Philadelphia Welcomes its First Transgender Police Officer

Benson Churgai

Officer Benson Churgai could have remained stealth but made coming out as transgender a priority for all of the right reasons.

Philadelphia police candidate Benson Churgai remained in stealth mode until just two days before graduation. That is when in an emotional video he told his classmates about his transgender status.

So upon graduation, Friday officer Benson Churgai made history as Philadelphia’s first commissioned transgender Police officer.

“I knew I needed to live my life and be true to who I was,” said Churgai, “I need to be honest with myself, and that was coming out as a transgender male.”

6abc reports that after nine months of training, Churgai, 24, was sworn in as part of the department’s 391st class during a ceremony on Friday. Churgai, of Northeast Philadelphia, is the first trans person to reveal their identity before the process, and then complete the academy to graduate.

His close friends and family know his truth, but during the long months of training, he kept his full identity a secret from his classmates.

“I wanted to go through the academy like every other recruit. I didn’t want people to know I was transgender because I didn’t want to be treated differently. I wanted to be held to the same standards as everybody else,” Churgai said.

That standard meant having to keep up with the men during training, and Churgai succeeded.

“Sometimes it seems that your hopes and dreams are not possible when you come out as transgender, but it is possible,” he said. “It is possible to be who you want to be and do the career you want to have, it’s possible. Just because your trans it doesn’t mean you can’t.”

Officer Benson Churgai has a tough row to hoe but of course, we wish him well.

The Philly police department is rife with transphobia as mentioned by ABC6, but there is more. Much more.

The city of brother love saw the city’s first transgender group home firebombed and has suffered 12 transgender murders since 2002.

Nizah Morris

Nizah Morris we will not forget.

AND the murder of transgender woman Nizah Morris remains unsolved. Planet Trans believes that Nizah Morris was either murdered by Philly officer Elizabeth Skala or that she knows who did. Former Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams disagreed in a contentious debate calling our inquisitions and accusations slanderous lies.

Seth Williams was later sentenced to five years in a plea deal on an unrelated bribe charge in 2017.

Hundreds of Benson Churgai’s comrades have publicly called for the murder of transgender people or simply because they are believers of Islam.

In 2019 seventy-two Philadelphia police officers were put on administrative leave and 13 more were fired for racists and transphobic Facebook posts. These posts by commissioned police officers violated force policy defamed these minorities and called for our murders.

The Philidelphia police force social media policy that they violated was announced in 2017 after they dehumanized yet another murdered transwoman, Diamond Williams, which was amplified by transphobic local reporting..

Editor in Chief at | Website

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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