"There's so much to lose by being open."
So much so, that this transwoman asked us to conceal her identity, for fear of losing her job or worse.
"I went stealth...I went in the closet basically because I feel safer and I'm able to hold down a job now because I'm not sharing that information."
Safety is top of mind for most transpeople, fearing other's won't accept them and could retaliate.
Erie County District Attorney John Flynn says 2018's first homicide--which involved a transwoman is being investigated as a possible hate crime. It's something this woman fears every day.
"I fear if I was more open, I would be at risk of being targeted too," she said.
Deadly crimes against transgender individuals hit an all time high in 2017, according to LGBTQ advocacy group Human Rights Campaign. That's why transwomen fear being themselves could bring a bigger problem.
If you have questions there are resourcesavailable in the Western New York area.
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