Cops and robbers II: Transsexuals and the Police; Cops and robbers
My name is Herb cutch and I run a war on poverty program dealing with the administration of criminal justice. And from my experiences I've become deeply concerned over many of the problems that are confronting the police and that are confronting all of us about police operations. There's a series of policy questions I think that have to be answered by the public at large as to what they want from the police and how they feel the police should operate in order to try and sharpen our wits and try and understand some of the problems a little better. We're going to discuss a number of issues that confront the police either properly or improperly. Last week we talked with a group of youths who felt that their main problem was that they wanted to assert their dignity as men.
And the racial and political problems they felt existed in trying to achieve their dignity. We have a very unusual group of people tonight. Who have perhaps a very different point of view and who have had some experiences with the police and who want to tell something about that. To add more to our general discussion about police problems and police practices we also have with us Elliot Blackstone a member of San Francisco's police community relations unit who has worked closely with this group. KOG and who will comment on a number of the things that come up. Let me begin by in a very general way by asking what KOG is. Well my name is Sylvia and I'm a member of Congress. They are letters cog stand for conversion our goal and
will hire. Stands for conversion Our goal this means to be converted sexually into the how shall I put it physical state physical sex which we desire to be. That's a lot of the discussion now his centered around the introduction of a new idea the idea of a transsexual which differs from homosexuals and transvestites and a number of things like that I think maybe if we try and talk a little bit about what a transsexual is we can get even a clearer picture of what the problems are that you're trying to deal with. Well a transsexual differs from a homosexual or a transvestite in that a transsexual desires to have a
transformation of their genitalia in order to be able to live and perform as a member of the sex to which they were not born. And I think the others are well known homosexuals. Would you like a definition of transvestite. Go ahead you tell me. Well a transvestite is basically a person who desires to wear the clothing of the opposite sex and this is usually in the case of men usually there is a sexual connotation to it. However in the case of women I have found this is not always true. It is not always a sexual connotation. Some of them feel that they have a sense of power which is more important to them than the sexual connotation. You have identified yourselves as transsexuals being
members of KOG. How did you come to the idea How did you realize what can you. Can you tell me a little about the experience of discovering that you were transsexual. So why don't we everybody join in and talk a little bit about it. Well my name is Judy and I feel that all my life I have had the feeling of being a female trapped in the body of a male which was given me and my status at birth. And of course I went through all the stages till I found out that I was a transsexual myself at the age of doubt. Well I felt I was a homosexual. And up to 14 I started dressing in a female attire which I classify myself as a transvestite and at the age of 18 I
knew I was a transsexual and not a sex deviant I felt that while I was just entrapped in the wrong physical status and I decided to change my physical status. The best of my ability which would be sex change surgery. I've been working on this every sense to achieve this. How did you come to KOG. I was or rested in the city of San Francisco and at this time I was placed in a cell with other people of my nature which we were isolated in a position where we had just each other to talk to and I was told about the Elliot Blackstone's group of kids that he had in the transsexual organization. So when I was released from jail I went down and spoke with Elliot Blackstone and at this time
I was introduced to a call to the Center for special problems and which is helping with the organization on a less round. Since then I've been participating actively in the group. Hope it you for me. My name is Mandy and I've been acquainted with a transsexual I suppose for about 4 or 5 years now. I had read about him earlier in magazines and newspaper articles and I knew I was different from the homosexual and the transvestite because of my feelings. And I guy couldn't make up my mind. I was I was very puzzled because I was afraid that I wouldn't be recognized. And at this time I wasn't recognized to the extent of being a transsexual but no less a transvestite because of the type of work that
I was engaged in. And then I came to Central City and met Eliot Blackstone and talked to him and discussed this with him and from there I went to the Center for special problems and talked to a psychiatrist and a social worker there and obvious time I knew that I was a transsexual. But I was afraid to accept this because I had gone through the homosexual and also the transvestite stages. But yet I always knew that I wanted to be a woman. Sylvia you want to say something. Well yes I. My memory My memories go back on the subject as far as I can remember I have always desired to be of the opposite sex ever since I can remember but of course when I was a child in my part of the country this was absolutely unheard of. And nevertheless when it finally Christine came around and I
realized it was possible. I had worked toward this goal ever since but it has been the motivating force in my life. There's no question that it's been. Far stronger than any other drive I've ever had and it still is and. I will attain it if I live. Let's try to move on to some of the police problems that you face these transsexuals and I know you've told me before that Kaga has been in discussions with the police department and maybe you can describe some of that and we can get focusing a little better on some of the problems that we were concerned with. What would you care to go into first. Well we talked a little earlier about the 650 and a half why don't you explain something about the the 650 and a half Lord better one of them I don't know the real definition on 650
and a half. To me it's interpretated as impersonation for purpose of lewd act by intent to deceive for the purpose of deep fraud. It's quite out of date the law it's parts of it was stricken at one time as being unconstitutional. Nobody actually knows the real meaning of day with it. It is applied to people wearing. And tire of the opposite sex. It's been applied to me while in 1960 or it was applied real heavy on just about anybody wearing clothing of the opposite sex which at this time I was arrested in during the summer of 1964 approximately 20 times on the 650 and a half a block which every time I went into court on it I was
dismissed. I was never convicted of it because I never showed intent to fraud or deceive anybody. I do not wear the clothing of the opposite sex for this purpose. I would live this way because it's the only way I can obtain an honest living. I feel I have to be this way for this purpose. At those times I was arrested I was working. And as a female in different places of business. I've been a cashier in a theatre a cocktail waitress a food waitress. I've been a secretary and a performer on stage. But then every time I was arrested on this law of 615 I have I would have to remain a couple of days in jail before coming into court.
