Pauline’s Story: “Are you absolutely sure you’re a lesbian?”

About a month ago, I was hanging out with my friends in a fully packed bar. A couple of guys harassed us that night, but I’ll just talk about the three that shocked me the most.

I came out of this toilet cubicle and suddenly this guy walked up to me (it was a boy/girl bathroom) and he kind of cornered me, so I couldn’t go back to the bar where my friends were. He asked my name. I told him my name’s Pauline. He then proceeded to call me Paulientje (which is Dutch for ‘Little Pauline’) and asked me if I had a boyfriend. I told him I was a lesbian and started pushing him away, but he wouldn’t budge. We were also blocking the entrance to the bathroom now and there was quite a queue by now. I was clearly uncomfortable, but no one helped me. He continued talking to me, saying things like ‘Did you fall from heaven?’ and ‘Are you absolutely sure you’re a lesbian? You’re not sure, are you? I can see it, you started questioning the minute you saw my face’ After what must have been ten minutes, my best friend showed up (because she was worried something had happened as it wasn’t the first time that night guys were bothering us) and pulled him away from me.

I was still kind of shocked, when another friend (though I didn’t really know him that well) came up to me and asked me what was wrong. I told him some guy had harassed me in the bathroom, to which he replied ‘Oh, I would’ve wanted to join’. At first I thought he had misunderstood me, so I repeated what I just had said, and his response was ‘I know what you said’. That same ‘friend’ had been groping my breasts, butt and thighs the entire evening, by the way. At first, I’d thought he was doing it by accident, but it happened one too many times. My scarf actually smelled like him up to two days after that night.

Some time later another guy grabbed me, asking for my name and such. I recognized him, as he had slapped my butt earlier that night and I had yelled at him. Once again, I told him my name and that I’m a lesbian and once again, the guy didn’t seem very bothered by that fact. He was actually rather excited by it and he told me it was his dream to fuck a lesbian. I was absolutely horrified, but thank god my best friend and her boyfriend came to my rescue. The guy got somewhat aggressive, so we decided it was time to leave.

Up to this day, I’m still wondering what the hell I’d been doing wrong that night.

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3 Responses

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  1. Laurie says:

    You did nothing wrong to deserve this, so don’t bother trying to figure it out. You can’t deserve to be manhandled and harassed. If you had done something legally wrong, maybe you would “deserve” a day in court, but to suggest that anyone deserves illegal treatment for doing anything — legal or illegal — would be nuts.

    I do wish, for all our sakes, that you would stop responding to harassment by saying “I’m a lesbian.” None of us likes or deserves to be harassed, whether we’re straight, gay, bi, whatever. Its not about sexuality at all. It is about their transgression. Bringing up your sexuality just suggests that what they have assumed is true, which is that they have a right to intrude on your personal life.

  2. You did absolutely nothing wrong Pauline. Absolutely nothing.

  3. Pauline says:

    Hey Laurie, it just seemed the right thing to say at the time. You’re right though, I shouldn’t have brought that up and I’m not going to do that anymore.

    Also, to you and Barbra: Thanks for the support :)

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