August 27, 2011 at 3:02 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Off-duty D.C. cop arrested for shooting trans women

About 70 people turned out for a 6:30 p.m. rally at the site of the shooting.

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray joined LGBT activists on Friday in expressing shock and outrage over news that an off-duty District police officer allegedly fired a pistol at three transgender women and two male friends while the group was sitting in a car on a city street.

Police issued a statement Friday saying three of the people in the car “sustained non-life threatening injuries” in the incident. The statement said the officer involved in the incident was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and driving while intoxicated.

Deputy Police Chief Diane Groomes told the Blade that the officer, identified by police sources as Kenneth Furr, was stripped of his police duties pending the outcome of an investigation by the department’s Internal Affairs Division and Force Investigation Team.


In a separate statement released earlier in the day, Mayor Gray expressed “shock and outrage” over the incident.

“I am deeply troubled by the apparent circumstances surrounding this incident and await the results of a full MPD investigation,” Gray said. “These are serious charges, and they are particularly disturbing to have been brought against one who is sworn to protect and serve.”

Gray praised members of the LGBT community, including officials with the local group Transgender Health Empowerment, for providing immediate assistance to the victims and help in the police investigation.

Employees with Transgender Health Empowerment and members of the D.C. Trans Coalition said they spoke on Friday with two of the transgender women involved in the incident. According to the employees and the DCTC members, the two women said the incident started when Officer Furr, appearing drunk, approached one of the two women on the street near First and Pierce Streets, N.W. about 5:25 a.m.

They said the two victims informed them that Furr became angry when he solicited one of the women for sex and she turned him down. What unfolded next remains unclear, with police officials saying they wanted to wait until Furr appeared in court on Saturday or Monday before providing full details as they known them.

“Preliminary investigation reveals a confrontation occurred involving an off-duty officer and five other individuals, some of which are members of the transgender community,” police said in a statement released Friday morning. “The officer discharged a handgun and one person was shot and sustained non-life threatening injuries,” the statement says.

“Two other individuals involved in the incident sustained injuries which are also non-life threatening,” according to the statement. “The nature of those injuries is under investigation to determine their cause.”

T.H.E. employee and transgender activist Jeri Hughes said two of the trans women involved in the incident told her organization that one of them was struck by a bullet in the hand and the other was grazed by a bullet. Hughes said one of the men in the car with the three trans women, who was identified as the brother of one of the women, sustained a “very serious” gunshot wound and was in critical condition at George Washington University Hospital.

Police would neither confirm nor deny that report as of late Friday, saying they were still investigating the details of the incident.

About 70 people turned out for a 6:30 p.m. rally at the site of the shooting, which was organized by T.H.E. and DCTC. Among those who spoke at the rally were D.C. Council member Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) and Groomes, who said she was appearing on behalf of Police Chief Cathy Lanier.

DCTC member Elijah Edelman told the gathering that Friday’s shooting of at least two transgender women by an off-duty police officer was one of many attacks and assaults against trans women that have occurred in the past few months in D.C.

“So I think it’s fair to say a lot of us are really pissed off,” he said. “It’s very, very frustrating. We had conversations with Chief Lanier over the past several weeks, over the past several years, and nothing changes – nothing changes,” Edelman said. “So this is a moment in which we can finally say enough – we’re not going to keep doing this.”

Other activists speaking at the rally, including D.C. Trans Coalition member Ruby Corado, praised the police handling of the latest incident. They said they were hopeful that police were finally carrying out a department policy for transgender related matters that was excellent “on paper” but had not been followed very often by rank and file officers.

In the latest case, the department’s Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit was called immediately to provide help, Groomes told the rally. She said the GLLU, in turn, immediately alerted LGBT activists on its e-mail list about the incident and what the unit was doing to respond.

Two Latino transgender women who spoke at the rally gave personal accounts of attacks against them in the city. Both women spoke in Spanish, with Corado translating their remarks in English. One told of how she was beaten and raped two weeks ago by an ex-boyfriend. The other women told of how she was attacked inside Dupont Circle by a male assailant who she is certain targeted her because of her status as a transgender woman.

