Steve Gower, who is openly gay, has made a name for himself in Atlanta as the man who loves to go out late at night and film what he perceives to be trans prostitutes walking the streets, people he has no shame in calling “those ol’ (trans) prostitutes.”
Let it be known he shamelessly maligned these women by calling them “transvestitutes” for years before finally someone at the MPSA stepped in and told him to stop with the ridiculous name-calling.
The takeaway from this primer? Trans gangs are taking over Midtown. However, it appears Midtown continues to thrive despite this alleged threat.
In 2012, when local TV reported on these alleged “gangs,” Atlanta Police Department’s Lt. Scott Kreher, commander of the vice unit for the APD, told the GA Voice there is no evidence of prostitute gangs or increased violence.
“I’m not really sure why it was reported like that,” he said two years ago. “There is no more violence there than in any other part of the city, whether female or male prostitutes.
“There has been no evidence any increased violence,” Kreher added. “And we’ve done details there as much as any other part of the city. We don’t see any evidence of pimp or prostitute gangs. [T]he only violence I see is when citizens approach the prostitutes and are trying to challenge them. I don’t see it [violence] any other way.”
Here’s the latest report from WSB TV of complaints from the MPSA. This time the MPSA is alleging prostitutes are walking right next to a school bus. Seriously.
Gower’s comments on the WSB clip via Facebook:
WSB-TV did a story about those ol’ (trans) prostitutes in Midtown, and the other criminal activity that it brings to the neighborhood. They even highlighted how children catching the school bus every morning are exposed to these criminals. MPSA along with another resident were interviewed for the story. While WSB was planning and developing the story I urged a couple additional residents to offer their perspective. They declined out of concern for their personal safety since they often have to tip-toe around these criminals on their way to work every morning, and would make easy targets for retaliation.
And yes, I’m the one who shot the video clip of the prostitutes at the school bus stop one morning after hearing a complaint from a woman who walks her children to the bus stop every morning. We approached some state legislators earlier this year about special legislation targeting these criminals inflicting prostitution on residential areas, since we strongly feel that they really should be locked up in a penitentiary somewhere rather than in front of our homes. The legislators who responded either did not want to touch the controversial issue or they cited the short legislative session. The big catch is that these offenders don’t even live in the neighborhood – it is strictly an invasive problem.
Last year, the MPSA was at it again with their ongoing campaign to try to convince the public that trans gangs are running rampant in the city, resorting to using the slur “trannies.”
The MPSA’s efforts are tired. I’m tired of watching the local news exploit the situation. Here’s what I said last year because I think it bears repeating:
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 to stop this line of work 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.