Demand Mayor de Blasio Protect Trans New Yorkers of Color

Protect Trans New Yorkers of Color

In 1969, trans New Yorkers of color led an uprising that would go on to change the lives of millions of LGBTQ people. But more than 50 years later, trans women of color have gained the least from the LGBTQ rights movement, and remain among the most vulnerable groups in New York City.

Last year, the city announced monuments to trans activists Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. But commemorations aren’t enough. Trans people still face pervasive harassment, discrimination, and violence in schools, at work, in daily life, and from the police.

In January 2019, the New York Civil Liberties Union sued the NYPD on behalf of Linda Dominguez, a trans Latina who was harassed by police officers and charged with “false personation.” Even though the NYPD prohibits that behavior in their policies, the City’s own Department of Investigation has concluded that officers do not follow those guidelines. On June 7, 2019, Layleen Polanco, a trans woman of color, died of neglect in a solitary cell at Rikers Island when guards placed her in severe isolation despite her epilepsy. One year after her death, new footage was released showing that guards waited 90 minutes before calling for help for Layleen, and neglected to give her the care that could have saved her life.

Message Recipient:
Mayor Bill de Blasio

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Your Message
Protect Trans New Yorkers of Color

Dear Mayor de Blasio,

Trans New Yorkers need more than a monument. We must do more to break down the barriers that prevent trans people from participating equally in daily life. Mayor de Blasio, we demand that you:

- Conduct a full, transparent investigation of Layleen Polanco’s death

- Ensure that NYPD officers are trained in how to treat trans people respectfully, and are held accountable for behavior in violation of the patrol guide

- Decriminalize “loitering” and end the practice of profiling trans women of color as sex workers


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