Allies of Helena Stone.

Allies of Helena Stone.

Transgender rights, on the media map.

Transgender rights, on the media map.

The people and the media.

The people and the media.

Helena Stone works in Grand Central Station, where she repairs telephones. The 70-yearl old transgender woman has been arrested three times in the last six months when she has attempted to use the restroom. She stated at yesterday's protest in front of Grand Central that an MTA officer called her "a freak, a weirdo and the ugliest woman in the world" and warned her, "If I ever see you in the women's bathroom, I'm going to arrest you."
Assembly Member Richard Gottfried questioned the MTA in a statement, "...why do you think the public interest would be seved by having Helena Stone use the men's room instead of the women's room? ...the fact that youhave people with badges and guns breaking the law is the actual threat to the public - not Helena Stones restroom use."
Ms. Stone, with the assistance of the Transgender Legal Defense and Educatin Fund, has filed a complaint with the MTA's Internal Affairs Bureau and the City Human Rights Comission. But following the protest, MTA spokesperson Tom Kelly said that the charges against Stone would be dropped and the matter had been resolved. "There is an investigation into how this took place, and we will take whatever steps are necessary to avoid a similar situation in the future," Kelly said.
That the event was well attended by mainstream media and treated respectfully in television and online media points to the public's increasing awareness of transgendered people and the pervasive discrimination they face.