“We wanted them to come here so we can put a human face on the statistics of so many of these cases that continue to happen,” Corado said.

Others speaking at the rally included A.J. Singletary of Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence (GLOV), Cyndee Clay of Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive (HIPS), and Sadie Vashti of D.C. Trans Coalition.

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Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

  • First, there was NO FIGHT at the CVS store. There was NO FIGHT anywhere. Furr made advances on one of the transgender women, and those advances were rejected. The male friend (not boyfriend) who was accompanying her at the store politely asked Furr to leave the woman alone, that she was not interested. Furr became angry and hostile…he was drunk. He confronted the male outside, brandishing a firearm. Another off duty policeman witnessed the display, and called for assistance. Furr left in his car, and the male friend who was driving followed him to assist police apprehension. Furr became angry and stopped his car suddenly, causing a minor collision. At that time, Furr jumped from his vehicle, stated that he was going to kill everyone, and opened fire. Furr jumped on the roof of the car, and continued firing through the roof. Most of the passengers within the car had no idea of what was taking place, and were not even aware of the incident that occured within the CVS. The MPD, responding to the call from the unnamed off duty officer were immediately on the scene. Unfortunately, due to MPD bias, the perpetrator was gently disarmed and treated with respect as he was led away. The victims in this crime (who were individuals of color, including transgender women) were treated as suspects, abused, and handcuffed…even as they were receiving medical care at the hospital facility.

    • first of all you sound like one of the trans women – when you say another off duty police arrived you definitely identify officer Furr as a police your words not mine ? then you say the male friend not a police made a high speed low speed? car chase witch resulted in an accident with what was already I.D. as a police officer – then you really start to make sense you are either in the car when you say the shooting starts or a mind reader and then you expect police to treat police how?

    • The fact that the off-duty officer was arrested on the scene highlights just how bad the situation was — they may have treated him more gently than he deserved, but police DO NOT arrest their own at all except in the most extreme circumstances.

  • First, why is it Lanier’s fault that MPD has a rogue cop that commits a serious crime? She’s not responsible, nor is any boss, for the actions of their employees 24/7. It’s the manner in which Lanier acts post the event that matters.

    Second, why do we have another incident of transgender women apparently plying the streets? They must be desperate for “business” if they’re out at 5:30am. While this is a reprehensible crime, one has to ask what are these transgender women in DC doing? As I’ve written in other posts of other recent similar stories, if one “works” the streets, then, well, que sera, sera.

    • :”They must be desperate for “business” if they’re out at 5:30am.”

      Perhaps they had applied for non-sex-work jobs at HRC and were turned down because it already has its token trans woman quota.

    • Yes, let the crook off the hook because it must be the victims fault. Ummm NO.

    • It’s true that many trans women have no other opportunities to support themselves besides engaging in survival sex work, and we shouldn’t be punished or faced with violence because of this. We’re already forced to work the streets, which is bad enough as it is. We don’t need cops attacking us on top of that. These trans women aren’t harming anyone. Innocent people don’t deserve to be shot. We should have the right to be wherever we want, at any time of the day (or night), without fearing for our safety, especially from people who are paid to “protect” us from violence.

      • You wrote, astonishingly, “…We don’t need cops attacking us on top of that…” In fact, the cops should be arresting you if you’re, as you say, working the streets.

        • The fact that the cop tried to solicit renders all of your points invalid (never mind that he was off-duty and severely drunk). Solicitation is itself a crime – when police officers solicit a suspected prostitute rather than allowing her to offer her services, they become guilty of both solicitation and (attempted) entrapment.

          Never mind that she turned him down twice, at 5:30 in the morning, at a CVS store! Even assuming for the moment that she WAS a working girl, prostitutes are not “on duty” 24/7 EITHER.

          There is no reason to follow this line of conversation for you, other than to re-demonstrate the depths of your contempt for both sex workers and transsexuals. I know several sex workers, and their personal and professional integrity blow what I’ve seen of yours completely out of the water.

  • LB, the young woman was solicited by the po-lice, not the other way around. she rejected him. he offered her money. she refused. he offered her more money. she refused. your cavalier comments display your bigotry and your ignorance. MPD was lauded for their communication with the community – the criticism is directed at the rank and file who, like yourself, deem transgender women to be guilty solely because they are transgender, and treat them as if they are subhuman or criminals deserving of the violence that they are subjected to. que sera, sera.

