Mug Shots: Snapshot of Transgender Prostitution-Related Arrests in Chicago

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Author: Nandhini Gulasingam

Nandhini Gulasingam is a Senior Analyst for IT Solutions at the Social Science Research Center (SSRC) where she manages GIS, database, web development projects for the SSRC and is developing data visualization techniques for use in the social and behavioral sciences. She is also an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Geography where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

4 thoughts on “Mug Shots: Snapshot of Transgender Prostitution-Related Arrests in Chicago”

  1. Are these all prostitution-related arrests, or just arrests of those posted to the website as “buyers”?
    Also, while it’s not possible to know the identity of all or even most of these arrestees, it is probably preferable to say transgender women, or transgender women and gender-nonconforming people, as opposed to just “trasngender” as a noun.

    1. All of these are prostitution-related arrests of transgender women for either soliciting a sexual act (asking to “buy”) or soliciting for a prostitute (“arranging”) that were posted on the website.

      Yes, it should say transgender women. Thanks for the input.

  2. Sorry, I should have also asked — are yall going to do a break out of race, age and charge for the non-transgender women arrested? That would be really interesting on its own as well as in contrast to the trans statistics. It would also be interesting to compare these trans arrestee statistics against any research on what transgender communities in in Chicago look like — ie. are trans communities estimated to be almost 90% black? Or is the black trans community facing disproportionate arrest for prostitution? We can probably guess its the latter…

    1. The blog post ‘Mug Shots: Transgender “Johns”’ by Rachel Lovell ( shows the trans females and no-trans men (cismen) comparison. Since non-trans women (ciswomen) are not posted to the website, we don’t have any information on them. We have asked CPD for 8-8-60 arrests to be broken down by sex. We are still waiting for a response.

      Yes, it would be interesting to compare trans prostitution arrests with all trans arrests and/or the demography of Chicago’s trans community to identify if the trans community in Chicago is predominantly black or if, indeed, black trans are getting arrested disproportionally due to multiple minority status. However, if these data exist we are unaware of them. We’d love to conduct these types of analyses. Do you have any suggestions for groups/organizations/entities that would have these types of data?

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