A transgender woman currently finds herself residing in Iowa solitary confinement – because she is transgender.
Meagan Taylor was arrested on Monday in Des Moines, after she stayed at a hotel with another transgender friend. According the the police report, the police were called by the hotel staff because “two males dressed as females who checked into the Drury Inn,” and also that “staff was worried about possible prostitution activity.” This is according to a report from the Des Moines Register.
She is currently being held in isolation, as the police officers are unsure if they should house her with the men or the women.
Further according to information from the Register, Taylor could be there for months as her next court date isn’t until the end of August. Her bail is only set at $2,000 so she could be freed for only $200, however since she is from out of state she would need someone local to co-sign. Not only does Taylor not know anybody from Des Moines, at the time of writing she does not even have a lawyer.
In an interview, she told the Register that after the hotel staff called the police, they searched both the room and her person, even though they found no evidence to support the claim of prostitution. The only thing the officers found were pills in an unmarked bottle, so they charged her with possessing prescription drugs without a prescription2 and also for an outstanding probation violation. Oddly, she was also charged with “malicious prosecution”, which there is currently no evidence to support.
Taylor said: It seemed like they were trying to find something to charge me with. I lied about my name [but] I was not doing any illegal activity. The lady called police because I was transgender and was with a transgender friend.”
She’s referencing the fact that Taylor is her chosen name, but still – here’s hoping for a swift resolution. While she does still owe $500 for a previous sentence from when she was 17, that does not mean she should be locked up indefinitely. Neither does being transgender.