    • Incorrect Jeri. I’ll repeat myself since apparently you don’t get it: “While this is a reprehensible crime, one has to ask what are these transgender women in DC doing? As I’ve written in other posts of other recent similar stories, if one “works” the streets, then, well, que sera, sera.” It’s not the point who asked who for what. The point is, these “women” were in a known prostitute area at 5:30am with other men. Why aren’t they in bed, like average Joe’s and Mary’s, about to get up to go to work? The answer – the incident happened while they WERE at work. One makes bad choices and one suffers bad consequences. Very simple, Jeri.

      • read my post above. and maybe you will get. or maybe you won’t.

        • You didn’t answer my logical questions, because you can’t.

          • You did not ask one valid question, rather you attempted to drum up hatred for transgendered people by calling them prostitutes for being in a pharmacy. Just stop.
            As a hard working American trying to support my family I ran factory equipment on third shift — from 11 at night to 7 in the morning and I’d get a lunch around 4:30 in the morning. Does that mean that I too am a prostitute in your eyes?

        • Oh, I think we got it loud and clear. It is called victim blaming. It is a technique you use to make yourself feel better, to allow yourself the false comfort of believing that something like this could never happen to you. You gladly revictimize and diminish the victim because… well because crimes like this never happen to people like you, so the victim must have done something wrong, they must be nothing like you. I will grant some credit here and concede that you likely have no idea what you are truly saying, or why, because yours is very much a learned response. It is still a vile and distasteful response that meets all of the criteria for transphobia, classism, and arguably racism. Those things may not actually exist in your heart, in which case you would do well to ask yourself why your mind would play those cards to protect itself.

  • whenever there,s an incident involving gay or transgenders they seem to always try and use this as the reason for the arrest or attack but when you break the law or frequent high crime area,s you subject yourself to whatever happens in this case the black male had no business in pursuit of any other vehicle at any time ,i don,t believe the officer solicited the woman for sex because if he had why would she turn him down ,at 530am what else are you doing in certain areas? ,lets wait to hear the officers comments on what happened he deserves at least this much after serving his country and the dc police ,what else would they say ,that they were doing something wrong not likely, by all accounts at this time ,officer furr clearly identified his self as a police officer that should have been enough to calm the situation how ever it didn,t- did sexuality play a role this should not become an excuse to do whatever you want at any time, everyone has to follow laws and rules when people don,t they should not be able to use sex,race,age,nationality,gender or any other excuse and those who support these different groups should not alloy this either because when there,s cases of wrong doing for these reasons as american we should all stand up and fight no matter who the victim is – should police support police or should they support criminals ? wow!

    • Jeri, I am not sure what bothers me here more. You have managed to 1. imply that a trans* woman out after dark must be a sex worker, 2. that a woman of color in certain neighborhoods must be a sex worker, and 3. that somehow being a sex worker (or even being suspected of such) makes a violent crime somehow less of an issue. Could you be more wrong on more levels than this if you tried? I do hate to break this to you, but free citizens, even those of color or trans* identified, have the right to be in public when and where they desire, and their presence there signifies nothing. Profiling is absurd, bigoted and wrong, has that not been proven enough times for you? Furthermore, it would not matter if this woman was a sex worker, standing on someones car and shooting at it is never a justified act, never an excusable act, and should never be met with anything but contempt. Another action that is never justified is victim blaming, and on that you are guilty as charged.

      As a Trans* woman, your profiling and assumption strikes me as vile, as a feminist your habit of victim blaming and secondary victimization flat pisses me off. It must be comforting to live in a world where you can make such vile statements because you can remain utterly blind to reality. You would do well to stay in that world, lest you find yourself on the wrong side of the equation due to actions not of your own making. I guarantee, if you ever do, there will be a long line of people just like you standing ready to blame you, insult you, and question your motives and humanity. Think on that for awhile.

