Appalachian Ohio, Athens GA, Atlanta, Berkeley, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Columbia MO, Des Moines, Durham & Chapel Hill, Fredericksburgh VA, Houston, Los Angeles, Muncie IN, New York City, NYU, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Richmond VA, San Francisco, Tucson, Twin Cities
When I was thirteen, I was taking the city’s metro back home. A man, far older than me, came and sat by me. He started to talk to me and told me I was too “sexy” to be that young. As I stood up to get off at my stop, he tried to block my path and trap me in the seat. Another passenger pulled him out of my way. I was so scared I ran all the way home, and didn’t tell my parents because I blamed myself for dressing a certain way. Without that man pulling him out of my way, who knows what could have happened?
My girlfriend and I walked towards a square, we had to cross a road. Two boys on a scooter saw us holding hands and when they passed, they spat on us. I was flabbergasted.
I was simply walking home from grocery shopping, only two blocks from my home, when a man in a car pulled out of the parking lot I was walking past and began making kissing sounds towards me. Internally flustered and appalled, I continued to walk without paying him any attention. Only days before this, my girlfriend and I were walking to the metro holding hands when a man whistled at us and yelled “Can I join? Get in between ya?” Both my partner and I felt disgusted, sickened and violated.
I do not exist for your viewing pleasure. No one does.
I was walking out of a bakery with my best friend when we were passed by two teenage boys. They looked at us and one whispered to the other. The larger one yelled at us “Are you guys LESBIANS?” and then they walked away as if nothing had happened.
I am a masculine-presenting genderfluid person, so I didn’t really register that they were directing the comment at us. It took me a second to process what they had said, and when I did, I was shocked. I didn’t say anything because being non-binary can already be tricky and they made me feel unsafe. My best friend offered to hit them with the bag of frozen pizza dough she was carrying, which made me feel a bit better.
HOLLAnote: We’re reprinting this from our friends at change.org because, quite simply, it makes us rage. As we at Hollaback! know all too well, discrimination is a day-to-day occurrence for so many people internationally. But that doesn’t make it OK. We all deserve to be who we are — on the streets and in the air. Join us in signing this today.
Leisha Hailey and Camila Grey weren’t expecting anything out of the ordinary when they boarded their Southwest Airlines flight last Monday. Camila kissed Leisha — just a typical “I love you” peck like any couple might share.
Apparently, this was not okay with their flight attendant, who came over to explain that two women kissing was not acceptable, because Southwest is “a family-oriented airline.”
Leisha and Camila were extremely upset. The flight attendant wouldn’t back down. The conflict escalated. And Leisha and Camila were kicked off their flight.
Jeremy Sharp is a college student and a fan of Leisha’s — Leisha was one of the stars of the TV series “The L Word.” Jeremy started a petition on Change.org demanding that Southwest apologize to Leisha and Camila. Please sign Jeremy’s petition to Southwest today.
Southwest claims to be a supporter of LGBT rights — and, as corporations go, Southwest has excellent anti-discrimination policies. It’s even the official airline for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). But now that those policies are being put to the test, Southwest is failing miserably.
In multiple statements, Southwest has refused to accept responsibility for the actions of its employee, and has instead blamed Leisha and Camila for bringing this discrimination on themselves. But Leisha and Camila would have had no cause to get upset if they hadn’t been targeted by their flight attendant for their sexual orientation.
Eradicating homophobia means more than saying the right buzzwords and sponsoring the right organizations. It means making sure that LGBT families are treated equally every day. If Southwest can brush this incident under the rug, what’s to stop other well-meaning companies from doing the same?
Southwest has already received an avalanche of bad publicity for both its employee’s discriminatory behavior and its failure to accept responsibility for the incident. The airline’s executives need to understand that potential customers aren’t going to let this go until Southwest issues an official, meaningful apology.
Please sign Jeremy’s petition asking that Southwest apologize to Leisha and Camila:
And keep on holla’ing back!
In 2010 I studied at TAFE NSW, the port macquarie campus, I was 22 years old. The year began with one student commenting constantly that ‘he is a man and I am a woman’ so he could ‘have me’. I quickly explained my sexuality to him and thought that was that. A few months went by and he started harassing me shockingly, yelling “You are a sin against god.” across the science lab at me while the teacher was in the room. She somehow seemed to miss these comments.
He would follow me to the carpark asking me to dinner and always offering to help, trying to get me to come over to his house. It got worse as he made comments like, “so that’s where you live” and “Is your little sister as hot as you?” and at one point he cornered me in the carpark and pulled out live ammunition, saying he had the gun in the glovebox of his car, his car was parked 3 spaces away from mine. I felt threatened, he was physically bigger and constantly spoke of how many people he had killed when he served in the armed forces.
When he was angry he punched objects and made dents so everyone could see, he threw tables and chairs when the teachers were not around and other students just ignored him, when searching for witnesses, nobody spoke up, I was all alone.
At my breaking point with the only advice given by my mother to “Ignore him”, I listened to my partner instead and filed the complaint. When I did, they ignored the harassment and focused on the live ammunition he had brought onto the campus. The police took him from class and searched his car and he was kicked out for 2 weeks but upon returning, the barrage of hateful comments returned with him.
By this time I had befriended members of his group and found out he had been harassing other students and they didn’t like him anyway. As a group we ignored everything he said, gave no sympathy and did not invite him when we went on trips together, we openly excluded him because of his behaviour.
By the end of the year I found out he had moved on to another girl and is stalking/harassing her. He hasn’t learnt and is still in the area.
