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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Transgender Houston Woman Thrown in Jail for Going to the Restroom

Houston, Texas made history earlier this year, when Mayor Annise Parker issued an executive order barring discrimination in public facilities on the basis of gender identity and gender expression. Parker's order extended a city non-discrimination ordinance which already protected Houston residents on the basis of sexual orientation, race, religion and gender.
Of course, someone might want to let the Houston Police Department know about this order. Because last Friday, a Houston police officer threw a transgender woman in jail just for using a women's restroom.
That woman is Tyjanae Moore, and she spoke with Houston's Fox station to discuss the ordeal she went through after using the women's restroom at the Houston Public Library.
"I felt so belittled going to a jail over something so simple and stupid," Moore said.
Police said they were justified in making the arrest, because Moore herself hasn't gone through a complete sex change operation. Because of that, police viewed her as a male, despite the fact that she lives 24/7 as a woman. And the end result was a visit to a jail cell.
Moore herself noted that in the past she has tried to use the men's restroom, but that her safety was put into question.
"I went to the males' restroom and the man followed me into the restroom, so I figured that was not good. It wasn't safe and I started going to female restrooms and that's where I'm comfortable with," Moore said.
Perhaps not surprisingly, a coalition of anti-gay pastors in the area are pulling a Paul Revere now, shouting at the top of their lungs that because Mayor Parker extended the city's anti-discrimination ordinance to include protections for gender identity and gender expression, the trans people are coming to take over the restrooms. They even want the Attorney General of Texas to invalidate Mayor Parker's executive order, so that trans people are locked into going into the bathroom of their biological gender, no matter whether it's an unsafe environment or not. Ah, compassionate conservatives at their finest.
Check out the Fox video with Moore below. Meanwhile, send the Houston Police Department a message that they should be following Mayor Parker's executive order with regards to non-discrimination. The goal of such an order is to make sure that no Houston residents feel persecuted for being who they are. The Houston Police Department failed in this circumstance, and they should at the very least apologize to Moore, and pledge to abide by all of Houston's anti-discrimination policies.


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