OLYMPIA, Wash. – Lila Hadway says strangers viciously attacked her all because she dressed as a man.
Hadway said she and her friends had just left a bar on 4th Avenue early Sunday morning while wearing drag costumes, adding they had just finished a fundraising event at for a local LGBT organization.
Lila said her group were harassed and taunted by strangers who allegedly used anti-gay slurs.
On Monday, Hadway and her wife Angela spoke about the attack. “They’ve done nothing,” Lila said about her friends, claiming they didn’t incite any vitriol. “They’re just walking, holding hands.”
Lila said the verbal altercation escalated when a stranger grabbed Angela. Lila said she tried to step in to resolve the dispute only to be punched twice in her face, knocking out teeth and causing other tissue damage.
“I can’t smile, that’s the only thing I want,” Lila said crying. “I can’t even smile.”
Lila believes the clothing they wore was the reason they were targeted.
“When she spoke they said, ‘oh the fruitcake has spoken,’ Lila recalled.
Anna Schlect with Capital City Pride said the fundraiser was to benefit her organization. She wants investigators to continue investigating.
“When people are pummeling you and knocking you unconscious and calling you vile, anti-gay names, that’s a hate crime,” she said.
The assault happened less than a month after Olympia Police cancelled nightly foot patrols through the downtown area.
Schlect said she hopes police will do more to look further into Sunday morning’s assault.
“I hope more people come forward who witnessed the attack to let police know this is serious,” she said. “It’s undermined the sense of safety in our LGBT community.”
If you know anything that can help Olympia Police identify the suspects, call an anonymous tip into:
CRIME STOPPERS: 1-800-222-TIPS
You must call the Crime Stoppers hotline with your tip to be eligible to receive a cash reward for information leading to a fugitive’s arrest.