WOODSIDE — The transgender woman who was attacked in the neighborhood last week by a would-be robber who struck her with a hammer spoke out Thursday night during a rally organized to denounce violence against the city's trans community.
Gaby, the 28-year-old victim whose assailant told her she deserved the assault because she was gay, thanked the community for its support and said she feels afraid after the incident.
"I am so thankful to all of you here," she told the crowd in Spanish, with the assistance of a translator. "I feel a lot of fear."
She was joined by dozens of residents, activists and elected officials at the rally, held in the rain in Woodside Plaza, where they called for an end to what they say is all too common violence against the city's transgender community.
"We are not going to allow that our trans sisters are attacked by homophobic people," said Bianey Garcia, an LGBTQ organizer with Make the Road New York, who said Gaby's assault is the 13th anti-trans incident in Queens that's been reported to their office.
"So many more are not reported at all because of people's fear of going to the police," she said. "We are victims, as trans women, everyday of hate crimes."
Public Advocate Letitia James read the names of several transgender women who have been assaulted or killed in the city, including Islan Nettles, a 21 year old who was beaten to death in Harlem in 2013 and Pearl Love, an activist who was physically and verbally attacked while riding the 4 train in May.
"It's too frequent that we all have to come together to denounce an act of hate and violence against a trans New Yorker," James said. "This type of hate has no place in our community."
Police are still looking for Gaby's assailant in the Aug. 17 attack. The suspect jumped out of a car on 67th Street near 41st Avenue and tried to grab her purse, and then hit her in the back of the head with a hammer, telling her it's because she was gay, sources said.
The man — captured on surveillance video wearing a white T-shirt and gray pants — then took off in his gray Toyota 4Runner heading south on 66th Street, police said.
Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477).