Trans activist Monica Jones was convicted of “manifesting prostitution” in Phoenix, Arizona. Jones was arrested last May for accepting a ride to a from two undercover police officers.
In Phoenix, “repeatedly stopping an engaging someone in conversation” can lead to arrest, even if one is no attempting to engage in sex work. Jones was arrested under this vague ordinance.
“[Jones is} a student at ASU [Arizona State University], and fear that these wrongful charges will affect my educational path,” she shared before a verdict was reached. “I am also afraid that if am sentenced, I will be placed in a men’s jail as a transgender woman, which would be very unsafe for me. Prison is an unsafe place for everyone, and especially trans people.”
Activists in the the trans community and beyond have spoken out in support of Jones.
Actress Laverne Cox mentioned the injustice in her GLAAD Media Award acceptance speech on Saturday stating, “I have to say it’s really hard for me to stand here tonight and receive an award. Just yesterday, one of my transgender sisters, a woman by the name of Monica Jones, was found guilty of a crime in Phoenix Arizona that is basically called ‘manifesting prostitution’…there is so much work to be done to make sure that that never happens again.”
You can find out more about Monica Jones and support her by signing this petition.
Does this sound like a case of “walking while trans”?
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