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Transgender Individidual Arrested For Exposing Breasts Jailed With Men

Ashley-Del-Valle-breasts-AND-penis

If you expose your breasts in rural Georgia but have a penis, jailers are liable to think you’re a dude and make fun of you.

ThinkProgress (“Transgender Woman Arrested For Exposing Breasts Jailed With Men“):

A transgender woman from New York was visiting Georgia last week when she was arrested for indecent exposure for allegedly exposing her breasts. However, once Ashley Del Valle, who has lived as a woman for two decades, arrived at police facilities, she was determined to be “technically a male” because of her genitalia and she was held in isolated cells in a facility that houses men. Roy Harris, Deputy Chief of the jail, admitted misgendering her, continuing to inaccurately use male pronouns to describe her:

HARRIS: First off, Ashley is still a man. I think he’s had some surgery, breast implants. But technically he is still a male which poses a problem. We do have a policy in place. Typically we put them in isolation. We do take particular caution with inmates such as this. We’re a nationally accredited jail and have a policy for this.

According to Del Valle, deputies referred to her as “thing,” “brotha,” and “nigga” and other male inmates harassed her throughout her visit:

DEL VALLE: They didn’t know where to put me. The young men there were out of control. They kept beating on my cell. It was pure torture. [...] I felt like I just wasn’t being treated like a human being.

She was held for three days before family members paid $3,500 to bail her out.

Though Del Valle was kept in a private cell, the fact that she was still surrounded by men still made her vulnerable to harassment. An isolation cell can also be a different form of torture, depriving an individual of any social contact. Whatever transgender policy the jail supposedly has, misgendering her and endangering her in such ways did not prioritize her safety nor convey even the most basic respect for her identity.

I have no clue what the protocol for this sort of thing ought to be or how big cities with more experience with transgender issues handle it. But surely housing someone with a penis among the female population would have its own risks. Indeed, Harris’ claim that they’re following established protocols strikes me as reasonable, since Del Valle was indeed in a private cell.

For that matter, a penis-bearing individual who looks like a man but has breasts is liable to be subject to harassment from the sort of people who spend their time behind bars in rural Georgia regardless of which sex they’re housed with. Indeed, I suspect Del Valle gets treated poorly on a daily basis by people who don’t know her. That’s a horrible thing but a current fact of the human condition.

It seems to me that the main offenses the jailers committed here were making unprofessional comments and not doing enough to prevent taunting of their prisoner by other inmates. But these are surely par for the course even for non-transgendered prisoners. Jailers are not known for their quiet professionalism and jails are not known for their soothing quality.

If only there were some way for Del Valle to have avoided being placed in this situation to begin with. Some way to avoid going to jail. Under suspicion of being a sexual deviant. Some. Way.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Dave Schuler says:

    Obviously, the unprofessional comments were wrong and there should be some sort of discipline for them. Otherwise, I think it’s a tough case. What’s a reasonable accommodation for dealing justly with a population that may constitute .2% or fewer of the general population?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  2. beth says:

    Well, if she’s still technically still a man, she shouldn’t have been arrested for displaying her breasts. I’ve never seen a man arrested for going shirtless. Seems like the authorities in Georgia want to have it both ways.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 0

  3. James Joyner says:

    @beth: So does Del Valle. He was born physiologically male and psychologically female. He’s reconstructed his upper body but not his lower body. I’m not sure the Georgia authorities are at fault here for not knowing which of the two available genders to assign him to.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 14

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    She was held for three days before family members paid $3,500 to bail her out.

    Ummmm…. Excuse me, 35 HUNDRED SMACKAROOS for indecent exposure???? What judge set that bail? This was nothing other than a small town southern style shakedown. Somebody should have been arrested, just not sure it was her.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  5. Ben says:

    @James Joyner:

    James, the “lower body” part of sexual reassignment is extremely expensive and a major, major surgery. Many transgender people don’t bother with it. They change their appearance enough that they can go through a reasonably normal life as the correct gender. Using the male pronouns is bullshit, too. You’re better than that.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 5

  6. EddieInCA says:

    This happened in Georgia…

    Shocking, I know.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  7. rodney dill says:

    @beth: You win the Astute Observation of The Day Award.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  8. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Comments on other sites were interesting on this topic:

    If she is imprisoned as a “man”, then how can showing “his” chest be indecent exposure?

