SFGate has the horrifying story of a transgender woman in San Francisco who was savagely attacked by a couple Sunday night in the Mission District, for no apparent reason other than that she is a transgender woman. It’s the second time she’s been attacked in a year. Damn it.
Samantha Hulsey was on a date with her fiancee, Daira Hopwood, when it happened:
Hulsey was attacked Sunday night by a couple who threw hot coffee on her and repeatedly punched her in the face, police said. Officers arrested a man and a woman on suspicion of a string of hate-crime-related counts.
The attack began with the accused attackers allegedly shouting “trans-phobic and homophobic slurs” at Hulsey and Hopwood. The woman then allegedly “threw a cup of hot coffee in [Hulsey’s] face” while the man allegedly “landed a barrage of blows to her shoulder, head and face.” Police arrived and arrested two suspects, Dewayne Kemp and Rebbecca Westover.
Hulsey reportedly moved to San Francisco from Savannah, Georgia, in 2013. You’d probably expect things to get better for a transgender woman who moves from the American South—where she was “often bullied”—to San Francisco, but no:
On Jan. 3, a few months after moving here, she was stabbed twice in the chest by an assailant while she was on a date with her then-partner. A man was arrested in that attack and charged with several hate-crime-enhanced felonies, including attempted murder.
Violence against transgender people isn’t uncommon at all, even in a place many of us think of as progressive on this front:
Sneh Rao, senior policy director at the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, said that 79 percent of transgender people the agency surveyed last year reported being the victims of violence in the city, and that 88 percent reported being harassed.
High proportions of LGBTQI community members have experienced physical violence (68%), sexual violence (48%), and harassment (81%); more than one-third have experienced all three. Even higher proportions of transgender community members, especially transgender people of color, are violence survivors.
Transgender respondents are statistically more likely than cisgender respondents to have experienced physical violence (79% vs. 66%), sexual violence (65% vs. 41%), and harassment (88% vs. 78%).
The upshot: bigots are out here in the streets making sure nowhere is safe for transgender people.
The suspects in Hulsey’s latest attack were reportedly booked with “hate-crime enhancements” on a number of potential felonies, including assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault, battery, and a weapons violation.
Hulsey is reportedly considering getting tattoos to cover the scars from her 2013 stabbing. The attacker in that case is facing a possible life sentence.