“That’s a man” leads to crowd turning ugly, injuries to trans woman; rescue by store clerk

rebekah brewis jady batesLEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS — “That’s a man,” someone called out, then an argument ensued while the crowd grew around a Portland, Ore. trans woman and her friend last week. It wasn’t long before someone in the crowd threw the first punch, landing on the friend, then they turned on her.

Rebekah Brewis and her friend fought off a bit more than half a dozen attackers until a store clerk came out and pulled people off them, dragging them to safety. The assailants then fled the scene. The couple was taken to a hospital with Brewis having cuts and abrasions, a loss of hair and other injuries. Her friend’s injuries were less severe.

Police are investigating the assault and have store surveillance video as well as footage from Brewer’s own camera. Still photos from the videos are posted on Brewis’ Facebook page and there is a reward to anyone who can identify the assailants.


“That’s a man” — that’s stuff trans women’s nightmares are made of — things often don’t end well following the utterance of those words. This has even happen to me. At the time however, I was in a position of strength. I may not be so lucky next time. Should this happen to you, it may be better to make a quick exit to live to fight another day.

I wrote earlier of an attack in NYC: https://lexiecannes.com/2016/02/05/noted-trans-activist-attacked-on-nyc-subway-attacker-being-sought-2/

rebekah brewis jady batesrebekah brewis trans

Categories: Discrimination, Equality, Civil Rights, Law Enforcement, Police, Transgender, Transsexual, Trans, Transphobia, exploitation, dehumanizing, violence, hate

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27 replies

  1. I get “clocked” in my own neighborhood fairly often. The young men seem to enjoy passing this info along to their friends who are unaware. There is no point in responding. I prefer to get around by bike (no car) so things don’t develop on the street. I don’t seem to get that treatment around town….. I live in a rough neighborhood, its not safe for my disabled friends, I hear of muggings several times a year just from people in my apartment building.

    • Thank you so much, Margo! I itch to say this often that using a wheelchair or a stick or looking ‘different’ that way can also carry a penalty with violence but even the police deny it and tell us that we merely get more nervous because media coverage tells us the world is violent. In fact most disability hate like transphobia and trans violence never makes the press! I’m lucky, my partner is 6ft 1 and built like a bear on steroids but yes, we are often in body bags before anyone realises we have suffered any crime worth mentioning.

      A disabled transwoman of my acquaintance in the UK was trying to get her story of assault and abuse into the press when a big news story on many survivors was running. Because she was trans, it wasn’t what the news wanted. Similarly I am trying to get n assault case dealt with at present but here it as a disability crime as well as a gendered crime? Dream on! Solidarity to you and the best of the best (I know it is little enough but I hope we all make it through!) XXX!

      • Oh, and shout out to folk in the UK or visiting: The nearest thing to a non-gendered restroom in the UK is the disabled toilets – there are no bathroom bills here and we’ll keep it that way! Enough people with no need to use the disabled toilet do so but safety is the best reason I ever heard! I hope you keep the win against injustice on that one!

  2. A few years ago, while returning from a women’s rally at our state capitol I pulled over, at night to use the restroom at a rest stop, I used the men’s room, like I always do unless in a LGBT friendly facility. I had long hair, and transitioned 6 years previously. Laser hair removal, hormones. dressed casually, jeans and casual blouse. When I came out of the stall to wash up there was a man present, obviously drunk and or high. I did not make eye contact and quickly made for the exit. The man started swearing at me and calling faggot, following me out. I ran to my car and drove away. This was not the first incident. they have been few and far apart. This story (article above) if that’s all it is however, strikes a chord with me, that there is such hate out there just because of someone else’s perception of a threat.

  3. Transgender veteran here. I conceal carry because of crap like this. Last year a guy just walks right up to me and grabs my crotch in a bar. On a bet. If you want to bet on something…

    Bet I don’t miss mother f**kers

    • Exactly. I was on the DC Metro going home after marching at the Supreme Court the day they argued Marriage Equality and someone caught my eye and mouthed “faggot” and I just smiled at them. I smiled because they had no clue that, in the moment, I’d just worked out how to dispatch them with the least amount of collateral damage.

    • And then you will be in jail and in most states, a male facility.

  4. Thanks Lexie, for always telling it like it is, I don’t like it when “The State of Trans” pops up, it usually means bad news, but I’m not one for shooting the messenger if you know what I mean, what you do is important and appreciated, we need to know! Thanks again

  5. Transphobes need to have their balls cut off with no anesthesia. I have no sympathy for those hapless cowardly scumbags. Toxic masculinity is a disease that’s very rampant in America and other parts of the world.

  6. There are times I can just feel the negative energy closing in around me. I try to remove myself from an area or situation. Sometimes there is nowhere to go, there have been 2 times that I thought, this it I’m not going to live through this.I’m not aware of any other group of people at have the thought, is this the day I will get assaulted or murdered. Don’t get me wrong, I would never go back to hiding who I am, never. Thank you so much for posting this kind of information. I am always sharing this with friends and allies.

    • I can think of loads who live with the fear…disabled people, POC, my kid brother when he lived in the city, admitted to this feeling as a white 20-something male, but many of us are still 99.9% safer than anyone who is b) transgender. Worse: if we die we stand a better chance of sympathy than transgender people do. Knowing that is what makes me an ally. No one is going to die if I can be a human shield!

