First, I agree — prostitution is a problem and can absolutely adversely effect where people live. No one likes to see crime within walking distances of their homes.

But the MPSA goes so out of the way to be over the top and hysterical about the issue it’s like you want to throw cold water on them to shake them out of it.

In a “Trans Prostitute Gang update” posted last week on its website, the MPSA is now ringing the bells about drug trade going on along with the prostitution (this is new?).

From the MPSA website, first reported in the Midtown Patch:

The trans prostitute gang is evolving into an increasingly dangerous situation because they are bringing drug dealing into the neighborhood. In recent weeks drug dealers have been menacing area residents as they deal drugs through the trans prostitutes. More and more dope boys are marauding around among the trans gang. While this problem is still predominantly street prostitution, the drug nights are occurring with increasing frequency. This situation highlights the need for a well-funded patrol in order to most effectively suppress and eventually eradicate this threat.

And then for some reason the MPSA takes readers on a historical journey of what trans prostitution has been like over the past decade. And nice touch y’all with the slur “trannies.” Have you all no souls or compassion at all? Also, sharks are swimming in the streets, too, the MPSA warns, so watch for dorsal fins and listen for an ostinato of bass notes. From the MPSA website:

Ten years ago their activity was largely limited to an extreme volume of nuisance activity. With time they have become increasingly aggressive, and now they are bringing in more drug dealers into the neighborhood.

Ten years ago we had three types of johns coming around. 1. Johns looking for females and disappointed that these are transvestite or (usually) transgender, and turn around. It was still cruising traffic. 2. Johns looking for real females, but will take what they find anyhow. They might not come back, and would not have come had they known it was trans prostitutes rather than what they had in mind. Still business for the trannies to capitalize on though. 3. Johns specifically looking for trannies. They will continue to go to where they think they can find trans prostitutes.

Over the last ten years we have wiped out most of the first two groupings of johns, leaving only a small number of those into a niche market of trannies. Those are very few in number, and not enough that it would be lucrative for the trannies. Most of the trannies are not making a pickup at all, while the sharks score better than average. But these trannies will loiter around the neighborhood all night long every night. There may be five or six johns for about a dozen or more prostitutes active on a given night, and a few sharks are likely racking in most of those.

Then there are two basic groupings of trans prostitutes – drive-ins (and some of them drive nice cars), and walk-ins. We are seeing very few drive-ins coming in regularly – they most likely have other sources of income and don’t find the street worthwhile any more. Many of them make their pickups online or by phone for the most part, eliminating the necessity to even afflict our neighborhood. Another trans prostitution stroll has emerged far away on Memorial Drive in the Stone Mountain area, so that helps us some. When they do appear here, they appear mostly on weekends when there is more john and drug-buying traffic.

That leaves the walk-ins – those living on the street and don’t know anywhere else to go. During the day they hang around the Peachtree-Pine “shelter” – another nightmare affecting multiple neighborhoods, and at night they turn tricks and work for drug dealers in our neighborhood. In our neighborhood, they are able to find free food, free shelter and income.  The fact that they are living on the street, in turn, probably helps to get rid of some johns because the trans prostitutes they do find here smell like goats after not bathing for days on end. This segment of the gang keeps the pot boiling. On most nights, with exceptions primarily on weekend nights, the prostitutes are not picking up one john after another back-to-back like they were ten years ago.

To compensate for the loss of john traffic, the trans prostitutes are increasingly branching out into drug dealing under the guise of street prostitution – with suppliers cruising around all night.  This will likely escalate into a very perilous situation for the neighborhood if drastic measures are not taken to suppress and eradicate this gang. With the drug activity shifting from use to dealing, the presence of this gang has shifted from the most chronic problem to the single biggest threat to the Midtown experience.  Ironically, this is happening in the shadow of the HIDTA building at Juniper & 4th, the agency that coordinates major drugs busts in the metro area.

To be sure, there is a crime problem that needs to be addressed. But last year, the MPSA cried “transgender prostitute gangs are attacking our residents” only to have the Atlanta Police Department say, no, that’s not true.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to live in area free of crime. I get that. I also know that living in an urban area means there are just some things that go with the territory. Don’t move there and expect things to change.

If people didn’t want drugs or to pay for sex, the prostitutes/dealers wouldn’t be working the streets. So maybe instead of spending so much energy tracking prostitutes, photographing them, following them, harassing them and writing about them in a newsletter, take that energy to find ways to stop the influx of johns and users and also, most importantly, to help sex workers who want it to find jobs off the streets.

Two organizations I suggest the MPSA work with are the Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition and the SNaP Coalition. Both of these organizations are dedicated to helping those on the street who want help and have a history of doing great work.

 

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