Trans Woman Brutally Beaten in Bushwick

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A 28-year-old trans woman was beaten by four men on a Bushwick street at about 11:20 p.m. on October 12, according to the New York City Police Department.

The incident, which police say occurred outside of 1250 Bushwick Avenue near Halsey Street and involved the perpetrators making “anti-gay statements,” is being investigated by the NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force.

The woman, whose name has not been released, was a client of New Alternatives for Homeless LGBT Youth. Kate Barnhart, the group’s executive director, said the victim was walking with a gay friend when the men approached them “and asked what they were doing in the neighborho­od.”

Second anti-LGBT attack in the Brooklyn neighborhood in recent weeks

Barnhart added, “When they figured out from her voice that she was transgender, they starting calling her a ‘faggot’ and beating her with a 2 X 4.”

Media reports have cited NYPD sources describing the weapon as a plexiglass board.

The victim’s friend was able to escape without injury, Barnhart said. According to Barnhart, a bystander captured cell phone video of the incident and police have surveillance video as well as the weapon used in the attack.

“She is listed in stable condition,” Barnart said of the victim, “but it is not clear if she will have permanent brain damage.” According to the NYPD, the victim was “transported to Elmhurst Hospital in critical condition.”

Barnhart added, “It is outrageous that transgender people are still not safe in what is supposed to be the safest LGBT city in the world.”

Advocates are planning a rally this evening, October 14, at 7 p.m. at the site of the assault. The Halsey Street stop on the J train is the most convenient transit station for 1250 Bushwick Avenue.

The October 12 attack was at least the second anti-LGBT bias incident in recent weeks in Bushwick. Three men have been charged in connection with the shooting of a 22-year-old man on September 27 at about 7 a.m. on Broadway near Putnam Avenue.

According to media reports as well as information from the Kings County District Attorney’s Office and the New York City Anti-Violence Project, the victim identifies as a gay man and was, with several friends, dressed in feminine clothing when they were approached by three men who yelled slurs including “faggots” and “tranny.” When the victim and his friends tried to leave, the victim was shot in the buttocks. After treatment at Brookdale Hospital, he was released.

Police charged 21-year-old Matthew Smith with attempted murder, assault, criminal possession of a weapon, and menacing, all as hate crimes. Cody Sigue, 22, and Tavon Johnson, 17, were charged with menacing and aggravated harassment, both as hate crimes.

While one media source identified the victim by name, at this point Gay City News is not doing so. –– Additional reporting by Paul Schindler

Updated 5:17 pm, July 20, 2018
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Reader feedback

