Dear NYS Elected Officials:
The LGBTQ+ Democratic Clubs of New York City urge you to prioritize the repeal of Penal Law 240.37 Loitering for the Purpose of Prostitution, also known as the “walking while trans” ban. In 2018, 91% of people arrested for the statute were Black or Latinx. At least 80% of people arrested were identified as female. People arrested under the “walking while trans” ban are criminalized for how they are dressed, how they look, or merely for existing in public spaces. In order to fully support the LGBTQ community, we must defend the most marginalized members of our community, and we call on you to prioritize the safety and dignity of transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) women of color by passi›ng A654/S2253 (Paulin/Hoylman).
New York State Passing Legislation Protecting Transgender People from Discrimination
NEW YORK, NY - After the passage of GENDA today by New York State Legislature, LGBTQ advocacy group Queeramisú share statements from transgender advocates who have advocated for this bill during the past 17 years, Melissa Sklarz, Kiara St. James, Sean Coleman, and Jevon Martin: “This vote today is a culmination of 20 years of education, advocacy, yelling, teeth bashing, and just plain work. It involves hundreds of people, in hundreds of meetings, talking to hundreds of lawmakers with 25 different strategies. And today, our New York trans communities see victory. I was in the room when GENDA was born in December 2002, in the aftermath of the New York gay and lesbian civil rights bill, SONDA.” said Melissa Sklarz, politician, first transgender elected official in New York State, transgender activist who helped drafted GENDA 17 years ago and one of the most outspoken advocates to the bill. It was a moment born of despair. We could not see the roadmap or the end, but Charles King, founder and CEO of Housing Works, told us the work needed to be done anyway. Thank you to our pro equality majorities in both the Assembly and Senate and thank you to our legislative leaders, Assemblyman Dick Gottfried, and Senators Tom Duane, Dan Squadron, and Brad Hoylman.” added Sklarz, former candidate for NYS Assembly in Queens, New York City.
“Where did the prayers go? Two years after the deadliest mass shooting in the country’s history where 49 lives -and their families- were destroyed by hate, we are still waiting for Congress to turn those empty thoughts and tweets into real action. Over 600 days have gone and nothing, except we continue to suffer the trauma of losing dozens more of innocent lives to gun violence but also to the politicians’ gross intransigence, negligence and opportunism. Hopefully, they all lose
Why should we care? Because we have to. In moments when children are being forcibly removed from their parents, treated like criminals, and caged in shelters, when immigrant families are incarcerated and criminalized instead of welcomed, our queer community has no option than to stand up in solidarity.