Light Rail Attack on Trans Woman Deserves Outrage

Cassandra Hagen, staff writer

CW: transphobia, violence 

It is a terrible thing to have to say that at 9:45 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 27, there was an attack on a transgender woman at the Lake Street Blue Line light rail station. According to the consequent charges that were given, Metro Transit police officers arrived at the LRT station, responding to a 911 call reporting the attack stating that the victim was lying unresponsive on the floor of the north tower lower-level. They arrived to find her largely unresponsive and in critical condition before she was rushed to Hennepin County Medical Center for treatment. While she later reached stable condition due to the medical personnel’s efforts, her current condition isn’t known as of March 9. 

What is known, however, is that the brutal and cruel attack left her with extensive injuries, including but not limited to a rib fracture, collapsed lung and internal brain bleed, along with myriad other small scrapes and abrasions — all injuries that could have easily led to death. No one deserves these injuries, and no one could ever warrant deserving them. Surveillance cameras at the station captured images of the attack, showing three men beating her and pushing her down the stairs before leaving her on the ground, crumpled against the concrete floor of the station, half-lucid, bleeding and bruised.

While in reports it is stated that bias may be involved in the attack, I think the motivation these attackers had is obvious. It is not an unknown fact that the rates of attacks and violence against those in the transgender community have been on an upward trend, with at least 32 transgender and gender-nonconforming people having been killed in the United States in 2022, according to the Human Rights Campaign. 

These brazen and inhumane attacks and murders are inexcusable and deserve outrage — they deserve our anger and disdain, because situations like these shouldn’t happen, ever. No one within the trans community should find themselves in the circumstance where they fear for their safety or life just for being who they are and living genuinely. Yet, this is the lived reality of so many in the community, with this instance of violence only proving this. Instances like this are occurring more frequently with no end in sight.

Violence like this needs to be condemned and stopped, and the safety of those in the trans community needs to be prioritized — especially in a time where those in the community cannot even use public transportation without fearing for their safety. My heart goes out to the family of the victim, and while I have all my well wishes for the victim’s recovery, it’s dwarfed by a subdued rage that’s been bubbling under the surface — headline after headline highlights more crimes, more instances of hate and transphobia that permeate our society on indescribable levels. 

Violence like this against members of the trans community needs to stop, and this instance of violence just proves this more — it’s a sad reminder of the reality we are currently faced with. A reality that needs to change.