The Houston Police Department (HPD) is looking for a man who attacked a transgender woman at a bar in Clear Lake on August 7.
According to the police report, when officers arrived at the Davenport Lounge on Clear Lake City Boulevard at 11:55 Saturday night, they found the woman, Kerry Chandler (also known as drag performer Kymber DeVine) lying on the floor of the bar. A witness said a man walked up to her and punched her, then fought with a security guard before fleeing in a white Lexus. A security camera shows a white male with brown hair and a blue T-shirt leaving the premises. Chandler says she doesn’t remember anything.
“He knocked me clear out,” Chandler told OutSmart. “I have stitches and a concussion. The bartender says the man asked him if I had been one of the entertainers that night. It was my 47th birthday, and we were having a party after the show.”
“We are investigating it,” said Jodi Silva, a public-information officer at HPD. Chandler was treated at the scene, but declined ambulance transport. Her friends took her to the hospital.
According to the Transgender Law Center, there have been over 150 trans people murdered in the U.S. since 2017. Almost ten percent of those murders occurred in Texas, and several have happened in Houston.
“The threat against trans folks in Texas—and all over the world—isn’t just a weapon, it’s a wall,” the organization’s website states. “The barriers put in place to keep transgender people from living within our society eventually keep them from living at all.”
Recent anti-trans bills in the Texas Legislature have sparked outrage in the community, and Chandler thinks the political landscape at the national level has also emboldened more attacks.
“Absolutely, since Trump was in office there have been more hate crimes against trans people and the LGBTQ community,” Chandler said, adding that she has no idea why she was targeted but fears her attacker came to the club to target someone like her. She also fears that the incident could have escalated to something like the Pulse nightclub shooting in 2016, where 49 people were killed in an LGBTQ Orlando dance club.
Chandler, who won the Miss Trans GA USA 2019–2020 pageant, was recently crowned as National Showgirl Supreme. “I can’t believe I have to start my reign like this,” she said. “I just want them to bring him to justice. I haven’t been able to leave my house since the attack. I just want my life back.”
But, she adds, “I’m shaken, but not broken.”
Anyone with information about Chandler’s attack should call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8477).
This is a developing story. This post will be updated as additional information becomes available.