On surviving your first time

This morning I was assaulted. I’m okay, physically. None of the hits landed in any meaningful way. But I’m shook. And all I can think to do is write about it.

It happened about ten minutes ago, as I exited my green line train in downtown Minneapolis, on my way to work. There was a woman on the train, trans, applying makeup, and lovely. Also on the car were a group of young men. One had tried to sell me weed a few minutes prior, and though declining, we had a perfectly normal interaction (as normal as possible when being sold weed, anyway).

He moved down the car, approached the woman, saw she had cigarettes, asked for one. When she said no, he demanded one. Things escalated. He yelled at her, awful transphobic and homophobic slurs. She stood on her seat and yelled back. When he grabbed her leg and tried to pull her off the seat I quickly approached, hoping to deescalate or at least interfere. One of his friends got in my way, told me to mind my business, realized that I too was trans, and started hurling the same kinds of awful slurs.

Our next stop was Government Center, where we all exited. I kept myself between the woman and her assaulter. He continued to threaten her, and me. I told him to leave, stood in his way, and his rage turned on to me. He threatened to kill me. He–surprisingly– hurled religion into the mix, saying god didn’t make us to be like we were. Saying god didn’t make f*ggots. Saying we were going to hell. He retreated to the train, then came rushing out and swung four times at my face. I turned, managed to avoid any real connection–took a couple  punches in the collar bone, one in the arm, another in the back of the neck. He ran back onto the train, which then departed for the next station.

The woman and I smoked a cigarette together. There were plenty of people around, both in the train and out. Watching things unfold. Nobody intervened. Nobody asked us, after the attack, if we were okay. It was just another moment in Minneapolis, when two trans women were attacked at 9 AM in a bustling city. But hey. Nobody bloody, nobody killed, what does it matter.

I asked if she was okay; she asked if I was. We were. Then she said, I’m calling the cops. She said, I’m going to get that little n***** arrested.

My anger swelled again, this time at her. Then it shifted to the broader world. Anger at the dawning realization that everyone is awful.

She asked if I wanted to wait for the cops. I said no, that I wasn’t keen to report if she was going to, and that I don’t have my ID yet (waiting 8 months Minnesota, wtf). She said that was fine. I double checked that she would wait for them, and waited until she had the police on the phone. She would tell them what happened, then; I just wanted to get out of there.

So now, I’m at work. Rattled. Writing in the wellness room, door locked, occupied sign in place. Wanting to process, but not wanting to do it at work, with colleagues, becoming the trans woman who was attacked by a stranger on the platform right outside the courthouse, City Hall.

It was just last night that I told a friend that transit is the worst part of my day. That I don’t really have fear anymore, except on the train. That I felt like it was inevitable that violence would find me on the train. That wasn’t even twelve hours ago.

Anyway. There’s not much more to say about this. It happened. I survived. And, I suppose, I’m fine.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s