NEW YORK -- An aggressive subway rider berated a stranger aboard a New York train, using homophobic, transphobic and racist slurs while others looked on and did nothing.
“When I sat down, I saw the woman in front of me and she keeps talking about me," said Pearl Love, who was on the receiving end of the tirade last Thursday. "All bad things, for five minutes.”
The Bronx woman, who identifies as transgender, tried her best to ignore the subway rider, but the verbal attack escalated quickly on the Manhattan-bound No. 4 train.
“She gets even louder and even aggressive and I did not say anything,” she told WPIX. “I don’t even know who she is, she doesn’t know who I am and [finally] then she stood up, got so mad and hit me.”
That’s when the video ends. Love claims the woman continued to assault her, even chasing her at one point.
“No one around me is helping me basically because that’s the way it is,” she said. “It’s everyday life I mean, [it happens] at least a few times a week.”
A reluctant Love posted the footage of the April 28 incident on Facebook on the advice of friends. It has since been viewed nearly 250,000 times.
Incidents like these happen so often, Love said, that she didn’t even consider pressing charges on her attacker.
In 2014, she was the victim of a stabbing. A year later, she and a friend were attacked in the East Village. Both times, she said, she was targeted for being transgender.
“So much of that happens [often] that I’m kind of OK [with it] now,” she said. “I think it's good that now I know my rights because I have to learn how to tell people on how to protect themselves.”
A native of Taiwan, Love came to New York nearly 20 years ago, seeking a piece of the American dream. Harassment and violence are unfortunately part of the daily struggles for her and members of the trans community, like that of finding a job.
“My dream is to just get a job,” Love said. "I don’t want to get benefits, I don’t want to get anything.” I just want to work, I just want to get my own money and that’s very difficult. I cannot talk about it because I start to cry.”
Love said she has more video of the attack that ensued after she got off the train. But she has no immediate plans on posting those videos.
She said the main reason why she posted the first video was to educate others on the daily harassment the trans community deals with.