    Men often go without shirts, and it is not indecent exposure, so clearly, s/he is being charged as a female.

    Yet in prison, treated like a male.

    Looks like some Georgia conservatives are trying to have it “both ways”.

    (… although, as we have seen, that is not so uncommon :)

    I, for one, fully support the abolishment of the limitation of women removing their shirts!

    Free the ta-ta’s !!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  9. Franklin says:

    Two things:

    1) As Mr. Schuler notes, this is a very small percentage of the population. Of course they were born that way, and deserve to be treated normally as humans, etc. but it’s difficult to have reasonable accomodations. It’s also difficult for kids not to stare and for everybody to know the protocol for such a rare case. She’s been dealt a difficult hand already.

    2) This whole “breasts are indecent exposure” thing – I kind of thought we were past that. At least in some locales, exposing your upper body is perfectly legal whether you are a man or woman (or somewhere in between). It’s certainly not women’s fault that men like the shape of baby feeders, so why punish them?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  10. Neil Hudelson says:

    I truly don’t understand why exposing breasts is considered indecent.

    It can’t because of any particular features, ie nipples or the like, as men have them too.

    It can’t be because of size, as there are small chested women, and men with naturally occurring breasts (ask any senior in college after 4 years of heavy drinking).

    Is there any actual reason besides societal mores?

    At least with lower body genitals there is consistency–neither men nor women can expose themselves.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  11. TastyBits says:

    This case is easy. Without a legal change, the classification is female. If the male genitals were removed but there was no legal change, then it would be hard.

    Homosexuals cause a lot of problems among the straight males, and the most effeminate cause the most problems. It is not the homosexuals causing the problems, but it is their presence that causes the problem. Segregating the homosexuals eliminates the problem.

    I would be interested to know the New York policy. Placing somebody who has intact male genitalia into the female population is a problem, and I would expect numerous lawsuits to result.

    Prison is rough, and the female inmates are not “the girl next door.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 13

  12. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @TastyBits: Sexual orientation and gender are two totally different things. So your point is… what, exactly?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  13. James Joyner says:

    @Ben: I’m honestly not sure what the protocol is for describing a man who thinks he’s a woman and has both artificial breasts and a natural penis. My inclination is to let people self-classify but calling one’s arm a leg doesn’t make it a leg, either.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 6

  14. Ben says:

    @James Joyner:

    ” a man who thinks he’s a woman and has both artificial breasts and a natural penis.”

    You just described the majority of male->female transgendered people. A large portion of them never bother getting rid of the penis because it is so expensive and such a major surgery.

    And yes, you always default to following the self-classified gender unless it’s obvious that they haven’t yet transitioned to living as their self-defined gender.

    I’m sorry, I figured you’d be familiar with the conventions, you’ve lived in a large metropolis for a long time, they’re pretty well established in the more cosmopolitan parts of the country.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  15. rudderpedals says:

    According to Del Valle, deputies referred to her as “thing,” “brotha,” and “nigga”

    I suppose verbal abuse is just part of a jail deputy’s job description. Abu Graibh becomes less surprising.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  16. James Joyner says:

    @Ben: I’ve met precisely one person who’s gone through the process and s/he was just at the beginning stages (hormonal treatments, therapy) when our working relationship ended. Even in places like DC, this sort of thing is phenomenally rare. And it’s not like I hang out downtown at night—I live in the suburbs with my kids.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  17. James Joyner says:

    @rudderpedals: Quite right. I pointed that out at the time: the Abu Graibh guards were National Guardsmen, man of whom who were prison guards in civilian life. This sort of thing is standard. It’s outrageous, but frankly less so than much of what goes on in America’s disgraceful prison system.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  18. aFloridian says:

    Sounds to me like the jail did the best it could when housing a type of inmate that we are not terribly accustomed to dealing with around here. It is incredibly unreasonable to expect such a person to be housed with the female population.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  19. MstrB says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Indecent has more to do with how many men respond to seeing breasts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  20. TastyBits says:

    @Gromitt Gunn:

    We will do this slow.

    NOTE: This applies to prison only.

    Like with like. People with a penis are housed with the other people with a penis. People with a vagina are housed with other people with a vagina.

