Aug. 26, 2016 By Hannah Wulkan
The transgender woman who was hit over the head with a hammer last week in Woodside spoke at a rally yesterday beside local politicians to raise awareness and end violence against trans women.
The rally, held at Woodside Plaza, came in the wake of her August 17 attack, where her assailant yelled, “That’s what you get for being gay,” after attempting to steal her purse and attacking her.
“I am so thankful for all of you here,” the victim, Gaby, said in Spanish, with help from a translator. “I feel a lot of fear.”
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer organized the rally, along with activist groups Make the Road New York and the New York City Anti Violence Project.
“We will never ever accept or tolerate violence against the trans community in Woodside or anywhere in the city of New York,” said Van Bramer. “We are a diverse, and very, very loving community.”
“One attack against the trans community is an attack against every single one of us, we can never allow an attack on the trans community to go unmet without a furious response,” he added.
Van Bramer was joined by Comptroller Scott Stringer, who said, “The sad truth is we’ve had too many of these nights where we’ve had to come together after an attack demanding that the coward who did this gets apprehended and punished.”
He cited the fact that there have been 10 reported incidents of violence against transgender individuals in Queens alone so far in 2016, let alone the more publicized attacks in other boroughs.
“We have to say enough is enough,” Stringer added.
Public Advocate Letitia James spoke of other incidents of violence against trans people that garnered national attention, including Islan Nettles who was beat to death in Harlem in April, and Pearl Love who was attacked on the 4 train in May. She added that 18 members of the trans community have been killed this year in the United States.
“This type of hate has no place in our city, and for the trans community and the LGBT community, and for all marginalized community, we stand together against hate and there are more of us than those who hate,” Public Advocate Letitia James said to the gathered crowd. “Hate always, always, always loses, and love always wins,” she added.
Congressman Joe Crowley said that as someone who was raised in Woodside, “The attack that took place is not representative of the community that I’ve grown up in and lived in.”
Police are still searching for Gaby’s attacker and are investigating the attack as a hate crime. NYPD have released a photo and video of the suspect, and anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).