Arizona court vacates Monica Jones prostitution conviction but not because she was walking or trans

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This is good news but, ignoring the whole story only serves to perpetuate violence against TWOC.

The Superior court of Maricopa County vacated Monica Jones conviction but that reversal has nothing to do with her walking or trans status. The blatant overstep of religion into law enforcement and the timing of her arrest swept all of us up into an emotional response. Planet Transgender was among those who framed this as simple transphobia, but there’s more to this than that. What raised our ire…

From the Catholic Charities website…

“Catholic Charities DIGNITY Diversion programs offer those arrested for prostitution the opportunity to avoid jail time. Offenders attend intense education to divert them from re-offending.

Run in conjunction with the City of Phoenix Prosecutor’s Office, our program provides 36 hours of self exploration and education to develop self esteem and give hope. Participants also receive rehabilitation services including support, education, and treatment to help them escape prostitution. Job placement assistance is also provided. Those who complete the program have their charges dismissed.”

Phoenix woman are summarily convicted by police officers, hauled in handcuffs without being arrested to a Catholic Church basement and given the choice of religious conversion or arrest. Which explains the programs failure rate. For the vast majority this is nothing more than the entrance to the revolving door of the commercialized prison system.

That being said, Monica does have a history of prostitution a fact the LGBT blogosphere and allied media chose to ignore. Celebrating this as a victory, liberating transgender woman to walk freely down the street, at any hour of the day, sends a very bad message.

We are no more empowered to walk now than we were before Monica’s case went viral.

Over and over, time after time I write about transgender woman of color being murdered. Without victim blaming I will say this. Most all had one thing in common. They are woman of color who were in a place at a time which put them at the highest risk of violence.

If you are transgender and wish to have a long life please avoid doing the following things. Try not to be out on the street late at night. Try not to be alone on public transport, especially after dark. And whatever you do don’t accept rides from strangers at anytime for any reason that’s not a matter of life or death.

Leave illegal drugs alone. Get a regular boring job. Accept responsiblity, and you probably won’t have your name listed on the TDOR.

Now, that being said, I just want to congratulate Monica on her win over this tyrannical system. It will be interesting to see what happens next.

Editor in Chief at

Kelli Busey an outspoken gonzo style journalist has been writing since 2007. In 2008, she brought the Dallas Advocate on-line and has articles published by the Reconciling Ministries Network, The Transsexual Menace, The Daily Kos, Frock Magazine the TransAdvocate, the Dallas Voice and The Advocate. Kelli, an avid runner is editor in chief at Planet Transgender which she founded in 2007.

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