    If one is sexually attracted to another person with the same genitalia, one is classified as homosexual.

    People with a penis and a breast augmentation are going to cause a problem. In prison, if a male looks like a female, if a male acts like a female, the male is a female to the male inmates but not to the female inmates.

    Effeminate “straight” males can cause a problem, but they would still be housed with the male inmates. If they are causing a large problem, they may need to be segregated. An in-process transgendered male with an intact penis who is attracted to a female would be an effeminate “straight” male, and they would be treated the same.

    Unless one has the facilities to house an in-process transgendered person, the choices are limited. The person can either be housed with the homosexuals (if segregated) or in isolation. If each inmate has a single cell, general population may not be a problem, but overcrowding is a problem for many (most) facilities.

    Isolation is not necessarily for punishment, but most people do not want to be isolated. Hence, isolation is not a good option to house an inmate for long. For three days, it is probably the best option. If the person requested isolation, they should be accommodated if possible.

    I am not sure what the protocols are for a location with a large transgendered population. They probably have a separate area where they are housed.

    If the prisons you know are different, please enlighten me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  21. PD Shaw says:

    I don’t think I would consider Savannah, Georgia to be rural. And its home to one of the most famous transsexual entertainers in the country, whose club Del Valle had left earlier.

    Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was a good book.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  22. @James Joyner:

    I’ve met precisely one person who’s gone through the process

    That you know of. Once they reach a certain stage, it’s usually not obvious anymore and it’s not something they would reveal in casual conversation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  23. Rafer Janders says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    I truly don’t understand why exposing breasts is considered indecent

    in my state, New York, it’s not since a 1990 ruling. Women can go topless anywhere and anyplace that men do (i.e. beaches, parks, the streets, yoga class, etc.).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  24. Franklin says:

    @TastyBits: I misread your name as Tsar Nicholas (yeah I know, way off) but decided to read the post anyway. I was stunned by the amount of reason, so I double-checked the name …

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  25. PD Shaw says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: “35 HUNDRED SMACKAROOS for indecent exposure???? ”

    $3500 was posted for bail to ensure that she appears for trial. Its probably on the high side since she’s considered a flight risk since she doesn’t live in the area. Also, may be higher if she has any past criminal record. The amount is refundable.

    They could have posted a bail bond by paying 10% to 15% of the amount of the bail. Not refundable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  26. TastyBits says:

    @Franklin:

    If your experience inside is different, please enlighten me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  27. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @TastyBits:

    If one is sexually attracted to another person with the same genitalia, one is classified as homosexual.

    No. Sexual orientation is ones’ attraction based on gender.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  28. TastyBits says:

    @Gromitt Gunn:

    Did you miss my qualification?

    “NOTE: This applies to prison only.”

    If your experience inside is different, please enlighten me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  29. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @TastyBits: Your “qualification” is irrelevant. But, please, mansplain about sexual orientation and gender some more. I’m giddy with anticipation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  30. @Gromitt Gunn:

    I think you’re taking something that was intended as a descriptive statement of how things actually are in prison as a normative statement of how things should be.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  31. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Stormy Dragon: No. No, I’m not.

    Orientation is based on sexual attraction to one (or more) genders. That definition doesn’t change in institutional settings, although opportunistic sexual activity does occur in institutional settings. But in those cases, it isn’t *because of* gender, but rather in spite of it.

    If I were a heterosexual cisgendered woman married to a heterosexual cisgendered male solider who, after our marriage, stepped on an IED in a combat zone and had his genitals blown off, we would still be two heterosexual cisgendered people in a marriage. We wouldn’t suddenly be in a same-sex marriage, he wouldn’t suddenly be transgendered, and I wouldn’t suddenly be a lesbian.

    Come on, Stormy, I *know* you know all this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  32. PD Shaw says:

    @Tastybits, I also think it needs to be assumed that everybody is intoxicated in these types of situations.

    She was arrested at about 1:30 in the morning on a weekend night, after hitting the clubs and collapsing on a park bench. She was very likely intoxicated or otherwise chemically impaired. She was then booked into jail cells that were no doubt overcrowded with drunk and disorderlies that had been swept up. None of these people are likely to be exercising normal judgment.