    • Wow! So, you’re certain that she IS a prostitute? You ask why would she turn him down if he was offering money? That seems to suggest that you’re assuming this woman was indeed a prostitute. Do you have evidence of that?! That’s very ignorant and judgmental of you!

      Also, punctuation please!

      • As the Washington Post reported, the incident occurred at 1st and Pierce streets NW – a known prostitution and high crime area. Two trans women sitting in a car with a few guys at 5:30 am at this location; huuuummm, let me think…oh yeah, they were discussing the upcoming presidential election. Gary, I’ll forgive you this time – you must have had a tough day at work…

        • Liar.

          They were in a CVS store when the drunk off-duty cop propositioned her. After they left, he rammed their car, jumped on the hood, shouted “I’m going to kill you” and started shooting.

    • It is very apparently that you did not read all the article. the incident inside the CVS was witnessed by another off duty police officer who did call for back-up, but Furr left the area before back-up arrived. As for 5;30 am. That is not an unreasonable time to be up and about. I regularly leave my house at 5 am to go to work, where I have a 1 hr drive to work at a telecommunications company.

  • I think police officers think they can mess with anyone. I donot like MPD police department, and i don’t like the POLICE CHIEF.

  • For those who do not think that attacking a trans person should be a hate crime, this is a good example of why it should. Not only are we targeted more than any other visible minority, but even those tasked with protecting us hold serious bias, and even malice, against us.

    In 2010 there were 27 murders reported as hate crimes against the LGBT community (in the US). 12 were trans woman, even though we are a very small part of the LGBT community.

    Trans woman are 30 times more likely to do jail time than a non-trans woman, and when we are awaiting trial (and presumed innocent) we are placed in male prisons, where more often than not we are verbally, physically and sexually abused by both staff and inmates.

    In most states we have no protections at all. When we ask for them (gender identity and expression) we are told we don`t need them, or that we will start raping little girls in the bathroom (a rediculous example of bias against us).

    • Trans people do NOT deserve any protection not afforded to all others. What is needed is self discipline and accountability for one’s own actions. These women, even if completely innocent of any wrongdoing in the instant matter, should not have been in a known prostitution site at 5:30 in the morning. What were they doing there and what did they think might happen to them? I’m fed up with society having to shoulder the responsibility for the bad choices and actions of others. If you want to trick or hang around in a crime-ridden area, then do so at your own demise. Que sera, sera. End of story, Period.

      • Victim blaming. What about accountability and self discipline from the person who shot a gun? You are a bigot.

        • nd you are too stupid to see the forest for the trees.

          • The issue that rarely gets addressed in cases like this, because people like you are so quick to start finger-pointing, is that trans-people often end up doing sex work because no-one will give them a proper job. They still need to pay rent and feed themselves. What else are they supposed to do? Are you in a position to offer someone a job? Would you even if you could?

            Try spending a little time imagining what life must be like for a trans person before you start getting all judgemental. None of them do it for fun. Who would choose a life of abuse and ridicule with a large risk of being maimed or killed, sometimes by the very people who are tasked with protecting them as members of the public. Consider this before spouting more ignorance, please.

  • Last I checked, 5:30 AM is not “working” hours for someone who works the streets.

    An officer solicited someone he thought was a prostitute, she turned him down twice – probably because she WASN’T A PROSTITUTE (I at least live in a place where for some people, 5:30 AM is early walking/jogging/exercise time), and he shot at her. She did NOTHING LEGALLY WRONG AT ALL, and he shot at her, and you have the unmitigated GALL to claim that it was HER fault?

    • What’s she doing in a known prostitution and crime-ridden area? Personal accountability is what’s needed. Society is not responsible for the bad choices of others.

      • A crime was committed against her person and the persons near her – she was not “caught in the act.”

        • She didn’t have to be “in the act.” She was, however, in a known prostitution and crime-ridden area (1st and Pierce Streets, NW) at 5:30 hanging out. I bet she wishes she had exercised better judgment; or maybe she’s too dumb to realize the error of her ways.

          • How is it you’re so familiar with the area that transgender prostitutes frequent? More importantly, you’re all over these comments like loose threads on a cheap suit. What is your horse in this race? Why are you so obsessed about transwomen? In my 26 years experience in the T community, those who are obsessed as you are generally either deeply ashamed of their attraction to transwomen or afraid they may be one. So tell us all: why do you CARE so much?