And as I didn't have the funds to bail out on it would result in the loss of my job and. Things like this which they made it very difficult on me at this time to make an honest living. It's still a wonder to me that I never resorted to prostitution or anything of this sort because if I was going to be arrested Anyhow I might do something to be arrested for. Man do you want to add something to this. Well Judy is comforting quite early but I know I've been arrested several times also for 650 and a half and also for six forty seven B which is prostitution. And I know there was an awful lot of times there was this was not necessary. But yet it was carried through because I think a prejudice and a lot of
the policeman have for homosexuals or people with a sexual deviant problem you think that there are some. Do you think that there is some kind of problem the police are trying to get at her. What I think I think it's more or less personal. I don't think it's it's to obtain the law are to uphold the law I think it's it's more or less a personal reason other than just being out there to arrest someone which really isn't guilty of the crime that they're being arrested for. Oh you have some you you know the law pretty well can you explicate a little further and talk about what the police are confronted with. 659 have comes up as I think it would be wise to talk a little bit both about 650 and a half and 647 B
and what they mean and how they affect people also about how 650 and a half of penal code stands today as to how it stood. Possibly two or three years ago as has already been mentioned there has been a change in the interpretation of this particular law. Originally the law also included a phrase an outrage to the public decency. It was a test case in Southern California which interest mainly enough to not deal with transsexuals at all but it dealt with a topless modeling show. But the conviction on this particular case went up to the state Supreme Court and the ruling came back. Basically that the term an outrage to the public
decency was so broad as to be ambiguous and therefore on and forcible. Now there are two ways that we can change a law. One of them of course is to either vote the law out or replace it with a new law or what we call case law where in the decision of a court will affect the interpretation of the law and thus change the total effect of the law. Now this is what has happened of course and 650 and a half now as an outcome of this modification of the law at least as far as San Francisco is concerned. There was a different philosophy about what we might call wearing drag or the situation in which an individual primarily a male would wear the clothing of the opposite sex ory
females clothing. The interpretation of the law and now then would tell us that if an individual was wearing the clothing the opposite sex without any effect on the rest of the statue the decision itself would not necessarily constitute a crime but if the individual were wearing this feminine apparel with the intent to commit a fraud to pass himself off as a person of the opposite sex within a tent of violating another law along with this. In other words for example soliciting an act of prostitution and drawing the assumption from the potential client that he was dealing with an actual female. This then would constitute a violation of the remaining portion of 659 hand. Now of course 647 be a penal code is the basic
prostitution charge. And in all actuality if an individual a male dressed in female clothing were to solicit prostitution in all probability today in San Francisco the arrest would be made on this charge rather than on the 650 and a half and some recent cases involving 650 and a half where there has not been any attempt to defraud but a simple wearing of feminine attire the cases have either been dismissed by the judge or have not been prosecuted by the district attorney. Therefore it would seem on this basis that the courts in San Francisco do say that it is proper for one to wear feminine to Tara even though there may be a male.
If they are not committing some other violation of the law along with it. Well the 650 and a half seems to get itself linked up. With the prostitution charge. And we talk more about their view about why it is that. For transsexuals the problem of prostitution comes up frequently. What what's involved there why does this happen so often. Well I think we can probably explain that this way. You take an individual who and let's not say at this particular point that the individual has identified himself or has been identified by proper medical authority as a transsexual. Let's just say that the individual is a male but is wearing a tire. Now obviously they are wearing the feminine attire because they cannot function adequately in a male role.
