The persons responsible for the recent drive-by attack on four transgender persons, who were shot with pellets while standing on the street, are seeking to reach a settlement with the victims.
The perpetrators of the April 7th attack on the quartet, who were plying their trade as sex workers at the junction of King Street and North Road when they came under fire, were identified after the group made a report to police, who located the owner of the bus used in the attack.
Although police are still investigating the attack, Stabroek News was told that the young men responsible for the shooting and their parents have been speaking to the targeted workers towards reaching an amicable resolution.
A source knowledgeable about the engagement said the youths offered to come to a settlement with the workers but were refused.
Seon Persaud, known as Isabella and another individual only identified as Nick were injured in the shooting. Stabroek News had been told by Isabella that she and her three friends were in the vicinity as per normal when the shooting occurred. “I see the bus coming but the light went in my eye so I look away,” she said. “All I know is I hear something go pow pow pow and I start feeling dizzy.” She collapsed unto the concrete with her friend Nick, who was also shot. The pellets managed to pierce their skin.
Meanwhile, Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) Co-Chair Joel Simpson said the “unprovoked attack” highlights the level of discrimination Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) people face, “especially the working class people with low economic status.”
He explained that the mere fact that the young men felt the need to attack the quartet with no provocation is a reflection of the government’s attitude towards the LGBT community. Simpson asserted that the government and, in particular, the Ministry of Labour and Human Services is not doing enough to protect the LGBT individuals. He stated that they should be educating the general population about topics such as homophobia and transphobia as education is the key to ending discrimination.
He also mentioned that while the laws of Guyana criminalise the love between people because of their orientation, they are also basically telling people to take their idea of justice and enforce it on others.
According to the attacked quartet, when they attempted to report the matter to the police station they were called a number of offensive names not only because of their profession but also because of their sexual orientation. Police eventually took their report, they said. They also claimed that this also occurred when they went to the public hospital to receive medical attention.
Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH) Chief Executive Officer Michael Khan, yesterday addressed the allegations that the hospital refused to treat the women.
“The claim is nonfactual. Those individuals are just looking for attention,” Khan told Stabroek News. “They were all seen by the doctor on duty and were given medical certificates for the police,” he explained.