Atlanta police crack down on trans prostitution – Zach Hudson

Sting operation last month yielded 15 arrests in Midtown

On the heels of a Midtown sting operation that yielded 15 arrests, Atlanta police are responding to complaints from a Midtown residents? association with a month- long crackdown on prostitution in the area. The likely targets of the sting will be male and transgender sex workers, according to the Atlanta Police Department.

?Our basic concern with the Midtown area is the transgender individuals and the hustlers, the male prostitutes,? Atlanta Police Department Vice Squad Investigator Orrick Curry told a July 10 meeting of the Midtown Ponce Security Alliance held at Mary Mac?s Tea Room.

Along with uniformed and undercover units, Orrick said that the APD would step up its enforcement of prostitution and vagrancy laws throughout the Midtown area for the next 30 days ? concentrating on the areas between Ponce De Leon Avenue and Piedmont Park.

But without broad social change, transgender sex workers will continue to work the streets simply to survive, said Dee Dee Chamblee, executive director of LaGender Inc., a transgender education and advocacy group.

?It don?t ever occur to them that this is a human being who needs to eat, and earn a living, and find a place to sleep,? she said.

Because transgender men and women who adopt a sexual identity other than their birth sex face discrimination at school and the workplace, for at least some, sex work is often perceived as the only viable way to earn money, Chamblee said.