Society

Trans Veteran's Truck Burned, Spray Painted 'Trump'

| by Sam Gravity

Police are investigating a potential hate crime against a transgender veteran in Tennessee, after her truck was spray painted with the word "Trump" and burned outside her home.

Elle, a name used to protect her identity, was at home with her 3-year-old son on Nov. 5 when she heard a noise outside at 3:30 a.m., the Tennessean reports.

Elle went outside to check her 2006 Harley Davidson edition F-150 pickup truck and found the door ajar. She  figured she had forgotten to close it earlier in the day.

Elle was shocked when she looked outside at 4 a.m., after hearing the truck's horn, to see her F-150 engulfed in flames.

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"Most of [the paint] got burned off, but one of the police officers pointed out that it said 'Trump' on the hood and the back," she said. "It just breaks my heart every time I walk past the driveway."

Her toddler is still scared, she says.

Elle is a disabled Army veteran, who served eight years before retiring due to a severe brain injury and PTSD after her tour in Iraq in 2004.

While the mother says she hasn’t experienced discrimination in her hometown of Cookeville, she says transphobia and hate crimes are still rampant outside of the city.

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“I’ve been in altercations out of town because I’m transgendered," Elle said. "The last altercation was there [in Crossville] when a man took a swing at me in a bathroom.”

Beyond unsupportive posts regarding Republican nominee Donald Trump on social media, Elle says she has never put up signs in her yard that might indicate her political leanings.

"I’m just trying to live my life," she said. "I wouldn’t hurt anyone."

Discrimination in Tennessee has taken many forms in the past year, including attempts to introduce an anti-trans bathroom bill for public schools, Pink News reports.

Many U.S. schools have closed on Election Day for fear of violent protests such as those committed against Elle, according to Pink News.

Sources: The Tennessean, Pink News (2) / Photo credit: Elle via The Tennessean

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