Transgender Rights

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…

What Rights?

What Rights?

By Melinda Chateauvert, Author of Sex Workers Unite! A History of the Movement from Stonewall to SlutWalk at 4:22pm

Melinda Chateauvert will read excerpts from Sex Workers Unite! and sign copies of the book on Wednesday, March 12. For more information and to RSVP, visit http://sexworkersunite.eventbrite.com.

Do sex workers have rights? Put another way, can…

A Jury of Your Peers – The Right to a Jury Trial Free from Discrimination

By Patrick DePoy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:17pm

Congressman Steve Rothman (D-NJ) recently introduced the Juror Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 5848) to prohibit discrimination against any juror on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Congressman Rothman stated, “[t]he fact…

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…

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…

A New Hero for Transgender Rights

A New Hero for Transgender Rights

By Rachel Healy, Director of Public Education and Communications, ACLU of Maine at 2:50pm

The girl, known in court documents as Susan Doe but now known to the world as Nicole Maines, was the subject of a court case over the rights of transgender students to use the correct bathroom for their gender. And last week she won. On January 30,…

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…

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.…

The Shameful Index of Prison Rape - Action on PREA Can End the Violence

By Amy Fettig, ACLU National Prison Project & Jennifer Wedekind, National Prison Project at 4:29pm

Today the Department of Justice released the long-awaited Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) regulations, representing the first time that the federal government has issued national standards to help end sexual abuse in correctional facilities. The…

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