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Trans woman loses lower legs in NYC subway attack. Now, friends rally to help her

Author: Trudy Ring

Friends are raising money to assist a New York City transgender woman who lost the lower portion of both her legs when she was hit by a subway train last month — after her boyfriend threw her onto the tracks.

The boyfriend, Christian Valdez, 35, has been charged with second-degree attempted murder and first-degree assault, according to a press release from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office.

The incident occurred March 9 at the Fulton Street station in Manhattan. The 29-year-old Black woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, was on her way to an appointment for gender-affirming treatment. She and Valdez were arguing on the station platform, and she was telling him she didn’t want to be around him, she said in a recent Instagram Live interview.

She was focused on getting to her appointment and on distancing herself from Valdez, she told trans activist Hope Giselle in the interview, posted by Gaye Magazine. She was making eye contact with bystanders and looking up at security cameras. “Those were the tools that I felt like I had, and those tools failed me,” she said. Finally she was grabbed and thrown onto the tracks in front of an oncoming train, she said.

“All I could think of was the fact that my reality was changing so quickly,” she said. The train pulled into the station, and she was trapped beneath it. She could not feel her legs, but she was totally lucid, she recalled. She screamed for help, and a bystander eventually responded and called an ambulance. She was taken to Bellevue Hospital.

One leg was amputated below the knee, the other above the knee, the New York Post reports. She also had broken ribs and a blood clot in her lung.

Valdez left the station and fled to New Jersey, but he returned to the city a few hours later and was arrested, Bragg’s press release states.

Valdez had been imprisoned from 2020 to 2023 after pleading guilty to a knife attack on a mother and daughter in 2017, according to the Post. He was sentenced to eight years but was released on parole in January 2023. (Note: The Post uses they/them pronouns for both Valdez and the victim, but other sources use he/him for Valdez and she/her for the victim.)

“As alleged, Christian Valdez callously threw his girlfriend into an oncoming train,” Bragg said in the press release. “His alleged vicious actions caused serious and permanent injuries, including the amputation of both of the victim’s legs. We take all acts of violence against riders very seriously, and my thoughts are with the victim as she navigates this terrible and horrifying incident.”

Valdez is being held without bail.

Bridget Daniels has set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the victim. “Amidst her physical injuries, her struggle for safety and security continues,” Daniels wrote. “She urgently requires permanent accessible housing and future medical expenses. These essential needs are vital steps in her journey towards healing and reclaiming her selfhood.”

So far the campaign has raised nearly $47,000 toward a $75,000 goal.

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Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Trudy Ring

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