San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi apologized today (Wednesday, November 25) for one of his attorney’s repeatedly misgendering a transgender woman who was allegedly attacked in a recent hate crime.
The case involves Samantha Hulsey, who allegedly was punched and called transphobic slurs outside the Holiday Inn at 50 Eighth Street November 15. Dewayne Kemp, 36, and Rebecca Westover, 42, face charges including assault and hate crime enhancements in the case.
At the couple’s arraignment Friday, November 20, during which they pleaded not guilty, Deputy Public Defender Kwixuan Maloof repeatedly referred to Hulsey as a man and used male pronouns for her. The Bay Area Reporter ran an editorial today calling on Adachi to provide sensitivity training to his attorneys.
In his apology, which his office emailed to the B.A.R., Adachi said, “Having read your editorial, I offer my sincere apology to [Ms.] Hulsey and the transgender community for an incident in which one of my staff misgendered Ms. Hulsey in court. It is my policy that everyone associated with my office treats transgender people with respect and dignity, whether they are clients, victims, witnesses, colleagues, or members of the public. This includes referring to transgender individuals by the pronoun that reflects that person’s gender identity. Mr. Maloof has expressed it was not his intention to treat Ms. Hulsey in an insensitive manner, but the buck stops with me. Our office has undergone training around transgender issues in the past, but this incident makes it clear that we need further education. I have contacted the Transgender Law Center and will plan additional sensitivity training and education. Thank you for bringing this issue to my attention. We will do better.”
At a hearing in the Hulsey case today, Maloof used feminine pronouns for a transgender woman who was with her during the alleged attack and called her “Ma’am.”
TLC confirmed Adachi has reached out to the nonprofit.
The B.A.R. will have more on this story in the Thursday, December 3 edition.