dexxwizard says:
This is just disgusting, when will humans evolve to love each other.
Oct. 13, 2014, 10:02 pm
Lynn says:
Omg. I really hate being a target. The poor woman, beaten with a 2 x 4! If one more cis person tells me they don't think about their gender I'm going to start laughing hysterically.
Oct. 13, 2014, 10:40 pm
kiyona says:
I LIVE IN Blocks Away From The incidents. An I am also a transgendered MTF. I lost my best friend to a horrible hate crime as well it was highly publicized and on the heels of her murder trial and her murderer being found Guilty he we go again I Am very afraid it's a scary thing not being safe in your own neighborhood. Please help bring justice to all transgendered people world wide .
Oct. 13, 2014, 10:48 pm
bklady says:
I am trans and I was assaulted in Williamsburg about 48 hours before this, I have an open case with the NYPD hate crimes unit. This would have been me if passersby hadn't shooed away my attackers before it got worse.
Oct. 14, 2014, 12:02 am
bklady says:
And, feel free to contact me, cause I'm living proof there were more than two anti-LGBT attacks in Brooklyn in recent weeks. And fyi, "transwoman" is not the commonly accepted way to write about trans women, for some pretty clear and conveyable reasons.
Oct. 14, 2014, 12:09 am
sierragormsen says:
I am confused, was this a transgender woman or a queen or just a fashionable gay man? What is the actual gender identity? It doesn't matter one bit, either way, as far as what happened to them, it is absolute crap and I hope they lock these guys up deep in hole in the far edge of the prison. As far as the story goes though, you have successfully called this person transgender, a gay male, and a female impersonator. I am not sure which group you have offended. Regardless, you have definitely offended and denied toward the victim. Please do more research before butchering someone's identity like this. For most people, it is one of the most important things about them.
Oct. 14, 2014, 1:11 am
bklady says:
Must say, that's pretty confusing...if the victim self-identifies as a gay man, why are we labeling them transgender? Has trans become such a buzzword that it makes a better headline?
Oct. 14, 2014, 1:17 am
Harlem says:
You misread the story. The main story is that of a transgender woman, the supporting story is that of a gay male who was dressed in female clothing at the time of his assault.
Oct. 14, 2014, 1:20 am
Lilithe says:
Please edit this article - you would not call me a "whitewoman" or a "tallwoman" therefore you do not call trans women "transwomen".
Oct. 14, 2014, 1:34 am
bklady says:
Aha...that's what I thought the first time though. I was led astray, oops! Sorry to add to the confusion.
Oct. 14, 2014, 2:05 am
bklady says:
(led astray...feel free to delete my comment I'm replying to)
Oct. 14, 2014, 2:06 am
Paul says:
Yours is a half-clarification - the gay male was dressed in a unisex or androgynous style, a fashion trend that can include a piece of female clothing blended into the look that a gay man can sometimes wear.
Oct. 14, 2014, 7:48 am
Paul says:
Additionally, if this (other) individual - the main subject of the article - was simply called a "woman," wouldn't readers think that, pure and simple, a woman was attacked in public for being a woman? The subject is not domestic violence. All I've heard of is rape for assaults on women. You can say that's what it IS for them, but I've never read of a woman, straight, trans, bi or lesbian, being otherwise attacked by strangers or anyone else in public in this kind of a hate crime against women. If this case, why isn't rape a hate crime?
Oct. 14, 2014, 8:02 am
tastoriaqueens says:
Hi BK Lady, I'm reaching out as the Communications Director at the New York City Anti-Violence Project, to see if you need any support or services (both free & confidential!). If so, you can call 212-714-1141 to talk with a counselor and/or report what happened to you. I am so sorry to learn that you had to deal with this, and hope you are doing okay.
Oct. 14, 2014, 1:30 pm
paulschindler says:
Transwoman is used in the article because those on the scene and the NYPD agree that she was targeted for being transgender. Transwoman is not an uncommon usage when referring to transgender women, nor is transman for a transgender man. We have seen this usage by transgender folks themselves. Obviously some may prefer trans woman, but there is not a universally agreed upon usage. The analogy to tallwoman or whitewoman, though appealing on the surface, is therefore not apropos given the diversity in usage out there. Any disagreement about usage really pales in comparison to the important issues in the story.
Oct. 14, 2014, 1:53 pm
paulschindler says:
There are two different cases being talked about in this article. One about a transgender woman attacked, the other about a gay man who was dressed in feminine attire who was attacked. Two totally different cases on different dates.
Oct. 14, 2014, 2:28 pm
paulschindler says:
There are two different people who were attacked in separate incidents discussed in this story -- a transgender woman and a gay man who was dressed in feminine attire. Two different attacks on different days.
Oct. 14, 2014, 2:30 pm
Transpride says:
The GLAAD media guide clearly indicates that the correct term is "trans woman," not "transwoman."
Oct. 14, 2014, 2:33 pm
paulschindler says:
Trans woman it is, then.
Oct. 14, 2014, 2:53 pm
Transpride says:
Thank you! That is very much appreciated.
Oct. 14, 2014, 3:03 pm
Sam Wheeler says:
The sad reality is that hate crimes like these happen all over the world. Just recently, a transgender woman was murdered and left at a hotel room, with her head inside the toilet. It is unclear if the crime was committed because of her gender identity or because of something else.
Oct. 14, 2014, 11:57 pm
Barbara says:
Even before these attacks, I decided not to move back to NYC, where I was born and bred. I had gotten approved for a subsidized apartment and was ready to go and backed out. When I visited four years ago (for two months), after being away for 7 years, I found a hostile and unfriendly city. Do I miss NYC, yes, but I just could not deal with the escalated hostility. I would go to Coney Island for Nathans and was hassled. I had to bring my brother in law along, who looked like a white Mr. T, so I would be left alone. Why do these girls get into this by answering these creeps back and inflaming the situation? Walk away, it's not worth it!
Oct. 15, 2014, 12:50 pm
kingslandguy says:
bklady, did your incident occur the evening of 10/10 on Skillman, near Kingsland Ave? If so, I was one of the passersby. I've been wondering how you're doing, and I have regretted not asking you if you needed an escort to your door.
Oct. 15, 2014, 1:19 pm
James Saint says:
I am not trans but I fell in love with a transwoman and I hope to be able to reverse these statistics. All people are equal. If I was with my girlfriend and she was in danger I would attack the assailants and hopefully do the same to them as they would like to do to my girlfriend. I am a cyclist, runner and have trained in several martial arts, these people really are inadequate weeds, what a bunch of cowards!!!!
Nov. 27, 2014, 5:50 pm
Kimball Hartman says:
I am androgynous. In the news, I wanted to not be called a transgender. But obviously they don't know what androgynous means and they don't see it as normal with people. not yet anyway. I used to be transgender, but realized I'm a third gender is human society. I'm someone who is able to understand both sexes. But, I'm way too pretty naturally and I attract all straight men. So I look like a tranny Tomboi. And... Most importantly.... Purple is my favorite color. :)
Jan. 23, 2015, 9:16 pm
Kimball Hartman says:
I wasn't in women's clothing when I was attacked. I do not want to wear women's clothing. I'm pretty already and attract straight hot men.
Jan. 23, 2015, 9:20 pm
Truth says:
I don't think about my gender.
Feb. 7, 2015, 4:25 pm
mr white says:
he got off Empire Boulevard,
April 4, 2015, 11:31 am
Amir says:
as a strong black openly gay man" I am disgusted by all of this violence that happens to our community... But none of this is going to change unless we learn to come together and stand as one I am disgusted by the rampant violence which keeps occurring in the community. But I have to say I've seen drag queens transgendered and flamboyant gay men fight like animals in a club over a man a garment 4 out dancing each other ie voguing... But then get into the street and someone disrespect you with homophobic slurs and then become victims.....! Until we learn to start fighting back this will continue!
Sept. 18, 2015, 5:31 pm

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