Rosario Dawson And Her Parents Are Being Sued Over Alleged Transphobic Assault Of A Family Friend
It’s a sad reality of the world we live in that trans men and women are put in danger every day just by existing as their true selves. Besides the disproportional amounts of violence they face, many are murdered purely for being trans. In 2018 alone, advocates tracked at least 28 reported deaths of trans people due to violence. Black trans women especially are victims of this brutality but any trans person is statistically more likely to be a target of harassment than cis-gendered people.
Anew lawsuit being brought against actress Rosario Dawson and her family alleges this sort of severity against a trans person.
Dedrek Finey is a trans man who claims to have known Dawson’s family for decades. According to Finey, he was convinced back in 2017 by Dawson’s family to move to Los Angeles from New York in order to do renovations on their family’s house. At the time, he had yet to transition but opened up about being trans after the move.
Finey has filed a lawsuit against Rosario and her family claiming that the “Sin City” star repeatedly harassed him and helped to assault him. He’s suing on the grounds of assault, battery, trespass, discrimination, civil rights, and labor violation. According to the claimant, Dawson herself constantly misgendered him; referring to him with the wrong pronouns, even after being corrected. Allegedly, when Finey complained to Dawson about the misgendering, the actress replied, “Whatever. You’re a grown woman.” The actress also supposedly deadnamed Finey — meaning she called him by the name he used pre-transition.
According to the lawsuit, the hostility escalated from there into full-blown violence.
Finey says he was living in a separate house upon Dawson’s property in 2018. In April of that year, he reports that his work hours were reduced and he was told he had to move out of the home. One day, Dawson’s mother, Isabel Celeste, allegedly knocked on his door. The visit reportedly turned violent when Celeste ripped the screen door and pulled him through it in order to punch Finey.
The lawsuit reports that Celeste stated, “You’re not so much of a man now,” while assaulting the claimant. At this point in the assault, Finey claims Dawson participated. According to the man, instead of helping, the actress walked up and pinned him to the ground so her mother could continue to punch him.
The lawsuit also claims that Finey had a video recording of Celeste threatening him but she took his phone during the assault.
He also planned on calling the police for assistance but was allegedly assaulted before he was able to make the call. The lawsuit states that Finey was able to escape into the house and call 911. Police arrived on the scene and he had to be taken to the hospital for treatment following the assault. According to Finey, he got a restraining order against Celeste. He continued to live in the house until September of 2018 when the family supposedly shut off the home’s utilities.
While neither Dawson nor her boyfriend, Senator Corey Booker, have responded to requests for comment on the lawsuit, Twitter had plenty to say about the alleged attack.
This Twitter user reacted with frustration upon learning of the trans-phobic report. “Can I NEVER have peace,” the tweet rhetorically asked. For members and supporters of the LGBTQ community, news like this is always hard to stomach. The community receives more than it’s fair share of hostility from non-famous people so hearing that a favorite celebrity allegedly acted trans-phobic is especially upsetting.
This tweet pointed out the hypocrisy surrounding one presidential candidate’s significant other and not another’s.
In this tweet, Twitter user @Sker4Lyfe brought up an incident from earlier this year somewhat involving Kamala Harris and her husband. In October, a report about sexual assault came out of DLA Piper, a law firm that Harris’ husband is a partner at. Though the report didn’t involve her husband, Harris was asked about accusations as if she had involvement with it. Since this is the case then why, the tweet asks, hasn’t anyone in the media asked Booker about these accusations that Dawson is being directly accused of?
This tweet pointed out that even liberal people and people who are members of the LGBTQ community can be trans-phobic.
As this person suggests, those who support queer rights might not necessarily support trans people. They might not even see things like misgendering and deadnaming as an act of aggression towards trans people. Whether they are liberal or claim a queer identity themselves, people can still be hostile, violent and harmful to members of the trans community. Obviously, the statistics show that there is no storage of violence against trans men and women and we as allies and LGBTQ members must call it out when it shows itself.