NYPD: Treat Transgender Arrestees with Respect and Dignity
Transgender woman Temmie Breslauer recently sued the NYPD for mistreatment and discrimination. After she was arrested for illegally using her father's discount fare card for the subway, she was allegedly chained to a wall inside the station house for 28 hours and humiliated by several police officers. When Breslauer entered the precinct station house, she was reportedly asked whether or not she had sex reassignment surgery, in order for the NYPD to determine where she should be placed. When she explained that she should be allowed access to facilities appropriate to her gender identity, she was chained to a fence and denied access to any sort of humane facilities. During this time, police officers insulted her, made inappropriate comments, and referred to her using male gender pronouns. Unfortunately, this mistreatment is far from an isolated incident. The NYPD has been sued at least four times for mistreatment of transgender women. The NYPD should have a policy regarding treatment of transgender arrestees. The policy should include the following points: 1- Transgender people should be treated with respect and officers should never use derogatory words toward them; 2- Their treatment should be equal and fair, based on the crimes they commit, and not based on police officers' personal biases against transgender people; 3- Transgender individuals should be referred to using their preferred pronouns, and placed in facilities based on their gender identity, not the status of their genitals; 4- A transgender person's privacy should be respected. Their operation status should not be questioned, as it is irrelevant. In order to ensure that treatment is equal and that everyone is treated with dignity and respect, all NYPD staff should undergo a diversity training including information on gender identity and training on the new policy on treatment of transgender people. Lastly, those officers involved in humiliation, assault, and otherwise inhumane treatment of transgender people should be disciplined for their actions. Discrimination against transgender people should not be tolerated. Appropriately disciplining officers involved will set an example to others that harassment and inappropriate behavior is unacceptable. Demand that the NYPD act now to protect transgender arrestees from discriminatory treatment.
Ask Pandora: Stop Heteronormative Advertising
Pandora, a popular online radio service , sent out an email advertisement for Valentine’s Day that was geared towards those in heterosexual relationships. Since users are required to specify their gender when they register for Pandora, it has a database of all its users’ gender. It does not, however, have any information on users’ sexual orientation. But that didn’t stop them from making assumptions. Pandora sent out an email intended for its female users. The subject, “A Musical Gift He’ll Adore - Pandora One,” assumes that all its female users are straight. This advertising is rooted in heteronormativity and ostracizes LGBT users. The subject line’s language could have easily been adjusted so it was gender-neutral and applied to everyone. Pandora accidentally sent some of their emails to the “wrong” gender. In an email entitled “We made a mistake in our Valentine’s Day email,” an email from Pandora explained, "We were experimenting with some gender-speicific messages for Valentine's day and we ended up messing up a small number of emails, including one to this address. We meant to send an email to men with a "Give a gift to her" message, and vice versa." With this follow-up email, Pandora confirmed an ignorant and thoughtless attitude towards LGBT people. Pandora shouldn’t make assumptions about people based on the gender they select at registration.Please ask Pandora to adjust their communications to be gender-neutral and LGBT-inclusive. Photo credit: Pandora
Ask Netflix: Change Transphobic Summary of “Boys Don’t Cry”
UPDATE: Netflix has responded and has changed the description of "Boys Don't Cry" to accurately reflect the movie's storyline. The summary now says: "Based on actual events, director Kimberly Peirce's powerful, often harrowing drama stars Hilary Swank (in an Oscar-winning performance) as Brandon Teena, a transgender young man searching for love and acceptance in a small Midwestern town. But even as he forges a deep connection with local beauty Lana (Chloë Sevigny), the prejudices of the community threaten to doom the fledgling romance." "Boys Don't Cry" is a movie about transgender teen Brandon Teena, his everyday interactions with locals, and their reaction when they discovered that he was born female. But Netflix doesn't seem to understand that the movie is about a transgender person. Their description of the movie is highly inaccurate and offensive. They refer to Brandon Teena using female pronouns and say that he "passes herself off as a boy... until the truth is revealed." The description also says that the character shows "one woman's voyage of self-discovery.""Boys Don't Cry" is a movie about a transgender man, not a woman. The character should be referred to using male pronouns, because that was his preference. The notion that Teena was passing herself off as a boy but was truthfully a girl is particularly harmful to transgender people. The truth is that Teena was a boy and was expressing himself honestly, and to suggest otherwise is to say that being transgender isn't legitimate. Furthermore, the movie isn't about a woman's voyage, it's about a transgender man's voyage, and how difficult it is for transgender men to live in a society that doesn't understand and is disrespectful of transgender people. Please ask Netflix to change their description of "Boys Don't Cry" to accurately explain the movie's storyline. The movie's summary should show respect for the character's transgender identity and should refer to him using male pronouns. Incorrect descriptions of transgender people can perpetuate false ideas about transgender people and can make life more difficult for transgender people.