Transgender teen attacked at Newark’s East Side High School

Jersey City, NJ Transgender March on February 3 2017. Photo by B. Nick.
File photo: Jersey City, NJ Transgender March on February 3 2017. Photo by B. Nick.

Seven East Side High School students in Newark, NJ were suspended after 14-year-old transgender Kylie Perez was assaulted by a fellow classmate last week. The attack was filmed by six of the suspended students.


Perez has already returned to school and a rally was held for her in Newark on Monday. “It’s been hard,” Perez said. “There’s more love than hate. I’m trying to avoid the negative.”

The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the incident as a bias attack. Perez and her mother have met with school district officials as well as Newark mayor Ras Baraka. “I join the LGBTQI community as well as the parents, students, and citizens of Newark who are appalled by the recent bullying and vicious attack on fourteen-year-old Kylie Perez, a transgender student, at East Side High School,” the mayor said in a statement.

“We must remain vigilant as a community and continue to denounce and to prosecute the hate crimes that are perpetrated upon members of the LGBTQI community,” Baraka added. “This act was particularly egregious because the victim is a young teen whose attackers assailed her without warning.”

“We must denounce violent acts perpetrated on members of the LGBTQ community,” said Dr. Ashwanda Fleming at Hetrick-Martin Institute in Newark. “Our sympathies go out to the young lady who was attacked. HMI works everyday to provide a safe space for young people of all identities and gender presentations and as our hearts break to hear of another horrific attack of a trans person.”

J.L. Gaynor
Out In Jersey magazine contributor J.L. Gaynor spent eight years in the newsrooms of two major New Jersey papers. A Jersey girl through and through: born, raised, and educated in New Jersey. Jen now lives in Maryland and has two dogs she adores, and reads just about anything she can get her hands on.