It's something one doesn't see every day. Well, the hate is often visible, but labeling an attack of a transgender person as a hate crime just doesn't happen all that much. Even when a trans woman, usually a trans woman of color, is murdered, investigators have this way of looking for other reasons as to why it happened. Often there is a blame-the-victim mentality.
Last Friday a New York man beat two transgender women in Jackson Heights, Queens as they attempted to enter a McDonald's.
Patrick O'Meara, 38, started yelling at the women as they tried to enter McDonald's on 82nd Street, near Roosevelt Avenue, around 4:30 p.m. Friday, according to police.
He called the women "b--ches" and "f-ggots" and attacked them, pushing one woman to the ground and punching and kicking her, police said.
O'Meara left for a short while, but returned with a cane, which he flourished as a weapon.
One of the victims also had a fractured ankle from the assault, and was taken to Forest Hills Hospital for her injuries, according to the criminal complaint. The other woman was treated at the scene, police said.
O'Meara allegedly told police, "Those b--ches assaulted me, I'm pressing charges, f--k you, you f--cking f-ggot," according to the criminal complaint.
He was harassing everybody that was walking by but when the trans women walked by he clearly was infuriated.
--Maria Munoz, witness
O'Meara has been charged with a hate crime.
We condemn this brutal hate attack and stand in solidarity with the survivors. We are horrified that transgender individuals in our community have suffered yet another hate attack.
Transgender immigrant women like me are part of the heart and soul of our Jackson Heights, and we will not stand idly by as our community faces discrimination and violence.
--Bianey Garcia, Make the Road New York
O'Meara is being held at Riker's on $5,000 bond. Ne is due in court on March 31.