The organization Proyecto Matria reacted with repudiation to a report by the Police Bureau in which a trans woman – attacked by three men – was identified with a name and gender with which she does not identify herself.
“Violence against trans people in Puerto Rico is the responsibility of all the prophets of hatred who condemn them from their pulpits and insert themselves into politics to deny them their humanity. Faith and discrimination do not match, ”said attorney Amárilis Pagán Jiménez, executive director of Proyecto Matria.
This morning, the Police identified the trans woman who was stabbed to death in events that occurred at midnight in a residence on Del Parque Street in the Capetillo neighborhood, in Río Piedras, as a man.
The victim arrived by his own means at Hospital San Francisco, where Dr. Hernández diagnosed him with four open wounds and a trauma to the head.
“We cannot continue to stigmatize trans people or allow anachronistic and prejudiced discourses about their humanity to be repeated. Trans people have always existed. What had not existed until now was the awareness that we have developed as a country to respect, understand and support them, ”added Pagán.
The General Order Cap. 600 Sec. 624, effective as of December 10, 2015, establishes the policy and procedures for Police employees in their interaction with transgender people, “in order to provide security, respect, and dignity.”
The decree provides that “the Puerto Rico Police prohibits any type of prejudice and / or discrimination or perception of prejudice and / or discrimination in its interventions with transgender people.”
On how to determine the gender identity of a person, the order dictates that, if the gender with which the person identifies is not clear and the person does not request it, the agent must ask “politely and discreetly” how they prefer to be call. The officer must address the trans person according to the pronoun requested by him.
The agent must write down the name and gender provided by the person on all the forms that he / she fills out, in order to “minimize the times that other agency employees question the name and sex of the person during the course of the investigation.” .
José Galarza Flores, Matria’s Direct Service Coordinator, stated that “the insistence of the police and the media on making the gender identity of trans people invisible and identifying them with their birth sex seems unprecedented.”
“Our heart, strength and love with this trans woman. Violence against trans people and Lgbttiq + communities in general can only be eradicated when the system itself assumes its responsibility to eradicate discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity at all levels ”, they concluded.