A transgender woman is recovering from an attack in which a group of seven men beat her while yelling anti-transgender and anti-gay slurs.
Alicia Wood, a bartender at the DC Eagle in Northeast D.C. and the Miss Trans DC titleholder, said she was leaving work on Friday, Aug. 2, and was headed in the direction of a nearby Citgo gas station to buy Airheads candy.
Wood says she passed a group of seven men, whom she suspects were all teenagers, who began calling her slurs like “tranny,” “faggot,” “he/she”, and “sissy,” according to a post on her Facebook page.
Wood decided to ignore them, but realized that they were following her. The men chased her, punched her, kicked her in the face, stomped and spit on her, and took her purse while yelling slurs at her.
She then escaped and ran towards the gas station, but her assailants pursued her, realizing that her money, cards, and other valuable items were in her fanny pack.
But when Wood arrived at the gas station and pleaded for help, she claims the gas station employee refused to help her or call police. The men then overtook her again, stealing her fanny pack and beating her again.
Wood said she called police during the attack, before her attackers robbed her of her phone.
Wood told WUSA9 that police told her they haven’t arrested any suspects yet, though video footage of the attack, captured by gas station security cameras, was handed over to the Metropolitan Police Department.
She said that she’s scared and feels unsafe, but is speaking out to warn other transgender women of the dangers they may face.
“I just want people to know they are beautiful and to keep fighting and that they can make a difference,” she said. “I’m going to make sure this doesn’t happen to any other trans person of color, I’m going to fight for what’s right.”
Wood told Metro Weekly in a follow-up interview that she’s been informed that there are other cameras in the area that may have caught the attack. She believes that her attack was both motivated by a desire to rob her and by her gender identity.
Physically, she’s recovering from cuts and abrasions to her leg, which has started to heal, but her forehead remains swollen and is painful to the touch. She says she may end up going to the hospital to seek treatment if it doesn’t get better in the next few days. Emotionally, she’s dealing with the after-effects of the attack as best she can, trying to go about her normal routine.
“I just take it day by day. I don’t think too much about it, because it can be all too much, emotionally and mentally,” she says.
She says she’s received overwhelming support from the community, and thanks them for sending well-wishes and “positive energy.” She has a GoFundMe page set up to help replace the money and other items she lost in the robbery, and to cover any potential medical costs she may incur. (She previously created the page in April to raise money for her Miss Trans DC pageant preparation, but has since edited it to include a description of what happened to her.)
Asked about what advice she’d give to others walking home at night alone, Wood says: “Have transportation or someone with you. Or call and have someone pick you up. Because it can be dangerous.”
A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police Department confirmed that the incident is being investigated, and that no arrests have been made at this point.
Editor’s note: This story was updated to include comment from MPD.