The St. Paul Police Department is joining a national movement by drafting its first policy dedicated to the treatment of transgender and gender-nonconforming people.
The department released the draft version Tuesday and called a public meeting to help shape a final policy it hopes will be adopted later this year.
“People of color and trans folks do not feel safe around police, and we really need to work on those relations, so I think that by having St. Paul issue this policy, it’s a step in the right direction,” said Dot Belstler, executive director of Twin Cities Pride.
Some of the guidelines include: police personnel will use a person’s preferred pronouns; people can request an officer of a specific gender for body searches “unless there are exigent circumstances”; police cannot remove a person’s appearance-related items, such as wigs and prosthetics, unless there is a safety risk; and the department will provide appropriate restrooms.
I never imagined that I would live in a city with not one, but two gender transformation studios. In addition to Femme Makeovers, our fine city also has the fabulously Rebecca, owner of La Femme Mystique! Even more impressive than a city with two gender transformation studios is hearing that Rebecca has been in business for over five years! I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Rebecca and visiting her studio recently.
Rebecca’s studio is in Saint Paul, not far from The Townhouse, arguably one of the safest and most well-known places a t-girl visits.
The La Femme Mystique studio is located in a beautifully refurbished warehouse. I fell in love with the building and Rebecca’s studio is perfect for makeovers and photos. I sat down and spoke with Rebecca for a while and we chatted about everything from photography to gender identity to makeup. Her perspective on what a portrait is and what her goals are when it comes to capturing our femme selves made me realize that she really “gets” it. Being transgender is not something that a lot of people understand, and it’s not something I always understand myself, so it was refreshing to hear that she understands our goals. Perhaps she put it best on her website when she wrote that she is “…honored to participate in the journey – whether it’s in a spirit of playfulness and fun, or as part of a deeper exploration of self”.
Rebecca’s studio and makeup kit says that she is ready to transform and capture a t-girl’s inner beauty.
After chatting for a bit, it was time for my makeover. Needless to say she did an amazing job. I was very impressed with what she did with my eyeshadow. After my makeup was done, it was time for my favorite thing in the world…pictures!
Rebecca and I explored the building and took a lot of photos and I cannot wait to see how they turned out. I’ll share them when they are ready. 😉
It was a unforgettable afternoon and I will definitely be back. I absolutely recommend visiting Rebecca whether you are visiting the Twin Cities or looking for an incredible makeover and a fun photo session.
PFLAG‘s mission is uniting people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) with families, friends, and allies. PFLAG is committed to advancing equality through its mission of support, education, and advocacy. PFLAG has 400 chapters and 200,000 supporters crossing multiple generations of American families in major urban centers, small cities, and rural areas in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
PFLAG was the first support organization I heard of when I was growing up. I attended their meetings a few years ago and found it was a supportive, and inclusive community. PFLAG is a wonderful group, especially for our spouses and family members and I am happy to promote the events the Twin Cities chapter has scheduled.
Please join us for our July 17th program and support groups.
Grayson began his transition from female to male in 2016, first by dressing and living as a boy and then by legally changing his gender identification and his name from Grace to Grayson. MPR News is not using Grayson’s last name to protect his privacy.
He and Mayo, though, are at the front of a revolution in care for transgender people driven by the federal Affordable Care Act. The law effectively stopped insurers from refusing to cover hormone therapy and other interventions involved in the transition. Suddenly once-unaffordable medicines and procedures were within reach.
Mayo and other major hospitals across the country have responded with new clinics and consolidated mental and physical health services to meet the needs of trans people. But as they work to meet that rising demand, doctors are also navigating some difficult medical and ethical questions.
I love seeing hospitals making efforts to understand and service our community.
Hi Hannah. I have been looking for a trans friendly hair stylist. Can you make a recommendation. Good info is hard to get.
I’ve never had my hair done (because it comes mailed to me), so I don’t have a of experience to draw from on this topic.
However, I did have a makeover at Rita Ambourn in Saint Paul last year. They offer hair care, waxing, skin care and manicures. They were super friendly and I know a few other t-girls who go there and they’ve always had an amazing experience.
It’s Pride weekend in Minnesota and the MN T-Girls were there celebrating with about a zillion others. It was a beautiful day and we had so much fun meeting people, talking about the group and being part of the community.
The day started early with Mari and I setting up the tent, the table, the Wheel of Fabulosity and decorating our booth. And yes, I did this all in three-inch heels.
It was amazing to see so many resources and allies of the transcommunity.
As the day got started, Liz and Nikki joined us.
Liz and I both wore dresses with a rose pattern and I promise that wasn’t planned and we both looked amazing.
One of my favorite things about Pride is seeing so many people in our community. There were so many people happy to find others like them.
Pride weekend goes all weekend long, unfortunately the MN T-Girls won’t be there on Sunday. We all had an amazing time and we are so grateful to be part of our community. Thank you to everyone who stopped by and to the MN T-Girls for making this happen. See you all next year!
In celebration of Twin Cities Pride kicking off this weekend, The Minneapolis/St. Paul Journal listed the largest LGBTQ-owned businesses in the Twin Cities, as ranked by the number of employees. I believe in supporting businesses owned by our community. If you’re looking for LGBTQIA friendly businesses, this list is a good place to start.
The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal recently published a list of the largest LGBTQ+ businesses in the area, and three of the top five are prominent entertainment venues. In order to qualify for this list, “businesses must be headquartered in the Twin Cities 24-county metro area and be majority owned by a person who identifies themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer.”
First Avenue comes in at third overall. The nightclub was an endeavor that owner Dayna Frank (who now oversees 317 employees) took over from her father Byron Frank. Her wife Ember and their family together are what originally spurred Frank’s decision to proudly state First Avenue’s stance on same-sex marriage, Frank said in a 2013 interview. Frank had purchased a billboard in downtown Minneapolis that read “Don’t limit the freedom to marry. First Avenue supports same-sex marriage and equality for all people.” The club currently sells Pride merchandise to benefit RECLAIM.