Sunday, July 19, 2015

Press Release: Funds Raised to Free Meagan Taylor, a Transgender Woman Jailed in Iowa

Individuals interested in donating to free Meagan Taylor can do so here: http://sfwelcomeministry.blogspot.com/2015/07/arrested-for-being-transgender-meagan.html

 

Meagan Nicole Taylor, is a transgender woman who lives in St. Louis.  While on a trip with a friend, a hotel manager called the police (possibly twice), because Taylor's identification did not match the name and gender identity that Taylor has used with family and friends for years.  

"What happened to me, was definitely based on my gender.  Transgender people are being gender and racially profiled and it has to stop," Taylor said.

Woken up by a knock at the hotel door around 9 am, Taylor was taken into custody because she did not have the prescription for her hormone treatments with her and for how she spoke to the officers, whom she felt were unjustly arresting her.

Thinking back on her arrest, Taylor says: "To the woman at the hotel and police officers who arrested me, I have no ill will towards you.  I think God will take care of it and help you gain more education about transgender individuals.  LGBTQ individuals are very happy and peaceful people."

Taylor was told that she would be held without release until trial, scheduled for August 10, 2015 and was feeling frustrated that she would not be able to prove that she had a prescription for her medications for nearly a month.  On top of the $2,000 bond for Taylor's release, $500 fine from a 2010 offense had tripled due to fees and penalties and a warrant from Illinois could not be dropped until the $1,713.20 fine was paid in full.

The Welcome Ministry, led by the transgender Lutheran pastor Megan Rohrer, has raised $3,601 as of 9:12 am on July 19th and will be working with Taylor's aunt to pay both the fines in Iowa and Illinois.  Updated information on the funds to free Taylor can be found at: http://sfwelcomeministry.blogspot.com/2015/07/arrested-for-being-transgender-meagan.html

"Raised in the Midwest and a frequent traveler," Rohrer said, "I often fear that what happened to Meagan will happen to me.  I hope Meagan's story raises awareness, so that this never happens in Iowa or anywhere else in the country again."

"Think about if one of your kids was transgender.  What would you do?  And, how would you want society to treat them?" said Taylor.

Welcome's goal is to pay the fines and hopefully get Taylor release on Monday morning.  When she is released, supporters plan to have some of Taylor's favorite foods on hand (hot pickle, fried chicken and shrimp).

"I am thankful for all the support," said Taylor, who was moved to tears by the outpouring of support from over 80 donors and the transgender artists who had been forwarding information about the cause along on twitter.

Any additional funds, above the amount needed to pay for the fees for Taylor's release will be used to support LGBTQ homeless individuals in San Francisco and projects to uplift the voices of transgender individuals living in poverty.

"Meagan has a family that loves and supports her and a strong desire to support other LGBTQ individuals who are vulnerable, facing discrimination and in need of support.  After we get Meagan out of jail and she gets some rest, Welcome will continue to help her tell her story," said Pastor Rohrer.



The comments from Taylor in this press release are statements Meagan Taylor approved for sharing with the press and supporters.  They were transcribed in a web conference on July 19, 2015 from her isolation cell, by Pastor Megan Rohrer.



About Welcome:
Welcome seeks to provide a faithful response to poverty and to improve the quality of life for individuals in our community through hospitality; the arts; education; food; and referrals.  www.sfwelcome.org

Individuals interested in donating to free Meagan Taylor can do so here: http://sfwelcomeministry.blogspot.com/2015/07/arrested-for-being-transgender-meagan.html

Media Information:
  • Contact information for Pastor Megan Rohrer: 415-827-2587  pastor@gracesf.com   @mmrohrer 
  • Pastor Megan Rohrer's PGPs for news stories are: They/Their
  • Despite some of the stories published, Meagan does not want information about her private parts included in stories about her.  You can find the GLAAD guidelines on reporting about transgender individuals here.
  • Meagan would like the press to use her preferred name, pronouns and photos in stories.  Her family has been honoring this request for years.  Name: Meagan Nichole Taylor  PGP: She/Her
  • Approved photos:
    Approved screen shot from a video chat between Pastor Megan Rohrer and Meagan Taylor on 7/19/2015

Links to Media Reports about This Story:

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