  7. I carry a knife for people like that who assume I’m a male and they will find out the hard way what hate and makeinga mistake at asumeing I’m a male

  8. All these states scare the hell out of me. Even thou I’m a post-op TS with all the right ID stuff, I’m to understand that the idiotic bathroom law applies to me as well. I fear being badly injured by a mob. Shit like this makes me sick.

    • And it’s all because of the bigoted radical right wing christians. It’s enough for me to not want to identify myself as a Christian. This is nothing but barbarism.

    • I am a woman. My United States Passport says so (female gender “F”). I have doctor certification that I am female. I Iive and dress full-time as me (a woman). I use ONLY ladies restrooms/toilets multiple times each week and I’ve done so in various countries in Europe, Africa, and the Americas. I don’t even bring up that I’m a trans unless it’s necessary. I’ve never been challenged nor asked for ID when using the correct (ladies) restroom/toilet/fitting room for trying on clothes. It has been a non-issue for me and the other women who are peeing or trying on new clothes when I do. For decades it has been legal for me to use the correct (ladies) restroom in the USA but I’ve lived outside the USA for 10 years now. I’ve noticed that recently this non-issue of my use of the correct (female) bathroom/toilet has become the subject of national debate in my home country the USA — even mentioned nationwide by various politicians. Right now, if I were to return to the USA and arrive at the airport in Charlotte or Raleigh or other city/state, and I had to pee (which is likely after a long flight), currently I am in danger of arrest and jail by police and airport security. Now, clearly I won’t pee on the floor in public, and clearly I won’t pee in my panties. Also I will never use a men’s room again for the rest of my life. So, should I decide to return to America for visiting or living anytime soon — and I happen to have a male cousin who lives in North Carolina, so what happens if I choose to go visit him sometime? Well, let me make one thing eminently clear: if I need to pee or adjust my makeup in public I will use the correct (female) restroom/toilet in North Carolina as I do everywhere I go. You probably won’t recognize me as anything but a woman as I have good-sized genuine breasts and I’ve been on female hormones for some years now. But if security asks me for my ID, I will ask why, but still politely them show my female gender United States Passport. If they say I cannot use the correct (female) restroom under current North Carolina state law, I will politely tell them that they will have to arrest me to stop me, although I will NOT offer any physical resistance. I will continue into the ladies restroom, pee, use the mirror to adjust my makeup if necessary, then quietly leave when I am finished. If security or police in North Carolina want to arrest me during this time, I won’t physically resist. However, they should be ready for a multi-million-dollar lawsuit for false arrest, false imprisonment, assault against me, battery against me, and several Federal Civil Rights violations against me because North Carolina must obey Federal Law. Okay, then, fair warning. If anyone wants to pass this message along to any Law Enforcement officials in North Carolina or Mississippi, please feel free to do so. Rosa Parks, the courageous black lady decades ago refused to sit at the back of the bus. Bigots then used some of the same arguments in favor of blacks having to sit at the back of the bus as bigots now are using to try to make it “illegal” for me, a woman, to use the correct (female) restroom. Bigots, history is on the side of civil rights. Most of Europe is light-years ahead of much of the USA for respecting human rights. As an American, it saddens me to have to say that. I am very willing to be a “transgender Rosa Parks” if this will help end bigotry and illegal “laws.” And if arrested and jailed, I know I will have top-notch free legal backing from some of the best Civil Rights lawyers in the United States. And I will WIN my lawsuit, get these illegal “laws” overturned, and get large punitive damages awarded to me — which I would then be willing to make a charitable contribution of a large percentage of such money to further help the protection of Civil Rights. Hugs, Jennifer

  9. The ugly underside in all of that might also include the statistical probability that one or more of the attackers are actually psychologically repressed members of the LGBT community or not; they could also be a gang of coconspiratorial group-think idiots.

  10. I tell people, flat out, that I had a sex change.
    The main fascination with trans women is “the penis”.
    Once you state that you’re had surgery , the topic they are obsessed with,
    the “deception” , is instantly out of the discussion.
    Closeted gay men and lesbians are the only people who ever care enough to insult you in public.
    Once you tell them, basically, “Nothing to talk about asshole”, with your , “I’ve had a sex change”, statement,
    the situation is defused instantly.
    The main reason gay men try to out you is they think you are trying to deceive.
    Also closeted gay men know full well, when you look at them , you know they are closeted.
    Closeted gay men don’t like the spotlight upon them.
    That’s why they’ve shifted it onto you.
    You just look them straight in the eye, and soon they wish to avoid you because you’ve already outed them with your attitude.
    Make no mistake, the people who call out insults to you in public are not straight people.
    Trans women are the easy target to call, “fag”.
    If a closeted gay man can get the people to believe a trans women is a fag, well they won’t see the obvious.
    That it is they who are actually a gay man.

  11. “you’ve” not “you’re” typo

  12. Too close to home. How is there no news story anywhere? Oh yeah, just another unsafe day being trans.

  13. [Moderator here, sorry no gofundme posts. Contents deleted]

  14. I live in Portland. I haven’t been able to find any references so far in media here. I guess I should not be surprised sadly.

  15. I just want to sending living and healing energy to the victim in this article and to all that have to deal with this kind of hatred on any lvl. As the very proud mother of a trans daughter I would gladly walk with any of you ladies into the bathroom anywhere in any state…. It makes my heart so sad to hear yalls stories, but I know that it happens and so much worse everyday please stay safe and know even though I don’t know you that you are loved… Peace, love and harmony…..


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