A trans woman who was the victim of a violent attack in Denver, which left her with a fractured jaw, sat down with ABC News to discuss the ordeal. In an interview last Thursday, Amber Nicole Hernandez says she was out drinking with friends at a bar in Denver this past April when the attack occurred.
While Hernadez doesn't remember the attack, she asked a friend to record video after feeling unsafe. "I had so much blood in my mouth and my throat -- all over," she said. "This wasn't just some black eye. It wasn't some scrapes and bruises."
"I hear the fear in my voice, just knowing that I knew something was coming," she added. "It's scary to see myself in that situation. It's just something I never thought would happen."
Hernandez sustained a broken jaw in three places, which had to be wired shut for a month.
Hernandez's story echoes that of Muhlaysia Booker, a 23-year-old trans woman who was attacked by a mob after a minor traffic accident, which spread across social media. One month later, Booker was fatally shot in a separate incident, which made her the fourth known case of a transgender person killed in 2019.
According to a 2015 survey from the National Center for Transgender Equality, one in ten transgender women say they were physically attacked within that past year, in a wave of violence that the American Medical Association has declared an "epidemic." At least 18 trans people have been killed so far this year, a majority of whom were Black women.
Activists like Laverne Cox have referred to the crisis as a "constant state of trauma, grief, and grieving."
According to ABC News, Hernandez remains hopeful, praying that her injuries don't impact her transition and her ability to undergo gender-affirming surgeries. Her doctor at the Denver Health Medical Center said that was unlikely.
"At first, I felt sad, almost heartbroken that someone could take that away from me," Hernandez said. "You know, not give me the ability to do what I feel like I need to do to feel like my whole self. But knowing now that they did not take that away from me -- that I still have that opportunity -- it's just, it's beautiful. I love it. I'm so excited."
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