Vigil Planned For Physically Attacked Trans Woman at Baltimore McDonald's

Posted by Yusef Najafi
April 24, 2011 11:30 AM |

Thumbnail image for polis.jpgA candlelight vigil is scheduled to take place at the McDonald's at 6315 Kenwood Ave. in Rosedale, Baltimore, at 7 p.m. on Monday night where on April 18 a transgender woman was physically attacked, before appearing to have a seizure, in an incident recorded on a portable phone by a McDonald's employee.

The Baltimore Sun spoke to the victim, 22-year-old Chrissy Lee Polis, who told the paper she identifies as transgender. 

"They said, 'That's a dude, that's a dude and she's in the female bathroom,' " Lee tells the Sun about the incident which began when she tried to use the restaurant's bathroom. "They spit in my face."

The vigil is being planned Trans-United, TransMaryland, the Baltimore County for Equality, the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Baltimore and other allies.

“Our primary concern is for Ms. Polis’ well being. We will support her through this difficult time and we ask that the legal process be unhampered and thorough,” TransMaryland spokeswoman Jenna Fischetti says in a press release issued on April 24.

“This is precisely the kind of hatred and bigotry that transgender women and men deal with on a daily basis,” adds Caroline Temmerand of the GLCCB, the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland. “We as a society have failed if we cannot do more to protect all Marylanders from this kind of brutality.”

Polis told the Sun that she plans to take legal action against the restaurant.

"Anyone in my predicament should not be afraid to walk the streets," she said.

"They should not have to go into a restaurant and get gawked at and made fun of. They shouldn't be afraid to leave the house. It's just wrong."

According to the Sun, one of the attackers is 14, and has been charged as a juvenile, while charges against the other attacker, who is 18, are pending.

The Sun also reports that Scott Shellenberger, the state's attorney for Baltimore County, said his office has not yet received the file and has not interviewed the victim because the charges were filed late in the week, and that owner of the Rosedale McDonald's announced Saturday afternoon that the employee who taped the beating had been fired.

[Photo: Polis]

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