Civil Rights Groups Call for Thorough Investigation of Claims

(Muncie, IN) A transgender woman and her partner and child are alleged to have been inhumanely treated, dehumanized and disrespected while making a visit to the emergency center of Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie.

On July 18, 2010 the transgender citizen was coughing up a large volume of blood and was taken to the hospital by her life partner.  Despite the fact that the intake personnel were shown the individual’s Indiana state identification which had her female marker in clear print, she was entered into the hospital’s system as a male.

The staff allegedly ridiculed the transgender person, loudly referring to her as “IT”. Her life partner was apparently asked by individual staff members, with raised voices, if she was a “He-She”.  The patient also claims that she was quizzed about her length of time as a “Transvestite” when she clearly identified herself verbally and through official documents as a Transgender Female.

“It appears that a grave injustice may have been perpetrated against a transgender citizen of Indiana, as well as to her life partner,” stated Vivian Benge, President of the Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance.

Ms. Benge continued “This situation is particularly discomfiting as Ball Memorial is the hospital where Ball State University students go for emergency treatment.  There are a number of transgender BSU students, as well as other minority students, and they should not have to fear humiliation and refusal of medical care in the emergency room.”

The transgender woman is suspected to have a lung condition that may be the cause of mass bleeding and oral expulsion of blood.  Yet, according to the individual, Ball Memorial Hospital refused to provide treatment, with the accompanying statement to the effect of “we do not know how to treat someone like her”.  This happened after a long wait to be seen by a physician.

As leaders and advocates for the protection of transgender civil rights, Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance and Indiana Equality urge Ball Memorial Hospital to conduct a thorough investigation of these allegations.

“If the events are proven to be true, we call upon Ball Memorial Hospital to take appropriate actions with the hospital employees involved and to institute policies, procedures and staff training that will ensure that such discriminatory actions are not again perpetrated, “ stated Jon Keep, President of Indiana Equality.

A copy of the letter by Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance and Indiana Equality to Ball Memorial Hospital is attached.

The Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance (INTRAA) is a statewide advocacy organization working to create a society that values and protects freedom of gender expression and the right to gender self-determination for all. For more information about INTRAA, please visit the organization’s website at

Organized in 2003, Indiana Equality’s mission is to end sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in Indiana.  For more information about Indiana Equality, please visit the organization’s website at or call (888) 567-0750.

Media Contact:

Vivian Benge
(317) 402-1408

Mark St. John
(317) 847-545

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