‘This Is Not an Isolated Incident,’ Says Survivor of Trans Bashing

“This is a symptom. This is much larger than [what happened to me].”

Michael Volz, the transgender person who was attacked on Capitol Hill Wednesday night, spoke to reporters at a Friday afternoon press conference. Joined by trans activist Danni Askini and representatives of the Seattle Police Department, and standing in front of a crowd of supporters, Volz said that what happened to them was typical of the violence trans people face daily.

“This is a symptom. This is much larger than [what happened to me],” they said. “This is not an isolated incident. This is something that happens to our community frequently, and we won’t tolerate it anymore.”

Asked if they had a message for their community, Volz said, “My message is that you have to reach out and ask your community for help. We’re united. We’re not going anywhere.”

Asst. Chief Carmen Best said that the police are “aggressively pursuing any leads in this case…The police department stands in solidarity with our LGBTQ community and our transgender community.” Asked whether police have any “good leads,” she replied, “We don’t have any good leads at this point, but we are aggressively pursuing everything.”

Askini urged the general public to oppose I-1515, a pending ballot initiative that would require transgender people to use the wrong bathroom. “For the wider community, standing up to Initiative 1515 is the clearest message that we can send as a state” that hate violence against transgender people is not acceptable in Washington State.