Archive for July 24th, 2007

NYC Queer and Trans Youth of Color – Know Your Rights!

FIERCE! is offering an awesome training (details below) at their office this Friday. While FIERCE! is an organization for queer and trans youth of color, their FIERCE Friday events (like this one) are open to all allies. Trainings like these are important because the cops most definitely take advantage of folks not knowing their rights when it comes to dealing with the police. It’s hard to know how to deal with a cop, especially when you already feel targeted and vulnerable because of your age, your race, your sexuality, your gender, your class. Hopefully this training will help folks understand what rights they do have in such situations (not to say that some cops won’t completely disregard those rights anyway, but still.)

Queer and Trans Youth of Color: Do You Know How to Talk to the Cops When They Start Talking to YOU?

No, really? Do you?

You have the right to learn your rights when dealing with encounters with police. FIERCE is offering KNOW YOUR RIGHTS training and self-defense workshop on FRIDAY the 27th

Where: FIERCE Office 147 W. 24th Street. 6th Floor;(Right by Paws on Chelsea)
Take the F/1/C/E to 23rd street.

When: FIERCE FRIDAY!!! July 27th from 600-800pm

Allies Welcome

More info: 646-336-6789 x203

Louisiana’s fashion police

Several parishes (like the counties, not the Catholic congregations) in Louisiana have banned saggy pants, clothes that leave underwear exposed, and “dress not becoming to his or her sex.” Parishes are proposing fines up to $500 and even jail time for violators of the new laws, which may yet be unenforceable since they’re most likely unconstitutional.

Of course, the numbskulls who support this legislation have already started with the cries of “we’re not racist!”:

Despite concern that enforcement could result in racial profiling, supporters of the ban insisted that the dress code would be applied uniformly.

[Lafourche Council member] Toups argued that this isn’t a black and white issue but said he sees the ban as opportunity to put parents and grandparent back in charge.

“If you are Canadian, Serbian, or Afghan and your pants are hanging low, it doesn’t matter what color you are. We will ticket or arrest you,” Young of Pointe Coupee said.

Oh, that’s comforting. A fashion style that’s typically associated with (though certainly not limited to) Black folks and other people of color is banned, but it has nothing at all to do with race! Next, dreads and cornrows will be banned, but you know, some white folks have those, too. The law will be applied uniformly to any Black folks and folks trying to dress like Black folks! Can’t have those white folks trying to imitate Black people, you know.

However, the part of all of this that I find to be really chilling, personally, is “dress not becoming to his or her sex.” Um, what? Does this mean that people can’t wear clothing that’s typically designated to be worn by a person of the sex to which they weren’t assigned? Man, remind me never to visit those parishes in Louisiana or I will be screwed. KatRose at Pam’s House Blend says that a representative from one of the towns appeared on MSNBC and said that the law wouldn’t be used that way. But, like KatRose, I’m not really willing to buy that. The law will be on the books as such and I don’t see that much is going to stop people from applying it in a way that cracks down on people who aren’t conforming to their assigned gender roles. As if trans and gender non-conforming people aren’t vulnerable enough.