Lynchburg transadvocate arrested after assisting at-risk youth
A transwoman from Lynchburg, Virginia, has been arrested and charged with contributing to the delinquency of trans youth after being accused by the youth’s parents.
According to Julianna Fialkowski (top image), 25, she found out about the unnamed, 17-year-old transmale after a cry for help went out on the social media site Facebook late last month. The youth claimed that he was self harming- adding that he was suicidal.
Fialiowski said that she was also led to believe that the youth was being forced out of his house.
Fialkowski, a transadvocate and a LGBTQ rights activist, made headlines in May 2014 after a Virginia Circuit Court Judge denied her a name change- reversing his decision after public outcry.
Fialkowski found the youth’s house through an internet search, and accompanied by a prayer chaplain from a local trans support group, went to the home to offer their assistance. After a dispute between the youth and his parents, the youth left the house, indicating to that his father had kicked him out and that he had permission to leave.
Fialiowski said that she and the prayer chaplain, Lindy Ramsey, took the youth to Ramsey’s home where he was offered a place to stay temporarily, an offer the pair claimed they had made the youth’s parents aware of.
In an email Wednesday, Ramsey wrote that at 1 AM the next morning the pair were met with a knock on the door from the youth’s father and police.
The youth left in the custody of his father who returned to retrieve his child’s belongings later that day. Ramsey said the interaction was civil, and she wished him a safe drive home.
Fialiowski, who often stays with Ramsey, said that Lynchburg police returned to ask her more questions and to provide further information which she claims she gave willingly.
She asked “if she had anything to worry about” and police assured her no.
However, police returned later with a warrant for her arrest charging her with contributing to the delinquency of a minor-a Class 1 misdemeanor.
She turned herself into the Lynchburg Police department later that night and said that she was misgendered by the magistrate who along with police and jail officials addressed her as “Sir” and “Mr. Fialkowski” throughout the process.
In a GoFundMe page, set up to help her with legal fees, Fialiowski, who had her gender legally changed a year and a half ago wrote she was strip-searched and made to expose herself in front of four male police officials who then threatened to send her to a male jail facility if she could not make the $2500 bail.
Fialkowski was able to make bail and is seeking legal counsel.
“I’ve never encountered an arrest, and I never imagined helping teens or others would come to something like this,” said Filakowski adding “Several members of the the Lynchburg PD, and the magistrate specifically, were exceptionally discriminatory.”
She called the ordeal a “gross mishandling of her person.”
Ramsey, a lesbian Christian prayer chaplain, was not charged despite housing the youth and being present for most of the endeavor. She feared the youth’s father was unaware of the damage he was doing to both Fialkowski and his trans son.
“The only way for us to get through this is trust that it’s in God’s hands,” she said.
Lynchburg Police have not responded to a request for comment.
Photo courtesy Lynchburg Police Department
While we are all different, there are parts of our identities, our shared experiences, that make us all the same.September 21, 2016
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