I’m forever watching out when I hang with my little sister, I’ve changed my look in the hopes he won’t recognise me at a glance. I don’t want him to know what she looks like just in case he starts harassing her.
If you believe in a person’s right to chose their sexuality without the threat of violence and are tired of “just ignoring” creeps like this, please help us by donating now.
I was about 11 years old and I was walking with my mother to a store called Prarie Market in Rapid City SD to get some groceries. It was a winter, so we were bulked up in puffy winter jackets. We lived about 4 blocks away, and this was a typical thing to do. Anyway, about a block from the store a speeding truck with about 4-5 men started screaming obscenities at us. They were initially screaming “faggots” but once they got closer, and realized we were women, they began screaming “maggots” and other worse words. We ignored them and fortunately it lasted about 20 seconds at best. It happened so quickly and out of nowhere; we were too shocked to say anything.
Although on other occasions, while using a phone near to this same store I had rocks thrown at me by a group of drunken men. Again, walking home from school past this same area some men shouted racist insults at me.
Yeah, it’s a small town, but haven’t they got something better to do than frighten women and children?
Two episodes of aggressive, shitty street harassment.
First, outside the Blue Line, this big mean looking dude took off his too-dark shades, wolf-whistled, and started walking towards me. To which I responded “can I fucking HELP YOU?” To which he responded with lots of mean aggressive things (including, but not limited to, calling me a fat bitch and using lots of homophobic slurs). And I just started walking away quickly. Fortunately he didn’t follow me into the train station.
Next, on my way home and right on that same street, some dude did that weird catcall that sounds like they’re calling a dog from his car. I, learning from my earlier lesson, didn’t get aggressive in response and instead just meanmugged as he drove past. He apparently took that as an invitation because he circled the fucking block in his red pick up truck and eventually ended up driving along side me, resuming his catcalling.
This is the point wherein I lost it. I flicked him off and started screaming about he can go to hell and should suck my dick. My face was bright red and I was gesturing aggressively at his car. It was like I was fucking possessed.
Then I saw him do what looked like he was starting to leave his car and it snapped me back to my senses. Fortunately it was a hell of busy street in the middle of the afternoon and all I had to do was walk slowly towards a group of people.
I don’t think that he actually got out of his car but I sure as hell felt weird going home. I actually got into my car and drove around for a bit before I went into my apartment. I know that I’m safe now but my heart is still pounding. I’m so mad, I’m so upset, I feel actually physically dirty.
This was fourteen years ago, the fall of 1997. I was nineteen. I was on a date with a girl, walking along the boardwalk – it’s one of the more romantic places in our small city. We found a nice spot to look out over the lake, and sat there talking quietly. We leaned in and began kissing, just an innocent kiss. Not a minute later, some slimebag scared the living hell out of us – he had to sneak up behind us of course – by saying stuff to the effect of, “Wow, do you two want some company? Y’all look good, a couple hot little white girls, you want some big dick to keep you company?” And just on and on.
What pisses me off the most, even after all these years, is that it was our first kiss – my first real kiss with a girl, even – and it was completely ruined. Luckily, my date took me by the hand and we walked to the car, even though I wanted to run. She kept telling me it was okay, that he was just some asshole, that we were okay. But I will hate that crusty old creep for the rest of my life. At the time, it felt like he took maybe the one good thing going in my life and cheapened it, made it a bad memory instead.
Wow, I thought I was over this. Just goes to show you how long those old wounds stay with you. I suppose I’m lucky that he didn’t pursue us or attack us, but I felt, still feel, violated all the same.
There are so many incidents I don’t even know where to start, or when it even really all started.
In high school my sophomore year it got around that I was bisexual after some nasty girl found out that I was dating another girl at school. Walking home with her one day we were confronted by a group of guys from our school. They followed us for blocks saying obscene things and trying to get us to “let them show us what it’s like to be with real men since we obviously had never been with any man with a big enough cock.” and asking us how we like being ate out since, y’know, we pee out of there. i got so fed up with it and turned around and asked them if they liked it when their girlfriends gave them head because “y’know, you piss out of that.” After that they just kind of left us alone.
That was the first real time I stood up for myself when it was happening. I was so freaked out.
A few years later (this was right after I’d turned 18 and moved to another town) I was walking to my boyfriend’s work down the road about 12 blocks from where we lived and this group of guys were following me. At this point I was so used to stuff like this that i’d taken to carrying something called a “Stinger” (it’s basically an extendable metal rod with a ball on the tip and a large rubber grip for a handle) with me whenever I walked alone. They just kept leering at me and whistling, making loud comments about my “curves” and my “sway” and talking loudly about how’d they’d “tap that”. At one point they were following too close for comfort and several times it felt like they were trying to sniff my hair or grab my ass. Fed up with it I finally turned around and asked them what they wanted, as I did so I sneakily took my “stinger” out of it’s belt holder (which was hidden under my shirt). When they went to answer one said something like “We just want your attention sweetheart.” some other guy said “You’re so juicy, we just can’t resist.” I flicked the rod out so that it extended out to my side and I glared at them and said “Well, I don’t want yours.” They kind of freaked out and backed away from me. They never bothered me again.
It feels good to be able to do the same thing to them that they do to us women daily: Have some sort of power over them by scaring the crap out of them. It’s a nice turn of the tables, to make them feel like we do every time they do that kind of stuff to us, but at the same time I still think it’s sad that I’ve had to resort to carrying something so dangerous (and I think technically even illegal to own in my state) in order to make sure I can protect myself because stuff like this happens all of the time.