Michael Volz was attacked on East Pike Street and 11th Avenue on Wednesday around 11:30 p.m. after leaving the Let Your Love Shine: A Queer Benefit For Orlando at Neumos. "According to Seattle Police, officers responded to a residential address to investigate the incident around 2:15 AM Thursday morning," Capitol Hill Seattle reports.
Officers are now investigating the beating, which occurred just two days before the neighborhood's Trans Pride march and rally, as a possible anti-trans hate crime, CHS said.
Volz's friends are reaching out to the community to raise money to support Volz as they recover from their injuries. Their GoFundMe page has raised nearly $15,000 as of this afternoon.
A friend provided more details about the assault on the page. Be warned, they are graphic:
Dear community, It is with a heavy heart, deep sadness, and great rage, that I let you know our dear friend Michael M Volz was assaulted last night on capitol hill. Michael, myself, and a group of friends attended the fundraiser to benefit the pulse massacre last night at Neumos. Michael left a little bit before everyone to walk to their car and get ready for work in the morning. As Michael was walking to their car, they past the rose, and were approached by a white man in an orange sweatshirt with scruffy brown hair. The man said to Michael, Happy Pride, and began to assault Michael. As he, was punching and choking Michael, he said, "show me your tits you tranny cunt" Michael some how made it back to their house. Michael contacted myself and their friend Sharon. Sharon drove Michael to the hospital and I met them at the Emergency Room. Currently, michael is home. They have some stitches, abrasions, and a lot of bruising. We will need food and people willing to spend time with Michael over the weekend. Currently, we have care situated until early tomorrow afternoon. If you are available to bring food or company please contact us!
Michael wanted me to attach pictures because this is what transphobia looks like. pictures in comments.
Danni Askini, trans activist, former State House candidate, and executive director of the Gender Justice League, wrote on her Facebook page that she is a friend of Volz's and worked with them in creating the King County Trans Resource Guide. Askini announced via Twitter that she and Volz will hold a press conference at the Cal Anderson Park Shelter House today at 4 p.m.
"2016 has been a year of [vicious] political attacks on the Transgender community with 6 anti-trans bills and now an anti-trans ballot measure. These political attacks create an environment where hate crimes like this happen," Askini said in a written statement.
UPDATE: Mayor Ed Murray also expressed his support for Volz and the trans community in a statement:
This attack is deplorable, and my sympathies are with the young person who was harmed. The attack was meant to injure and to create an environment of fear during Pride. As a City, we worked closely with the community to identify ways to increase visibility, safety and community awareness. ...
But make no mistake, this attack and all others like it are the result of hateful language that stigmatizes and alienates groups of people because of who they are, whether they are immigrants or Muslims or LGBTQ people. Despite all of our best efforts as a City, as long as there is a place for hateful language in our communities, our communities will not be safe places for those who are the targets of this hateful language.
This post has been updated.