A trans woman was stripped of her clothing and viciously attacked outside a nightclub in Palm Springs, Calif., on Saturday evening, and police are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.
Video of the shocking incident obtained by KPLM-TV showed a crowd gathering as trans woman Skyy Perez, staggering and wearing only her underwear, was brutally punched outside the Village nightclub on Saturday night.
Perez said she was at The Village with friends when her phone was stolen. She said she attempted to search the bag of a woman at a nearby table but security intervened and escorted her from the club. Once outside, Perez said she was attacked by another woman.
“She hit me with a sandal in the back of my head, and I fell to the floor, I kind of lost consciousness,” she told KPLM-TV. “And then the other two girls that were with her came and they were like basically jumping me and tore my clothes. I was in disbelief and a rage that I got hit for simply existing.”
The video, which has widely circulated on social media, shows a half-naked Perez staggering and attempting to spit at her assailant off-camera when a man approaches from behind and punches her in her jaw sending her sprawling to the pavement.
A friend who was with Perez, Daniella Pineda, believes Perez was targeted and attacked because of her gender identity.
“Those people were hating because we were trans,” Pineda told KPLM-TV. “And they couldn’t just wrap their brains around us being able to live our lives out authentically.”
The Village released a statement following the attack, expressing shock at the incident.
“For this to happen near our establishment makes us truly upset as we strive to be a leader in forward thinking,” general manager David Mariner, wrote in a statement. “We are all inclusive. We don't stand for anything that is hateful.”
Perez indicated that while fearful and still in shock, she was not going to prevent her from living her true identity as authentically as possible.
“It’s gonna make me want to live my truth even more,” she said.