Trans women DJ Jasmine Infiniti and London Jade assaulted in Brooklyn
Up-and-coming DJ Jasmine Infiniti wants the world to know what happened to her and her friends on Saturday.
The 33-year-old trans woman of color had planned to spend Monday and Tuesday preparing for her first multi-country European tour. Instead, she's spending her third and fourth day in Manhattan's Bellevue Hospital preparing for reconstructive surgery to fix her battered and broken jaw.
"My mouth will be wired shut," Infiniti said as she gazed at a mirror in her flower bouquet-adorned hospital room during a Monday afternoon phone interview. "I have an extremely swollen face and lots of pain. I’m on a lot of medication," she added.
New York Police and Infiniti say she and her younger transgender protégé, Florida rapper London Jade, 22, were brutally assaulted in Brooklyn's Bushwick neighborhood around 1:45 a.m. on Saturday by a group of up to 10 suspected Hispanic men and women who were outside Bushwick Liquors, at 459 Bushwick Ave.
Infiniti says another friend, an anonymous 24-year-old trans woman, fled the scene unharmed.
No arrests have been made yet, but the incident is being investigated by the NYPD's hate crime task force, a department spokesperson said.
The attackers were drinking what Infiniti says smelled like vodka or tequila, which they sipped from clear plastic cups. For some reason, they took exception to Infiniti and her crew walking by, minding their own business.
"Basically they just started screaming transphobic slurs at us, calling us faggots and transformers," Infiniti said.
Then one of the men muttered something in Spanish that really set Infiniti off.
"He said, 'Para ti? (For you?)' to one of his friends and laughed," Infiniti recalled. "I turned around and said 'Para quien?! (For whom?)' Like, 'Who is my body for?!' Even more so, why is it a joke to you guys?"
The argument escalated, but Inifiniti says she refused to back down. In an act of defiance, she and her friends walked into the liquor store where they were refused service. When they came back out, Infiniti whipped out her smartphone and started taking pictures.
"While I might not be able to get them for calling me names, I decided to try to ruin their day the way they were ruining mine by taking pictures of them with open containers to give to police," Infiniti said.
That's when one of the alleged attackers slapped the phone out of Infiniti's hand and started punching her in the face. When Jade tried to defend her friend, a woman in the group sliced her leg with a boxcutter.
Soon a crowd gathered to watch the melee.
"People showed up on four wheelers or whatever. Cars pulled up and one ran over my phone," Infiniti recalled. "Everybody was asking the girl what was going on. Her answer was, 'Transformers.'"
Eventually Jade was forced to flee the scene as well, leaving Infiniti to fend for herself.
When police and emergency crews finally arrived, Infiniti says they didn't treat her and Jade much better.
"This is not just for me, it’s for the little Jasmines that come behind me, for future trans people so they don’t have to live with this."
"They were asking us about what we were wearing and if we initially said anything to these people," Infiniti said. "I knew they were trying to insinuate we were sex workers or something."
So far this year, the NYPD has investigated 27 "sexual orientation" hate crimes, according to a spokesperson. There were 38 such incidents at this point last year, the spokesperson said in an email.
At least 12 transgender women have been killed by other people so far this year, Mic previously reported. All of the alleged victims were transgender women of color.
Infiniti says she knew of the violence against trans women, but doesn't regret standing up for herself, even though she thought her attackers were going to kill her.
"I took a stand and was prepared to martyr myself," she said as she wept. "If you’re going to kill me, just kill me. I’m tired of living in fear of someone wanting me dead ... This is not just for me, it’s for the little Jasmines that come behind me, for future trans people so they don’t have to live with this."