A trans woman in Paris has described feeling ‘humiliated’ after being the victim of a targeted transphobic attack last weekend (31 March).
While exiting a metro station in central Paris, three men attacked her.
‘You’re a man, you’re not going anywhere, you’re not coming past,’ the men shouted at her. Pushing and punching her as she tried to get through the crowd.
The attack took place amid a demonstration in the French capital against Algeria’s ailing president.
Prosecutors have opened an inquiry into the attack.
What happened to Julia?
Three men targeted Julia, 31, as she walked up the steps at the metro station in the Place de la République.
At the same time, a large rally was taking place in the square against Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Algeria’s long-ruling 82-year-old president, who has since announced his resignation.
In footage, protesters blocked Julia, taunting her in Arabic, before one tousled her hair.
While a girl draped in an Algerian flag came to help Julia.
Nous sommes bien en plein @Paris, à République. 🌈
Une honte pour notre pays. 🇫🇷
Une honte pour le drapeau auquel vous pensiez faire honneur. 🇩🇿
— Lyes Alouane🇫🇷🇪🇺 (@Lyes_Alouane) April 2, 2019
Transport police then intervened and led her to safety, but French LGBTI group Stop Homophobie allege the officers mis-gendered her as ‘monsieur’.
They even told her ‘not to dress like that,’ as she wore a black and white blouse, heeled black Chelsea boots, and carried a small black pocketbook.
A member of the group posted footage of the incident, which has since gone viral.
Meanwhile, the Paris prosecutor has opened a case for violence due to sexual orientation and gender identity.
Political leaders, including Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and Equality Minister Marlène Schiappa, have condemned the attack.
‘Some people won’t have the strength that I have’
Julia spoke about the ordeal yesterday (2 April) to Huffington Post France.
‘I tried to avoid them [the men] but they held me back by saying I had to answer their question. One of them touched my chest, wondering [if] I have breasts.
‘I released his hand telling him not to touch me. He then took out his cock and asked me to “do him good.”
‘I wanted to leave and go up the stairs. Other men threw me beer from the steps and insulted me. A man slapped me.’
Speaking on France Inter Radio, she said: ‘The violence against this [trans] community takes place every day.
‘But some people won’t have the strength that I have and they’ll be destroyed by these attacks.’
Why were Parisians protesting Algeria’s president?
Thousands of people marched in Paris and other French cities last weekend to protest Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s bid to stand for a fifth term in office.
Bouteflika is paralyzed and has not addressed the country since 2013. News of his fifth term run incited protests.
Many took to Paris’ cobblestone streets to demonstrate the president’s big to hang onto power.
Organizers placed attendance at more than 10,000 of the Paris protest, while police put the numbers at 6,000.
Yesterday, Abdelaziz Bouteflika agreed to step down. No set date for a new election has been set for the North African country.