by Cheryl Courtney-Evans
posted Oct. 11, 2013
I first tried to make everyone aware of this assault on the transgender community of Atlanta in an April 15 post, "Are They Gonna Try to "Put Lipstick on This 'Pig'??". At that time I told you of Peggy Denby, and Peggy's "denizens of midtown", the MPSA (Midtown-Ponce Security Alliance) and their constant profiling, harassment and general aggravation of the transgender population that they might come into contact with in the area of Atlanta designated as "Midtown" (aka the 'gayborhood'); usually the recipients of their ire are transwomen of color.
At that time I informed you all that their campaign had led to Atlanta's Chief of Police, George Turner, to propose an amendment to an already restrictive "idling & loitering/prostitution" ordinance to include banning of 'individuals convicted of prostitution' from "certain areas known for prostitution" [on first offense] and also "from the city of Atlanta" [on second offense].
In trying to keep you all informed of this major attempt at further anti-social and aggrieving action against our community, I urged everyone not to forget about this situation with a further post, "PLEASE Don't "Take Your Eyes Off the Ball"!" , I informed you all about the then newly formed "Working Group to Reduce Prostitution" that Mayor Reed had appointed to address the 'prostitution situation' of Atlanta.
Consequently, over the last few months my attendance and participation in those meetings to find "alternatives to banishment" for individuals arrested for prostitution, spawned two more posts addressing what I see as an exercise in futility, as the law enforcement representatives for the city, Peggy Denby and a couple of other "concerned citizens" [who did not speak in original meetings with the City Council on the banishment issue] continue to push to keep banishment 'on the table' of considerations for the mayor and the council to deliberate/vote on. "Update and a Call for ACTION on the Banishment Ordinance in Atlanta, GA.", and "Atlanta Banishment UPDATE; Still Pushing the "Pig" " review my take on what was/is going down with this so-called "Working Group"...
With these meetings going on, all the while Peggy and her MPSA continue their campaign against the transgender community via constant media attacks in so-called "finger on the pulse of the community" blogs and online communications through their web site. Following is one such example from a local blog called the "Midtown Patch" which professes to keep the Atlanta community informed of the 'happenings of midtown Atlanta'. Titled "MPSA Gives Update on Midtown's Trans-Prostitute Gangs", posted by Marc Richarson (Editor), it supposedly details the actions of 'trans-prostitutes'. To give an indication that the MPSA uses strongly derogatory terms in reference to our trans* community, the editor begins the publication of the article with this disclaimer:
The original article written by the MPSA that is below contained language that I believe was inappropriate for Midtown Patch. We decided to delete the word and replaced it with something else more appropriate that we placed in parentheses to note the edit.
Notice the air of fear-mongering utilized in the piece, as well as the inclusion of the photo (most likely used from some totally un-related incident).
In a recent newsletter from theMidtown Ponce Security Alliance, we learned how the trans-prostitute gangs are becoming more and more dangerous. According to the article, "more dope boys are marauding around among the trans gang," making the situation even more scary for area residents.
TRANS PROSTITUTE GANG UPDATE 9/24/13
The trans prostitute gang is evolving into an increasingly dangerous situation because they are bringing drug dealing into the neighborhood. In recent weeks drug dealers have been menacing area residents as they deal drugs through the trans prostitutes. More and more dope boys are marauding around among the trans gang. While this problem is still predominantly street prostitution, the drug nights are occurring with increasing frequency. This situation highlights the need for a well-funded patrol in order to most effectively suppress and eventually eradicate this threat.
Looking over the last ten years, here is what we think is happening:
Ten years ago their activity was largely limited to an extreme volume of nuisance activity. With time they have become increasingly aggressive, and now they are bringing in more drug dealers into the neighborhood.
Ten years ago we had three types of johns coming around. 1.Johns looking for females and disappointed that these are transvestite or (usually) transgender, and turn around. It was still cruising traffic. 2. Johns looking for real females, but will take what they find anyhow. They might not come back, and would not have come had they known it was trans prostitutes rather than what they had in mind. 3. Johns specifically looking for "transgendered prostitutes." They will continue to go to where they think they can find trans prostitutes.
Over the last ten years we have wiped out most of the first two groupings of johns, leaving only a small number of those into a niche market of (transgendered criminals). Most of (these transgenders) are not making a pickup at all, while the sharks score better than average. But these (male prostitutes) will loiter around the neighborhood all night long every night. There may be five or six johns for about a dozen or more prostitutes active on
a given night, and a few sharks are likely racking in most of those.