          • Utterly incorrect. She was in a CVS when she was propositioned. She and her friends got into a car and drove away, whereupon the DRUNK, OFF DUTY police officer drunkenly (he blew a .15 when arrested) drove after them and rammed them, then jumped on their car and fired rounds into it, SEVERELY WOUNDING them. The police officer committed no fewer than three crimes (soliciting prostitution, DUI, and reckless endangerment), EVEN before assaulting them and severely wounding one of the occupants of the car.

        • kate u should stop now before the dumb ass comment police come to your house and arrest u for life as a dumb ass , first of all nobody has all the facts unless they were at scene ? transgender and friends will have one story the officer a different one u sound like u were there? lets hear from the officer .

      • A lot of people LIVE in “prostitution and crime-ridden” areas. And since when is it a crime to walk to go to CVS at 5am?

      • While I agree that any person hanging around a known area of prostitution at 5:30am should be questioned and held accountable for any crimes committed at that time, I do not see how that trumps the fact that a police officer fired a gun at a group of people without reasonable cause at all.

        More than likely, the investigation will reveal any questionable circumstances surrounding the shooting. Again, though, I don’t see what the relevance is at the moment considering this article and the investigation are focused on the much more outrageous crimes of attempted murder and dishonoring a police officer’s promise to protect and serve.

        If the trans women were prostitutes, then they will be dealt with as is in line with the law. Being in an area of prostitution does not mean you deserve to be shot, will be shot, or can be shot and not expect to be protected and served by the police. They deserve justice just as I hope you and I would receive if a police officer shot at us without cause and while drunk.

        Please focus on the important things for now. The less important issues will be addressed fairly in time.

  • Melvin, let’s not indict the entire Metropolitan Police Department of overwhelmingly professional and good cops, many of whom are LGBT.

    And Chief Lanier ought not be demonized either. Cathy Lanier is a good person. She is no transphobe, and she is no homophobe. She is in fact, a very good cop. But Lanier is a failed police chief with respect to this issue. It remains to be seen whether she can turn this horrible, unintended, policy-driven situation around.

    We should also demand that Mayor Gray and CM Phil Mendelson (Chair, Judiciary Committee) and other council members fulfill their promises to restore GLLU’s core unit to full strength. That means voting the directed FUNDS to MPD for 4 additional GLLU-specific officers (with affirmative action for LGBT officers) to bring GLLU’s core unit back to full strength. At this point, Mayor Gray and the Council are just as responsible for correcting this situation as Chief Lanier.

    IMO, Lanier, let this situation get out of control within her command by not recognizing much earlier the unintended, broad-based INTERNAL consequences of slashing GLLU’s core unit in half. But that’s water under the bridge now. Let’s stay focused on changing policy and adding GLLU core funds to MPD’s budget. That will require very proactive LGBT pressure on Mayor Gray, and especially, the Council.

    FWIW, I’m sure some of us have noticed the very recent increased public communications from SLU regarding their enforcement activity. This very NEW transparency (publishing of the SLU units’ activity) should become a matter of consistent MPD policy. I hope it is not a temporary PR show. The Chief should also make sure SLU’s activity reports are disseminated to all 7 district command listservs — also as a matter of CONSISTENT policy.

    It is a small, systemic force-multiplier solution to a much larger enforcement problem. But that can be done right now, today — without any additional money.

    • How can the GLLU, fully staffed and fully operational, protect someone (like the trans victims of this story) who blatantly commits an error bad judgment and then wonders why something bad happens to her? People are responsible for their own actions and choices. GLLU can’t help in that regard.

      • She was in a CVS when she was propositioned. She and her friends got into a car and drove away, whereupon the DRUNK, OFF DUTY police officer drunkenly (he blew a .15 when arrested) drove after them and rammed them, then jumped on their car and fired rounds into it, SEVERELY WOUNDING them. The police officer committed no fewer than three crimes (soliciting prostitution, DUI, and reckless endangerment), EVEN before assaulting them and severely wounding one of the occupants of the car.