In many cases not only can function adequately in a male role but because they are not natural born females they cannot function successfully as females. They may not have the grace and may not have the stature. They may not have all of these intangible things that a natural born girl learns from the woman who rages or whether it's her mother her and her grandmother wherever it would be. Consequently this individual is not really then functional as a female either and can't do what we would classify as legitimate work. So therefore this individual not being able to function as a male and not being able to function in legitimate work is a female resorts to prostitution as a means of making a living. Now I would imagine that many people would be concerned as to
just why a policeman or the police department should be particularly concerned about this kind of a problem. I really worry about these individuals whether I fail I think there are three factors there that we should consider. First of all course prostitution is a violation of the law and quite frequently along with prostitution going um or other violations of the law such as a situation where you're involved in drug rolling while conducting business with a trick or a John as the young ladies of the evening will call them drunk growling or strong arming any number of other offenses may go along with prostitution so this makes it a definite concern of the police. Another factor that is also a concern of the police is suicide. In our
responsibility to protect the public we also have the responsibility to try to prevent suicides. And if an individual is so confused in their identity or so I'm able to make a successful living and without visible hope of clearing up a situation the possibility of suicide becomes much greater. Also along with this the mental health of the individual can suffer and they can become if they can see no way out can become a menace either Ansel's or to society. So because of these three factors the criminal aspect of it the mental illness and the potentiality of suicide. This then becomes a concern of the police department to work out some kind of a solution for people with this confusion of identification to assist them
in number one gaining identity and number two in becoming functional arms of society. This is why. Indirectly I became involved with this particular incident. I guess we should point out that you are certainly not the young social worker who has joined the police force you had a lot of experience with the police and how did you come to it with. How did you wind up being concerned with this problem can you tell us a little bit more about your your adventure. Well of course. I think one of the first things of concern here is how long have I been a policeman. An answer that is one thousand years. I think this is important not because of the time span itself but because of the fact that if you are engaged in active police work over the years you
do come in contact with so many things outside of society so many things that the average bookstore clerk or typist or even a radio personality would never come across these experiences all add up. And if a policeman is to be successful they almost have a value in his approach to people. Also I have been a member of the community relations unit for three years now. In addition to this because of my assignment to work with Barbara the program and even more close to home my assignment to work with the central city multiservice center. I have the opportunity to come in contact with. More people who are concerned as to their sexual identity possibly then would many other police officers in another area of San Francisco. I first became acquainted with this
particular problem when I was approached by an individual about a year and a half ago. I thought when I met the individual I was dealing with a transvestite of a situation I was familiar with individual pointed out to me that she and I use the term she because this is a way the individual projects and and as do the other individuals whom I work with who are categorized to transsexuals as individual. Explain briefly to me what transsexuality was all about. It suggested to me that. Dr. Harry Benjamin who is considered by many to be the outstanding expert on this field might be of assistance to me. Dr. Benjamin's book The transsexual phenomena. I've talked with Dr. Benjamin on this and have worked with a number of medical groups and people who are concerned in the field of social services to become fully acquainted with all of the
problems that the group of transsexuals come across in my work I have now dealt with over 40 individuals who have classify themselves as transsexuals with of the use that specific term or not. Their identification was sufficient that I knew what they were talking about. And in my work with the Center for special problems I am able to get a great deal assistance from them and further identifying individuals. Let's try and focus a little more on that particular police problems of transsexuals I think that one of the big problems is in the jails. What happens when a transsexual is locked up. Would anybody care to say something about that or explain some of the problems that the there are involved. Well one I think this segregation is mostly And also the prejudice and that is involved here.
What a transsexual is arrested. They're treated very poorly by the officer and they're more or less mocked and made fun of which I don't think is right. Also we're denied privileges that the other inmates have and we're looked down on and I think the way that the way that they harass us on the street and also in the jails is from a person no goods or something. Another man you're you're talking about harassment paster harassment today. Well this would to me would be in the past because now I don't that I'm working it's altogether different because I'm leading an entirely different life. The reason I asked this. I want to clear up this point of harassment. If one
is on the receiving end of questioning or being stopped all the response quite logically would be oh I'm being harassed. But let me ask you for a minute to put yourself in the policeman's shoes. Out there on the street where he has a particular problem prostitution going on with the policeman not be remiss in his duty if he had a reason to believe an individual was involved in prostitution and didn't try to take some steps to correct it. Whether it be to arrest or whether it possibly would be to assisting the individual getting employment and getting them off the street. Well. I think that the harassment comes from a personal gradually. Really. Now I know that I can't say that now because I'm you know I dated entirely different life but before
a lot of times I was harassed for no reason at all and this was a lot of times was just to be talked to. And then there was times that I was taken in because there was a personal grudge. Well six months ago. Well seven now to be exact. On a personal grudge an officer had been three years prior. I was arrested on 6:15 I happened false identification which I spent 10 days in jail finally getting into court on it. When I did get into court the false identification was dismissed and I was convicted on the 650 and a half because of the prejudiced way the officer had written up the police report. And this is the only reason I was convicted on I've been arrested on this law. Many a times in the past even before it was revised in 1960 to be 64 when I was arrested on it I was dismissed. But at this time through the report the officer rode out to beat the netted in court the judge I was
convicted of it and I did spend five days in San Bruno. And we're approaching your point on that. And was this case tried on the police report or was there testimony from you from the altar and from others. No I asked for a trial by jury and they held it over for several days. And at the time I didn't have the money to bail out on and I had another hold on the old probation hold and now. So I couldn't They all out and they'd put it over and when I came into court I submitted it on the police report. Well on submitting it to the judge and waiving jury trial. You also waive the right to submit witness on your own behalf it is submitted strictly on the police report and the judge does make his decision from the police report and they say they advise you of this when you do submitted and to the judge on the police report.
