Statement on New York’s Repeal of the “Walking While Trans” Ban
February 2, 2021
Today, Trevon Mayers, Director of Policy & Community Outreach at New York City’s LGBT Community Center, issued the following statement reacting to the repeal of New York State’s “Walking While Trans” ban:
“We commend New York State lawmakers for repealing the ‘Walking While Trans’ ban (S01351/A03355) and sealing prior convictions and violations related to it. This is a significant step toward ensuring the protection and safety of all LGBTQ New Yorkers. For more than 40 years, the discriminatory enforcement of this statute was used to target, harass, coerce, and arrest Black and brown transgender women and gender-expansive people just because of how they dress, or for simply existing in public spaces. As community advocates have pointed out, it essentially functioned as stop-and-frisk 2.0.
The Walking While Trans ban encouraged racist and gender-based profiling by law enforcement, demeaning and criminalizing people for being who they are—but no longer. Today, New York State took a step toward addressing a long history of unjust policing practices, and showed that it is capable of honoring its progressive values with concrete action.
This victory is thanks to the tireless efforts of Black and brown trans, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary advocates, including those who have been directly impacted by the statute. We were proud to follow their leadership and lend our support through The Center’s statewide advocacy initiative, RiseOut.”