A transgender woman was verbally assaulted while driving a Metro Green Line train on Saturday in an incident she filmed.
Saoirse Gowan captured how a commute to meet friends turned into a nightmare in a video now seen over half a million times on Twitter. It also made her a target of threats.
Gowan, who is transgender, said the man accused her of grooming children for sexual abuse in a profanity-filled tirade, which he appeared to be broadcasting live.
She noted that the same wording is currently being used in a fierce national debate over how American public schools deal with gender identity.
“I couldn’t get off the train even though I was terrified for my life because this guy was yelling at me that I’m a child groomer, that I’m only on the train dressed like I am because I want to hurt kids,” Gowan said.
The man was not wearing a mask despite federal law requiring them to be worn on public transportation. And at the next stop, a Metro Transit policeman on patrol boarded the train.
The officer can be heard asking, “Are you okay?” Gowan replies, “No. This guy is harassing me. The man then says, ‘This guy is looking at me weird.’
In a statement, Metro said that “[Metro Transit Police Department] The officer who boarded the train interviewed the two people and took identifying information. The officer removed the man from the train and the Complainant continued. The complainant did not want to pursue this as a criminal matter and a police information report was later drawn up documenting the incident. »
Gowan said other passengers could have taken some steps to help.
“It would have really helped if one of the other five people on the train had come and pretended they knew me, pretended they were my mother or my grandmother,” she said.
MTPD continues to investigate and will present the information to the US Attorney’s office to determine if charges should be filed.