  • Wow. really so much ignorance against TRANSGENDER AND GAYS. like seriously we dont have enough hatred and prejudice against us. Please leave your hate crimes at the door or shut your mouth its not fair to everyone to be critized when we havent done anything wrong. I was attacked by philadelphia (filthadelphia) police at a gay pride event for getting someone off my friend and they tried to arrest me like i did something wrong. I tried to put a lawsuit against the philly pd but the incident report went missing.

  • Teamsugarfree, and a few others: So you’re saying that because I visit a friend in a bad area I must be a PROSTITUTE? Let me tell you something: A downtown area is usually considered a bad area after dark, but how many women of any stripe are assaulted mid day? Or raped? Or murdered? And for your information I was grabbed and raped mid day when I was 16!! Did that make me a hooker? Or are you so much a bigot that a person who just acts as a human being with a disorder must be a whore? When you ‘tards realize that all people deserve to not be treated as so much garbage, just being in an area with an unsavory reputation does not equate punching bag or whore, and a boss is responsible for ALL employees actions done as a representative of that employer. GROW UP AND LEARN ABOUT THE HUMAN SIDE OF LIFE.

    • I’d question why I would want a friend who loves in a known prostitution and high crime area (1st and Pierce streets NW). If you still want to be friends with that person, I’d question your or her/his judgments. Better yet – why not suggest you meet them elsewhere where it’s safer? But, just look at the facts of this case – 2 trans persons hanging out with men at 5:30 at 1st and Peirce streets NW. That’s like asking for trouble. And don’t tell me they weren’t working the streets…

    • now u sound about as retarded as u probable look who,s saying there was any solicitation ? and if u frequent bad areas bad things happen because transgender doesn,t mean your above the law ?steven segal, obvious something happen to start this i wasn,t there ,but if u were, retard any gender has to follow rules and laws transgender does not excuse u if u decide to be a dumb ass u normally get treated like a dumb ass. p.s retards like u should only write to them selves?

  • Can somebody please explain to me, what the heck is a transgendered woman? Do they still have a penis? If so, they aren’t women, they were born men. These humans will never be able to have babies or ovaries. I consider myself liberal and I accepting of gay and lesbian people, but most in society like me don’t understand this transgendered thing. Most see them as freaks of nature. I am only being honest. I am sick of all the liberal crap about passing laws for a certain group of people. We already have laws on the books for those that commit horrendous crimes against others regardless of race and sexual orientation. This country and world is turning in anything and everything goes. No wonder we are hearing or suffering Mother Nature’s wrath. I noticed in the picture, it’s a mostly white gay and lesbian crowd. Why is the black and white gay/lesbian community in D.C. and around the U.S. so segregated?

    The gay community need to address racism within the their community and be more inclusive of black gay and lesbian women. Many black gays in D.C. don’t feel welcome or accepted by the white racist Queens.

    • Tom, if you’re so inclined, ASK a transgender person!

      If you’re an active member of the GLBT community in a major metropolitan area, chances are you’ll have interactions with several transpeople. Hell, I was an active member of the GLBT community in a very non-metropolitan area, and I had interaction with several transgender folks. Ask questions… they won’t bite! But please DO try and have a little more respect when dealing face-to-face than you exhibited here!!

      Also, I’m not sure you can determine from ONE photo that the gay community in DC is segregated. If you are a person of color and a member of the community, then get involved! Don’t sit online bitching about it!

