The Philadelphia police have a new policy intended to eliminate the divide between the the city’s transgender citizens and the people sworn to protect them.
Historically police the world over have tended to use the wrong honorific (sir instead of ma’am or vice versa) and/or have declined to use our adopted names.
It’s enough to put fear into you or make you feel uncomfortable or uninvited.
–Samantha Dato, director of Philadelphia’s Trans Health Conference
The new policy, formally called Directive 152, was originally announced in December and addresses how officers will interact with transpeople and the housing, transportation, and processing of transgender inmates. It also addresses how to speak with reporters about transgender offenders or victims of crime.
In cases where a transgender victim has died, the policy states officers should “use pronouns and titles of respect appropriate to the individual’s gender identity as expressed by the individual.”
We were vulnerable because we had no real policy in place.
–Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey
For officers to start addressing people with their proper pronoun, that to me is totally amazing. I do want to see them come through with this.
It is amazing to me that we would be amazed at being treated respectfully. People should not get Brownie Points for not being rude.