And the judge himself I felt was a little prejudiced towards me at this time also. And. At the time he did dismiss this false identification. But on the 650 and I have the district attorney wanted 15 days in fear of the other hold on me and everything but the judge only gave me five because I'd already been in tan and it was strictly on the police report. I did get to make a statement the judge did allow me to make a statement. And I explained to the judge just what had happened at the time of her arrest and on the police report. It was pretty much to what had happened with the officers view on it. And this is what the judge went on was the office's view of the situation and which. I have to admit I had the officer been able to overhear the
conversation that was involved in everything he would not have written a police report this way. But the officer also told me that he did had waited some time to get this arrest on me and when he did get this arrest he did tell me I was going to get convicted of it and I feel he did write the police report with a little prejudice see involved on it. Basically then what were saying in your particular case is not a matter of lack of justice but of things that happen you because you could not afford number one to make bail right. Number two that you could not afford. Turning now had you been able to afford an attorney there would have been a different type. Yes here it would not have been submitted on the right for now if I had been able to obtain bail and get an attorney I would have fought the case and I would have won the case because at this time I could have brought witness they had and the
police report would have had very little bearing on it. That when you're not able to do this financially you have to go by the way the courts are ran right now and when you're herded around like cattle and one judge in a sitting in a morning will see 85 to 100 people in a matter of four hours and they really don't have the time to go into the case any further than the police report and so the judge goes on the police report and strictly by the police report. And this. Puts it all on the police arresting officer who writes the reports. In other words has the right then to convict the person or put it in a nicer light for the judge to allow the judge to dismiss it or bring a light sentence or anything else. And it's very much upon the police report at this time in the courts and I don't feel this is right because I don't feel the police officer has the right. In writing this police report through his own eyes
because any person is not able to see everything that is happening and they can only write about what they do see. And for the judge to waive a conviction so strongly on one officers version of what took place. When a person is not able to obtain witness at any time and once the conviction is brought in you're just there and it's a long legal process of having it changed in and all its basically duty we're talking about here then it is. And don't let me put words in your mouth but. Are really a situation where again had you had sufficient funds righted to prepare an adequate defense of you could have called an attorney and who could have in turn presented. For example you mentioned that you were talking of someone and if you had had an opportunity to using an attorney to bring out what the
conversation consisted of and everything it wouldn't be necessary to just rely on this one particular document. So all of that and again I'm not trying to put words in your mouth but what you're really saying here is that it was not entirely the officer who was responsible for your condition but to a very great extent your own personal poverty that contributed to this but this is correct. But then it all stems to the same thing of the justice in the courts of San Francisco. I feel it's very inadequate. I know from a theft it's very inadequate because the public defender at the same time the judge is seen all these people is running all these cases in the same money and same time the public defender cannot get adequate representation for you. There's just so many things involved. And when a person is. Well when I was arrested I was treated very poorly. I was made on a misdemeanor
charge I was made to strip down in a in a tank's type cell and be searched in front of 14 other people and laughed at and made fun of. Then I was taken back into a cell and into a tank that is strictly for the homosexual or transvestite transsexual type people and put in there on a mattress with no cover on it no blanket and stated stay there. And I was not. I did not make a phone call. I made one it was incomplete it and I wasn't allowed another phone call for 24 hours. And then I had to pay for the phone call in a public phone myself. I was treated very very poorly and I feel that the officers at the time could have treated me a little more unfairly than they did. But then the course they have a lot of people coming in and a lot of drunks and they are busy themselves the police force is not adequate to handle it I feel. When you have a mass production of people being arrested
you do what you have time to do. But then I do feel that they are prejudiced towards people of my stature. And so they just heard us around like a goat or something and ran us through and forget us and threw us back in a cell and a large project itself on bailing out with them. A lot of us don't have the proper things to be bailed on I know our project such is to show stability and community for a period of time and things like this. We're just stuck. I think we're you know what I think you're talking I think you put it very vividly. It's not so much the really the harassment of any individual but sort as the gentlemen all treatment the system which somehow shouldn't even be employed for the kind of problem we're talking about if you're a transsexual and you have these kinds of problems. You may need some kind of help you may need some kind of direction. But once you get hooked into the
whole criminal process it just tends to break it down more and more. I mean a transsexual is not a criminal. I think Judy that you brought up here to another very important point I'd like to take us forward to cover. You know how this particular thing has been handled. I hope you'll agree with me that prejudice is almost invariably the result of a lack of information the source of their misinformation. And I think it probably dis would be the time to talk about a recent meeting that was held. Where in members of Karg. High level members of the police department and members of the medical profession who have worked quite extensively with transsexuals including staff people from the Center for special problems sat down together in an educational meeting so that the
transsexuals could tell their side of the story. Could you could say this is what I am and this is why I am as I am the medical people could say this. We understand about the problem of this individual and the people from the police department could get information to understand why there is a difference between a transsexual a transvestite and a homosexual or a drag queen. So you would you like to talk about it have a meaning or do you want to be you. I'll go on the meeting. It is what I was trying to convey earlier Eliot with. The lack of knowledge the police department and the justice setup of the San Francisco courts and everything now is the lack of knowledge about transsexualism. They treat us as common criminals and because they don't know that a lot of even the word transsexual exists.
