A transgender rally-goer was arrested and jailed for trying to burn an American flag at a Philadelphia gay pride parade and then complained that the police didn’t use the right pronouns to address him and that he couldn’t stay in a women’s prison.
“Aside from the constant fear of danger, it was very dehumanizing and invalidating as a woman,” Ryan Segin, who now goes by ReeAnna, told The Inquirer. He alleges that after he was arrested when he started burning the American flag, he told the authorities in charge of his custody that he identifies as a woman. He also told them that he wanted to be called by his new name, but alleges police used male pronouns and his birth name instead.
“I made it clear I don’t go by my dead name anymore,” he said. “That was ignored both by the police making the statements to the press, as well as the police in the prison and jail.”
The Philadelphia Police Department initially charged Segin with attempted arson, but those charges were dropped after the District Attorney’s Office intervened. Segin will still face misdemeanor charges for putting other lives at risk by setting a fire in a public place.
Burning the American flag is not illegal following the Supreme Court’s rejection of the 1990 Flag Protection Act. The court ruled that making flag burning a crime infringes upon First Amendment rights.
Philadelphians unhappy with Segin’s treatment plan to hold a rally Wednesday outside of the City Hall. They will protest how authorities treated him during the arrest and while he was in holding as well as ask that all charges against him be dropped, The Inquirer reported. (RELATED: Transgender Prisoners In Connecticut Can Now Get Housed Based On Gender Identity)
Pride parades are occurring across the country to celebrate national Pride Month. June was chosen as “LGBT Pride Month” to commemorate the Stonewall riots of June 1969.
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