Well this is just lovely (and by that I mean shockingly common), two transgender women of color were harassed and assaulted by at least two men on Atlanta's MARTA train because, oh hey, they're trans women of color. And the men stripped one of the women naked, because of course they did.
Video of the assault made its way from several onlookers onto websites, such as FlyVidz, and shows the two women being verbally harassed before being assaulted. One of the women is kicked by a man in the video. The passengers not only recorded the event with smart phones, but also seemed to thoroughly enjoy the spectacle. Even cheering as the attacks proceeded, according to one of the women, Janell Crosby.
Nobody tried to help. They were all standing up on chairs and videotaping. That's how it ended up on so many [web]sites.
Tyra Woods, the woman stripped nude by the men, has already left Atlanta for Cleveland Ohio, where she is staying with friends and family, and will be moving back to New York City. Woods pointed out that there was a distinct lack of protection in Atlanta. Crosby agreed, saying she had tried to make a report of the incident to MARTA, but the officer who showed up seemed uninterested in her story.
I told one cop who was following us to the gate. He acted like he didn't want to hear from us. He didn't write any statement or anything.
Gee, well doesn't that sound like it could never have happened, said no sexual assault victim ever.
A local church, Restoration Inclusive Ministries, has scheduled a town hall to discuss the misogynistic and transphobic (and no doubt racial) implications of the attack, releasing a statement which reads in part:
According to the victims, the attack occurred because the two assailants wanted to know whether or not they were "real" women. The two women were bullied, taunted, degraded and finally physically assaulted simply because of who they are.
The saddest, and perhaps the most disheartening, aspect of this attack is that onlookers stood idly by. Not one person called 911. Not one person intervened. On a packed train, there was no help provided while these two women fought to protect themselves.
Anyone surprised? Show of hands? No? I thought not. SIGH.
Image via Shutterstock.