They treated us as common homosexuals and sex deviant sat somebody to spit it out. There's pre-vote something that should be locked up and throw peanuts out once a week. You know this is really the way they they handle a lot of it because they don't have the knowledge that this is not a crime. It is a mental status a mental problem and I feel that anybody that can be educated in the field of transsexualism should look into it for their own personal knowledge. Also not only to be involved in it but just to know about it. It would change their outlooks and views on sex deviants and everything that they never even dreamt consisted in this. Arraignment type people. I'd like to I'd like to extend this just a little further we've talked about how the lack of knowledge by the police by the courts. The whole system which seems to militate against the best treatment of a transaction but I think there's even a
more fundamental problem which is that nobody knows much about the transsexual I mean if the police react and respond then they respond to public demands they respond to public pressure. And I think it's the public at large who that has to understand a good deal more about it. I know that that Eliot and I know that all of you were involved in trying to bring the message across as to what's going on. Continue this goes back to the old proverb you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. Now if the public is not concerned and nothing with their city and their society to go in and find out about these aspects and when it is available to them is all they have to do is ask. Well I think what we need to say here Judy is who do they ask because we've said you know this is a problem that very few people know anything about.
I think this would be a very appropriate time for you get in a plug for Cog. I think cog one of Card's fundamental purposes is to disseminate information about what it is like to be a transsexual what the problems of a transsexual are what the aims and goals of the organization actually are. I think again going back to the subject that I tossed back to Sylvia to talk about the meaning of was set up by cog to meet with the police department. This in my way of thinking is part of this process of education of the public. So I think that if you for example were to mention that. The letters of requesting information about cog or requesting information about transsexuals could very properly be directed to cog at 3:30 Ellis Street San Francisco. Certainly the members of cod would be glad to pass
information back to people who are concerned who who have heard tonight for the first time you see about what a transsexual is they never even were very worried before that these people would write to see oh gee 330 yellow Street San Francisco certainly effort should be made on the part of the organization too well to answer your question I believe that sell the I can speak on this more adequate than any of us as she's kind of acting secretary or cog she feels she can state more information than I have myself of the organization that she wished. Well cog was formed about six or eight months ago as an outgrowth of a group that met at the Center for special problems which was primarily for a therapy group from. Psycho psychological mostly which we felt we didn't really need.
We formed our own group cog and. Could do things which we couldn't do in the Senate for special problems because of the. Stipulations against it due to the fact it's a. City organization tax supported. So we have done quite a lot we set up our goals and. Our byelaws. What are the goals of basically basically our goals are about threefold. We desire recognition from the legal profession the medical profession and the law enforcement agencies plus society plus society of course. And I feel I have always felt personally that these three you might say agencies medical legal and law enforcement are more or less bound up with public opinion. Until we can change public opinion.
These agencies will have to operate according to. What the public feels. So we feel I feel we must go to the grass roots of the situation. The public. If we can educate the public to the idea that we are not harmful to society that merely to live dress and live as a member of the opposite sex basically does no harm to anyone. Many most times were not even recognized as being a member of the opposite sex. So we could hardly be harmful. Of course if we break other laws obviously like anyone else we should be stopped in this. But if we do not then we should be allowed to live our lives as we must live them and it's not a question of choice we are almost forced into this some of us to the point of suicide or self mutilation which is fairly common. Let's talk about the process positive program for transsexuals What are the
steps that you're trying to go through to finally recognize your full status as a transsexual. Well of course. One of the primary concerns of the group is to stay out of trouble with the law of course naturally we need employment. But this is why Section 6 15 to half of the penal code is so important. This is where basically I could walk out of my front door at morning in the morning to go to my job and be arrested as I walk out my front door or any other time during the day when I am out. When I'm doing nothing more than just living as I feel I must. As I say if we can just get this one thing through I think this will be really all that I would ask I'm not asked. I wouldn't ask anything unusual. Well Kong is trying to educate people that we are not. Hindrance to the public we want them to
acknowledge the fact that transsexuals exist to the professional people such as doctors and lawyers and officers and judges and things. Then too we have the organization for other people who feel this desire in themself to meet on Wednesday evenings at 3:30 Ellis Street at 8 p.m. and we meet weekly there and this enlightens themselves to where we try and help them find themselves also. In other words if they feel this desire and they come they're welcome. We do all we can to assist them to aid them to help them if they dress in the attire of the opposite sex and are a complete transsexual and feel that we do everything we can to seek employment to aid them in trying to help them with employment to help them
get to the doctor if it can diagnose their case properly and possibly take them into a hormone therapy group or group therapy psychiatric clinic. Just all around help the persons even persons who are transsexuals are welcome because everybody that contributes to another human being. Is helpful anything they can have to offer to help other people. Who knows there may be some transsexuals listening who never knew it and maybe this is Syria where yours is very true. Because there is girls that since we have started our organisation that have heard about our organization and have come there and possibly once a week they only get to dress this way in the opposite as the opposite sex income there and they're very relieved. It's late in this whole thing that they did they they feel they have they have
an opportunity to come there. I must say I understand what what this is all about. No one is laughing at anybody. Everybody is welcome and anything that we can do to is assist them and aid them. We're trying to do. We're trying to help ourselves and help others at the same time. Herb I think it might help you know we have talked all this time about transsexuals but possibly we have not clearly identified yet how this situation comes about and why it is not hopeless why there is a possible way out for people who are involved in this kind of a gender identification problem. I know that there are going to be those listening who are going to disagree with what I have to say about how it comes about. Basically this is derived from material. Dr.
