Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2016-10-19
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Walking while trans in Chicago
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Nomi Michaels Devereaux had six bags of groceries in hand when police arrested her.

She had just come from the Jewel Osco grocery store in Lakeview and was waiting outside while her boyfriend picked up a game system from a friend's on Sheffield.

According to Devereaux, police walked up to her, removed the groceries from her hands and handcuffed her.

"I said, 'What is going on? Why did you stop me? What is going on?'" she recalled.

At the police station, she said, officers made her take her bra off in front of them and then mocked her. She later learned she had been picked up for solicitation, she said.

Devereaux's story set off a firestorm in Lakeview because she did something few transgender people do: She reported the incident to local LGBT advocates. This August, that effort led to the implementation of a transgender general order for Chicago Police. "

Among other things, the order mandates that transgender people not be subjected to more frequent or invasive searches than other detainees. It also says that a transgender person's identity should not be taken as evidence of a supposed crime.

Stories about police wrongly assuming that transgender women are engaged in illegal sex work are so common in the U.S. that the phenomenon has simply become known as "walking while trans."

In a 2011 national survey of transgender people conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 29 percent of participants reported that they had been harassed or disrespected by police. Twenty percent said they had been denied equal treatment, and six percent reported that police had physically assaulted them.

In August, an Illinois transgender woman was awarded a $10,000 settlement from the town of Cicero after she filed a complaint alleging that police incorrectly profiled her as a sex worker, threatened her and refused to use her legal name. (Although Cicero settled the case, the town denies any wrongdoing).

Such stories are also common in Chicago, but transgender advocates have noted the difficulty in recording incidents. The Chicago Police Department has not historically tracked transgender arrests, a reality expected to change with the introduction of the new ordinance. Further, transgender people often distrust police and other officials, making them less likely to report incidents.

Some transgender and gender non-conforming young people interviewed and surveyed for the "Generation Halsted" series reported being wrongly targeted by police for doing illegal sex work. Others reported that police ignore transgender people trying to report a crime.

"Yesterday, I was having a problem with a guy, and I flagged the police down in the middle of the street," said one trans woman in Auburn Gresham, in a survey conducted by Windy City Times this fall. "They kept driving."

Generation Halsted is an eight-week series that seeks to capture youth voices not typically represented in Windy City Times and other media. The young people portrayed have many housing situations, gender identities and sexual orientations. The series looks primarily, but not exclusively, at Boystown, where an influx of young LGBTQ people has been a source of controversy. Windy City Times will continue to explore the issues raised here beyond this series.


Next week is the eighth and final installment of "Generation Halsted," and Windy City Times wants to include you. If you've read the stories in the paper, watched the videos online or listened on the radio, now is the time to share your thoughts. What have you learned? What would you like to see and hear in future reporting on these topics?

Email with comments, tweet us @windycitytimes1 or find us on Facebook by Friday, Dec. 28, at 5 p.m. to be included in the final part of the series or after Dec. 28, for possible inclusion in future editions.

Windy City Times looks forward to hearing your thoughts.

Look for WindyCityTimes on and or click the "YOUTH" tab at .

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Uptown residents stage counter-demonstration to Westboro anti-trans protest 2016-10-21 - About 50 Uptown residents and other community members staged a counter-protest the morning of Oct. 21 when members of Topeka, Kansas-based Westboro Baptist ...

Gay News

Housing opportunities for youth 18-24 living with HIV 2016-10-21 - El Rescate, an initiative of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center ( PRCC ), provides transitional housing to youth ages 18-24 who are struggling ...

Gay News

NUNN ON ONE: Trans model Isis King struts out with a new show 2016-10-19 - Reality star Isis King first made a splash on America's Next Top Model, becoming the first transgender person to compete on the show. ...

Gay News

Entertainment news: Miley Cyrus, TransNation, 'Prince Charming,' Whitney Houston 2016-10-18 - Miley Cyrus discussed her return to acting in Woody Allen's Crisis in Six Scenes, encouraged waffling Bernie Sanders supporters to vote for Hillary ...

Gay News

[Trans]formation to showcase works by trans, genderqueer, intersex, non-binary artists 2016-10-15 - Nothing Without a Company and The Living Canvas are proud to present the world premiere of [Trans]formation, devised by Ronen Kohn, Darling Squire, ...

Gay News

Brandi "Chill" Bledsoe, transgender woman of color, killed in Cleveland 2016-10-13 - The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs ( NCAVP ) has learned of the homicide of Brandi "Chill" Bledsoe, age 32, a Black transgender ...

Gay News

National Runaway Safeline co-chair discusses its mission and annual benefit 2016-10-12 - Troy McDonald Kane is a board member of the National Runaway Safeline ( NRS ), an organization that communicates with youth across the ...

Gay News

MIDWEST LGBTQ HEALTH SYMPOSIUM Trans military officer recounts life 2016-10-12 - Day two of the Midwest LGBTQ Health Symposium, held at Advocate Illinois Medical Center in Lake View Oct. 7, began in dramatic fashion ...

Gay News

Dawn Valenti: A Chicago survivor's story 2016-10-12 - When trans woman of color T.T. Saffore was found murdered on Chicago's West Side Sept. 11, her grieving family and friends seemingly had ...

Gay News

BOOKS The Transgender Teen: Opening the family dialogue on gender 2016-10-12 - "We think about gender all day and every day, though we might not be aware of it," said Lisa Kenney, co-author of The ...


Copyright © 2016 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.
[email protected]  •  [email protected]  •  [email protected]

Website Powered by