Late last week video of a trans woman being beaten by two cis women in a Baltimore area McDonald’s made its way online. The video was shot by Vernon Hackett, who put the video out in public, basically trying to turn the brutal attack into torture porn. Hackett has since been fired.
The posting of the video and subsequent e-media storm has forced Chrissy Lee Polis, the woman who was attacked, out into the open and made her more fearful for her safety. The beating was brutal enough already, and Polis says it was not the only transphobic violence she has experienced. The internet reaction, where Polis’ personal information has been dug up and she’s been put in a position where she felt the need to speak up publicly is a disturbing heaping on of injury. Reactions to the attackers, two young women of color, and the creator of the video, a man of color, have also been disturbing. Many have focused on race, painting a picture of people of color as violent or racist themselves, instead of recognizing this as obviously an incident of transmisogyny.