Trans activists hope to improve police, jails, and fire/EMS

On June 23, a community plans for action
NORTHEAST D.C. — On June 23, DC’s transgender community will come together to agree on draft policies that could help DC’s police, fire/EMS, and corrections departments better serve and protect transgender people.

Then comes the hard part: getting city agencies to put the new rules in place.

“Some of the worst cases we hear about come from DC’s most critical services,” said Gigi Thomas, a client advocate for the transgender community. A judge ruled last month that the Fire Department harassed and intimidated the diversity specialist they hired after losing a high-profile lawsuit in 1998 over the wrongful death of Tyra Hunter, a transgender woman.

“If you’re assaulted or denied lifesaving medical care, a lawsuit can’t undo the damage,” Thomas said. “These departments should set a higher standard, by providing better training for their frontline staff and making sure transgender people are treated with dignity.”

What: Transgender Community Forum

When: Saturday, June 23, 2:00–4:30 PM

Where: Northeast Neighborhood Library – 330 7th St. NE at Maryland Ave.

Who: The DC Trans Coalition, an organization of transgender people and allies united to improve the lives of trans people in DC.

Over the past three years DC’s transgender community has won a string of victories in law and policy, starting with the addition of “gender identity or expression” to the Human Rights Act in 2005. Last year, the Office of Human Rights voted to enact the strongest anti-discrimination rules in the country, and the Department of Motor Vehicles changed its policy to make it easier for transgender people to get accurate identification cards.

Spokespeople and participants will be available for interviews before and after the event.
To protect the safety of members of our community who want to talk about experiences with DC police and jails, the forum discussion is not open to working members of the media.



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