    BTW/ Savannah reminded me a lot of New Orleans, though on a smaller scale.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  33. @Gromitt Gunn:

    Yeah, but I also realize that prison inmates aren’t the most enlightened population on the planet. If you put a transgendered woman in with prisoners, they’re going to treat her like a gay male regardless of what she actually is. Now that doesn’t justify the corrections officers mistreating her, but the reality of the situation is probably going to require something suboptimal because the prisoners aren’t going to accept her as a woman, and keeping her safe is going to necessitate taking that into account.

    One thing that should be noted: the statement “she was held in isolated cells in a facility that houses men” is rather misleading. Looking at their website, Chatham County Jail houses both men and women. So that statement is technically true, but falsely implies there’s some other place she could have been taken. Now what I can’t tell is if they have separate isolation areas, so I don’t know if she was in the male isolation or in isolation with males because that’s the isolation area for everyone.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  34. Bob Beller says:

    My sympathy meter is at zero. If the person is a woman; as she and her defenders claim; then she had reasonable knowledge that exposure of her breasts is illegal (especially in the bible belt).

    The jailors, while crude (and they should be punished for some of the language) put the suspect in the exact place he/she belonged, an isolation cell. Had they put “her” with the female population and “she” woke up with a piss hard on the 2nd day, what kind of suits would the jail have faced then?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  35. Gustopher says:

    @James Joyner: the article used feminine pronouns, your original post used no pronouns, and your follow up comment used masculine pronouns, and then a second with s/he while saying that you never really encounter the transgender community, and don’t know the rules.

    I’ll give you credit for never referring to her as “it”, but it’s pretty clear that you are still trying to impose your own notion of her gender onto her. Rookie mistake, or transphobic — I have no idea what’s in your heart. I know I find transexuals a little scary, but I figure that’s my problem not theirs, and they don’t need crap from me.

    The general rule is that you humor people by referring to someone by whatever set of pronouns they prefer (up to, but perhaps not including, fake pronouns). Here the original article you quote is pretty clear on she/her — follow suit with others when in doubt (unless the others are obviously being mean)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  36. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I totally get that, and I understand the confusion around where to house transgendered people in institutional settings. My issue is with defining orientation based on body parts rather than on gender – or, if one wants to extrapolate out – on behavior rather than on state of being.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  37. TastyBits says:

    @Gromitt Gunn:

    I am not sure how processing, protocols, and procedures work with the institutions you are associated with, but for the ones I know, the inmates do not get to choose how the forms will be filled out.

    Anybody with a penis has the male checkbox selected, and anybody with a vagina has the female checkbox selected. The strip-search will quickly uncover any mis-classification.

    The homosexual selection is the inmates answer with some exceptions. Having been an inmate classified as homosexual will get the homosexual checkbox selected. If the inmate is caught in homosexual acts. This can be changed, but the inmate will need to convince somebody they have changed.

    Lying about sexual orientation does not usually result in disciplinary action. Lying is against the rules, but inmates are expected to lie. If it is not causing a problem, it can be overlooked, but if the inmate is holding hands and calling another inmate his “man”, the homosexual checkbox will be selected.

    You can dislike it, but this is reality.

    If your experience inside is different, please enlighten me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  38. @Gromitt Gunn:

    Fortunately, we don’t have to deal with orientation or body parts at all. What is her legal gender? But then the question becomes whether she bothered to go through the process of correcting her birth certificate in New York. If all her legal documentation still says she’s male, then what do you do?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  39. TastyBits says:

    @PD Shaw:

    New Orleans has a large gay population, and the transgendered folks are usually found with them. Transvestites, drag queens, female impersonators, pre-op transsexuals, post-op transexuals, etc. are all distinct, and all have quirks that differentiate them. I am going to bet that few here have any idea that there is any diversity or how to identify it.

    NOPD was always bad, but they usually left the tourists alone. I do not know what they are like today. She would have been told to “knock it off”, and if she did not, a number of charges would have been filed. One of those would have been the standard “resisting arrest”. She would have been put into a cell by herself or with other transgendered arrestees. With no priors, the charges would have been dropped to a fine at most.

