Meagan Taylor, a black transgender woman who was arrested in Iowa when a hotel worker called the police due to her gender identity, was released from the Polk County Jail earlier today. Welcome, led by our Executive Director, Pastor Megan Rohrer raised over $5,500 to pay for Meagan's bond in Iowa and outstanding fees from a 2010 case in Illinois. Additional funds will be used to safely transport Meagan home to Illinois and to pay for her name change and an ID that matches her preferred name and gender.
"My tears of sorrow turned to tears of joy when I learned that Meagan was going to be released from jail," said Pastor Rohrer. "I want to thank the 133 people who donated funds to help us remove the financial barriers and the Transgender Law Center who expedited the legal barriers that were keeping Meagan in jail."
Pastor Rohrer has been in regular contact with Meagan and her family, offering support and pastoral care. Welcome, whose main work is with LGBT homeless individuals in San Francisco, became involved in this case in order to lift up the issues that disproportionately affect transgender women of color and to raise awareness to the ways that compounding fees can impact vulnerable individuals.
Over the years, Welcome has taken on special projects to support to LGBTQ individuals around the country, because we believe it will help prevent homelessness in San Francisco.
"I have heard too many stories from homeless LGBT individuals who moved to San Francisco in hopes of finding safety from discrimination, only to find some of the country's highest housing costs," said Pastor Rohrer. "I hope the overwhelming support that Meagan has received, will help other transgender people feel less alone and lead to diversity training for individuals working in hospitality, criminal justice and police departments across the country.
Pastor Megan Rohrer: firstname.lastname@example.org, 415-827-2587
Link to the fundraising page to see funds raised and spent to date: http://sfwelcomeministry.blogspot.com/2015/07/arrested-for-being-transgender-meagan.html