A trans woman in Casper, Wyoming was hospitalized last Thursday after she says she was attacked by a neighbor in her apartment complex’s dog park.
Police are still investigating the incident, according to local outlet Oil City News.
Rilee Shipley told the outlet she believes it was a transphobic attack.
The incident began earlier in the day at the apartment complex’s dog park. Shipley had taken her dog to the park when another resident came into the park with two unleashed dogs. She told Oil City News that she got nervous and picked up her dog and exchanged some words with the other dog owner.
He then called Shipley, who is white, the n word racial slur several times along with the “bitch.”
“To me in my mind, there’s no question about whether or not it was geared towards homophobia or transphobia,” Shipley said, “especially with the ease with which he threw around the n word at me.”
Shipley then reported the incident to the apartment complex’s office.
That night, the man who had called her slurs before was with another person. The man screamed at Shipley for reporting him before eventually entering the dog park and knocking her down.
“As I was knocked down and putting the leash on my dog, he told me that me and my piece of shit dog deserve to die,” Shipley said, “He called me the ‘n’ slur again and the word ‘bitch’ and stomped me on the side of the head, and kicked my face into the fencepost.”
On Tuesday, Shipley learned she’d have to have emergency surgery on her cheekbone, according to a Go Fund Me set up for her. As of July 22, the Go Fund Me has raised $8,932 against a $4,000 goal.
“Someone told me once, ‘this is Wyoming: we don’t take offense to gays, we take them to the fences,’” Shipley told Oil City News. The person referenced the homophobic murder of Matthew Shepard who was beaten and tied to a fence in 1998.
The attack on Shipley happened a week after a Wyoming bar was revealed to be selling a T-shirt promoting shooting LGBTQ+ people. A trans magician also had to cancel her shows due to threats she received before she was due to perform at a few Wyoming venues.
Shipley said, “I know that they’re still out there, so I have some fear about that.”