Thursday, July 23, 2015

Meagan Taylor Is Free!

Received the wonderful news that Meagan Taylor, who was visiting Iowa with a trans friend and ended up in jail after being racially profiled because of a transphobic Drury Inn employee, is now free!

“I’m ecstatic to be released,” Meagan told the Transgender Law Center. “Words cannot express the way I feel to be out. I want to thank everyone who shared my story, and let people know that I am going to seek justice for what they did profiling me as a Black transgender woman.”

She spent over a week in isolated custody in the Polk County jail in Des Moines as local activists Kaija Carter, Tony Tyler and Mira Bellwheter , national organizations and San Francisco based Rev. Megan Rohrer teamed up to free Meagan.   Pastor Rohrer, who is also transgender, raised over $4400 thanks to 133 donors to help pay her bond as the Transgender Law Center worked to get the Illinois warrant vacated.

I thank Kaija for keeping me informed as to what was happening on the ground in Des Moines.

“We are relieved and thrilled that Meagan is finally free, but know that her story is all too common,” said Flor Bermudez, Esq., Director of the Detention Project at Transgender Law Center, which helped advocate for Meagan’s release. “Black transgender women are regularly viewed as criminals in public spaces, triggering unlawful arrests. In the vast majority of cases, transgender women are jailed in facilities that do not know how to house them safely and humanely.”

Ass for what happens now, that remains to be seen.  The Drury Inn has yet to issue an apology to Taylor, and may be facing action on a possible violation of the Iowa Civil Rights Act.

But the important part of this story is that  Meagan is free, and hope the next time she gets to take a trip it is drama free.

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