The District of Columbia has some of the best legal protection for transpeople against discrimination. That results in lots of transpeople moving there in order to transition…and in transpeople being more open about who they are.
Unfortunately that also elevates the level of visibility of transpeople to those who wish to prey upon us…and hence the District has one of the highest rates of crimes with transgender victims.
Violence against LGBT people has been running at near epidemic levels the past ten days, with 6 incidents...four of which had transgender victims.
Early on June 21 patrol officers responded to a stabbing in Southeast Washington. According to transactivist Earline Budd, the victim, Bree Wallace, met a man to get a cigarette. The man reportedly tried to force Ms. Wallace to give him oral sex. Ms. Wallace is reported to have said that a friend of the man spotted the two together and made a disparaging comment about the man's sexual orientation. Ms. Budd thinks the man stabbed Ms. Wallace to impress his friend.
Police have now reduced the number of stab wounds from 40 to 11.. Ms. Wallace suffered a collapsed lung and a severed tendon in her left hand. Police have charged Michael McBride, 23, with assault with intent to kill. The victim is still in the hospital.
On Saturday evening, June 22, a 35-year-old lesbian, well-known in the gay community, was shot and killed, also in the southeastern portion of the city. Police have said that the motive appeared to be attempted armed robbery.
This has not been classified as a hate crime.
--Officer Araz Alali, DC Police spokesperon
On Sunday, June 23, police responded to Manny & Olga's pizzeria in the NW where a drag performer reported having been attacked after a performance at the Black Cat club nearby. The victim identified himself to police as a gay man.
The victim also said that a bystander shot video while encouraging the fight. The video was apparently posted to the Interweb and documents an argument between the victim and a woman over makeup. The woman uttered words that could be interpreted as hate speech and bit the male victim in the thigh while threatening to give him AIDS. The two women yanked the victim around by the hair, causing a scalp wound.
Then on Thursday, June 27, a transgender woman was shot in the buttocks, also in the NE, in what police believe was an attempted robbery. Two men approached the woman, asking for a light. Then one of the men pulled off her wig. The 22-year-old victim then turned to flee and was shot while attempting to do that. She then dropped her purse, which one of the men stole.
At 3:30am, June 30, a transwoman accepted a ride in the NE and then was sexually assaulted. Then at 4:05am another transwoman was shot by apparent robbers. Police said the wounds (plural) did not appear to be life threatening.
People are still facing hate and violence. It’s pretty serious. It’s a reminder that being different is not OK.
None of these incidents have been classified as hate crimes, but two of the crimes are being investigated by the MPD's Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit.