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Seattle: Trans person assaulted leaving fundraiser for Orlando victims

Seattle: Trans person assaulted leaving fundraiser for Orlando victims
A transgender individual named Michael Volz was assaulted Wednesday night in Seattle after leaving a fundraiser for victims of the Orlando shooting.

The attacker is alleged to have said, “Hey, happy Pride!” before punching Volz in the face. He is then said to have grabbed Volz by the throat, continuing the attack while using an anti-transgender slur.

Volz, who uses “they” pronouns, lost consciousness and the attacker fled the scene.

Upon regaining consciousness, they drove home and contacted a friend, who drove them to the hospital. Along the way, the pair stopped to contact police.

Volz transgender attack
Michael Volz after attack. Michael Volz/GoFundMe

The Seattle Police Department reported that they are working with the FBI, investigating the incident as a hate crime.

The suspect is described as a white male in his 20s, with brown hair and a partial beard. He was also reported to have been wearing an orange or copper-colored sweatshirt, blue jeans and sandals at the time of the assault.

“This is something that occurs far too often,” Volz said at a press conference on Friday. “I think that frequently we’re told to disappear into the background and not talk about it.”

“I’m disgusted by this hateful attack,” said Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole. “I want to assure the victim and the community that the SPD will leverage every resource to identify the suspect and bring him to justice.”

An SPD victim advocate has also been in contact with Volz to offers support.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for them as well, which at time of writing is close to meeting its $37,000 goal, which will go toward helping to cover medical cost, as well as lost wages and ongoing care. Some of the money raised will go to The NW Network and the Gender Justice League, at Volz’s request.

The attack occurred two days before the Trans* Pride Seattle March and four days before Seattle Pride.

It also comes just after The Seattle Times reported that hate crimes against the LGBT and African American communities has doubled.

It also comes in the wake of data released by the FBI showing LGBT people to be the most likely target of hate crimes.

Danni Askini, a friend of Volz’s and the executive director at the Seattle Gender Justice Project, told The Daily Dot that Volz was previously attacked in 2012, as was Askini in a separate incident. Volz was jumped in a parking garage near their workplace.

“This comes after three years of increasing anti-LGBT crimes in Capitol Hill, but we’ve seen little action from the city and state in terms of actually combating the violence,” said Askini. “The police response has been putting up stickers that say ‘safe place,’ which is not doing anything.”

Anyone with information regarding the attack is asked to call the SPD Violent Crimes tip line at 206-233-5000.

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