Jul 30, 2014
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Primer on Cross-Dressing Prostitution in Midtown

The Midtown Ponce Security Alliance calls it "the most distinct pattern of blatant street criminal activity afflicting the neighborhood."

Primer on Cross-Dressing Prostitution in Midtown Primer on Cross-Dressing Prostitution in Midtown

Editor's note: The following information was posted recently by the Midtown Ponce Security Alliance (MPSA). The MPSA has served the Midtown community since 2003 as a non-profit organization by coordinating neighborhood response to public safety and security issues in order to advance the Midtown way of life. The MPSA achieves this objective primarily by operating a neighborhood security patrol funded by its resident and business members, and community sponsors. See here for more information about becoming a member of the MPSA.

There has been recent discussion on this site about whether to describe these prostitutes as ‘transvestites,” “transgender,” or something else. The MPSA recently provided its explanation of terminology, and further analysis of the word definitions shows they are not intended to be used synonymously in the Midtown cases presented. Regardless of how these prostitutes are labeled, there's no doubt they have become a persistent and dangerous criminal element in the neighborhood that needs to be eradicated.


As the old saying goes, know thy enemy. We have put together a report describing the general nature of these offenders swarming the neighborhood in the wee hours of the morning. We wish to emphasize that the threat they present to the Midtown community entails much more than the street prostitution that they are notorious for. They engage in a wide range of street crime such as drug activity, john rolling, assaults on residents, and much more. And the lawlessness of this bunch of criminals attracts even more crime into the neighborhood, such as car break-ins and street muggings. Simply put, Midtowners despise these offenders, and we need to develop proactive and ambitious measures to eradicate these street prostitutes from the Midtown experience. The neighborhood has come a long way, and now is the time to take public safety to even greater heights...

For many years transvestite prostitutes have been converging in our neighborhood, and these criminals remain dead set on maintaining the area around Piedmont & 4th as their territory. Any situation in which a band of street criminals aggressively takes over part of a neighborhood on a nightly basis is not conducive to a healthy, thriving community. We also sense that this situation could be escalating, as one of these transvestite criminals was recently found to have a gun and these offenders have become more aggressive and blatant in recent months. We have made tremendous progress in the last ten years, but this pestilence remains a serious problem for the Midtown community. They are much more than a blight in the community, and we are seeking to implement drastic strategies to eradicate this scourge.

Because of their cohesiveness, we would almost go as far as calling this band of street criminals a gang. We find that the transvestite prostitutes meet most of the criteria of street gangs as laid out by the National Gang Center (commits crimes together, has a name, displays colors or other symbols, hangs out together, claims territory or turf, and has a leader or leaders). An article in Law Officer Magazine pointed out that gang activity is almost always a major factor where street prostitution occurs. In reality this band of street criminals is somewhere between a subculture that identifies closely with a life of street crime, and a full-fledged gang.

They do not have a name other than the designation that we have given them, but we find the other criteria present among this faction of street criminals. These street thugs are most distinguished by their cross-dressing attire. It is open to debate as to how many are genuinely transgender, but based on our research of identified participants in this particular pattern of street crime we very seriously doubt that this would be the case with most, if not all. They band together for criminal purposes, most notably street prostitution. They carry knives and blades, not only to “roll” johns, but also to assert and maintain their claims to territory very aggressively. They retaliate against anyone known to report them to the police, and against anyone conducting neighborhood watch work.

We do not know to what extent this little underworld operates under pimps or some kind of kingpin. To our knowledge, nobody has ever been able to safely take a closer look at the inner workings of this clique of street criminals. But some are more dominant and aggressive than others, as reflected by occasional quarrels and fights among themselves on the street. Overall, a moderate amount of cohesion exists among this vicious, hostile, and dangerous lot.

This faction of criminals invades our neighborhood on a nightly basis with unrelenting determination, and bands together in pursuit of street prostitution and other forms of ongoing criminal and nuisance activity. This in turn brings curb-crawling and other nuisance activity into the neighborhood. Some of the johns cruising around have serious underlying psychological disorders, and act out when cruising for prostitutes. Wherever street prostitution runs rampant, johns sometimes sexually harass area women and transgender people, residents often find used condoms on streets around their houses, and children finding them sometimes mistake them as balloons.

Drug use drives most street prostitution. Observations in our neighborhood include drug dealers coming around to sell drugs to this flock of street criminals. Many of the “drug thugs” that sometimes hang out with the transvestite prostitutes seem to be hoping to catch a crumb or two off of the prostitutes, but there are some cruising around the area looking to make a drug deal to prostitutes once they turn a trick. Residents regularly find needles discarded on the streets and along alleyways around their houses in areas frequented by transvestite prostitutes.

These cross-dressing criminals sometimes assault and stalk area residents. Midtowners have been threatened and menaced over the years by those having a hand in this pattern of criminal activity, have had their cars and properties vandalized, and in some cases have been robbed by cross-dressing criminals. In the last year alone, we have received reports of residents being repeatedly stalked, being hit with a brick and robbed by one of these transvestite criminals, and rock-throwing. One young woman was frightened so badly by being stalked that she moved from the area after living here only a month. They often gather in large numbers, and will readily swarm a potential victim when an opportunity appears. Residents known to conduct neighborhood watch work or to regularly report their activity to the police can expect some form of retaliation. While some supporters and sympathizers of this variant of street criminals claim that these criminals carry pepper spray and knives for self-protection, it must be understood that banding together for criminal purposes is, in itself, an act of aggression toward the Midtown community.

These transvestite criminals are depraved enough to exploit elderly and disabled residents in the neighborhood as evidenced by a situation where a disabled man was about to be rolled by a pair of these transvestite hoodlums marauding on Myrtle Street. They got him to lead them toward his house, but luckily some neighbors intervened because they understood immediately that their neighbor was being criminally exploited. MPSA patrol has assisted elderly residents in keeping these criminals from using their properties for illegal purposes.

John rolling occurs in nearly every place where street prostitution takes place, since patrons of these criminals make for easy targets. This is very difficult to measure, as the johns do not have much recourse when they are robbed, and street prostitutes exploit that. Very few would likely report being victimized by a prostitute as it happened, or would change details and perhaps location when they do. Filing an accurate report would incriminate them to illicit activity on their part, and put them at risk of being identified by a neighborhood group like ours since police reports are public records (and we would call them out in a heartbeat).

And last but not least, street prostitutes blight any community afflicted by their presence. Residents do not particularly enjoy watching strangers having sex in cars, or drug deals going down in front of their homes. The lawlessness of their pursuits contributes greatly to a chaotic atmosphere attracting additional crime in the neighborhood, such as car break-ins and muggings. Some people are resigned to their presence, and have concluded that if these street criminals are left alone nobody will get hurt. A safe neighborhood is not one in which people have to tip-toe around a band of street criminals. We have a vision of a safe neighborhood in which ordinary folks can walk around safely and comfortably.

The ongoing criminal activity described in the foregoing makes the situation all the more serious and is the primary reason MPSA is directing patrol in the area. Other than observations and reports from the Midtown community described above, not much is known about the inner workings of this unique and peculiar gang-like group intensively devoted to a life of street crime. Your neighbors at the Midtown Ponce Security Alliance understand the serious threats presented to the quality of life by these thugs in drag. We remain as determined as ever to eradicate crime and public disorder from the Midtown experience, especially when driven by an unrelenting, criminal-minded mob loitering and prowling around with a high degree of blatancy and insolence as exhibited the transvestite prostitutes…

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