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April 2011 (To print, click the print icon on your browser
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HRC & GLMA React to Heinous Beating of Transgender Woman

4/27/2011 - WASHINGTON – Recently a transgender woman was attacked and severely beaten in a Baltimore, Maryland-area McDonald’s restaurant. A video taken by an employee and later posted online shows two teenagers beating and kicking 22-year-old Chrissy Lee Polis, who later appeared to have a seizure caused by repeated blows to the head. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) – the nation’s largest civil rights organization dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality – and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA) – the largest organization of LGBT health professionals working to achieve equality in healthcare for LGBT people – have condemned this act of violence and have called on the authorities investigating the situation to act swiftly in bringing justice to this appalling situation. The two groups issued the following statement:

“This disgusting act of violence makes you sick to your stomach. What's worse is the fact that of the several people witnessing the attack, only one brave and decent woman put herself in harm’s way to try and end the attack. We hope the authorities prosecute this heinous crime to the fullest extent of the law.

“This brutal attack is a stark and heartrending reminder of the harassment, discrimination and violence that transgender people often face. There are few words to describe the emotions one feels seeing Chrissy beaten over and over again as employees and customers watch.

“GLMA and HRC join local organizations calling for an end to violence against all LGBT people. As organizations working to promote the health and well-being of LGBT people, we understand that violence against our community not only raises immediate health and safety concerns but also could increase the risk of negative health outcomes later in life. A growing number of health studies around the world show all violence can and does impact long-term health outcomes.”

Vicky Thoms, who happened to be in the restaurant at the time of the attack, stepped in to try and prevent further harm to Chrissy. At a rally outside the McDonald’s Monday night, more than 300 participants gathered with members of Chrissy’s family to thank Ms. Thoms for her actions and to speak out against acts of violence and call for an end to violence against all people.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

GLMA is an national organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender health professionals committed to ensuring equality in health care for LGBT individuals. GLMA achieves its goals by using health professional expertise in policy, advocacy, education, patient education and referrals, and the promotion of research.

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