On Thursday July 31, 24-year-old Reginald Anthony Klaiber approached a group of teens riding Washington D.C.’s Green Line train concealing a knife.
As reported to The Raw Story, Klaiber was harassing the teens repeatedly on the train, particularly a 15-year-old transgender girl. Then, Klaiber went in for a hug and proceeded to stab the victim in the back. The victim was transported to a local hospital and is reported to be in stable condition.
Klaiber will be charged with assault with a deadly weapon, and his punishment will likely worsen because police are treating the assault as a hate crime.
Hate crimes aimed at the transgender community are not new to Washington, D.C., which has an unfortunate history of violence against transgender women.
In another case, Gary Montgomery will go to trial in October for the murder of Deoni Jones, a 23-year-old transgender woman who died of stab wounds while waiting at a bus stop in 2012. Just the year before, Lashai Mclean had been shot just blocks away from where Jones was stabbed.
Again and again, we see criminals targeting trans people with verbal and physical harassment, even murder. And while these crimes should have consequences, it is clear too many victims of violence don't see justice for their attackers. Compared to their fellow members of the LGBT community, trans women are singled out: over 50% of anti-LGBT homicides are committed against transgender women, and perpetrators are more than twice as likely to threaten or intimidate trans women than gay/lesbian, bisexual, or other queer folks.
It is wonderful to see women like Laverne Cox and Janet Mock publicly take a stand for the trans community. But we need to do better. It is not acceptable to tolerate a world where people are subjected to violence because of their gender.