Attack on brave 14-year-old girl spawns international outcry
| "Are you a boy or a girl?" her attacker yelled. Frédérique replied, "I am who I am and you can be who you want to be."
Amsterdam police have announced the arrest of a teenage boy for attacking a 14-year-old girl in an LGBTQ-related hate crime. The vicious attack left her with a broken nose and fractured jaw.
Paul Brink posted photos of his daughter Frédérique on social media and detailed what had happened. The brave girl took a beating when she refused to reveal her gender to a stranger.
“Are you a boy or a girl?” her attacker yelled at Frédérique according to Brink.
“It doesn’t matter,” she replied.
When the boy asked the question again, Frédérique replied, “I am who I am and you can be who you want to be.”
Frédérique’s father wrote that he is “incredibly proud” of her because she “wants to be who she is.”
“Boy or girl, straight, gay or bisexual, she (and all of us) doesn’t care. My child is not transgender, but just says she is who she is.”
Frédérique has been hailed as a hero for her thoughtful and stoic response to the bully, but Dutch LGBTQ organizations say it’s part of an uptick in violence against the community.
The hashtag #Frédérique quickly swept the internet as social media users on multiple platforms praised the girl for standing up for herself. Her matter-of-fact response to the boy has been lifted up as the perfect rejoinder.
“An #LGBTQ hate crime where the victim AND the perpetrator are CHILDREN is a crime that demands ALL of us teach more, protect more, and love more,” noted American activist Cornell Brooks tweeted, “Our hearts should break for a 14 yr girl attacked for her gender identity, intelligence & kindness.”
“Everyone should be able to reach their full potential, regardless of their gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation,” the Dutch Human Rights Ambassador tweeted with a graphic of Frédérique’s response to the bully.
“I am who I am and you can be who you want to be.”
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