Casper Woman Beaten In Possible Transphobic Attack

This story first appeared on Cowboy State Daily

By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A Casper woman is raising funds to pay the medical bills of her sister, who was injured in what the family believes was a transphobic-related attack.

According to a GoFundMe launched by Erin Shipley, her sister Rilee Shipley was attacked late July 15 at a dog park near her apartment in Casper. The woman was kicked in the head multiple times and left bleeding in the dark as she attempted to find her glasses and get back inside with her dog.

“Please consider helping Rilee and Theo (Rilee’s spouse) financially as they figure out how to pay some of the medical bills that will come from this horrific and senseless violence and also maintain their rental and vehicle payments,” Erin Shipley wrote on the GoFundMe.

The family did not say why they believed the attack was related to Rilee Shipley being a transgender woman.

The Wyoming Medical Center said Shipley’s orbital bone, lower sinus and cheekbone were fractured and the woman had a head wound from being kicked in the head.

Rilee Shipley has filed a police report and been in touch with a victim’s advocacy group.

The Shipleys have hit their goal of raising $4,500, hitting more than $5,100 as of Tuesday afternoon.

A few days after being attacked, Rilee Shipley took to social media to say she’d realized a few things since being beaten.

“Breaking your face really hurts. (Not as bad as the neck, but close),” she wrote. “If you’re consistently good to people, even people you don’t know, for no reason and with no expectation of being repaid or even thanked, eventually it’ll come back around and the benefits you reap are 100fold what you’ve sown. I don’t have enough words to thank everyone for all you’ve done for us. In less than 48 hours, a gofundme in mine and Theo’s name has reached its goal and is still growing. We’ve been fed, we’ve been doused in love and affection, we’ve been shown how much we mean to our community and to our friends. I’m so grateful for all my people.”

An updated posted to the campaign on Tuesday noted that Shipley would have to have emergency surgery, scheduled for the coming week, to repair her cheekbone. She will soon be meeting with an ophthalmologist to find out more about her orbital bone fracture.

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  1. So it appears there is no evidence that this was a transphobic attack. If it was a hate crime, that is sad. But if they are claiming a hate crime just for attention and financial gain, that is sadder.

    • Classy, Edward! Blame the victim for seeking attention because you didn’t get all of the juicy details of the attack. And better yet, you note that violent homophobic assault is more acceptable than attention seeking.

      • I didn’t blame anyone. Just pointing out some unanswered questions. The article title has the word ‘possible’ in it, but nothing in the body to support it. And no, I didn’t say any part was more acceptable than the other. NONE OF IT IS ACCEPTABLE. But making a false claim would be a severe insult to actual hate crime victims.

        Please don’t interpret my words to your liking.

        • A human being and fellow Wyoming citizen was violently attacked, the victim provided a possible motive for the attack, and all that you could suggest is that the victim is making something up for attention. There is no other way to interpret your words. Nothing in the article implied that the victim was dishonest, yet that is specifically what you brought up.

          It is actually a severe insult to hate crime victims when you dismiss their claims out of hand, which is what you did.

          • The article headline said “possible”.

            “The family did not say why they believed the attack was related to Rilee Shipley being a transgender woman”, is a direct quote from the article.

            Maybe it was a robbery? Maybe it was an ex-lover? Maybe it was a dare? Maybe it was a bored juvenile? Maybe it had nothing to do with her being a transgender?

            So if the attack was “possibly” homophobic related, then there could be many possibilities on what actually happened.

          • So maybe it was anything but what the victim described? Why are all of these pet theories more credible than the actual account given by the victim? You don’t think the victim was close enough to the attack to hear the words of the attacker? So if the family believes the attack was because she is transgender but won’t say, possibly because there is an investigation ongoing, is their statement not credible?

            The most glaring omission in the article is the lack of information about the attacker. Do the police have him in custody? Do they even have a suspect? Regardless of the motive, a violent criminal on the loose is the biggest concern to the people. Yet you show up here asking, “Is the victim making this up for attention?” What in the world even made you think that in the first place? Is the fact that the victim is transgender the reason you felt compelled to fabricate blame to direct at the victim?

          • What did the victim describe? Why does the article say “possible”? Do you have more information than what is present in the article? I am not pointing blame towards anyone. What happened is horrible, and it should have never occurred. With very few details given, the possibilities on what actually happened are very open. I apologize if I have offended you, it wasn’t my intention. I am just hoping people can have an open mind, and not form a one-sided opinion until all the facts come out.

          • You just can’t help yourself, can you? When you write that anything but what the victim described is “what actually happened,” you betray that you are not willing to give the victim the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps you can have an open enough mind to consider that the victim is not a liar, even if that raises some uncomfortable implications about the moral quality of some Wyoming citizens. Fact is, some Americans will violently attack a fellow citizen because of the clothing that they have on or the type of person they love, accept it.

          • What did the victim describe?
            Are we both reading the same article?
            Do you have more information than what is in the article?

            I do have an open mind, and it will be open until the facts
            are presented. I am only commenting on the information
            provided. The word “possible” and vague details in the article
            leave a lot of open questions.

            I’m sorry you are only one-sided and have made up your mind already.

  2. If i accidentally crash my car into someone who is transgender is that a transphobic car crash or just that i dont know how to drive. Glad to see person is getting help with bill–they entire attack is wrong not matter the reason

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