LGBTQ New Yorkers are among those getting trained in a new citywide effort to combat hate violence Thursday.
Citing two incidents of anti-LGBTQ harassment in recent weeks, the New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP) has joined eight organizations in the city in launching the “Day Against Hate.” Participating groups spent this Thursday, February 13, offering more than 20 trainings throughout the city on how New Yorkers can interrupt bias against vulnerable groups, including de-escalation tactics.
Eliel Cruz, director of communications at AVP, says the new campaign seeks to offer alternatives to calling police, something many LGBTQ people and people of color are afraid to do:
At the Anti-Violence Project, we hear from survivors every day reporting incidents of violence in their day-to-day lives. For many, street harassment and violence has become commonplace—and we have to change that. As a society, we are not doing enough to prevent violence before it happens and instead have only used policing and prosecution as the sole means to respond to hate violence.
New York has seen at least two anti-LGBTQ attacks in recents weeks, according to AVP.
I was just attacked by a couple on the train. They spit on me and hit me and called me transphobic slurs. pic.twitter.com/YgPDZncIpo
— Serena Daniari (@serenajazmine) January 25, 2020
A queer female couple reported to AVP that they were attacked on the subway in NYC in late January, Cruz notes. That incident came in the wake of an anti-transgender attack on January 24, during which trans journalist Serena Daniari was assaulted by two strangers after they identified her as trans by the sound of her voice.
Back in January, Daniari told NewNowNext that her attackers—a man and a woman—spit on her, slapped her, and used transphobic slurs in her presence.
“She kept on saying, ’Oh, she definitely has a dick,’” she added. “At some point, the man charged toward me. Also, the man kept telling me that the woman was armed, and that she had a gun and a knife.”
Organizations currently partaking in the Day Against Hate campaign represent Jewish, Muslim, black, brown, immigrant, and LGBTQ communities. More information on the trainings can be found here.