    It is highly unlikely she would have gotten into a cell with anatomically correct females. Once you are familiar with a transgendered person, you can tell fairly quickly. For those not familiar, nothing you have heard is fool-proof. Some of the hottest chicks are anotomical males, and this is without any surgery.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  40. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @TastyBits: I seriously have no idea if you are just intentionally misunderstanding the point that I am making or not. I’m completely baffled.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  41. TastyBits says:

    @Gromitt Gunn:

    I am wondering the same thing about you. The original post was about an article from ThinkProgress.org. They seemed to not understand that jails/prisons are not run the way they desire. I commented on why this is. On the inside, most niceties are tossed aside, and you conform to the system. Like it or not, that is the reality.

    Good luck, and stay out of prison.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  42. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @PD Shaw:

    $3500 was posted for bail to ensure that she appears for trial. Its probably on the high side since she’s considered a flight risk since she doesn’t live in the area.

    From Naturist Action on the Georgia laws on indecent exposure:

    b) A person convicted of the offense of public indecency as provided in subsection (a) of this Code section shall be punished as for a misdemeanor except as provided in subsection (c) of this Code section.

    No way do they worry about flight risk on a misdemeanor and no way does the probable fine come any where near $3500.

    Trust me PD, this was a shakedown. I’ve had it done to me in my travels and it always works the same.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  43. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I don’t know and it isn’t a question that keeps me up at night. All I really care about here in this thread is clarifying the fact that a) gender and orientation are different and b) that one’s sexual orientation is about the gender(s) a person is attracted to, rather than, as TastyBits stated, “If one is sexually attracted to another person with the same genitalia, one is classified as homosexual.” Which is an incorrect statement. I am a gay man because I am attracted to men as people, not a dude’s junk, which is one of any individual man’s least interesting facets. If a guy lost his junk in an accident or is a transitioning/transitioned MTF is irrelevant to me, so long as he presents himself as a man and can pull it off.

    I really don’t care how people get segregated by prison officials, so long as they are treated with a resonable degree of respect for their person. That is probably harsh, but It just isn’t a question that I have a lot of excess energy to spend contemplating.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  44. PD Shaw says:

    @Tastybits, I made the comparison to N.O. because I think Savannah has a more coastal, libertine culture than I think some of the people are assuming here. There are gay clubs, lots of drinking, etc.

    I thought the NOPD would generally exercise restraint, unless drinking led to fighting words (mad drunks), or public urination, or sleeping in public (though that might usually be remedied by a hard kick). From the police report:

    I observed a blond-haired white female (Ms.Del Valle) sitting on a bench with her breasts falling out of her shirt; nipples were exposed. Ofc. Menendez and I went to approach Ms. Del Valle but she immediately stood up from the bench and walked away.

    I gave a verbal command for Ms. Del Valle to stop but she turned her head towards me and yelled “Fuck You”. I immediately arrested Ms. Del Valle (handcuffs were checked and double-locked).

    She’s not flashing anybody. She sitting on a park bench and apparently because her shirt is insufficient for the gravity of her situation, she’s exposed. Possibly, the cops approached her because they thought she had been sexually assaulted. She ignored them and gave them an F.U., and she was arrested for disorderly conduct and public exposure.

    Also odd, the report says she was white, but she says deputies at the jail called her the n-word.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  45. James Joyner says:

    @PD Shaw: Interestingly, the arrest report repeatedly refers to Del Valle using female descriptors and has F as the sex on the form. I wonder how they came to discover the downstairs plumbing?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  46. PD Shaw says:

    @James Joyner: I noticed that too; I was wondering if there was any attempt to match her name up with a national or home state database? I think Stormy Dragon has good point about whether the police would be required to recognize her legal status, regardless of anything.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  47. TastyBits says:

    @PD Shaw:

    During Mardi Gras, the French Quarter Festival, Southern Decadence, etc., NOPD is usually more concerned about crowd control than misdemeanors, but there are assholes (cops) in every bunch. Unless she had her tits hanging out at the Chuck E Cheese, nobody would care. If she was on a bench drunk, most cops would have tried to get her going somewhere safer.

    The arrest report seems light. If she was causing a problem, it should have included the details. It sounds like she was belligerent after the arrest, and she was probably belligerent before the arrest. At 1am, I doubt it was a “family friendly” area. It could be that one of the officers had a “bug up his ass”. It looks like the officer thought “she was a she” indicating it was not sexual based harassment.

