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Mysteries: Police Training Courses on Transgenderism

| Mar 30, 2015
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It was with some fanfare in March of 2014 that Deputy Attorney General of the Justice Department announced a training program for police on how to deal with transgender people. Along with other trans advocates, I volunteered to teach this course in the Southeastern States under the auspices of the DOJ Community Relations Service (CRS). Last fall we tested a course with some policepersons from the Atlanta Department. The course had been built by trans advocates under the direction of the Washington DC CRS. We were told that we would begin training Atlanta police and then move on to the rest of the Southeast. We were told that Washington needed to approve us before we could start and to sit tight until we heard from CRS Washington.

I was particularly interested in teaching this course because it would give me the opportunity to disseminate what I have learned over the past 10 years researching TSTG science. Furthermore I was interested in helping my community understand transgenderism including the police and government officials. I had seen first hand their ignorance of transgenderism by observing a city task force charged with recommending whether to pass an ordinance to banish transgender prostitutes from the city. It took three hours for government officials to understand the difference between sex and gender. I live in Midtown Atlanta and most of the impetus for the banishment legislation comes from a Midtown homeowners security association. This association also harasses transgender people on the street whether they are prostitutes or not. They have a vehicle with a spotlight and a bullhorn that they use to harass individuals. I could have be one of the transgender people being harassed by this association when I went to my doctor’s office which is within their patrol boundaries.

Curious that I had not heard anything about the DOJ course, last month I sent an email to my CRS contacts here in Atlanta and all the emails came back as undeliverable except one. She had been transferred but gave me the email of the CRS POC here in Atlanta. He knew nothing about the course. From the newspaper, I also learned that the city of Atlanta was providing its own course to its policemen. I tried to contact my POC in the Atlanta police department who was the GLBT liaison officer but he had been transferred and was not involved anymore.

So I wonder whether you can help me solve these mysteries.

First, did the CRS cancel the course for the Southeast region? For all regions? Maybe you can tell me about whether the CRS course is being given in your area.

Second, if the CRS cancelled this course, why did they do it? Was it because the police departments did not want the course? At least the city of Atlanta wanted the course. Was it because all of their manpower had been allocated elsewhere? Say to Ferguson, MO or similar hotspot. No, the CRS people would have retained their email addresses and I got responses back indicating there were no such people in CRS.

Third, was the cancellation due to CRS funding cutbacks? Would not be surprised but you would think that there would be some sort of announcement, if only less visible than the course rollout announcement.

Fourth, the only thing that the current GLBT liaison person could tell me was that the Atlanta course was put together by local trans advocates. But there was no announcement and I was not contacted. Are they using CRS course or a home grown course? Who gets to choose the “local advocates”? I contacted two people whom I would consider Atlanta trans advocates and they knew nothing about the course except what they read in the papers.

Fifth, do national transgender advocacy organizations have any knowledge of these mysteries? I wrote to one but they haven’t helped much.

So I hope that you all (yes I live in the South) can help me solve these mysteries. Am I just being politically naive or politically ignorant? Did the national opportunity to educate the police on transgender people just vanish? Am I to trust unnamed “local trans advocates” for my fate at the hands of the Atlanta police? How about a little transparency here?

Our Political Correspondent Babs Casbar Siperstein was able to provide the following information:

“They (DOJ) are still and continuously working on it and a 8-10 minute roll call video should be available soon for all police departments. The DOJ’s CRD has been working with NCTE since 2009-2010.”

If you have more information on the DOJ police training please share it in the comment area below.

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Category: Transgender Community News


About the Author ()

Dana Jennett Bevan holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University and a Bachelors degree from Dartmouth College both in experimental psychology. She is the author of The Transsexual Scientist which combines biology with autobiography as she came to learn about transgenderism throughout her life. Her second book The Psychobiology of Transsexualism and Transgenderism is a comprehensive analysis of TSTG research and was published in 2014 by Praeger under the pen name Thomas E. Bevan. Her third book Being Transgender was released by Praeger in November 2016. She can be reached at

Comments (1)

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  1. danabevan danabevan says:

    The course we were working on was much more extensive. It was 2-3 hours with roleplaying. Was there a decision to cut it to 10 minutes? Who made that decision?

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