HARLEM — A transgender activist was verbally and physically assaulted on the 4 train while other passengers watched, according to a video posted to Facebook.
Pearl Love, an outreach social worker for the Trans Latina Network, posted the video to social media Monday. It apparently shows an unidentified woman sitting across from Love on Thursday and yelling an expletive-filled, anti-gay rant.
Video contains graphic language:
If you have trouble playing this video, click here.
Love said in her social media post that she boarded the 4 train at the 125th St. station on her way to an event at the LGBT Center in Greenwich Village.
While on the train, the unidentified woman sitting across from her made comments about Love's appearance and genitalia and used transphobic and racial epithets against Love, who is Asian, the video shows.
“I ignored her and kept reading my book,” Love said in the post.
But, when the train arrived at the E. 86th St. station, Love said the unidentified woman become more aggressive and began yelling louder, so Love began to record the incident with her phone.
“Who are you really under all that makeup,” the woman says in the video.
“What should we do about you, cause this shit right here ain’t appropriate for my child…I don’t even feel comfortable with you motherf-----.”
The video shows the woman’s homophobic barrage escalate into a physical attack when she leaves her seat and smacks the phone out of Love’s hand, which is where the video ends.
In the social media post, Love said she retreated but the woman began chasing her around the train — while other passengers did nothing.
“Guys acting like nothing happened. For (five minutes),” Love said in the post.
She said the woman got off the train at the 42nd St. station, but continued to yell at Love before the train left the station. Then, a male passenger helped Love pick up her belongings that the woman had thrown on the floor of the train, according to Love.
“So now you can understand what's happening in my everyday life. That happens all the time. But it's my first time recording it,” Love said in her post.
Public Advocate Letitia James released a statement Tuesday evening condemning the attack.
“I am horrified by the video showing transphobic and racist epithets and physical violence targeted at a transwoman riding the New York City subway as other riders sat by," James said.
"I encourage all New Yorkers to speak out against any act of bigotry or intolerance especially when it’s staring you in the face.”
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said, ""The only thing there isn't room for in New York City is hate, and the only people who don't belong here are those who spread it and act on it.
"I have a message for her assailant and anyone else who feels the same way: Ms. Love does belong here. It's your hate that doesn't."
When contacted by phone, Love said said she was depressed for two days prior to the video being posted, but decided to make it public to show what she experiences daily as a transgender woman.
“I posted it because people have to learn to have respect for people,” she said. “It’s very difficult to be transgender… You just learn to walk away and not do anything.”
NYPD said Love would have to file a police report in order for any hate crime investigation to be opened. Love said she does not plan to do that.