Beaten cos I was a boy

I thought he was my friend, but then he sav­agely at­tacked me

Chat - - Inside - By Tamzin Yates, 35, from Manch­ester

My friend David Sharples, then 28, topped up my glass as I chat­tered on.

‘I’m prob­a­bly bor­ing you stiff,’ I laughed.

It was 2015, David and I had been friends for a few months.

He used to work as a per­sonal trainer at my gym, and we kept bump­ing into each other walk­ing our dogs. Turned out he lived nearby – and, as we be­came mates, he’d in­vite me over to his flat for a glass of wine. We’d stay up all night chat­ting. David was such a good lis­tener. And re­cently I’d started con­fid­ing in him about my trou­bles. I’m a trans­gen­der woman. ‘I was born male, but in the wrong body,’ I told David. He al­ready knew I was trans­gen­der and was sup­port­ive of me. I told him all about be­ing on the NHS wait­ing list for gen­der­re­as­sign­ment surgery. And about how dif­fi­cult it’d been com­ing out to friends and fam­ily when I was 23. Soon, David be­came my clos­est friend. We spent many evenings at his place, chat­ting, drink­ing, laugh­ing... And he’d let me stay over if it got late. Then, one night in Oc­to­ber 2015, I was at David’s hav­ing a few drinks when he got a call. I could see his tem­per ris­ing. ‘What’s wrong?’ I asked when he’d hung up.

David had lis­tened to enough of my trou­bles, I was ready to re­turn the favour.

He ex­plained he owed some­one money and they were ask­ing for it back.

It seemed to have riled him – he was fu­ri­ous.

‘Look,’ I said, try­ing to calm him down. ‘Pay them back and then you can for­get all about it.’

He turned to me, his eyes black with anger. ‘Get out!’ he shouted. ‘I’m just try­ing to help,’ I said. But, sens­ing his tem­per was reach­ing boil­ing point, I started gath­er­ing my things.

For some rea­son, this just an­gered him even more. ‘You’re not a real woman!’ he sneered vi­ciously at me. ‘You’re a freak!’ His words stung. And the in­sults just kept on com­ing. ‘You’re noth­ing but a f*ck­ing tranny,’ he screamed. Trem­bling, I did my best to keep my cool. When he spat in my face, though, I snapped and lashed out, slap­ping his cheek. ‘Don’t dis­re­spect me,’ I told him. ‘I’m your friend!’ At that, David com­pletely lost it. He punched me in the face, knock­ing me fly­ing. He must’ve knocked me un­con­scious be­cause I came round to him grab­bing my hair and throw­ing me onto the floor. I cried out in pain, but he was re­lent­less. Blow af­ter painful blow… At one point, he set the timer on the mi­crowave to 10 min­utes. ‘I want you out be­fore this goes off,’ he shouted. I des­per­ately tried to grab my stuff, but I was throb­bing from his at­tack, and dazed. So, when the alarm went off, he laid into me again. ‘Let’s see how many sleeper holds I can put you in,’ he laughed, grab­bing me around the neck and chok­ing me again. When he even­tu­ally let go, he pushed me out the door of his apart­ment. ‘You just can’t deal with

He lost it – punched me in the face, knock­ing me fly­ing

be­ing at­tracted to a trans­gen­der woman!’ I yelled.

Fum­ing, he got my hand­bag and tipped the con­tents over my head.

Scur­ry­ing around the floor, I picked it all up and ran to the lift. ‘Freak!’ he shouted. He just had to hurt me one more time be­fore let­ting me go.

Down­stairs in the foyer, the concierge raced to my aid.

‘Are you OK?’ he asked as I clam­bered from the lift.

My hair had been pulled out, my face was bruised and bleed­ing…

The concierge phoned the po­lice and an am­bu­lance.

At the hos­pi­tal, my wounds were cleaned up. David had frac­tured my jaw and nose. My face was a swollen mess.

He’d even torn both my ears and they had to be glued.

I was so dazed and battered from the at­tack, two nurses had to hold my head steady while I had an X-ray.

I was a mess. David was sup­posed to be my friend. But he’d ver­bally abused me, then knocked away ev­ery last bit of my con­fi­dence with his fists.

I gave my state­ment to po­lice but David had gone on the run.

Two weeks later, he handed him­self in and he was charged with as­sault. He was bailed, though, and I didn’t feel safe leav­ing the house. I de­vel­oped anx­i­ety, and my GP di­ag­nosed post-trau­matic stress dis­or­der. I missed ap­point­ments at the trans­gen­der clinic, so I was taken off the wait­ing list for surgery. I was so shaken by the whole at­tack, I just didn’t know how to go on. And the one per­son I’d usu­ally con­fide in was the one who’d caused it all.

Fi­nally, in June this year, David Sharples, 30, ap­peared at Manch­ester Crown Court.

Ini­tially, he pleaded not guilty, but at the last minute, he changed his plea.

He pleaded guilty to as­sault oc­ca­sion­ing ac­tual bod­ily harm.

In Au­gust, he was handed a 16-month sus­pended sen­tence, or­dered to com­plete 180 hours of un­paid work and 20 hours re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

Sho­plifters get tougher pun­ish­ments, I thought.

I’d hoped he’d go to prison for what he’d done. In­stead, he walked free, leav­ing me a quiv­er­ing wreck.

It took me years to build up the courage to come out as trans­gen­der. He al­most de­stroyed it all. I’m now back on the wait­ing list for surgery.

I refuse to let Sharples ruin my fu­ture.

But I don’t want another trans­gen­der per­son to go through what I have.

That’s why I’m shar­ing my story, to en­cour­age oth­ers to re­port their at­tack­ers.

It’s time to be brave and speak up.

He told me I was a freak

Me as a boy

I won’t let him de­stroy me

Be­fore I started liv­ing as a fe­male

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