A Washington DC LGBTI community center has been vandalized and a transgender staff member attacked.
The incident, which occurred in front of witnesses, took place Sunday at the Casa Ruby LGBT Community Center on Georgia Avenue, Northwest DC.
Staff posted news of the incident on the center’s Facebook page shortly afterwards, pointing out it had occurred just 48 hours after DC mayor Muriel Bowser reported a doubling in hate crimes against transgender people from 2015-2016.
‘Our Casa Ruby LGBT Community Center was just vandalized and a staff assaulted by a transgender Hater 2 days after our mayor Muriel Bowser reported a 100% increase in hate crimes against transgender people, the violence is real 7 transgender women murdered this is how it begins and we refuse to be the next ones.’
A man entered the center, picked up an object and threw it at the staff member. They then made threats of violence to the staff member, before leaving, picking up a rock, and throwing it through the glass pane of the door.
It’s the third time that the center has been vandalized in two weeks, leaving staff fearful that they are being targeted.
Center founder Ruby Corado told Fox 5, ‘For me, this is what hate looks like’.
Police are not currently treating the incident as a hate crime but are seeking the suspect, who was captured on the center’s CCTV camera.
Corado, who is transgender, told Fox 5, ‘I have been through this so many times … for the most part we will be attacked on the streets for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. We were in our LGBT center, a safe space!’
She pointed out that seven trans women of color have been murdered so far in the US in 2017 and she fears that the next one could be someone connected to the Casa Ruby Center.
Human Right Campaign, which is also headquartered in Washington DC, were among those to condemn the attack.
It said on Twitter, ‘We stand with @CasaRubyDC. This hateful attack shows why their work is so incredibly important. #StopTheHate’
— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) March 12, 2017
It’s not known if the staff member suffered any injury requiring treatment. GSN has contacted the Center for more details.