"I'm a hot, sexy chick, and I don't like people fucking with me."
Such is the battle call of "Jozy" -- born Ira Deford -- a preop South Beach transsexual who this month took a historic stand in traffic court after bashing the side mirror of a blood bank's bus.
Jozy, age 39, is one of those relics of an era we'll call pre-Jersey Shore SoBe. She's loud, brash, and not employed in any traditional sense. ("I sell vintage clothing. I'm on disability, actually. I guess you could say I'm not a pillar of society.") On July 5, she was moving to a new apartment, driving a U-Haul at the intersection of Alton and Lincoln roads when she cracked the mirror of a plasma-donation truck parked outside Regal Cinemas.
The way Jozy describes it, the traffic cop who was on the scene was going to let her slide without a citation until she started complaining. "I was saying, 'Why is it legal to park a camper in the middle of the road?' and saying that the bus should have had its mirror folded in," Jozy recounts. "And the cop goes, 'Oh, you're a smart-ass," and starts writing the ticket."
She was charged with careless driving and faced a $500 fine. Jozy, it turns out, is no model driver. Since 2006, she's been charged with knowingly driving with a suspended license, disobeying a street sign, driving an unsafe vehicle, improperly backing up, improperly passing, twice having no proof of insurance, and twice not carrying her driver's license.
But she says, "I'm a fighter." So she contested the ticket in court. When a traffic judge told her she wouldn't have to pay if the citation was improperly filled out, Jozy played her trump card: The cop had indicated that Ira Deford was a woman.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Miami New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Miami's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Because she is technically a man, Jozy argued, the ticket should be tossed. "You can't have this both ways," she explains to Riptide. "If I can't marry my boyfriend because I have a penis, then you need to make damn sure that you mark my gender correctly when you give me a traffic ticket."
The case was dismissed September 9, although Jozy admits that might have had more to do with a lack of witnesses than her galvanizing argument.
This isn't the first time Jozy has stood up for her/his rights. She once planned a march of topless transsexuals on Washington, D.C. "I was going to walk right onto the Mall with my beautiful breasts hanging out," she declares. Unfortunately, she couldn't get anybody to bare boobs with her.