LGBT community centre vandalised and staff member is assaulted
An LGBT community centre which houses homeless trans and queer people has been vandalised and a staff member has been assaulted.
The Casa Ruby LGBT centre in Washington DC was attacked yesterday, with a rock thrown through one of the windows at the shelter.
This marks the third time in two weeks the centre has been targeted, but the first time a staff member has been attacked.
The number of reported hate crimes in the US capital increased by 62 percent last year, from 66 to 107.
Over the weekend, three men were indicted in connection with the murder of Deeniquia Doods, a black trans women who was shot during a robbery last year.
And seven trans people have been killed so far this year across the US, with some activists blaming the Trump administration for stirring up animosity against the LGBT community.
Casa Ruby’s bilingual staff members provide hot meals, support groups, clothes and emergency housing referrals to some of DC’s most impoverished citizens.
Writing on its Facebook page, the centre warned that “the violence is real”.
However, the charity, which was established by trans activist Ruby Corado in 2012, vowed to persist in the face of prejudice, saying: “this is how it begins and we refuse to be the next ones.”
Corado told local TV station Fox5 that DC’s police chief came to the centre “to reassure her they will work diligently to have this suspect arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
There has been an outpouring of support on social media following the attack, including messages from L Word star Jennifer Beals and Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin.
Sending lots of ❤️ & support to @CasaRubyDC Love will always be stronger than hate. Stand strong.
— Jennifer Beals (@jenniferbeals) March 13, 2017
— j. bob alotta (@jbobalotta) March 13, 2017
— Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) March 13, 2017
— Sarah McBride (@SarahEMcBride) March 12, 2017
— Bryan Weaver (@BryanWeaverDC) March 13, 2017
@CasaRubyDC I stand with you in the face of violence and ignorance. We will not let a small few stop the work we're doing
— Robert C. White, Jr. (@RobertWhite_DC) March 13, 2017