the street, nothing is going to change. The officers on the beat are going to read the release and say, “They’ve got to be joking! Fuck that!” Laugh. Crumble the paper up and throw it in the trash. We will continue to be treated like trash, called derogatory names, wrong pronouns on purpose, continue to be hated, abused and so on.
The abuse isn’t just on the street. I have had personal experience of what it is like to be incarcerated and just run through every word and form of degradation they can give to you. And there’s nothing you can do. I asked for a superior officer and she was as bad as her subordinates. It runs and is encouraged throughout the criminal-justice and law-enforcement systems in this city.
I was walking down a small street in Center City with a black male acquaintance. We were stopped by officers. They dumped my handbag on the sidewalk, took my valid Pennsylvania driver’s license and asked me why I lied to them about my gender on my license. I have had my gender marker changed on my license to female for some years now. The officer said, “You’re a liar,” and that as long as I have a penis, I’m still a man. They know that being called out of gender pisses trans people off and they wanted a reaction so they could make up a reason to arrest me. I had to stand there and take every word that stabbed me through the heart. I couldn’t do or say anything in fear of retaliation or incarceration.
They wasted taxpayer dollars and department time writing this new policy. It will be forgotten about before the ink dries. They will use it to wipe their asses with and will continue with the assault on the trans community. If they really want to start making things right with the trans community, they need to stop the cover-up of Nizah Morris’ killer. I don’t know any trans person who doesn’t believe the police were involved in some manner in her death. They think they can get away with it because she was trans. What about the other unsolved transwoman murders in the city?
The new policy is nothing more than a utopian fantasy and a bad joke on the trans community.
— Rachel Ambrose Philadelphia