Then there are two basic groupings of trans prostitutes - drive-ins (and some of them drive nice cars), and walk-ins. We are seeing very few drive-ins coming in regularly - they most likely have other sources of income and don't find the street worthwhile any more. Many of them make their pickups online or by phone for the most part, eliminating the necessity to even afflict our neighborhood. Another trans prostitution stroll has emerged far away on Memorial Drive in the Stone Mountain area, so that helps us some. When they do appear here, they appear mostly on weekends when there is more john and drug-buying traffic.
That leaves the walk-ins - those living on the street and don't know anywhere else to go. During the day they hang around the Peachtree-Pine “shelter” - another nightmare affecting multiple neighborhoods, and at night they turn tricks and work for drug dealers in our neighborhood. In our neighborhood, they are able to find free food, free shelter and income. The fact that they are living on the street, in turn, probably helps to get rid of some johns because the trans prostitutes they do find here smell like goats after not bathing for days on end. This segment of the gang keeps the pot boiling. On most nights, with exceptions primarily on weekend nights, the prostitutes are not picking up one john after another back-to-back like they were ten years ago.
To compensate for the loss of john traffic, the trans prostitutes are increasingly branching out into drug dealing under the guise of street prostitution - with suppliers cruising around all night. This will likely escalate into a very perilous situation for the neighborhood if drastic measures are not taken to suppress and eradicate this gang. With the drug activity shifting from use to dealing, the presence of this gang has shifted from the most chronic problem to the single biggest threat to the Midtown experience. Ironically, this is happening in the shadow of theHIDTA building at Juniper & 4th, the agency that coordinates major drugs busts in the metro area.
We close with a report from a recent weekend: Saturday night into Sunday - Around 3am [Neighbor1] alerted me about a guy sitting in a car in front of his place (xxx Myrtle, on the xth Street side). (Transgendered prostitutes) were flocking to this drug car like children flocking to the ice cream truck. We called the police about him, and they came out. He tried to drive away when police arrived, but got some blue lights. He was checked out, but was let go. I did see the officer take a gun back to his squad car with him, I guess to disarm him while he was being checked for warrants. He had been sitting at that spot for nearly an hour, with several (tran prostitutes) coming to and from his car, exchanging numbers, etc. This is clearly a drug car, and not a john. Then things got really hairy. Somebody in a white car was shouting something at us as we walked down Myrtle. He kept pulling forward and backing up as we sought cover behind a parked car, like he was looking to get a clear view of us. Very threatening situation. He finally drove off. But then some guy came walking along the side of xxx Piedmont in a very menacing way, and we went into [neighbors building] and hunkered down. He may have been the one in the white car that had just drove off - the timing was exactly right for him to park over on Piedmont and walk back over. [Neighbor1] and I retreated into that building. He came to the door, reaching into his pocket as if for a gun, while I am on the phone with 911. He finally went away. The police never came. Conditions were comparable to Boulevard and Parkway Drive, with drug boys hanging around with the prostitutes.
Notice how this author tries to give the impression that he (or she) has done an indepth 'study' of the "trans-prostitute situation"...as if he knows something about "walk-in" versus "drive-ins" and three different types of "johns"...
And what would an MPSA stalker know about "prostitute traffic shifting to Stone Mountain, GA." [which is miles away from 'midtown' Atlanta]?? The MPSA is a half step above a neighborhood watch group, however with some its members being off-duty Atlanta police officers [who really try to intimidate]; there's not suppose to be any "connection" with the Atlanta Police Department [officially], so how would they be privy to information/records from the Stone Mountain area?? Their "jurisdiction" doesn't extend nearly that far!
It's just this type of character assassination that plays into the violence visited upon the transgender community and feeds the stereotypes of "fooling johns/others" and "transgender violence" that reduces already minimal efforts by law enforcement to find the perpetrators of that violence against us.
This continued campaign by Peggy Denby [the Queen of Mean] and the MPSA is going to fuel the continued push for this banishment...we MUST NOT ALLOW IT.
I have contacted Mr. Marc Richardson the Midtown Patch's 'editor' to voice my opposition to this type of article in the Patch, but he claims that these pieces are taken verbatim (except for the changes mentioned in the disclaimer) from the MPSA's "newsletter"...he says he would welcome my "opposing view" if I were to send it in to the Patch. Up to this point I have not, because I don't trust this "right-leaning" blog; he would not guarantee my approval of final draft, and I don't trust the Patch not to 'alter' the piece. At any rate, we must not let Peggy and her MPSA succeed in further marginalization of the Atlanta transgender community. We must fight the banishment ordinance.
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