Motherboard, “Meet the Activists Arming Trans People With Stun Guns and Pepper Spray”

With anti-trans violence on the rise, mutual aid groups are raising money to equip trans folks with self-defense tools and training.

Ella Fassler, March 23, 2021

Luka Gidwani has always been a night owl. As a Latinx trans youth growing up in Los Angeles, he spent a lot of time navigating shadowy neighborhoods during his late teens. During these late night trips, Gidwani, who also goes by Isa, was assaulted, and frequently experienced cat-calls and misgendering from strangers. Scissors became his defensive weapon of choice. 

But now, the 21-year old student, painter, and jeweler is armed with a stun gun, pepper gel, a tactical flashlight, an alarm, a kubotan, and a spiked kitty keychain. The kit was free and easily accessible online, thanks to Trans Self Defense Fund LA, a mutual aid group that raises money to provide self-defense tools to trans people throughout the city.

“I was really excited about the stun gun,” Gidwani told Motherboard. “It definitely increases my feelings of security in public.” 

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