Cant get the T out of Midtown – By Dyana Bagby

Resorting to name-calling by labeling transgender sex workers ?transvestitutes? is a childish way to deal with a serious issue.

The Myrtle Room at Mary Mac?s Tea Room was packed Nov. 13 with some 50 people attending the regular meeting of the Midtown Ponce Security Alliance, ?the safety arm? of the Midtown Neighbors Association.

And safety was the key issue for most of the meeting.

Chairperson Peggy Denby, a vocal neighborhood activist disliked by many in the gayborhood for her role in the shuttering of the historic nightclub Backstreet, began the meeting warning Midtown residents of neighborhood burglaries and ongoing scams. There were even two crime victims who retold their stories to an enraptured audience.

But the residents were also at Mary Mac?s to hear about something they hold near and dear to their hearts ? getting prostitutes off the street. And while they didn?t say it outright at Monday?s meeting, it was obvious there is a deep-seeded dislike, possibly even hatred, for transgender prostitutes. So much so that in organization e-mails and letters to this newspaper from MNA members, they have coined their own term for transgender women who feel forced to sell their bodies for money ? ?transvestitutes.?