Two trans women attacked in New York while making anti-trans violence film

Vic Parsons July 4, 2019
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Make The Road held a rally to protest the violent attack. (Twitter)

Two transgender women say they were blasted with pepper spray and homophobic slurs while filming a documentary about violence against trans women in New York on Saturday (June 29).

A man and a woman are alleged to have followed the filmmakers in Jackson Heights, New York, in the early hours of Saturday morning, shouting homophobic and transphobic slurs at them.

“Doing a documentary about trans violence & police harassment. My sister Norma Ureiro and I we just got pepper sprayed at 82nd St & Roosevelt Av by a transphobic woman,” one of the women wrote on Twitter.

“She offended us by calling us fucking fa****s, fucking whores etc. (Enough is enough).”

Norma Ureiro and Bianey Garcia were recording video when the woman, Paola Custodio, sprayed them with a liquid – which Ureiro and Garcia say was pepper spray.

Police arrived and Custodio, 24, was arrested, charged with felony assault as a hate crime and aggravated harassment, and taken away, according to the New York Daily News.

After the arrest, Custodio’s male companion returned and sprayed Garcia in the face with pepper spray, calling her a “f***ing f****t.”

Garcia said she called police again but they failed to arrest the man. Garcia was taken to hospital.

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“The police violated our rights. They completely ignored us. They needed to take seriously the threats they made,” said Ureiro.

“This time it was only pepper spray but next time it could be a knife or a gun,” she said.

Custodio was released without bail on Saturday (June 29), according to court records.

Ureiro and Garcia are members of Latinx immigrant organisation Make The Road New York.

Make The Road said on Twitter, “This weekend while most celebrated Bianey and Norma were attacked for being Trans. This violence must stop!”

“We need to protect our Trans, GNC and non binary community! #WalkingWhileTrans is not a crime!”

More: New York, Transgender

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