Trans woman beaten for using bathroom: ‘I’m in the best place of my life, even after this attack’
Trans woman Lauren Jackson – who was severely beaten by a man she didn’t know after using a female restroom – said she is healing and flourishing despite the attack.
Jackson, 29, spent a week in hospital with her jaw broken in multiple places and a fractured skull following the attack, according to police.
She had used the women’s bathroom at an Oregon coast park and then, an hour later while sitting on the beach, was approached by Seth Costanza, 37, an unemployed Idaho resident, who is said to have begun punching her in the face.
Costanza is accused of a felony hate crime and was arraigned last week, September 2, on charges of first-degree intimidation, second-degree assault, menacing and harassment.
Jackson told the Oregonian: “Thankfully, I’m still alive. Thankfully, the injuries weren’t worse.
“I’m in the best place in my life, even after this attack. I’m happier, more peaceful and loving life more than ever before.”
Trans woman Lauren Jackson had just begun transitioning.
Several weeks ago, Jackson left her life in Salt Lake City – where she had a career in the music industry, was living as a man and married to a woman – behind, packing her car and starting on hormones. She said she never felt comfortable or whole before coming out as trans and was seeking a fresh start.
“It was a crazy adventure,” she said. “I had just started transitioning. Everything was brand new.”
On August 24, Jackson arrived at Agate Beach State Recreation Site. After using the park’s public restroom, she went to the grocery store and then returned to the beach to make breakfast.
Costanza then allegedly approached her and began screaming at her.
“He kept saying, ‘Oh, you think you’re some kind of lady?’” Jackson said. “Suddenly, he punched my face. He grabbed my hair.”
Witnesses told police that Costanza hit Jackson more than ten times before leaving the park with his wife – who allegedly had been in the public bathroom with Jackson and told her husband about her.
Court records show a police officer found a large volume of blood at the scene.
Saying that she’s been “overwhelmed” with support from the LGBT+ community in Oregon who have reached out after the attack, Jackson in now staying in a short-term rental outside Portland and looking for a permanent home in the state.
“I’ll continue trying to build the life I see for myself around what I’ve been given,” she said.
Costanza remains in jail on a $250,000 bail for attacking the trans woman.
“I don’t want to hate this guy. He’s also searching for something,” Jackson said. “I hope that he can walk away from a situation like this and maybe make shifts in his life as well. But that’s up to him.”