Here is a vignette from March 2013: A 24-year-old gay man named Yhatzine Lafontain is leaving a restaurant late at night with a friend on Roosevelt Avenue and 95th Street in Queens. Both are dressed as women, Mr. Lafontain in a jacket, short dress and heels. Exchanging goodbyes outside, they are approached by a man who tells them they look good.
In Mr. Lafontain’s account, they chatted briefly to avoid seeming rude and the man departed. Within a few minutes, an undercover police officer approached Mr. Lafontain and his friend and arrested them, suspecting them of prostitution. “We were surprised,” Mr. Lafontain told me, “because we had never talked to anyone about sex or money.”
I met Mr. Lafontain last week in Jackson Heights, not far from where his arrest had taken place, at the offices of Make the Road New York, a community-organizing group that works primarily with Latino immigrants. It has tried, along with various anti-violence projects in the city, to call attention to the perverse specifics of stop-and-frisk policing — a practice currently on trial in federal court in Lower Manhattan — as it applies to gay, lesbian and transgender New Yorkers who are Black and Latino. Last fall, the group issued a report on policing in Jackson Heights, a neighborhood with a vibrant gay and transgender community and attendant club scene (and also a prostitution problem), and found in its survey of more than 300 residents that while 28 percent of straight respondents reported having been stopped by the police, 54 percent of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender respondents reported this kind of treatment.
By the way, I changed the title of the article because I felt that the original title (“Arrests by The Fashion Police”) created by the people at the New York Times was mocking the severity of the issues being discussed in the article.
This is a must read/reblog. Although prostitution is only a misdemeanor in NY, a conviction will result in the victim being kicked off food stamps and subsidized housing.
Although prostitution is only a misdemeanor in NY, a conviction will result in the victim being kicked off food stamps and subsidized housing.
ah yes, best way to discourage prostitution is to take away all of the few meager resources that marginalized impoverished people have
“They say I have a sweet ass, nice tits, a real pretty dress. They say I’m their future wife, or I’d look good with their dick in my mouth. They try (and probably succeed at times) to take pictures down my shirt. They ask if they can get my number, they ask where I live, why I’m not smiling, why my boyfriend lets me walk around by myself. Then they ask why I’m such a bitch, if my pussy is made of ice. They say that they never do this, as though I’ve somehow driven them to inappropriate behavior and deserve it. They say they’re just having fun, trying to pay me a compliment. Pretty frequently they get mean, slipping into a loud tourettes-like chant of bitch-whore-cunt-slut.
Before you try to tell me that it’s because I take my clothes off for a living, let me tell you that this started way before I was 18. Let me tell you that every single woman I know has at least one truly terrifying story of street harassment and a whole bunch of other stories that are merely insulting or annoying. Let me remind you that in a room of pornography fans, who have actually seen me with a dick in my mouth and who can buy a replica of my vagina in a can or box, I am treated with far more respect than I am walking down the street.”
If you want socialism go live in the UK….this is America: a Democratic republic based on capitalism. We’re not perfect, but it’s better than anything else. Capitalism rewards those who work hard.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA SURE THING MATE
Firstly, the UK isn’t Socialist. Its a capitalist country that has an extended welfare state created by Social Democrats (though that is now being destroyed, forcing many people into poverty thanks to neo-liberal economic policies).
Moving on… The USA? Democratic? If you call an extended security appartus with a militarized, racist police force and only half the population turns out to vote (and millions of people with criminal convictions are disenfranchised) a democracy. I call it an oligarchy with a democratic facade. And thats how it has always been.
Also the USA was founded on hard work. The hardwork of the millions of slaves that produced cotton to bring in wealth of the fledgling colonies. But that work wasn’t rewarded.
That isn’t even capitalism though. Capitalism rewards those who work hard. Thats why their are millions of immigrants working the fruit fields in California, doing all-day shifts with no breaks in the hot sun, while the children of rich fuckers go to the best universities to become financiers and stock brokers.
^^^ This guy knows nothing about America. Come love here before reading books and passing judgment.
I have been to America, though I have never lived there.
Though, that doesn’t stop me from knowing some basic facts.
The United States of America was founded through the forced displacement of indigenous peoples.
Its economy was kick started by producing cotton for English markets, and it was slaves, millions of slaves, who picked that cotton.
It stole several of its states from Mexico in a brutal war of expansion.
Since its foundation it has, very, very rarely been at peace.
It robbed the wealth of the third world, especially Latin America (where it installed military dictatorships in almost every single country).
That isn’t peace. That isn’t rewarding people who work hard. That isn’t liberty.
That is brutal exploitation. The birth of capitalism demanded the sacrifice of millions.
A settler state preaching of liberty upon a pulpit of bones.
Everything you say is subjective opinion…. Which makes you sound more jaded and biased. Very colony the UK has established is STILL a place embattled with conflict. Seriously you limy fuck, isn’t it tea time?
So every thing I have said (despite just stating historical facts) is subjective…
Saying that the settlers of the US killed the indigenous peoples is just subjective…
Saying that the US economy was kickstarted by slavery, that is just subjective too.
The Mexican American War… Subjective.
The Trail of Tears… Subjective.
The Vietnam War… Subjective.
The overthrow of the Allende Government in Chile by the CIA backed military… Subjective….
Yeah, its all just my opinions. Luckily my opinions line up with the actual historical facts.
Also… NOT EVEN ENGLISH. I am Australian.
And I never said that other countries didn’t do all this shit.
All the colonial settler states did it. Australia committed fucking genocide and enslaved South Sea islanders.
I know that about the country I was raised in.
Why don’t you wisen up about your own heritage. Because I am neither from the UK or the USA but I seem to know a damn well more than you do about both.
Murrica! We did some shit!
Truth be told, neither capitalism nor communism works because at the end of the day, these systems are run by people, and people are, by nature, selfish. Someone’s always gonna wanna get one up over the other guy. Capitalism only went farther than communism because at least it was honest about it.
I disagree with you on a fundamental level here. I don’t think you can so certainly assert human nature as the root cause of our issues. I don’t even think there is a grounds for stating that there is a human nature.
Rather I would argue that what you see as human nature: selfishness, greed, cruelty… is a construct of capitalist society.
Socialism is possible. Humans are not naturally cruel any more than they are not naturally good.
A society based in community control and ownership, popular sovereignty and solidarity, directly encourages people to be good to each other. That will develop its own human nature in time.
Human nature as innately greedy, selfish is straight up some shit from Hobbes’ thesis (1651) which set the stone for lots of Western viewpoints later on like social Darwinism in 1870s, classical liberalism and neoliberalism which supports the thesis of natural competitiveness for a spot in the free market. Very outdated thesis yet people still believe in that, really.