Seventeen-year-old Jasper Lauter walks us through the grassy area of Bolinas and Elsie where he was placing rainbow colored flags, celebrating Pride on Saturday evening, pointing out where he was verbally attacked.
“You look like a female. There’s only two. Male and female & that’s it!”— Dion Lim (@DionLimTV) June 22, 2020
This couple verbally assaulted 17-year old transgender teen @JasperLauter in Fairfax.
Jasper: “If you don’t stand up when [this is] happening it’s just going to continue.” #Pride #LGBTQRights 4/6pm pic.twitter.com/IzJeduECMc
"They're mocking me and they're laughing at me and degrading me, which is obviously incredibly traumatic." says Lauter, who is clutching two more pride flags in his hand.
Lauter is referring to a man and a woman who were nearby at the time and giving a hard time to volunteers at a bake sale benefiting the Black Lives Matter movement. When Lauter noticed the harassing, he stepped in to diffuse the situation and was greeted with aggression.
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"You look like a female! There's only two, male and female, that's it!" cries one woman who inches closer to Lauter in the video. The man is also heard making inappropriate comments.
"They kept calling me lady and sweetheart even though I said 'look I'm a man' - she continued to laugh and point at my crotch and laugh at me," Lauter said.
The teen says the woman didn't just laugh but she also pointed at his crotch asking what genitals he has.
The incident, which was recorded by a friend, soon went viral online.
Fairfax Police stepped in quickly and identified the couple in the video who are not from the area. The incident, which is being categorized as a verbal assault, is is now under investigation. After questioning the pair, authorities will determine if what they did was a hate crime or other act that requires prosecution.
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Lieutenant Rico Tabaranza says this type of hate does not belong in the community.
"When we see this it upsets our community specifically because the police department and community we all get along!" he said.
As Lauter reflects back on his childhood playing in this very park, he says despite the Bay Area's diversity, this type of behavior happens far too often.
"The most important thing is we need to realize that and ask ourselves what can we do to be better. I need somebody to stand up. If you don't stand up when that's happening it's just going to continue," he said.
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