- This hairdresser may lose the use of his fingers but he only narrowly avoided a fatal stab to the heart. Warning: Graphic image.
A gender non-conforming hairdresser has shared the harrowing account of the moment three foreigners tried to kill him last week.
Gabriel Flores says the three attackers tried to stab him in the heart and throat. And while gripping their ‘pig killer’ knife saved his life, it may have cost him his livelihood as a hairdresser and stylist.
The incident took place on 22 September near the Wholesale Market in Quito, the capital of Ecuador in South America.
Flores, who uses male pronouns, is of a visibly ‘non-conforming gender’ according to trans organizers in the country.
He says his attackers noticed this and decided to try to kill him, not just rob him, as a result.
‘I blocked the stabs directed at my heart and throat’
Flores says: ‘Three Venezuelan guys approached me who had already been studying me for about 10 minutes while I was waiting for the bus.
‘In a moment of distraction and also of fear at the malicious and hateful way they were looking at me, I felt that they were approaching me.’
He says they insulted him and then took out a ‘pig killer’ or long-bladed knife or machete.
He continues: ‘Without even asking for my belongings, which I assume they wanted, one of them proceeded to try to stab me in the area of my heart and the neck.
‘With the aim of protecting my life I defended myself while one tried to stab me, the others took my belongings from me.
‘To avoid being killed, I blocked the stabs directed at my heart and throat with my hands, which received all the violence of the moment.
‘All of this happened in seconds. If I had not defended myself with my hands gripping the blade of the knife, I would not be alive.’
Flores now cannot move his fingers. He is receiving treatment and the doctors are trying to save the use of his hands. However, they are not sure if they will be able to because the blades cut his tendons.
He says: ‘I owe my life to my hands and above all my fingers I cannot move.’
Moreover he may lose his livelihood:
‘I am dedicated to hairdressing, styling and now, I will not even be able to return to my work if I lose the mobility of my fingers or even my fingers completely. I don’t know where this will end.’
Call for help
Meanwhile, Flores has shared pictures of the injuries to his hands.
LGBT+ campaigners from the Trans Center of Quito, Silhouette X Association and National Platform for Trans Revolution Ecuador are calling for an investigation into the attack.
Moreover, they are asking people to donate directly to Flores. He needs funds to support his surgery, follow-up mobility therapies and medications.
Donors can contribute directly via Western Union using the name Gabriel Israel Flores Fuentes with ID number 1727140111.