Monday, April 08, 2013

The Big Apple Is Not Friendly...

Especially if you are trans. According to an article in the New York Times as part of the NYPD preemptive strike on violence and crime they are arresting people for “WWT” or walking while trans.
Arrests by the Fashion Police
Published: April 5, 2013

Here is a vignette from March 2013: A 24-year-old gay man named Yhatzine Lafontain is leaving a restaurant late at night with a friend on Roosevelt Avenue and 95th Street in Queens. Both are dressed as women, Mr. Lafontain in a jacket, short dress and heels. Exchanging goodbyes outside, they are approached by a man who tells them they look good.

In Mr. Lafontain’s account, they chatted briefly to avoid seeming rude and the man departed. Within a few minutes, an undercover police officer approached Mr. Lafontain and his friend and arrested them, suspecting them of prostitution. “We were surprised,” Mr. Lafontain told me, “because we had never talked to anyone about sex or money.”
Last week, Mitchyll Mora, a youth leader at a group called Streetwise and Safe told me about an experience he had last spring, on his way to a poetry reading on the Lower East Side. Dressed in a style he called non-gender-conforming — makeup, boots, long earrings — he was stopped and searched by the police for no reason he could understand. The police made him throw his hands up against the wall, invoked a gay slur and grabbed his buttocks, he said. “I should have tried to file a report, but it’s hard to feel empowered in this kind of situation,” he said.
Two years ago, Ms. Ritchie settled a lawsuit against the Police Department for a transgender client, Ryhannah Combs, who was arrested on suspicion of prostitution while making her way to a McDonald’s in the Village. The complaint said the police had listed nine condoms among her possessions even though Ms. Combs was not carrying any at the time of her arrest.
It all depends on your race and where you are if you will get stopped and arrested. It seems like if you are black or Hispanic you are much more likely to get frisked.  The police says that these stop and frisk cut violent crimes, but what it really does is put fear into the hearts of the trans-community.

In the independent news blog Sheepshead there is a report that a trans-woman died because EMTs refused to treat a diabetic trans-person.
EMS Denied Transgender Patient Care Causing Her Death,Alleges Sheepshead Bay Lawyer
by Sheepshead Bites on Apr 2nd, 2013      

ONLY ON SHEEPSHEAD BITES: Emergency responders left Shaun Smith to die because she is transgender, claims a lawsuit brought by the victim’s mother. The Sheepshead Bay attorney representing her says it’s part of a disturbing national trend of discrimination against transgender patients.

The allegations stem from a June 15, 2012, incident, when Smith’s mother, Jenette Cox called 911 after Smith – a transgender woman who was born a man – went into diabetic shock. When EMS responders arrived on the scene and found the victim to be transgender, they failed to render services, Cox alleges.
Treating a person in diabetic shock is easy, you start a glucose IV. If the allegation is true then this should be much more than a civil matter, I think it should be a hate crime or even murder. Because by refusing to start treatment it resulted in a death.

The lawyer and mother also said that,
Novofastovsky  and Cox also name Harlem Hospital in the lawsuit, which Smith checked into on December 2011, complaining about a headache from having taken “too many diet pills,” according to the hospital report. The medical report includes the hormones that Smith was taking at the time.

Novofastovsky said the hospital was also discriminatory in caring for Smith, having sent her to the mental health clinic rather than given medical care, where they might have discovered the onset of diabetes.

He points to the report from the visit, which diagnosis Smith with an “unspecified, drug induced mental disorder.”
"They should have either done hormone monitoring or referred him to a physician, to monitor his intake,” he said.
This is something that I always worry about, will I be just brushed off or worst yet be given incomplete heath care.

And this is in a city with a strong gender inclusive non-discrimination ordinance.

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