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Monica Jones at a press conference

Arrested for Walking While Trans: An Interview with Monica Jones

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU at 11:19am
In Phoenix, Arizona, you can be arrested for repeatedly stopping and engaging a passerby in conversation. This may, under Phoenix law, be evidence that you are "manifesting" an intent to engage in prostitution. Of course, this could also be evidence that you are lost or canvassing for a political group or simply talking about the weather. The difference between "innocent" and "criminal" behavior often comes down to how a person looks. Transgender women of color are often profiled by police as engaging in sex work for simply being outside and going about their daily routines. Amnesty International documented this disproportionate targeting by police of transgender women as sex workers in a 2005 report. "[S]ubjective and prejudiced perceptions of transgender women as sex workers often play a significant role in officers' decisions to stop and arrest transgender women," the report concluded. One woman told Amnesty, "'No tenemos el derecho a vivir.' (We don't have the right to live.)."
From Dee to Patti: Transgender Women Fighting Back Against Sexual Assault in Detention

From Dee to Patti: Transgender Women Fighting Back Against Sexual Assault in Detention

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU at 11:39am

Imagine how scared you would be if you were taken into custody by the police and told repeatedly that you are not who you know yourself to be. You are already afraid and the process is out of your control. You want to at least be kept safe while you…

Janet Mock, author and trans activist

A Conversation With Trans Rights Activist Janet Mock

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU & Keely Mullen at 4:10pm

In a 2011 Marie Claire article, successful People.com editor Janet Mock, publicly told her story about growing up transgender. Though at the time she had only shared her transgender identity with a few people in New York, "stories about kids who have…

Remembering Larry King

Remembering Larry King

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU at 11:16am

We live in freedom by necessity. We must reshape our world. We must love one another, or die. --Vijay Prashad, The World We Want is the World We Need, Riverside Church

Today I remember Larry King who was killed six years ago. On…

Things that Are ALWAYS Illegal: Sexual Assault Behind Bars

Things that Are ALWAYS Illegal: Sexual Assault Behind Bars

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU at 12:13pm

Imagine you are taken from your community and family and sent to an institutional environment where everything is separated by sex. Once you get there the officers in charge of your every moment tell you that you are not the sex you have always known…

CeCe is Free But So Much Work Remains

CeCe is Free But So Much Work Remains

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU at 11:34am

According to the Minnesota Department of Corrections website, CeCe McDonald is expected to be released today from the Minnesota men's prison where she has served 19 months of her 41 month sentence stemming from her controversial manslaughter conviction.

CeCe…

Nelson Mandela’s Important Legacy for LGBT Movement

Nelson Mandela’s Important Legacy for LGBT Movement

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU at 12:09pm

"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." -- Nelson Mandela

On Thursday, the world mourned the death of former South African President and anti-apartheid…

Chelsea Manning, Islan Nettles and the Struggle for Trans Survival

Chelsea Manning, Islan Nettles and the Struggle for Trans Survival

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU at 10:58am

While Chelsea Manning's announcement of her gender identity confounded the press, the transgender community in New York was reeling over the loss of yet another young transgender woman of color to violence. It is impossible to separate the bias and…

In Yet Another Act of Courage, Chelsea Manning Comes Out

In Yet Another Act of Courage, Chelsea Manning Comes Out

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU at 4:23pm

Yesterday, Private Manning was sentenced to serve 35 years in military prison. After sentencing, Manning issued a statement, in which she bravely called for a more just society and stated that if she is not pardoned, she "will serve [her] time knowing…

VICTORY! Social Security Administration Drops Surgery Requirement for Gender Change

VICTORY! Social Security Administration Drops Surgery Requirement for Gender Change

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU & Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:05am

Late last week, after nearly a decade of advocacy led by our coalition partners at the National Center for Transgender Equality, the Social Security Administration (SSA) updated its policy for changing gender designation in Social Security records.…

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