Los Angeles – City Attorney Mike Feuer announced today that his office has filed two criminal charges following a heated altercation last August at Las Perlas bar in downtown Los Angeles. The incident involved a group of Latinx transgender women and gay men who crossed paths with a straight couple who allegedly yelled transphobic and homophobic slurs at them, with the straight man allegedly threatening to get a gun.
"Acts of hate against transgender people have no place in our society," said Feuer. "Transgender people, especially transgender people of color, already face an unconscionable risk of violence. Perpetrators need to be held accountable."
The case stems from the August, 2019, incident at Las Perlas in downtown Los Angeles in which several transgender women and gay men met for drinks following the DTLA Proud festival, an annual LGBTQ and allied community event. City prosecutors allege that Eduardo Gonzalez and his girlfriend sat at the table with the group and made multiple transphobic and misgendering slurs towards the transgender women, leading to an argument with the group. Las Perlas bar security removed all parties. City Attorney prosecutors allege that in the process of being removed, Gonzalez shouted threats to return with a gun.
Gonzalez has been charged with one count of making a criminal threat and a second count alleging that the criminal threat constituted a hate crime. Arraignment is set for August 7, 2020.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, 22 transgender and gender nonconforming people in the United States have been killed thus far in 2020 and at least 27 were killed in 2019. But it is likely that more killings have gone unreported. Transgender women of color are especially vulnerable to violence.