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A trans woman who says she was attacked at a bus stop in Malta is highlighting issues with anti-LGBTQ violence in the country.
PinkNews reports that the attack happened on Sunday, Aug. 4, while the trans woman was waiting at a bus stop after work. She spoke to the Times of Malta about the incident, asked not to be identified for her safety, and said violence like this happens with “some frequency.”
She initially posted about the violent confrontation on Facebook, saying that she was waiting at the bus stop in Msida, Malta, for the second leg of her commute home after work. In the post, she said she was ordering food on the street when she was approached by a strange man, who loudly said that she should order the sausage roll as it would “suit her more.” He followed the crude and transphobic “joke” by calling her a “fucking pufta.”
The woman tried to stand her ground and confront the abusive stranger, and he responded with violence. “He raised his hand to me, he punched me in the face and ripped out my hair,” she told the Times. “I tried to defend myself and that’s when people started to intervene.” Thanks to bystanders, the woman was able to get away from the alleged attacker and take his picture, which she shared on social media.
Malta is considered by many to be a haven for LGBTQ people in Europe, as the country banned anti-LGBTQ discrimination in 2004 and became the first E.U. country to ban gay conversion therapy in 2016.
But according to the woman who was allegedly attacked on Sunday, what you see on paper doesn’t tell the whole story, and many trans people haven’t been able to move forward since the ’90s. “They keep getting attacked and labelled with their past,” she told the Times. “They are ignored by society and it doesn’t get better for them.”
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Alex Dalbey is a writer and zinester currently living in Saint Paul, Minnesota. They have written for The Daily Dot, Kill Screen, The Lingerie Addict, and Bullet Points.