Harry Benjamin because of the fact that this gentleman who maintains an office in New York and usually works in San Francisco during the summer. This is a man who has spent a number of years in studying this particular phenomena. Basically his feeling is we have a situation here. You know it's easy to look at a person who has 12 fingers or 12 toes and say to yourself Well they're the good Lord made an unfortunate accident. He created a person who visibly is not as others are. But it's much more difficult for us to look at an individual who has the psyche or the emotions or the soul. I don't care what term you choose to use there. One sex but has the body of another sex.
Now psychiatrists tell us that this particular individual once they have clearly identified themselves cannot be helped by. Farrah P. Bice to regain their emotional posture is that their physical condition indicates. Well if it's not possible to change the mind to fit the body then the most practical approach if you're going to have a whole functioning individual here is to change the body to fit the mind. Now this is a very drastic step whether the individual is going from a male role to a female role or from a female role to a male role. However again the psychiatrists suggest that certain steps be taken prior to such a drastic
physical conversion and these things include. Living and operating for a time in the emotional role as means of an individual is physically a male but emotionally a female that they should then dress as a female they should work as a female and that is entirely proper for them to take the medical steps to change their body now. You heard mention earlier of hormone therapy. Actually this is a matter where certain physical changes take place in the body feminizing the body. This goes back to something Mandi said a long time ago about putting individuals in this particular cell. But really let's consider the factor that it would be extremely embarrassing and possibly quite adventurous to put a male. With a developed
breast into a cell block with other males I say confusing because at the least it would gain additional ridicule for the individual at the most. It could lead to almost any kind of a problem so that when the individual is going through this particular step and they are arrested the most practical approach is to place them in a segregated type of environment such as this for their own protection as well as a minimum of confusion of operation of a large facility. Now once the individual has gone through these preparatory steps and they also include for example the matter of removal of the facial hair because while the hormone therapy will affect the body here and will actually change the Faqih
structure of the body in more ways than just the Buddhism the only way that you can correct the facial hair that I know of is by electrolysis which is a long term and expensive proposition. Another is to get a person ready for surgery can quite easily be a three to five year proposition and can cost easily two to $5000. Now the surgery itself is another problem that must be faced here at the present time. Johns Hopkins University of Baltimore Maryland is doing limited surgery. However it is my understanding that based on the waiting list it's already in existence that it would probably take a minimum of 25 years just to take care of those people who are now waiting. Also the University of Minnesota has set up a test program involving 20 individuals upon whom surgery will be performed in a 10 year follow up study
to see what the overall effect of surgery on these individuals was. Now this program has completed its fall. It has it's 20 people is not going to take any more people. There are private doctors who do the surgery. There's a doctor in Chicago that I'm aware of there is a doctor in Casablanca. But the expanse on this particular situation is. Very heavy. It can range from 5 to $6000 and this doesn't include the necessary follow up so that we're talking about a situation here that can run the individual anywhere from 5 to possibly twenty five thousand dollars if they go through all of the things that may come about for example if they modify the Warneke so that the individual does not have a prominently masculine Adam's apple. They modify the shoulders so the individual does not have excessively masculine shoulders they can modify the hands modify the legs.
