PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A transgender woman was severely beaten by a man whom police say shouted homophobic slurs at her. Also injured were her sister and a friend. New details are coming out about the attack as calls grow louder for these crimes to be seriously looked at in the city.
The victim underwent surgery Monday and is in stable condition. Activists hope this incident will spark change and conversation long after Pride Month is over.READ MORE: First-Of-Its-Kind Program At Crozer-Chester Medical Center Encouraging Minority Students To Pursue STEM Careers
It’s a sense of uneasiness that Deja Alvarez says the transgender community lives with daily.
“It’s a hard reality to get hit with when all you’re trying to do is live your life like everybody else,” Alvarez said.
Alvarez says Sunday, their fears came true when police found two women shot and a transgender woman badly beaten. The attack happened outside of an underground hookah lounge on the 300 block of Westmoreland Street around 4:30 a.m. in the morning.
“From what we’re being told, this young lady did nothing other than walk into an establishment that probably thousands of others have walked into,” Alvarez said.
Alvarez confirmed to CBS3 that the victim beaten was with her sister and friend at the time.
They were inside when a man started hurling slurs and obscenities toward her about her gender.READ MORE: Man Killed In Road Rage Shooting In Springfield Identified, Authorities Say
“When she went to leave a while later, the person was out there, they saw each other again,” Alvarez said. “The man punched her and when she went to the ground, then he pistol-whipped her.”
The sister and friend suffered a gunshot wound to the arm and a graze wound to the head after trying to jump in and help. Officials are now investigating what they went through as a hate crime.
“I want LGBTQ people to know, and all of their allies to know, that as you celebrate Pride here, law enforcement is unified in wanting to make sure you are protected,” District Attorney Larry Krasner said.
Mayor Jim Kenney tweeted that he was deeply horrified by the attack and that any acts of hate are intolerant and unacceptable.
Horrified to learn about this incident. Any acts of hate or intolerance are unacceptable and will not be tolerated in Philadelphia.@PhillyLGBTgov is working with partners to remain briefed on this incident and remain available for support. https://t.co/JhwnKUxqCz
— Jim #VaxUpPhilly Kenney (@PhillyMayor) June 13, 2022
Alvarez hopes words turn into actions.
“It needs to be discussed all day, every day, all year round until it stops,” Alvarez said.MORE NEWS: 'We're Serious With This': Strike Of Casino Workers In Atlantic City Expected Amid Wage Negotiation
Currently, crimes against transgender people are not included in Pennsylvania’s hate crime statute. Organizers say that needs to change.