Entertainment

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.

Twitter / @outmagazine

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. 

Twitter / @NBCOUT

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. 

Twitter / @WayneDupreeShow

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. 

Twitter / @pankarazorel

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. 

Twitter / @Sker4Lyfe

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. 

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Rosario Dawson Talks About Adopting Her Daughter When She Was 11-Years-Old: ‘It Was Clearly Meant to Be–She’s My Kid’

Fierce

Rosario Dawson Talks About Adopting Her Daughter When She Was 11-Years-Old: ‘It Was Clearly Meant to Be–She’s My Kid’

Photo via Getty Images

Rosario Dawson is opening up about a topic that’s near and dear to her heart that’s not talked about very much in the media: adoption. In 2014, Rosario Dawson adopted an 11-year-old girl who was in the foster care system.

Recently, Dawson opened up about the growing pains her and her now 17-year-old daughter, Lola, have went through together.

Although the actress of Puerto Rican and Cuban descent usually keeps her daughter’s life private, she gave the public a glimpse into their relationship in an interview with Health.

When asked to describe her “special bond” with her daughter, Dawson said that she was grateful for Lola’s “development, our maturation, and our connection.” She went on to explain how unique the experience of adopting an older child is than adopting a younger one. But Dawson explain that she is grateful for the differences.

“She moved in [with me] at 11; she’s 17 now and going to be 18 soon,” Dawson revealed.

“To have a young person move in with you and to have to really consciously work through triggers and that kind of stuff is a really different thing than being pregnant and having your baby grow up in front of you—to be able to see how we’re getting closer and closer.”

Like many people who are attracted to adoption, Dawson says she had wanted to adopt a child since she was a young girl, when she found out her dad wasn’t her biological father.

“I don’t know my biological father. Apparently, he died in 2011, but I didn’t have a relationship with him…I recall thinking, ‘What if my parents hadn’t met, and I was older, and no one wanted to marry my mom because she had an older kid?’ I remember vividly back then saying that when I was older I was going to adopt an older child.”

Dawson also explained the incredible story behind adopting her daughter, whom she knew through a mutual friend.

“I didn’t go to an adoption center or anything like that,” she said. “My family knew her biological mom, and when we found out she was in foster care, we looked for her. It wasn’t even a question; it was clearly meant to be—she’s my kid. It’s wild to think I manifested this when I was younger.”

We love seeing stories of diverse familias who prove that families aren’t about blood–they’re about bonds. And we love the fact that Rosario Dawson is shining a light on older children in the foster-care system. As Dawson summed up so perfectly in her touching interview: “We are a family, and it’s beautiful.”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Latinos Are Running More Businesses Than Ever, But They’re Still More Likely to Be Denied Funding By Big Banks

Things That Matter

Latinos Are Running More Businesses Than Ever, But They’re Still More Likely to Be Denied Funding By Big Banks

Photo via Getty Images

The United States Latino population is steadily growing and with that, the demographics are shifting. More and more Latinos are becoming the first ones in their family to go to college, enter the white collar workforce, and increasingly, open up their own businesses.

And while all this change feels like progress, it also comes with its own set of hurdles.

A new study showed that Latino-owned business are significantly less likely to be approved for loans, despite surpassing the national revenue growth average.

Latino-owned businesses are skyrocketing, but banks still don’t want to finance them. “Latino [business] revenue growth should be a key metric in helping them gain capital, but they continue to fall short,” said Stanford research analyst Marlene Orozco to NBC.

The study, conducted by the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative, found that 50% of white business-owners who applied for a loan of $100,000 over the last five years were approved. In contrast, only 20% of Latino business-owners were approved.

Unfortunately, this phenomenon extended to federal COVID-19 relief, like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). PPP was meant to help small businesses who were negatively impacted by the pandemic.

The thing is, the federal government ultimately relied on traditional, large banks to approve or deny applicants.

Latinos and Black people were denied COVID-19 Paycheck Protection Program loans at significantly higher rates than their white peers.

Even when successful entrepreneurs like Los Angeles-based restaurateur David Favela applied for a PPP loan, he was denied on the basis of not being “bankable”. Favela is the owner of three successful restaurants and breweries in California as well as being a 2020 James Beard Award finalist.

He was denied a PPP loan because he hadn’t funded his businesses with “traditional” capital (i.e. a loan from a big bank). When he started his business in 2013, he relied on his own savings as well as funds from family members.

But this type of financing is common among people of color. POC often rely on family members and/or crowdsourcing to kickstart their businesses. Unfortunately, big banks look down on that sort of non-traditional funding.

Traditional banks are more likely to approve applicants they have preexisting relationships with.

And people of color are less likely to have established relationships with large banks because, well, they don’t trust them. And arguably, for good reason. So, the plight of small business-owners of color becomes a vicious and endless cycle.

“Latinos are making strides in starting businesses and growing,” said Orozco. “Despite these trends, securing financing remains a challenge.”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com