Tag Archives: media

This Friday! Launch of Access Denied: Washington, DC Trans Needs Assessment Report

We’re excited to announce the release of the largest local-level survey of transgender, transsexual, and gender non-conforming people ever conducted in the United States in its new study Access Denied: Washington, DC Trans Needs Assessment Report. The launch event will feature remarks by the principal researchers, leading DC activists, and community members whose life stories demonstrate the ongoing challenges trans people face in their daily lives.

WHAT: Report launch, overview of the findings, and voices from community members.Access Denied Cover

WHEN: Friday, November 13, 1:00 -2:00 p.m.

WHERE: John A. Wilson Building, Room 120, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC.

Elijah Adiv Edelman, PhD, Principal Investigator
Ruby Corado, Co-Investigator; Executive Director, Casa Ruby
Elena C. Lumby, Lead Statistician
Tanisha Montana, community member
Reevs O’Neal, community member
Patty Hernandez, community member
Nicky, community member

WHY: Based upon over four years of research and analysis, Access Denied offers a statistical portrait of the challenges faced by trans people in the District of Columbia. The report includes data on all aspects of life, including income, education, health, housing, experiences of violence, interactions with the legal system, access to identity documents, and the role of LGBT organizations in trans lives.

RSVP today on Facebook, and please share widely!

Advocacy Coalition Supports MPD Clarification of Condom Policy

For Immediate Release:

March 11, 2013


Rebekah Horowitz, The Women’s Collective, (202) 483-7003
Cyndee Clay, HIPS, (202) 232-8150 x307
Paola Barahona, DC Appleseed, (202) 289-8007, x19
Darby Hickey, DC Trans Coalition, (202) 250-4869
William McColl, AIDS United, (202) 408-4848
Megan McLemore, Human Rights Watch, (646) 784-4827

Advocacy Coalition Supports MPD Clarification of Condom Policy

Washington, DC — The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) is taking steps to educate the community and police officers about the possession of condoms – they are not to be considered reasonable cause to stop, search, or arrest someone. In addition to clarifying Department policy via police “roll call” bulletin, MPD has begun to distribute cards in the community explaining that individuals have the right to carry as many condoms as they want in the District of Columbia. The card text reads:

Know Your Rights

» The MPD supports the distribution of condoms to help prevent the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

» Individuals are allowed to carry as many condoms as they want. There is no “three condom rule.”

» MPD officers cannot conduct a stop or conduct a search of a person or premises based on whether or not that person possesses condoms.

The card also provides information on how to make complaints of police misconduct, in the case that an officer fails to follow these guidelines. A scan of the card is attached.cKYRcardfront cKYRcardback

“This important development will help promote condom use in the District, where we have one of the highest rates of HIV in the country,” said Rebekah Horowitz, Policy and Advocacy Manager at The Women’s Collective.

Last July, Human Rights Watch released research that documented instances of police confiscating condoms or threatening to use the safe sex materials as evidence of criminal activity, primarily prostitution. By distributing these cards, MPD clarifies that the police support public health interventions and will not interfere with condom possession and distribution.

“We often hear from community members that they believe possession of more than three condoms can be grounds for arrest,” said Cyndee Clay, Executive Director of HIPS.  “The MPD’s statements put the myth of the ‘three condom rule’ to rest and make clear the process for reporting police officers who violate the condom possession policy.”

The new development came in response to calls for clarification on MPD policy from a coalition of HIV/AIDS, advocacy, and service organizations. The coalition, which thanked the MPD for providing the clarification, includes The Women’s Collective, HIPS, DC Appleseed, DC Trans Coalition, AIDS United, and Human Rights Watch.

DCTC Denounces Ongoing Violence against Trans and LGB People

In response to the past week’s string of attacks on members of DC’s LGBT communities, the DC Trans Coalition releases the following statement:

The DC Trans Coalition condemns the recent assault on a transgender woman on West Virginia Ave, NE and the two separate assaults on gay men in the greater Columbia Heights area. We note, with increasing frustration, that these are just the latest incidents in a long history of violence against transgender and LGB people in our city, particularly young transgender women of color. We are stunned that some media coverage and community responses are sidelining the attack on the transgender woman – perhaps in part because of the Metropolitan Police Department’s refusal to classify the attack as a hate crime, despite the victim’s own statements.

While the attacks on both gay men have been classified as bias crimes, MPD has refused to classify the assault on the transgender woman as a bias-related crime because she was beaten so badly as to be knocked unconscious and, as a result, has hazy memories of her assault. The police department has also regularly refused to take responsibility for preventing and solving anti-trans crimes (as we discuss here). Rather than advocate for safer conditions for trans people, Chief Cathy Lanier and other police officials have recently said, on several occasions, that members of the trans community are responsible for avoiding “situations where they might be harmed.” This kind of blatant victim-blaming demonstrates deep misunderstanding of the pervasive anti-trans discrimination found throughout our city.

We request that Mayor Gray, the MPD, the media and even members of lesbian, gay and bisexual communities in DC to give equal support and visibility to all three victims of the recent attacks and to come together to seriously address the ongoing anti-trans, and now anti-gay, violence in Washington, DC.

Check out our op-ed on continued problems with MPD

We’ve got a new op-ed in this week’s issue of Metro Weekly, focusing on the “Chief Problem” in dealing with DC’s Metropolitan Police Department. At its core are Chief Lanier’s continued pattern of victim blaming, and her failure to recognize that MPD’s current efforts are insufficient towards curtailing anti-trans violence.

A brief snippet:

We ask that Mayor Vince Gray direct Lanier – after nearly six years of failing to do so on her own – to outline concrete steps to solve anti-trans crimes, address police bias, and formalize and fund the training program run by LGBT community groups. The increases in anti-trans violence, reports of profiling of trans women of color in prostitution enforcement, and blatant police bias can no longer be overlooked.

Read the whole thing here.

On-going Updates On Recent Violence, Including More Attacks

  • Violence against trans women in D.C. is continuing to gain widespread media attention. For example, NPR currently has a national story featuring interviews with DCTC members and allies: Violent Attacks on Transgender People Raise Alarm. It’s unfortunately worth mentioning that there have been even more violent incidents targeting trans women that are not recorded in this article.
  • We were recently notified by MPD that a trans woman was stabbed in the abdomen on Sept. 26th by two male suspects. The suspects also verbally assaulted the survivor and her friends with homophobic/transphobic language before the attack. The incident occurred on the 700 block of North Capitol Street. Thankfully, the victim’s injuries were non-life threatening and responding police officers were able to arrest both suspects. They are being charged with Assault with a Deadly Weapon – Bias Related.
  • Today, Darryl Willard Jr., who shot a trans woman in the neck on Sept. 12 on Savannah Street SE, accepted the plea bargain to one count of Aggravated Assault While Armed, which carries a 5 year mandatory minimum and a maximum of 30 or 40 years. It is not being prosecuted as a hate crime. Willard was previously charged with Assault With Intent to Kill While Armed. A sentencing hearing was set for December 6, 2011 at 9:30AM.  DCTC will have an opportunity to submit a Community Impact Statement. In the meantime, we continue to ensure that the survivor’s identity is respected by the court.
  • Last Sunday, about 200 showed up at Dupont Circle for a vigil commemorating Gigi Gopalan, who was murdered in Columbia Heights on Sept. 10th.