I've heard of an individual in France who went through extremely extensive remodeling. However I've also heard as a result of this extensive remodeling that a gentleman offered a million dollars spend a night with her so possibly the investment was a lot. I don't know whether she took advantage of the situation or not but we're talking about something here that is expensive and this is one of the reasons we're talking about the need for public education for public acceptance of a problem which cannot be corrected from all indications any other way than through surgery without public acceptance. Surgeons are reluctant to involve themselves in a situation such as this. They're afraid of the possibility of a charge of mayhem. They're also afraid of the possibility of loss of their license for unprofessional conduct. And this is this is a very
worthwhile worry on their part. We need support from the legislative arm of our government. If they believe that this problem can be corrected through surgery then possibly there need be a. Interpretation through. So once again the law rears its ugly Haddon just as with abortion there's a real it sounds very similar to the abortion problem where I think there's been very wide public recognition of the need for abortion yet the problems of changing the law are extremely difficult. When you see with abortion you have relative public acceptance of this problem. You have relative public desire to see the law changed in the field of the transsexual. The public is unaware of the problem they're not about to say let's change the law when they don't even know about the problem. So we sit
here tonight I think telling the public there is a problem understand it and understanding it. Take steps to correct it. It is not a matter for the police department to change. It is a social matter not basically a criminal matter. Just to be a transsexual it is a criminal matter if a transsexual violates a law much as it is of you or you. Yeah I would like to talk about a little specific in this the problem of just hormone therapy in jail I know that this is been an issue and I think if we point this up we might even get further into the type of problem. Well if you go back to the thame thing there too. You have a prescription from a doctor a licensed physician for hormones and some taken in shot form and some take a pill daily and everything you're arrested you're placed in a cell you're derives the privilege of taking your medication. Now
this medication physically is not demanded by the body. I mean you can miss your hormone therapy for a few days and you will not really hurt you too badly. But then there's the mental stress and strain you go through for lack of your medication. There is the aspect to the officers in jail. They give drunks medication to keep them from going into DTV. Yet we have our pills with us when we're arrested the majority of us never yet they take them away from us and will not give them to us to let us have them. Of course it would involve them in going along with it. The doctors and medication on this to which they now know they are legally able to give us these pill and everything. It's the fact that why are
we deprived of medication. When are the people in jail deprived their elite to what do you want to say something to me. Yes I'd like to say one thing Eliot asked a little while ago if this harassment was in the past or if it was continuing up to the present. Now I don't know from personal experience of my personal self but I know many of the girls most of them. And as a matter of fact there was harassment at at least in one case I know of for sure where the girl was a prisoner in the San Francisco prison I believe as I do I should mention the name or not where is located. But she not only was denied use of her pills for hormone hormone therapy but also her hair was cut she had hair I think below her shoulders. And he was cut to about I think around two inches long inch and a half or two
inches long. And I have heard and this was as I say I haven't experienced it personally but I heard I heard the reason given was for a reason for Sen reasons. And. This is not done with women and they have some of them have long hair. And I wonder why it's more unsanitary for a transsexual to have long hair than for a woman to have long hair. Maybe somebody will be and in answer to your particular question of course we're aware that this institution we're talking about is not controlled by the San Francisco Police Department. But also as I understand it and I'm not speaking as a spokesman for them because I am not that aware of their formal official policy but it is my understanding that this policy is not particularly just set example for transsexuals. A hippie individual would
find himself in the same position. They state that their standards are that one shall have moderately plot here. Now I also understand that if an individual chooses not to have their hair cut that if they choose to remain in a cell rather than having a certain amount of freedom that this is also all. I'm not an expert on this but this is the information that I have been given. Therefore the individual under these circumstances would have to personally make up their own mind as to their choice of action whether they wished to have their hair cut to what is described as a reasonable length or whether they wish to remain in a cell. I'm not arguing the policy on this because it's not a policy which my department has anything to do with. But this is the way that I understand the policy. Well speaking from experience.
This is the nanny the particular place you're talking about. When I went there I was given the privilege of saying whether I wish to keep my hair or have it cut which I wish to choose to keep my hair. I was placed in a cell deprived of all privileges couldn't buy cigarettes couldn't buy anything because I wouldn't get a haircut in a matter of a few days. They came around and almost insist upon a haircut which time you Wi-Fi use. You were replaced in a strip cell which is called My bird leave the hole and tell you do submit to having a haircut. Now if you've got 90 days to do 90 days is a long time to sleep on a concrete floor. And this more or less does not give you the privilege of choosing to keep your hear them.
In other words you either do I think that they're trying to break you down mentally because I know when I was there. Well it's been almost two years ago now. I had about 90 days to I believe in I was when I first when I had my hair pinned it so that you couldn't tell it that it was long and it was down past my shoulders then. And after they found out that my hair was this length I was put in lockup. And I think I was in lockup for 19 days and then one of the guards came by and told me that unless I got a haircut that I that the rest of my time my good time my work time would be taken away from me and I'd go to the hole and do the rest of my time there. And this really they were trying to break me down mentally to the point where I would have to and I'm more or less had to because I couldn't I couldn't see sitting in a a hole where seclusion for 90 days and I think then I
I didn't have any problem of. Dandruff or anything like that that was contagious. Well the question I did want to clear up though Judy or Mandy do you feel that this was something that was US done to you as transsexuals or did. Well I want to where were you aware that hippie individuals were put in this. Well two not two years ago two years ago I don't think there was the problem of the hippie. Well I know I know I know individuals that didn't go out there that are here that had privileges and weren't putting off that hair was twice as long as mine. And this instead weren't actually trans sexual but were transvestites and they receive privileges that the other inmates received where I was denied them because of my hair and I think we're not forced to get their hair cut there was one particular hippie that was transported to. There at the same time I was from San Francisco's jail
and they did not no question of getting his hair cut at all it was all get my cat and he went to a regular here a regular where the men go and I saw him after I was released I saw him about a month later when he was released and had 20 days to do with his hair and he says he didn't have any problem with them trying to get him to cut his hair at all. This is this is true I mean this was six months ago. Number of individual I thought was I think we can say that with it is a public policy. There is there is just a policy on the part of the county jail to cut on here. In fact there's that. There is a court case pending by some hippies who are objecting to this policy the whole matter is going before the courts. But you know I want to I want to pull something out of this. So we're starting with a situation where there are people in jail who probably shouldn't be in jail they're in jail because of a whole lot of confusions a whole lot of problems. And then the problems keep building up.
