Thursday, July 28, 2016

Trans woman attacked in Dearborn bar, prompting renewed focus on hate crimes

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2016 at 4:50 PM

  • Courtney Purvis | Photo via Facebook screenshot
Transgender women in metro Detroit face particularly difficult obstacles, as MT investigative reporter Allie Gross highlighted in her in-depth piece "The Throwaways." Many find it difficult to get jobs other than sex work, live in poverty, and are the target of heinous crimes. 

Earlier this week Courtney Purvis, a transgender woman, posted a video on Facebook claiming she was attacked at the Post Bar in Dearborn for seemingly no reason.

"They hit me in my face because I'm transgender," she says in a video posted on Facebook at 3:36 a.m. Wednesday morning showing Purvis bloodied and bruised. "I don't understand why they attacked me like this." 

In an interview with Fox 2 Detroit, she says she was hit in the face with a bottle and stabbed in the back. She says it was a hate crime. 

LGBT Detroit, a group that's in the middle of hosting their Hotter Than July pride celebration, released a statement about the violent attack. 

“It is infuriating and saddening to continuously hear about violent attacks on the LGBTQ community in Metro Detroit and nationwide," says LGBT Detroit's executive director Curtin Lipscomb in a statement.

"No one should have to worry about facing any type of violence because of their gender identity and expression. Unfortunately, this is all too familiar for those in the trans and gender non-conforming (GNC) community, a group that continuously faces violence at a higher rate that anyone else in the LGBTQ community. This violence must stop and LGBT Detroit stands with the trans and GNC community, to ensure that every single person can live their lives authentically with freedom and dignity, and without the fear of violence. We send our well-wishes to Courtney Purvis, and we demand that those who participated in this attack be held accountable.”

The attack comes after the Michigan Board of Education delayed a policy vote that would give transgender students permission to use bathrooms that match their gender identity rather than what's on their birth certificate. 

Watch Purvis' video in full below. 

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