Since Grindr introduced various options for trans and gender non-conforming users in 2017, those communities have been using the dating app to find love and sex much more. However, as violence against trans women – specifically trans women of color — continues, the app may be used by people who are trying to meet these women for dangerous purposes.
This is what happened to Luna Lovebad, a Latina trans woman who lives in Compton, California. The 28-year-old singer says after meeting up with a man she first met on Grindr, she was attacked by another man who was hiding in the back seat. With a gun to her head, she was asked to give up her purse and belongings. When she refused, she was beaten over the head numerous times.
Instinct was able to confirm that a police report had been filed by Lovebad on Monday, and that the Compton detective bureau is actively investigating this open case.
Photo supplied by Luna Lovebad
“During Monday evening is when the guy had messaged me, and before we had came to an agreement that we were going to meet, he had shared with me that he was a nurse and lived in Huntington Park which is not too far from where I live,” Lovebad told Instinct. “So he said he was getting off around 9:30 and needed to go home and get ready first. So I got ready, and I think he picked me up around 10:00.”
“And so when I got into the car we were just talking. I asked him how work was and while were in the car he was driving east down my street and I told him to turn around because that wasn’t the direction of the freeway,” she continued. “So when he started to turn around that’s when I heard movement in the back seat of the car and I knew I was set up.”
“So the person in the back seat puts a gun to my head and started punching me with his other hand and telling me to give up my purse and my phone and I kept screaming, ‘Help, help!’ He repeatedly kept hitting me with his hand and the gun and he kept saying this, ‘Bitch wants to die. This bitch is gonna die tonight.’”
Photo supplied by Luna Lovebad
Lovebad says she managed to wrestle the gun — which turned out to be a pellet gun — out of the attacker’s hand, next, opening the car door and throwing it onto the curb. The men took her bag and phone, and pushed her out when she wouldn’t give them the password to her phone.
“So I got up, I was bleeding from cuts all over my legs and knees and my face,” she said. “I ran back to my house and was yelling and screaming that I had just been assaulted to get my family outside.”
After filing a police report, Lovebad says that an auto body shop down the street obtained video footage of the incident happening, where the car make and model — a 2003 tan Ford Escape — could be identified.
Lovebad says even though she sustained minor injuries, she is so thankful because so many of her “black trans sisters are being murdered at an alarming rate.”
Photo from Luna Lovebad’s Instagram
“Now more than ever, we have to stand up for each other and stick up for one another and have our voices be heard,” she said.
Lovebad was previously scheduled to perform at Pride in Los Angeles this upcoming weekend, a performance she says she promises to follow through despite her injuries.
“After what had happened, I was laying in bed and I was thinking to myself, ‘You don’t have to do this and that you should put your mental and physical health first,’” she explained. “And I really considered not doing it. But I’m a woman of my word. This is what I love to do and I want to show people that you should keep going whatever it is you want to do, regardless of the trials and tribulations that stand in your way. Just keep going.”