You're what we're doing is asking police and jailers to somehow be more versatile than than anyone else in society to understand the problems of transsexuals and even the problems of hippies and all these individual problems where they can barely stay after jail it just isn't the place to try and deal with these kinds of problems and what I was trying to pull out is are some of the problems that exist. How do you figure out how to control drugs in still. Allow transsexuals hormones because I know this isn't that drug it's a medicine. No what I'm suggesting is that they really have a serious problem about the infiltration of dangerous drugs in the jails and they're constantly worrying about that. And that's part of the problem they're trying to deal with. Well this is this is very true. This this leads into something else also like in the jail that we were in and about the way that
they treat us there and the things that we're denied for the other inmates. There are no better than we are because we are human beings. The privileges that they receive that we don't receive because I know once I asked to go to church in this regard said I wasn't worthy of going to church because of what I was. And I don't think that should have been brought up because no matter what you or your religion issues your belief issue I think we're going to have to ensure that when we go around once and let everyone have the last say about card about transsexuals about police just a general last statement Mandy would you like to star. I really don't know where to start. I think that the police department should really take a look. What problems they do have that arise. The jails especially with homosexual transvestites transsexuals
not only in that field but in all fields of crime. I think they should open their eyes to these things really. Well I feel that with all of the things going on in the world where people actually are harming one another actually doing physical mental or other damage to another person that it's time we quit trying to legislate and enforce morality especially personal morality which in most cases does no harm to anyone. The country I think should wake up to the fact that a person what a person does with themselves and to themselves and with other consenting adults should be strictly their own business. If it does not affect society does not harm society should be their own business. And I think that just society should become educated to the fact that there are far more
important problems where people are actually harming each other concentrate on them and leave the individual alone if he is harming no one. Well I feel of the whole situation has been quite adequate adequately covered. I hope that what we have said tonight in lightens up a lot of people gives then the idea all to look into the situation themselves for further understanding because no matter what a person does as long as they aren't harming anybody but themselves why should the other person stand in judgment on this. And I feel that we've covered it quite well. Well I'd like to make a final plea to those individuals who listen to reason tonight and have found themselves in the girls that we're talking about to live however have
not identified themselves as transsexual but have known that there was something different a buyout down. I would ask that these people of veil themselves of help that is available that they need not to continue to suffer alone. That if you live in San Francisco that you contact the Center for special problems located 6:39 Venice Avenue and its phone number is 5 5 8 4 8 0 1. If you live outside of San Francisco Unfortunately the Center for special does not have staff enough to reach out all over the whole Bay Area. I would ask you then if you talked to your private physician or to a psychiatrist you know and find out if he is aware of what the problem of a transsexual is. If he is not and you still need help please contact me. Officer Elliot Blackstone at the central city
service center was and located at 272 six treat. I can be reached on the telephone at 6 2 6 4 6 3 6. There is someone who wants to help you help yourself. Call 1. Whenever I've talked with people from Congress I've always been impressed with the I'm marvelous in line with the spirit I see in the organization with the sense that there's a breakthrough that for people who have often lived a lot of their lives in darkness and in fear and in secrecy and in fear of the police there's a new sense that the world is more theirs and that there's a sense that their police can turn. I can't tell you how many times I've talked with Elliot about the extraordinary work he's been doing there and marveled at the fact
- Cops and robbers
- Contributing Organization
- Pacifica Radio Archives (North Hollywood, California)
- AAPB ID
- Three transsexuals discuss police problems and their work as members of C.O.G., Conversion our Goal, with Police Community Relations Officer Elliot Blackstone of the San Francisco Police Department. Herb Kutchins of the San Francisco Bail Project moderates.
- Talk Show
- Gay rights--United States; Sexual minorities--Civil rights--United States; Transsexuals--Identity; Transsexuals--Legal status, laws, etc.; Sex discrimination in justice administration; Gay and Lesbian rights
- Media type
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
Pacifica Radio Archives
Identifier: 2846_D0 (Pacifica Radio Archives)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Pacifica Radio Archives
Identifier: PRA_AAPP_BB1722_02_Cops_and_robbers_part_2 (Filename)
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- Chicago: “Cops and robbers II: Transsexuals and the Police; Cops and robbers,” Pacifica Radio Archives, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed August 13, 2022, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-28-g44hm52x2x.
- MLA: “Cops and robbers II: Transsexuals and the Police; Cops and robbers.” Pacifica Radio Archives, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. August 13, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-28-g44hm52x2x>.
- APA: Cops and robbers II: Transsexuals and the Police; Cops and robbers. Boston, MA: Pacifica Radio Archives, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-28-g44hm52x2x