The transgender population in San Francisco, CA may soon get more freedom of choice than everyone else. The city’s police commission is considering a policy that will be a “more inclusive approach” toward transgender, gender-variant, and nonbinary (TGN) individuals. Under the proposal, officers would be required to ask TGNs their preferred pronouns and names. They would also get to choose which gender officer they would prefer if a body search is necessary.
Do officers get the same freedom of choice on which gender(s) they would be comfortable searching in so intimate a way?
This nonsense is getting so far out of control it’s like a scene out of the old Twilight Zone episodes. Does anyone else have a problem keeping up with all the new gender identity acronyms, terms, and language? Now, police officers in this city may be forced to forego even the basics of identifying suspected criminals. Since, under the proposed policy, officers would not be able to ask a person their gender in strictly male-female terms, what do they list as a description for said individual?
Let’s put an all-points bulletin out for Joe Smith, a 6-foot humanoid with black hair. Suspect prefers to be called Josephine but is to be addressed with the masculine pronoun. Blah blah. Ridiculous, right? But wait, there’s more.
“A detained TGN individual would also be transported to an appropriate detention facility rather than a holding cell or booking area at a district station under the proposed guidelines.” Why? Why do TGN individuals get to forego the booking process that everyone else would be required to go through?
Officer Broderick Elton, the police department’s transgender liaison said, “It shows transparency that the department is being robust with guidance regarding interactions that have been going on for a long time.”
The city, apparently, has a problem with gaining trust with the transgender population and a study showed that “only” 46% of TGNs believed they would get assistance from the city’s police department if they were in need. However, I’d like to see a similar survey or study done on San Francisco’s entire population – I bet that percentage would be about the same, if not worse. There’s just too much crime and not enough officers to meet everyone’s needs.
Of course, transgender advocates say the proposal is not good enough, that it has too many loopholes. For example, “a watch commander would be allowed to override a TGN individual’s preference for a body searcher if that gendered staff is unavailable,” said Flor Bermudez, legal director of the Transgender Law Center in Oakland.
“It’s clear that all citing arrestees may have to prove their gender,” Bermudez said. “There is zero protection for arrestees.”
Well, let’s see, everyone else has to prove their gender, too? Why should transgenders get special treatment? Why should they get to forego the normal booking processes, be able to choose the gender of an officer attending them, etcetera?
A person’s gender is a personal identifying factor for law enforcement. Being a male or a female is biology, not a choice, and being described or identified as one or the other is a fact, not a discrimination. Just as it is not a discrimination to say someone is 4’6” even though they’d prefer to be 6’2”. In simple terms: It is what it is – you are what you are.