Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Transphobic Attacker Slashes “IT” into Chest of Victim

Long Beach, CA – A Cal State Long Beach graduate student who identifies as a transgender man was forced into a campus toilet stall on April 15 and had the word “IT” carved into his chest with a sharp instrument.  The mystery attacker, depicted to the left in a police composite sketch, approached his mark in a men’s toilet on the west side of the campus at around 9:30 pm. He somehow knew his victim’s name, asking if his name was “Colle.”  When Colle Carpenter, a 27-year-old F to M graduate student, said yes, the attacker pushed his target into the stall, forcing him against the stall door. He grabbed Carpenter by the T-shirt, yanking it up over his head and exposing his bare chest, as reported by the Long Beach Press-Telegram. After slashing Carpenter, the assailant rushed form the scene, leaving his victim bleeding, shaken, and terrorized.  The suspect, described as a 5-foot-10-inch, thin white male with light complexion and dark hair, has neither been identified nor apprehended as of this writing. He was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and dark khaki shorts, according to Rick Gloady, a spokesperson for CSULB. As the investigation has proceeded, some community organizations have criticized the university for not immediately releasing information about the attack to the press.  Carpenter, however, defended the school’s actions to the L.A.Times blog, L.A.Now, “I’m aware the university has come under some criticisms regarding communications and response, in general,” he said. “But again, I feel that the administration’s response has been focused on the investigation and my wellbeing.”  Scores of concerned students and townspeople gathered in support of Carpenter and all victims of transphobia on campus this past Thursday for a “Take Back the Night” march and rally.  Carpenter, still recovering from his injuries and leaning on a cane, told the crowd that his attacker was motivated by hatred.  The word carved into the flesh of his chest was chosen to demean him as a human being, trying to make him feel “less than human.” But his foe ultimately failed.  “I am not less than human,” he told his supporters, “I am not more than or less than anyone standing here today.” Carpenter went on to say, “I know this did not just happen to me.  This happened to every member of the community. Those of us who are visibly queer are scared. I have been terrified to come back to campus.”  He concluded his remarks, “Thank you for helping me get through this.”  Campus officials said that the slashing attack was a one-of-a-kind incident, and do not expect there to be another like it.  Meanwhile, the manhunt continues for the transphobic suspect who signs his bigotry in the flesh and blood of his victims.

May 1, 2010 - Posted by | Anglo Americans, Anti-LGBT hate crime, California, Hate Crimes, Law and Order, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, Protests and Demonstrations, Slashing attacks, Slurs and epithets, Social Justice Advocacy, transgender persons, transphobia, Uncategorized, Unsolved LGBT Crimes | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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