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Trans woman assailed during Kanye West's Rolling Loud set beats back 'bullies' (exclusive)

Transgender Woman Blu Linares Beaten Fist Fight Man Kanye West Concert Show MAGA hat fool
instagram @makeitblu; twitter @DailyLoud; Shutterstock

Blu Linares recently told The Advocate about her reaction to the viral video of her assault, and the moments leading up to it.

Blu Linares didn't start the fight at the Rolling Loud music festival in California last week — but she did finish it.

The 22-year-old pharmaceutical student said that seeing Kanye West's set at the hip hop festival was "really fun" until the incident occurred. As a longtime fan, she also said that she has never experienced anything like what happened to her at a show before.

Video of the fight went viral and was featured on TMZ. It comes at a time of increasing violence against transgender people; a recent data analysis by The Advocate shows a spike in anti-trans hate crimes in the past several years, as dozens of states have made efforts to restrict transgender people's access to health care, public restrooms and more.

Linares recently told The Advocate that she was "minding her business" during the performance, despite the people behind her frequently bumping into her. The light shoving was expected in such a crowded environment, but the people in front of her took issue as "the crowd kept pushing us into each other."

RELATED: Anti-transgender hate crimes spike, leading to calls for a public health emergency

Linares said that the men seemed as if they wanted to pick a fight, and specifically with her. While she's "not too sure" why, she suspects it had something to do with the way she was dressed and her transgender identity. After she was pushed into them too many times, Linares said that they "pushed me and just started hitting me." She tried to fend them off until they "gashed my eyebrow really bad with their ring."

"That's when I got mad and I just started fighting back, because they thought they were going to pick on me and bully me in front of everyone," Linares said. "But I held my own."

Linares more than held her own, commentators online quickly pointed out, as videos of the fight circulated on social media. She said that seeing the footage and the widespread reaction to her in a heightened moment has been "embarrassing, but I kind of got over it pretty fast."

Save for the cut on her forehead, Linares also said she is "fine" physically following the altercation. She has not involved law enforcement so far, but said she is "going to talk to a couple of lawyers, see what my options are, and go from there."

Despite the initial embarrassment, Linares said part of her is glad to see the incident receive the attention it has. While she was able to fight back, she recognized that not everyone can, and believes that her standing up for herself will send a message to those looking to pick a fight with transgender people in the future.

"Violence isn't always the answer, and they shouldn't be picking on people because you never know who's going to fight back," she said.

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Ryan Adamczeski

Ryan is a staff writer at the Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel 'Someone Else's Stars', and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.
Ryan is a staff writer at the Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel 'Someone Else's Stars', and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.