News (USA)

Trans woman left in tears after being slapped & spit on in “disgusting” subway attack

Serena Daniari
Serena DaniariPhoto: Twitter Screenshot/Serena Daniari

Transgender journalist Serena Daniari posted a video to Twitter last last week in which she alleged that a couple on New York City’s southbound Subway C train slapped her, spit on her, knocked her phone from her hand, and called her transphobic slurs.

Daniari, 26, was sobbing in the video, and telling her followers, “I just wish people would leave me alone. I don’t do anything.”

Related: A man was pushed onto subway tracks & called “f****t” in a terrifying attack

Daniari also posted a photo of the couple she says attacked her, adding, “Fuck this disgusting city.”

The attack occurred while Daniari was waiting on the platform for the train. She was wearing her headphones when the couple approached her and began ask her something.

When she removed her headphones and asked them to repeat the question, they heard her voice and realized she was trans. “He started saying, ‘Oh you’re a guy. You’re a guy. You’re a t****y,’” Daniari told the New York Post.

The attack quickly gained attention from New York City politicians.

Mayor Bill De Blasio tweeted: “@NYPDHateCrimes is investigating this loathsome, transphobic attack.”

He also apologized to Daniari for what she went through: “Serena, on behalf of your city I’m so sorry this happened. Transgender and non-binary New Yorkers deserve to travel in their city without fear.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) also spoke out via Twitter and said he is directing the New York State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to investigate the attack.

“On behalf of the NY family,” he wrote, “I’m so sorry this happened, @serenajazmine. We stand with you in love & respect and we will catch the cowards who did this & bring them to justice.”

Gay state Sen. Brad Hoylman (D) tweeted, “The perpetrators of Serena Daniari’s horrifying assault must be held accountable to the fullest account of hate crime law. Transphobia is far too common in New York. I hear it all the time from constituents, even here in Chelsea: they are profiled and harassed on a daily basis.”

Daniari also called on her own national representative, Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) to speak with her and help “make public transit safer for LGBTQ people and find solutions so this doesn’t happen to anyone else.” She tagged Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) in the post as well.

Ocasio-Cortez did not appear to respond, and Espaillat did not appear to respond directly, though the next day he tweeted a call to the New York City Subway and the NY Metropolitan Transit Authority to conduct a full investigation.

“It’s 2020 and this shouldn’t be happening,” he wrote, “and especially not in a city as diverse as ours.”

As of yesterday, the Advocate reported that the male suspect in the attack had been arrested, while the female suspect was still at large.

On January 26, Daniari released a statement, also via Twitter, thanking everyone for their “outpouring of kind and supportive words,” and saying she wasn’t going to be speaking on the incident further until the police finished their investigation.

Yesterday, she also announced a partnership with Gay Pride Apparel to sell “Trans Is Beautiful Shirts,” with one hundred percent of the profits donated to the Anti Violence Project.

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