Trans woman arrested and misgendered by police officer she called to help her

A trans woman in Texas was arrested on her own property seemingly for existing as a trans person. 

Joan Simoncelli, an intersex, two-spirit transgender woman, was arrested at her home near San Antonio, Texas, in October after officers claimed she had made a “false police report” about a transphobic harassment incident, Liberation News reported.

The police officer who arrested her also allegedly called her a “man in a dress”, before placing her with the male population at Bexar County Jail, Texas, despite her driving license identifying her as a woman. 

On the day of her arrest, Simoncelli was reportedly harassed with transphobic slurs by her nephew while she was outside of her property. Simoncelli’s nephew then punched a car window, which led her to call the police.

When officers arrived, however, she was accused of “making a false report”, and arrested.

Her court case, due to take place in early December, came against a number of delays, and has now been postponed to January.

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Sharing the news report, writer and YouTuber Jessie Earl said: “Violence against trans people is escalating and becoming a more direct goal of the state.”

In November, Texas introduced an anti-drag bill that would criminalise venues for hosting trans performers or drag shows, essentially banning “trans people from performing in any capacity”.

In June, a draft report said that California police officers are more likely to stop trans people for subjective reasons than their cis peers.

Trans people were stopped by officers citing “reasonable suspicion” at four times the rate of cis people. “Reasonable suspicion” simply means an officer claims to have reason to suspect a person is committing a crime.

Alex Binsfeld, legal director at the Transgender Gender-Variant & Intersex Justice Project, told the San Francisco Chronicle: “It’s in effect a way to enforce Western gender binary norms on appearance, that you will be punished if you are not gender binary in your appearance.

“Policing of trans folks at these disparate rates has led advocates to argue it’s a status crime.”

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