    The arrest report seems strange, and the bail seems stranger. At most, she should have been released with a citation to appear in court. I have seen some FU’ed shit, and this sounds like it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  48. PD Shaw says:

    @TastyBits: I really don’t know what the bail should be; the amount is supposed to be set at a level that secures her appearance in court. She lives in New York.

    It reads to me like she appeared a bit crazed and distressed. I think if you yell F.U. at a cop, 90% of the time you will get a time-out. I would not be surprised if the city eventually drops the charges, but a drunk and disorderly (which I think we can assume she was because the police decided to turn the videocamera on her at some point), will get you an overnight. Its not until later that the charges will be reviewed by the prosecutor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  49. 11B40 says:

    Greetings:

    I realize that working around the “sexual dysfunction” concept is no walk in the park, but wouldn’t it be more appropriate to give God the credit for “misgendering” her.

    “Misgendering” ??? Seriously ??? Wouldn’t “Ms.gendering” be more accurate ???

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  50. aFloridian says:

    @PD Shaw:

    Also odd, the report says she was white, but she says deputies at the jail called her the n-word.

    Not really odd. We are talking Southeast Georgia here. While the defendant is clearly white, some, or all, of the jail guards were likely to have been black, and words like “brotha” and “nigga” are very commonly employed by many blacks in conversation.

    While I’ve never been to the pokey myself I am friends with numerous corrections officers and all of them can be quite crude, and I also get the sense that verbal abuse from guards is pretty much the norm in many jails.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  51. TastyBits says:

    @PD Shaw:

    If you look at the video on the link you provided, she is not white. At 1:49, there is a photo of her at 17.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  52. Tyrell says:

    Mr. or Ms. or whatever Del Valle is in need of serious long term mental health care.
    As far as the name calling by the jailers, that is nothing. I was called a lot worse by my football coach.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  53. James, thank you for acknowledging that this is a topic with which you are really not very familiar. The problem here with several commenters is an honest lack of information, not willful ignorance.

    First of all, the assumption of “artificial breasts” is no more accurate than it would be for any cisgender woman who may or may not have obtained breast implants. Trans* women who receive hormone replacement therapy and typical cis* women have the same hormonal status, and for both, in most cases their breasts are the result of hormones. (This is the same reason, by the way, that MMA fighter Fallon Fox is medically and legally female – she has no physical advantage over other women.) Ms. Del Valle may or may not have had breast augmentation surgery.

    And that leads us to the obsession with genitals. Typically in this sort of discussion a great deal is made of the supposed presence of a “penis,” but in fact the effect of the same hormonal treatment that causes breast development makes that statement less than accurate. While a trans* woman’s genitalia might resemble a small penis, it does not function as such. Many women, as others have noted, either don’t bother with genital reconstruction surgery because it isn’t that important to them, or they can’t access it because of the cost (and you do realize that the cost is out of pocket because treatment for this condition is still excluded from most health insurance plans, right?)

    Finally, the condition of being transsexual is not and has never been a mental disorder, and has finally, after several decades, been removed as such from the DSM. What it is is a medical condition in which a person’s prenatal neurological development as male or female isn’t congruent with the development of their other biological markers of sex. It’s not mysterious or “psychological” or anything other than a medical intersex condition with an established medical treatment protocol. I know, that’s not nearly as salacious and fascinating as some might like it to be, but oh well.

    The point is that Ms. Del Valle is not now, and has never been, a “man,” although she may at one time have looked like one. She is a woman with a medical history of having been incorrectly assigned at birth because of the external appearance of her body, something that no one could have known at the time. She has apparently done everything available to her to obtain appropriate treatment, and she poses no more threat to other women than do cis* women.

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  54. Also, James, your headline should read “Transgender woman,” not “Transgender individual.” Obviously she is an individual as we all are, but in this context it makes it sound as if her gender is somehow unknown, which is not the case. She is legally female, and was only arrested in the first place because she is female. For instance, as others have pointed out, a man with gynecomastia would not have been arrested for exposing his chest.

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  55. Tyrell says:

    @David Weintraub: How is the bizarre behavior of this man/woman/any of the above then explained other than some mental disorder?

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  56. If you’re referring to the woman revealing her breasts, then I guess every woman at Mardi Gras, etc., who responds to chants of “show us your tits!” is manifesting a mental disorder. I really wouldn’t know.

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