Hateful messages against transgender people being spread on New York City streets are concerning activists as hate crimes against the community continue to soar.
Simon Chartrand tells NBC New York he was walking down West 144th Street in Hamilton Heights on Sunday when he noticed two women posting stickers with hateful messages towards transgender people. So he and his partner decided to confront them.
"Once I made sure it was them putting the stickers up, I had to act, had to record It, had to call it out, had to call out the hatred for what it was," he said.
One of the stickers posted was a small pink sticker with a black text that said transgender women are men.
"You know being transphobic kills people? You want to kill innocent people with your hatred?" Chartrand told the women, according to the footage.
Chartrand said the hateful stickers angered him because he's not only also transgender himself, but he works at Translatinx Network, a nonprofit that provides services to transgender and gender-nonconforming New Yorkers.
The women ignored Chartrand and continued walking towards Broadway, the video showed. But at one point, one of the women responded with one simple word: "misogynist."
Chartrand replied, "It's now misogynist, you're transphobic."
"They kind of said it matter of factly like without emotion. Me, I was acting on emotion," Chartrand told NBC New York. He said he's still feeling those emotions days later because the stickers were an act of hate against a marginalized community.
Ever since the Human Rights Campaign, the country’s largest LGBTQ civil rights group, began tracking violent deaths of transgender Americans in 2013, the number has been on the rise. Last year had one of the deadliest years for trans people with at least 44 known deaths.
The number is likely higher because not all the victims are correctly identified and not all cases were reported as hate crimes.
Chartrand says the stickers show the importance of standing up and calling out hate, and they have motivated him to work harder for equality.
"I want you to feel it from our hearts. We are human beings and we deserve the same rights as every other human no more, no less," he said.