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Houston Trans Woman Beaten, Officials Offer Lukewarm Response

Houston Trans Woman Beaten, Officials Offer Lukewarm Response

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As Houston lawmakers continue to debate the HERO antidiscrimination ordinance, trans resident Thailand Warr says police didn't address her being viciously attacked by seven youths with the seriousness it merits.

While trans advocates and allies around the world were hosting vigils to commemorate the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20, 33-year-old trans woman of color Thailand Warr was attacked by seven strangers in the lobby of her Houston apartment building, reports Texas LGBT magazine About.

Warr, an entertainer who performs under the stage name DeyJzah Opulent Mirage, says she was preparing for a show at Houston Improv when she heard a loud knock at her door; when she answered, no one was there. After this happened again, she asked a neighbor who said two men had knocked and ran away.

Soon after, as Warr was descending the high-rise's stairs to meet a waiting taxi, she tells About that a group of five black men and two black women in their late teens to early-20s stopped her. One of the men, police discovered, was the son of a woman who lived in the building.

During the vicious attack that ensued, Warr alleges that a female assailant grabbed her wig saying, "I want that hair," a young man threw punches, several people grabbed at her chest in an attempt to expose her breasts, and one man stabbed her above an eye with a pocketknife.

"My eye filled with blood," she recalled to About. "I didn't know how badly I was cut, but I told myself, 'Don't fall down.'" She ultimately sustained injuries to her head, chest, and upper body, but escaped with her life and sought out a police officer.

Warr was able to return home that evening, but she says she has serious concerns about how the Houston Police Department addressed her case. "I don't feel like they took it very seriously," she told About. "I didn't feel like I was being comforted like a woman who was attacked."

In April, Hoston's Mayor Annise Parker released a draft of a sweeping Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, also known as HERO, that protects anyone living, working in, or visiting the city from housing, public accommodations, and employment discrimination based on, among other characteristics, their gender identity. However, the law has been delayed by detractors until a mid-January 2015 appeal hearing.

When Warr informed her apartment building's management about the attack, she was told they would increase security and issue a memorandum warning all tenants about the attack, notes About. However, it remains unclear whether these actions have been taken, and news of the charges Warr's attackers will face has not been released.

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