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Connecticut

Transgender police officer files discrimination, harassment complaint

Thursday, December 5, 2013

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A transgender police officer in Connecticut has filed a complaint with a state agency alleging her supervisors created a hostile work environment because of her gender identity.

Francesca Quaranta

Francesca Quaranta

Francesca Quaranta said her Middletown colleagues were initially supportive, but she began to face hostility from some over time and the situation became so bad she took paid leave. She filed a complaint in October asking the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities to investigate her claims of discrimination and harassment.

“I realized there was no resolution,” Quaranta said. “It was not about hair. It’s not about nails. It’s not about makeup. It’s about the fact they don’t want me in their building.”

Telephone messages left Thursday with Middletown Mayor Daniel Drew and Police Chief William McKenna were not immediately returned.

The 46-year-old Quaranta was born a man and has undergone hormone therapy to change to female. She decided to tell her colleagues last year, texting them a photo of herself dressed as a woman rather than showing up to work dressed that way. She’s been a police officer with Middletown since 2004 and was with Rocky Hill for nine years before that.

She said she voluntarily stopped using the men’s bathroom and locker room and made gradual changes to try to ease the transition such as arriving to work already in uniform.

But conflicts began to emerge. A lieutenant repeatedly referred to her as “Frank” and “him” after she notified the department she had legally changed her name and questioned whether she was fit for duty, according to her complaint.

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She said she was ordered to remove her earrings even though female officers had been allowed to wear them. She said she was initially allowed to wear a wig but was later told it was not in compliance with policy and received written discipline.

A sergeant said “who brought the caveman with them” during roll call and was later suspended, Quaranta said. A lieutenant suggested it would be better if she returned to being male, she said.

Quaranta said she also faced more scrutiny of her work performance, with supervisors questioning her response time even to non-emergencies such as an illegally parked car.

Quaranta emphasized that she had colleagues who were supportive, as well. Her attorney, Josephine Smalls Miller, held out hope of a resolution with the help of a neutral third party.

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38 more reader comments:

  1. We are in the 21st century. Right?

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 9:21pm
  2. Unfortunately, transgender people are not very recognized or respected as human, at least in my experience on earth as a human.

    Replied on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 9:26pm
  3. And a lot of people still believe in a god without any real evidence pointing towards it, and inversely some people completely dismiss the idea of a god, but honestly, given our limited sensory organs and mental capacity (unfortunately), we probably have no way of knowing; although based on what we observe and are capable of contemplating, believing in god seems foolish. I'm ranting, sorry.. Too much epinephrine or dopamine or something from caffeine.

    Replied on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 9:29pm
  4. God exist so do transgenders.

    Replied on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 9:47pm
  5. ssshee's a creation of God..or not????

    Replied on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 10:59pm
  6. I agree with Jhon. God made some people different.

    Replied on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 11:24pm
  7. If that's the case, Kurenai, some of those 'different' people are of the bigoted brand.

    Replied on Friday, December 6, 2013 at 5:23am
  8. It’s pathetic and sad that people get treated this way just for trying to be who they are

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 9:27pm
  9. I agree

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 9:29pm
  10. Sad. She needs to be herself.

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 9:30pm
  11. New Haven PD, this2013!

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 9:37pm
  12. Fucking thug force, let her live her life.

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 9:39pm
  13. right on girl,,,take them to the cleaners

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 9:45pm
  14. they need to leave you alone so you can do your job, they are probably jealous lol

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 9:49pm
  15. We should all be free to be who we are inside and out. What a shame that in today’s society equality is still such a huge issue. Have we learned nothing from our history??

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 10:05pm
  16. When will all people have their civil rights protected?

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 10:40pm
  17. Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 11:30pm
  18. I’m all for gay rights but the bottom line is (& always will be) you can not EVER change your X Y chromosome pattern.

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 11:37pm
  19. Actually, while rare, it is possible to change it from "XX" to "XY" or vice versa. Also not everyone is either "XX" or "XY", there are other combinations such as "XXY", "XYY" and more. We know now that it is hormonal washes during gestation that have far more control over determining genitalia than the chromosomes. We are all female for the first eight weeks. In some folks the brain develops neuro-physically as one gender, but the genitalia develop differently. Also, few people will ever be karyotyped and that is the only sure way to know what their chromosomes are.

    Replied on Friday, December 6, 2013 at 2:20am
  20. Also, regardless of if you can change your XY chromosomes, that doesn't impact gender. You are confusing sex and gender. Sex is the biological male/female component, which is what the XY chromosomes will determine. Gender is not sex and is a more psychological component (someone correct me if i'm wrong) So while you can't (or possibly can) change your chromosomes, you can have a different gender to the typical gender binary (male/female)

    Replied on Friday, December 6, 2013 at 5:58am
  21. It doesn't impact gender . . . it I S gender

    Replied on Friday, December 6, 2013 at 2:22pm
  22. Aren’t police supposed to take sensitivity training?

    Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 11:41pm
  23. Intersex people must blow your mind, Kenneth.

    Posted on Friday, December 6, 2013 at 12:25am
  24. This is not about God or about chromosomes , its about accepting others for who they are! Its about respect!! The Police are suppose to be the law yet they wipe their narrow minded asses with it and do as they please! I hope she gets justice!!

    Posted on Friday, December 6, 2013 at 1:02am
  25. She is braver than anyone else on the force!! That’s for damn sure!! Let’s see if anyone else there would be able to rip off the false mask of their lives!! Bigots!

    Posted on Friday, December 6, 2013 at 1:31am
  26. I dont understand why people cant just be themselves when its not hurting anyone. When someone is on a hormone treatment(with or without gender surgery)should be allowed to live/work as the gender they identify as

    Posted on Friday, December 6, 2013 at 1:45am
  27. Can they do anything about her face?

    Posted on Friday, December 6, 2013 at 2:46am
  28. That must take an amazing amount of strength to come out to the police force. I can’t imagine.

    Posted on Friday, December 6, 2013 at 2:57am
  29. This is garbage. Fuck the police be you beautiful

    Posted on Friday, December 6, 2013 at 3:09am
  30. POWER TO ALL WHO SEEK EQUALITY!

    Posted on Friday, December 6, 2013 at 3:11am
  31. I hope she wins the biggest lawsuit in history!! Will be praying for you!

    Posted on Friday, December 6, 2013 at 4:36am
  32. ozzy

    Posted on Friday, December 6, 2013 at 5:29am
  33. She has every right to file a complaint. She made it very clear what she was and how she identifies. The police department she works for is being Transphobic period. Hope she wins and the department is filed against for harassment of a worker.

    Posted on Friday, December 6, 2013 at 6:57am
  34. Carl Ober sad that this is happening in CT :/

    Posted on Friday, December 6, 2013 at 6:57am
  35. Bobby, I think you’re correct in principle, but I believe it is more accurate to say gender identity rather than just gender.
    In any case, I wish this lovely lady the best in pursuing her case, and hope she will be able to find happiness and acceptance in her professional life.

    Posted on Friday, December 6, 2013 at 12:24pm
  36. scarry,I hope she is ok

    Posted on Friday, December 6, 2013 at 1:20pm
  37. cops harassing cops, how can we then trust them to protect and serve the little guy…short answer, we can’t

    Posted on Friday, December 6, 2013 at 3:36pm
  38. We are with you, Francesca.

    Posted on Friday, December 6, 2013 at 4:10pm