    • Tom: Since you clearly appear to be ignorant on this topic, allow me to educate you. A transgender woman is a person who was born biological male, but their entire life have suffered from Gender Identity Disorder and feel like they were born in the wrong gender’s body. This is not a mental disorder, nor am I speaking here of heterosexual or homosexual men who crossdress. This is a human being who generally was born with all male genitalia, but feels like they are truly a woman. I said generally born with all male gentalia because in cases where some children were born intersexed and their parents or doctors choose the wrong gender for the child at birth or within the first year of life, they are not generally born with a full set of either gender’s sex organs. In the event that the word Intersex(ed) is unfamiliar to you, these are people who were born with parts of both male and female sex organs, but usually do not have a full set of either male or female sex organs. The biomedical reasons for this are believed to be that the fetus received too much of the male or female hormones in utero. This group of people used to be called hermaphrodites, but that term is inaccurate, has a negative connotation and is no longer used by the medical community. As I previously stated, these children often have their gender chosen for them by doctors or parents shortly after birth. The manner in which doctors usually figure out which gender the child “should” be is determined after both physical inspection of the external sex organs, genetic testing of the chromosomes to find out whether there is a “y” chromsome and ultrasound/x-ray or cat-scan to determine what internal sex organs a child has. After tests are completed, the doctors physically alter the child so that their genitalia appears male or female. Some doctors don’t do genetic screening and more often than not those children are the ones whose incorrect gender was chosen for them. Intersexed people aside, transgendered women may or may not still possess male genitalia. That depends on whether they are pre-op, post-op or don’t feel the need to/can’t afford to have surgery to be who they are.

      As for your comment on these people never being able to physically have babies…that’s technologically bullshit. You claim that beause a person doesn’t have ovaries they can’t have children, there are millions of genetic females who cannot have children. According to your argument, they are not biologically women which is of course false. Also, medical science has proven that it is not necessary to have ovaries, fallopian tubes or a uterus to biologically have children by successfully transplanting a uterus from a cadaver or a living donor to women who have had a complete or partial hysterectomy, have had their uterus irrepairably damaged or whose own uterus cannot support carrying a fetus to term. Many of these women do not have functioning or any ovaries and yet they can give birth to children. It’s only a matter of time before medical technology will make it possible for a uterus to be transplanted into a biological male or female.

      As for your complaining regarding new protection laws, gender identity discrimination is not covered under the equal protection and hate crime laws that currently exist to protect people againt race, gender and sexuality discrimination.

      • “transgender” is an umbrella term used to denote several manifestations of gender variance, including crossdressers (who can be either male or male or both or neither). it’s best not to pathologize transgenderism as a disorder (you said that it wasn’t, but then used the offensive clinical label that they’re struggling to get rid of).

    • You might “consider yourself” liberal, but your words convict you as anything but.

    • I agree with you, Tom. As a GAY MAN, I’ve never understood the whole trans thing. Transexual and transgender and on and on. And why are the trans people linked to the gay community? Many trans people were not gay before switching gears; they just happened to want to shed their God-given equipment for the other side. Why are they even part of the gay and lesbian and bisexual community?

      • why do you care? they’re considered part of the gay community because they are sexual minorities like the rest of us.

      • Clearly you don’t want to know, or else you would ask questions instead of imposing your own meaning and your own desires on us. The fact that you think of transsexuality as prima facie evidence of prostitution says all that I need to know about what you think of transsexual women.

        “If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.” – Audre Lorde

      • it’s a strategic political alliance. why put “gay man” in all caps. makes you look like a nutjob.

    • tom, gender identity is a felt self-perception, just like sexual orientation. it’s not a delusion or a ‘lifestyle’ choice. it might be hard to imagine how trans people feel (especially if one makes no effort to do so), but rest assured that it’s a “real” thing that is as old as humanity itself. most societies throughout history have been more understanding of the fluidity and multiplicity of gender identities, and have developed customs to incorporate this spectrum accordingly. america’s obsession with binary categorization generally prevents this lack of understanding, although the times are a changing. look it up if you’re generally curious and want to know more.

      as far as God and the weather goes, i can’t help you there. it sounds conspiratorial, and certainly more “far out” than gender variance. i’ve learned not to approach people’s belief in stuff like that a long time ago, but, hey, we’re all free, or trying to be so.

  • You really can’t pull the “the Transgender-ed persons were prostitutes” line because they refused his solicitations.

    So Laurelboy you are speaking out your ass and out of ignorance cause there is no proof whatsoever that these people were prostitutes at all.

    Just because someone hangs out in a bad neighborhood doesn’t make them bad.

    • dan dan the dumb ass man or are u a transgender ,sounds like your the one speaking out of your dumb ass who said there was solicitation the transgender and friends of course what the hell else would they say now, that they stealing from the store or selling ass cause thats all they could sell, as i said before lets give a sworn police officer his rights and hear what he has to say ,until then dan please think before u speak out of your dumb ass!

