A few days ago the New York Daily News had an article about the Kansas City police department posting an anti-transgender on Twitter. The KC police have a tweet-along where they would tweet their daily activities. This isn’t uncommon and many police departments have drive-alongs or virtual tweet-alongs like the KC police department. There was a series of tweets where police officers tweeted that they stopped to talk to a “possible prostitute”. Again, nothing unusual, many police departments like to harass sex workers, or those they expect to be sex workers. I personally don’t think the time and resources should be spent harassing someone who is trying to earn a living. As they were reporting their discussion of the nature of her work and telling her to get a different occupation, they found out she was a transgender woman they then said “she was … a man” and caller her a him/her. It was all very degrading of the police officers to misgender her in such a manner. She is in fact, a woman, not a man. It seemed to me that the Kansas City police department needs some sensitivity training when it comes to dealing with the transgender community.
Yet, what really got to me about the article in the New York Daily News was the very last paragraph. They stated that the Human Rights Campaign called Kansas City, Missouri a “beacon of hope”. The Kansas City Public Media went on to report that the Human Rights Campaign gave the city a perfect score of 100 for two years in a row in their Municipal Equality Index. What a joke. As tweeter Wick Trick tweeted,the Kansas City policy department have harassed transgender women in this manner in the past. I found an article from GLADD from the 2012 Transgender Day of Remembrance that supports this. A transgender woman shared her experience of police harassment in the article.
During September of this year, Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin gave the keynote speech at the Southern Comfort Conference where he apologized to the transgender community for their lack of interest in issues that affect transgender men and women. It was a good speech, but I want to hear him put those words into actions. How can the city of Kansas City, Missouri receive a perfect score in the HRC Municipal Equality Index when the city’s police department harass transgender women? Not only that, but getting that mark two years in a row. These indexes that HRC puts out for companies and municipalities are a joke and only useful for gay white men.
You can talk the talk, Mister Griffin, but you are going to have to more importantly walk the walk. It is time for HRC to stop doing what is politically correct and do what is morally and ethically correct. The HRC turned their back on the transgender community when they had to “take the T out of LGBT” for the 2011 Employment Non-Discrimination Act (HR 1397) for political reasons. It is time to put the T back in not just for ENDA but for everything, including the indexes that the HRC publishes every year.