Imagine leaving a club and being attacked because of what you look like. It seems so common place to never have your gender questioned. It happens to many folks around the world and on our own soil. Being attacked because you are a woman, a queer man, or trans happens every.single.day. It is an extreme form of gender-based public sexual harassment. Holla Back DC! is committed to mobilizing the community against these types of attacks; we mobilize for Mitch & Jaime.
Mitch Graffeo, a trans man, and friend Jaime, were assaulted by two females in front of Fab Lounge on February 28. It created a pit in our stomach when we read how they were assault, but also WHY they were assaulted.
Graffeo said Jaime, who is about 5 feet 4 inches tall and has a slender build, recently began a female-to-male gender transition process and has a youthful, boyish appearance. Graffeo noted he transitioned more than 10 years ago and his gender is readily recognized as that of a male.
“They said, ‘What the fuck are you? Are you a girl or a boy?’” Graffeo recalled one of the women saying to Jaime inside the club.
Graffeo said another woman, along with a man who was with them, joined the first woman in shouting insults aimed at Jaime’s appearance after Jaime asked the first woman to leave him alone.
Jaime told the Blade as many as three women in the bar ran their hands over his chest as they taunted him over his appearance, saying they wanted to find out if he was male or female. (emphasis added) [link]
Then, after they left Fab Lounge, the same perpetrators came after them.
Twenty seconds after leaving the club, just barely near the entrance of the Royal Palace nightclub on Connecticut Avenue, a woman with long braids under a baseball cap wearing a black jacket pinned Jamie in a headlock. She was the same woman from inside the club, and she relentlessly questioned his gender. She catapulted onto Jamie’s back and pummeled him with her fists. Her comrade watched. [link]
Travis Ballie, along with Equity, Campus Style, is holding a phone community forum on April 14 to address this attack.
More information after the jump.
PHONE PRESS CONFERENCE/COMMUNITY FORUM
Fab Lounge Victim of Anti-Trans Assault Speaks Out, Calls on Community to Fight for Hate Crimes Legislation & a Trans Inclusive LGBTQ Nightlife
JOIN EQUALITY, CAMPUS STYLE’S CALL FOR COMMUNITY MOBILIZATION
Tuesday, April 14th @ 6pm Dial – (605) 475-4800 Enter Access Code – 1016216#
On the night of February 28th, 2009, Mitch Graffeo and a friend Jamie, both trans men, survived an anti-trans assault allegedly perpetrated by fellow members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender community. Equality, Campus Style joins Mitch in calling for a greater community mobilization on the issue of affirming the right to a safe nightlife for ALL. The entire LGBT community has been outraged about the sad fact that members of our own community are contributing to making D.C. unsafe. Mitch and his friends recall being verbally harassed and assaulted by two female customers who ridiculed one of the men as being “androgynous”.
Mitch recalls one of his attacks as saying: ‘What the ***** are you? Are you a girl or a boy?’” Mitch and Jamie shortly afterwards were assaulted outside of Fab Lounge by said individuals and 1 male accomplice, causing both survivors multiple injuries, including for one survivor, a concussion. Join us on Tuesday, April 14th to hear Mitch recount the events of February 28th in front of Fab Lounge.
Learn about upcoming planned actions, such as Mitch’s letter to the D.C. Council urging for passage of a resolution in support of Federal Hate Crimes legislation. Also, join us for the official groundbreaking announcement of a D.C. Committee for a Trans Inclusive Nightlife, spearheaded by Equality, Campus Style.
Most importantly, join us on this call to stand in solidarity with Mitch and all survivors of anti-TBLG violence in the metropolitan area. We need to stand unified as a community. We will not tolerate ANY degradation of our LGBTQ nightlife scene. Violence against one member of our community is violence against all.
For Media Inquiries/Questions or Comments Please Contact ECS Coordinator Travis Ballie at firstname.lastname@example.org or 917-318-0281
We hope to “see” you on April 14.