Transgender activists are slamming as discriminatory against the transgender community such standard procedures as the requirement to provide previous names for background checks, educational transcripts for job applications, and legal name and sex when detained by police.
According to a study by the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), which is based on the U.S. Transgender Survey, 25 big-city police departments have failed to provide for the rights of transgender individuals, and are in dire need of reform.
The study found that 58% of transgender individuals have experienced harassment, abuse or other mistreatment by law enforcement in 2018. The following is a list of the specific abuses transgender persons say they are suffering at law enforcement agencies around the country:
- “Policy requires members to document name and sex as it appears on government
issued identification. Policy allows for other names used to be recorded only as an
‘alias,’ and does not require recording pronouns.”
- Policy does not “prohibit confiscation or use of condoms as evidence.”
- Policy requires “removal of appearance related items” – such as prosthetics, bras, clothes, undergarments, wigs, chest binders, cosmetics – from detainees “be consistent with requirements for the removal of similar items for non-transgender individuals.”
- Four of 16 departments with holding cells adequately address access to hormone medications.
- “Policy fails to prohibit police from monitoring public restroom use or address bathroom use in stations.”
- Only one department recognizes “non-binary gender identities and…how policies on pronouns, searches or placement apply to them.”
- No departments allow transport with individuals of the same gender identity, and 16 of 25 require agents to perform searches based on sex.
Additionally, Angela, who describes himself as an “out and proud transgender woman,” “political activist,” “Officer in my State Democratic Party” and “former and future political candidate” condemns on “Kalisiin,” his Daily Kos blog, hiring practices that require applicants to provide all former names or a high school transcript as bigoted violations of the transgender community’s rights under the United States government’s Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA). He rants:
When we are forced, on job applications to ‘please list all former names under which you have worked’ – what do you think that does to a transgender woman like me?
When Diane must put on a form that she was once known as Jack…it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that we are transgender.
He insists that employers can find out all necessary background information using only a social security number. A commenter who introduced himself as an employer points out that not all background checks “rely on social security number; we do at least two that I know of — one is a fingerprint check … [t]he other is based on your name and your address for the last twenty years. I don’t see any way around that. I will say that process takes place AFTER we offer employment.” Angela argues, “There is NO REASON for an employer to know a transgender person’s former name…OTHER THAN TO DISCRIMINATE.”
Angela’s post later rails against employers who request a high school transcript:
I did not get to transition as a teen…so my original school records were in a male name and gender. This does NOT provide me the opportunity to keep what should be my private health information…protected and private.
He demands that, as with laws that permit transgender individuals to get birth certificates modified to reflect gender identity instead of biological sex, state governments must take action to prevent school transcripts and “countless other paper trails” from “out[ting] us as transgender, and depriv[ing] us of the protection of Federal laws that everyone else enjoys.”
Critics, however, view the complaints against society’s routine safety procedures as a quest for privileges. “If trans people want to be treated like everyone else why do they want special treatment?” one woman asked.
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Failing to Protect and Serve: Police Department Policies Towards Transgender People
National Center for Transgender Equality
American policing is in grave need of reform.
New study suggests that nearly 60% of transgender people in the U.S. have reported mistreatment by police in the last year
New York Daily News
Police treatment of the transgender population in the U.S. is in dire need of reform, according to new report.
Chicago Police Department failing transgender community: report
Less than two weeks before Chicago inaugurates its first openly gay mayor, the Chicago Police Department was cited Tuesday as one of 25 big-city police departments that fails to adequately protect the rights of transgender people.
Transgender People Routinely Denied Rights Under Federal HIPAA Laws
OK, so…twenty five years after first coming out as transgender, and almost seventeen years after my surgery, I STILL have issues that rear their ugly head, and prevent me and transgender people like me…from fully integrating into society in our true, correct and lived gender.