Help disabled veteran hate crime victim get to safety

For: Elle, a Tennessee trans woman and victim of a hate crime
Cookeville, TN
Organizer: Robin Ridley
Help disabled veteran hate crime victim get to safety (Elle, a Tennessee trans woman and victim of a hate crime)
$3,684
of $14,000 goal.
Raised by 79 donors
26% Complete

The Story

Elle (who wishes only to be identified by her first name for her safety) is a US Army veteran and transgender woman. She was injured in Iraq in 2004, and medically retired in 2007 suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and multiple traumatic brain injuries. Some time in the early morning hours of Saturday, November 5th, someone spray painted "TRUMP" on the front and back of her truck and set in on fire, in front of her apartment where she and her three-year old son were sleeping. (Link to story in USA Today)Gay and trans pride stickers were on the back window, it is evident that she was targeted for being a trans lesbian. 

While she had insurance, she only had the truck for 14 months and it is likely that any settlement from the insurance company will be directed toward paying off the dealership. She needs to replace her vehicle (and is planning to try to make a down payment on an inexpensive used car) and she no longer feels safe living in the area. She has already had additional threats directed to her via her Facebook, and is very worried about the safety of her child. She needs to be able to break her lease and pay moving expenses (She is planning to move to a larger city where she believes she and her son will be safer.) 

I (Robin Ridley), am handling this fundraising campaign because she understandably does not feel safe being further identified. 100% of any funds raised will go directly to her and her child. I had to convince her to allow me to set this up for her, she was very concerned that other members of our community who were worse off than she is would feel obligated to contribute - she does not want that. Please only contribute if you can easily do so. 

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on November 21, 2016

Posted on November 21, 2016

First, I want to take a moment to thank all of you who have contributed. It has been such an outpouring of love and light and hope and solidarity, it is breathtaking. Thank you. 

Elle heard back from the insurance company on the truck, and it's not good news. Because she didn't have "gap coverage" she still owes the financing company $14,000. I adjusted the goal to reflect this. We would greatly appreciate it if everyone would re-share this link on their social media to get the word out. 

Again, thank you all so much, for contributing, for sharing, and for being the light in the darkness.


Posted on November 16, 2016

Posted on November 16, 2016

Despite the Putnam County Sheriff's Office stating that this attack was not a hate crime, no less than the Southern Poverty Law Centerhas weighed in, calling it "fairly obvious" that it was a hate crime. Also, the FBI is now involved in the investigation, and according to Elle they are investigating it as a hate crime. 

Posted on November 10, 2016

Posted on November 10, 2016

The Putnam County Sheriff's office has statedthat they are not considering this a hate crime, which IMO is ridiculous. Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far, and for the kind outpouring of love and concern we have received. Please help to share this story further by sharing this fundraiser!

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