A Texas trans woman was allegedly forced to fend off a man with a knife during their first date.
22-year-old Tayla Smith said she reportedly had her throat slit during a first date with 24-year-old Kordel Stewart after the two reached her home in Houston, Texas.
She described Stewart as a “gentleman” before their date, saying she had told him she was a trans woman and did not see any red flags after the two met.
“I would never not tell a person,” she said. “That was something discussed way before we even started having a conversation.”
Stewart and Smith reportedly met at her home at around 5pm during the date on 20 September where they watched a movie, had dinner, and cuddled.
Smith said he reportedly brought a backpack with him, which she searched, but only found clothes inside.
Around five hours after the date began, they both began kissing before Stewart allegedly pinned her hands under his knees, pulled out a knife and slit her throat.
Smith said she then tried to take the knife from Stewart as he continued to beat her.
“I guess it was in his shorts, and he just slit my throat at the same time he covered my mouth,” she said.
“At this point, I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, Tayla! If you don’t fight back, you’re going to die. He’s going to get this knife out of your hands, and he’s going to stab you to death’.”
She was eventually able to reach her neighbours to plead for help. Stewart was later arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
He remains in the Harris County Jail on a $125,000 bond.
Smith was later treated for her injuries, which included cuts across her neck and hands. When asked if she thought Stewart was trying to kill her, she said: “I know he was trying to kill me.
“I don’t think anything. I know he was trying to kill me. If the knife were a little bit sharper, I would have been dead.”
According to court records in Galveston, Stewart was charged with murder in 2020 after being accused of shooting and killing a man during a sale of shoes. The case was later dismissed in April 2023.
When asked whether she believed the attack was due to her gender identity, she said she didn’t believe so.
“I still want to know what it is,” Smith said. “I cooked for him. We prayed over our food and we enjoyed each other’s company. We laughed.
“Please search their names,” Smith said about using dating apps. “I feel like if I would have searched his name up and I would have seen [his prior charges], I probably would have been like, ‘No’. Do your background checks and just be safe.”
A total of 321 trans and gender diverse people have been murdered globally over the past year, with most victims reported as trans women of colour, according to the findings of a recent annual study released to mark Trans Day of Remembrance 2023.