      • Considering the “thin blue line” pulled him away in handcuffs instead of sweeping attempted mass murder under the rug, he was unquestionably in the wrong.

  • This kind of knee jerk reaction I have seen a couple of times in my life. In this particular case, it was a police officer and his gun. Years ago when I was a decent looking (non effeminate gay) guy, I got approached on occasion by deeply closeted bisexual individuals. In either cases when I declined the advances, they went into a fit of rage. The reason is this: If I were to accept the advance, then they have power (in their mind) over me. Power that I would be much less likely to talk about it afterward. But when rejected, this kind goes into a panic. The panic is based on a two basic things: First, the embarrassment of the rejection itself. Second, in his mind, his outward “strait” reputation in public is now on the line. Fear that the resulting chatter will uncover his being on the DL. So I learned to try to keep clear of these. Sadly because he was a police officer, the victims could not. As far as the blatant assumption that these LGBT people were prostituting because it was after 5:30am, the police officer probably assumed (like the commenter here) that they were soliciting sex. In both cases (officer and the poster on this site) both assumed the same things. In the case of Matthew Shepherd in Wyoming, he was in a bar. Two deeply closeted bisexuals picked him up. They had sex with him and after the “heat” of the passion was over, the profound guilt set in and thus he was murdered. It is the guilt trips of Fundamentalism, driven deep into the psychic that you will find is the common root of this kind of problem. The intense self loathing is very powerful.

  • How dare some of the commentaries here to judge someone the way they are doing transgender. How dare for someone to say they are tired of listening about transgender mistreatment in the news. They are listening to this news because transgender folks are part of the community just like any other group. Sure in the past you never listened to the term because transgender were oppressed to the point of no showing their faces in the day time and only were hookers and show girls. Well Mr. Red Neck times had changed and for now on you will read and listen to the word TRANSGENDER in the media and all over. It is sad that the capital of this country is where all these abuse is taking place. In regard to this case does anyone though that the person maybe was a CVS which is a pharmacy after all; because was in pain or needed a digestion medication or simply wanted to a piece of candy; there is not law in not book saying that a person regardless what’s in between their legs or how it may be dressed can’t go into a place that opens 24 hours. Get a grip on this “trans men and women aren’t going anywhere. Tran’s people aren’t gay or lesbian either (unless they wanted to be); Tran’s women aren’t a sex object. Tran’s folks are a different group and either you like it or not you need to respect them. You don’t have to love or like them but dammit every human being deserves respect”

    • I agree with you so much it’s a sad state of affairs when one group of our so called ” community ” is targeted! When did being transgendered ever threaten anyone? In my books they deserve the same kind of treatment as the next person! I have found a much more accepting group of women who are either transexual or transgendered than in my own lesbian community here in Toronto, Ontario Canada and to say that they are not a part of our ever growing ” community ” would be so wrong! They are human and they have same feelings, dreams, wants and needs as you or I do! I cannot fathom why it’s such a debate! I say let live, live!

  • You know its Really sad. As a Black, Transgender Woman in DC Im Scared to walk anywhere. But when Police officers are tryin to kill us…that just cant be tolerated! The Victims in this assult, i knew PERSONALLY, and No they were not Soliciting Shit!!! They Were Chillin Downtown like Any other DC naive, enjoying the new amenities of the city. Reading some of you peoples negative comments really raises my eyebrows…..the injustice of the transgender community is sicking….If these women were soliciting, they Still Declinced the officers advances, but because he was sure that the LBTG community would be declined of their total rights, he did what he wanted too….

    The fact is, Its HARD for the LBTG Community to get jobs and survive because of people that think like some of you….Just because were transgendered doesn mean we cant read, write, and perform other functions of the normal everyday working class people. If more jobs Were Accepting towards us , the You would see the Kst & Eastern AVe prostitution traffic decline…..I know what it feels like to be discriminated against just because of my lifestyle choices. Im a graduate of an acclaimed HBCU college and Still cant get a good job, Why?? Because of me being a transgender. its almost like society builts us up just to tear us down. It must stop!!!

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