Transgender teen says he was attacked at his home by fellow classmate during hate crime

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HOUSTON – As a transgender high school student, Kamir Bernard, who still identifies as he or him, says just maneuvering through life on a daily is rough.

“Since I started being myself more, people like, you know, give you side eyes and try to be funny,” Bernard said. “Sometimes I’d walk places and they’d be like ‘oh that’s a man,’ and it gives me anxiety.”

Bernard said one of the worse experiences happened on Oct. 27 after inviting a classmate from Memorial High School in Port Arthur to his home in Groves.

“He started touching on me and that’s when I had moved over a little bit because I didn’t want him touching on me and I didn’t want to do nothing with him,” Bernard said.

Moments later, Bernard said the fellow student turned violent.

“He was like, ‘are you a boy or girl?’ And I was confused because the day that he came over here I literally had a haircut,” Bernard said.

Bernard said the classmate ended up grabbing a knife from the kitchen, forcing him to run into the bathroom, lock the door and jump out of the window to get help. When he got back, he said the house had been ransacked with damage estimated at around $1,300. His cell phone and his debit card had been stolen.

LGBTQ advocates at the Montrose Center are offering support.

“It’s four times more likely for trans people to experience violence,” said, Angelic Setchell who is the Anti-Violence Program Specialist at the Montrose Center. “We service Harris County and surrounding counties and we’re there to help. And if we can’t get to them, we will try to find other agencies.”

With a pending legal battle at hand, it is help Bernard and his mother say is much needed.

“It saddens me because this is America now. You should be able to be who you want to be, what you want to be. I want him to feel safe,” said Bernard’s mother, Dominique Stephenson.

Groves police said there is a criminal mischief and possibly an assault charge pending against the student who would be charged as an adult, but has not been arrested yet.

As for Bernard, he and his mother hope this brings awareness to LGBTQ issues.

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