Danger in DC

It's dangerous for transgender women in the District these days.

Desiree Copeland was walking to visit family near the Waterfront/Navy Yards in Southwest DC on July 2 when a young man started following her. The dude then shot off a Roman candle at Desiree which struck her. She asked him to stop, but he he continued to shoot fireworks at her, causing burns to her neck and face.

Copeland says when she asked him to stop, he said, "I can do whatever I want," and called her derogatory names.

She says she was able to ditch him when she approached her mother's house. Finding that her mother wasn't home, she heading back, crossing paths with the young man again.

He started doing the same thing. By this time, I really felt offended and had to defend myself.


Police are siting this part of the incident as Copeland turning into the aggressor.

When she started to approach the suspect, who appeared to be a teenager, he ran away, only to return and charge at her with a metal bat in his hand. The suspect struck her repeatedly with the bat, and she fell to the ground. The police report says that he, along with one other suspect, began kicking her. Copeland says the group that jumped her was much larger, closer to eight or ten people.

Copeland called the police, who arrived shortly before 9:30 p.m. She went to the hospital with a "head gushing with blood," and received four stitches.

One man was arrested for kicking Copeland, but the original attacker was not charged "because it seemed Copeland was the aggressor."

Later in the week, Boo Boo Washington and some friends were leaving a club in Northeast Washington when a dark hatchback approached. Amia Bagley says the men wanted Washington's phone number, but she refused to give it to them. The group continued walking. As they crossed an intersection, Washington was dancing when the hatchback sped up and hit her.

When she was hit, it happened so fast that none of us had time to think but call 911. It was just don't move her body because she went all the way in the air… We were panicking because she wasn't moving. She wasn't conscious at the time.


Washington survived the assault, but is now in the hospital. Police agree with her that the act was intentional, but say they are still looking for a motive.

You have homophobic people out here… You have people who don’t like transgender people.

--a friend




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