Ohio police station blares ‘Dude (Looks Like A Lady)’ as transgendered woman is interviewed after arrest


A transgendered Ohio woman was subjected to listen to Aerosmith’s “Dude (Looks Like A Lady)” last month at her local police station. According to a report today on Clevescene, Robin Spitfire Adelmann was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting on December 21 in the city of Lakewood, part of the Greater Cleveland Metropolitan Area.

After spending the night in a female cell block at the Lakewood Police Department, Adelmann was being interviewed for paperwork when she heard the Boston band’s familiar 1987 hit ringing through the halls.

The booking process and the stint in jail were standard-issue police protocol. Robin, a transgender woman living at a women’s shelter in Cleveland, says the officers were polite — issuing her a cell in the female block and acting respectfully overall. But when a detective got to her the next day for paperwork and questioning, Robin began hearing the all-too-familiar tones of Aerosmith’s “Dude (Looks Like a Lady)” filtering through the police department building. Nearby at another desk, Det. Thomas McLaughlin had started “blasting” the song on a stereo or computer, Robin says.


In the Clevescene report, Andelmann calls “Dude (Looks Like A Lady)” the “bane of our existence,” hearing it often at bars by people looking to get a rise out of her and other transgendered people.

So she knew exactly what was up. But the antagonistic detective didn’t stop there.

“I look at the detective [questioning me] and I’m like, ‘You know why he’s doing that, right?’ And the detective was like, ‘Hey, what can ya do?'” Robin says. After the song ended, McLaughlin cued up “Lola” by the Kinks, known for its lyrics about a man meeting a transgender woman. The detective interviewing Robin got up and asked McLaughlin to knock it off (“Hey!” Robin says she heard McLaughlin say, “it’s a good song!”).


Andelmann filed a report the next day, and was told that the detective in question was “verbally warned and ordered to undergo some sort of sensitivity training.” The detective has been with the Lakewood Police Department since 1992, and in the arrest report Andelmann was filed as “male.”

[h/t Annie Zaleski]