The bullies of the Midtown Ponce Security Alliance, armed with offensive terms and exaggerated claims, are keeping up their hideous war on “thugs in drag.” Now, they’re getting some assistance from city officials.

It’s no secret that sex workers—some who present as men, others that cross dress and transgender ones, too—ply their wares in Midtown. Atlanta cops make arrest after arrest after arrest of the hookers, who offer up all sorts of services for $20. So the city of Atlanta is offering up a controversial proposal to crackdown on prostitution, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 

Council members have introduced a law that would make it illegal for convicted prostitutes — and those who have been convicted of buying their services — to loiter in areas of the city where the sex trade is the heaviest. The punishment? It could mean a ban from those areas known for prostitution. For the worst cases it could mean a ban from the city.

The Atlanta City Council’s Public Safety Committee takes up the measure on Feb. 18. Critics, though, are already questioning the measure’s constitutionality.

But the proposal is emboldening the MPSA, the private neighborhood group that often acts as if it’s a public police force. Last summer, the group declared war on “thugs in drag” and amped up its use of derogatory and offensive terminology in combatting area sex workers, especially transgender ones. They even suckered some local media outlets into believing their debunked claims of “aggressive transgender prostitute gangs.” You’d think a neighborhood group led in part by a gay man would be a little sensitive to terminology and bullying. You’d be wrong.

MPSA has kept up its assault since the summer. They are gleefully celebrating the proposed crackdown legislation from the city and encouraging residents to tell everyone within ear shot to support it. That’s understandable.

But the group continues to peddle in their offensive characterizations of sex workers, exaggerated claims of gangs of hookers and portraying the johns who seek out the sex services as blameless participants or psychologically-damaged goods. Or both.

A few recent examples:

Coleman is among the most resolute and persistent of the transvestite gang, and he comes into the neighborhood almost every night without fail to ply his trade. Word on the street has it that he is quite a shark at picking up johns. Observers note that his high-profile presence makes a pronounced difference in intensity of street prostitution and disorder.

The group often profiles sex workers arrested in Midtown, digging up their rap sheets and posting mug shots. Pretty typical crime blotter stuff. But then they offer up speculation guised as “word on the street” and “observers note” to bolster their gangs of prostitutes theory. It’s a claim even Atlanta’s cops have brushed off.

Inside the MPSA service area, a band of transvestite prostitutes comes into the neighborhood on a nightly basis and blatantly engages in a wide range of criminal and nuisance activity. This includes considerable drug activity and draws considerable cruising traffic at certain times.

A band of prostitutes? Someone should call the cops. A gang of anything should be pretty easy to spot. Oh, that’s right. Even Midtown residents dispute the notion of these gangs.

The johns are vulnerable, and have little recourse when being victimized by a prostitute. Most of this is not reported to police unless absolutely necessary (like a carjacking). When it is reported, then it is usually reported with different circumstances and locations than it actually occurred. A john who is carjacked runs the risk of being denied insurance coverage because it occurred as they were engaging in criminal activity themselves. This phenomenon certainly brings other criminal elements into the picture.

Yes, yes. The johns who bankroll the sex workers are sad, hapless and blameless.

Due to particularly severe financial constraints this winter, primarily due to above normal expdenditures this past summer dealing with transvestite prostitutes, Sgt. Cooper was the only officer patrolling during the closing month of the year.

Those gangs of sex workers are not only terrorizing the streets of Midtown, but they are bankrupting the MPSA. Send in your donations now! Fortunately, December “was a slow month for us.” Though that sort of undercuts the hyperbolic claims of lawless hookers in drag. Oh, well.

Photo via AJC