Misgendering someone should not be a crime, trans actress says

Education and not punishment is the correct remedy, according to Indya Moore.

Calling a person by the wrong gender pronoun should not be a criminal offence, trans actress Indya Moore has said.

Police launched an investigation after a journalist allegedly called a transgender woman a man on Twitter.

Caroline Farrow said she was told by Surrey Police that they “want to conduct a taped interview under caution” because of posts she made on social media in October.

Moore is a trans actress who appears in Pose, the US TV series which features an unprecedented number of LGBT cast members in prominent positions.

Moore said “misgendering” should not be a crime and education for offenders was a preferred option.

Indya Moore
Indya Moore does not believe calling someone by the wrong gender pronoun should be a criminal offence (Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)

Speaking at the PaleyFest TV festival in Los Angeles, she told the Press Association: “Instead of criminalising people for being ignorant, we should provide education.

“I’m not into over-policing people, I’m also into abolishing prison because I think mass incarceration is real, not just in America but all over the world.

“People shouldn’t be criminalised for being ignorant just like trans people shouldn’t be criminalised for existing. We need to have patience and respect for one another.”

Billy Porter, from left, Dominique Jackson, MJ Rodriguez and Indya Moore star together in Pose (Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)

Moore added: “People shouldn’t be put in jail or fined for being ignorant. It makes me sad that we have this culture of criminalising people to teach them lessons. That’s ineffective, clearly.

“People need to make more space for trans people to be visible and it’s very laboursome for trans people to go around having to constantly justify our existence.

“But that’s part of the hard work that comes with existing while marginalised and fighting for your right to live and breathe your next breath in the same space as other people who don’t have to experience the same levels of oppression you do.”

Moore, 24, plays a trans sex worker on Pose, which debuted on BBC2 last week and explores the ball culture of New York City in the 1980s.

Janet Mock
Janet Mock is a writer, director and producer on Pose (Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)

It is the brainchild of US TV supremo Ryan Murphy, Steven Canals and Brad Falchuk, the husband of Gwyneth Paltrow, and has been praised for the diversity of its cast.

It has already been given the green light for a second season, which is set to air in the US later this year.

Janet Mock is a director, producer and writer on the show. She said its success is forcing studios to think differently.

She said: “I hope that what Pose has done in its first season is that it pushes audiences to embrace people who may not be like them, who make them see the human commonality between us all.

“And at the same time it really pushes the industry to really see that a cast like this, a cast that has never been given a chance before, they can put on a show that is loved by fans and critics alike and that it can get another season.”

Pose season one airs on BBC Two on Thursdays.

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