Stop Anti-Trans Hate

A trans girl was violently attacked in a school bathroom

A trans girl attending a high school in Minnesota was left with a broken jaw after another student assaulted her outside of a bathroom. Local police are investigating the attack as a hate crime.

Cobalt Sovereign is a 17-year-old junior attending Hopkins High School in Minnetonka, a suburb outside of Minneapolis. She came out as trans in 2021 to a supportive family, and while Sovereign has experienced her share of transphobia, it has never crossed the line to physical violence—until last Thursday (May 30).

According to Sovereign’s account in a video interview with Kare 11, she went to use a men’s bathroom in the school. Although Hopkins has gender neutral bathrooms, Sovereign said they are out of the way and often occupied. “It makes me very uncomfortable to be in the men’s bathroom,” she explained, adding, “I’d rather be uncomfortable than make other people uncomfortable by using the women’s bathroom.”

While Sovereign was attempting to use the bathroom, a male student looked over the stall and repeatedly called her a homophobic slur. Sovereign left the restroom and the student followed her out to where video surveillance captured the altercation. “I got it in myself to confront the kid verbally,” she said. “He had no reason to have anything against me. I’d never talked to him, never done anything negative to him.

“I was insulted and then eventually hit in the jaw.”

Sovereign was soon rushed to the hospital where—in addition to receiving treatment for shattered teeth and multiple breaks in her jaw—she was finally able to use the bathroom. Her family has said that she still cannot eat solid foods, and Sovereign has described nightmares in the aftermath of the attack.

Speaking to local outlet WCCO, Sovereign’s brother Wilder expressed disgust at what happened. “She was punched in the jaw and sucker punched so badly that she had to go to the hospital later and receive jaw surgery to treat the damage,” he said. “She’s experienced glimmers of transphobia before, as most if not all trans people do. But it’s never been this bad, it’s never gone to the point of full-on assault.”

Local families, students and LGBTQ+ advocacy groups, including Queer Equity Institute and Transforming Families, held a rally outside the school on Wednesday. The school district said they were working with police to “minimize any impacts to the school day during the rally” but added that they are “in support of a rally that brings attention to what is not right in the world.”

“We will address any issues that compromise the safety and inclusivity of our school environment,” the district said in a statement. “We support and stand by any group that is marginalized, including our LGBTQ+ scholars and staff.”

The assailant, whose identity has not been revealed due to privacy laws, faced disciplinary action on the day of the attack.

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